Digital Chum - Virtual fish guts and other nonsense

Finally!

After a 5-week hiatus while moving and settling into our new place, I finally got out on the water today for some paddling. I was lucky enough to convince Megan to come along with me.  Here’s her “I love kayaking ” face, along with a couple other pictures.

Megan's "I love kayaking" face

Megan’s “I love kayaking” face

Rare photographic evidence of me in a kayak

Rare photographic evidence of me in a kayak

Beautiful day for kayaking!

Beautiful day for kayaking!

Another win by John E. Jones III

Equal RightsJudge John E. Jones III ruled today that the Pennsylvania ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional. Judge Jones is the same judge that ruled in the Kitzmiller vs. Dover case in 2005, scoring a big point for science standards, shutting down the attempt to push "Intelligent Design" into the Dover School District’s science curriculum.

This time, instead of protecting science, Judge Jones protected equal rights, saying of the Pennsylvania ban on same-sex marriages, "We are a better people than what these laws represent. It is time to discard them into the ash heap of history."

Governor Tom Corbett can appeal the ruling (and probably will), but it’s doubtful that will accomplish anything other than rallying the backward-minded members of his political base and wasting time and money.

What Gov. Corbett should do, however, is leave well enough alone. Pennsylvania is (was?) the last northeastern state to disallow same-sex marriages. It’s sad and embarrassing. It’s well past time for Pennsylvania to leave the bigotry behind and stand up for equal rights. As Judge Jones stated, the term "same-sex marriage" will be abandoned in favor of "marriage" someday.

Let’s make that day today.

A bit of a current…

I went kayaking on Lake Clarke today (on the Susquehanna River just above the Safe Harbor dam). The dam must have been releasing a lot of water because there was more current on that section of river than I’ve ever seen (as the buoy picture shows!). I was surprised at the speed but it didn’t really affect my paddling very much.

It did make going downriver a bit easier, though.

Current!

John Oliver on Climate Change

I’ve been meaning to post this all week but kept forgetting. John Oliver gives a spot-on (and funny) commentary about the climate change “debate” and public opinion polls about climate change. Love it!

h/t: IFLScience!

xkcd: Free Speech… nails it.

xkcd: Free Speech

xkcd: Free Speech

The alt text for the image reads:

I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express.

Dramatic Cat is Dramatic

Dramatic Cat is Dramatic

Megan’s Recital

Megan’s school had a “Unified Arts Festival” last week where students got to show off their artistic talents in everything from woodworking to painting to singing. Near the end of the evening, they had a special recital for music students who take lessons outside the school.

Megan takes voice lessons, so she got to perform. She sang “Dream a Little Dream of Me.”

As a bonus, her voice teacher was wonderful enough to come to the event to accompany her!

Snow day

Snowed. Off work. Did this.

Snow Day Zombies

Downton Tabby

Some friends of mine who volunteer for the animal shelter Pets Alive, took a few days to get footage for a promotional video that mirrors the introduction to the show Downton Abbey. It’s been a huge hit and has been picked up by quite a few news outlets, so it’s getting international publicity, which is just fantastic! …not only for my friends, but for the animal shelter as well.

For comparison sake, here’s the opening to Downton Abbey…

And here’s the awesome Downton Tabby version!

Here are some of the news outlets that have featured it!

Entertainment Weekly

Huffington Post

Jezebel

USA Today

The Telegraph

AOL On

The Albatross

Boston.com

Feeding the Gulls

Megan and I went down to the Susquehanna on Saturday with a bag of stale Corn Chex and a bag of stale soft pretzel sticks to feed the gulls. They were very appreciative, noisy, and entertaining.

Troll in Snow

We got snow today. Work was closed. School was closed. The snow was perfectly packable… so Megan and I made this.

Snow Troll Head

We were going to make a snowman, but due to the size of the pile of snow we started with, the next part of the body would have required a snowball considerably larger than what would be considered… liftable.

This was cooler, anyway.

Increased absurdity

Huh?!?I didn’t think it was possible. I mean, Sarah Palin has pretty much been the definition of the phrase "inane absurdity" (I know that comes perilously close to being redundant) for well over half a decade*, but today she appeared on The Today Show and was briefly interviewed by Matt Lauer. She has a new book about the (fictitious) "War on Christmas" but he first asked her some questions about the health care law, Chris Christie, and general politics before getting to the book.

I’m almost sure there wasn’t a single thing she said that was not either blatantly false or patently absurd. I cannot fathom why… no… wait. I can fathom why this woman still has a public platform, but it pains me to think there are  enough people in this country to voluntarily and enthusiastically provide it for her. That so many either agree with or believe her is truly indicative of a sad state of affairs in this country.

If only McCain had chosen someone else.

* Palin would occasionally lend the definition to Michele Bachmann.