Archive for June, 2008

I Was Right

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Well the Supreme Court released the Heller Decision today. The short version is that the Second Amendment is about an individual right to keep and carry weapons that is not tied to the militia. Use for self-defense as well as hunting are permitted and expected uses. The DC Gun law has been struck down.

Now I could ask for a little more (striking down the machine gun restrictions) but none of that was part of this case. I don’t think that anyone who believes in reasonable gun laws will be upset either. People who believe in unreasonable restrictions will of course be disappointed. 🙂 There are a lot of loose ends though. What is reasonable in licencing? What are reasonable places and circumstances to not permit guns? Oh yeah the courts are going to be busy with this one for a while.

The interesting thing is that if someone does decide to overturn some gun restrictions, like the one on machine guns, they will use the dissenting argument more than the majority one. That will be fun to watch.

Men Are Not Pigs

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

So there are a couple of ads on TV lately that bother me. One shows a man talking to his wife when a pretty woman (or women? I forget) walk by. The man does not look away and the voice over says something like “he kept his eyes on his wife. Give that man a Klondike bar.”

The second one has a couple talking when a number of attractive women walk by. The guy looks at them and in fact uses the reflective service on his phone to watch them walk away until a text message that says “OMG U R A PIG” shows up from his girl friend. A momentary distraction means he is a pig?

The implication in both is that it is wrong for a man to notice and to admire attractive women when they have some sort of relationship or conversation going on with another woman. OK I will admit that I object to this idea.

Personally I am at the far heterosexual end of the continuum. Not only do I not understand men finding men attractive I sometimes have trouble understanding how women do. Women are amazingly beautiful. Probably more wonderful to look at than anything else in nature. Would it be ok for a man to be distracted by an amazing sunset? Of course – in many cases – it would be. And yet a beautiful woman is not an acceptable distraction? That’s crazy.

I can see the argument that two people in a conversation should give each other their full attention. But there is also a difference between a casual conversation filling time and a serious conversation that requires total concentration. Also I don’t think that just because a man notices and dares to enjoy the view of an attractive woman that he is some sort of pig or sex crazed jerk. After all one doesn’t see/hear anyone calling a woman a pig for noticing a good looking man do you? What’s the difference? A woman can make a big deal of ogling a shirtless construction worker or life guard but a man can’t appreciate a fully dressed woman without being a pervert?

I think this is all about control and insecurity. In short I think that the woman in the ad who called her boyfriend a pig is being immature and unreasonable. It’s not like he is planning on leaving her or that he doesn’t care about it. It is just that he is enjoying the beauty of nature that happens to be in the form of a woman. Pig or human?

Sure it is great that the guy in the first ad is giving his wife his full attention but would he be evil to have noticed the other woman walking by? I think it would depend a lot on the circumstances of the conversation.

Well I had to vent. I do think there is very much a double standard in western cultures that is very much unfair to men. I do not buy this crap that it is a man’s world for a minute. That is a big lie propagated by women to help them maintain a lead in the balance of power. BTW the fact that men hold most jobs and women control most of the money in the west supports my claim. If it were a man’s world it would be the other way around. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Unless my wife asks. 🙂

St Hans Night

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

Monday is St Hans Night in Norway. It celebrates the longest night of the year. That’s not the longest night of the year anymore but that is because of calendar drift. Long story – go to Wikepedia if you want it. In Norway there will be bonfires on the hills and beaches and there will be late night parties. I was there, in Oslo actually, for that night in 2000. There was quite a public party down near the harbor that night. It never really got dark either.

In the US we pretty much ignore the day. Oh we talk about the first day of summer (today was the first full day) and they may even say that it is the longest day of the year. But really for the most part it passes without notice. I tend to notice though. I like sun light and as the days get longer from the winter solstice I notice. And I notice as they get shorter. Sometimes I think I want to move south where the variences is less. But I do like the long summer days so maybe I want to be south for the winter – more for the sun than the warm really.

Any way, I think we ignore the long and the short days for the most part because we have more artifical light. Who cares how bright or dark it is outside when when have light when ever we want indoors? But I think we miss something when we miss the natural light and dark. Regardless I think I will try to pay special attention to the sunset on Monday. Longest day of the year or not.

Discretion

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

I’ve gotten a little frustrated lately with some things I would like to blog about but can’t. It’s not that anyone is telling me not to but rather I know it would not go well for me. There are some things that is just not helpful to talk about in public. By that I mean there is no foreseeable gain in doing so. In fact the only possible outcome of any note is that people who are important to me will get upset. Well not all the people who might get upset are important to me directly but they are important to people who I do care about.

Nothing illegal of course. Blowing something illegal out into the open would be a good thing. So mostly I am talking about things that are just embarrassing to people or perhaps more truth then some people can handle. What is the point of getting people upset if there is no potential upside?

I’m not talking about work either. Well not completely. See part of the problem is that when you work for a company anything you blog (or even say) is likely to be taken as official company statements. Especially by lawyers and by idiots. (Did I just repeat myself?) So for example there is no way I want to comment on any matters that involve the company and legal actions. Not even if I agree completely with the company.

And there are lots of cases where I don’t really want to talk about friends but sort of I do. Again things are open to misinterpretation and there is risk in being too open. Some things really just don’t belong blasted all over the Internet but not being able to tell anyone is frustrating at time.

I’ve just seen too many cases of casual remarks and personal opinion twisted in ways they are not intended. Some day when I am retired I might blog about some of this stuff but when I think about it maybe not even then. After all I want people to be able to trust that I can in fact keep things private. This being a grown up stuff spoils a lot of fun.

Is This What Evil Looks Like?

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

I just came across a blog called Microspotting which is all about short interviews with Microsoft employees. The author is giving away some shirts to ‘softies that say “I am the empire” which is sort of a cool idea. It sort of says “that evil empire you are talking about is me” and puts a personal face to it. I’ve suggested spelling it out and having a shirt that says “does this look like the face of evil to you?” But I’m not sure that’s exactly how I want to say it.

My job is largely to put a personal face on Microsoft – show people we’re not all bad and evil and out to take over the world. I have found that a little humor goes a long way. Some people seem not expect Microsoft employees to actually have a sense of humor. But really we do.

The Odds Are Against the Boys

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Take a look at this list. One example. For every 100 girls aged 15 to 24 who die 277 boys die. And boys have to face greater odds on getting even that far then girls.

Why Do We Ignore 72% Of The World

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Since I was a little kid I have been interested in outer space and in the world under the seas. I attended a conference on undersea exploration when I was a high school student. I heard talks about research stations under the seas. I remember thinking we were at the beginning of a great time. But like space exploration we were actually at the peak and going down hill. We’d been to the moon but haven’t been back since. And we haven’t had a lot more undersea exploration since either.
Today I ran across this great talk by Robert Ballard. It’s about 18/19 minutes and well worth your time.

Hair Hats

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

This is just wierd. Click on the models to see a close up of the hair.
I think what bugs me are the looks on the model’s faces. They do not look happy. I’m pretty convinced that smiles make people look a lot more attractive. I suspect that one of the reasons models do not smile is because it might distract people from the hair (in this case) or the clothing. After all a pretty face is a lot more interesting than clothing.