Archive for January, 2013

Thinking Before Shooting

30 Jan

I know that times are tough and cities have been cutting budgets, but when you’re a suburb of someplace as large as Philadelphia, maybe you could have more than one animal control officer? Or perhaps a deal with county authorities or those working in neighboring towns? Or a few of your police officers could also be trained in animal control, given the tools to separate fighting animals.

A minor tragedy, in which two dogs were shot by police (in front of a high school no less) could have been averted with just a little training, and maybe some common sense.

Star Trek Tech

29 Jan

I have written about how excited I am for the new Star Trek movie. But even more than the movies, I am excited about the technology ideas Star Trek introduced that we are now moving toward. In this case, the tractor beam. (Not actually certain if that idea was original to Star Trek or not.)

Researchers have built a working tractor beam, though at the moment, it only works at the particle level, but scientists are already seeing possible medical uses. Don’t you think it would be cool if the same technology were responsible for tractor beams and medical tricorders?

Cloning Neanderthals?

28 Jan

Geneticist George Church is not seeking a surrogate mother for a cloned Neanderthal baby, despite what you may have read. In fact, he wishes that the public were better able to look at what the media presents about science and determining fact or fiction. At the same time, he’s happy if these tabloid reports get people talking about and more engaged in science- something that will benefit their scientific literacy and the national and international conversations about what science can do for us.

But no, he does not plan on cloning a Neanderthal. The ethical questions are just too tricky.

Blog Feature: Borderblog

26 Jan

My favorite things about Borderblog? The dogs, of course. And the bunnies. You can see pictures of all the adorable in this week’s Sleeping Arrangements. But beyond the cute, the blog is full of great information.

Nicki is a vet, so she writes useful posts about animal health. Currently, she’s on part 5 of a series on parasites. In fact, I first read the blog when she did a post on hemangiosarcoma.

But she also does agility with all three of the dogs, who are at varying levels within the sport. I love hearing about how their training is going.

Your Money Friday: No Kids = More Money?

25 Jan

The question this week is why is it assumed that people without kids have more disposable income than people with kids? Everyone knows that kids cost money. No one is arguing that. What is being argued is that people with no kids have bills, too, and you really have no way of knowing what their disposable income is. I agree.

The problem comes down to my soap box issue- we do not talk about money with the real people in our lives. People make assumptions about how much money others make because they don’t know, because no one tells them.

Trailer Review: Star Trek- Into Darkness

24 Jan

I am so ridiculously excited for Star Trek: Into Darkness to come out. Because we did not go see The Hobbit in 3D, I missed the really long trailer played in front of it, but I did get to see a theatrical trailer before Les Mis (and I’ve watched the Japanese trailer online). I’m ready for it to be May 17 already (I’ve scheduled to take the day off). While it does not appear the villain will be Khan, it does look like the movie will be doing some version of the death of Spock at the end of Khan.

Movie Review: Les Miserables

23 Jan

No, Russell Crowe was not great as Javert, and yes, that  is kind of sad because with a good Javert, his two solos, Stars and Javert’s Suicide, are the most powerful songs in the show. And no, Amanda Seyfried also wasn’t great, but Cosette’s songs have always been my least favorite. However, Hugh Jackman was a fine Jean Valjean, and Marius and Eponine were well cast. The movie was not ruined by the so-so singing, and it did allow other performances to shine. I won’t buy the movie on DVD, but I’m not sad I saw it in the theater.

Movie Review: The Hobbit

22 Jan

Geek confession time- I’ve never read Tolkien. I did tremendously enjoy Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, and looked forward to seeing The Hobbit. I am amused that he was able to keep three really long books to a movie each but has decided to turn the shortest of the books into three movies of its own.

I enjoyed The Hobbit tremendously. Martin Freeman is the perfect Bilbo, and the dwarves were differentiated well enough to keep track of who was who. The action was very well done, though I am happy we did not see it in 3D.

Blog Feature: Careful Cents & The Debt Movement

19 Jan

I’m about three weeks late to this, but better late than never, right? I’m featuring Careful Cents and The Debt Movement. Carrie at Careful Cents is a great storyteller, and her blog is full of useful information. In What’s Your Debt Story, she gives a quick overview of her own story and information you need to join The Debt Movement.

What is The Debt Movement? It’s a project with the purpose of paying off 10 million in debt over 90 days. It’s ambitious, but paying off all your debt is ambitious, and it’s easier when you’re in it with others.

Your Money Friday: Mortgage Talk

18 Jan

Talk this week at Your Money about mortgages and putting stricter limits on who can qualify for one and whether or not the standard should remain a 20% down payment. I agree that the housing market became a mess. But I don’t know when we decided that it was the fault of the homeowners instead of the predatory lenders.

I should admit, we bought our first two homes with 0 and 2.5% down respectively. We’ve never been behind on our payments, and we certainly don’t treat our property as if it were disposable. And I don’t think we’re the exception.

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