Wednesday, December 31

facebook: "Whoa, hold the nursing and give them more suggestive ads."

Why is this:

More sexually explicit than this?:

The first picture was removed by facebook a few days ago. The other is one of many ads (and photos) that facebook allows (or gets money from!), and continues to harass people who aren't interested in prostitutes. What is up with our standards? facebook has been pulling pictures of mothers nursing their babies to make it a comfortable place for "everyone" to go, but yet they do nothing about the countless suggestive ads (like the one above, which is for a dating site--yes, a "real" dating site)? Here is an article that addresses their policy. It is not just facebook either. The media gets away with all kinds of material that is supposed to by "child" friendly... what about the above ad is child friendly? But gosh, if a woman's breast is shown in the context of nursing, then it's taken down? Aren't a lot of these children still nursing anyway? 

Perhaps breastfeeding babies cannot afford to be airbrushed, nor do they bring in the same revenue of more obscene content.

I don't have a problem with facebook specifically. They can set whatever rules they want to, no matter how ridiculous or inconsistent. It is our society that has produced these backwards standards.

Sunday, December 28

Completely Subjective Top 5 Movies in 2008

After reviewing the movies I saw this year, I realized that for the most part, they have all been summer megacorp blockbusters.

There are a few that I still plan to see, like Eastwood's Gran Torino or Rachel Getting Married (can't pass up Eastwood as a racist curmudgeon, nor any movie about family strife, due to my professional interests).

What did you like this year? Any gems that I have missed? Feel free to be honest, because really, my list is pretty main-stream.
  1. The Dark Knight - No contest, at least for the IMAX version.
  2. Mamma Mia! - By no means a great film, but with the energy of the theater crowd I loved it.
  3. There Will Be Blood - Yes, it was released in 2007 (on Dec. 26th) for Oscar consideration. However, I saw it this year, and was amazed. Kind of a downer, but powerful.
  4. Iron Man - Burger King successfully marketed their cheeseburgers, to me anyway.
  5. Wall-E.
Honorable Mention: The X-Files: I Want to Believe - Mulder and Scully together again. As long as the chemistry is there, you could put them in Indiana Jones or Cloverfield and I would watch it.

Two superheroes, Pierce Brosnan singing, and Pixar? Do I need to expand my tastes a little? Other movies I considered but felt they were ultimately flawed:
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Just because it's long, doesn't mean it's a good movie. Plus, too much of it felt Forrest Gump-y. Take out 45 minutes and it would be pretty decent, with some interesting themes and a few existential dilemmas.
  • Pineapple Express - Watched it on a plane. Really funny, but ultimately way too violent in a senseless B-movie kind of way, which ended up just feeling weird.
  • Horton Hears a Who - Who knows? If I had not of fallen asleep, it may have been really good!
I also want to make another plug for kids-in-mind. Our ratings system is still flawed, as Benjamin Button is not for 13 year-olds (in my opinion).

Thursday, December 18

One of the reasons why I voted for Obama

"Barack Obama has an ability to be friends with people he disagrees with."

What an idea! 

Conservatives may find it pandering, liberals may be mortally offended, but I like Obama's choice of Evangelical Pastor Rick Warren to give the prayer at his inauguration. Perhaps some people are peeved by his choice, but it makes me proud to support our new President. We live in a pluralistic society. We often disagree on major issues, and the President has the job of uniting all of us. We all have differences of opinion, and sometimes they're pretty big. I believe we can always find some common ground, however. While Obama and Warren obviously do not agree on gay rights (nor do I), how can we really claim to believe in diversity if we don't accept those who don't accept us?

Perhaps liberals can embrace Obama's efforts, and truly become the party of tolerance:
"And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the [Re]publicans so?"


Wednesday, December 17

Books (mostly) read in 2008

After reading a blog-friend's post about all the amazing books she read in a year, I thought I'd show off all the drivel that I've been reading! Well, there are a few good titles here...

Gang Leader for a Day - Sudhir Venkatesh - A sociologist's experience basically living with a Chicago street gang over the course of a few years. His story is also in Freakonomics.
Under the Banner of Heaven - Jon Krakauer - I previously wrote about this one.
Into Thin Air - Jon Krakauer - Almost finished... it's very intriguing, and making me feel not so bad about driving around in 8" snow.
The Gift of Therapy - Irvin Yalom
Why Marriages Succeed or Fail - John Gottman
Family Therapy: History, Theory & Practice - Sam Gladding

Mary Mary - James Patterson
Along Came a Spider - James Patterson
Judge & Jury - James Patterson
Four Blind Mice - James Patterson
The Brethren - John Grisham
Twilight - Stephenie Meyer
New Moon - Stephenie Meyer
Y: The Last Man, Volume 1 - Bryan K. Vaughan

What stood out to me when making this list is that I have probably read parts of 20 or 30 more books (nonfiction of course, although I did stop from boredom halfway through Eclipse). Most of the fiction listed above was to keep me awake while driving, something that Patterson is generally pretty good at, although Krakauer has taken over as my driving stimulant of choice.

What has been your favorite book this year?

Tuesday, December 9

The Subaru Impreza WRX vs. The Chevy Citation II

Highway 24
Originally uploaded by ashergrey

Some friends of mine who seem to be photography experts compared to my dilettantish efforts took these of their respective sweet rides. You decide for yourself which car is cooler, because I think it's a toss up!

the citation
Originally uploaded by jayacg17