Wednesday, December 19, 2007

L.A. business idea?

Why is it legal to get paid for having sex in a movie but not if the cameras aren't rolling?
It seems there is a loophole in there.
Why not start a business where a person can pay to star in his own movie, with the porn actor of his choice?
A single copy of the film is made, direct to DVD. The DVD is given to the client, so he can relive the experience in the comfort of his home.
Is that legal? If not, why not?

55 million miles

55 million miles away.
Someday it will matter.
Mars at perigee--
Aunt Sally will be that much closer,
Or some other relative who settled there.
Her voice will be clearer
On the telephone, with less of a delay.
The supply ship will reach her with drugs she needs.
"Balto" will be painted on the side
of some unmanned craft to reach
our colony on the neighboring planet.

Monday, December 17, 2007

gang aft agley

We are all just living in our corner of the galaxy, making plans and saving up and hoping that the Cosmic cleaning crew doesn't notice and wipe us out.

Knowing that some day it will.

Like that mouse in the Burns poem.

9th ant doesn't count

Friday morning, a small ant crawled across my desk. Without much thinking, I reached out to crush it with my finger. It was only wounded. Nature has made ant exoskeletons extra hard. I tried to crush it again, to quickly end its misery, but wasn't sure I succeeded. I considered what to do, then walked down the hall and threw it into the spider web. Seeing it suspended there, I felt guilty. It hadn't blundered into the web. It wasn't its fault. I had interfered with nature. On the other hand, an ant that walks across my desk in the middle of the day doesn't have the survival skills necessary to make it to the next generation.

The dormant spider woke and made a speedy L to the ant. She quickly wrapped it up. I considered that this death was at least more useful than in the wastebasket or down the drain.

Having ruined the scientific validity of my observation of the spider, I wondered if by feeding it I had invoked the stray-cat rule and made it my pet. I decided it was more like a bird feeder in the yard--the birds and squirrels remain wild.

This morning, there were still only eight ant carcasses in the corner. As if the spider knew that we cheated; it hadn't caught that ninth ant on its own. It was just a bonus, so it ate it up and didn't save any.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

1 NH Democrat, 3 Weeks before the Primary

I don't see the point of John Edwards this time around. A good speaker with not much experience is done much better by Barak Obama, and without the $400 haircut. Plus Obama is African-American, and has lived in a foreign country. These are good things. I do like how Edwards emphasizes the importance of helping poor people, but good intentions aren't enough.

Lack of experience worries me. Our country has been damaged, and Iraq nearly destroyed, from the blunderings of a pig-headed amateur. I'm hesitant to vote the country to someone who may be well-intentioned, but have a steep learning curve. I'd rather vote on resume and mostly ignore the campaign promises. That's why I'm leaning toward Richardson. He was in Congress, ambassador to the U.N., Secretary of Energy, and now governor. He ought to know how government works. And he's fluent in a second language.

I don't understand why so many of my neighbors have Hillary signs in their front yards. She elicits such visceral hatred from so many non-Democrats. Why do Democrats think she can win? She is, I admit, a great campaigner, but I think there is too much prejudice against her. In the last debate, she said she would like to unite the country. She can hope, but I think she has the least chance of it. In spite of her being the most right wing.

Two people at my synagogue said they want her because they want him back. They loved what Bill Clinton did for the economy, as reflected in their retirement funds. Their wanting her because they liked him raised my feminist distaste at the first female President being a famous wife first. I want someone in because people wanted her.

Revisionist Rudy

I saw an ad on TV last week that made me say "Rudy Giuliani doesn't deserve to be voted dogcatcher, let alone President." He credited Ronald Reagan for getting the hostages released from Iran, something I don't think even the most partisan of Reagan supporters ever claimed. He said Reagan managed this feat during his first hour of his Presidency because "the best way to deal with terrorists, dicatators and tyrants is to stand up to them. You don't back down."

As I recall, the hostage crisis began because President Carter wouldn't back down to pressure from Iran, but allowed the deposed Shah to come to the U.S. for medical treatment. (Giuliani also refers to the captors as "mullahs", when at the time the T.V. news called them "students", but that's minor. I'd grant him the "mullahs" if the rest of the ad made sense.)

My husband, who is from NY, was more sanguine about the revisionist history. "Giuliani is a self-promoting egotist who's catering to the shallowist follower of politics. Reagan sold arms to Iran, that ended up with Hezbollah. Then the money went to the contras. So he supported terrorists."


Friday, December 07, 2007

spider eight

She had an eighth ant in her web today. From early to late morning she brought it to the top of the web. After lunch I noticed the eighth ant deposited in the corner over the tiles, practically on top of another ant.

I've also noticed what looks like the ghost of a spider, where she sometimes hangs out in the corner. Could it be a discarded exoskeleton? Do spiders shed skin like snakes? The shed/dead thing has legs.
I'm pretty sure the spider has been growing. When I first noticed her, she was a much smaller spider. If she's the same one, of course.

This is in an approx. 7'x8' bathroom, which remains dark when no one turns on the light.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

spider update: 7!

Tuesday evening I noticed the spider had another ant in her arms, in the middle of her web. I blew at her, to see if she was comatose from ant blood or possibly dead, and she scurried up to the corner of the web nearest to the corner where the ladies' room walls meet. She dragged her ant package up with her, and attended to it at the top of the web, where she'd be less affected by the wind. I wondered if she'd leave this latest ant with the six others. The next morning I noticed that she had. So now there are seven ants wrapped up in the corner of the ladies' room where the single row of vertical tiles meet the wall.

It occured to me that a spider's life is like that of a military patrol. She waits and does apparently nothing for days on end, but is always ready to spring into action for a kill. Then return to dormancy.

My husband's guess is that the ant stash is for baby spiders to come. I'm pretty sure that all we know of the natural history of spiders was learned from Charlotte's Web.

I hope the cleaning people don't get conscientious and clean up her stash, or her. I'd like to know what happens next, and that will possibly take a number of months.