Monday, January 31, 2005


I know college newspapers are known for their liberal content, mainly because of the sheer number of events on campus at that end of the political spectrum. But, the Wildcat's article on women's reproductive rights kinda got to me.

Dumka said some states require a 24- to 48-hour window between the initial appointment and when the abortion occurs. During this time period, the woman is read speeches and other testimonials about the risks of an abortion, many times swaying their decision and causing the woman to give birth to a baby she does not want to have.

"It's difficult for women to have abortions with this kind of propaganda," Dumka said.

If by propaganda, you mean medical research, then yes they are being given propaganda. These speeches and testimonials come from research and case studies showing adverse emotional, psychological, and physical affects of having an abortion. The more information given these women the easier it will be for them to make an informed decision.

Sarah said some pharmacists keep the contraceptive drugs behind the counter now instead of being readily available over the counter for young women.

"We're not being given a choice," Sarah said. "What they're saying is to essentially practice abstinence. We need to do everything we can to let these products stay on the market."

Could it be that these drugs are being held behind the counter because they could pose some kind of medical risk to the taker? Even so, you have the choice to get to these drugs. You can easily get to these drugs by asking the pharmacist or going to visit your doctor.

I could respond to more, but I don't know it's worth the effort. The article is written as more of a report than an opinion, so I can't really be upset at the writer. More than anything I'm shocked at the lack of understanding. What can you do?

Sunday, January 30, 2005


I'm not really one for online quizzes...but this was just too much:

Napoleon Dyanamite
(Please rate my quiz)

Which Napoleon Dynamite character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Ultra-conservative radio cracks me up

We have one of those "Christian" talk radio stations here in Tucson. The simple-minded solutions that they come up with are really quite amazing:

Apparently, you can solve all of the immigration problems in Arizona by 1) removing all government privileges to illegals, 2) penalizing companies that hire illegals, 3) building a giant wall on the AZ-Mexico border. Come on guys...These people are so eager to come to the United States that they will often do it at 110-120 degree weather - they want to be here more than they value their own lives. Not to mention the number of forged documents that I'm sure many illegals have. The only steps toward immigration reform Arizona has taken (may I add that major leaders in both parties were against) involve penalizing the CITIZEN that provides the service to the alien.

Oh, and probably my favorite program is the medical advice show, which consists of a chiropractor (I guess they couldn't find a Christian medical doctor that agreed with all of their beliefs...go figure) attempting to discredit any progress in medical research while promoting "natural" and "homeopathic" medicine. I know lashing out at the FDA and drug companies is the trendy thing to do, but homeopathic "alternatives" are anything but. Probably have more on that later.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Weekends are for studying

When your wife is pregnant there's a lot you have to worry about. For example, she won't want to eat the first 3 months, and if she does eat she will probably throw it up. I'm conceded to the fact that there is nothing I can do to easy her pain. No amount of food I can (not) bring, no amount of liquid, pillows, etc, etc. But, I guess, some worries transcend others. I don't know about you, but my biggest worry is the effect of construction noise on my baby (haha...get it...haha).

If you haven't heard, Phoenix was having some water issues earlier this week. What could possibly be worse than a contaminated water supply for a city that big?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Off to Join the Circus

Professors really are needy people. I had a meeting with a prof on the last of my rotations. These rotations are designed to be >40 hours of working with a prof in his research area to determine if you like the person/research area. I worked on this specific project last semester and over winter break.

He was pleased with the amount and quality of work I had completed, as well as the results of the simulation I was working on. Then, proceeds to give me more to investigate and elaborations to make to the simulation run more accurately. Only after pondering on the whole situation for a while have I decided his motivation. I'm basically free labor for him. He doesn't have to pay me, but I'm doing work valuable to him and his area. Plus he's probably short handed in the lab anyways.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Long Night

I think I'll continue the trend this weekend that Sarah and Owen have started of doing an entry on creation.

I'm sure most of you have heard that some schools in Pennsylvania did a lesson on intelligent design - basically the theory that evolution happened, but God caused it to happen. To tell you the truth, I'm a little shocked at how outraged some of these people seem. Some of the blogs I've read think any teaching in school anything contrary to evolution would be a tragedy. Honestly, evolution isn't perfect. It can have flaws like any other science conducted by humans. Any scientist would encourage thinking about evolution critically....that's how we make scientific progress.

Don't think I'm just picking on evolution. Creationism has it's flaws as well. I don't know that the two ideas are entirely contradictory. But that blog is for another time.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Crazy Day

We're in the first few minutes of my pathology lab today, when the professor announces, "We will have some gross specimens for you today." So I think: Cool, she'll wave some organs in front of the class and put them back into their container. NOT. Yeah, she first described the organs and the disease involved (sometimes with a normal organ to contrast) and then passed them out to the class to touch, explore, and investigate. I have held in my hand 2 human hearts, 2 kidneys, and a liver. Simultaneously one of the grossest and coolest things I've ever done.

To add to the fun, it rained for part of the afternoon. After lab, most of the ground was dry, so I decided to head home. The second I step off the bike and towards my apartment it beings to rain - and does so for the next 4 hours. CRAZINESS

OK, I can't fill an entire entry with personal accounts on life, so In the News: What happens when you take a herbivorous animal and feed it meat, and (to add insult to injury) meat of the same species? Why you spread mad cow disease of course (as well as others I'm sure). I think there is something fundamentally wrong in the thinking of these people. You can't feed meat to herbivore and expect everything to be peachy. Almost makes me want to rethink going off meat. HEY, I SAID ALMOST.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Viva Bush?

The Bush inauguration is tomorrow. Now, this is the first one I've actually been up on the news for, but there seems to be a lot of people upset over it. Between Newdow's new complaint or protests just about anyone seems to be upset over something. And who's to stop is America after all. To be honest I'm not sure I understand why everyone hates Bush. It's not that I'm ignorant - I think ;-). Is this kind of hate typical of an presidency/inauguration?

Cassini is exploring Titan, Saturn's biggest moon. NASA has posted some raw images here (courtesy of U of A actually, and others). I know they're not expecting to find any life (mainly due to the -290 degree F weather), yet it would still be interesting to know what they find. If you know of better pictures/info let me know.

Joke of the Day: Did you hear about the guy who would give his left nut for a tractor. No...really. Did you hear about the guy who would give his left nut for a tractor.

Upset cause you can't put the Ten Commandments in your courthouse? Lease the land to a company that will. I am what you would call a Ten Commandments fan, but I think the bible said write God's word on your heart not your courthouse (and I mean heart I figuratively, not open chest surgery).

There's more, but maybe I'll save it for later.

Monday, January 17, 2005


I know I've done a lot of posts recently that are religious in nature. Just as a fair warning I will go in and out of several types of ranting moods, whether they be religious, medical, political, academic, etc.

Tomorrow marks day number four of classes, and I am already tripping over the amount of studying I have. What a wimp I've become - as an undergrad I would take 15-18 credit hours, work part time, and still be involved in other activities like InterVarsity. Now, I'm taking 10 credits of actual classes and I'm struggling to keep up. For example, tomorrow I should do some amount of studying for any and all of my classes: physiology, pathology and bioinstrumentation. Is it possible I'm just catching up with the biology learning curve?

The Bible Code

So, Mindy and I were watching the History channel last night (I guess that's what happens when you become an old married couple). They had this special on the bible code. It basically had these Jewish mathematicians saying there are hidden messages in the bible, and these messages prove that it was written by God.

The basic theory is, you line up the text of the bible in it's original text into what could only be compared to a crossword puzzle. Next you try to find words and meanings the same way you do in the newspaper. The beginning of this page kinda gives an example.

For those of us living in reality, there is no statistical significance to any word you may find this way in a given text. This page uses the bible code theory on the introductory chapter of the book. Interesting what words they find. It also shows more complete lists of words they find in the examples given in the book.

After some quick online research I found that nobody has really done a quantitative study to show that these findings are truly inconclusive. After a quick conversation with Neal we decided we should devote some time to try it - it is after all nothing more than a simple text parser. Who knows if we'll actually get around to it - this wouldn't be the first project we've decided to do but failed to follow through with.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

A baby is comming!!!

In case you havn't heard yet Mindy and I are expecting a baby. We've known for almost a month now, but we wanted to make sure everything was OK before we told everybody. Mindy's first appointment was on Thursday - we got to hear the heart beat!!!! We won't get to know much more information for a while, but I'll keep you updated here.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Drug Testing

So, Major League Baseball has implemented it's new drug testing policies. Let me here and now say I am skeptical as to these methods. The new policy specifies "that suspensions on the first offense will carry a maximum length of 10 games." - ESPN

What about false positive results? Without getting into the math false positive results are bound to occur, whether through cross reactants or just plain random variables. Which means players could be penalized for not taking drugs. You can fix this problem, usually, by having the athlete take a second test for the same drug that reacts to a different indicator. I haven't seen specifics on how they plan to implement the new policy. Do they account for this and similar errors in testing?

I've looked at a few of the articles about these new policies, and none of them seem to raise this question - they more just say that this should clean up MLBs image.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

A happy story?

So, Mindy and I were having a nice relaxed evening last night. Ordered a pizza, rented a movie, had a nice evening. The movie ends, I happen to jump onto my computer and stumble onto the registrars website to discover: CLASSES BEGIN JAN 12TH. After a 15 minute panic attack, I regained control of myself and prepared to attend school today. How do you forget the first day of school? More importantly, who makes the schedules such that school starts on a Wednesday? There should be some kind of law regarding this crime against humanity.

In the news: Turns out Iraqi insurgents are upset that bin Laden and the boys are trying to hijack their rebellion. For not wanting us around they sure fight for our attention. Is this like the boy/girl in elementary school that disturbs the class to get the teachers attention?

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The promise of rain

Do you ever feel short changed when the weatherman predicts a 90% chance of rain - only to be disappointed by a windy/gloomy day? I even rode early today to beat the rain, but so far it has been in vain.

We got a visit from the Jehovah's Witnesses yesterday. I thought most Christians were obsessed with the end of the world. I did a little research, turns out the JWs have been obsessed with the concept for quite some time. You'd figure by the 3rd or 4th time you predict the end of the world incorrectly people would begin to question your theology...I guess not.

At my door they used the tsunami, the oil spills and the recent train crash as evidence - these types of disasters are predicted in the bible right before Jesus comes again. Not to steal Owen's thunder, but, haven't these types of disasters happened as long as we have been able to record them? Could the bible do this to contrast their nonexistence once Jesus does return? In any case, I think putting your focus on when the world is going to end would be a waste of time...unless of course your trying to prevent asteroids from hitting earth ;-)

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Evil Empires

Reality TV has hit a new low. Christianity has hit a new low. Evidentially, I'm not getting my daily allotment of Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN) or something. "Travel the Road" is their reality show: "Christian missionaries living a travelogue life while viewers watch their aches, pains and trials trying to spread the Gospel."

If I had my way nobody would watch TBN....EVER (and I am not alone). First, they keep stations on the air through individual donations, but they are not a nonprofit organization AND they don't release finacial information to the public. What does this mean? They are making lots of money. Also, a lot of what they preach or support could be described as sketchy at best.

If you wanna know what real missionary work is like support one (if you need one to support, I know some in need). In the mean time, don't take what these guys say about Christianity as fact. Most likely it's more on the fiction side.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

How fit is your city?

So, I'm not really much of a resolution guy. I can't remember the last time I had one. While the same trend continues this year, I have created a yearly plan for cycling training, based upon a Friel's book. I'm thinking this will keep me in shape as well as bring me up to average at some of the 24 hour races or club rides I do. If your interested in the book or putting together a similar plan, let me know. Otherwise, keep me honest!

Ironically, Tucson seems to be a place to stay fit. According to Men’s Fitness magazine , Tucson is the #9 "Fittest City". I kinda feel bad for people living in Phoenix - they were the #18th fattest city. Texas has it worse, as they occupy 5 of the top 10 fattest cities. Honestly, I don't know how a study like this could be considered statistically significant, but it's funny - so i post.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Lots of news

A bit of old news: Randy Johnson, otherwise known as the Big Unit, otherwise known as the only reason the D-Backs won ANY games last season, is most likely moving to the Yankees. This is truly a sad time for Arizona baseball fans. Now, I'm not sure on the details of who wanted (who) to go/stay, but I'm pretty sure you don't win more games by trading the best thing you have going. You start with a base and build around it. Then again, what do I know about planning a baseball team? (nothing)

And in the pure comedy section of the news: Standoff At Bar Ends When Drunk Gunman Passes Out. Maybe cops could use this strategy in future standoffs for peaceful resolutions ;-)

Lastly, if your looking to buy a 3 acre glass cage, Biosphere 2 is now up for sale. This was the experiment to see if we could someday live on the moon self sufficiently. Unfortunately, it failed miserably. BUT, if it was on your Christmas list it may not be too late.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Back in Tucson

Sorry for the lag in postings. Only had dial up in VA, which is difficult to sit through once you've experienced broadband. Anyways, I'm back in town, so expect updates regularly.

Vacation summary: 2 evenings of snowboarding, snow tubing, golf, & two new airports to add to my visited list. Mindy's uncle has a vacation home at Wintergreen - that's where we were for most of it. On a side note, don't ever take a red eye flight across the country. You WILL NOT sleep. Late (early?) flight + crying babies + no leg room = miserable flight + no sleep. It's a sure-fire solution to no fun.

In the news: If your looking to illegally cross the Mexico->America border any time soon, it looks like the Mexican Govt has published a guide to help you on your journey. Good Luck on your trip.

That's it for today.