Because I know my audience....

I saw something on LiveJournal that might interest my multitude of readers who are into plants.

Dr. May Berenbaum, who you may have heard on Focus580 with David Inge, will be talking about plants and insects this Wednesday in downtown Champaign.
Gut Reactions

On Wednesday October 4, award-winning entomologist Dr. May Berenbaum will be on hand to discuss the co-evolutionary arms race between plants and the insects that eat them. What kinds of toxins do plants produce to deter insects from eating them? How do the insects evade or detoxify those chemicals? How do humans handle the toxins in the plants we eat? How does BT corn (and other GMOs) affect insects in or near the GMO fields?

This is a great opportunity to meet Dr Berenbaum and ask her all your insect-related questions! The talk starts at 7:30 pm but come at 7 pm if you'd like a chance to meet Dr. Berenbaum and get yourself something to eat or drink from Verde. Questions and discussion starts at 8:15 and goes through 9 pm (lots of people stay after to ask more questions). It's a lot of fun and a rare opportunity to speak directly with an internationally-known researcher in an informal setting.

CU Café Sci (http://www.cu-cafe-sci.org)
7-9 pm Wednesday 4 Oct 2006
Verde Gallery Café (http://verdant-systems.com)
17 East Taylor Street (Champaign)
FREE admission!
They have a few more events scheduled before the end of the year.


It'd be funnier if it happened less....

So I'm going to visit a friend tomorrow night in Bloomington. She just got back from her honeymoon---camping from here to a cabin in Nova Scotia and back (fun, huh?). I was invited to her wedding and I'm hoping to see her wedding video. Mostly because I attended the wrong wedding.


So I drove over to Bloomington, which, I'll admit, I don't know my way around very well, but hey, how hard can it be? I'm driving into Bloomington from Downs and I'm running about 15 minutes late anyway (surprise). I'm driving through what seems to be downtown Bloomington, but I keep driving. No streets seem to match up with the map I got in my invitation. I'm starting to panic when I see Olive St. Great. That's on my map. Then there were a couple of president streets---great, church should be close. Come up to a light, Buchanan and something, look to my left and voila! Trinity.

Pull around back and rush into the church...to see people taking pictures up in the front of a *huge* church. I start to panic a little. Did I have the wrong time? Is it over? I see bridesmaid's in blue-silver dresses. That's right. I see a bride with a tattoo and a bustier wedding dress. Check. Pregnant matron of honor. That's right. Crap. So as I sit there and try to figure whether I go up there or sneak out to the reception, I look behind me and see a basket with programs. I go get one and it says


Crap! Wrong wedding! Okay. Maybe I was *completely* off on the time and it's over and everyone is at the reception. Ok. I drive out to the reception at some golf course in SW Bloomington. It seems to take a lot longer than I expect to find the road I need to take. I get all the way out to the reception and go inside. No one is there except the waitstaff.


Okay. Let's backtrack. So I go back by the map because now I have a definite point of reference. I drive back into town and discover...Trinity *Lutheran* church. As I turn to go around to the parking lot, I see everyone is leaving. I'm now 45 minutes late and the service is over.


So...I drive *back* out to the reception. I'm still one of the first to arrive.


I think I'll let my friend drive us around tomorrow in Bloomington.

Bonus moment? I caught the bouquet. Well, actually, it hit me in the head because no one reached for it and it rolled down my body into my arms...so technically I caught it by default.

It was a perfect moment. Not only did I miss the wedding, but the bride hit me upside my head.

Did I mention she still has four boxes of wine left from the wedding?

Enjoy your weekend....


Wish you were here....

So...just got back from the CU blogger meetup.

It was me, gnightgirl from This Just In and momo from CatPeople. It was totally bizarre.... I used to work *with* gnightgirl.

I had the Esquire's wonderful Bleu Pear pizza. Momo had a melontini (I think) and gnightgirl had a beer. They had to head out to a dinner party so we wrapped things up after an hour.

If anyone else showed up afterwards, sorry, we missed ya.

I think next time, the local blogging community should plan about 2 weeks ahead and commit to spreading the word to all the local blogs you read. That way we can get a nice big crowd together of all kinds of bloggers.

Plus, we'll need to bring a sign.

I kept wondering "Is he a blogger?"


CU Blogger Meetup

Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Esquire, Downtown Champaign

Stop by for a few minutes if you can. Especially all you new bloggers.... You can spare 30 minutes, can't ya?


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A *true* challenge

There's an interesting post on the UCIMC by Darrin Drda titled (Still) The Most Radical Thing Ever. It relates to 9/11 and, more specifically, how we react to and think about those around us---near and far. Here's a few excerpts, but I recommend reading the whole thing---it's not long:
As everyone knows, September 11th marked the 5th anniversary of the infamous attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. As it turns out, it was also the 2nd Monday of the month, which in the context of my local meditation group means that it’s the one session of the month set aside for Loving-kindness meditation, also known as "metta" practice, which I typically lead.


"Metta" practice itself involves the use of "resolves," or earnest wishes for the well-being of a certain person or group of individuals. The recipient is brought to mind as an object of concentration while the resolves are repeated, usually in silence. "May you be safe from harm…may you be healthy…may you be happy…may you be at peace…may you be free," etc. Traditionally, one begins by focusing on one’s self, then moving outwards to friends and family, then maybe community… country… world… eventually including all sentient beings "in all universes."

Clearly, nobody gets left out. Which is where this practice gets tricky. Because at some point in the expansion of our bubble of loving-kindness, we come up against characters we might not particularly like – perhaps even openly despise: the Bushes and Bin Ladens, the super-patriots and the suicide bombers of the world. Suddenly the bubble bursts and the heart hardens. The mind insists that X does NOT deserve to be healthy and happy and at peace. In fact, what they REALLY deserve is…


So on that dreadful anniversary, I was reminded by a Buddhist practice of Christ’s directive to LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. And it struck me, as it has before, of how completely radical that is, in concept and in practice. It’s extremely subversive, not just emotionally, but politically – perhaps now more than ever. Just to sit silent and still is to defy America’s overdriven consumer culture. And to offer understanding – let alone compassion – to terrorists could surely be construed as high treason to many on the right, just as many on the left might consider the idea of extending love to Cheney and Rumsfeld to be offensive at least, and ineffectual at best.

Got me a new phone

I just finished up a two-year contract with the same phone and original battery I started the contract with. I think I paid $20 for this phone after sign-up incentives and rebates. I've dropped the phone a million times and that's sorta why my photos from my phone always sucked. I couldn't get a signal in my house to save my life. Sometimes, the volume on the ringer and keypad would go silent. Sometimes the phone wouldn't ring or receive calls. And I cracked the lens on the camera on the phone about 9 months ago.


So...I got a flyer in the mail to remind me to re-up my contract and get a new phone. My carrier gives you so much money towards a phone every two years---not enough to fully pay for the phone, but with the $50 rebate they have going on, I ended up getting it for free.

While there, I bought some accessories I really don't need let alone can afford. I plan on returning them this week. For some *unknown* reason (lust), I bought a bluetooth head set with stereo earbuds and a caller ID display. They sync up with your phone and you can wear them to listen to music from your phone wirelessly *and* answer your phone calls. I got a discount and for some reason, I rationalized that spending the money was really saving me money.


I didn't even really want the stupid things, but boy they sounded cool and I thought---what the hell. Until about 30 minutes later when I went to lunch with my sister and nephew.

me: "Why did I buy that headset?"

sister who works in retail and can sell airline tickets to birds: "She was selling you pretty hard."

me: "I know---where the heck were you?"

sister: "Next door---at the Game Exchange---remember? So the nephew would leave you alone for 5 minutes?"

me: "Oh yah. I think I should take them back."

sister: "Really?"

Smart ass....

Isn't it terrible? I was blinded by my lust for something I didn't really need or thought I wanted until I walked into the store and now I'm gonna end up taking back a *really* expensive item and lowering this poor girl's commission.

See...I still kinda lust after them....

But they are still going back.




There's a new local blog, Maladjusted, by someone who has commented on this blog and others I read.

In one of her first posts, she says this about what she hopes to right about:
1. General life, here, travel, work, day to day stuff, etc.
2. Food. I'm a HUGE foodie. I LOVE food blogs. I like to look at food, eat food, talk about food, cook food, etc. So you'll likely hear a lot of what we are eating, getting in our veggie share, etc.
Check her blog out and see if you like it. She's already inspired me a bit....

"You are a happy harlot of whoredom!" ---Rev. Dan

Some guy is calling up leftie talk radio shows. He calls himself Reverend Dan and says he went to the University of Oral Roberts and went to the school of theocracy and got a degree in theology.

Here's his call to Stephanie Miller's show.

Here's his call to Ed Schultz's show.

He also called Randi Rhodes show, but I'm still looking for the audio for that.

All three think he's a comedian at first. In all three calls, he says he's not.

Speculation is that it's Mike Judge having a little fun, but only the Ed Schultz call sounds like Hank Hill. The calls to Stephanie and Randi's shows sound different.

It's funny if it's *supposed* to be comedy. It's just sad if it isn't....


Hacking electronic voting machines

Check this out. It's from Princeton University's Center for Information Technology Policy. It's very slow to download, but it gives a perfect example of why electronic voting is *not* ready for primetime yet. There is also a link to a full paper and some of their suggested solutions at the site.

If you were given a receipt when you vote and that receipt were put in a ballot box (like your ballot is currently), there would be a paper trail to any tampering. Why people resist a receipt when you get receipts for any other transaction is beyond me.... In addition, you don't even have to allow the receipt to leave the voting machine. You could display it under a glass window for the voter to see and visually verify before leaving the polling place.

There are several other strategies to help prevent this, such as rewriting the code to prevent the voting machines from automatically running programs on the memory cards. Regardless of political affiliation or ideology, everyone should be able to see the potential for abuse with the current machines. I don't want to vote on those machines. Any yahoo in a booth can infect those machines.


I guess this means no Trader Joe's....


Path to 9/11 Propaganda

Since I can't possibly replicate all the information that has been compiled on this, I'll link to my good friend z's Ominous Psyops Blog.

This project is political propaganda from start to finish. And if you don't believe it, follow the links z has. Those links lead to more links.

It's all right there on the internets....


NSFW, unless you've got headphones....

Someone sent this to me today. I watched it at work---sorry, boss.... And since I know some of you all *occasionally* peer in here while at work, let me save you some grief---he says *penis* a lot. And a few other choice words.

And now, I give you:

Keep your Jesus off my penis

Apparently he has another song, "Clinton got a blowjob!" that you can buy at his website for $2. Fifty cents of your purchase will go to Moveon.org.


Cameron McGill was *awesome* last night

If you missed the show at the Iron Post last night (it was fantastic by the way), you can still hear him before he leaves town for his tour. He's gonna be on WEFT Sessions tonight at 10pm on 90.1 FM. Live in the WEFT studios, he'll be playing his music along with Matt Hopper (who he is touring with) so you can get a taste of Cameron McGill without leaving your home.

I got my picture taken with him, but I'm still waiting for it to come to my email, so I'll post it later.

There was a recent article about Cameron in the Buzz. A friend told me about it before the show last night, but I didn't get to read it until after the show:
While wandering around from venue to venue at the Midwest Music Summit, I made a note to stop by Cameron McGill's solo show. Little did I know that he had more than just a solo show planned for Indianapolis. McGill had brought along a string quartet dubbed the Quartet Offensive. In a short time, he managed to silence an entire crowd full of industry folks, music lovers, and members of other Summit bands by playing songs about the best and the worst of human nature. Songs about love, loss and what it means to be an American today. Each song poured over the silent stricken crowd by a man who looked like he'd dropped in from the Depression for a visit.
That's the thing about Cameron's shows: the crowd is always so quiet---almost completely absorbed by his music. I'm always amazed at the personal relationship he seems to develop with the crowd while he's on stage.

Unfortunately, I don't think he'll have the Quartet Offensive with him on WEFT tonight, but last night at the Iron Post, he had the string quartet backing his music. It was beautiful.

So...tonight as you are winding down your three-day weekend, tune into WEFT and listen to Cameron and Matt. It's worth it.


Lose your lunch is more like it

Kevin Federlin's newest song and video, Lose Control:

My *favorite* lyrics:

A lifestyle of rich livin' and fast cars
Don't hate because I'm a superstar
And I married a superstar
Never come between us no matter who you are

At least he's rappin' about what he knows: marrying Britney and living off her money....


Oh. My. God.

Look at the spider at my door...it's the size of a quarter