Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Go West Young Man

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland
North Central
The South
The Inland North
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

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Bloggers Resign

There has been a lot of hullabaloo lately about Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan who recently resigned from their positions with the John Edwards campaign.

This all started with the reactionary bully Bill Donahue, the president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. (He's come up here before.) Last I checked, while it's perhaps not politically correct, it's not against the law to criticize the Catholic Church. Personally I have learned not to throw the word "fascist" around lightly but I do think that the blogsphere needs to be given some leeway. Like, you know, some consideration for this ol’ thing. Actually I’m pretty surprised and pleased with John Edwards for not immediately giving up when the bully picked a fight.

When these women, and other like them, are blogging, they are not crafting campaign speeches. They aren't writing pieces that are picked over and cleaned up until they only hint at opinions or policy. They are mentioning the unmentionable, and in doing so, challenging the (still) unchallengeable.

I wish both of them the best of luck in their futures. What is it they say…..Hell hath no wrath....


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Understanding the Doctoral Candidate, or, It's Not Just Me

This morning, as I was busy putting together a poster demonstrating the results of a fun little study I did on factorial validity and invariance(yawn), I started to think about something FUN to write. I have an idea for a book about PhD candidates and the dissertation process.

So I did some googling to find out if anything like it had been done before and I came across a citation for the dissertation, "Understanding the ABD (all but dissertation) doctoral candidate: A phenomenological approach" by Manuel G. Ramos Jr. Here's an excerpt:

"The findings of this research suggest that the phenomenon of the ABD doctoral candidate can best be described as a phenomenon which results in leaving the individual experiencing feelings, emotions, or in a state of: isolation; doubting one's own ability; at a loss (how to approach the dissertation); guilt; frustration; embarrassment; powerlessness; vulnerability; fear; and insecurity."

Well, I can certainly relate.

I think all of these creative ideas I have about fun writing projects stem from the powerlessness and frustration I feel when I reflect on my dissertation. The diss is represents the last and biggest project for which the writer is still just a helpless peon (aka student). As such, it blows. As much autonomy as we have, we still aren't entirely in charge. And we all know that academics LOVE being pushed around.

More on the book idea later.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Willliam Donahue on the Jews Who Own Hollywood

Here's a fun little ditty by William Donahue in which we learn about the all-powerful secular Jews who own Hollywood. Apparently, they like anal sex and abortions, are against families, and dislike nativity scenes. Actually doesn't sound that bad to least they'd be more fun at a party than this jackass.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Marriage for Procreation not Recreation

Catching up with Feministing this morning I found this great post about a group of activities who are writing an initiative in Washington state that would only allow heterosexuals to get married if they are willing to have children. After 3 years of childless marriage, their marriage will be automatically dissolved by the state.

Clearly this is ridiculous. But it’s exactly the type of ridiculous activism that I adore. This initiative pokes fun at the argument that marriage among heteros is okay because its primary purpose is procreation while marriage among gays is wrong because it doesn’t lead to babies.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

HPV Vaccines and the Plan to Eradicate Cancer in Texas

There has been a lot of press on Gov. Rick Perry's executive order mandating HPV vaccination for 11-12 year old girls in the state of Texas.

Lots of people are suspicious. (Texas?! Doing something for women's health?) Actually I can understand their surprise. There has also been a fair amount of skepticism with several allegations and insinuations by the Houston Chronicle and others that his order stems from his financial ties to Merck, the company that owns the only currently approved HPV vaccine.

What I am wondering is why nobody has yet to comment on this move as being part of Texas' emerging and ambitious plan to eradicate cancer. A plan is in the works to invest $3 billion dollars over the next 10 years for cancer research. Ambitious, yes. Foolhardy? Perhaps, as I'm not sure how much faith I have in the state government to invest wisely in cancer prevention. In fact I wouldn't be entirely surprised if they start dumping vast amounts of the money into the frilly Texas-based Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.

But if this is any indication, all I can say is, Go Governor Good Hair!