Tag Archive: Weekly Diatribe

TV Choices
So I have just started watching TV/Radio programs from outside the United States. I was all excited since I particularly love British Comedies. I am completely disappointed now from looking at network websites to see lots of American shows. What am I supposed to watch? I also realized most of the shows I like are very old. The only cool TV show I have found so far is Secrets of the Castle with Ruth, Peter and Tom. It has a few historians and archeologists at a site in France where they are building a 13th century style castle from scratch using the same old methods. The show is there during its 17th year of construction which is part of a 25 year plan. I saw some videos on YouTube if you are interested. I like castles so it interests me. The hosts are taking part in little tasks and showing the viewer how things were done.
I even looked on the CTV (Canadian channel) and saw little that I not already heard of or seen. One think that I found that has been great is BBC Radio. They actually have sitcoms and sketch shows on the radio. I thought it would be weird but it works somehow. I listen to some of their shows while playing computer games that I need the whole screen for (mostly Facebook). It’s difficult to find some of the old episodes of those though. They have time limits on how long these episodes are on so I have to keep track when it comes around again. I’m going to keep searching. I understand weeks before Xmas is not when new shows are coming out.


It has been months since I wrote one of these because I have been keeping away from news to focus on my own stuff. However, this week has just annoyed me. I spend most of my days listening to ESPN Radio because I don’t much about organize sports but I like to hear people argue about things and some shows are actually funny. I did get a little caught up on the LeBron decision part 2 but that’s irrelevant. Two topics came up this week: Ray Rice suspension and Michael Sam related comments.
I was ignoring the fact that Ray Rice was suspended for 2 games plus losing out on some money for being arrested for the assault of his fiancée, Janay Palmer, in a casino elevator in February (TMZ video here/). I also wasn’t surprised that the fiancée became his wife and pleaded for leniency from the courts and the NFL (National Football League). I was surprised though about the commentary and outrage that the guy gets to keep his job. Since when do pro athletes get fired for assault, physical or otherwise, on people or animals? Stephen A. Smith put himself in it by making comments
that people feel blame the victims of domestic violence for not doing what they can to avoid it. An ESPN personality, Michelle Beadle, sent out several tweets showing her outrage over his comments and Smith responded saying his comments were “misconstrued”.
I think we as people know that hitting is wrong. You should know that because parents tell their children that all the time or at least they used to. But, we also know that if you are rich and/or famous, the rules change for you. I’m sure that is what happens when men and women get involved in assault cases as well. Men are bigger and stronger so in situations of physical assault they are going to get most of the blame. When it is sexual assault, all the focus is put on the woman because of the way she was dressed and what her past reputation is like. It’s crazy but that is how it goes. People try to change laws and such but the problem is that people never change especially if they were raised to think or do the wrong things. Along those same lines, cases like these are not going to be deal breakers in becoming or staying professional athletes. If you are really outraged about this type of behavior then stop giving them money. Otherwise there is no reason to be upset. Even if the guy is sorry for the assault, all he lost is some money. His fiancée and now wife didn’t leave him, still has his job, and he had coworkers speaking on his behalf to the NFL boss so his locker room experience will not suffer.
With all that said, the big problem in those locker rooms would be if he was gay. Knock your fiancée unconscious and we defend you. Come out as gay and you are a serious “distraction”. I thought the Michael Sam story was dying down a bit until Tony Dungy made his comments. He said he wouldn’t have drafted him because of the distraction it would cause and later came out with more comments to explain the first comments.
I like in his initial statement when he said “things will happen”. It made it so ominous like the world would end. Maybe it would be another Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin event. Why are these big tough football players so afraid of being around a big tough gay guy? Could it be they are afraid the gay guy will see them barely dressed and take advantage of them? Then, they would be too embarrassed to say anything because they would be ridiculed and someone will blame them for what happened to them.
Or possibly they are afraid of what is shown in this MADtv sketch:

I was going to do some posts about the recent race related news (The Nevada rancher and the Georgia high school that was still having segregated (parent and not school sponsored) proms). I’m quite tried of all the racist acts and comments. I try not to even read or pay attention to it but it is so difficult because it is everywhere. Can I just have a day without some kind of discrimination that I have to be offended by? I would really like to live in a place where everyone thinks like me. Only in the sense that discrimination against race, gender, and sexual orientation are at a minimum. I can let people have political differences because those things can change based on experience and general values. People can’t change their race. I know people can change their gender but that is just expensive. I’m sure if people could change all those things easily we would all be white heterosexual males. Maybe all the rich people can do that. It would decrease population because there would be less brats (children) running around. I suppose that would lead to more kidnapping and imprisonment of women though. Geeze, playing all powerful Being is hard.
I know for a fact my world, where I am Supreme Leader, would be very scary to some. Mandatory tests/screening for procreation. I’m afraid that if you can’t support yourself, you are not going to be about to support others at the same time. We (by we I mean me, the government) can’t allow you to screw up future subjects’ lives. Of course there will be some kind of support if you have kids and lose a job or become ill. But that would come with a time limit and you will have to justify your continued participation. So you prove that you are financially stable and are mentally prepared to be responsible for others. You have your brat, name it whatever you want, and at some time you will want to educate it. Public schools will be amazing and universities will be free. Free because so many other developed countries have that so why can’t we? You know all these other countries are passing us in education so at the point I take over we will need to catch up. How do we pay for these schools? So many ways I’m sure. I like the Sin Tax ideas which can be on gambling, alcohol, and prostitution. None of that is going away anytime soon why not use it to provide for the future. I wouldn’t extend it to soda and fast food. One thing that will be abolished is tipping. I hate tipping. It is stupid that I am expected to pay you extra for doing your job well like you should be doing already. That is another whole diatribe I could talk about for years.  Let’s say your brat nears the end of high school, you want him/her to go to college (for free). I think it would be best to have the last year or half year of high school to figure out what they want to do. Maybe have seminars about different jobs. If they like science they enroll in a science track schedule with math and science classes. Not only would kids not waste their time being undeclared in college but they learn if they are ready for college level courses. I guess that is what community colleges are for. I don’t know I haven’t been to one.
Fast forward through college, gaining skills to get a job, and living their lives to old age. I don’t try to understand pensions and retirement funding. I would hire someone to tell me how to do that in my world’s system. On to my favorite double standard topic: euthanasia. Why in the world can we choose to put down sickly pets but not ourselves? I’m going to make all that legal and part of disease counseling. You find out you have cancer and an arbitrary 6 months to live (why is it always 6 months?) so you see a disease counselor. I’m not sure what the education would be for that, probably equivalent or a little less than the training a nurse gets but also has medical insurance/business training. Someone that can tell you what it will cost for different types of treatment and how the treatment will effect you physically/emotionally. You can set a plan for if things go well and things go wrong that way when/if you become unable to make your own decisions, then we wouldn’t need politicians taking stances on how long you should live and what your state of consciousness.  You would have that already decided beforehand. I don’t see why that is so difficult.
Maybe my world would be nice for others as well as me. I’m a scientist; I like to make plans. I would be way more broke with all my employment issues if I didn’t plan and save for potential problems. Why don’t people do that? There needs to be classes about that in high school. I had a math class that taught us how to balance a check book, fill out deposit slips, etc. I was surprised everyone didn’t learn that in school. I think I was in 6th grade. I wish I had some classes on retirement and investing. Maybe if or when I get my next job I will do that. I have a bit of time left since I’m not super old yet. I just figure you need a semi-permanent job before you can really start planning 5 or 10 years down the line.

Ptolemaic She-Ra

I was getting a bit tired of all the political and social issues dominating my weekly diatribes. This will be an all about Gemma diatribe.
There are several reasons why I should have magical powers:

    1. Most importantly because I want them
    I’ve always wanted special powers and thought well when I get older I’ll be more responsible so I’ll be granted them then. That didn’t happen. People on TV shows and movies always got powers for no reason and by the end of it all they became better people. I believe this would happen for me as well.
    2. I’m not easily moved
    I would not be swayed by people asking for selfish things like money. I probably wouldn’t help many people unless there was a real need. If let’s say a stranger is stuck in a burning building and fire people can’t get to them, then sure I’ll help there. If someone hiking on the border of Iraq and Iran get captured; I’m not doing a thing. What are you doing hiking in that area anyway?
    3. The world would be a better place
    Think how much money we could save on natural disaster clean up. Tax money can be spent on other things like filling pot holes on the roads I have to drive on. Imagine me having the ability to repair people’s ailments like cancer and polio (it seems to be making a comeback). I could snap my fingers and tumors will just disappear.
    4. I’m probably not going to try to take over the world as a whole
    Evil geniuses might use these powers to take over. Not me. I like TV. The world would become my own personal reality show. Now, I may keep an island for myself where I have my own survivor type show that people voluntarily sign-up for and win prizes, but I would broadcast that as well so everyone is entertained. My show will have life threatening situations like one day leopards will be let loose on the island and people have to try to survive that day. Any bad things that occur will be strictly minor like loud drunk people outside where I live will lose their vocal chords. That would only an effect a select few especially since where I live will be a quiet zone.
    5. You can’t see me anyway
    I’d choose to be invisible just traveling around the universe. I’d probably barely be on Earth. Maybe I could be like the old Greek gods transforming into different items and animals to mess with people.

All this would depend on what my powers actual were. I definitely want to be like Storm (X-Men) and control the weather. Also I need to be able to transform myself. I don’t want to be like Meg on Family Guy and have my only power being able to grow my nails. The best option would to have my powers be like the seasons that change at different parts of the year.

Super Gemma

I’m getting really sick of the black spokesmen in America today. It is either the uneducated professional sport figures or old over the top guys (Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson).
Let’s start with why you should not be idolizing or getting your views from athletes. There were several stories a few months ago discussing how college athletes are reading at an elementary school level. This CNN article mentions a learning specialist at the University of North Carolina encountered an athlete that could not even read.  I don’t know why I was shocked to hear that since these “student-athletes” are put on a pedestal for bring in millions of dollars to their university. I think the craziest thing about it is that students don’t learn to read in college. That happens in like elementary school. So not only did that kid get to college but high school and middle school as well. He got a pass through all of his schooling. The worst thing is that they eventually become professional athletes that children and adults look up to and want to know all of their opinions. Think of all the social issues that occurred in the last year or so in the sports world that we are taking our opinions from. The use of the N-word is being promoted by black players saying that’s just how we talk with our friends so it’s ok. These people obviously don’t understand the phrase: there is a time and a place for everything. How many people can’t act/dress the way they want to at work because of the boss’s or companies’ rules? I’m completely ignoring the fact that it is a racial slur and using a word to “take your power back” is ridiculous. Also, I’m ignoring that so many black people in America lost their lives fighting against that word so the people after them could have a chance at equality. Yes, we will ignore all that because some African-Americans want to say the word whenever and wherever they want.
Like it or not, sports figures are the most prominent black people in America so what they say gets put under the umbrella of what black, particularly young, people think and feel. You would think when they mature everything will work itself out but no. Remember Dennis Rodman taking all these retired basketball players to North Korea for a “cultural exchange”. They were all shocked when their motives were questioned and real news people asked them about the confinement of Kenneth Bae.  Most of their interviews before the game with the North Korean team were done while they were still in North Korea. Once players came back to America, the apologies rolled in. Most of them said they should have done more research before going there. Really? How can you live in the United States and not know the issues we and other countries have with North Korea? Below is an interview with Kenny Anderson, whose ex-wife Tami is on Basketball Wives and formally the Real World, saying how he had no choice but to participate while he was there. At the end, the other guy in the video (no idea who he is) came after Piers Morgan asking what he would do. Duh, Piers would not have gone to North Korea. When the State Department tells me not to go to a country, I’m not going.

I know there are smart black sports people out there but the majority of them I feel know just as much as I do about things so why would I listen to them? You are going to have to possess some other kind of experience outside of sports for me to take you seriously. Some ex-professional athletes do speak about real issues like John Amaechi, a great Twitter follow, but most don’t seem to want to rock the boat so I’m not interested.
Getting away from sports now, the civil rights leaders Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are the older African-American leaders of today. I could spend lots of time pulling articles and videos of things they have said or done but I don’t find it necessary because of their reputations. I’m only going to speak in generalities about them and what they mean for the black community at the moment as I see it. These guys need to be retired. Every time an issue about black people comes up, Al Sharpton is there with a microphone in his face whether he knows the facts or not. Lots of times when a white person says something racist they have to talk to or get a blessing from either Sharpton or Jackson. I don’t think they should be the ones to dictate what black people will accept or not. The last I heard of Jesse Jackson, he was caught on tape about his anger with Barack Obama saying he wanted to “cut his nuts off” and at Obama’s acceptance speech the cameras caught him crying. What we need is a modern day Martin Luther King Jr. without the religious ties that is non-violent and believes in equality and science. If I could build a person, I’d say he (sorry it is going to have to be a male at this time) has to either be well educated or a self-made success like a Bill Gates or Oprah. The person probably can’t be a career politician because he would want to gain “supporters” instead of supporting others. This person won’t just tell black people what they want to hear but tell them how to improve. Obama randomly does that but he’s the president so he has to please the base and not be too angry.
This is just me making comments. I don’t know if we will move away from the black ideal being a professional athlete or rapper in the near future. However, the black community should find a way to make being and acting educated as a respected attribute rather than just musical and athletic talent.

I read this story yesterday and it just made me laugh. The headline says it all really: SIX TEACHERS lawyer up after heroin found in elementary school bathroom.  To make it clear, the drugs and needles were found on 2 separate occasions in the men’s faculty bathroom. It wasn’t even a one-time thing. The teacher’s union advised the teachers to get lawyers so they have refused to talk or give drug test samples. I suppose I was wrong to think any job dealing with children would make you susceptible to random drug tests. A more recent article states the parents were hostile at the latest board meeting wondering why they were not told about the first incident (in December).  The board responded saying the police had been investigating and they did not want to interfere.
I’m not sure how all this happens. How can you refuse drug tests by your employer and not get fired? Aren’t teachers state employees? The first article referred to the town as rural. I thought everyone knew everyone else in those types of places. No one knew that one or more of the teachers was a heroin user? Don’t they know who all the heroin users are?  Security was hired to protect “everyone at the school”. You know it was to protect teachers from parents. This has the elements of becoming a lynch mob. Now the police chief is mad at the union. He has a great quote to get the potential jury pool tainted:
“If you got nothing to hide, give me some urine,” Williams told The Record. “Let’s clear the teachers’ names who are taking care of these babies for six or seven hours a day.”
Everyone refers to people as younger than they are to garner sympathy. Not sure what grades cover elementary school there. I’m sure if they were 10 years old they would still call them babies just like they refer to college football players as kids even though they are adults frequently accused of adult crimes.
In general, this story doesn’t concern me because I don’t have kids and I don’t care how people want to run their school districts (even though I have to pay with my taxes). I have no real experience with unions so I don’t know if this is over the top or not. People get upset to a higher level when something is remotely connected to children. If I was one of the teachers and I wasn’t a druggie, I would take the test just to get the community off my back. If they don’t know who these teachers are yet, they will, and it will not be a nice safe place for them to live.
As a side note, you know people want to legalize drugs right? At some point people are going to be comparing all these drugs to alcohol so everything will be legal. Parents will have to get used to these types of stories.

I was surprised when I heard the story that Michael Sam, University of Missouri football player, officially came out ahead of the 2014 NFL (National Football League) draft.  Two other related stories broke that surprised me even more.  First being that Sam’s father talked to the New York Times about how uncomfortable he was with it and he mentioned how some dead football player would be rolling in his grave having his son in the NFL.  You can read the odd story and he has since tried to back track from these comments.  I assumed that parents would publicly support their kids no matter what especially one that is fairly successful in their chosen field.  If you read or heard about Michael Sam’s siblings, you would know that a couple of them are in prison.  The fact the Michael isn’t should be enough to garner pride.  I don’t even care if he approves or not but why are you talking to the media anyway?
The next surprising story was Texas Sports anchor Dale Hansen’s comments in support of Sam.  Immediately before I saw the video I thought what kind of stale comments could these be considering how conservative Texas is?  If you haven’t seen this, you have to.

Basically, Hansen’s point is that of all the crimes and issues that are forgiven in the NFL, why is it worse to be gay?  He brought up how players can be murders, rapists, domestic batterers and still be accepted freely in the locker room as long as you are not gay.  It is so true and I’m glad someone like him said it in a clear way.  Another brilliant point, the same thing happened when they started letting black players in the league and they eventually were comfortable with that.  The best point he made, which has always confused me is the same people that want government out of their lives want government to legislate what happens in people’s bedrooms.  Apparently, Hanson has gotten much support for his comments so I assume it won’t hurt his career.  Not so sure about Sam though.  Since the story broke, anonymous quotes from NFL general managers have flooded out saying their locker room (or locker rooms in general) is not ready for a gay player.  Also, Sam’s projected draft ranking is dropping because he could be a “distraction” that no one wants to deal with.  There has even been discussion about if dealing with a gay player with less than exceptional talent is even worth drafting at all.  I have no idea how good this guy is since I don’t follow college football.  We all have to wait and see how far he gets through the process of being signed as an NFL player.
Personally, I still don’t know why people are so upset about what gay people do.  If a gay couple gets married it has nothing to do with you or your marriage.  It is not like they are going to outlaw straight marriage to make room for gay ones.  I think if you are for equal rights for one group that should carry over to all discriminated groups.  Shouldn’t Native and African Americans who have the history of being mistreated in this country sympathize and support the LGBT community in their fight for equal rights?  The same people who use the bible to say that gays are evil are the same ones that tried to use it to justify slavery.

I had been hearing these stories about the increase in prostitution relating to the Super Bowl and other large sporting events.  This story talks about a large high-end escort service that packaged hookers and cocaine as a “party pack”.  I think that is genius. The bad thing about this is apparently the women were being imported from Korea.  I don’t have a problem with prostitution unless it is forced.  I suppose you can make the argument that most people don’t want to be hookers but have to because they have no other choice.  Yes, that is probably true as well.  Being kidnapped, fed drugs, and forced to be a hooker is completely wrong.  In general, I would put prostitution in same category as strippers and skanky waitresses (Hooters and those like it).  I find it a bit strange that it takes 11 months to figure out the inner workings of a prostitution ring, although they had to figure out all of their counterfeit businesses and advertising methods.  Eighteen people were arrested.
The best part of this article was the following:
The ring commonly supplied customers with large quantities of drugs to get them impaired, authorities said.  Then the room would be flooded with additional prostitutes, and the customer’s credit cards would be charged, at times upward of $10,000 for one night.
You know the customers can’t complain about being overcharged.  How can you flood a room with prostitutes?  When stories like this come out, I wonder what the other escort services do.  Do they increase advertising or increase the number of hookers they have to cover arrested ones?
I am not really surprised that the Super Bowl would be a high prostitution event.  Don’t people know that wherever there are lots of males in one area there will be more prostitution?  Like sports events, military bases, and universities all over American and probably the world (depending on the country).  I guess if you are spending all that money to go to the game you can spend a little extra on girls and drugs.  In related news, people are talking about it being the 10th anniversary of Janet Jackson accidentally being exposed (for probably a millisecond) in the half time show.  People were so outraged about it at the time. Are people going to be equally outraged about hookers outside the stadiums?
No accompanying picture this week because I had no idea what to show that would relate to this and not be too much.

Weekly Diatribe: Matrix Effects

If you are a non-scientist you are probably thinking of the movie(s) when you read matrix effects. However, to me, it means how one thing is affected by its surroundings. For example, drug companies make drugs to do specific functions. You can imagine all the organic chemistry involved. But they have to also worry about things like matrix effects from all the filler ingredients in the pill you are taking. That’s the best example I can think of at moment.
Anyway, I’m annoyed by matrix effects so much so that I almost didn’t do a Weekly Diatribe this week. So, I decided to do a general one instead.
Effect 1: Weather
It’s cold here in Kansas, although not consistently cold. I believe the high yesterday was 19 degrees F and today it was 47 degrees F. Every day there is a dramatic change in temp. It not only affects me but also the buildings I have to be in. Is it good for me to be in a room that is 68 degrees F, one 78 degrees F, and then going outside at 3 degrees F? How many layers can I wear in a day? Surprisingly, I’m not sick yet but I’m sure it is coming at some point. Don’t forget snow randomly put in there.
Effect 2: People
I’m afraid I can’t control what other say or do. I wouldn’t care as much but sometimes it effects what I can and can’t do. There was a suggestion that I and others may plan an event for Black Month (aka African-American/Black History Month). My workplace does these things so people have something nice to put on their yearly reviews. For some reason companies/institutions like to give the appearance of promoting diversity and equality. So out of our suggestion came an announcement that this will occur meaning I have to do stuff now. I’m disappointed in all that.
Effect 3: TV Networks
People at the moment don’t have much money so that get rid of unimportant things like cable television. I being one of these people have been watching TV online since June, I think. I have found a way to watch most of the things I want one way or another. Recently, networks are putting their online content on a delay or require you to sign-in with cable sign-ins. I don’t mind it too much having the delay because waiting 8 days to watch something to me is not a big deal. I really prefer Netflix to watch several episodes in a row. There is one show I am obsessed with which I don’t think I have written about yet (mental note to do so) called Revenge on ABC. I started watching on Netflix that lead to 5+ hour viewing binges. Now, I am watching online from various sources including ABC. In January, ABC put their shows on an 8 day delay. I was just watching 2 to 3 episodes at a time (commercial free) on Netflix and now I have to wait. It was a difficult transition I was not prepared for. I mostly watch the show on other sites instead of going to ABC. All this searching makes me dislike TV even more. If it was easy maybe I would watch more things on that station’s website. They would allow them to sell me on some of their other programs. If I have the choice between watching the show with or without commercials what do you think I will choose?
Overall, these things determine my outlook on the day and what I feel like doing. There are several news things I could have talked about and had planned to do so but the energy had been removed from me. Being cold is probably the biggest one but there is nothing I can do about that. Adding in that I have to exercise, which can make you warm and takes away energy, I’m just too tired to do the real research my normal news posts require. Hopefully next week there will be something serious for you.

Revenge spinoff

So with all this work I put into improving my diet, it doesn’t help my bank account. I decided to have a fruit and/or vegetable with every meal. However, fruit is more expensive than candy and it also can go bad. Someone should do something about this. I used to go to the grocery store once a month. Now, I have to go at least twice a month. Plus to get the same calories as chips or cookies, I’d have to eat so much more of fruit/vegetables. That just leads to me having to buy more.

It was suggested to me that I substitute healthier versions of food I already eat like romaine lettuce for iceberg or brown for white rice. Brown rice is fine because it costs the same. I plan to completely switch over to brown rice once my big bag of white rice runs out. I had been mixing the 2 so I know I like brown rice as well. But this lettuce thing is a joke. For a while, I could buy romaine and iceberg for the same price although I got a lesser number of salads with the romaine. I tried to convince myself that the extra vitamins/minerals may be worth it. Then, romaine lettuce became more than twice the cost of iceberg. I flat out refuse to buy it now. You want me to spend 2x as much to get half as many salads? Nope.

The worst thing was that yesterday I went to the store and saw pack that contained 2 half pound York Peppermint Patties. I had no idea that existed. I almost bought it at the time but I thought this is too much. So I left the store without. Later that night, I decided to go back the next day to buy it. There were only 2 that I saw left yesterday so I was glad one was still there. This is one of my favorite candies. If I could live solely on Peppermint Patties, Skittles, and water, I would. I’d probably be 1000 lbs though.

I know you don’t believe there are Peppermint Patties that big so I took a picture for you. I put a quarter (American) in the picture so you can see the relative size of it, 8 oz each. It is 13 cm (5 1/8 in) wide and 1.1 cm (3/8 in) thick. A serving size is 1/12 of the package. I guess they wanted to make it difficult for me so I have to figure out I would cut each one into sixths.

8 oz York Peppermint Patty


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