"However, there is considerable confusion about the process, and the state party admits to being "overwhelmed" by calls from Democratic voters seeking guidance. Washington, in an arrangement that even local political leaders find bizarre, has both a caucus on Feb. 9 and a primary on Feb. 19, meaning that voters are currently staring at mail-in primary ballots at the same time as they're trying to figure out their caucus locations. Even more confusing, Democrats use only the caucuses to apportion delegates, making the primary effectively meaningless for them, while Republicans use the caucuses to apportion 19 of their 40 delegates and their primary to apportion the rest. (The situation has an acrimonious, and convoluted history that involves a controversial victory by televangelist Pat Robertson in the state's 1988 Republican caucuses, which prompted an intervention by the state legislature that resulted in the still unresolved caucus-and-primary problem.)" from The Confusing Battle for Washington State
So, that bit about staring at ballots while trying to figure out my caucus location? That exactly described my situation this afternoon, sitting on my bed with ballots around me while I tried to figure out what precinct I'm in and where it meets. As it turns out, it's on the other side of Pullman, on a street forebodingly named Crestview.
moar funny pictures
In December, a pair of economists published a paper in which they looked for a correlation between violent movies and violent crime. They found one, but it wasn't the one they expected. According to the paper, the connection was inverse. Blockbuster violent movies such as Hannibal led to a decrease in violent crime, and as many as 1,000 violent crimes per week may be prevented by violent movies.
The thing I really found interesting about this study is their proposed mechanisms - self incapacitation and segregation from alcohol.
It turns out that the main demographic for violent movies is young men - the same segment of the population that's most likely to commit violent crime. Therefore, if these people are in a theater chair, they're not on the street. Also, alcohol is generally prohibited in theaters in America, so there's a double whammy. On weekends when there's a big violent film out, those most likely to commit violent crimes are not drinking and off the street for apparently critical hours, because there is no compensating rise in crime after the weekend.
We've had strong, well-made psychology studies for a while now that subjected college students to short clips of either violent or non violent movies, then monitored their behavior immediately afterwards in group settings. These studies almost invariably found that people who watched the violent clip exhibited more violent behavior than those exposed to the nonviolent clip.
So, now there's an impasse as to the possible damage done by violent media. The psychologists say that people are more aggressive after being exposed to violent, but the economists say that not only is there a decrease in violence after watching violent movies, but that that violence isn't made up for by more violence later. That possible violence just disappears. This might be a classic case of in vitro results not being the same as in vivo results, but it's hard to tell.
On the other hand, maybe there's not an impasse. One of the psychologists' implicit assumptions is that aggression inevitably leads to violence, an assumption that I think is demonstrably false. However, if we assume instead that aggression often leads to violence, and that perhaps the effects of violent media are cumulative and take more than a few weeks to show up, then there isn't necessarily a conflict at all.
So, I found out a couple of days ago that I have filled all the requirements for a B.S. in General Sciences specializing in Geology, Biology, and Chemistry. All I would have to do is change my major, drop my minor, and apply for graduation, and be done. No more classes, I'd just find a job for 3 months, volunteer heavily at the Palouse Science Center and the Conner museum and walk in May as planned. I would save a couple thousand dollars, and possibly start paying off my loans while not being stressed out all the time.
Or I could struggle on through Biochem, Cell biology, and yet another Writing In the Major course, incur a couple thousands of dollars worth of debt, and graduate in May with the B.S. in Biology and a minor in Geology.
The pros of the Biology degree are that it's a slightly stronger degree and would give me a bit of an edge in applying for jobs in the Biology field. The cons of the Biology degree are that it would cost more, stress me out more, and is not entirely friendly to the education field.
The pros of the General Sciences degree are that it's cheaper, has much less stress associated with it, and it has a broader scope than the biology degree. A few of the random science classes that I took at SPSCC count for it, but don't count for the biology degree. Also, it's friendlier to the education field, which doesn't care so much that I can analyze the ecosystem of a given swamp but that I can understand and explain how science works and what people do in various disiciplines.
The cons of the General Sciences degree are that it's not as focused as the biology degree, and lots of people can't make up their minds what they want to do so they get a General Fill-In-The-Blank degree, and as such has a bit of a bad rep. For a job in the biologic field, a general sciences degree is less competitive than a straight-up biology degree.
I've emailed a few people about this, but so far only one of them has gotten back to me. The Director of the Conner Museum (by trade and Ph.D a biologist) opined that the general sciences degree would probably be a better choice for me, and that if I needed to get back into the biologic field then it wouldn't really hold me back too much, considering my work experience and references.
I just don't know - The idea of not having to wade through another semester is extremely attractive, but I don't want to shoot myself in the foot by choosing a degree that limits me. I have until the 7th to decide, because that's when classes start, so hopefully an answer will appear. If anybody has advice, I'm all ears.
Winning the award for Sentence that Most Needs Background, from last Tuesday's Plant Physiology lecture:
"In 1814, B. Heyne discovered a diurnal change in acidity by tasting Bryophyllum leaves."
(Bryophyllum is not a food plant, vaguely resembles a jade plant, and I would hesitate to classify it as edible.)
To me, democracy means placing trust in the little guy, giving the fruits of nationhood to those who built the nation. Democracy means anyone can grow up to be president, and anyone who doesn't grow up can be vice president.
Democracy is people of all races, colors, and creeds united by a single dream: to get rich and move to the suburbs away from people of all races, colors, and creeds. Democracy is having time set aside to worship — 18 years if you're Jim Bakker.
Democracy is buying a big house you can't afford with money you don't have to impress people you wish were dead.
And, unlike communism, democracy does not mean having just one ineffective political party; it means having two ineffective political parties.
Democracy means freedom of sexual choice between any two consenting adults; Utopia means freedom of choice between three or more consenting adults. But I digress. Democracy is welcoming people from other lands, and giving them something to hold onto — usually a mop or a leaf blower. It means that with proper timing and scrupulous bookkeeping, anyone can die owing the government a huge amount of money.
Democracy means a thriving heartland with rolling fields of Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Spanky, and Wheezer. Democracy means our elected officials bow to the will of the people, but more often they bow to the big butts of campaign contributors.
Yes, democracy means fighting every day for what you deserve, and fighting even harder to keep other weaker people from getting what they deserve. Democracy means never having the Secret Police show up at your door. Of course, it also means never having the cable guy show up at your door. It's a tradeoff. Democracy means free television. Not good television, but free.
Democracy is being able to pick up the phone and, within a minute, be talking to anyone in the country, and, within two minutes, be interrupted by call waiting.
Democracy means no taxation without representation, and god knows, we've just about had the hell represented out of us. It means the freedom to bear arms so you can blow the "o" out of any rural stop sign you want.
And finally, democracy is the eagle on the back of a dollar bill, with 13 arrows in one claw, 13 leaves on a branch, 13 tail feathers, and 13 stars over its head. This signifies that when the white man came to this country, it was bad luck for the Indians, bad luck for the trees, bad luck for the wildlife, and lights out for the American eagle.
I thank you.
(Wendsday, September 11th, 1991)
I've been spending some time looking at bridesmaid dresses. I'm Kayla's maid of honor and Alli is Kayla's bridesmaid, so it's been rather convenient for dress-ponderings. Kayla's dress is white chiffon with blue and white beading with a gathering detail at the waist, and her colors are dark blue, light green and grey.
We're looking at dresses that a)have decent straps, because dancing in strapless dresses is sort of stupid and I have a personal vendetta against spaghetti straps, b) is made out of chiffon, because it'd be silly to have more formal dresses than the bride, and c) look good. The last part is a tad bit harder than it sounds, because Alli and I have rather different figures. We may decide to go with different dresses, but I'd like to at least get them from the same manufacturer so that we'll be in the same shade.
Colorwise, we've been thinking that having the dress be dark blue with an accent of grey or green is best, both for availability and rewearability reasons. We've got a few candidates, so if anybody wants to supply opinions, I've put the pictures (both of possible dresses and of me, Alli, and my sister who has a similar figure to Alli trying on dresses) up here on Picasa.
I always knew keeping those keys to Webster would come in handy one day. I never thought it would be because of zombies, but hey. Access to a ridiculously tall building with heavy doors is access to a ridiculously tall building with heavy doors. The ground floor has been abandoned to the zombies, but the stairwells and all levels above are all ours. We keep most of the important equipment on the 11th and 12th floors just in case, though.
The rooftop is a very very nice place to have. You can see pretty much all of what's left of Pullman from there. There are distinct waves of devastation in rings outwards from the cemeteries, and I am now fervently glad that I didn't live on Sunnyside Hill. The largest cemeteries create the largest hordes, and Sunnyside had a lot of denizens. Certainly it had more denizens than we have survivors now. Last I counted, we had a core of 10 determined people and probably 15 more that just might commit suicide in the next couple of weeks. I know there's more people out there - I think there's some people holed up on the watertower, and the occasional crack of gunshot ricochets out of Greek Row.
We're trying to fortify ourselves here at the university. The hill's packed full of tunnels if we can figure out where they are and how to use them, and with Webster as the watchtower we can see them before they can see us. However, we can only hold out here as long as our food holds out. The next order of business is gaining territory and food.
Jeremiah worked for Facilities before, and he's working on drawing up rough maps of the now-empty steam tunnels and such. I'm heading a scouting party to Abelson at dawn - we have enough food for a couple of months if we're tight-belted, but as soon as winter hits we could be in rough shape, and the highly defendable greenhouses are our best bet for survival. With any luck, Jakob and Laura are at the Cereal greenhouse last night. I'd be very very surprised if zombies had broken in to that particular stronghold, and I'm hoping that a few stalwarts may be holding out in there. More people who we don't have to baby are always welcome.
Morning comes too soon, so I sign off now. Good luck, survivors.
PS: This is what's going on.
I took the bus to work this week. This totally makes me the laziest ever, because I got on the bus at the Stevenson towers (3 min walk from apartment door) to work at Johnson (18 minute walk from work), because it got me there in 5 minutes.
Morning exercise does not become me, I think.
There is a puffed-up SUV in the parking lot, currently occupying two spaces at once. This is irritating. There normally aren't enough spaces, and this guy has the nerve to take up two?
To quote Genie, I don't think so. Not right now.
After investigating my towing options and finding that I could have the SUV impounded, but there'd be a lot of paperwork and the possiblity of testifying in court, I decided to leave the driver a message. The following message, written with black sharpie on a torn-out sheet of notepaper was left on the offending vehicle.
Learn how to park, or you'll get towed.
I feel darkly satisfied. There's something about puffed-up SUVs, especially ones that sport greek letters instead of a front license plate and that lack a parking permit that really rub me the wrong way.