July 29, 2004

This week in History

In 1992 Marlon Brando submitted a trademark request to secure the phase "If rain water from Tahiti isn't pure, we're on the wrong planet."

Found via the good people at Despair Inc.

Makes me wonder if he had been mixing that water with something else...

Posted by Pete at 09:19 AM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2004

Rerun: Presidential Fun Facts

These posts were originally seen at my old site.

In the extended, find out where Presidents come from, info on the deaths of Jefferson and Adams, and what James Monroe has to do with the capitol of Liberia.

Our 43 Presidents have come from (been born in) 20 states. Here is the breakdown:
*Virginia...8 presidents. G. Washington, T. Jefferson, J. Madison, J. Monroe, W. Harrison, J. Tyler, Z. Taylor, W. Wilson.
*Ohio...7 presidents. U. Grant, R. Hayes, J. Garfield, B. Harrison, W. McKinley, W. Taft, W. Harding.
*Massachusetts...4 presidents. J. Adams, J.Q. Adams, J. Kennedy, G. Bush.
*New York...4 presidents. M. vanBuren, M. Fillmore, T. Roosevelt, F. Roosevelt.
*North Carolina...2 presidents. J. Polk, A. Johnson.
*Texas...2 presidents. D. Eisenhower, L. Johnson.
*Vermont...2 presidents. C. Arthur, C. Coolidge.
*Arkansas...1 president. W. Clinton.
*California...1 president. R. Nixon.
*Connecticut...1 president. G.W. Bush.
*Georgia...1 president. J. Carter.
*Illinois...1 president. R. Reagan.
*Iowa...1 president. H. Hoover.
*Kentucky...1 president. A. Lincoln.
*Missouri...1 president. H. Truman.
*Nebraska...1 president. G. Ford.
*New Hampshire...1 president. F. Pierce.
*New Jersey...1 president. G. Cleveland.
*Pennsylvania...1 president. J. Buchanan.
*South Carolina...1 president. A. Jackson.

If you noticed the numbers only add up to 42, you're correct. Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President.


July 4, 1826 was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. As fate would have it, two of its signers would die that day.

Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were our second and third presidents, respectively. They had been political allies and foes throughout the years. Both signed the Declaration of Independence, but it was Jefferson who ousted Adams from the White House after one term. Both men were determined to see the Declaration's 50th anniversary, and they did.

They also died within hours of each other on that same day. President Jefferson became comatose on July 2, but awakened briefly on July 3 to ask an attendant, "This is the fourth?" The attendant, wishing to comfort him, affirmed that it was. Those were Jefferson's last words...he passed away the next afternoon.

President Adams was also very sick, and a few hours after Jefferson passed away, he uttered his own last words, "Thomas Jefferson still surv(ives)..." before dying. Adams thought Jefferson had outlast him, but he was mistaken.


James Monroe, President 1817-1825.

Liberia was founded by the American Colonization Society in an attempt to return freed slaves to Africa. Motives behind the society ranged from getting rid of "the negro problem" in America, to spreading religions, to sincerely returning blacks back to their native land. As a result, Liberia was heavily influenced by American culture. The capital city, Monrovia, was named after the fifth American President James Monroe who was a major supporter of the society.

Posted by Jennifer at 02:30 PM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2004

You Asked-Red Tigress Answers

Red Tigress, who can also be found at Behind Enemy Headlines, has answered your questions!

Q. Tell us a little about yourself.

A. Well, I'm not sure what to say. I go to college at UCSD. I'm registered republican. I, erm, don't like free form questions because I'm not sure what people want to hear. :p

Q. How old are you?

A. I am 21 years old.

Q. What would you do with $100 million dollars?

A. Hrmmmmm.... Does this sound like a Miss America question or what? Well, first I'd do what anyone out there would do and use a portion of it to help my family. Probably buy a house or something like that. Not anything extravagant. I don't need fancy. Just something that I could have my grandchildren live in when I am gone. Much of the rest of the money would be given to charities to help victims of terror & abuse. Also programs for abused women and
children. Sounds cheesie, but I mean every single word.

Q. If you were stranded on a desert island, what non-survival items would you like to have with you?

A. Hrmm, definitely a radio. I think my head would explode if I was unable to be aware of what was going on in the world around me. A computer, perhaps a camera. Then, maybe some Charmin?

Q. Do you eat breakfast? What's your favorite breakfast food?

A. Eggo chocolate-chip waffles, baby. I spread peanut butter on top of that. It's the perfect breakfast on the go when you're late to class.

Q. What do you do for fun?

A. I usually get together with friends and I go down to the local Hookah bar. I also am slightly addicted to the Internet.

Q. Your page takes a long time to load and you acknowledge this. Have you thought about fixing that?

A. Yes. He he. I am always trying to perfect my site and make it as user friendly as possible. That's part of why I have the notice up there that it takes a while. It's my way of letting people know that I know there is an issue with load speed and I'm working on fixing it. Thing is, there's a lot of images and such that take time to load. That's the main problem. I try taking them off and moving them around. I also have switched to simpler images in order to increase load speed and decrease time wasted waiting for my page to load. I like my page to also be esthetically pleasing as well as informative. I'm still working on achieving the perfect balance. Fear you not. :)

Q. How did you meet Jayme?

A. Ah, we actually met by just the chance of being on the same server; that being tBLOG. I read his stuff and he's a hilarious guy with a great head on his shoulders. He is funnier than I could ever be. When he asked me to be a guest columnist on B.E.H. I was thrilled and jumped at the chance to be a part of what he's doing. I luv ya, man. ;)

Q. Which blog did you write at first?

A. I'm not sure what is intended in this question. My Lair is the only blogsite I have ever written on and owned. My first entry ever was entitled "AH!" where I said that I was getting the hang of this format and stuff and that I'd hopefully be truly up and running soon.

Q. Why did you start your blog?

A. To be honest, originally I started it to be as a venue to publish my thoughts on life and the world. It sort of became something much bigger than I as I came to realize that I wanted to not only make it a venue for my thoughts but also a place where you can hear Israel and the Jewish people's side of the story. There is so much bad press and lies out there that come from the direction of those who wish to wipe the Jews from the face of the earth. What's even scarier is that people actually believe those lies. We're losing a PR battle, as well as an actual war against terrorism. When people read my blog, I hope they come away with not only a new or renewed sense of what's
right, but also for them to be enlightened to what's going on around the world and perhaps learn some new things about Judaism and other issues and ideals. When I first started my blog, I had a cursor text trailer that read: "Prepare to think! Welcome to my lair!" Nothing could sum up my blog's mission better.

Q. Do you find Judaism at all sexist and why or why not?

A. No, I actually find it to be very liberating and respectful to/of the female gender. For one thing, women are considered to be on a higher spiritual level than men. Also, Jewish laws advocate modesty that reaches from dress to behavior. This goes for both men and women, though there are separate laws for men and women. I dress and act like I have a mind. Does anyone ever wonder how smart Britney Spears really is and what she has to say as a person or are they just hypnotized by her enhanced bussem? A culture that ensures respect for all members, especially women, I'd want to be a part of as opposed to a chauvinistic one that objectifies them. In Judaism, women are given the respect they deserve. I find more fault with a culture that tells little girls they have to be pretty and show some leg in order to get respect.

Q. If you had to describe your religion in 20 words or less, what would you tell us about it?

A. Judaism is truly ethical monotheism. We imitate God's greatness by learning and doing acts of love and kindness.

Q. Ever been to Israel?

A. YES! I lived there for a couple years. During that time I was even witness and unwilling victim in a suicide/homicide bombing at a restaurant. Don't worry, I'm ok. Only minor scars remind me. Once you've been a part of that and seen
what these terrorists do to innocent people, you never want to give up fighting against them. I suppose that must have been what it was like for Americans on 9-11. It really makes things real and opens your eyes. Israel is a beautiful place and the people are like no other. I greatly encourage people to come and visit. Don't let terrorists bully you into missing out on the trip of a lifetime. If you let them intimidate you, they win! Someday I hope to move back.

Q. Which Jewish holiday is your favorite and why?

A. That would have to be the holiday of Sukkot (Sukkos for you Ashkenazic Jews out there). Sukkos comes out some time in the fall (usually between Sept.-Nov.) It's a holiday that lasts 7-8 days (depending on whether or not you're in Israel). It's a harvest festival. We build huts in our back yards, called a Sukkah, and eat delicious foods in there and many even sleep in the Sukkah. The holiday commemorates the Jews wandering in the dessert and living in these Sukkahs, being completely reliant on God and putting their faith in Him to bring them to the Land of Israel. Yes, this is my favourite holiday. There are so many other beautiful festivals in Judaism, though. It's really a tough call.

Q. What are your interests completely outside of Israel, Judaism
and politics?

A. Lots of things, actually. I have a great affinity for the arts. I'm actually a photography major in college, believe it or not. Though I eventually hope to be a photo-journalist, I do enjoy artistic photograph taking and drawing as well. I also write poetry and music.

Q. Why did you submit yourself to be interviewed?

A. I thought it would be fun. I also wanted to help out Jayme and boost some hits for him (and ok yea, myself too). I figured, if he got interviewed, perhaps the rest of the staff should be too. It can't hurt. :)

Posted by Jennifer at 01:51 AM | Comments (2)

July 12, 2004

*Fun With Odds

I'm going to pull a paragraph out of this story:

The death last year of an 84-year-old man killed while swimming in an Australian canal linked to the nearby Pacific Ocean was one of only four fatal shark attacks around the world in 2003, according to an international list compiled by Florida Museum of Natural History.
(emphasis mine)

You know what this means? You are more likely to win the lottery than be killed by a shark.


Posted by Jennifer at 10:53 AM | Comments (3)

Rerun: Nice Try, But...

December 7, 1941 is a "date that will live in infamy," but few people remember February 23, 1942, the date the Japanese attacked the U.S. mainland.

A Japanese submarine fired 25 shells at an oil refinery at the edge of Ellwood Oil Field, twelve miles northwest of Santa Barbara. One shell actually hit on the rigging, causing minor damage. On its face, the shelling of Ellwood beach in 1942 was not a major event of the war. It injured no one and did a mere $500 damage to a shed and catwalk belonging to the Barnsdall-Rio Grande Oil Co.

Yet, for a country still recovering from the Pearl Harbor attack just two months before, the 5-inch shells were enough to scare many into the belief that Japan could wage war on mainland American soil. After all, this was the first enemy attack on U.S. shores since the War of 1812.

The attack quickened the round-up of Japanese Americans in internment camps for the remainder of the war, a move Franklin D. Roosevelt had authorized just four days earlier. Seven months later, Japan struck the U.S. mainland once more...on September 9, 1942 a Japanese bomber hit the uninhabited mountains east of Brookings, Oregon.

The idea was conceived by the Japanese imperial general staff, still smarting from General Jimmy Doolittle's Tokyo raid. To retaliate, the Japanese hatched a plan to set the Oregon forests afire. They expected the flames to spread to the cities and panic the entire West Coast. However, three of the bombs were duds; the fourth started a small blaze that was quickly spotted and doused by forest rangers.

I was unable to find any documentation on whether the Japanese attempted to acquire sharks with laser beams attached to their heads. It is possible they found some mutated sea bass.

Posted by Jennifer at 09:00 AM | Comments (3)

July 09, 2004

My Opinion

Hey, Hague!

Ik hoop u anaal wordt verkracht!

Posted by Jennifer at 12:42 PM | Comments (4)

Lip Service

(Inspired by Daniel.)


What makes a good kiss?

What makes a bad kiss?

What distinguishes a good kiss from a great kiss?


Posted by Jennifer at 07:54 AM | Comments (9)

Rerun: Presidential Fun Facts

These were originally posted at my old site.

In the extended, an anecdote about Lincoln, JFK's return to the White House from Dallas, and Herbert Hoover in his later years.

Abraham Lincoln, President 1861-1865.

Walking one time between the White House and the War Department building was a tall, weathered man. The site at the time was a small park. Along came a crippled soldier cussing to himself about the government, president and all.

The tall stranger asked what the problem was. This young Union private, recently released from the Confederate Libby Prison in Richmond, said he couldn't seem to collect his pay from the War Department, despite his good and faithful service.

Well, said the stranger, he had once been a lawyer and perhaps if he looked over the soldier's papers he could be of some assistance. They sat under a tree to look at the documents. The tall gentleman wrote something brief on the back of the papers and told the soldier to see "Mr. Potts," who was the chief clerk in the War Department.

As the story goes, the two parted and went their separate ways, but a couple of onlookers stopped the soldier and asked if he knew the identity of his helpful benefactor. "Some ugly fellow who pretends to be a lawyer," replied the crippled soldier.

But he showed the two onlookers where the stranger had written the line, "Mr. Potts--attend to this man's case at once and see that he gets his pay." By the end of the day, the young man received both his discharge and his pay, in full. _______________________________________________________

Courtesy C. Brian Kelly, "Best Little Stories from the White House."

The waiting for this president to come home to the White House is long and tedious. In the interim, there is an invitation list to consider. Four secretaries madly type up hundreds of names and then, in a room full of aides, staff members, friends, a brother-in-law in charge, the names are read out loud for approval or disapproval.

Decisions, tough decisions...sometimes ruthless but all necessary. Speed is absolutely mandatory. Telegrams must go out right away. Now! Barney Ross? Old shipmate. From his navy days. Yes. Billy Graham the evangelist? The really respected evangelist... Silence. Well? "Billy considers himself a close friend of the president," says aide Lloyd Wright. Again, silence.

"By now," wrote an onlooking David Pearson years later, "there is real embarrassment in the air." Someone says they occasionally played golf together. Finally, a voice of authority, "No." Next on the list? And again the names. Yes, no. No, no, no...yes.

With Pearson, a high-ranking Peace Corps official, called in to help, the group headed by his boss, the brother-in-law, eventually has to move down the corridors, through darkened historic rooms, into the big room at the far east end of the main floor. The East Room.

By now it is 1:00 a.m. They are busy studying the old Lincoln pictures. They move out the grand piano. Word now comes to expect him at about 2:30 a.m. What about a crucifix, says Pearson. They send for one, but..."it turns out to be pretty awful, with a bloody corpus."

The brother-in-law, Peace Corps director Sargent Shriver, says, "That's terrible. Go get the one in my bedroom." Soon done. Modern and much more suitable. Past 4:30 a.m., "in the blackest part of the night, just before dawn, headlights begin to cut through the gloom in front of the White House. Most of us, embarrassed and feeling out of place, retreat to a corner of the East Room."

He is in the house. Pearson would never forget. "I hear the routine sound of doors opening and closing, low voices. Then come sounds that make me shiver. A military voice snaps a 'march' command; there is the clipped staccato sound of boots hitting the hard floors." In moments, the strained young men, stern-faced but obviously awed by their task.

They carry in the casket and set it down. He is here at last. "There is a short pause; no one knows quite what to do first. No one has had any experience. What do you do when you bring a dead President into the East Room of the White House at 4:30 in the morning?"

Prayers from the priest...and suddenly, in the doorway, she stands, his brother Bobby on one side and defense secretary Robert McNamara on the other. An altar boy is lighting candles at each corner of the casket, and she stands there, eyes wide with disbelief, clothing still stained by blood...Jackie is back, too.

In an age, in a few minutes, the very private scene is over. One long moment she is at the casket kneeling, laying her forehead on it. "There is dead silence. Absolutely no sound of any kind." She begins to stand, and then it happens.

She slumps back down sobbing, sobbing, "rocked by sobs." Bobby helps, holds her...lets her cry. In the days ahead, noted Pearson later, she would present a regal, strong, "almost inhumanly stoic" image to the world...people might even wonder if she mourned, really mourned. "But those of us in the East Room tonight know she did."

For the remaining aides, the long night's wait is over. "They have brought John Kennedy home."

Herbert Hoover, President 1929-1933.

President Hoover is one of my personal favorite presidents. First of all, I always like an underdog...and he had the misfortune to become president the year of the stock market crash in 1929. Second, I have been to his Presidential Library several times due to proximity and therefore know quite a bit about him and the good works he did.

The following story from Dr. Zebra tickled me: In his later he years he was "deaf and nearly blind." Hoover could use this to his advantage. In 1963 there were several celebratory events upon the successful conclusion of NASA's Project Mercury...finally there was another banquet, with a lot of speeches.

Former president Herbert Hoover was there, sitting next to Walt Williams at the head table.When Jim Webb [the chief of NASA] got up to talk, I noticed Hoover whispering in Williams's ear. I asked about it later. "He asked who that was," Williams said. "When I told him Jim Webb, he turned his hearing aid off and asked me to poke him when Webb was finished."

Posted by Jennifer at 07:15 AM | Comments (0)

July 08, 2004

Rerun: Posts About Death

These were originally posted at my old site.

Everybody dies, and some of us are curious about that.

A friend of mine suggested I was preoccupied with death on this blog...so on that note, here is a Fun Fact about death (or banking, depending how you look at it):

Egyptians sometimes kept their relatives' mummified bodies above ground several years to be used as collateral to borrow money. Few people defaulted on the deal. If they did, they were refused a burial of their own and forfeited entry to the afterlife.


Apparently I am pretty morbid, because while I was on vacation, I went into the book store in Hayward, Wisconsin and saw two books side-by-side. One was titled "Sex: a User's Guide." The other, "Death: a User's Guide."

I had limited funds available, and wanted both but could not justify buying both. So I had to choose. I chose "Death." (I already know all about sex, heh heh. J/K.) This is a fascinating little book by author Tom Hickman.

He writes about the physiology of death, history of burials, etc. Some of it is kind of gross, but it's all presented in a pretty straight-forward fashion, so it doesn't seem exploitative.

One topic he discusses, of course, is mummification. I am fascinated by Egyptian history and artifacts. I own all the History Channel videos on the topic you could ever want. I have dragged several people along with me to visit New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art so I could go through their unbelievable Egyptian collection every possible chance. I always recommend it to people visiting the city.

However, for all my enthusiasm I am by no means an expert and often learn new things on the topic of Egyptology. That's one of the coolest things about history...there is always more to learn.

And what did I learn from Mr. Hickman? For one thing, the brain was removed from mummies and discarded because the Egyptians didn't see any point to that particular organ. The heart was thought to be the location of memory and intellect. I always knew the Egyptians kept the heart in its place while placing other organs (liver, lungs, intestines, and stomach) in canopic jars. I also knew the brain was, er, scraped out rather unceremoniously through the nose or from behind an eye and thrown out. I just never realized why.

Hickman also notes that Egyptians weren't the first or even best mummifiers. In Chile, bodies were being mummified two thousand years before Egypt. China started a thousand years after the Egyptians, but their work was far more impressive. For example, Lady Ch'eng was excavated from her tomb in 1972. She died over two thousand years ago, but "her limbs were still flexible, and her skin soft to the touch."

I could share more, but I'm thinking that last statement might be a little more information than a lot of people want to know. :-) Pansies. It's a cool little book, if you're curious about such things, check it out.


On the happy occasion of Odai and Qusai's demise, I would like to take this opportunity to share some facts about death. Specifically, the physiology involved.

You are encouraged to skip this post if the subject makes you uncomfortable. First of all, I am not a medical expert in any way, shape, or form. My information comes from a few sources. One is my mother, who is a medical professional. Another is a book I mentioned in an earlier post, "Death: A User's Guide" by Tom Hickman.

From Mr. Hickman, "When a body dies, it does so bit by bit. No longer being pumped and oxygenated, the blood settles on the underside, making the skin there reddish purple. This is known as hypostasis or postmortem lividity, a condition at its most prominent about ten hours after death...Muscles contract (rigor mortis), beginning within about four hours: first the eyelids, then the jaw, neck, and shoulders, then other muscles. After thirty-six to forty-eight hours, as the muscle fibers continue to degenerate, the body relaxes but it is now cold."

Seriously, if you have a weak stomach for this sort of thing, you'll want to skip the rest of this post. Don't say you weren't warned.

"Meanwhile the millions of bacteria in the gut eat through the lining of the digestive system and then invade the rest of the body. At the same time the blood's hemoglobin turns to sludge. The first sign of decay is usually a greenish patch of blood vessels on the lower belly...the pancreas, source of the digestive enzymes, digests itself. Putrefaction spreads as the bacteria proliferate; the veins become outlined on thighs and shoulders. Within a week...the disagreeable smell of hydrogen sulfide and methane has become apparent. Stomach contents may already have been regurgitated into the mouth and air passages...eyes bulge and the tongue protrude...the color of the skin changes to olive to purple to black...Within a few weeks the teeth and nails begin to loosen. Within a month or so tissues liquefy, and the main body cavities burst open." In a coffin, "full skeletonization may take a decade or more...fat people decompose more quickly than thin; those with a fever at death more quickly than would otherwise be the case."

Most people have heard that nails and hair continue to grow after death. This illusion is caused by the skin receding.

Bodies in the ground are taking longer to decompose than they used to...not just due to embalming fluid. The preservatives so common in food are, well, preserving us.

And on that note, have a great day. :-)

Posted by Jennifer at 05:45 PM | Comments (0)

You Asked--Trixie Misa Answers

At last, the long-awaited Trixie Misa interview!

For those unfamiliar, Trixie is Pixy's granddaughter from the future. Thanks to the miracle of time-travel and such, she was able to answer your questions about life in the future.

In the extended.

What's with all of the Misas and the time travel and such?

Apparently, Zebrixy Misa, my great^219th-niece, tamed a chronosynclastic
infundibulum sometime in the 757th century. We can't actually travel in
time, but we can send letters back and forth.

How old are you?

22 Earth-standard chronological.

Do you have big hooters like a Manga chick or are you flat chested like an Anime chick?

Don't you have that the wrong way round?

But anyway, I've had them stabilised at 36B. (I sometimes let them out
a bit for parties, but I always have a backache afterwards.)

How's global warming working out for us?

Just lovely! Average precipitation across Australia, for example,
increased by 72% during the 21st century. Greenland now has a thriving
tourist industry. Shame about the penguins, though.

Then of course there are the thousands of miles of new coastline between
California and Nevada. Mind you, that wasn't *just* global warming...

Can you tell me the winning lottery numbers for next Saturday's drawing, please?

Well, if I knew where you were, and when you were, and which lottery you
meant, then I would.

Sorry. Try to be more specific next time.

Did we ever find Osama bin Laden?

An Afghan undergraduate archaeological group reported finding traces of
his DNA in a cave in January 2016. That's about it as far as I know.

Who won the 2004 USA presidential election?

The what? Oh, politics. I'll look it up. Hmm. It says "George W.
Bush". Does that sound right? It's in the chapter on the Great
Insanity Epidemic of 2005.

Was nanotechnology a passing fad?

Um. Nanotechnology is just chemistry done really really carefully.
It's pretty much universal these days. About like electricity was to
the 20th century,

Did Pixy work himself into an early grave?

I'll ask him the next time I see him. He's in cold sleep right now
bound for Epsilon Eridani.

When did Munuvia finally take over the world?

Not until 2009. There were some technical glitches along the way, as I
understand it.

Who did Pixy marry and when did he find the time?

He married Grandma, silly!

I think she tripped him up and sat on him 'til he said yes.

What are some of the biggest moments from the last century?

Well, the Insanity Epidemic of 2005 that I mentioned before is generally
regarded as the beginning of the new era. That ushered in a
century-long economic boom that we're still enjoying.

The 2009 Mu.Nu World Domination Tour, of course.

The release of The Sims 3 in 2011 which allowed us to keep the millions
of epidemic victims quiet and happy.

The discovery of ellipsium in 2017 which gave us clean, cheap,
inexhaustible energy, although we didn't realise it then. At the time,
it just meant a great big hole in the ground. (See Nevada, Gulf of.)

The completion of the first orbital tower in 2029.

The 2036 Triplanetary Cup. Australia wins! Australia wins!

The invention in 2039 of the breast control pill.

The discovery in 2041 by Oort Explorer 3 of conclusive evidence that the
Fine Structure Constant isn't.

The annexation of France by Andorra in 2046 caused a lot of fuss at the
time, but is widely regarded now as the only thing that could have been

The release of The Sims 4 in 2048.

The invention of the Sleep Compiler in 2049.

Lance Armstrong's 7th consecutive Tour de Andorra win in 2053.

The invention of ultrasilk in 2061, and the subsequent creation of a
comfortable sports bra.

The sugarpeople craze of the late 2060s. Every child could be the mad
dictator of their own tiny kingdom! (Outlawed by the time I was born,

The discovery of microbial life on Tau Ceti IV in 2072 by the Starwisp
Probe Richard P. Feynmann.

The launch of the great interstellar exploration fleet beginning with
the Iain Banks and the Lois Bujold in 2079.

The invention of hypersilk in 2088 that made ultrasilk feel like canvas
by comparison.

And of course the Bicentennial Olympics held on Olympus Mons on Mars in

Does everyone have flying cars yet?

Well, *I* don't, dammit! Unfair! Unfair!

How old are humans living to be now?

Um, people generally stopped dying involuntarily of old age by 2040 or
so. Life expectancy is currently increasing at a rate of (let me check)
1.3 years per year, which makes your question somewhat hard to answer.

I assume they've cured cancer and AIDS by now, but what about the common cold?

The what? Is that something like a lurgy? Or more like a grippe?

Tell us about your favorite TV show.

TV? Oh, sensies, right. I kind of like Meply Smirnoff. It's about
this Siberian monopole hunter out in Oort Cloud, stuck on a ship with
failed engines. While he's waiting for the Siberian Monopole
Corporation rescue team to arrive, the people back on Earth keep him
from going mad by beaming these *terrible* old movies at him. He's got
these sarcastic robots that he's built out of scrap and they just sit
there and make fun of the movies! It's *so* funny and *so* original!

What do you do for fun?

I do polyvariate simulations of Abelian groups in fractally dimensional
tensor spaces. That or analytic and
algebraic topology of locally Euclidean metrisation of infinitely
differentiable Riemannian manifolds.

Oh, and teasing boys. And blowing up planets, that's also good.

Describe a typical day in your life.

I usually wake up around 6:30 am. Then again around 7. And again at
7:15, 7:20, 7:25 and finally my bed dumps me out on the floor at 7:30. I
then dash through the cleaner, throw on some clothes, drink some
breakfast, pop some toothgum and run out the door while my clothes are
still adjusting.

Assuming I catch the rail in time, I'm at my workstation by 8. After
checking my news, mail, voice, vids, imms, pings, sprites and indies,
I'll settle into a round of stochastic modelling of wave-harmonic
transforms of dream states until lunchtime.

Lunch is usually a quick snackwich while I check out any news, mail,
voice, vids, imms, pings, sprites or indies I received while I was in
dreamspace, and then, if there's time, I'll check out Mathnet to see if
there's any new lemmas I might be interested in.

In the afternoon if I'm lucky I'll be modelling for a production rather
than running models on the computer. I got great reviews for my
D'Artagnan, so since then I've been called up regularly for minor roles.
Right now they're auditioning for the adults-only historical drama
Ivanho' which is resulting in a great deal of giggling in the rec room.

After work I head back home to log in for school. Psych is interesting.
People are really weird, you know? No, I mean *really* weird.

After class, I'll kick back and relax. Program some dinner, maybe catch
a sensie or a flick. By 10pm Universe 2 is starting to get busy, so
I'll spend a couple or four hours there. Now that we've developed
superspace technology, the fleets of my team - the Uncharted Alliance -
are really starting to kick ass around the Orion Arm. Nothing like
blowing some uppity planet to cinders to let off steam.

So, around 2am I'll sign off the game, and spend an hour or two on the
grid, chatting and planning strategy, and catching up on any anything
that might have come my way.

Then, by 4am sharp, I'll have the sleep compiler set, a dream already
dialed in (advantage of working for Dreamchannel, you get open access to
the library) and I'm off to Sleepy Bobo's. Since the compiler's been
fixed it runs all the way up to 5-to-1, though that tends to leave me
with a headache. 4 is safe, and that should be plenty of time for a
6:30 start. Never works out, but anyway...

Are there any Moon colonies? I certainly hope not because who the hell wants to live on the Moon?

Thirty million loonies can't be wrong. Well, they *can*, but it's a
great place for a holiday. (For whoever asked me about my hooters,
consider for a moment the advantages of one-sixth normal gravity. For
the ladies - err, assuming that *wasn't* one of the ladies - no backache!)

Gotta dash now, because the C.I. is due any minute.

All my love to the 21st Century,


Posted by Jennifer at 03:40 PM | Comments (2)

July 07, 2004

Rerun: Presidential Fun Facts

These were originally run on the old site. After the extended, you'll find Coolidge, the Adams family, and Coolidge again.

Calvin Coolidge, President 1923-1929.

Americans respected the views of the shy, silent Coolidge. His reputation for wisdom was based on his common sense and dry wit. He issued few unnecessary public statements and rarely wasted a word.

"If you don't say anything, you won't be called upon to repeat it." -Calvin Coolidge.

In-breeding in the Adams family.

President John Adams married his third cousin, Abigail. President John Quincy Adams was their oldest son. John Quincy Adams's son, John Adams II, married his first cousin. They had a daughter, Mary Louisa Adams. Mary Louisa Adams married her cousin, who was descended from President John Adams. Both bride and groom were descendants of President John Adams, but only the bride was descended from John Quincy Adams. This was the first marriage of descendants from two Presidents.

There will be a quiz tomorrow, so try to keep that all straight. ;-) _______________________________________________________

Calvin Coolidge, President 1923-1929.

During President Coolidge's White House stay, the nation was saddened as his son Calvin, Jr. slowly died of blood poisoning.

One day a Secret Service agent noticed a young boy standing outside the White House, his sad face pressed against the fence. The agent asked the boy what he wanted. To see the president, was the reply. "I wanted to tell him how sorry I am that his little boy died."

The agent brought the boy inside to meet President Coolidge and, since the boy was too overcome with emotion to speak, delivered his message for him.

Coolidge also couldn't speak for a moment, but afterward he told the agent, "Whenever a boy wants to see me always bring him in. Never turn one away or make him wait."

Posted by Jennifer at 09:00 AM | Comments (2)

July 06, 2004

Writing Random Things Instead of Working

Bill Clinton says Hillary made him sleep on the couch.

Think that's true? I mean, there are other bedrooms in the White House.

Also, if a First Lady was going to dump her husband, she couldn't very well kick him out of the house, could she? She'd have to move out. She'd have to take her Secret Service Agents and leave.

Yeah, I really don't have a point.

Posted by Jennifer at 11:54 AM | Comments (3)

*Ashes to Ashes

It's summertime. Which means it's wildfiretime!

Reading this article about the AZ fires, a quote popped out at me:

"I don't want anyone's life put in jeopardy because of my cabin. Everything is replaceable, but a life is not."

And it occured to me that I haven't heard anything similar to that before. Most people are more like this:

"I can't hardly stand it to think there's a fire up there. It won't be the same if it burns up. It's like my life is going."

It's true insurance won't replace the sentimental value of the existing structure, but you're not meant to live for the past.

Posted by Jennifer at 09:02 AM | Comments (1)

Rerun: Tell Me a Story...

(This was originally posted at my old site.)

Anecdotal history is one of the most valuable resources we have for understanding the past. History is rarely an exact science. A lot of times we weigh the evidence, look at the circumstances, and make an educated guess. It's more or less a leap of faith.

For example, I once was in a hurry to get to work and was surprised to find a large yet loose group of muscular men congregating directly in my path. Me being me, I went through the crowd and then realized why they were there. In the middle of the group was Louis Farrakhan. I knew who he was and we smiled at each other, exchanged "Good mornings," and I proceeded on my way. I had barreled through his phalanx of Nation of Islam bodyguards.

Can I prove this story is true? No, I can not. With great effort, I could probably prove we were in the same building on the same day at roughly the same time. So you'll have to decide if this sounds like something I'd make up...or trust me.

One of my ancestors...I believe it was my great-great-great grandfather...told his granddaughter about how he ran away at age 12 to join the Illinois Volunteers' Drum Corps during the Civil War. He stayed with them until his father (also fighting in the Civil War) found him and sent him home.

Since I don't have my genealogical research right in front of me, I can't say if he was great x 3 or great x 2, but I don't think that little fact diminishes the story, do you?

I also haven't yet found documentation to prove his account, so he could be a big, fat liar. Or the granddaughter who claims he told her about this might be a big, fat liar.

BUT if you look at other anecdotal history, the story seems quite plausible. The interesting part of the story isn't necessarily that this specific person did what they said they did...the interesting part of the story is any 12 year old boy running off to the Civil War. And evidence suggests that sort of thing did happen.

Posted by Jennifer at 09:00 AM | Comments (0)

The end of the beginning?

Iraqi Group Threatens to Kill Al-Zarqawi - BAGHDAD, Iraq - A group of armed, masked Iraqi men threatened Tuesday to kill Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi if he did not immediately leave the country, accusing him of murdering innocent Iraqis and defiling the Muslim religion.

The full story is available at Yahoo news


Posted by Pete at 07:25 AM | Comments (1)

July 05, 2004

Ask Jen Pete

Before she disappeared on vacation Jen left me with a couple of reader questions from anonymous readers. They are

"Jen, I want to shower you with gifts. Do you prefer cash or diamonds?"


" Jim of Snooze Button Dreams asks a lot of questions. What's up wid dat"

Since the the infamous crack internet research team has posted such a dismal record in the last few attempts I figured I would put it out to all of the readers here. Do you think that Jen is a cash or diamonds type of girl? And what is the story with Jim?

Posted by Pete at 09:01 AM | Comments (5)

Rerun: Presidential Fun Facts

(These entries were originally posted at my old site.)

Bohemian Grove, Cleveland, and Fillmore in the extended.

Boys Only! Girls Keep Out!

The "secret society" Bohemian Grove is a secluded campground in California's Sonoma County, and is the site of an annual two-week gathering of a highly select, all-male club. Members have included every Republican president since Calvin Coolidge. Current participants include George Bush, Henry Kissinger, James Baker, and David Rockefeller--a virtual who's who of the most powerful men in business and government.

Rumor has it that through elaborate stage productions and other entertainment, campers are able to bond with fellow elites.

Want to gate crash? The Grove is located in a secluded area 65 miles north of San Francisco in Monte Rio, California. It is owned by San Francisco's Bohemian Club. Go one mile east of Bohemian Highway; just east of the bridge which leads to Monte Rio, on the south side of the Russian River.

Send me pictures of the stage shows, please.


Grover Cleveland, President 1885-1889, 1893-1897

President Cleveland liked beer, as illustrated in the following story of Cleveland's 1870 campaign for district attorney of Erie County, New York:

Cleveland and his friendly opponent, Lyman K. Bass, agreed to drink only four glasses of beer daily. But after they had met a few times on warm summer evenings to talk things over, they decided that their ration was too skimpy and so began to "anticipate" their future supply. A few evenings later, Bass suddenly exclaimed: "Grover, do you know we have anticipated the whole campaign?" Cleveland nodded sorrowfully. The next night, however, both of them brought huge tankards to the saloon, christened them "glasses," and had no problem with the ration after that.

Millard Fillmore, President 1850-1853.

President Fillmore is possibly the most boring president in American history. He was born into poverty and worked his way through school to become a lawyer and politician in New York. Admirable, sure. Interesting? Not really.

Fillmore became president after the death of Zachary Taylor and was not renominated by the Whigs in the next election. Slavery and the Compromise of 1850 divided the country and his political party.

Slightly noteworthy is the appearance that the widower Fillmore remarried a wealthy widow once he returned to Buffalo so that he could live in a fashion he thought more befitting a former president.

I even dug my old college history texts out of storage and here is what they said...Fillmore was a "lackluster" president and a "colorless and conciliatory" vice-president. Riveting.

For a somewhat different take on the "legend" of President Fillmore, please check this out. Trust me, it is the most entertaining thing published about Fillmore and worth the click.

Posted by Jennifer at 09:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 04, 2004

Rerun: Quotes

(These were originally posted on my old site.)

"Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you!" -Nikita Khrushchev, referring to capitalist nations, 1956.
"Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow in my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the President's spouse. I wish him well." -Barbara Bush, Wellesley College commencement, 1990.
Posted by Jennifer at 09:00 AM | Comments (1)

4th of July

Here are some patriotic facts for you.

It may be too late this year, but here are some places you can visit next year.

Our nation declared its independence on July 4, 1776. Our independence became official on April 17, 1783 with the ratification of the Treaty of Paris, but the fight for freedom and liberty continues every day.

Celebrate it and protect it. Most importantly, thank those who protect our freedom on our behalf. You can start here.

Posted by Jennifer at 06:00 AM | Comments (1)

July 02, 2004

Rerun: Presidential Fun Facts

(These entries were originally posted at my old site.)

Reagan, Eisenhower, and Harding in the extended.

Ronald Reagan, President 1981-1989.

On March 31, 1981 President Reagan was shot by John Hinckley. Reagan managed to keep his sense of humor even as he was rushed into the emergency room. Arriving at the hospital, he told the doctors waiting for him, "Please tell me you're Republicans."

Dwight Eisenhower, President 1953-1961.

Inauguration Day for President Eisenhower was very busy and very long...despite the late night, he rose the next morning bright and early. He took the White House elevator from the family quarters to the ground floor, eager to start his day.

One problem.

"Would you show me where my office is?" he asked a nearby Secret Service agent. "I want to get an early start."

Warren Harding, President 1921-1923.

President Harding died at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco on August 23, 1923 under circumstances that began as mysterious and were then varnished by rumor in the aftermath of scandals and salacious revelations that surfaced following the president's demise.

The ailing president arrived in San Francisco and was taken to the Palace Hotel where he died either of anxiety, stroke, heart attack, food poisoning, or from deliberate poisoning by First Lady Florence, fed up with her husband's philandering.

The legend continues that Mrs. Harding's psychic had, on the eve of his nomination, predicted the president would die in office. The fact that Mrs. Harding refused to allow an autopsy of the president contributed to suspicion of her guilt; the official cause of President Harding's death is listed as a heart attack.

Posted by Jennifer at 09:00 AM | Comments (0)

This Date in History

In 2003 Hormel foods filed a legal challenges to prevent the company Spam Arrest from using the Spam name in their product for fear that that it could taint public esteem of their meat.

From the wonderful people who bring us the Demotivators® collection every year.

Posted by Pete at 06:28 AM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2004

Rerun: Presidential Fun Facts

In the extended entry are the first three Presidential Fun Facts I ever posted.

(They were originally posted at my old site.)

The first is about Andrew Jackson, and the second is about Woodrow Wilson. The third is a story Abraham Lincoln liked to tell about Ethan Allen and George Washington.

Andrew Jackson, President 1829-1837.

In 1806 Andrew Jackson entered a duel with Charles Dickinson.

Dickinson was an expert marksman, while Jackson was neither a quick shot nor an especially good one. Jackson decided not to compete with Dickinson for the first shot, but to take the hit and rely on his willpower to sustain himself until he could aim deliberately and shoot to kill.

On the day of the duel Jackson wore a dark blue frock coat and trousers of the same material. Dickinson got off a shot first, as Jackson had planned.

A witness describes what happened:

A fleck of dust rose from Jackson's coat and his left hand clutched his chest. For an instant he thought himself dying, but, fighting for self-command, slowly he raised his pistol. Dickinson recoiled a step horror-stricken. "My God! Have I missed him?" Overton (Jackson's second) presented his pistol. "Back to the mark, sir!" Dickinson folded his arms. Jackson's spare frame straightened. He aimed...and fired. Dickinson swayed to the ground...(and later died) (Jackson, too, was wounded to the point where his left boot had filled with blood.) Jackson's surgeon found that Dickinson's aim had been perfectly true, but he had judged the position of Jackson's heart by the set of his coat, and Jackson wore his coats loosely on account of the excessive slenderness of his figure.


Woodrow Wilson, President 1915-1921.

President Wilson had a reputation for being a bit on the grumpy, serious side. He wasn't known for being jovial. However, looks can be deceiving...

* The morning of his inauguration, he sang and danced before his wife childishly, "We're going to the White House today; we're going to the White House today!"

* He chased up and down the White House corridors playing tag with his daughter Nellie.

* On nights when he was awakened by the owls hooting in the magnolia tree outside, he went to his bedroom window and hooted right back. The next day he bragged about how he "hooted those hooters away."

* He took great delight in operating the White House's small electric elevator, a functional box made ornamental with panels of mirrors.


Abraham Lincoln told the following anecdote about George Washington, which he attributed to Colonel Ethan Allen, a hero of the American Revolution. During a post-war visit to England, Allen's hosts took great pleasure in ridiculing Americans, particularly George Washington. To irritate Allen they went so far as to hang a picture of Washington in the "Back House" (toilet). Allen announced this was highly appropriate, because "there is nothing that will make an Englishman shit so quick as the sight of General Washington."

Posted by Jennifer at 09:00 AM | Comments (0)