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Friday, October 26, 2007

Dumbldore is gay... and some people are just assholes

Perhaps it was intentionally not "big news", but I mostly only caught that Harry Potter author JK Rowling announced that Hogwarts headmaster Professor Albus Dumbledore was gay by chance listen on the news. I was shocked at the announcement, but frankly, after reading Deathly Hallows, who is really shocked about the fact??? For real. As a young wizard he totally had a boy-love relationship with Grindelwald. My only disappointment is that there wasn't a better hint. No need to explicitly state it, as it really had no bearing on the story, but I had a feeling and it would have been cool to have just a tiny hint more to make a better educated guess. But so fargin what? I still found the book amazing and will forever be happy I was pushed into reading the series. Bravo JK.

The second after I heard the news, I knew for a fact that the ignorant masses that are homophobes would freak out about it. Boy did they. I'm looking right now at the comments section to a posted article at The Leaky Cauldron where I see lots of support, but lots of ignorance and homophobia.

To bring things closer to home... I have played the Harry Potter Trading Card Game for years. Actually, I've had it for years, but rarely play. It's a fun game though. I joined a Yahoo! group for players of it and have gotten some info and advice from the list. It's a low traffic group, but still served its purpose. This morning however, the original creator of the group sent this final message to the group:

Due to Rowling's decision to turn HP into a series for homosexual
propaganda, making the series unsafe for children, this group is being
shut down.
Um, you asshole! I realize she created the group, but in the real world, if a group thrives even without the direction of the creator of the group, who is the creator to destroy it? Especially since the server is was supported by was not hers.

In any event, I was shocked to see such an abrupt message and that when I went to check if the group was still there, it was already gone, so she really did kill it off quickly. I'm honestly guessing she wanted to hurt it by making sure we couldn't easily get the member list so if a new group would be created, the previous members could be directly invited. So I responded to her in a not nice way - screw it, homophobes are not deserving of respect when they do something specifically to make negative issue of homosexuals - and then wrote to one of the group members who is much a group leader. Another person already started a new one and he was added as a co-owner (a good idea BTW, in case someone flips out - I got booted off the LG-V6000 group because I made a comment about the group creator making some religious comments) so he invited me.

I was in the car going out to lunch with my mom a few years ago, possibly even 6 or so. She had the radio on a Christian talk show. They happened to be talking about how evil Harry Potter books were and how kids should not be allowed to read them; they should be removed from school, and all that stuff. I asked what my mom felt about it (being an evangelical xian) and she didn't really have an opinion. I don't recall too much more, other than stating the positive the books have done even to get more kids reading (statistically debatable from what I've heard) and questioning if she had a problem with The Lord of the Rings -something she knew I had had interest in strongly for a very long time. She hadn't formed an opinion. As of last year, I'm certain her opinion was aligned with the rest of the religious zealots. It's a shame. She even talked my dad out of wanting to see Order of the Phoenix at the drive in. Eh, what can I say. The point is, the wingnut fervor died down for a while, or at least wimpered, and now they are at it again - and it has hit my inbox yet again.

So yeah, Dumbledore is gay. It's cool, and it's not... it just is. Being an asshole is a choice, however.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Short winded power

I hate the blogger doesn't have a trackback feature. Gr.
Anyway, just ran into this ditty:
Windbelt, Cheap Generator Alternative, Set to Power Third World

This is kick ass. Of course they don't tell us how to make the low wind generator. What annoys me though is that all these ideas are always "for third world countries"... um, hello? We can all use renewable energy sources. How about making it cheap and easy on the home front (assuming "home front" means the US to you as well). My porch gets all kinds of winds that would make a few of these babies rock (or hum I suppose), so since I live in a developed country where a bunch of eejits drive Hummers, I'm not targeted for energy saving options. I want off the grid.

One day, when I have a mouse with a workshop, I swear, I'll put all this info to use.

I followed a link by a commenter on the above page and viola, an idea I came up with independently a couple years ago... well, very similar.
Micro Wind Turbines
My actual ideas revolved more around the idea of having a bunch of pinwheels. I think that's what they're called, I'm too lazy to look it up. Basically small light aluminum or paper wheels on sticks that kids blow into or let the wind blow into to spin. I wall of those on my porch would look kinda neat and likely not sound any more disturbing to neighbors than the wind chimes on others' porches.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Cough cough cough

Burlington city counselor Ed Adrian has proposed that Burlington's Church Street Marketplace be smoke free. This is something that for years I've been hoping someone would do. Yeah, I guess I should be someone who tried to get this going, but not being a politician and having to earn a living get in the way of all the social causes I would like to get into.

Anyway, I was going to let the issue rest in the hands of the counsel and others who could make it to open meetings, but then my local list had people who were actually sticking up for smokers violating our lung freely downtown. I couldn't resist... had to write to the list:

If I had a spray bottle with arsenic in it and I sprayed people with it downtown, I'd be arrested. If I spit on someone, I'd possibly be arrested. If I hit someone, I'd be arrested. So why is it that a smoker's right to put their poisonous cloud into my lungs is so often defended by smokers and non-smokers alike? Does seriously believe that people who smoke around others are not doing harm? Still?

I'm also sick of the "the government is always trying to protect us from ourselves" argument. That's shortsighted at best. How about protecting children from you? We're at the point of arresting child predators just moments after the [thought] crosses their mind to offend, but a smoker can directly pollute every child's lungs around them with impunity.
And step a few feet away from the smokers? Why? I suppose if you can't move away from my fist fast enough then it's your own fault if you get hurt, right?

Just Church St.?!?! Be happy it's not being pushed all over the outdoors. When I go running on the *bike path* - you know, sort of an epitome of where to try to be healthy - there are people smoking. Nothing like the smoke and related chemicals burning my lungs when I'm gasping for air as it is, or having to hold my breath til I nearly lose it.

We've had no less than two smokers living in our apartment building whose smoke and odor seeped into our entire apartment.

I have never smoked in my life, but I grew up with smokers around me, so I believe I'm paying much the same price with my own respiratory problems.

No, sympathy for smoker's rights just doesn't make any sense when it amounts to allowing them to choose to poison others.

I believe that smokers are specifically committing acts of assault on others when their smoke interferes with them in any way.

So, as I always do, I write a long winded response to issues that matter to me. And now it's here.
I decided to not attack the same counselor on his intent to support lowering the drinking age at UVM to 18. How friggin stupid is that? For another time.