From the Past:

This Scientific American article is about how events in early childhood can affect one’s sexuality; they aren’t so much talking about “gay/straight” but rather “what turns you on”. Controlled experiments with mice are discussed; in particular mice that had fed from mothers who had lemon scent added to their teats ended up being aroused by the same scent.

It also talks about a human history; basically this guy who has a “rubber fetish” remembers seeing his mother’s white rubber swim suit hanging up (when put out to dry).

I don’t remember that far back in life, but I do remember a couple of things from my young adulthood.

One was a case where I was at Barton Springs pool; it was just after my freshman year in college. Some young women were wearing very small bikini swim suits and doing deep bending stretches like this or this. What I also remember is that their hair was pinned up; you could see their neck. Also the song by Exile called “Kiss You all Over” was on in the background.

So, every time I hear this song or when I see a woman with her hair pinned up in that manner…I “feel” it. 🙂
One time my wife was in the garden, bending over…and yes, had her hair pinned up in that manner. She didn’t seem to understand why I reacted the way that I did. 🙂

I saw something similar when the Led Zeppelin song Kashmir came on and I still have that association.

September 11, 2010 Posted by | big butts, haunting songs, human sexuality | Leave a comment

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

It is no secret that I love Beatles music and I like Elton John’s stuff as well.

It turns out that Elton John got a number 1 hit out of the Beatles song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

Which version do you prefer? Actually, I like EJ’s version just a bit better, though I love both.


Note: the photo goes on for 8 minutes whereas the song ends at 6 minutes or so:

Bonus: Yellow Submarine version

Double bonus: I just watched Caddyshack and love the theme song:

August 7, 2008 Posted by | haunting songs | 1 Comment

A couple of quickies: Revisonist Education and my favorite songs

At times I am worried that we are indeed becoming separate nations, each receiving a different education.

In science, it has been reported that 1 in 8 biology teachers teach some sort of creationism in class!

Despite a court-ordered ban on the teaching of creationism in US schools, about one in eight high-school biology teachers still teach it as valid science, a survey reveals. And, although almost all teachers also taught evolution, those with less training in science – and especially evolutionary biology – tend to devote less class time to Darwinian principles.

US courts have repeatedly decreed that creationism and intelligent design are religion, not science, and have no place in school science classrooms. But no matter what courts and school boards decree, it is up to teachers to put the curriculum into practice.

“Ultimately, they are the ones who carry it out,” says Michael Berkman, a political scientist at Pennsylvania State University in University Park.

But what teachers actually teach about evolution and creationism in their classrooms is a bit of a grey area, so Berkman and his colleagues decided to conduct the first-ever national survey on the subject.
‘Not shocking’

The researchers polled a random sample of nearly 2000 high-school science teachers across the US in 2007. Of the 939 who responded, 2% said they did not cover evolution at all, with the majority spending between 3 and 10 classroom hours on the subject.

However, a quarter of the teachers also reported spending at least some time teaching about creationism or intelligent design. Of these, 48% – about 12.5% of the total survey – said they taught it as a “valid, scientific alternative to Darwinian explanations for the origin of species”.

Science teaching experts say they are not surprised to find such a large number of science teachers advocating creationism. […]

I’ll go ahead and say it: our high school teachers, with some exceptions, are not the best and brightest we have to offer. Millard Fillmore’s bathtub explores some reasons that this is the case:

Recruiting high-achievers, across the board and not just with the help of a flagship do-gooder program, will require that starting salaries be competitive with those jobs where people of high caliber flock. Education competes with accounting, law, medicine and other high-paying professions for the best people.

If Milton Friedman and Adam Smith were right, that most people act rather rationally in their own interests, economically, which jobs will get the best people?

Teaching is the only profession I can think of where the administrators and other leaders threaten to fire the current teachers, work to keep working conditions low and unsatisfactory, and say that more money will come only after championship performance.

There isn’t a person alive who hasn’t cursed George Steinbrenner and said that he or she could run the Yankees better. Whenever he opens his checkbook, the nation howls. And yet, year in an year out, the Yankees win.

Is there any fool alive who thinks Steinbrenner could do what he does by cutting pay, not cleaning the locker room, and drafting the cheapest players he could find? Were we to assume Steinbrenner the world’s most famous lousy boss, there are a million education administrators who would need to step it up to get to Steinbrenner’s level.

As Utah Phillips famously said, graduates are about to be told they are the nation’s greatest natural resource — but have you seen how this nation treats its natural resources?

And, well, the behavior of parents doesn’t make it any easier for the good teachers (and yes, they are there!)

ARRRRGGGHHH!!!! If there were any justice at all, creationists and ID types would be denied access to any of the benefits derived from evolutionary biology, which, of course, includes many modern medicines and medical research.

But, as a Daily Kos diary by troutfishing points out, revisionism (that is, telling history the way that you wish that it were) is alive and well in U. S. history. Yeah, it is the same old “the US was founded as a Christian nation” bull *hit again.

Now, don’t get me wrong; education had its trouble without this stuff; personally I detest the leftist versions of this nonsense as well (example)

Well we all know about force don’t we? Especially when a ‘her’ is involved. Force means violence. Violence means rape. And when (say the augurers) the father of Western science, Francis Bacon, writes of scientific experiments designed to ‘force nature to yield her secrets’ only a fool could mistake his intention.

Believe it or not nothing more substantial than this allows Sandra Harding, for example, in her popular and widely used The Science Question in Feminism, to ask ‘why is it not as illuminating and honest to refer to Newton’s law as ‘Newton’s rape manual’ as it is to call them ‘Newton’s mechanics’?’

Yes, I know, such idiocy is considered “higher scholarship” in some circles, but at least students are exposed to such nonsense when, presumably, they’ve at least had basic education.

On a lighter note Just for the heck of it, I’ll post some youtube videos of some of my favorite songs. There is no particular order to them. 🙂

(Yes, I know, Elton John is a huge Hillary Clinton fan and hosted a concert for her. You know, I might even buy that soundtrack! ) Note also that I didn’t include any Beatles music; I love most of what they did but I didn’t really have a single favorite song; if I were to name their favorite albums it would be: Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Peppers and Abbey Road. I like their “blue album” remix too.

May 20, 2008 Posted by | creationism, education, haunting songs, politics/social, ranting, religion, republicans | Leave a comment

Obama, Haunting Songs, and Conservate Hate

Workout notes I taught two yoga classes and then did an easy 3 mile walk afterward. It is time to rest and taper. The yoga classes: still a bit choppy; I need more practice.

Politics: Time and time again we hear how those mean old liberals are so hateful. Well, check out Ted Nugent’s hateful rants:

“Oh, but that’s ok?” Obama, a “piece of shit”? He has done far more with his life than this ignorant jerk ever will.

Hat tip to KingOneEye at the Daily Kos. I wonder if O’Reilly will have anything to say (in fairness, he did go after the Free Republic for some hateful posts and comments, which I am sure does not reflect all (or most) of Free Republic members.

Speaking of Obama: he has picked up a nice endorsement!

This is short and sweet…

Yes, Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor for Jimmy Carter is throwing his support behind Obama.

Primarily, due to Obama’s approach to foreign affairs and the “NEW” word of everything.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the most influential foreign-policy experts in the Democratic Party, threw his support behind Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy, saying the Illinois senator has a better global grasp than his chief rival, Hillary Clinton.

And Obama has some cross over appeal; this guy can win!

Mike Scherer has a must-read piece up at Salon right now on the cross-over appeal of Barack Obama. As most of us know, Obama pulled off a shocking third place in a poll of Republican primary voters in Iowa, something that is never seen. Scherer looks into this phenomenon, and finds real potential for a landslide with Obama:

A recent poll by the Washington Post and ABC News revealed a third data point in Obama’s favor: When asked in July which Democratic candidate has the best chance to defeat a Republican in a general election, Republicans and independents were more likely than Democrats to pick Obama over Clinton. In fact, among Democrats, only 22 percent said Obama was the best general election candidate, while 54 percent flagged Clinton as the best in the general election

Now don’t get me wrong; I think that Hillary Clinton and John Edwards are fine candidates. But I am very happy with my first choice.

As to what I find wrong with Hillary Clinton, this post about sums up my concerns:

But Lordy, does our ostensible frontrunner — one Senator Hillary Clinton — make it hard to rally to her side. Today she handed the Republican party a nice little gift, and ceded the “terror” issue to them.

Way-smart whippersnapper Matt Yglesias of The Atlantic has the exact right take on it, below:

* chumley’s diary :: ::

This is, I think, a disaster:

“It’s a horrible prospect to ask yourself,

‘What if? What if?’ But if certain things happen between now and the election, particularly with respect to terrorism, that will automatically give the Republicans an advantage again, no matter how badly they have mishandled it, no matter how much more dangerous they have made the world,” Clinton told supporters in Concord.

“So I think I’m the best of the Democrats to deal with that,” she added.

Two points in response. The first is that I think the Democrat best positioned to deal with GOP political mobilization in a post-attack environment is going to be the one who isn’t reflexively inclined to see failed Republican policies resulting in the deaths of hundreds of Americans as a political advantage for the Republicans.

The other is that I think there’s a pretty clear sense in which the further one is from Bush’s Iraq policy, the easier it is politically to say that the failures of Bush’s national security policy should be blamed on Bush’s failed policies. Obama has a straight shot (“this is why we should have fought al-Qaeda like I said”) and Edwards (and Matt Yglesias) has a straightish one (“this is why we should have fought al-Qaeda like I think in retrospect”) whereas I’m not 100 percent sure what the Clinton message would be. Most of all, though, I think the politics of national security call for a strong, self-confident posture that genuinely believes liberal solutions are politically saleable and substantively workable, not the kind of worry-wort attitude that says we need to cower in fear every time Republicans say “terror.”

Young Mr. Y is spot-on here. The last sentence says it all.

One could have perhaps excused the moral cowardice of surrendering the whole “terror” issue to the GOP for a week or so after 9-11. The shock of that horrible day drove some to temporary insanity.

But real leaders need to shake off their fears and fight for what is true and right. The fact is that EVERY time a Democrat like Ms. Clinton waves the white flag on the terror issue — which means, of course, letting the GOP set the terms of that debate — it becomes harder for the next Democrat to go against that bondeheaded “conventional wisdom.”

I’m picking on Sen. Clinton, but this could apply to any number of Democrats, including every single one who gave us the pre-recess FISA surrender. (And sadly, that includes a Senator who I worked to get into office last year, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.)

Quite aside from anything else, the logic is absurd: the Republicans propose, and Democrats like Clinton support, the following idea:

1. If there are no terrorist attacks in the United States before 2008, this is a big WIN for the Bush and the GOP. It shows that they know how to keep us safe.


2. If there is a devastating terrorist attack in the United States before 2008, this is also a big WIN for Bush and the GOP. It shows that we need them to keep us safe.

Beyond ridiculous, of course.

But instead of pointing out that shameless nonsense, too many Democrats sign on to it.

AMEN. But there is another point of view; a sort of “let’s get realistic about the voters we are pandering to” type of view. Read it here.

So, in a nutshell, this is why I both like Hillary Clinton (she seems to understand how “middle America” thinks), and dislike parts of her (where is that boldness that she showed when she tried to get us universal healthcare?). And this is why I think Obama is a better choice; he reads people as well as she does, but he is more willing to try the bold new approaches that I think that our country needs.

Haunting Songs
Another favorite of mine:

Rocket Man by Elton John (live version)

Recorded version.

Telephone Line (ELO); the editing isn’t the best but I just love this song!

Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody

August 25, 2007 Posted by | edwards, haunting songs, hillary clinton, obama, politics/social, walking, yoga | 2 Comments

The Over 40 Endurance Athlete

Quick injury side note: the hamstring has some minor to moderate soreness/pain after my workout; actually “stiffness” might be a better description.

I’ve had an interesting conversation with a friend who is also on the comeback trail after some lay-offs. She is a much better athlete than I am; her PR for the marathon is 3:11 (I am a guy and my lifetime best is a pokey 3:33; masters is 3:38).

She too, is struggling. This conversation has inspired me to say some things that I’ve learned about myself and how my athletics have changed with age:

  • It takes longer to recover from hard efforts. In my younger days, I could do 3-4 hard workouts per week. Now-a-days, 1-2 are more like it.
  • Easy days have to be much, much easier. In the past, 5-6 miles at my marathon race pace was easy enough for me to recover. Not anymore. Also, even my cross training can drain my energy, if I overdo it. For example, a 5000 meter swim leaves me tired for the next day’s traning
  • Top speed (say, for an all out mile run) goes WAY down!
  • It takes longer to recover from injuries, even minor ones
  • It takes longer to get back “up to speed” after a lay off from a sport, even if I’ve done other sports. That is true even for a lay-off as short as a week.
  • I lose more during lay-offs. Example: my swimming was going well until May, when I slowed it down to do an ultra. A month later I was back to square one; it is as if my good winter/spring session didn’t carry over at all!
  • My body has gotten softer and weaker; I need to supplement my running/walking with things like swimming and weights.
  • In short, aging is a b*tch. But the alternative is far worse, and well, let’s remember that I have a friend who has inoperable pancreatic cancer (he has had it since November, 2006). I am sure that he would rather have the aches and pains of athletics than that monster in his back. By the way, he is STILL working out several times a week!


    Colbert takes up for Bill O’Reilly’s attacks on the Daily Kos. Hat tip to Crooks and Liars.

    What is the world coming to? I’d never in my life thought that I’d be linking to this blog as it is a Nazi blog. Yes, this is the same Nazi who attempted to harass me. But, in this post, he admits that the African American person in a disupte is in the right and was wronged by the legal system! Keep in mind that he is a Nazi and that this blog is filled with Nazi language and diction.

    If you are wondering why I am following this, I was interested to see what he and his small group was up to, just in case.

    Haunting Songs: Dreamweaver.

    This is my current list of three:

    The other two were Candles in the Rain (Mealine) and Africa (Toto)

    (long version)

    July 26, 2007 Posted by | haunting songs, injury, politics/social, running, swimming, ultra, walking | Leave a comment

Tuesday Night Flicks

Bush robbed of his wristwatch! Note early on that Bush has a watch with a black band, and note at the end he no longer has it. Hat tip to Crooks and Liars which informed us of this.

Will we win a dinner with Senator Obama? Probably not, though I chipped in anyway.

Haunting Songs

Toto Africa song. I love how this one is done; note that this song frequently goes though my mind at ultras.

Another haunting song; yes, Melanie sang “Brand New Key” too.

Not the video but a better recording of the uncut 9 minute version of Candles in the Rain.

June 13, 2007 Posted by | haunting songs, obama, politics/social, ultra | Leave a comment