"Don't get me started. She's the anti-Wonder Woman. She's judgmental and dictatorial, telling people how they've got to live their lives. And a superior religious self-righteousness … that's just not what Wonder Woman is about. Hillary Clinton is a lot more like Wonder Woman than Mrs. Palin. She did it all, didn't she?
"No one has the right to dictate, particularly in this country, to force your own personal views upon the populace -- religious views. I think that is suppressive, oppressive, and anti-American. We are the loyal opposition. That's the whole point of this country: freedom of speech, personal rights, personal freedom. Nor would Wonder Woman be the person to tell people how to live their lives. Worry about your own life! Worry about your own family! Don't be telling me what I want to do with mine.
"I like John McCain. But this woman -- it's anathema to me what she stands for. I think America should be very afraid. Very afraid. Separation of church and state is the one thing the creators of the Constitution did agree on -- that it wasn't to be a religious government. People should feel free to speak their minds about religion but not dictate it or put it into law."
-- Actress and singer Lynda Carter, best known for playing Wonder Woman in the '70s, responding to a question from Philadelphia Magazine about what she makes of Republican comparisons of Sarah Palin to the superhero.
By BRETT J. BLACKLEDGE and RANDY HERSCHAFT, Associated Press Writers 11 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Famed chef Julia Child shared a secret with Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg and Chicago White Sox catcher Moe Berg at a time when the Nazis threatened the world.
They served in an international spy ring managed by the Office of Strategic Services, an early version of the CIA created in World War II by President Franklin Roosevelt.
Sing it Baby! Almost Everyone Can Carry a Tune
Despite the hilarity of early-season "American Idol" episodes, nearly everyone can carry a tune, new research shows.
Of those who can't, there are two types - those that know they sound bad and those that think they sound fine.
In a series of studies led by researchers at the University of Finance and Management in Warsaw and the University of Montreal, more than 150 people in Canada and Poland were asked to sing familiar songs - such as Quebec's version of "Happy Birthday" - as a capella solos. In the final study, 40 people were also asked to sing isolated notes after hearing them played once.
To control for self-selection, the majority of subjects were initially unaware the study would involve singing. While none balked at the task, many joked about having a terrible voice.
They needn't have worried. The researchers found that more than 90 percent of the participants could sing in tune. And almost 100 percent nailed each melody's timing.
The results, most of which are detailed in the February 2007 issue of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, will be presented July 2 in Paris at the largest ever meeting on the science of acoustics.
Among out-of-tune singers, lead researcher Simone Dalla Bella explained, "there are two categories of people." The majority is tone deaf; they can't hear when a note is off and have no idea they are singing poorly. But there are also lousy singers with great hearing ability - those who can accurately say whether an instrument is properly tuned or a sung note is off-key. These squawkers know they are singing badly but, for some unknown reason, cannot correct themselves. They are, in a sense, tone mute.
While some tone-challenged people may benefit from training, Dalla Bella doubts that they can all learn to carry a tune. For a small fraction of the population, warbling well may be impossible.
So should everyone else be on MTV?
"I am not saying that most people are as good as professional singers in every task," Dalla Bella explained. The studies measured pitch and timing, but not timbre or musical expression. Also, many recreational songbirds are only in-tune when singing slowly.
Evolutionarily speaking, carrying a melody's timing may be more important than its tune. Singing as a group is popular in cultures worldwide, and researchers hypothesize that singing together strengthens social bonds. While crooning off-key can be muffled by other voices, belting out when everyone else pauses is sure to garner unwanted attention.
As for the first episodes of "American Idol," Dalla Bella explained that hearing a song out of tune strikes us in a similar way as hearing a word mispronounced. "The usual reaction," he said, "is laughter."
To wit: "Before I left the house Jenny told me there were a bunch of restaurants in the Marina where tourists ate, including an IHOP filled with freaks. I think there is an indisputable link between freaks and a bottomless coffee cup."
You know who you are.
Your Score: Geek Aspirant
You scored 57 out of 60
If you don't consider yourself a geek, perhaps you could start.
If you do, you're probably mad at me for picking ambiguous quotes. (I swear they're the best IMDB had to offer... you might want to re-watch some of your movies).
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I dozed off until the moon rose and woke me, its brilliant light casting long shadows on the desert floor. I could see the brush swaying and rippling in the wind, the face of the mountain softly sketched in the half-light. Orion had given way to Casseiopeia, her throne twinkling regally on the horizon. I slept again, this time with dreams set to the soundtrack of the wind’s coarse song.
I started the drive back just as a corner of the eastern sky lightened, intending to let the sunrise chase me west, back over the mountains. I drove back along those winding turns, the kind of turns with the most geometrically interesting road signs, the kind where you see oncoming traffic alongside you before you see it approach you. Zen turns, the kind of turns that leave no room for any thought except the present, except downshift, hard turn left, tap the brakes, hard turn right, tap the gas.
It’s been too long since I’ve seen the mist rising off a valley floor at dawn, too long since I’ve seen horses grazing their breakfast, necks bowed, manes illuminated by the sleepy first light of morning.
The odometer read just about 60 miles when I set out Saturday morning. Sixty miles from the gas station at the foot of my road, 60 miles to find a few moments to feed my soul. I think I need to go back during the day, I think I need to bring lunch and let the mountains know it wasn’t just a midnight tryst. It was the start of something beautiful.
I will be in Ohio this weekend to see her and talk with my sisters. If you believe in such things, please send vibes/energy/prayers to Mom and Dad.
Time to work up the energy to call their Tech Support and make them fix my 'puter.
i talked to tech support, they're gonna have me reset the jumpers and then
Please send good thoughts, to everyone affected by the wildfires.