Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Bizarre News Day

Running across some odd (and oddly though-provoking) news stories today, figured I'd share:

First, in case you didn't know, last summer the Washington state Supreme Court upheld the "one man one woman" marriage law. In the Andersen ruling, Justice Barbara Madsen stated that the law had been enacted to "promote procreation and to encourage stable families.", and "The legislature was entitled to believe that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers the State's legitimate interests in procreation and the well-being of children."

So, the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance has decided to have some fun with the ruling, and has filed Initiative I-957 which would limit marriage "to men and women who are able to have children. Couples would be required to prove they can have children to get a marriage license. If they did not have children within three years, their marriages would be subject to annulment."

On it's own web site, the group calls it's own initiative absurd, noting that it is really just trying to foster discussion. It also says it plans to file two more initiatives: "The second would prohibit divorce or legal separation when there are children. The third would make the act of having a child together the legal equivalent of a marriage ceremony."

I love politics. :)

For our second story, Lisa Marie Nowak - a female NASA astronaut - is facing attempted murder charges after harrassing, and allegedly trying to kidnap a woman who was also seeing the male astronaut that she was having a relationship with. Now, I know that being a highly intelligent astronaut and aeronautical engineer doesn't spare you from also being human and prone to crazy relationships and jealousies, but here's where it gets weird. From the article:

"When Nowak found out Shipman was flying to Orlando from Houston, Nowak decided to confront her early Monday, according to the arrest affidavit. Nowak raced from Houston to Orlando wearing diapers in the car so she wouldn't have to stop to go to the bathroom, authorities said. Astronauts wear diapers during launch and re-entry."


"If you were just going to talk to someone, I don't know that you would need a wig, a trench coat, an air cartridge BB gun and pepper spray," said Orlando police Sgt. Barbara Jones. "It's just really a very sad case."

And our final article of the day - the Washington Post has an article about a community of people who believe the government is monitoring them and beaming voices into their heads. It's an interesting article in that it examines much of the evidence given by the self-described TIs (Targeted Individuals) - the military's new "Active Denial System" (using microwaves to create intense burning sensations in the target), the MIT study that found that wearing a tinfoil hat actually amplifies certain radio waves, the LifeLog project, and post-911 renewed interest by the U.S. government in mind-control programs such as MK-ULTRA. Read that whole wikipedia entry on MK-ULTRA and suddenly the TI community starts to sound a lot more sane.

Ultimately it boils down to the following question, which I will hopefully never have to answer: If you start hearing voices in your head that appear as real to you as everything else, is it easier to accept that you're mentally ill, or is it easier to accept that some nefarious agency (or entity, I suppose) is transmitting them into your skull?

If any of you are ever faced with this decision, let me know.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Beauty is in the eye of the graphic artist.

As it says.. no wonder our perception of beauty is distorted.