Archive for December, 2011

Blog Feature: Doggerel

31 Dec

Abby over at Doggerel was the first other pet blogger I started following on a regular basis. A lot of the other pet sites I now follow came originally from her Pup Links.  So, thank you for introducing me to some great sites.

Abby doesn’t have a dog, yet, but hopes that will change soon. In the meantime, she’s doing all the studying and volunteering she can, in order to be the best dog owner ever when she finally gets her chance.

What I know is that whatever dog Abby and her husband bring home, will be one lucky pup.

Not Human or Neanderthal

30 Dec

How did I miss this story back in March? I was a History major and C was an Anthropology major so we actually talk about things like the extinction of the Neanderthals on a not infrequent basis. So how did I miss the report that there is genetic evidence of yet another pre-human ancestor? One that was neither modern human nor Neanderthal? Better yet, the evidence suggests this person lived in Siberia’sAltai Mountains at the same time as modern humans were moving there. Was there interbreeding? What happened to them? Was their fate tied to that of the Neanderthals?

The Year in Science Stories

29 Dec

I love end of year lists. They let me sort through things and find what I’ve missed. It’s not my full time job to find interesting movies or books, or scientific breakthroughs, even though I love all of those things. Reading the year end lists from those whose full time jobs it is, means that I get to catch up.

To that end, over the next week or so, you’ll probably be seeing a number of posts by me from the Cosmic Log’s year end round ups of the biggest stories in outer space, archeology, and science stories in general.

The Power of Community #pennyarcade

28 Dec

Now maybe it’s because I live in Seattlethat I know the power of Penny Arcade. Maybe it’s that I’m a gamer, married to a gamer, so I know the cliquishness of the gaming community when it comes to standing up for one another in the face of bad games, bad service, bad end user agreements, etc.

But really, if you’re going to make a product for the gamer community, these are things you should understand. Bad press on Penny Arcade can, in fact, kill your product. And threatening a smear campaign against Penny Arcade? That’s just stupid, and unrealistic.

Holiday Food

27 Dec

My house is full of left overs. That’s the way it should be. One of my favorite things about the holidays is the food. While we occasionally make a turkey breast during the year, we only make a full on turkey at Thanksgiving. For Christmas this year we had a New York roast and a ham. (I love ham sandwiches.) In addition, we have an amazing spinach casserole made by one of our guests, steamed carrots and green beans (plain and with a balsamic glaze) white chocolate cheesecake, apple pie, and butterscotch chip cookies. The world is a happy place.

Culture is more inclusive than that

26 Dec

I find this headline misleading “Culture may trigger evolution of human features, study finds.” Why? Because it implies that culture as a whole- religious practices, laws, artwork, literature, plays a part in human evolution. And that’s not what their study has shown at all.

They are talking about one very specific part of “culture”, the part that deals with marriage and procreation. It seems rather obvious to me that if one mans’ sons (not all his children, just his sons) comprise one quarter of the population, then that man’s genetic traits are going to be passed down to future generations.

Merry Christmas

25 Dec

Was your household up early this morning, with kids running circles around the tree, excited by what Santa had brought them? Is your house filled with friends and family and a big dinner? Is it just another day? I’m curious.

There aren’t kids in our lives. We sleep late- not too late, though, because friends come over for Christmas dinner, around 2pm. We’ll open the presents sent by my family, and empty the stockings. (Nothing in the stockings will be a surprise for me because I’m the one who stuffs them.)

It will be relaxing, and it will be good.

Blog Feature: Money for College Project

24 Dec

Today’s featured blog is Money for College Project, a personal finance blog that tries to focus on ways to pay for school without getting student loans- something I am highly supportive of, though I don’t find student loans to be the boogeyman that some do.

This week the question was specifically asked: Is a College Degree Worth Taking Out a Student Loan?

It is not a rhetorical question. It is a question the Occupy folks are asking, though after the fact. It’s a question that we as a society need to be answering. Should an education require mortgaging your future?

The Law Code of Ur Nammu

23 Dec

Have you heard of Ur Nammu? He was the ruler of Ur(part of Mesopotamia) about 4,000 years ago. He developed a set of laws long before the more famous code of Hammurabi (an eye for an eye). Recently translated cuneiform texts present us with the earliest known written version of the law code of Ur Nammu.

What I love about this law code is that it specifically mentions working women. That’s right, there’s a specific law about taxing any beer a female tavern keeping put on your tab during the summer. (And you thought current IRS regulations were nit-picky.)

Join the Class Action

22 Dec

Companies are regularly trying to limit their legal liabilities by limiting their customers’ legal rights. Don’t believe me? Go read you credit card agreement. I bet it says in there that you do not have the right to sue the credit card company, that all disputes must be handled by binding arbitration, that takes place in a state of their choosing.

Some people are fighting back. Or at least one guy is, against Sony, who thought they could right a terms of use agreement that would prevent their customers from joining class action suits.

I’m rooting for the class action.

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