Pole Dancing vs Pole Fitness

Pole Dancing vs Pole Fitness

There’s been this big hullabaloo in the news lately about some school in Canada offering pole dancing classes for kids. I wasn’t going to comment because I thought it was a really silly thing to get worked up about but… a week later and it hasn’t gone away.

I’ve taken pole dancing classes. They are a total blast. So the big question is: Would I put my kids in pole dancing classes?

It depends on the instructor. I could sit here and try and explain it to you, but I really need a visual aid for this one. Watch the video below and I think you’ll understand. The girl in the green outfit could easily teach children. The girl in red should definitely teach adults. They are both insanely flexible and strong as hell. They are both seriously amazing to watch and induce many open mouthed expressions of awe. But they are very different in their styles.

Cirque du Soleil has a professional pole dancing champion on their cast and I saw a Cirque Eloize show that incorporated a pole dancing routine with a man and a woman. You can catch a glimpse of the man’s portion at about 1:08.

What do you think? Is there a difference or is pole dancing just plain dirty? Is the issue what adults project onto it?

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Walled In, Walled Out

Closing In On Me by Heroethic on Flickr

 

Tired today. Of a lot of things for a lot of different reasons.

Physically? That’s easy. Daughter asked to sleep with me last night. This never happens so I allowed it. This never leads to a good night’s rest on my part and I knew that going in and it was no different last night.

I lay there for a while between Daughter and Boyfriend (seriously, I have the lamest nicknames) listening to their generally synchronized but still completely different breathing. Daughter’s was mixed in with a slight whistly wheeze and Boyfriend’s was rougher with an occasional snore. Daughter’s was shorter than Boyfriend’s but they pretty much started and ended at the same time which is impossible for me to understand right now much less explain.

There’s a lot of yawning going on here.

But I’m also tired in a different way.

Why are so many people angry today? Fearful? Depressed? Anxious? Hopeless? The election insanity is not helping, I know. The economic crisis. It just feels like everyone is on the brink– ready to explode. And instead of coming together, reaching out, embracing each other, linking arms, we’re taking sides. Division, division, division. What happened to all the shades of gray?

White people here, Black People there, everyone else over there somewhere. Men here, women there. You “others” just go and hide somewhere so we don’t have to acknowledge your existence and recreate our nice little division system.

Republicans here, Democrats there and the rest of you grow a damn spine and either take a side or shut your mouth because this has nothing to do with you. Conservatives here, Liberals WAY over there, Moderates please see above Republicans/Democrats memo re: “the rest of you”. And by the way, changing your mind is something that no longer exists. It’s called flip-flopping now and it will not be tolerated, respected, or accepted.

United States vs The World. Poor vs Rich. Corporations vs People. My Pockets vs Your Pockets. Progression vs Regression. Spend vs Save. Capitalism vs Socialism. Free Market vs Regulation. Healthy vs Sick. Big government vs Small government. Rent vs Buy. Illegals vs Citizens. Baby vs Fetus. Hetero vs Homo. Stay at Home Mom vs Work Outside Home Mom. Atheism vs Theism. State vs Church. Single Parent vs Married Parent. Slut vs Prude. 1% vs 99%. Planet vs Global Warming. Custodial Parent vs Non-Custodial Parent. Religion vs Science. English vs Math. Candidates vs PACs. Fact vs Opinion. South vs North. East vs West. Blue vs Red. Manning vs Tebow. Blog vs Trolls. Star Wars vs Star Trek. Facebook vs Google+. WordPress vs Blogger. Knit vs Crochet. My Way vs The Highway.

Why are we so eager for a fight? Why are we so ready to jump? Why are we convinced someone/something is surely out to get us?

It is so exhausting but as much as I want to just let it go, the fighting is all around me and I can’t always stop from being caught up because so many times it just goes too far. We can debate but stick to the facts, not your interpretation of them. Contrary to popular belief, reality does not have a liberal bias. We can debate, but refrain from insults. We can debate but please keep your ears open as much as you keep your mouth open.

Every day it gets louder and louder. Everyone is screaming to make this point and that point, to be seen and to be heard. Look at me! Listen to me! Pay attention to me!

When did we forget we’re not animals? Our gut instincts are about as right as often as they’re wrong folks. Why are we listening to them more and more instead of listening to each other? My gut might tell me punching your face would be the most effective way of getting you to shut up but my  mother taught me better than that. Who do I listen to? My gut tells me to blow my paycheck on whatever I want, when I want it but the people I respect tell me to at least save some of it and I’ll be better off in the long-run. Who do I listen to? My gut tells me I should work hard to get ahead and you should do the same for yourself but Mother Teresa taught me the value of working hard to get many of us ahead together. Who do I listen to?

Isolation everywhere. Bickering. Divisiveness. This whole feeling that if you see things one way, you must be crazy/uneducated/immoral/fanatical/classless/lazy/dirty/pathetic/foolish/not human.

We don’t want to accept each others differences, we just want to know what they are so we can somehow gain the upper hand.

Isn’t it interesting how the most hyped movie right now is this thing called The Hunger Games? And the central plot to this wildly popular movie based on a wildly popular book is a bunch of fights to the death? We are drawn to this concept like moths to the flame.

There can be only one.

It’s stifling. It’s confusing. We’re being forced more and more to take narrower and narrower sides.

Am I the only one feeling claustrophobic?

Brain Dump: Recession Edition

Luxury vehicles in Affluent Neighborhood getting their daily hand wash

Something about this recession is bugging me but I’m not exactly sure what it is. I sort of feel like I’m playing with a connect the dots puzzle that’s missing some dots and possibly has some dots in the wrong place. It’s times like these I wish I’d followed my dreams to go into journalism. But, I didn’t.

So, instead of investigative journalism, you’re getting a brain dump of the things that bother me.

Is it just me or is this recession/depression full of stories of the lower and middle classes struggling, losing homes, and jobless? Where are the stories of the rich losing their fortunes?

One of the popular theories of the Great Depression was that inequality was the root cause of the depression. From Wiki: “According to this view, the root cause of the Great Depression was a global over-investment in heavy industry capacity compared to wages and earnings from independent businesses, such as farms. The solution was the government must pump money into consumers’ pockets. That is, it must redistribute purchasing power, maintain the industrial base, but re-inflate prices and wages to force as much of the inflationary increase in purchasing power into consumer spending. The economy was overbuilt, and new factories were not needed. Foster and Catchings recommended[33] federal and state governments start large construction projects, a program followed by Hoover and Roosevelt.”

Companies are sitting on huge piles of cash. I’m not just thinking about Apple and their $76B in cash reserves. Check out this quote from a MarketWatch article: “A MarketWatch and FactSet Research review of second-quarter regulatory filings shows that as of June 30, the overall amount of cash and short-term investments for 24 of the 30 companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average had surged 18% to $256 billion from a year ago.”

I literally live on the borderline of one of the affluent suburbs in Miami. Let me give you some statistics from CityData on the differences:

  • Affluent Neighborhood has 94% of their homes occupied. Miami has 90%. In Affluent Neighborhood, renters make up 34% while in Miami, renters make up 65% of the population.
  • In 2009, the Median Gross Rent in Affluent Neighborhood was $1,388. In Miami, it was $838.
  • In 2009, 35% of households in Affluent Neighborhood had incomes of $100k and up. In Miami, it’s only 7%. As a matter of fact, in Affluent Neighborhood there were 2,616 households with incomes of $200k and up. In Miami, there were 2,661. Miami has more than ten times the number of households in Affluent Neighborhoods.
  • In Miami, 21% of households are run by single parents. Only 7% of households in Affluent Neighborhood are in the same situation.
  • In Affluent Neighborhood, 41% of females 25 years old and up have a Bachelors, Masters, or Doctorate. In Miami, it’s only 12%. To contrast, in Affluent Neighborhood only 37% of males 25 years old and up have a Bachelor, Masters, or Doctorate. In Miami, it’s 12.4%.
  • 43.1% of residents of Affluent Neighborhood speak English at home. In Miami it’s only 25.4%. Not surprising when 59.5% of Miami’s population is Foreign-Born and of those only 41.6% are naturalized citizens. Compare that to only 37.9% of Affluent Neighborhood’s population being Foreign-Born and of those, 64.3% are naturalized citizens.
  • The unemployment rate among males in Affluent Neighborhood averages 7.4% while in Miami it averages 10%.

Ferrari sightings like this one are a daily occurence for me driving through Affluent Neighborhood

In Affluent Neighborhood, one of the most prestigious car dealerships sits a block away from at least two more luxury vehicle dealerships. They’re not suffering. As a matter of fact, they’re expanding to include McLarens in Fall of 2011. You know—the car with a starting price tag of $229,000 for their base model with zero options. In Miami, car lots are mostly abandoned, shuttered, or demolished.  Some have been converted to empty strip malls.

My newspapers are rich with stories of unions being forced to big concessions, libraries possibly being shuttered, programs being slashed or shut down, and huge payouts to local government officials among termination either via layoff, retirement, or being fired for violations not to mention six figure salaries for new hires in the top echelons.

What’s going on?

The Many Reasons Moms Need Google +

This article has come out showing the vast majority of Google +users are young men in some sort of technology-related job. This doesn’t mean Google + isn’t a good site for women. As a matter of fact, I argue that women (especially moms) are the ones really suited to use Google + to its maximum abilities. By the way, before I continue, email me for your invite.

So, why am I making the case for women to join Google + by the truckloads?

Multiple Personalities.

Women are multi-taskers of the highest order, it’s true. And with that ability, comes the tendency to cycle through one persona after another all day long. Google + gives you easy to create Circles and easy ways to manage the content you would like to share.

You can make this as detailed or as simple as you want it, but I have a feeling most of you will love the variety of ways you can mix and match your circles.

Here is a more in-depth way of using Circles that may be of benefit to you.

First of all, no one knows what circle you’ve put them in except you so if you have a twisted sense of humor, feel free to use it when constructing your circles.

Second of all, Google + lets you restrict whether or not the content you post can be re-shared so you can post with confidence.

I have friends of all types. Some of us bonded because we have kids that go/went to school together.  Some of us bonded because of comic books and anime. Some of us bonded because of books. Some of us bonded because of movies. Some of us bonded because we were stuck in an all girls- Catholic high school together for four years. Some of us bonded because we worked together. Some of us bonded because we’re crafty. Some of us bonded because we’re single moms. Some of us bonded because we’re bloggers.

Yes, I can throw everyone into one big Friends circle and call it a day. Or, I can do everyone a favor and streamline my connections, making their Streams much more interesting and relevant.

For example:

I can have the moms from Daughter’s class in one circle, the moms from Eldest’s class in another circle, and the new moms from Baby’s class into another circle. If I have to ask the Moms from Eldest’s class to check if our kids switched PE uniforms, it’s not a problem to type that question up, direct it to that circle, and be done with it. If I need to introduce myself as the Room Mom for Baby’s class, and give them my contact information, I can type that up, restrict it so they can’t re-post it, and dash that off. Meanwhile, the Moms in Daughter’s class might get some pictures I took at a recent school event.

That is a very practical way to use Google + effectively. Add the fact Google + will email those in your circles who have not signed up with Google + yet, and our lives are a bit easier.

You can use Google + to help on a personal level too– reaching out to circles of select individuals who you’re comfortable being open and honest with more than others. You can make sure your family doesn’t get your (ahem) cruder posts. You can geek out with my fellow comic book lovers about Avengers movie teasers.

When you filter your content this way, you won’t be cluttering Streams needlessly. It makes for efficient browsing and gives your items a much better chance of actually being spotted and responded to which is the whole point of Social Networking.

This is why circles are my favorite feature for Google +. I also find the Sparks very interesting and can’t wait to get a smartphone this year so I can take Google + mobile and really have a ball with it. But of course, there’s one more important factor for me that gives Google + the edge over Facebook.

It’s Google. It’s not just that there’s a seamless integration with Google searches, your Reader, YouTube, and so much more; there’s the perception of the company itself. I believe I am more secure and that my interests are more important to a company like Google who has shown they care about ethics even as they manage to be an extremely successful corporation.

Facebook? It was founded by an Ivy League kid with a chip on its shoulder who has betrayed his users’ confidence time and again in favor of a bigger buck. Does it have fun features? Yes. Is it easy to use? Yes. Can it all be replicated? Yes. Can it be improved upon? Yes.

I have always been a bucker of trends. I have always rooted for an underdog. Maybe it’s not a good sign for the future of Google + that I am coming out as such a strong advocate for it.

But, I’m doing so because I really believe there is something here that is not only useful, but fun and helpful as well. I do believe that Google + is taking the best of the social networking worlds and bringing them together in a marvelous way. Note this is article has mostly focused on why Google + may be a better option for grown-ups than Facebook; I haven’t even touched on Twitter.

Feel free to drop in on me on Google +, and don’t hesitate to contact me if you need some help getting on at all or even just getting invited. I don’t think there’s any reason to be wary of a new social networking site. Technology moves insanely quickly and gets easier to adapt to every day.

Of course, there are bugs and kinks. My account, for instance, risks the chance of being suspended because I write anonymously (something I’ve been debating relinquishing and will possibly write about soon). Google + wants “real” names. I’m hoping I’ll be alright. The way Google is handling this in a very open manner is the kind of thing that makes me happy to be in their hands.

What about you? Are you venturing towards a brave new world today?

Reminder: They’re Human Beings Too

Charity
“Charity” by CJMellows on Flickr

On a recent post, “Politicians as Playground Bullies”, Lane from InMintCondition wrote:

“Well put! It’s petty politics like this that make me want to move out of the US of A. I’m more than happy to pay my fair share in taxes and I’m way under the $250k threshold. I got pissed recently when a family member tried to tell me all the ways to “trick” Uncle Sam so I can pay less taxes. Sigh.”

There’s an overwhelming, and alarming, rise of “What’s mine is mine, what’s yours is yours, and you better keep your hands to yourself—or else.”

For instance, the current birth control issue.

The Institute of Medicine, an independent and non-profit organization, issued a report with several recommendations regarding women’s health and the new health care law. The most controversial recommendation?

Free contraceptives, sterilizations, and reproductive education for all.

This recommendation was based on these and other findings (quotes from the CNN article):

“A national survey found that an estimated 49% of all pregnancies in the United States were unintended in 2001. And women who have unintended pregnancies are more likely to have little or no prenatal care, and engage in risky behaviors such as smoking, drinking or experience domestic violence.”

Personal aside here: I work with the staff of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the largest hospital in my insanely huge and metropolitan county. I see, and hear, the effects of this on a daily basis. It is horrible what these infants suffer and heartbreaking how survival can often mean a shorter life filled with debilitating hardships.

But, that’s not all.

“Birth control can also help women space time between births. Short periods between pregnancies have been associated with increased risk of higher mortality for children under age 5, low birth weight, preterm births, stillbirths, miscarriages, and maternal death.”

Again, something I am learning about thanks to my job. Rapid-fire births are dangerous!

Wait, there’s more.

“The direct medical cost of unintended pregnancy in the United States was estimated to be nearly $5 billion in 2002. The cost savings due to contraceptive use in that same year was estimated to be $19.3 billion.”

Hey, look at that! Money! I could’ve sworn I’d read somewhere we were looking to save money…

But then, well, then I read the comments. Comments like:

“I have absolutely no problem with birth control, abortions, etc.  I do however have a problem paying for it out of my pocket.  I feel it wrong for my personal dollars funding the mistakes made by women that cannot keep their legs closed. This article is not talking about women that are victims of rape. This is MY money being used for the education, medication, and late action when women make a decision to lay down with a man and then want someone else to deal with their problems. Sorry” – DaleNC

Why should I pay for everyone else’s needs??” – vcz1928

Sure why not. I feel good that my hard earn taxes goes to promote slutdome through out our country. I mean after all, being a skanke is a right that should be paid for by all. I think these people on this board needed to be aborted.” – momomiester

that welfare garbage won’t use bc, they’re too uneducated to know any better. Free bc, free abortions, free anything is ignored by these leeches. Look how they won’t even use their free education.” – CNNdistorts

“its amazing the bull that comes out of washington, first off, most hispanic, middle easterners, and people from africa dont believe in birth control, so that basically leaves poor white trash, promiscouis teenagers, its not the insurance companies responsibility, all the will do is hike up the premiums i live in California our insurances cost us over $800 a month i had to cance my name from the policy just to bring it down to little over $500 gov should worry about other things… “ – soyo

I know when you sit and enter your comments, you’re typing into a little box. I know there’s no actual person sitting in front of you that you are speaking to. I get that this emboldens you.

However.

This level of nastiness is uncalled for. And more than that, this level of self-interest is heartbreaking.

I can’t help but imagine the people who pinch their pockets and bemoan about how unfair it is for their money to provide services for other people (who apparently all happen to be moronic and degenerate) must never in their lives have gone through a tragedy. They must have never experienced the power of a community that surges together to help strangers the way those of us who lived in South Florida during August 1992 did when Hurricane Andrew shook us to the core.

The creatures the commentators refer to—whether they be “welfare garbage” or “poor white trash” or “hispanic, middle easterners, and people from Africa” or even (God bless them) “skankes” are, you know, people.

They’re Human Beings.

Why do we insist on stripping each other of this?

Humans have always been tribal creatures. We have survived and come so far because we have it in us to look out for each other.

Where have we gone wrong?

It seems we fear terms, labels, and catchphrases more than we trust our guts. We look more to others who are louder and flashier than to ourselves for guidance.

My grandparents and my parents were immigrants. They have worked so hard not just to meet our needs but to get us to levels above fundamentals.

My maternal grandfather worked about three to four different jobs at any given time. He also freely gave money to those who needed it.

He never refused anyone who came to his printing company looking for water and often took them to lunch too. His printing being in a rough part of Downtown, this was an almost daily practice.

He never raised the rent on the tenants of the properties he owned because he was concerned of the burden it would place on the elderly and the young families.

When he passed away, he did not leave my grandmother penniless or in debt. He left her just enough for her to continue living the life they’d lived together for 52 years. He successfully took care of his own and others.

My grandfather was an Atheist. He wasn’t doing this because a Church told him to. He wasn’t doing this because it’s what God would’ve wanted or because it’s what Jesus would do.

My grandfather didn’t do any of this because of any political belief or affiliation—he abandoned hope that a government would do the right thing when he abandoned Cuba and buried it when Kennedy abandoned the Bay of Pigs.

My grandfather was not upper-class and privileged. He was uneducated, dropping out of school in the sixth grade to support his family as his father swindled away any earnings by gambling and womanizing. He had to work hard so he, his five siblings, and his mother would not have to be evicted from house after house because the money had been thrown away.

My grandfather did the things he did without doubt or hesitation because he knew in his gut it was the right thing to do.

I do too.

I understand there is a lot of mistrust in our government being able to manage anything effectively. It’s an argument with a lot of convincing evidence.

However, hateful assumptions and stereotypical characterizations of the recipients of some of our government’s services are not evidence.

We all have access to at least some government services. We have access to postage services, police services, fire services, military services, disaster relief services, and educational services to name a few.

Arguing the quality of these is not the point. Arguing the extent to which they are used is also not the point.

They are paid for by us and are available to you should you choose to use them.

More importantly, they are paid for and available to you should something happen that strips away your choice to not use them.

No one becomes a success alone. It may feel lonely at times, but no one is truly alone on the path to success. Your success has a lot to do with you, yes. But, your success also has to do with others.

The opposite is also true.

No one becomes a failure alone. Your failures have a lot to do with you, yes. But your failure also has to do with others.

I place my vote of confidence in my fellow man and woman. I want to succeed. I want you to succeed. I want us to succeed.

I want to do whatever it takes, not to get this country back to basics because that implies a regression, but to elevate this country to its next stage—one of inclusion instead of exclusion. I wish you’d join me because then we’d have a much greater chance of succeeding together.

Politicians as Playground Bullies

Rock'em Sock'em Robots
“Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots” by Profound Whatever on Flickr

I’ve been reading a lot lately and I’ve been reading a lot of different things. I think I need to pull the plug on the news though because it’s really getting me down.

I know I’ve blogged about it before, but I can’t stand it when our government acts like a bunch of playground bullies and brats. They’re adults. They were chosen by adults. We expect them to behave like adults.

They don’t.

They have the meanest cliques, the cruelest words, the harshest punishments, the most illogical rationalizations, the stoniest silences, and the coldest stares. I cannot understand it. Nor can I stand it.

Furthermore, I’m absolutely shocked at the swell of support our leaders are getting from “the people” to behave in such idiotic fashion. Have we no shame? What are people thinking cheering, supporting, and encouraging these ridiculous hard-line, bullying stances? Why is this nation so hell-bent on steering our ship in one direction, or the complete opposite, but never down a calm and steady middle path?

It’s bad enough there’s a playground fight erupting between a bunch of meanies cheered and egged on by extremely pushy and loud observers, but to add complete chaos to the process you have a relentless media spotlighting and magnifying every single second of disgusting behavior.

I find it completely nauseating.

To my fellow Americans—leaders, followers, rebels, and everything in between:

We got ourselves into a shit-storm and we did it together. There is not one single exclusive reason we are in this mess. Yes, the government spent too much money—on Republican-sponsored wars and Democratic-sponsored programs and a bit of ridiculousness from both sides of the aisles. Republicans and Democrats and Others all played various roles across all spectrums in the housing debacle. Now, it’s time to buck up and begin that long, arduous path many of us are familiar with—getting out of debt.

Now, I know for a fact that in the case of every single person who has successfully dug themselves out of debt, there was a master plan that relied on two heavy-hitters: Expenses vs. Income.

Oh yes, we need to slash spending. Get over it. All of us with our debt loads know what this is like—that painful stripping and stripping and stripping. But we do it. And our government has to do it. And we need to deal with the ramifications of that because it’s going to hurt like heck. Many of us are feeling the squeeze and it’s going to get tighter.

However, stripping and cutting isn’t the only thing a person determined to achieve the status of debt-free does, is it? Nope. We bring in the money. We have garage sales, e-bay auctions, and craigslist listings. We do little jobs here and there. We ask for raises. We look for better jobs. We look for extra jobs. We hustle to bring in that money.

When it comes to the government bringing in money, it means collecting taxes. Get over it. And I am simply tired, exhausted, irritated with the ridiculous chanting of misinformation. The tax hikes being brought to the table affect families making over $250k a year. Considering the slashes in spending mostly affect programs in place to aid families who make well under that, it’s sensible to balance the scales in this fashion.

Ah, but there’s the problem. Sensible.

sen·si·ble/ˈsensəbəl/Adjective

1. (of a statement or course of action) Chosen in accordance with wisdom or prudence; likely to be of benefit: “a sensible diet”.

Not much happening in, around, or about Washington D.C. is wise or prudent and it is all likely to be of detriment instead.

This cannot continue. And I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but it appears it must be us, the American people, to show our government representatives true leadership skills.

We must calm down. We must remove inflammatory language. We must soften our stances. We must back away from our painted corners. We must remove the boxing gloves. We must shy away from absolutes. We must erase lines in the sand. We must never say never.

The debt ceiling is a big issue, yes. It has many ramifications. But the bigger issue is the complete lack of decency, professional respect, common sense, and willingness to compromise that is ravaging our nation.

There needs to be a call to action in this country, but it has to be for decorum first, reform second.

Linksplosion

It’s been one of those weeks where it’s been hard to put together many thoughts and most of my good ones have been going towards work-related things. So I’m going to throw links at you. Some of them are old. Some of them are new. But all of them are things I’ve been reading.

Most of you know how I feel about princesses. So it’s likely not a surprise how much I love Dina Goldstein’s Fallen Princesses series.

This Washington Post article about how the rich are pulling away from the rest of America in ridiculous gaps is the type of thing that drives me wild given the current debacle in Washington and a certain party clinging desperately to tax breaks for these greedy bastards.

On a happier and geekier note, Slate has discovered how wonderful Ravelry is and what makes it the wonder child of social networking sites. If you knit or crochet, it’s the place to be!

The New York Times talks about how being divorced is just so uncool with all of the rich folks. A lot of people blogged about this. I wanted to but couldn’t put the pieces together. Something about this piece just drives me nuts. Mostly that someone is so concerned with how her former rich friends think of her as a failure because she ditched her loser husband. Maybe.

I have a love hate relationship with fashion. Simply put, I love fashion but I hate the images fashion puts forward as “ideal”. And I hate that we eat it up. I also hate when they do ridiculous half-hearted attempts to embrace different physiques. So, when Vogue Italia came out with this absolutely mind-blowing, breathtakingly stunning photo spread celebrating curvy women I freaked out in a great way. This spread proves that curvy women are not just nice, they’re damn right desirable. Not one matchstick waif could look half as delicious as these women. The fashion world needs to move more in this direction. It works. The Italians proved it.

The blog at How Stuff Works did a tiny little post on the history of delivery rooms and dads. Personally? I hate them in there. I’m a believer in boundaries to certain degrees. This is one I’m all for.

Just when I gave up on gardens, I saw this TED talk by Jonathan Drori on the beautiful tricks of flowers. I love how evil and scheming they are and am totally committed to surrounding myself with the tricky boogers. By the way, if you’re looking to captivate a lover, these flowers might school you.

Ben Venom creates amazing Heavy Metal themed quilts. You think maybe things like Slayer and cotton batting can’t co-exist but they do. In a seriously amazing awe-inducing way.

I dream about this chicken recipe. Why I don’t actually do something about it and make it is beyond me.

Science vs. Homophobia. Genius.

In the latest wave of evidence women are superior to men (hee, hee) a study has found that articles written by women get shared online more than men.

You know the Debt Ceiling debacle (the most recent example of our moronic government representatives)? This Op piece at CNN points out one of the main issues I have with everything going on.

It being birthday season, summer, at my house I very much appreciated Donna Freedman’s recent MSN Money article on all of the freebies you can get for being born!

LZ Granderson is currently my favorite columnist. The post on why he’s raising his son as a nerd is the one that won me over. But since then, he’s been putting out lots of great stuff.

As a matter of fact, after reading this column of his on bratty kids and the parents who permit them, I wonder what he’d have to say about this (stupid) article on things you should never say to your child. Because I found the nine forbidden things to be completely unrealistic. And the reasons given for not saying them just smacked of overly protective and sensitive parents. Toughen the hell up.

I just realized I don’t have any blog posts linked to. Which sucks because there’s lots of good blog stuff out there. I’m just not in the habit of bookmarking it yet. Will try harder!