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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Another mad scientist's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
4:27 pm
The Reason Rally in Washington, D.C.
I went to the Reason Rally on March 25th, in DC, and it was awesome!  

I hope to post more about it later, but right now I am exhausted.  Here, however is the short of it.

While some people had negative or stupid messages at the Rally, most people were there to have fun, be with other non-believers, and listen to some good talks.  Most of the talks were about non-believers "claiming the high ground" on morality, keeping the separation of church and state strong, and stopping religious people from hurting other people due to actions based in faith and poor judgement.  Some speakers did talk about "why atheists are angry" but the reasons given are perfectly, well, reasonable.

The media coverage, however, focused mainly on one or two lines of stuff from Richard Dawkins.  Honestly, Dawkin's speech was one of my least favorites, he just isn't energizing, and he doesn't say anything original or interesting really.  

Well, laters, I need food and rest.

Current Mood: hungry
Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
10:05 am
What a crazy quarter!
Wow, has this winter quarter of my Masters program been insane.  I think they assigned more work for 6 credit hours of courses this quarter than they have assigned for the last two 14 hour quarters combined!  I've written too many papers, too many reflections and too jumped too many nonsensical hurdles.  My brain is the consistency of a nice frappe.  

Plans for the wedding are really starting to go full tilt now.  We have the save-the-date cards made, and we will be sending them out next month.  We are making plans for the invitations, and I think I have a rough draft for them done.  I am about to take over 5 days a week teaching as of March 26th, so that's just all kinds of crazy.  We will start with a chapter on evolution, and I hope I don't make it too intense or long.  I want the students to learn, and I want to push them, but I don't want to liquefy their brains like mine was destroyed this quarter.

The Reason Rally in Washington, DC is the weekend before I take over, and I am going.  I have my bus tickets and I am totally pumped.  I hope there is a great turn out.  I have heard a lot of guesses, but I'm saying I expect about 10,000 atheists, agnostics and humanists gathered on the National Mall in DC to celebrate reason.  There will be, of course, a bunch of religious groups  there to convert us, mock us, and generally be d**ks, but that is to be expected.  I'm hoping they won't be too disruptive and instead just stand around with signs.  As long as I can hear the speakers an the music and have fun with friends, they can do whatever really.

So, yeah, that's the last few months in a nutshell.  Crazy amounts of school work, trying to teach, getting a wedding together and generally being exhausted.  I'm worried about this spring though, because I've already have a couple of brain-crushing migraines, and I'm hoping they don't keep up this way.  I can't miss school for them.  Here is hoping the doctors hook me up with a useful medication!

Current Mood: tired
Sunday, December 11th, 2011
9:23 am
Xmas prep

The tree is up.  The lights are in the windows.  Now the wrapping of presents remain.  It is fun to listen to Christmas music, make some cookies and decorate a tree.  It is like a little yearly path down memory lane, as you look at your ornaments, and remember where they came from.  I remember my late grandmother strongly during the holidays, as she made so many of my ornaments, including Frosty, and a snowman, and kissing mice (they are CUTE).  

Anyways, I hope everyone else is having a good time preparing for the December festivities, regardless of what you do or don't celebrate.  We can all use a party in December to get through the beginning of winter.  

Unless you are in the Southern hemisphere.  



Current Mood: content
Monday, December 5th, 2011
6:08 am
Off to school I go
I take over the Chemistry class again this week!  Pretty exciting, and as usual I don't feel quite ready for it.  I have a few days planned out, but I'd like to have a few weeks planned out.  Students throw off the best-made plans though, so it is hard to plan that far ahead without risking leaving a lot of students behind.  

We'll be teaching chemical bonding this chapter.  Ionic, covalent, polar covalent and metallic bonds will all be discussed.  Additionally, VSEPR theory and inter-molecular forces are in this chapter.  A lot of material.  I think the teacher I currently work with skips inter-molecular forces.

Today, though, is the Chapter 5 test.  Not a lot for me to do but watch kids take tests.  At any rate, I should get a move on, I have a 30 minute drive ahead of me, and breakfast to rustle up.

Oh, and I started watching Wonderfalls again!

Current Mood: hungry
Thursday, November 24th, 2011
11:23 am
Podcasts and audiobooks that are eating my life

These podcasts have been eating a lot of my time.  On the upside, most of that time is the time I spend driving.  Give one or two of these a listen, depending on your inclinations.  They are all fun, and most of them are also pretty funny.

The Atheist Experience - a live call-in show were people can call in and talk to atheists who will answer your questions and debate you and make you look stupid.  Fun times.

The Non Prophets - the same group that does The Atheist Experience, this is simply their talk show where they cover current events.

Best of the Left - a collection of the best sane and liberal news from the television and internet.  Expect some Young Turks, Daily Show, and NPR clips.

Godless Bitches - a feminine atheism show, focusing on women's issues when dealing with religion.  Awesome new show.

Citizen Radio - two left-wing atheists make hilarity and destroy the news.  Great commentary on current politics.  Also a lot of pro-vegan stuff.

The Bugle - Two British guys tackle world events using comedy.  

Now, that's assuming I can stop listening to The Wheel of Time series on audio book.  That's a big assumption.  I'm trying to make it through all the books a second time so I'm ready when the last book of the series comes out next year.

But seriously, I can not really even keep up with all of these, I think I need some professional help or something.  



Current Mood: happy
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
8:53 am
Thanksgiving break!
Nice to be on break for a few days. This fall quarter has been draining at school. Trying to keep up with teaching and taking 10 hours of classes a week is a challenge, especially when those classes keep interfering with the teaching with their weird requirements, like taping classrooms and making reading and writing-specific assignments for science class whether it fits in at the moment or not.

The quarter was good though. I maintain my 4.0 for my masters program so far, and there probably isn't much of a chance of losing it either. I just wonder how much the law is going to change by the time I get a job. Will a Masters degree even be worth anything? What will it take to maintain my license? How will the pay structure work? What happens when I move to a different state? A lot of questions right now in the education field.

Thanksgiving with my mother this year. I normally have T-day with my dad, but he was supposed to be getting surgery. Apparently that hasn't happened yet, but still plans are plans. Weird though that he hasn't told me what is going on with the surgery plans. For those of you that care, it isn't a life threatening thing, exactly. He is getting a new knee. A serious surgery, to be sure. They will cut out his existing knee via saws and pliers, and cut the remaining bone to fit a titanium replacement. Ouch.

The wife is off taking her Shelf exam for her surgery rotation, so hopefully that goes well so she doesn't have to redo her surgery rotation. She found out that surgeons are, in fact, a**holes. So, while she likes surgery, surgeons are just right out.

Well, back to some video gaming and Netflix. Nothing like some good ol' fashion Master of Orion from 1994 to have some fun with!

Current Mood: content
Sunday, November 13th, 2011
9:54 am
The week of hell has been defeated!
Last Thursday nearly all of my long-term assignments and projects came due for the education classes. I had to give two talks and turn in a 12-page paper and IRB training. But it is now all complete! I did well on the talks, and now I await the scores on the rest of it. I'm not too worried about it really.

This week I have two final exams and a video of myself teaching I have to turn in. Yeah, I had to video myself. Do you have any idea how hard it is to stay on camera when you are trying to teach a room of sixteen year-olds? Not. Easy. And I failed at it a lot of the time. But I was wearing a mic so at least the audio was recorded.

Time to get some late breakfast if I can pull the wife off her computer!

Current Mood: hungry
Monday, November 7th, 2011
8:58 am
Apparently this thing still works
I haven't been here in years. Maybe I'll revive this account, I don't know yet. It could be useful for reflective purposes.

I'm back in school after being in the work force for 5 and a half years. I'm getting my Masters in Education and will be a licensed high school teacher. So far, I love teaching, even when I have annoying students. We shall see if that holds up over the long-term, but I have a good feeling about it.

I'm still happily engaged, and the wedding is April 20th, 2013. We have most of the preparation done, I just have to find a good tux make the invites. The money for this is, well, interesting to come up with. That's why for the most part I live in the basement and watch Netflix as my only form of entertainment. And ramen noodles, at 20 cents a meal, who can beat that?

I thinking talking here again is a good idea, perhaps I'll do that. I don't think anyone is really left from who I used to talk to on here all the time, but we'll see what happens.

Current Mood: drained
Monday, August 3rd, 2009
3:18 am
I have officially moved!
Hey all. Long time no post...or read...or do much of anything honestly. I've officially moved back to Dayton of all places. My wife-to-be starts med school today at Wright State. Because of this, we have bought a sweet frickin' condo up near Huber Heights!

Yeah, I'm now shacked up. Life is good. I should get back to cuddling soon. Feel free to vomit a little.

Current Mood: happy
Sunday, May 10th, 2009
3:24 am
Hilarious clip of our President


Current Mood: amused
Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
2:48 pm
Hell week
Work is looking to seriously injure me this week.  I was supposed to move over to 4/10's this week (that's four days a week, 10 hours a day), but instead it is looking more like 6/12's.  I'm hoping if all goes well today I may make it out in 10 hours.  At least the pay check will be pretty (probably around 1500 or so).

On the lighter side, I picked up the game Crysis.  It is freaking awesome.  When I first started playing it I thought my computer was breaking, until I realized that for the first time ever the extra exhaust fan had to kick on.  The graphics are amazing, you can see every leaf on the tree, and the terrain is nearly completely deformable (assuming you have a big enough explosive, heh).

Well, I suppose I should head to work, at this rate I'll get home about 3am.

Ugh.

Current Mood: exhausted
Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
8:41 am
Bullsh*t about gays in the military
First off, there are gays in the military now, so not kicking people out of the military for being gay is the real issue here:

Generals think gays are a disruption to the military and will cause people to leave the service


This is so total horse sh*t.  People can't leave the military whenever they want!  If they are worried about recruiting people, then they should get our asses out of Iraq.

This is just pure homophobic bigotry, and I'm glad the Washington Post ran it, for it shows the stupidity of the argument in clear light.

The text of the article:

With the nation engaged in two wars and facing a number of potential adversaries, this is no time to weaken our military. Yet if gay rights activists and their allies have their way, grave harm will soon be inflicted on our all-volunteer force.

The administration and some in Congress have pledged to repeal Section 654 of U.S. Code Title 10, which states that homosexuals are not eligible for military service. Often confused with the "don't ask, don't tell" regulations issued by President Bill Clinton, this statute establishes several reasons that homosexuality is incompatible with military service.

Section 654 recognizes that the military is a "specialized society" that is "fundamentally different from civilian life." It requires a unique code of personal conduct and demands "extraordinary sacrifices, including the ultimate sacrifice, in order to provide for the common defense." The law appreciates military personnel who, unlike civilians who go home after work, must accept living conditions that are often "characterized by forced intimacy with little or no privacy."

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While there have been changes in civilian society since this statute was adopted by wide bipartisan majorities in 1993, the military realities it describes abide. If anything, they are more acute in wartime.

In our experience, and that of more than 1,000 retired flag and general officers who have joined us in signing an open letter to President Obama and Congress, repeal of this law would prompt many dedicated people to leave the military. Polling by Military Times of its active-duty subscribers over the past four years indicates that 58 percent have consistently opposed repeal. In its most recent survey, 10 percent said they would not reenlist if that happened, and 14 percent said they would consider leaving.

If just the lesser number left the military, our active-duty, reserve and National Guard forces would lose 228,600 people -- more than the total of today's active-duty Marine Corps. Losses of even a few thousand sergeants, petty officers and experienced mid-grade officers, when we are trying to expand the Army and Marine Corps, could be crippling.

And the damage would not stop there. Legislation introduced to repeal Section 654 (H.R. 1283) would impose on commanders a radical policy that mandates "nondiscrimination" against "homosexuality, or bisexuality, whether the orientation is real or perceived." Mandatory training classes and judicial proceedings would consume valuable time defining that language. Team cohesion and concentration on missions would suffer if our troops had to live in close quarters with others who could be sexually attracted to them.

We don't need a study commission to know that tensions are inevitable in conditions offering little or no privacy, increasing the stress of daily military life. "Zero tolerance" of dissent would become official intolerance of anyone who disagrees with this policy, forcing additional thousands to leave the service by denying them promotions or punishing them in other ways. Many more will be dissuaded from ever enlisting. There is no compelling national security reason for running these risks to our armed forces. Discharges for homosexual conduct have been few compared with separations for other reasons, such as pregnancy/family hardship or weight-standard violations. There are better ways to remedy shortages in some military specialties than imposing social policies that would escalate losses of experienced personnel who are not easily replaced.

Some suggest that the United States must emulate Denmark, the Netherlands and Canada, which have incorporated homosexuals into their forces. But none of these countries has the institutional culture or worldwide responsibilities of our military. America's armed forces are models for our allies' militaries and the envy of our adversaries -- not the other way around.

As former senior commanders, we know that the reason for this long-standing envy is the unsurpassed discipline, morale and readiness of our military. The burden should be on proponents of repeal to demonstrate how their initiative would improve these qualities of our armed services. This they cannot do.

Consequently, our recent open letter advised America's elected leaders: "We believe that imposing this burden on our men and women in uniform would undermine recruiting and retention, impact leadership at all echelons, have adverse effects on the willingness of parents who lend their sons and daughters to military service, and eventually break the All-Volunteer Force."

Everyone can serve America in some way, but there is no constitutional right to serve in the military. The issue is not one of individual desires, or of the norms and mores of civilian society. Rather, the question is one of national security and the discipline, morale, readiness and culture of the U.S. armed forces upon which that security depends. It is a question we cannot afford to answer in a way that breaks our military.

Retired Army Gen. James J. Lindsay was the first commander of U.S. Special Operations Command. Retired Adm. Jerome Johnson was vice chief of naval operations. Retired Lt. Gen. E.G. "Buck" Shuler Jr. was commander of the Strategic Air Command's 8th Air Force. Retired Gen. Joseph J. Went was assistant commandant of the Marine Corps. They are founding members of Flag and General Officers for the Military.





Current Mood: angry
Tuesday, April 14th, 2009
7:31 pm
Images from the Wine Tour
Front of Huber Winery


Margarette and I in front of Huber


Inside Huber


The front of French Lick Winery


Inside French Lick


Walkway at Oliver


More walkways at Oliver


Margarette at Oliver


Margarette and I at Oliver


The pond at Oliver


waters at Oliver


Waterfall at Oliver


Porch at Oliver


Front of Oliver


Inside of Oliver


Front of Butler


Vineyards at Butler


Us at Butler




Current Mood: amused
Wednesday, March 11th, 2009
5:11 pm
Religious hilarity
I took this from the CBN website:

I’m the pastor of a ministry to international college students. Many of my leaders want to study the Koran to be able to understand Islam. I don’t think this is wise. They’re really fighting me on this issue. I think there are plenty of Christian resources out there to get information on other religions. What do you think?

Kelly, it won’t be wrong if somebody studies Islam, but they need guided study, because somebody needs to go along and point out the incredible inconsistencies in that book. And if you have a guided study of the Koran and see how much in there is just repetitious, how much comes out of the Old Testament and the New Testament, how much is just plagiarism from the Bible, etc.?. If you will go through it with them, I think it would be a very helpful exercise. But I doubt very seriously by reading the Koran they’re going to get converted to Islam. I wouldn’t worry about it. But I think they need to see it. They need to see what is in there. Many people who are Muslim don’t know what the Koran says. And when you begin to tell them, they say, “Well, I don’t believe that.” And you say, “Well, it’s in your sacred book. It’s supposed to be holy words.” So it won’t hurt, but guided study.

Note that, yes Pat Robertson thinks "...it won’t be wrong if somebody studies Islam, but they need guided study, because somebody needs to go along and point out the incredible inconsistencies in that book. And if you have a guided study of the Koran and see how much in there is just repetitious, how much comes out of the Old Testament and the New Testament, how much is just plagiarism from the Bible, etc..."

Apparently Pat Robertson thinks that The Old Testament and the New Testament are incredibly inconsistent. 

I couldn't put it better myself!



Current Mood: amused
Monday, March 9th, 2009
10:28 pm
I gots a job!
I am no longer a temporary contractor! I am now (or as of March 16th) a full-time employee of Amylin Pharmaceuticals! Woo!

Now I get real health benefits and 4 weeks vacation (holy crap, no?) as well as paid holidays.

On top of that, the engagement ring is paid off, so now I have an extra hundred a month in effective income. Hopefully my debt situation has finally turned around...

Current Mood: hopeful
Thursday, February 26th, 2009
9:07 am
Amusing quiz
Your morality is 0% in line with that of the bible.
 

Damn you heathen! Your book learnin' has done warped your mind. You shall not be invited next time I sacrifice a goat.

Do You Have Biblical Morals?
Take More Quizzes



Current Mood: amused
Wednesday, February 4th, 2009
7:03 pm
Whoo look at my new toy!
Okay, so it is not a toy, but I have new glasses! Yay!

It only took 5 years!

Current Mood: clear-sighted
Monday, January 26th, 2009
12:35 pm
FOX News, finding new ways to be evil


Wow, mentioning non-believers is OFFENSIVE to Fox News?!?!? Just mentioning they exist? Wow.

Current Mood: annoyed
Tuesday, December 9th, 2008
10:44 pm
Finally, some good news
It appears that, yes, I do get to keep my job past December 31st! In addition, I won't have to work Xmas! WHOO!

Of course I'll also have the week after Xmas off too...and without pay...whoo-ish?

Current Mood: full
Saturday, December 6th, 2008
8:22 pm
You know its true love when...
When your gas is so noxious that it causes you to scream out in terror and distress, that's funny.
- My fiancée, in reference to my pitiful request to be "sprayed down" with the air freshener.

Current Mood: loved
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