Friday, November 20, 2009

Militant Ginger's Weekly Roundup

Today, I'm just going to take a quick whizz through some of the headlines and stories that have sparked my interest this week.

New ancient crocodile species fossils found: Full story here.

Paleontology is not normally my thing - apart from using it to point out how idiotic those creationist lunatics are. However, this caught my attention:
"A 20-foot-long crocodile with three sets of fangs — like wild boar tusks — roamed parts of northern Africa millions of years."
National Geographic's Paul Sereno: "Damn, that's a big crocodile."

Right, I'm immediately shelving plans to build a time machine. I'm no fan of crocodiles at the best of times - but one that's as long as my Lincoln Town Car? And has three sets of fangs? I mean, how many sets of fangs does one twenty-foot long killing machine really need?

If this monstrous reptile was created by an 'Intelligent Designer' than that designer clearly had the mentality of an eight-year-old boy. "You know what this croc needs? More fangs!"

White House at odds with bishops over abortion: Full story here.
"The White House is on a collision course with Catholic bishops in an intractable dispute over abortion."
Oh no! If only we had some kind of immutable precedent separating Church and State! Then perhaps this wouldn't be an issue! Oh, wait, we do. It's called the First Amendment.

The Pope shoes President Obama knick-knacks from his days as a member of the Hitler Youth (I wish I was joking about that one...)

Seriously, I'm actually understanding of the position conservatives are taking - the ones who want to put rules into place with government-funded health care to ensure that tax-payer money doesn't go towards funding abortions. I don't personally think banning abortion in America is sensible or practical, but it's one of the few right-wing positions that I can at least sympathize with.

While I don't think the right wing can argue that 'all life is sacred' when they support Capital Punishment in the US, torture detainees, bomb civilians abroad and send under-equipped soldiers to their deaths in (arguably) pointless foreign wars, anybody with a brain can see that there are deep ethical implications connected to abortion. I can understand how some Americans are wildly upset to think they'd be indirectly paying for them.

My problem? That bishops are getting involved. So maybe they're more 'community leaders' than 'messengers from God' - but I'm an old school, Revolutionary-mindset American and I think the Catholic Church has no business meddling in the affairs of state.

Kate Moss Slammed for Skinny Comments: Full story here.
"Groups representing the anti-eating-disorder movement in the U.K. are blasting supermodel Kate Moss for a seemingly offhand remark she made in a recent interview with the fashion website WWD: 'Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.' "
I think Kate Moss is a vacuous idiot, who's far too skinny, has terrible teeth and makes an awful role-model by hanging around sleazy, heroin-addicted enfant terrible Pete Docherty.

Kate Moss - singlehandedly perpetuating the stereotype of all Brits having bad teeth since 1994

Yet as somebody whose just lost 30lbs on a diet, what she said totally speaks to me. When I'm salivating over the thought of a slice of pizza (Dominos, thin crust, pepperoni, Italian sausage, onions and bacon) all I have to do is remember that eating right has helped me get into the same size jeans I wore when I was 18 - and I don't want to throw away all that progress for a slice of pie (even delicious, tangy, spicy pizza pie.)

[And prize for most metrosexual comment of the day goes to... Militant Ginger! Congratulations! Come down and accept your gift vouchers for a free manicure and copy of Woman's Weekly - Editorial Bear]

Don't get me wrong. I love women with a few curves. These skinny size-zero models are simply disgusting to me (believe me, you should meet them in the flesh - what little of it there is.)

I think they're a terrible role model for kids, too. Yet there's nothing wrong with wanting to be a reasonable weight and in a country in which 66% of us are officially 'chubby' I don't think it's any bad thing to find personal motivation not to gorge.

Because eating too much is entirely natural. We're evolved from cavemen, who were programmed to scrounge constantly for food and eat as much of it as they could. This is why the human body finds 'moderation' a pretty tricky concept.

If we need a little intellectual motivation every now and again - to do something unnatural, and not stuff our faces - remembering how feeling of being a healthy weight lasts longer than the delicious sensation of a slice of pizza is a perfect place to start.

Oprah Winfrey Ending Talk Show Run On Network TV: Full story here.
"Oprah Winfrey will announce on Friday that her popular daytime talk show, "The Oprah Winfrey Show," will end its run in 2011."
Oprah Winfrey's story is pretty amazing. The poor daughter of a single mum in Mississippi, she overcame hardship and poverty to become the richest African American of the 20th Century. She was the world's first black billionaire, one of America's richest women and, arguably, the most influential woman on the planet. She took the concepts of 'white/male privilege' and the so-called 'glass ceiling' and showed the world that those rules didn't apply to her.

Oprah is an inspiration to everybody - proof that you make your own destiny, no matter what hand fate dealt you in the very beginning.

For twenty-five years, the flagship of Oprah's empire (which encompasses terrestrial and satellite radio, the Internet and print media) has been 'The Oprah Winfrey Show', broadcast from her home city of Chicago on ABC.

Today, it's ending - and the focus of Oprah's television dynasty will move to her cable-only channel The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN.)

It's a pretty startling move, as the Oprah Winfrey Show is one of the most popular TV shows in America. I personally wonder if she's making a similar move to the one Howard Stern made in 2005: After decades as America's most popular radio personality, Howard Stern basically 'made' the Satellite Radio industry by forcing his legions of fans to switch to SIRIUS.

If Oprah Winfrey decides to relaunch the Oprah Winfrey Show on OWN, when it hits the air in 2011, her millions of fans will face the same dilemma. The only way to get the Oprah Winfrey Network will be to choose a cable or satellite TV provider like Direct TV - you won't get OWN on regular cable.

Because of the proliferation of cable and Direct Satellite TV, over 70 million views will already be able to get OWN as soon as it goes live - simply by keeping their subscription to Satellite Directv.

However, just how many new Oprah fans will decide to switch their cable provider simply to get her show?

It stands to be an incredible coup for the companies lucky enough to have already made contracts with OWN.


Anonymous said...

What do you mean when you say 'you won't get OWN on regular cable'?

I've read that the new OWN channel will replace the Discover Health Channel, which you don't have to have DirectTV to get?

Roland Hulme said...

I don't think it has to be Direct TV - that was just an example - but I still don't think it's going to be on regular cable. I was told only 70 million viewers would be able to get it when it launches and cable has 94% reach or something, meaning it clearly can't be on EVERY cable network.

I'll have to do some more research into it.

Roland Hulme said...

According to Wiki:

Satellite DirecTV: Channel 279,
Channel 1279 (VOD)

Dish Network: Channel 189

C-Band AMC 11-Channel 613 (4DTV Digital)

Cable: Available on most cable systems. Check Local Listings for channels

paul mitchell said...

Roland, no where in the Fist Amendment is there anything about the separation of church and state. That is from a private letter written by President Jefferson to the Dansbury Baptist Association. A PRIVATE LETTER.

Roland Hulme said...

Ah, Paul - in the letter Jefferson was just explaining what 'no establishment of religion' meant.

The government can't do anything that promotes one religion over another (or non-religion.)

You can't have a bill banning something because it's contradicts the Christian faith if it doesn't contradict other faiths (or non faiths) because you're giving Christianity preferential treatment - you're establishing a religion by giving it foundation in law.

Similarly, you can't pass a law that makes criticizing Islam illegal if you don't make criticizing Christianity equally illegal (and even that's not good enough, since it's establishing the rights of 'faith' over non-faith.)

It's one of the best principles in the constitution and we could really do with it over in England, where it's one rule for the Muslim population and apparently another rule entirely for everybody else (not to sound like the Daily Mail.)

paul mitchell said...

I agree that Great Britain is a ridiculous country and always has been, but in this country, only the federal government cannot pass laws that have any bearing on religion, all of the states CAN DO THAT if they choose. Of course, with the liberal Supreme Court that we have had since the 1940s, those laws would be overturned no matter what in mere minutes. But, that hypothetical ruling would be unconstitutional in the literal sense of the term.

Roland Hulme said...

Technically, you're not wrong Paul - although I think even the most conservative person (who'd be a flaming liberal compared to you) would argue that the Founding Fathers implied that the spirit of the Bill of Rights would apply to state and even local law. If the Bill of Rights cements the immutable laws given to all men by 'Nature's God' - surely those laws are as equally immutable at a state level as they are at the federal level?

paul mitchell said...

Yes, this "nature's God" theory is correct, yet Salt Lake City was founded where Mormons could marry children and have a bunch of wives. Local law should always trump the federal ones, otherwise we would have standardized testing for public schools and they would all suck. Oh, wait, nevermind.

And by the true meaning of the word, I am nothing other than a radical. Conservatives are those that believe in Sharia Law and liberals are those that believe in stupid stuff that always fails. I believe in "Leave me the Hell alone and maybe I'll leave you the Hell alone."

Susanne said...

I enjoyed your weekly round-up and commentary. Congrats on your weight loss. That's awesome! :)