Saturday, October 31, 2009

Catspiracy Caturday: Alternative Energy Edition




The Catspiracy is getting bolder. An evil minion broke into my house yesterday.

Sneaky Minion

Either they have learned how to manipulate Space-Time so they can transport instantly to any point in the universe at will, or I left the back door open.

It was open when I checked later but that could have been from them trying to cover their tracks.

I had to save myself by distracting the minion with a bowl of milk.

Minion and Milk

The minion appeared as I was writing up my post on Alternative Energy so they were obviously trying to force me to adopt another form of Alternative Energy: Evil Minion Heating.

The Evil Minion showed me how by having a Minion plunder your lap you can stay comfortable with the heat lowered by several degrees.

Evil Minion Heating.

With an Evil Minion on your lap you will feel comfortable with your thermostat a few degrees colder in the winter. It is estimated that for every degree Fahrenheit you lower your thermostat you can save up to 5% on your heating bills.

So during the winter Evil Minion Heating is quite a powerful source of Alternative Energy.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fantastic Future Friday: Geo-Thermal



This is the fourth part of my three part series (It’s a Douglas Adams type thing) on Alternative Energy.

Residential and Commercial Geo-Thermal Heating and Cooling:


Way Ahead of Humans in the use of Geo-Thermal Cooling

Last Friday I talked about using solar heating for hot water generation and heating a home in the winter. A big use of power is the opposite, cooling a home during the summer months.

The simplest Alternative to the big compression Air Conditioners is right underneath our feet, Geo-Thermal.

The basic idea behind Geo-Thermal hvac (Heating and Air Conditioning) is that the Earth between 10 and 40 feet underground stays at a constant temperature between 50 to 73 degrees in most parts of the world.

In the summer months it’s much easier to cool air that is that temperature to the standard 68 degrees than the outside air that is in the mid 80s to 100 degrees.

Geo-Thermal Air Conditioning also has the advantage that it has few or no moving parts so once it is installed it’s easy to maintain.

The simplest Geo-Thermal Air Conditioning system is so simple that prairie dogs have been using it for 1,000s of years. Since humans like to use fancy names when it is installed in a home it is called an Earth-Air Heat Exchanger.

The only components to this system are a tube between 4” and 24” buried 10 foot underground. It is open to the outside air at one end and either attaches to an existing central air unit, or uses a solar chimney to draw the air up into the home.

The only draw back to these systems is when the moist warm air is drawn into the tube and cooled down the moisture condenses and can cause mold. So the air needs to be heavily filtered. In some places the humidity isn’t high enough to cause this problem (lucky bastards) and the increased amount of fresh air in the home actually decreases indoor mold and mildew. In other areas with high humidity and a high water table (harder to drain the water) it is the biggest consideration in the system.

A more complex system is to use pipes buried 10 foot underground filled with saltwater and pumped into pipes in the house where fans blow across them to provide cool air for the home. This is good for the people in high humidity areas as they don’t have to worry about the mold.

The most complex system is one that uses existing heat pump (regular AC) technology, but instead of using the outside air to either pump out the excess heat in the summer or the cold in the winter it uses the water that has been pumped underground to heat or cool the unit.

The energy and cost savings from these units are phenomenal, a simple Earth-Air Heat Exchanger can pay for itself in the first summer it is used (depending on the climate).

As I talked about in my last post of this series anything that reduces peak power demands for electric utilities means they can build smaller more efficient power plants. If new homes are built to take advantage of Geo-Thermal heating and air conditioning, and existing homes get systems installed, it takes the load off the power plants during the high temperature days when they are taxed the most.

Besides the cost and energy savings that small-scale solar bring to residential customers, the flexibility it brings to the power grid can’t be understated. By decreasing the demand on the existing power grid it frees up city planners to look at other considerations like quality of living and better access to parks and recreations, instead of having the number one priority be how do we get power to theses people?

Having our homes less dependent on the existing power grid will lead to a Fantastic Future.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Number 1 on the Runway


Yesterday NASA launched the Ares 1X test rocket, with spectacular results. As I saw it on the launch pad with the Space Shuttle on NASA’s other launch pad I was reminded of the old NASA quote that goes back to the Mercury Missions, “You’re Number One on the Runway”.

At the time that quote was a joke as obviously there were no other spacecraft ahead of them waiting to take-off.

It’s not so much of a joke anymore with two Spacecraft waiting to take-off (even if the launches are weeks apart).

With the Ares 1X successful test, and SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket moving along, in a few years we could see Cape Kennedy nearly always having two rockets waiting to launch, opening up great opportunities for the human presence in Low Earth Orbit.

Space Station Missions will become much simpler when they know the next flight is only days away instead of the current system of having to plan everything with the expectation that if something goes wrong the next flight might be months away.

If the Ares 1 and the Falcon 9 turn out to be even as reliable as the Space Shuttle, not a hard goal, America can start making real plans to use space.

By having 2 separate craft doing missions to space, the odds of continuous missions are exponentially improved. If they both had a 1 in 10 chance of a mission scrub that took them out of commission for months that would mean a 1 in 100 chance of something taking both of them out of the picture. (Not to mention the Russians and Chinese launches.)

Those are odds that make working in Low Earth Orbit practical.

I can’t wait until Mission Control has to seriously say to a crew on a manned flight, “You’re number two on the launch pad.”

To those people that are against having NASA go forward with building new spacecraft, I am reminded of the words of John F. Kennedy:

“the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them. This country was conquered by those who moved forward, and so will space.”

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Way too Busy Wednesday

Every once in a while Real Life pulls me away from Blogging (Damn You Real Life). This has been one of those weeks.

I did want to do a sort of wrap up of the whole Swine Flu – Safety Science – Prevention topic that I got into on my Shut-Up Stupid Sunday post and Rocket Scientists elaboration in her Saturday Soapbox “Thankless Science”.

One thing that has not been pushed enough in the latest Swine Flu scare and most of the other communicable disease scares that I can remember is the Prevention Hero that almost everyone has sitting in their homes right now: Bleach.

Instead of buying all those expensive anti-microbial products being advertised, a gallon of bleach will work as good (if not better). I recommend the cheapest generic brand, they are all the same formula and if you’re worried about only having designer labels on your cleaning supplies, you’ve got issues I can’t deal with.

Naturally its not as flashy as other products but spraying down any surfaces with a 5% solution of bleach and water will kill almost all microbes that are on the surface and as an added benefit it will make any mold go dormant.

Another huge advantage bleach has is it breaks down very quickly when exposed to air, soil, sewage or just about anything else in the environment so its impact on the environment outside your home is minimal.

So just like the CDC and local Health Departments who get little or no thanks for immunizing the at risk population against the flu (Once again the vaccine is as safe as the regular flu shot), the cleaning people and our hero bleach get no thanks for keeping us safe from a huge number of diseases.

Note: I also wanted to clarify something I mentioned in my post on Swine Flu, I mentioned that young adults are more at risk from the Swine Flu because of how good a job that the CDC has done in suppressing previous outbreaks. I didn’t point out that by suppressing those outbreaks they saved millions of lives compared to the few thousands of people that who will get the disease because they weren’t exposed to flues in the past.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Evil Minion Monday: Sending for Back-up

The Catspiracy has increased their pressure on me by sending for backup.

Backup Minions

I fear they may be building up to a full scale war.

Cat Commander

I don’t know how long I’d hold up in an assault led by a decorated Cat General

Cat General

I may be doomed to having my lap plundered and being forced to rub their ears, the horror.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Shut-Up Stupid Sunday: Swine Flu Scare

The current strain of Swine Flu (H1N1) and its vaccine has inspired the same irrational fears that have been going around as long as I can remember. The difference is that now fake news outlets are reporting those urban legends as fact.

Swine Flu: What it is.

The (H1N1) strain is merely a very contagious version of the flu, similar strains had outbreaks in the 50s and 1976. The only reason it is lethal is that the CDC has done such a good job in the recent past of suppressing flu outbreaks that young adults don’t have the anti-bodies built up from dealing with past flu’s.

Those born before 1950 and have good immune systems are relatively safe (although age makes it harder to fight it off if you do get it.) If you’ve had the flu a few times in the past you will recover quickly as your anti-bodies from previous flu’s can quickly adapt.

Children and the Elderly are always at risk from the flu or any other disease. The difference with the (H1N1) is that young adults haven’t built up immunity from exposure to flu viruses.

What it isn’t

It is not a super-virus that is going to wipe out humanity so the reptile race can take over.

It is not a plot by the Government to get its citizens sick.

It is not an intelligent alien virus that will enslave humanity to the galactic hive mind (That was the plot of my first book).

The vaccine: What it is.

The vaccine for the H1N1 strain is the same vaccine as the seasonal flu shot slightly modified for this strain. Had the modifications been rushed like some people claim it would have been included in the regular seasonal flu shot. (CDC)

It is as safe as the normal seasonal flu shot.

The vaccine: What it isn’t.

It is not a retro-virus that will transform people’s DNA making them mindless drones for the (insert your own version of the Boogeyman here).

It is not a ploy by the Government to make seniors face a government run “Death Panel”.

It is not filled with Nano-Probes to turn humanity into Borg-like Cyborgs.

It is not a plot by Atheists to somehow get rid of Prayer in Schools, That is done by the by the Evil Atheist Agenda’s ring of mind controlling satellites controlled by Activist Judges.

Whatever insane Conspiracy Theory Glenn Beck is crying about, it’s not that.


To all the morons that are trying to start a panic over a public health panic that the CDC has relatively under control, I say, “Shut-up Stupid.” Let the professionals deal with this.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Catspiracy Caturday: String Theory




It’s come to my attention that the cats are plotting something new, they are experimenting with the very fabric of Space-Time by exploring String Theory.

They obviously are learning to manipulate Cosmic Strings and practicing on smaller Strings:

Cat experimenting

They will soon master String Theory through these experiments:

More Cat experimentation:

And they can wrap up the universe and put it under their control:

Final Model

My 200th Post

It’s my 200th post. Back when I hit the 100-post mark back in July I had planned on doing a one-year/200 post/Happy New Year post. However October 24 seems a little early to do a Happy New Years post, It looks like I posted faster than I thought I would, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to say thanks to all the people who fanned me over the last almost 11 months.

First to my frequent commenters:

Stephanie B aka: Rocket Scientist - I can always count on her to make a point I hadn’t thought of. Thanks for that.

Askcherlock - Thanks for leaving nice thoughtful comments.

Tricia - A sweetheart who is under the mind control of Tigger the leader of the Catspiracy. She is the one who first alerted me to the Catspiracy.



My friends from Thisisby.us

TIBU2.com - This is where it all started, I was a member of the writing site Thisisby.us and wrote over 50 articles over there as well as making some good friends. Dr Larry Mitchell was going to start the site up again, but his real life got in the way. (Damn you Real Life) He started a few blogger pages for everyone to keep in touch. I decided to start my own blog while I was waiting and that’s how this site was born.

Dr Larry Mitchell - A friend from Thisisby.us.

Grant Lawrence - A friend from Thisisby.us who took the opportunity of Thisisby.us shutting down to make a non-commercial blog that highlights the blogs articles of political events that don’t make it to the mainstream media.

Blankface http://faceless-days.blogspot.com/ Another friend from Thisisby.us that started his own blog.

Ricky A. Pursley - A gifted writer I met at Thisisby.us.

Lioness - A talented poet and all around sweet person that I met at Thisisby.us

Reilly - Another Thisisby.us friend.

Honkmofo


Unknowns – These are people who fanned me but I have no clue how they found me.


Eric

Omnipotent Poobah - I’ve no clue how he found me but I’m glad he did, he has an interesting blog.

Ellie Great

Mmetharon

Brotherhood

Reduce Footprints - Saving the world one Wednesday at a time.

Steiner Arason

Vet

Rogue

B’Jue Corner - This site takes forever to load, so I don’t know how they found me. (couldn’t view the site)

Jamie Jeffords - One very confused individual, A conservative who was a Star Trek fan until he slowly realized the overwhelming theme of The Economics of Abundance is counter to the Grab a Bigger Slice of a Smaller Pie that Conservatives believe.
He’s a bigot that refuses to understand that not being a Christian isn’t the same as hating Christians.
Hopefully one of these days he’ll sort out all his conflicting personalities.

Katherine Johnson

Hugo Nahuelpan - unfortunately a brain injury prevents me from learning other languages, so I have no idea what this site is about.

Jules

Ladytruth - Don’t know how she found me but I’m glad she did, I get a kick out of her blog.

Nickie Goomba

TCW - Click to enter a universe unlike our own.

Deepika

Scott - A political blog

Carmlo… Another Spanish (I think) blog.

Boatman - Nice blog about getting away from it all comfortably.


Mybloglog friends

Qishi87-

Creative Blogger - I wrote a few guest articles for some of her old sites.

Ll-nl.blogspot

Becky C. A girl in shorts with a fun and interesting outlook on life, unfortunately her site was taken down by Blogger.

Insider-Insights

Entrecarders:

LunaticG - More than I ever wanted to know about coin collecting.

SaderMaxx - Follow the adventures of his pets.

David - Showing the Darker side of Technology.

Carl Vine - an interesting look at whatever catches his attention.

Roschelle - I go here for my dose of silliness (meant in a good way)

Lot 2 learn - Fun you can have outside.

Adnoxious - As a former Marketing Manager I totally love his sense of humor.

Man Overboard - A look at Guy stuff.

Others with no blog:

Ryamatchu – Yet another friend from Thisisby.us.

IheartStuff – A Thisisby.us friend.

Sajjad Ali

Shykulasa

Stiv Popetski

Traveling Cat

Greg J

Andre Heath

Brian B.

If I left anyone out it wasn’t on purpose, its just tough tracking down all the people that have come to my blog in the last year.

I want to say thanks to all of you and hope you enjoy my next 100 posts, and of course I’ll keep you all up to date about the details of the Catspiracy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fantastic Future Friday: Alternative Energy



This post is the third post of my planned three part series that started With Temper-Tantrum Tuesday: Energy Conservation and Solar Energy and What We Know Wednesday: Peak Oil.

Alternative Energy is simply any energy source that isn’t derived from what we think of as the conventional fuels we have used throughout the 20th century (fossil fuels and nuclear).

As I explained in Peak Oil if the world doesn’t wean itself off oil at a rate of 2% or more per year we are doomed. We can’t replace it with Natural Gas as the same Peak effect will hit Natural Gas only the spike will be much more dramatic. Coal releases so much Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere that even the Climate Change Deniers (at least the ones that don’t just put their fingers in their ears and say, “LA-LA-LA-LA, I can’t hear you”) can’t deny increasing our coal usage fourfold over the next twenty years will hurt the planet. Without getting into the debate over Nuclear Power it takes roughly 15 years to get a Nuclear Power Plant up and running, so it is out as a practical option.

The great news is we already have the means to offset our use of Conventional Energy sources available now.

Small Scale Solar:

Solar Heating:
It’s possible for a small family in a conventional house to most of their hot water from a 10 square foot (3’2” x 3’2”) solar panel mounted on their roof. Replacing a typical 80,000 Btu furnace with solar heat would take solar panel would take a solar panel roughly 250 square feet (16’ x 16’) and would only heat the house during the day.

However, even in the coldest areas a furnace doesn’t run continuously, I should know I grew up in the coldest place in the continental United States, so except for the coldest parts of the winter a household can use solar power to heat their homes during the day and only use a conventional furnace at night and in the coolest winter months.

Using the sun to replace conventional heating sources can go a long way towards reducing our energy needs and anyone with a little carpentry skill can do it.

Small Scale Solar Electricity (Photovoltaic):


There are two types of Photovoltaic systems available, AC and DC. The DC (Direct Current) systems are fairly cheap and easy to install. Their drawbacks are they use DC and most electrical appliances are designed for AC.

A small 250-watt solar panel with battery back-up can power roughly 5 halogen lights, so it would easy to set up a house that was completely lit by the sun.

The AC (Alternating Current) systems are a lot more complex but offer huge advantages. An AC system converts the electricity coming off the solar panels from DC to AC, not only does this mean you can plug it into your house’s conventional power grid but in most places you can sell the excess power back to the electric utility.

The Advantage of Small Scale Solar to Utilities:

Using small scale solar not only saves the consumer money by reducing their electric consumption, it helps the utilities especially in rural areas.

Electric Companies have to built their power plants based on peak rates, the maximum power usage they can expect at one time, even if most of the time usage isn’t anywhere near that.

They also have to make sub-stations to boost the power when it starts to dip in areas that are far away from the main power station.

Some activities like Aluminum production and Steel Recycling can be moved to off peak hours, some like farming can’t. For rural areas utilities have to build their plants figuring the farmers and residential customers will be using their peak energy usage at the same time.

By having residential customers use solar for their heating and some of their electricity needs it lowers the peak amount of energy used and they can build smaller power plants to serve the same needs. When some of their customers switch to Solar AC systems they can have the residential customers supplying electricity to the grid at the same time as the farmers need it most decreasing the amount of sub-stations they need to build.

The final advantage of small scale solar to the utilities is during power outages. When a storm takes out the power grid, the electric companies have to scramble to get it back up again. Obviously, if people are getting their own heat and some of their electricity from the sun it lessens the urgency, but it they have some people generating AC it lets them rebuild the system in a more organized fashion.

If you’ve ever gone through a major blackout (who hasn’t) that lasts a few days, then you know turning on you TV or Computer in the days afterwards is a scary thing. As they try to rebuild the grid they end up constantly switching the routes that electricity takes from the main station to your house.

With several small sources of power feeding into the grid from more localized sources it is easier for them to balance the amount of power in the areas of the grid that they get up and running.

With more people switching to solar power not only will it reduce our dependency on fossil fuels but also the existing electric grid will be able to offer more reliable power and that will lead to a fantastic future.

(I had intended to look at more sources of Alternative Energy in this post, but it got a little long, so next week I’ll look at Geothermal Energy in the fourth installment of my three part series.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Catspiracy Purrsday: Canceled

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

It appears the Catspiracy has canceled today, but I'm sure they will be back with a vengeance on Caturday.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What we know Wednesday: Peak Oil

Not So Distant Future?

As a former oil industry executive, I’ll let you in on a little secret of what we talked about around the $1,000 water cooler. Peak Oil, and Strippers.

For those of you that don’t know what Peak Oil is I’ll offer a quick explanation, if you don’t know what a Stripper is I suggest you get out more.

All the major oil fields in the world were discovered before 1960, only small fields have been discovered since. For the last 50 years we have been relentlessly drilling new wells into these fields.

The oil from a well doesn’t last forever, the wells I drilled had a life span of 5 years of strong oil production, then a drizzle for the next 5 years. A well out in Texas can last a few decades before going into decline.

Naturally on these fields the wells concentrate around the biggest producers in areas that have the greatest chance of successfully hitting oil. The older the field the farther away from the big producers we are forced to drill.

In a new field, drillers can tap into the same vein as a big producer and get large amounts of oil making the fields total output increase quickly. This increase drops as the optimum spots to drill are quickly filled up.

In the Nash Oil Field where I drilled we would get excited about getting the chance to drill several miles away from a big producer.

Drilling father away from the main source of oil lowers the chances of success. In the 90s companies that drilled in the field I was working were hitting oil with 1 well for every 3 they drilled. By the time I entered the industry in the ’04 the odds were down to 1 in 5.

So as a field ages, its larger wells go into decline and you need to drill more holes to hit oil. After a while new wells aren’t being hit fast enough to overtake the decline in the old wells and the whole field goes into decline.

With no new major oil fields being discovered since the 60s as one field goes into decline it put more pressure on the fields that aren’t in decline, making them go into decline faster. Eventually, you can’t drill fast enough to offset the declining wells.

In the United States, The entire domestic oil industry reached its peak in 1970. We were producing 11 million barrels of oil a day; this has since declined to 5 million.

With the United States no longer increasing its production of oil, pressure was put on the rest of the world to develop their oil fields. Norway increased drilling in the North Sea, Russia became a major player in the energy market and Saudi Arabia went from being able to keep its national treasury in a shoebox, to being the land of oil billionaires.

But no new oil fields have been developed they are just exploiting their existing fields faster, and just like the Nash Oil field, these fields will eventually go into decline.

Kuwait has announced that its fields are all in decline, Several reports I’ve seen out of Iraq suggest that Saddam overworked his oil fields in order to achieve the 3 million barrels a day prior to Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL) and there are serious doubts as to if it is technically possible for Saudi Arabia to increase its oil production beyond its current levels.

In 2008 when demand for overtook the amount oil that the world could produce sending oil and gas prices soaring, the Republican response was summed up as, “Drill, Baby, Drill”. Unfortunately merely building more oil drilling rigs and drilling more would do little to produce more oil.

In the case of the Nash Oil field where we were getting a hit rate of 1 out of 5, if you doubled the amount of oil rigs drilling there you would quickly run out of spots you can hit 1 out of every 5 wells you drill, and they would have to move on to places where 1 out of 8 was a good bet, then 1 out of 10, 1 out of 20. And every new well would produce smaller amounts.

While this drilling was going on, the drilling itself would push up the demand for oil as it takes a lot of energy to drill a well. In the declining fields you would quickly hit a point where the oil it took to drill 20 or so wells would be more than the one small well could produce.

As soon as it takes more energy to produce oil than the oil gives out there is no point in drilling.

In other words the World’s oil supply may have peaked at 81 million barrels a day that was produced in June of 2008, and we could be looking at having the supply of oil start to dwindle.

The Great Recession of 2008-2009, Great Depression 2.0, or whatever you care to call it dropped consumer demand for oil by 8% the greatest amount ever recorded. In order for the global economic engine to recover the US needs to continue to increase its demand for energy by 1.5% annually while oil production declines by 0.5% every year.

If no drastic action is taken this means we can continue at current rate of recovery with 10 to 20% unemployment, tent cities popping up in all major cities, and all the things you hear about on the news, for only 4 more years before we hit the point where demand overtakes supply again, and things will get really bad.

Now that I’ve bummed you out enough I’ll point to the good news that I started in my post Temper-Tantrum Tuesday: Energy Conservation and Solar Energy and wrap up both posts in my Fantastic Future Friday: Alternative Energy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Temper-Tantrum Tuesday: Energy Conservation and Solar Energy


This summer I tried an experiment, this was done in a large part because I was completely broke, and tried to limit the amount of gas and electricity that I used.

First, I stopped running all 5 computers in my house 24/7, and turned off the Playstation 3 when not in use. This saved me $40 a month in electricity from the combination of them not using electricity and lowering the need for Air Conditioning.

Second, when my hot water heater exploded (literally) I tried a number of ways to use solar energy to heat the water. This was done to some success but mostly from me and my wife’s stubbornness and taking freezing cold showers (which also saved on air conditioning).

I believe I’ve worked out the kinks of building a solar hot water heater and by next summer I should be able to get 17 gallons of water heated to 110 degrees twice a day solely by Solar Power, using the electric hot water heater only on chilly cloudy days.

By taking these steps to reduce the amount of conventional energy used I cut my usage last month alone from last years 57.6 kwh per day to 32.4 kwh per day a 44% decrease in electricity and I cut my gas bill from $30 per month to $0.

This winter I am planning on building a solar heater that should, if I’ve done the math on the back of an envelope correctly, take care of roughly 10% of my heating costs.

By taking simple steps to conserve energy and take advantage of solar power homeowners could with little effort reduce their energy usage by 5%. (That’s only 12% of what I saved over the year, but I went to extreme measures.)

If consumers reduced their energy bills by just 5% that would allow the US to continue its normal 1.5% energy growth (leading to normal economic growth) for 2 years without actually needing any more energy sources. That would give “green” industries a chance to start-up and start working on a post-oil economy.

In my next post, “What we know Wednesday: Peak Oil” I’ll explain why it is absolutely necessary to move to a post-oil economy.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Evil Minion Monday: Preparing for Halloween

It’s Monday so the Evil Minions had to stop by.

With Halloween just around the corner, my girl, (I mean the Evil Baroness who is trying to control my thoughts) came by with her son (I mean Evil Spawn).

Out to rule the world through cuteness
And doing a good job at it.

Her little boy, (I mean Spawn of Evil) appears to be getting ready to go out on Halloween as a cute and fluffy black cat (I mean the Ultimate Incarnation of Evil).

Evil in its Halloween Costume

I will try an resist this cuteness (I mean Unspeakable Evil), but just in case I can’t I am stocking up on cat treats in case they come trick or treating on Halloween.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Shut-Up Stupid Sunday: Pro-Gang Rape Senators

Unbelievably, 30 Senators have come out in favor of gang rape. Here is the condensed version of the story.

In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones while working for KBR/Halliburton in Baghdad was violently gang-raped and locked in a shipping container for 24 hours. She was told if she left Iraq for medical treatment she would be out of a job.

After complaining she was sent back to work with the same men who gang-raped her.

After struggling through all that she returned to the States to find out that she couldn’t press charges due to a clause in her contract that stated that allegations of Sexual Assault (Rape) will be handled in private Arbitration.

She soon found out that there were over 40 women that went through similar situations.

As Halliburton was working on a Government Contract with federal money she complained to Congress.

Senator Al Franken heard her story proposed an amendment to limit federal money going to contractors, “if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court.”

How this loophole got into law is mind boggling, but getting rid of it shouldn’t be a partisan thing it should be something that any halfway or even a quarter-way decent human being should vote for.

However 30 Senators voted “No” on the amendment apparently feeling not letting companies to allow their employees to be gang-raped would place too much of government “burden” on them.

I guess their answer to the question, “Have you no sense of decency?” their answer is “No”.

Here is the list of Senators that voted “No” to stopping legalized Gang-Rape.

Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

To these 30 Senators that voted to support legalized Gang-Rape I say, “Shut-up Stupid” from now on your opinion on anything doesn’t count as you have shown that you haven’t a shred on basic human decency.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Catspiracy Caturday: Cat Minion Strippers

Every evil organization needs to raise money, and the Evil Catspiracy is no exception.

Being evil they can resort to seedier ways of making money. In my investigations I have found the evil cat minions have stumbled upon an age-old way of making money: Pole Dancing:

Evil Minion seducing customers.

While they pole-dance for small tips (sirloin tips preferably), they are really trying to milk people out of their hard earned milk by seducing them to rub their bellies.

That belly is almost irresistible.

Of course, they will then want even more for ear rubs and chin scratches, also known as half and half.

More cat seduction

The most shocking thing is how they tend to get into this business at very young ages.

Almost Kitty Porn.

So beware the evil minions may entice you with their Pole-Dancing, but they will soon have you handing over food to rub their bellies and scratch their ears.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fantastic Future Friday: Genetically Modified Humans




Note: I was planning on talking about Alternative Energy today but on page 3 I was only halfway through so I will break up my post on that over the coming week.

The Good, The Bad, and a case for keeping the Ugly

Genetically Modified Humans, Augments, and creatures from “The Island of Dr Moreau” the idea of changing the human Genome has been a sci-fi horror element for over a century. With the mapping of the Human Genome and experiments in Genetically Modified foods (GM) this idea is now a reality.

Brando in "The Island of Dr Moreau"
The Good.


Gene Therapy has the potential to wipe out many Genetic Defects. Tay-Sacs, Cystitis Fibrosis, even Type 1 diabetes all can be potentially eliminated. As our knowledge of the Human Genome grows we can insure no child is born with a genetic disease that limits their life span.

The Bad.


Khannnnnnnnnnnn!
Most of the Sci-fi stories (except “The Island of Dr Moreau”), dealt with Super Humans trying to take over the world and making ordinary humans slaves or holding them in contempt.

In reality for all of our innovations, human planning has yet to beat nature at solving a problem. Even thousands of scientists working together towards a common goal can’t compete with nature blindly trying billions of combinations.

Even some people with supposed “defective genes” make a mockery of so called normal people, Asperger’s Syndrome gives the sufferer incredible mathematical skills that can make a major universities entire math department spend a year figuring out the mathematical formula that they made up in two minutes to solve a problem on a physics test. The downside is they can’t learn basic social skills or read peoples expressions at the level that a 6-month-old child can.

Society rejects these people until they need them for large problems then will put up with their inability to follow the rules.

In the quest for the ultimate human who would purposely make someone they know is going to be an asshole all their life?

Other defects include OCD, like a person who will write several pages a day and post them on a cheap Blogger account for $0.40 a month while ignoring the rest of his life with only the satisfaction that he knows at least a couple people are amused.

A case for keeping the Ugly.

Blue Oyster Cult in their song without cowbells sang, “History shows us time and again, how nature destroys the folly of man.” If we streamline the human genome by picking only the traits that we think are valuable then we make ourselves more vulnerable to viruses that won’t have to adapt to billions of variations in the human genome and what should be small viral outbreaks would turn to pandemics killing millions.

We need to carefully study if getting rid of a “defect” is worth narrowing the genetic pool. Heart disease, diabetes, and other genetic traits need to be carefully studied to see if it is better to get rid of the gene and the genetic diversity it supplies or manage the problem though a life long treatment, like specialized diet and exercise.

Needless to say limiting the genetic pool for superficial cosmetic reasons is not worth the risk.

The Bright side.

With the power to end severe genetic defects we can study the role of individual genes in an individual and determine which ones are worth narrowing the human gene pool for, and which ones can be treated with a specially tailored life style that starts when they are infants.

If used with utmost caution Genetic Engineering of Humans can lead to a Fantastic Future.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Catspiracy Purrsday: Blog Action Day

Investigating the Catspiracy, Tigger’s Evil Plan to rule the world, I have found the Evil Cat Minions are trying to fight Climate Change.

At first glance you would think the Evil Minions would be all for a Warmer Climate, as they like laying in the sun.


Solar Powered Minion


Solar Powered Minion 2

However, if global temperatures rise just a few degrees, sea levels will also rise leaving the Evil Minions stranded.


Stranded Minion

As the sea levels rise they will use anything they can get their paws on to use as a floatation device.


Minion using a floatation device.

Since the Catspiracy is against Global Warming, everyone can do their part and use fossil fuels with reckless abandon. Sure it will create untold devastation on human civilization, but if you hate cute and furry kittens the loss of most large cities, millions of people dieing from starvation as crops try to adjust to the new weather patterns, mass extinction of species that humans rely on to feed themselves, and many other bad things will all be worth it.

So unless you want to live in a world where cute and fuzzy kittens plunder your lap and fill you full of warm and happy thoughts, you need to do your part to insure Global Warming.

Just remember if you don’t, this could happen to you:


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Writing Quiz.

I couldn't think of a good topic for "What we Know Wednesday" so I decided to write about writing instead.

I ran across this character development quiz over at “It’s all about the writing” and I decided to apply it to the characters from my three novels.
It’s really a good way to see how well you’ve developed your character.

Would your character ever have a phobia?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: He is a walking bag of OCD Phobias, his touch phobia what keeps him safe from the alien virus.
Hudson: Her nudity phobia is why she hates Yar.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: If he did he would make a mathematical model of his attraction and repulsion to the phobia
Carly: She would force herself to confront her phobia.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Would be afraid of whatever he was brainwashed into thinking, but his intellectual curiosity would make him try and find out the truth behind it, against his will.
Anita: Never

Would your character ever go on a blind date?

Invasive Thoughts:
Never! For any of them.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Would rather hire a prostitute.
Carly: Has and they were all disasters.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: If it was approved by the State
Anita: Yes.

Would your character ever kidnap someone?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: Forced his partner to be examined by a sex fiend then kidnapped her later to turn her over to the same sex fiend (she got her revenge).
Hudson: If it helped her career.

Project Spare-Rib:
They kidnapped the Governor of Texas.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Would if the State told him to.
Anita: Wouldn’t need to, she would be 2 steps ahead of her victim.

Would your character ever volunteer at a hospital/orphanage/whatever?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: Fear of Germs, No.
Hudson: Too busy.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: I pity the hospital
Carly: Probably

The Setting Earth:
Sam: No, Charity work is Socialism
Anita: Would prefer to do Charity work but wouldn’t want to disappoint her father.

Would your character ever start a food fight with a priest?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: Horrified at getting dirty
Hudson: It would mean she would have to change after, so no.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Would calculate all the trajectories of the food and make some amazing bank shots.
Carly: Not a food fight. Real fight maybe.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Never!
Anita: Hell yeah.

Would your character ever work in a Fast Food Restaurant?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: Never, afraid of getting dirty
Hudson: Doubtful. Too career minded.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: I pity the fast food restaurant.
Carly: I pity the fast food restaurant.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Yes
Anita: Yes

Would your character ever eat ketchup from the packet?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: No
Hudson: No, afraid of getting it on her clothes.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: How else do you eat ketchup?
Carly: No

The Setting Earth:
Sam: No
Anita: Sure why not.

Would your character ever go vegetarian?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: The hours it would take to wash every last speck of dirt off the vegetables would make it impossible.
Hudson: If it was a diet craze.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Nope.
Carly: Nope.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Limiting consumption is Socialism.
Anita: Yes. If it helps out.

Would your character ever harm an animal?
No. Not intentionally.

Would your character ever scream fire at the movies just to see how people would react?

No for all except Tom (Project Spare-Rib) he would have the stats as to how quickly what percentage of people would make it out in what time.

Would your character ever throw a penny from the top of the Empire State building?
No, for any of them.

Would your character ever live in New York, or your world’s equivalent “Big City?”
Yes for all but Anita in The Setting Earth, she can’t stand Earth’s gravity.

Would your character ever work in a factory?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: Too Dirty
Hudson: Couldn’t stand the locker room

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: I pity the factory.
Carly: For about two seconds before she got bored.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: If the state told him too.
Anita: Would find a way to automate her job.

Would your character ever have an affair with someone outside their normal sexual orientation?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: Never, only had sex once (with Hudson)
Hudson: Not if it meant taking her clothes off. And she doesn’t go that way either.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Only if he was the one being pleasured, but would find it easier to hire a prostitute.
Carly: Not one on one, might be talked into a FMF threeway.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: No, it’s a sin.
Anita: If a guy isn’t around, or the guy wanted to watch.

Would your character ever pretend to be a hippie?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: If it helped him solve a case.
Hudson: Maybe, but she would plot out ways to avoid revealing any flesh.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Could never pull it off.
Carly: Yes.

The Setting Earth:
Hippies don’t exist on either world.

Would your character ever work at an ice cream parlor given the opportunity?

Invasive Thoughts:
No.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: I pity the Ice cream parlor.
Carly: For a while.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: If the State told him too.
Anita: Sure, it’d be fun for awhile.

Would your character ever become a killer?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: One attempted, one he was an accidental accomplice.
Hudson: Yes.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: No.
Carly: In the line of Duty

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Tries and fails.
Anita: Would, but would consider it a personal failure if she couldn’t think of a way around it.

Would your character ever read War and Peace?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: No, his trick memory would force him to memorize the entire thing.
Hudson: If assigned.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Prefers quantum mechanics for light reading.
Carly: Too Impatient.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Would like to have it banned.
Anita: She already has.

Would your character ever sing in the shower?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: Showtunes.
Hudson: In and out of the shower as fast as possible.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: It would never occur to him.
Carly: No

The Setting Earth:
Sam: No
Anita: Would invite all her friends for a chorus.

Would your character ever go several days without bathing, out of their own free will/laziness?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: Never, Showers Twice or Four times a day, never once or three times. (Doesn’t like odd numbers)
Hudson: If she couldn’t find a time when the dorm was absolutely silent and was worried about another female walking into the bathroom while she was showering she would skip a shower.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: If he found an interested problem he wouldn’t even think about showering.
Carly: If working on a case, she might forget.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: No
Anita: No

Would your character get in a prank war with someone?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: No, it would give away his OCD
Hudson: No

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: An overly elaborate one.
Carly: Too much of a chance she would take it too far.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: No, wouldn’t be proper.
Anita: Hell yeah.

Would your character ever sleep 30 hours straight?
My characters can’t find the time for a full nights sleep.

Would your character ever sell themselves or their friends as a way of making money for something they really wanted?
None of my characters would except in The Setting Earth.
Sam has sex with a co-worker in order to find out about a secret project.
Anita learns that Earth has Prostitutes and wonders how to apply.

Would your character be a good parent?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yes, it turns out even with all their mental problems focusing on a family life is just what they needed.

Project Spare-Rib:
I pity the child.

The Setting Earth:
They would make Excellent Parents, need to put that into the sequel.

Would your character ever live on a farm?
No.

Would your character ever listen to Country music?
No.

Would your character win a fight with a bear?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: The gun helps.
Hudson: The gun helps.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: If he had time to set up an elaborate trap.
Carly: The gun helps.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Not a chance.
Anita: Depends on which Planet the fight takes place on.

Would your character ever pose for nude photographs, if they were really hard up for money?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: Never, would trigger “Bad” Thoughts.
Hudson: It would be her personal version of Hell.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: “People get paid for that?” Sure.
Carly: No.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Never. It’s a sin.
Anita: “Hell yeah, how much do I need to pay the photographer?”

Would your character ever hitchhike?

Invasive Thoughts:
No.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Would hop into someone’s car in a parking lot and tell them where he was going.
Carly: Never.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Never.
Anita: Sure.

Would your character ever pick up a hitchhiker?

Invasive Thoughts:
No.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Doesn’t Drive.
Carly: No.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: No, helping people reduces their desire to work.
Anita: Yes, especially if he/she is cute.

Would your character go hungry to be able to buy a book?

Invasive Thoughts:
No.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Yes
Carly: No.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: No.
Anita: Yes.

Would your character ever go to group therapy for something? (addiction groups and grief counseling count)

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: He did until he found it could be used against him.
Hudson: Too ashamed of her weakness.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Has driven many therapists insane.
Carly: No.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: No it is a sign of weakness.
Anita: Sure, it might be fun.

Would your character ever eat healthy food?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: Will eat anything as long as the cook hasn’t actually touched it.
Hudson: Only healthy food.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: If it could make it so he didn’t have to shop for clothes.
Carly: Mostly healthy food to take care of her body.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Only trust large corporations to feed you.
Anita: Only healthy food.

Would your character ever binge on oreo cookies or equivalent?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: He would need to count the cookies he ate to make sure he didn’t eat an odd number.
Hudson: Never.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Has better (in his mind) things to do.
Carly: Never.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Yes and feel guilty about it.
Anita: Maybe, but would need to work it off immediately.

Would your character ever fight for a cause?
All of them.

Would your character ever want to be the ceo of a big company?
None of my characters want to be CEO of a big company, except Sam in “The Setting Earth” It is what everyone on Earth aspires to be, but if he thought about it he would see that he would hate that job.

Would your character ever espouse an unpopular belief or opinion (ie, most people would think of them as the villain)

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: Would never say it out loud for fear of revealing his OCD.
Hudson: Not if it kept her from advancing.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Constantly, he doesn’t think before he speaks.
Carly: In a calculated way, yes.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Only in the service of the State.
Anita: Just to watch other peoples reaction.

Would your character ever dress up as a cookie for Halloween?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: Never.
Hudson: If it concealed her body.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Doesn’t even like wearing clothes.
Carly: Yes.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Halloween is a Pagan Ritual.
Anita: Yes and she would ask if anyone wanted to eat her.

Would your character ever streak across the football field at the SuperBowl?

Invasive Thoughts:
No.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Not on purpose, but could find himself wandering out onto the field naked while thinking of something else.
Carly: No.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Never.
Anita: Hell Yeah.

Would your character ever admit to being wrong?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: Only to himself and Hudson.
Hudson: Never, until the end when she admits she was wrong about Yar.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: He is a mathematician so he is never right, just less wrong than the rest of the world.
Carly: Yes.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Only after having the truth pushed into his face for 45 days, even then it takes careful programming by Anita to break down his stubbornness.
Anita: If she ever was, I’m sure she’d admit it.

Would your character ever have an animal part grafted somewhere on their person? If so, where?
NO!

Would your character ever own a really big dog?
No, Tom from “Project Spare-Rib” prefers cats.

Would your character ever do a voice-over for a cartoon?
Yes.

Would your character ever let another person talk them into something very much against their inclination and better judgement?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: Sacrifices the entire world too save the people he loves.
Hudson: Abandons her career at Yar’s insistence that the world is doomed.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Can’t be talked into anything.
Carly: Never.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: His whole life.
Anita: Never.

Would your character ever commit matricide?
No.

Would your character ever wear a large, feathery, pink hat all day, just because they felt like it?
Only Anita from “The Setting Earth”

Would your character ever eat live squid?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: Never.
Hudson: If it was good for her figure.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Sure.
Carly: Eck.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Only to stay undercover.
Anita: Hell Yeah.

Would Your Character Ever…wear rubber gloves?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: Would prefer to always wear them.
Hudson: Yes, it’s part of her job.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Prefers to be naked, but what the hell.
Carly: Part of her job.

The Setting Earth:
They use gloves made out of indestructible Buckypaper for work on the surface of Ceres.

Would your character ever… trash a hotel room?
No.

Would your character ever do the Electric Slide?

Invasive Thoughts:
Both: If they were sure no one was watching, yes.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Yes.
Carly: No.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Never.
Anita: Hell Yeah.

Would your character be willing to sacrifice an innocent child for his/her ideals? (or their just cause)

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: Children are where draws the line. He sacrificed his partner to a sex fiend, but wouldn’t pick up a suspect while the suspect was with his daughter.
Hudson: No.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: No
Carly: Never.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: For the good of the State.
Anita: Never.

Would your character ever…go to a Star Wars movie marathon?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: Never.
Hudson: Dressed as Darth Vader so no one could see her body.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Would think it was a comedy and get tossed out.
Carly: On a blind date.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Never.
Anita: Dressed as Leigh in her sex slave costume.

Would your character ever turn in their best friend for a bad crime?

Invasive Thoughts:
Both Yar and Hudson would.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: No
Carly: Yes.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Betray your friends for the State, win fabulous prizes.
Anita: Yes, if it were part of her plan.

Would your character ever plant a garden?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: Never, can’t get his hands dirty.
Hudson: Yes.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: If it amused his cat.
Carly: Too impatient.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: The corporations can do it better.
Anita: Yes, and on a scale that is unbelievable.

Would Your Character Ever…read tea leaves?
No.

Would your character ever physically attack a family member for any reason, and if so, why?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: Would be torn, but might to save the Earth.
Hudson: No.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Only fights in self-defense.
Carly: No, loves her step-dad, the rest of her family is dead.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Yes for the good of the State.
Anita: Never.

Would your character ever memorize the periodic table?

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: His trick memory forced him to.
Hudson: Needed to for training.

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: Has memorized it and found the properties of the next 200 elements.
Carly: No.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Yes.
Anita: If she had to.

Would your character ever leave someone he/she loves to make them safe.

Invasive Thoughts:
Yar: He did.
Hudson: Yes

Project Spare-Rib:
Tom: He wouldn’t think of that, it would never cross his mind.
Carly: Yes.

The Setting Earth:
Sam: Yes.
Anita: In a heartbeat, until she could figure out how to save them.

Would your character ever just look up into the stars on an especially clear night.
Yes, In The Setting Earth it is a major plot point.

Would Your Character Ever…row a boat?
Yes.

Would your character ever buy catfood and/or toys and donate them to an animal shelter?
Probably.

Would your character ever live on the street?
No.

Would your characters ever consider changing religions?
Only Sam and Anita in “The Setting Earth” are religious, Anita takes what she likes about the Catholic Religion and discards the rest, so no.
Sam learns that State is using his religion to control the masses. (I welcome your hate mail) So he does abandon the formal religion.

Would your character ever find a spider in their room and decide to keep it for a pet?
Only Tom from “Project Spare-Rib”

Would your character ever enter American Idol?
No.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Temper-Tantrum Tuesday Follow-up edition

Finding time for follow-ups

When I originally started the “Temper Tantrum Tuesdays” and “What we know Wednesdays” I had planned to include “Follow-up Friday” to respond to any comments I got on those posts. Then I realized Friday is a time (or should be) to plan on relaxing and getting set to have fun, and possibly look around and see what you can do to make your little spot in the world a better place, not to look back on the week. So I’m looking for a spot to do follow ups, Thursday is out because I’ve been getting really good comments that take a couple of days research to do them justice. So this week I’ll do a follow-up temper tantrum.

Follow up to the Heisenburg Abortion

In response to my post “The Heisenburg Abortion” Jen from Redhead Ranting said, “If you don't want to have a baby then don't have sex. It's pretty simple.”

I promised her a follow-up as that post only dealt with the first 5 days after conception. I kind of have to cover my view on the whole subject before I can talk about the first 5 days without sounding like an idiot.

In the abortion debate I seem to have a radical stance, I believe that over the nine months of pregnancy the zygote then the embryo then the fetus then the baby undergo radical changes and each stage needs to be treated differently.

I also don’t care if and when it is considered “alive”. If you want to consider it alive fine, but in that case it doesn’t deserve any more rights than any other human being.

With that being said, I’ll take the devil’s advocate position and say that it is alive and deserves all the protections that any other human is entitled to. In that case Abortion should still be legal.

The legal argument on abortion has to stem from the “Attractive Nuisance” position in the law. Basically this position states that you are not liable for injuries to a trespasser on your property unless you have created an “Attractive Nuisance”, something so irresistible to a passerby that they can’t help themselves. The classic example is an unfenced pool to a 10 year old.

You can still have a pool and not be held liable for a trespasser falling in if you’ve taken reasonable steps to keep them out.


In the first 4 to 5 days after conception the zygote only responds to some very basic chemical stimuli, one might argue that all of consciousness is responses to chemical stimuli but in this case it isn’t any more complex than oxygen being attracted to hydrocarbon molecules. A woman’s uterine wall gives off the chemical stimuli that attracts it and makes it try to bond. So in a way a woman’s uterine wall is an “Attractive Nuisance” (and you thought beauty was only skin deep).

If a woman takes the morning after pill the uterine wall no longer gives out the chemical stimuli to make the zygote attach itself to it. Legally, this is like knowing some kids might be stopping by next door and locking the gate to your backyard so the kids can’t get into your pool. You’ve taken care of your legal duty to make it difficult for the kids to get to your pool, whether or not kids show up next door.

In the case of the zygote there is also the little matter of habeas corpus “Show me the body”. The zygote is no larger than the bodies other cells so searching threw a woman’s used rags for it would be million-dollar lab hunt.

Those that “Legally” try to argue against abortion at this stage are doomed, as it would mean throwing out almost every property right precedent ever.

Now morally is a different thing, the moral equivalent would be if a naked person walked by your house in a snowstorm. If you knew they were going to die if you didn’t let them in your house the moral thing to do would be to let them in, but you are under no legal obligation to do so.


The next stage, the Embryo, happens roughly 5 days after the zygote until about 8 weeks after conception. This stage is a little more complicated legally, but we can use the same two examples.

Even if a trespasser is on your property because of an “Attractive Nuisance”, that doesn’t give them the right to move into your spare bedroom. To use the pool example, if you walk out and find some kids playing in your pool, you can tell them to leave. If they don’t leave you can call the police to force them to leave.

Even in the most anti-lethal force states you have the right to use lethal force against a trespasser that refuses to leave, (although the with a 10 year old the courts would wonder why you didn’t just pick them up and toss them over the fence).

It’s the same with an embryo, even though they got on your property (your body in this case) you have no legal responsibility to take care of them.

Morally, this is like if you found a naked person huddled up against your heater during a snowstorm. It would be moral to take care of them but the law can’t force you to.


The next stage, The inviable fetus, 8-26 weeks. This is where the law gets tricky. By 8 weeks a woman should know if something is living inside of her, although with the abstinence-only education crusade some women might not have access to the fact that if she misses a period she should get that checked out. So the fetus is no longer a trespasser but legally considered a guest.

You can still legally force a guest to leave your property, but you are supposed to show some consideration. To take the naked person during a snowstorm example, If you found them huddled around your heater and you gave them clothes told them to make themselves at home, you have assumed some responsibility for their welfare. Kicking them out and making them leave the clothes would warrant some serious investigation.

Now, if after you let them in they started threatening you, or abusing your hospitality, then you would have every legal right to kick them out or use lethal force against them.

Ideally, most women will have figured out they are pregnant and have made a decision as to if they will keep it or abort it before the 8 weeks. I know this isn’t always the case with teenage girls as they are insane (the constantly shifting hormone levels make all teenagers clinically insane, boys and girls) and the pregnancy amplifies this.

If between 8 weeks and 26 weeks the life of the mother is threatened more than the normal 1 in 7,000 chance of dieing during childbirth, then she has every right to have the fetus removed.

26 weeks to birth: This stage varies greatly by the individual but around 26 weeks the fetus becomes semi-viable outside the womb, and all analogies are off. Doctors used to try and save the fetus at this stage but unfortunately they were sometimes successful. Those that survived had a painful existence in permanent Intensive Care. Now it is considered kinder to kill the fetus than let it go through a few months in that state.

There really is no comparable legal analogy, maybe a fight for the oxygen mask at 60,000 ft. One person will be ok and one will be a vegetable, but even that breaks down petty fast.

For the 26 weeks on I feel that there should be strict legal guidelines governing abortion. The mother’s life should take precedence over the fetus, but the tricky part is by how much. If there could be a reasonable debate on this we could have a reasonable guideline like if the mother’s chance of dieing was 1-50 or something, but Washington will never debate it. We’ve got one side saying the Mother is only good for carrying babies, so she is expendable. On the other side we’ve got people wanting to make the law apply to all the different stages.

In my humble opinion both are wrong. For the first 8 weeks the zygote or embryo is legally a trespasser plain and simple. After 26 weeks the consequences are so great that it should only be done as an extreme last resort. In between I can see there is a large gray area.

As always I welcome comments, however on this topic I reserve the right to ridicule anyone who tries to treat a zygote and a 26-week-old fetus as the same thing without a good explanation of why they think that. (That goes for either side).

Monday, October 12, 2009

Evil Minion Monday: Don’t Tread on Me

Remembering how our founding fathers responded to tyranny, I boldly declared to the Evil Cat Minions, “Don’t Tread on Me!”



Unfortunately, one Minion took this as challenge:


They are treading on me.

She unleashed her Evil Mind Control Rays and my bold statement became:
“Well, OK you can Tread on Me a little.”


The Minions continue to tread on me.

It was all I could do to fight back by rubbing her ears and scratching her chin that I was able to break her mind control.

I ran into the house and opened a can of tuna and gave it to her to break off her Evil Mind Control. That will teach her to tread on me.