Save Douglass College

Well it’s finally happened. Rutgers is seriously talking about elliminating Douglass College as we know it. It’s my alma mater and the largest public women’s college. Of course there are people who say that there’s no need for an all-women’s college in this day and age. Or ask that once you graduate you have to work with men, so how is being educated in that setting a good thing?

Well, I firmly believe that because I went to Douglass I’m a stronger woman and better employee because of it. And there is still a need to have a women’s college, even today. Why? Well I can just take a stroll around the engineering department in the company I work for, I can count on one hand the number of women I bump into. And if you read the Transforming Rutgers report you’ll see that the percentage of women in the engineering school is appalling, but that doesn’t take into account the number of women at Douglass. We have to create environments where women know that they’ll have the support that they need to succeed in traditionally male programs.

Some of the same reasons that you need women’s colleges are the same reasons that BlogHer came into existence. The things that concern women are not being addressed in traditional settings. We get told to work within the system, but sometimes that just doesn’t work. You have to go off, get together, and do what you want/need to get done. It’s not something that’s going to get resolved anytime soon.

Save Douglass College


Canadian Trial Lawyer Looks to Gag Everyone, Even Bloggers

Peter Ritchie, defense lawyer for Robert Pickton, has asked the Crown to prohibit any court spectators from talking about what they see and hear at the trial-not just reporters. If you are not aware of the Pickton trial, Robert Pickton is accused of killing 29 women who were prostitutes on the roughest streets of Vancouver, Canada. Court TV has an excellent summary of the Pickton case that explains why this trial is so important to so many families, and not just the families of the women he is accused of killing.

So what does this trial have to do with blogging you might ask? Well I’m guessing that Mr. Ritchie is asking for this unusually strict request because foreign (American) bloggers will be hard to keep quiet. A fact that has recently been highlighted in the Adscam trial. You see, in Canada you can have a complete media blackout on courtroom proceedings during a criminal trial; we’ll have none of the Michael Jackson brew-ha-ha reenactment. But it’s hard to stop a courtroom spectator from talking to a friend across the border, who then happens to post it on his blog. Who do you go after at that point? The spectator? He might not have known his friend was going to blog about it? The blogger? He was not in the courtroom, his servers are in the US and so is he – a conundrum indeed.

This situation raises a good question: What happens in a society that traditionally was able to uphold laws because only a select few had the capabilities of breaking those laws? We’ve seen something similar with copyright laws. Media today is owned by a handful of corporations. It is harder for one of their reporters to violate a gag order since head office doesn’t want to deal with the negative pr and legal headaches that go with it. If an individual who is not part of the traditional media hierarchy violates a gag order, there isn’t a managing editor or a team of lawyers ganging up against him and prohibiting the publishing of his report. Now add international borders into the mix. If a company wants to continue having their reporters let into Canada, they’re not going to violate any Canadian gag laws. If a blogger is afraid he’ll get arrested the moment he steps into Canada, then he just won’t ever go there;It’s up to the individual. Big difference, right?

So how do you control what people do when you no longer can enforce the laws? You don’t. You control the flow of information at the source. Ah, just like we’re seeing the music companies trying to do. And that’s what Mr. Ritchie is asking the Crown to do. The request is not completely unprecedented in Canada.

I have to say that I have a tainted opinion of this case. I was living in Vancouver when charges were first laid against him, and searched on the web to see just how hard it was to find the evidence that was presented. (Because I’m not a citizen there’s no chance of me being called to sit on the jury.) It took some digging, and I was able to find one article that talked about what was presented. And because of what I read, I have an opinion that, for me, will be hard to change. So imagine if your entire jury pool has an opinion already formed. The defendant probably won’t get the fairest trial.

Why should we care if people find out what’s being presented? You say if they have evidence that he’s probably guilty? Everyone is entitled to a fair trial. If the evidence becomes public, the jury pool is tainted. And what happens if he is guilty, and because information was leaked it gives the defense grounds for a mistrial? You get a sticky situation where you have a serial killer set free. Not a real win for any lawyer. I guess Mr. Ritchie doesn’t want to win on a flimsy technicality, and rightly so. However, if you think everyone can easily hold divergent thoughts in their minds at the same time, you have more confidence in the human race than I do.


New Mount Hamilton Highway?

I don’t like the idea of this. The California State Senate earmarked money to study if a new highway over Mount Hamiltonshould be constructed.

For me it’s a no brainer. There should not be one. The light pollution will most likely make the Lick Observatory obsolete. It’s an incredibly beautiful area that’s amazingly undeveloped while being so close the valley.

If you’re in the area, brave the twist and turns of a drive up Mount Hamiltion one sunny day to see what I’m talking about.


Sexy Condi

Only Americans would think that Condoleezza Rice’s “transformation” equals sexiness. Watching Good Morning Americathis morning, I hear them refer that the long coat and knee high boots she wore to Wiesbaden Airforce baseas a “dominatrix, Matrix” ensemble. Yes I know this is old news, but I never got around to commenting on it. Anyway, she was covered from neck to toe except for her knees. When did wrinkly knees become sexy? And they showed other photos of her dressed in a ball gown with a wrap. Again totally covered. Yet it’s sexy?

Then they interview a Washington “insider” who said, “Who knew pretty was powerful?” Hasn’t she heard the adage “sex is powerful”? And that’s what this all comes down to. Condi has decided that she’s not going to be the dowdy old maid that blends into the background. She going out into the world and leveraging one of the things that gives her an advantage as a woman. I wouldn’t go as far as calling her sexy, but I would say she’s looks good.

She’s now the Secretary of State and needs to put her best foot forward when entering a room. And any woman can tell you that you’re first judged by how you look and then by what you say.


Are Y’all Yeller?

Terror Alert Level

So another wonderful holiday is coming up where children can be carefree, Summer. But wait, we don’t want you to be too carefree now would we? So we’ll just announce that there’s a terror threat. It’s just that like every over protective parent, we want you to be safe.

No, that’s not it. We want to protect us and our friends who hate it when protesters show up at our nice little get-togethers, like the G8 party we’re throwing in Sea Island, Georgia.

You’re probably thinking that I’ve gone off the deepend here with another conspiracy theory. Well, I haven’t. You see by stating that there’s a eminent threat of a terror attack this summer, they have now given the governor of Georgia a valid excuse for having declared on May 7 a State of Emergency starting Monday through the time of the G8 Summit. And as it happens, just last week the town on the mainlaid that nearest to Sea Island, Brunswick, passed a little law making it legal for the police to terminate protests for any reason when there’s a State of Emergency in Georgia. Well, isn’t that just dandy!

According to this article,
“Melton said the governor did not know that Brunswick planned to amend its law to allow for suspension of protest rights under a state of emergency. And Brunswick Mayor Brad Brown said he didn’t know the governor had already declared a state of emergency until after the city adopted the legal change.”
However, since Georgia declared a State of Emergency when the Olympics were held there it is no surprise that they would call another one during the G8. Oh and Gov. Purdue is the first Republican to hold that office since Reconstruction. So, he probably wants to be in the good books with the party and the President. With this in mind, you can interpret their actions only as collusion to keep protesters away from the Summit.

The area of Sea Island has close ties with the Bush family. Ma and Pa Bush honeymooned at this island/private resort and return often. The resort hosts the Walker golf tournament, which is named after Bush’s grandfather, George Herbert Walker. Even Sea Island’s CEO admits they have ties to the President. Georgia Trend Magzine quotes the reasons as to why they were picked as the venue, “That includes security, it includes the fact that we have a Republican governor, we have military bases nearby and we have a reputation for service. When you put all that together, I believe we were their No. 1 choice and they recommended us to the President. The President probably got some input from his father, though I have no reason to know [whether] that happened. I like to believe that [the former] President Bush would have been supportive.”

So everyone is scratching each other’s back on this event. Not surprising, but in the end the little guy loses out yet again resulting in a potential ban of protesters who are looking out for the little guy. But why are they all so afraid of the little guy?

I’m not holding my breath that the ACLU will have any luck getting the law changed. Everyone best be on their best behavior there, because there is a chance that what happened in Seattle will happen again.

So just remember that the terror level is set at yeller.


Shrek the Hermit Sheep Shorn

After 6 years living at 1500m in the wilds of New Zealand’s mountains, Shrek the Hermit Sheep has come home only to be robbed of his 27 kg fleece he worked so hard to grow.

thumb.fot10704281447.new_zealand_sheep_fot107.jpgIf you haven’t heard, in the land where sheep outnumber people by 10 to 1, it’s big news when a fugitive sheep has been caught. Named after the patron saint of big ugly things, Shrek the merino sheep was shorn live on national television. How embarassing for poor Shrek. He could hardly stand after losing 27kg worth of wool in under 20 minutes!

What’s great is that the owner is auctioning Shrek’s wool for a kids’ charity. Although unless you know how to spin it into yarn, I don’t know what you’d do with it. And they’re auctioning some one-of-a-kind red jackets. Sir Edmund Hillary and the director of Shrek 2, a kiwi, have been giving the same jackets.

Hmm…so Shrek the sheep was found and shorn less than a month before the release of Shrek 2. A publicity stunt? A way to tie Shrek to New Zealand’s LOTR film success. My conspiracy senses are tingling. 😉

Shrek getting shorn. Don’t worry, he’s not dead.

Link to AP News story


Don’t Open Attachments!

I nearly fell victim to another virus. See I got a nice little email from what looked like my hosting company. I have been having trouble with my email, so I thought they were trying to fix it. But luckily I didn’t open the attachment, unzip it and type in the password that’s in the email. But obviously people out there are. How do I know you may ask? Every 10 minutes, there’s another email from someone I don’t know with the zipfile.
Why people why?

Now what’s funny is that the message along with the file is getting more and more rediculous.

“I won’t bite” – yeah right.

“For your eyes only. Just use this password:” – ooooo someone must have sent it to me accidentally, I wonder if it’s secret, ooo let me see….puh-leeze!

“M~^^^mmmwm” – They’re not even trying now.

Perhaps MS has to implement something that asks “Are you really, really sure you know who this email is from before I open the attachment? Because you will lose everything on your computer if you don’t. Yes/No?” Then they should ask it about 5 times just so that I don’t wind up getting a sick computer.