Friday, July 27, 2007

Aw shucks

The wonderful Terry at I See Invisible People has given me this wonderful award.

Now to pass it on.

Laura from I'm not a feminist, but because over the 2 years I've known her she has been a dear friend, and her posts are thoughtful, insightful, and funny. If anyone could get me to drink gin, it would be her. (Hope to see you in the UK, m'dear because I AM going to get into grad school there.)

Rebecca from Adventures in Applied Mathematics WHile I only recently discovered her, it's wonderful for me to have connections and insight into what it's like being a woman in mathematics. Feminist and smart, her blog is one of my current daily reads, and I am so happy I found her!

Spotted Elephant from The Bipolar View while everything other then bunny blogging (*shudder* bunnies) is on hold for the time being, her feminist insights to everything and especially to disAblism are poignant and thought provoking. I love and miss you SE! I hope you have more spoons soon.

Biting Beaver at Den of the Biting Beaver. Outraged and not taking it lying down. What is there to say? BB's amazing, and if you haven't been to her site, go now!

The Astrodyke. Queer and gender politics and astronomy. What's not to like?

Three words

(the) Bratz fucking movie

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ohhhh, pretty

Hot Stars in the Rosette Nebula
Credit: Zoltan Balog

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I'm live blogging this, by the way. Cuts down on wasting trees (well, recycled former tree products, anyway.) Even though I'm not posting it until after the show.

All right, I missed the first solo and the first partner dance.

I'm still voting for Sara and Pasha, because I think it's kind of unfair that their solo is not in their style, while it obviously is for other people. I can't really say much because I didn't know they were all doing the same solo (I eventually caught on) and was confused as to why Sara and Pasha chose that as their solos, and spent the whole time going, whaaaaaaaa? (It dawned on me halfway through Pasha's solo that I was watching the exact same thing.)

Lauren KILLED that solo, but then she is a contemporary dancer. I mean it, her movement, her lines, the crispness of her performance. If people don't vote for her then America is stupider then I thought (we've all ready seen that it's stupid by past voting patterns).

Sabra did very well too, but, again, she's a contemporary dancer.

Kameron was passionate, but that didn't make up for the quality of his movements, which felt very rough, especially in comparison to the other dancers, and definitely apparent when they're all doing the same solos. It was not up memorable especially seeing as that's his genre. There have been some great contemporary male dancers that have been let go. He's only still here because of Lacey, I'm sure. It makes me sad to see him in his element, especially because his first contemporary dance was beautiful and moving. Sad that we had to say goodbye to others, but then I kept hoping that he and Lacey would be in the bottom three because I thought that he deserved to go home. Sad, because I like him. But then again, it was better then his partner dance by light years.

Lacey: Pretty good. Nothing much to say.

Danny: What can I say, he's what angels would dance like if their were angels. I could watch him dance for hours and hours and hours. He's amazing. I'd call him a gift from god if I believed in god. He's definitely a gift to dance, no doubt about that. Wow. I'm swooning over his dancing. I want to marry it (not him, the dancing) and have lots of beautiful dancelets. *sigh*


Sabra and Kameron:
I agree with the judges. Sabra looked extraordinary. Beautiful lines and extension, really feeling the music and moving with it. Kameron, what I said about his solo still applies.

Lacey and Danny:
Yes, the samba is the hardest latin dance, because while most latin dances have the same type of hip, foot, and leg action, with one knee bent at a time, some samba moves have that, but they also have moves and steps where you are bending both knees. (I can get more detailed, but this is boiling it down a lot for non-samba dancers.)

Jaimie and Dominic:
First I need to say I LOVE the choreography. Brilliant, blody brilliant. I want to be in something Toni choreographs with every fibre of my being now. Unfortunately the judges were right. Jaimie had good lines, but the technique was not there at all. It was a beautiful routine, badly executed. I wish it wasn't the case. Sadly I have to agree with the judges that Dominic looked like a characture of a dancer. :(

Sara and Neil:
Damn, that flip. Disco is perfect for them. Seriously. Crisp, great lines and extension. They hit everything well. Funny and really entertaining. Makes me want to vote for Neil.

Update tommorrow for the results show.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

8 random things

Sicily Sue tagged anyone who reads her blog and wants to do this. So here I go.

1) I am *actually* a clown. I was kidnapped by the End of the World circus and traveled across the country every summer for several years. I've performed with various local circuses over the years as well.

2) I've lived in 10 states (spread out all over the US, East Coast, West Coast, the Dirty South, and the southwest), 2 provinces (Canada), 20 cities, and 5 countries (India, England, Senegal, USA, and Canada).

3) My algebra is horrendous. Seriously.

4) I can only cook for 8 people. Really, everything I make could feed a small army, and I live alone so this is a problem since I don't feel like cramming 7 other people into my closet sized apartment everytime I cook. (I blame it on my Sicilian upbringing. My grandma also cooks enough for a small army, but when you have 30 relatives in the Chicagoland area it makes sense.)

5) I LOVE Bollywood. Love love LOVE it. I can do all the dances. I'm actually listening to a Bollywood CD right now, and planning to watch "Namastey London" and "Garam Masala" tonight.

6) I own a quite large and extensive amount of neon 60's go-go dresses. It looks like a technicolour bomb went off in my closet. I also have vintage 60's embroidered go-go boots to go with it. The only heels I wear outside of dancing, but only when it's warm enough to wear the short go-go dresses.

7) I can't use a sewing machine. I can make an entire outfit by hand sewing, but sewing machines hate me and I can't figure out how to work them, no matter how many times someone shows me.

8) Due to my years in circus I can drink a fifth of whiskey and not only still be standing, but also have perfect (i.e. non-slurred) speech, walk in a straight line and basically am less drunk then people who drink even one fourth what I do. (Not that I do this anymore. It's usually sitting in the yard sipping mojitos, mint juleps, or margaritas on a hot day and that's about all aside from an occasional glass of wine with dinner when I go out (which is almost never).)

Tagged if you want to be.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Why am I anti-pornography?

I think Gail Dines does a great job of talking about the misogyny, normalisation of pedophilia, and racism in porn. This video is about an hour long, but I think it's a great introduction to the harms of pornography.

Pornography is to sex what McDonald's is to food.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Fun Mathematics

Silly Walks Dissed by Mathematicians

Scientists have explained mathematically why the famous "silly walks" of Monty Python's John Cleese have never caught on in the long history of Homo sapiens.
Create your own silly walks here.

Christians take on Math

A line can be described either by its slope (a ratio) or by its inclination (an angle). These terms describe the deviation from the horizontal, but the word inclination has a nonmathematical meaning also. Without Christ, man is inclined to sin. Thus it reflects our desires and attitudes toward something. There are many things that influence our attitudes about life, but for the Christian, the Bible must be the prime influence on attitudes. Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Proverbs 6:23 states, “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.” From these verses you can see that the Word of God should shape our attitudes (inclinations).

Thursday, July 19, 2007

New favourite blog

Anti-Pornography Activist

I just got through watching all the videos and I must say I LOVE this site. Thank you to whoever you are out there writing it. It's given me great information I wouldn't normally have found (like excerpts from Jenna Jameson's book).

Although I would like to note that I don't agree with this:
13. Report pornography that you encounter or are aware of that qualifies per the legal definition of Obscenity here at the form for online pornography and the forms for offline pornography. Information of what qualifies as Obscenity is here under the heading “Summary of Obscenity and Related Laws”.

For reasons like this:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Leagalisation of prostitution does nothing to alleviate abuse

Turkish political candidates talk about how legalised prostitution does not mean better circumstances for prostitutes.

"They talk about domestic violence, but it was the state that beat us up," she says, in the stuffy, shabby office that is serving as her Istanbul headquarters.

Frequently breaking down in tears, she goes on to talk about 18-hour working days in the brothel, social security payments withheld, even murder.

"Serpil, mother of three; Fatma from Diyarbakir; Hatice from Izmir; all three were killed while I was inside and their deaths passed off as overdoses," she says. That was the rule for disobedience, she explains: first, a beating, then rape, then murder.

"We're not here simply to get attention," Tukrukcu says. "We're here so that people know the truth about all these things."

Two women are bravely overstepping the public taboos against former and current prostitutes by running for office. They seek to ban prostitution, focusing on the state-employed prostitutes that both were pushed into. Their stories, like the one above show that it doesn't matter if prostitution is legalised and regulated (like the state sanctioned brothels in Turkey) that prostitutes still fall victim to rape and abuse, and even murder, which is the same problems that women working as prostitutes the world over have problems with.

I hear a lot from people who support the legalisation of prostitution saying that it will make conditions better for prostitutes. There are not many places where prostitution is legal, so looking at Turkey's problems with prostitution give us a glimpse into how legalised prostitution works. The bottom line is that it is no safer then illegal prostitution.

Now I do not support the arresting of prostitutes. This I think is a crime. These women all ready have enough problems without having to deal with the law. I support the Swedish Model which criminalises the buying of sex and decriminalises the selling of sex. The also offer programs to help the women integrate into society by offering a plethora of job skills for them to learn. And those are the people that should really spend time in jail: the johns. It is not the woman's fault for needing to sell herself to get by, but it is the john's fault for raping these women for money. When mens demand for women to be accessible for rape on demand diminishes then we will see prostitution disappear. But this means that we need an equal society where women are not treated as the sex class, but instead seen as fully human.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


No post last week due to a lack of computer, and no post this week because I myself will be at a dance workshop rehearsing a West Coast Swing routine and Samba. I may do one late if I am so inclined (I'm obviously going to tape it). But I can't promise anything.

(And oww are my feet sore from dancing in heels...stupid ballroom and their stupid heels. I still giggle whenever we do 'ballroom arms' like we were doing today in the Rumba. If you watch so you think you can dance you know what I'm talking about and we just don't do that in lindyhop. People were looking at me because I was giggling about all the arm and wrist circles I have to do. They're just silly silly silly.)

Venting a little for a second:
We randomly chose partners for the performance and I got someone who has NO rhythm, tried to take my arm off with a turn, dances like he weighs a ton and can't count the music. Thank god it's a routine because I had to lead myself into the turns or else we wouldn't be in sync with the rest of the dancers. I've thought about ditching the performance, but that would just be evil. Maybe we can practice afterwards tommorrow and before the session thursday night. Oh lucky me.

This bird has better rhythm then my partner. And I have to dance with this oaf IN FRONT OF OTHER PEOPLE!! As long as he doesn't succeed in breaking my arm first.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Angry school

gSooooo. It's been an interesting week. I bombed my first Limits (and Infinite Series hereafter referred to as Limits) quiz and when I went to talk to my prof about a question I had gotten wrong he first pissed me off a little by asking me if I understood things I had gotten right! Obviously I understood them. Then as I was leaving the office he told me that I have to do better on the next quiz. NO SHIT! I left his office and immediately started crying. Sitting through his class I stared at the floor the whole time thinking I was going to burst out crying again. I went home and proceeded to freak out (I had gotten a C on my first multivariate calculus quiz and even though I know I always suck at the first quiz I was feeling pretty rotten.)

I started thinking that I could never ever ever get a math degree, that I was too stupid (yes my mom was in my head that day telling me I'm stupid and I'll never be good enough) and that I should have majored in Comparative Literature because I know I can read and analyse or that I should just drop out of school because I'm just too stupid for a degree. (I'm so glad I didn't drop my classes that day like I though of doing.)

I got over it and I know I ACED the quiz today (because I had done the homework so often I had the answers memorized (those were the quiz questions) AND I've been thinking about limits when I can't sleep AND dreaming about them AND I studied Limits for 3 hours everyday this week.)

But besides that my friend Jonathan and I were talking and he said that it's only from his female friends that he hears about these kinds of things being said by a prof or a boss, and that it's never happened to him as a man. Which of course got us talking about the feminist theory behind why men in power behave differently towards men and women, etc, etc.

Needless to say I'm REALLY mad at my prof and when I get 100% on the quiz I know I'm going to want to jump up and yell "HAH!"

Friday, July 06, 2007

A glimmer of hope

Two judges actually get it right.

It made my day.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

It's officially summer

How do I know? Well it was warm enough to sit by the lake and even *GASP* go swimming. I read the entire book "The Swallows of Kabul" sitting on the dock in the sun. READ this book. It is beautifully written, I couldn't put it down, and it is a haunting story, but one that should be read. I plan on reading his second and third books in the trilogy, "The Attack" and "The Sirens of Baghdad", respectively. Tommorrow is Friday so as soon as I finish my quiz I am off to the lake to read more.

I'm also nicely tan (I am 2nd gen Sicilian, we get dark fast) and not wearing pants (well, I'm wearing short pants, or capris, or whatever they're called. I don't like shorts b/c they're such an American thing (N+S))

I also got to avoid everything I wanted to for the most part yesterday by meeting my friends at another lake where we hiked a few miles in to avoid people. (It was good timing too, because people started showing up at my usually quiet dock right when I was going to meet them). And we built a rock bench in the water. I feel my muscles growing all ready. I wish I had a looks AWESOME. (Next time we go I promise to get a picture

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Holiday, uh, fun?

Things to do:

1) Prepare bag for day trip
2) Go to woods and/or secluded lake to avoid

a) Drunken idiots
b) Fireworks ALL DAY
c) a + b

3) Come home and complain more about stupid US holidays to foreign friends (because of a, b, c)
4) Tell countless people who wish me a happy 4th that I hate the 4th because of a, b, and c, and convince them it's not because I'm UnAmerican.
5) Make more iced coffee (taking the last bit with me to the lake/woods
6) Think about the fact that like 99% of the population really knows anything about the holiday just that it's a day off where they get to be drunk and stupid and shoot things that could set them (or someone or something else) on fire.
7) Hate the world when the stupid fireworks are being shot off by neighbours at 3 am like they have been the past week.
8) Plot my revenge. (did I mention 3 am fireworks for the past WEEK?!!!!)