Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Solstice!

Brighter days ahead!!!

Mexico City is about to legalize gay marriage

Mexico City is about to legalize gay marriage -- according to this 12-21-09 BBC News article, "City legislators passed the bill 39-20, with five abstentions. The city's mayor is now widely expected to sign the bill into law." The article is interesting -- there are several other places in Latin America that are supporting the civil rights of gays and lesbians. Via Pharyngula.

Ta ta for now,

Must-See Octopus Video

The article and video are both awesome!
Aussie scientists find coconut-carrying octopus, by Kristen Gelineau,
The Associated Press
, December 15, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Post-Rapture Pet Care

Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, USA. When the Rapture comes, what's to become of the loving pets who are left behind? Never fear -- these animal-loving atheists will step in when you step up to Jesus.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

WTF, Animal Planet?

I saw a trailer on Animal Planet the other day for a show about paranormal activity. It said something like "IF ANIMALS BELIEVE, SHOULD YOU?" I nearly died laughing. I'm guessing that it was an ad for "The Haunted," which according to Discovery Press Web, "chronicles true, chilling and terrifying ghost stories of animals and their owners haunted by paranormal spirits."

PZ Myers is comin' to town

Well, he's coming to Northern California (UC Davis on Thursday, January 21, 2010), and we'll be there! A room full of non-believers? Hot damn! Details are available on this Facebook event page.

I really like this one

I just finished this ornament. At a quilt show, I picked up some pictures of birds on little squares of fabric, and this is my first project using one of them. I will try to use some of my own photos in the future. The loop is made of a pale, rainbow, sparkling thread (oooooo, shiny .......).

It's a gift for my mom.

Ta ta for now,

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Two more ornaments

I made them with postconsumer recycled content craft felt. The snowflake pattern is from Doodle Stitching by Aimee Ray.

Ta ta for now,

Jack Chick Documentary

It's called "God's Cartoonist." Via Pharyngula. Check out the trailer here.

Bob Dylan's surreal Christmas song video

In the video of Bob Dylan's new Christmas song, "Must Be Santa," Bob is at a party where a bunch of annoying people are dancing frenetically; Bob is wearing a top hat and a long straight wig (reminds me of Tom Petty) that goes from dark brown to gray; Bob is more animated than I've ever seen him; and 2/3 of the way through, a young man (Dylan's alter-ego, perhaps?) trashes the place. I'm a big fan of Bob's music (especially the older stuff), but once again he has confirmed his insanity.

Do you remember his Victoria's Secret commercial? Here's an article, which includes a link to the ad, in Slate.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A random thought

I want a dirndl-esque dress -- nothing costumey, nothing pastel, and I wouldn't wear the apron, and the skirt should hit just below the knee, and I wouldn't have my breasts spilling over the top. Some of the fancy knee socks and Mary Jane shoes worn with dirndls are so cute. I like the "Elke" style here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Another side of George Washington Carver

Did you know that scientist, educator, humanitarian, and former slave, George Washington Carver (he of peanut research fame), found time in his busy schedule to paint, crochet, knit, and do needlework (embroidery, woo hoo!)? He dyed many of his own threads and fibers with natural dyes made from local walnut, mulberry, and ochre clay. Check it out.

Yes, Virginia, you can be good without a god-belief (but there is no Santa Claus)

"If your grasp of right and wrong is so shaky that you can't stop yourself from doing bad things, and you need someone threatening you with eternal punishment to keep you in line, then we wonder how safe you really are to be near."
(from the Web site of the Atheist Community of Austin)

In college, my atheism came up in a conversation with a fellow student. She was shocked and exclaimed in the tone of a terrified child, "But what makes you be good??!!" "My conscience," I replied.

Having said that, here are a few snippets from a December 8, 2009 press release from UC Berkeley News titled "Social scientists build case for 'survival of the kindest'" ...

  • "Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are challenging long-held beliefs that human beings are wired to be selfish. In a wide range of studies, social scientists are amassing a growing body of evidence to show we are evolving to become more compassionate and collaborative in our quest to survive and thrive."
  • "Overall, these and other findings at UC Berkeley challenge the assumption that nice guys finish last, and instead support the hypothesis that humans, if adequately nurtured and supported, tend to err on the side of compassion."
  • "This new science of altruism and the physiological underpinnings of compassion is finally catching up with Darwin's observations nearly 130 years ago, that sympathy is our strongest instinct."
Good night,

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Felt ornament

Side one
Side two

I hate the holidays, but I love tchotchkes. I just finished this felt ornament (I got the idea from Sunshine's Creations). (Cue Troy McClure's voice) You may remember this recycled-content material from such items as my blue crow.

I learned the fern stitch from Jenny Hart's new book, Embroidered Effects. Good stuff.

Good night,

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sir David after 3 hours and 15 minutes

Here he is after 3 hours and 15 minutes:
I did the outline of his face in stem stitch using six strands of floss, and I'm doing the details of his face in back stitch with three strands.

Here he is after 45 minutes.

Good night,