Summer Shandy

Avast, me hearties! It is too long ere I painted the internet with me thoughts and musings. I am finding meself longing to sail again upon the raging sea of cyberspace. Argh! Let all scallawags and pilfering urchins hear the cry of the Dread Captain Wild Coyote!


Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
           - Dr. Seuss

I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.
         - Umberto Eco

As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.
         - Ernest Hemingway


Artist Spotlight:
         via ArtistADay

Joshua Bronaugh

About the Artist:

     Originally from Bavaria, Joshua has lived and traveled all over the world. He studied art in Rome and Florence and taught art in the Ukraine. His work is influenced by phenomenology, the study of what and how we perceive and interpret the world.


from the news:

Federal Judge in Boston Rules Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Unconstitutional
                     via AmericanAsylum

U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro ruled in favor of gay couples’ rights in two separate challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, a 1996 law that the Obama administration has argued for repealing. The rulings apply to Massachusetts but could have broader implications if they’re upheld on appeal.

Judge Vaughn Walker's Opinion
                                   via The New Yorker
Judge Vaughn Walker, who on Wednesday brought the case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger to a close by declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional, made it clear from the start that he wanted evidence, and lots of it. If the proponents of Proposition 8, the ballot initiative banning same-sex marriages, said that they undermined traditional marriages, he wanted to know how. 
And in the end, Judge Walker wrote an opinion that drove home just how unimpressed he was with the factual case the anti-gay-marriage lawyers had mounted. Their “evidentiary presentation was dwarfed” by the one presented for the plaintiffs by the lawyers David Boies and Ted Olson, Walker wrote in his 138-page opinion (pdf); with their two dubious expert witnesses, they simply “failed to build a credible factual record to support their claim that Proposition 8 served a legitimate government interest. ”

Walker held that the ban on same-sex marriage did not pass even the most minimal scrutiny under equal protection law, because it denied a fundamental right—the right to marry the person one chose—without a “legitimate (much less compelling) reason.” Tradition alone would not suffice; marriage had changed in all sorts of ways, and there were plenty of traditions that had outworn their welcome. The notion that the state was helping to protect marriage between people of the opposite sex would not do, since, Judge Walker noted, the lawyers for Prop. 8 had “presented no reliable evidence that allowing same-sex couples to marry will have any negative effects on society or on the institution of marriage.”
The will of the voters “demands our respect,” Walker wrote, but when it is challenged, it has to 
find at least some support in evidence.… Conjecture, speculation, and fears are not enough. Still less will the moral disapprobation of a group or class of citizens suffice, no matter how large the majority that share that view.
Judge Walker’s ruling is only the beginning; Prop. 8’s defenders will appeal, and the case will likely make it the Supreme Court. But one thing this case will carry with it all the way up is an evidentiary record that is a lot stronger on one side than on the other.

Senate Panel Works to Block Obama's Human Spaceflight Proposal
                       via Sagan's Brain

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation is working on a bill to block much of President Obama's proposed plan for the future of human spaceflight at NASA. The bill is expected to restore the Orion capsule to its original specifications, authorize the construction of a heavy-lift rocketstarting immediately, and will call for one additional shuttle flight, to be flown in the middle of next year. The panel hopes to garner bipartisan support for the bill (as there has been some bipartisan opposition to the President's plan).


I'll be there.

The Oatmeal's FuneralTHE PLAN.

via XKCD


Check it out! They're digging up Icthyosaurs!

check out the website (linked above) to see all four live field cams

The Natural History Museum in Oslo, led by Dr. Jørn Hurum, is uncovering the past at Konusen north of Longyearbyen. The team is excavating three skeletons of Ichthyosaurs, giant marine reptiles that lived in the Svalbard waters 140-150 million years ago. These live, ongoing dinosaur digs and the information uncovered, will form the basis of a new documentary coming soon to the National Geographic Channel.

find out more about Icthyosauria and Paleontology here!

and last, but not least, Miss Janelle Monáe.


I think that's quite enough for today.


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