mean regression
when a sample is tested over and over again,
statistical outliers have a tendency to regress toward the mean

Friday, March 04, 2005  

back after being really sick for what seems like ages. so sick, i stopped smoking. if you know me, you know that's a very big deal.

other big deal things happening, rather challenging big deal things.

but anyways, why can't people seem to seperate out all the various attacks against ward churchill? UC seems to be going after him based on his eichmann comment, mostly. they never really cared about allegations of plagiarism or other sorts of academic dishonesty against chrchill until bill o'reilly started running off at the mouth about him. so all this is really a function of talk radio conservatives building, lighting, and stoking a fire gainst the left.

sorry, no time to link. maybe later.

posted by mean regression | 8:22 AM |

Sunday, February 06, 2005  

ward churchill recently resigned his position as department chair of ethnic studies at university of colorado due to protests and death threats against him over an essay (now intergated into a book) he wrote about the sept 11 attacks against the pentagon and world trade center. hamilton college just cancelled a speaking engagement there by him over what its administrators called "credible threats of violence" around his appearance. but there was a lot of controversy over his appearance at hamilton that wasn't death threat oriented, like protest by the governor of new york.

here is churchill's response.

posted by mean regression | 1:21 PM |

Friday, February 04, 2005  

what kind of university doesn't own one scantron machine? the kind i work for.

anyways, i had the occasion to check in with a couple of my classes about the wonderful bits of wisdom that harvard president larry summers has imparted to some of us. in one class, mixed level, about 20 students had heard. in another, only two had. all mostly science majors. and mostly women.

here's my plea. if you teach, find a way to work this issue into your curriculum. a lot of students haven't heard about it and they need to. we're doing them a disservice if we fail to bring this to their attention. if you're specifically a methods teacher, use summers' misinterpretation as an example in class. if you're an econ teacher, use summers as an illustration of what economists should aspire not to be. if you teach sociology or psychology, get genderful. and if you teach in any other kind of science at all, bring that lovely summers speech to your class's attention and break it down with them.

for the sake of the children.

posted by mean regression | 1:11 PM |

Monday, January 31, 2005  

back after a little hiatus. i've been busy. among other things, i've been grading papers by a class full of students known as SKOWLS. (the acronym stands for Stupid Kids of White Loser Supremacists.) i don't know if it's something about this particular school, or if it's the luck of the draw, but the chemistry of this class is the suck. it's like tom metzger and all his kinfolk decided to take my class. i designed these writing assignments for easy, quick grading. silly me. i didn't anticiapte they would automatically be so bad that i would have to spend a half an hour on each one.

after i discovered the kkk had infiltrated my class, my attitude turned sour. my natural predisposition to encouraging critical thought in my students took a running swan dive off the cliff of dedication. my friends were quite surprised that i was ready to give up on my students. that's just not me, or it hasn't been in the past, ever. then one of my friends, a sign language interpreter, shared with me some experiencs she's had in the classroom, and now, now, i'm ready to come at the class from a new angle. we'll see how it goes.

but first i have to deal with today's lovely and very welcomed fashion crisis.

posted by mean regression | 8:19 AM |

Sunday, January 23, 2005  

Punch Line Meme from adm
Copy and replace any you don't know with a different one in bold.

1. And boy, are my arms tired
2. The backstoke
3. One's a cunning linguist
4. I'm looking for the man who shot my paw
5. None. The invisible hand does it. <- for techstep
6. Trying to get an adequate sample size
7. George, it's pronounced "quiche"
8. No, frayed knot
9. Yesterday, we were campaigning. Today, you voted for us!
10. Got any grapes?

wocka wocka wocka

posted by mean regression | 8:49 AM |

Friday, January 21, 2005  

i heard that the the not one damn dime day boycottt had an extremely strong effect on bush administration policy and the u.s. is now extending handshakes of peace to iran, and syria! what a great idea that boycott was! bush also announced that his people will begin drafting national health care insurance legislation and lobbying for national living wage pay! that boycott sure was a great idea, look how much it accomplished! and the organizers even included an aknowledgement their boycott was called on eid al adha!

seriously. privileged "activists" have to lose their attachment to money. a one-day boycott of buying stuff won't bring anyone to their knees. this kind of one day symbolic protest isn't that big a deal to the machine - everyone knows that the boycotted spending will just be made up later by these materialistic yokels who think anyone in power was looking at them refusing to use their credit cards on a single black thursday. the black thursday boycott was just kids playing with their computers, not even going so far as to consider what else was going on that day. it was a tantrum, not even at the "i'm gonna hold my breath till i get what i want" level.

a one day general strike sure would have a better shot of getting attention. more importantly, the groundwork that would have to be done before such a thing could take place would have to be intense. it would require everyone communicate with each other and real and useful coalition building. it would require a clear statement of intention. it would require plans and goals. a first step would be for privileged so-called activists to lose their attachment to money, because workers do not get paid during general strikes and may very well get fired. and then they couldn't "boycott" anything.

posted by mean regression | 3:51 PM |

Wednesday, January 19, 2005  

damn it feels good to be a gangster.

we watched office spaceso many times this weekend, just cause we could and just cause it's funny. we watched it in slow-mo with the zoom on, even. on monday night i looked under my bed and took out the only thing under there, a power drill (don't ask) and installed some blinds that have been hanging around the back porch for six months. i tried to twirl the drill around my finger like peter gibbons, but i need more practice. now i'm looking for a fax machine. the computer in the adjunct room just might do.

posted by mean regression | 7:42 AM |

Thursday, January 13, 2005  


what would you do if you were a functionary in an organization that depended on a certain of class of people who, at the slightest peep from you, can produce excellent, rigorous, interesting courses from scratch in one day? how would you treat these people if you knew that if it weren't for them, your inefficient ass would be plastered all over the papers because whole flocks of seniors couldn't graduate this spring if it weren't for the people that design and teach these courses at the very last minute? would you denigrate them, even though it was your inadequate organizational skills that caused the problem? would you be snotty, unhelpful, and boastful to your peonish saviors? you could, you know, because the job market stinks so bad that lots of really stellar academic heroes are around to cover for those bloopers, ones that people get paid 85k a year to make. you could because if one of them even looked at you funny, you could simply not re-hire him/her and find someone else to do just as heroic a job for less than minimum wage too.


posted by mean regression | 11:31 AM |

Wednesday, January 12, 2005  

palestinians had a very, extremely, free election. uh huh. i don't think this kind of activity has anything to do with how people vote. nope.

posted by mean regression | 10:23 AM |

Sunday, January 09, 2005  

way back when, during the time that michael moore was constructing fahrenheit 911, he decided to use about a third of the run time of the film to create a tenuous case against some saudis and then leave the issue open with no concusion - because no conclusion could logically be made from the evidence he presented. nevertheless, he decided to go with it, leaving the seeds sown for a nice full crop of xenophobia to flourish among the u.s. left. moore spent a few minutes on the appeals of congressional black caucus members to the senate to open discussion on the last election, but he did't elaborate on that either. he didn't spend anywhere near as much time on it as he spent on promoting suspicion against saudis.

if he did, the u.s. left, arguabley as conditioned as the right to gobble up whatever's presented in what it perceives to be "its" media (see foucault et al) may have had a different focus in this election. let's face it, f 911 didnt win over too many from the center or the right last november, and it was presumptious of moore to beleive it would. but what f911 could have done, and moore knew this of course, was focus the opinion of the left on certain issues, like racism.

when the cbc approached the senate after the 2000 election, not one senator would listen, not even kerrry. nor would kennedy, ar anyone else from any of the so called liberal strongholds.

this time someone did. here's a quote from a story about it:
“When John Kerry concedes on election night because Bush gets 4,258 votes and there are only 638 registered voters, this is not partisan matter,” said Fitrakis, who with Harvey Wasserman co-authored the book “Ten Preliminary Reasons Why the Bush Vote Doesn’t Compute.”
so, cheers to barbara boxer. on this issue, anyways.

posted by mean regression | 9:05 AM |

Saturday, January 08, 2005  

in the tradition of friday confessions, i have something to say. a few weeks ago on an early saturday morning i was surfing through the channels trying to get a weather report, and i came across this gorgeous specimen of a man. ever since, every saturday morning, i get up early to watch his show. it's a hideous piece of work: it leaves nothing up to the imagination of its (supposedly) young viewers, and it's loud, harsh, and overstimulating. but i endure the pain, just so i can watch my man. he's like a david. i just looked at the picture of him in the link above, and it really doesn't do him justice. you have to see him in action. the funny thing is, he's really not my type. my goodness, what's become of me?

posted by mean regression | 8:04 AM |

Wednesday, January 05, 2005  

okay, the furnace is fixed again and i can get back to work. when it was broken my fingers were too cold to type. i didn't know there were plastic kid toys in my furnace. apparently there was something wrong with the ignition transformer.

i have this obsession about elegantly scheduling my courses. i try to maximize the elegance level for each individual course, and then just as critically, i try to get them all to function efficiently together for me, the prof with the daily commute schedule, the big classes, and no teaching assistants. it's sucking to stagger all the assignments and midterms this winter. i guess i'll just have to settle on something even if it isn't perfect. that will be hard to do because i haven't been able to elegantly schedule in my gym time or yoga time, so the stress could eat me alive no matter what i do. it's pissing me off.

i had dreams of spending the break with my perfect kids, taking yoga classes and lingering in those snobby tea houses drinking their cheapest cups and laughing way to loudly. maybe even snort-laughing. i want to make time for that these next couple of days. i have to get over this drive i have to be super single mom. i've already let so much go, and i still don't have time for the important stuff, the stuff that i know will be what i think is most important when i'm really old and looking back over my life and my kids'. cats in the cradle kind of stuff. it's so hard sometimes. i guess for now i'll leave the lights on the porch. i don't have to take them down this week. if my dad saw them up still he would faint though. adjuncting is not a good career for a super single mom to have. heh, adjuncting isn't a career. where the helll did that come from?

another newly discovered obsession: vanilla soy dream with trader joe's organic chocolate sauce poured all over it and mushed together. bomb diggity! and i can eat it again now that the heat's back on. now i just have to convince myself it's good for the blood sugar.

posted by mean regression | 1:13 PM |

Monday, January 03, 2005  

this term is shaping up nicely in that i don't have any stressful commutes to negotiate between classes. last fall's commute was scary. there was this stretch of road i had to book down, it was one of those roads right along the side of a ridge with no guard rail. it regularly gets icy, even when other roads don't ice up. none of that this winter. and that's a big effing relief.

so, i made some resolutions for the new year:
gain weight
smoke at least a pack a day
cut down on trips to the gym
sleep more
procrastinate more

i like to succeed. what can i say. seriously, though, a friend regifted me with a sark day book. the theme for each day of the first week or so of the year is procrastination. i started reading it thinking it would be juicy, you know, but it whacked me hard in the side of my neck and knocked the breath out of me. the links she makes between procrastination and self esteem and perfectionism really made me take it all, which i knew on one level, a couple of levels deeper. i still need to keep reminding myself that i'm not actually that much of a procrastinator, that i'm awfully busy, more busy than most people. but procrastination does feel good at times, even though i beat myself up for doing it. no more beating myself up. there are plenty of other people around to do that. thanks for the book, d.

posted by mean regression | 2:25 PM |

Wednesday, December 29, 2004  

from sukaynah

A group of bloggers set up a website that provides information on
how you can help aid victims of the tsunami in South and Southeast

How you can help
1. Please pass this URL around.
2. You can use it to post any info you have on:
where to send money,
what kind of help is needed,
aid organisations,
email addresses,
phone numbers
news updates

this looks like a potentially great resource for getting word about friends and family in the area.

posted by mean regression | 9:50 AM |

Saturday, December 25, 2004  

dogma is still funny as ever.

ny friend gave me one of the most thoughtful, excellent solstamas gifts ever, and one i really need: a gift certificate for a massage. i can't wait.

northern lattidudes joke of the day:
this guy goes to see the doctor on december 21st (also known as techstep's birthday and the winter solstice.) the doctor tells the guy she has some good news and some bad news. the guy asks for the bad news first. "well, the bad news is you only have about 30 days left to live." the guy groans and falls to his knees and begs for the good news. the doctor says, "okay. the good news is, the days are getting longer!"

posted by mean regression | 1:26 PM |

Tuesday, December 21, 2004  

for red head dread:

Spinach Pies (Fatayer Sbinakh)

Before you go to bed, take two pounds of chopped spinach out of the freezer to defrost. Get some sleep.

Make the dough:
Dissolve one packet of yeast in a quarter cup of water. Ad a pinch of sugar to feed the yeast. Pour three good cups of white (whatever you do, don't use whole wheat) flour in a big bowl. Add the dissolved yeast. Stir. Add 1/2 cup olive oil and stir till well mixed. Add a cup of warm water. Stir/knead. Add more flour if you need to. The dough should be really pleasant: smooth, elastic, and not sticky. Knead it for about 15 minutes. Set it aside to rest and rise for an hour in a warm place.

While you wait, make the filling:
Put the spinach in a colander, cover with salt, and press out the excess liquid. Then get a clean cotton dishtowel, not the terrycloth kind, and put about half the spinach in the middle. Squeeze out all the liquid you can by wringing and pressing. When you think you've gotten all the liquid out, find another way to get some more out. Repeat with the rest of the spinach. Put in a bowl and pick out the unappetizing stems. Mix in a really big finely chopped onion, 1/2 cup of olive oil, and juice from four lemons (more if you like 'em really sour like we do.) throw in a tablespoon of sumac if you want for extra sour punch, though it's not necessary, and if you have a pomegranate laying around you can toss in some juice but that's not necessary either. Add a teaspoon of salt, then taste it. Add more salt if you need to. It should be salty.

Pinch off a 2-3 inch ball of dough. (The long way requires an extra rising. Here you would make balls of dough and let them rise again. Do it if you have time, it makes a difference.) Punch it down, and roll it out to about 1/8 inch thick. Put a table spoon more or less of spinach in the middle, and fold it up like a triangle. Close the edges smoothly so they don't get burnt crusts. Bake at 400-550 on oiled sheets, middle rack, for about ten minutes or so, maybe longer, until the bottoms get brown. If the tops aren't brown by then, turn the broiler on them for a bit.


These findings from cornell (there's a link to the full report o the news site) are interesting.


joke of the day: (hope vig gets a kick out of this one)
on the first day of class, after she went over the syllabus, the sarcastic professor says, "now if there are any idiots in the room, please stand up." after a long period of uncofortable silence, one student finally stands up. the teacher asks, "and why do you consider yourself an idiot?" the student replies, " actually, i don't, but i hate to see you standing up there all by yourself."

posted by mean regression | 7:03 AM |

Monday, December 20, 2004  

what the hell? my opinion of netflix just dropped down another notch. the first drop was from them not stocking a decent selection of certain foreign films. but now i've discovered the mother of all fauxes pas, and this will be their ultimate downfall, they don't carry the muppet christmas carol. how is that a good business decision on their part? how can they diss kermie and miss piggy like that? unbelievable.

posted by mean regression | 10:10 AM |

Sunday, December 19, 2004  

someone in the family said yesterday that all she wanted to do was stay home in her pj's and watch movies. so here's the log, a combination of netflix and network tv. the playlist couldn't be much trashier.
chapelle's show
remember the titans
hanging up
the last two we watched at the same time, which didn't take much brain power, actually, none of the above took much brain power. on deck for today:
everbody's famous
maria full of grace
anger management
incident at oglala
whatever else is on the doubleyew bee tonight

i've been saving alot of really good stuff on the netflix queue till next week. the five at a time plan is working out nicely for us. i plan on finishing brick lane over the next couple of days too. it's good. the big baking project starts tomorrow: cookies, cakes, spinach pies, and possibly baklawa. i will wear a pretty apron all day, because i know the baked products come out better whenever i do. i'll also use the super duper kevlar and asbestos arm protecting pot holder my friend e got me as well because she's concerned about the health of my forearms.

joke of the day:
a woman hears from her doctor that she has only half a year to live. the doctor advises her to marry an economist and to live in texas. the woman asks: will this cure my disease? the doctor says: no, but the half year will seem pretty long.

posted by mean regression | 8:05 AM |

Friday, December 17, 2004  

cue james brown.
i feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel good

how do i know fall term is over? because the bazillion pound weight is off my shoulders, and i have a list of things to get done vite. i gotta mail crap, shop, bake, schedule appointments, do the syllabi for next term, make solstice gifts, clean the house, clean the house, clean the house, prune the hedges, and rake the leaves. my master plan was to start applying for civilian jobs around november, but i didn't because first a ball, there was nothing good to apply for; and second a ball, i was wickedly busy with traveling and my tight schedule so that i didn't have time to waste applying for long shots or dopey jobs. even if i did get hired for something in early december, it would have been awfully short notice to give my adjunct jobs. and i know, i know, it's my perogative as an adjunct without a contract to bail whenever i see fit, but i guess i'm just too much of a sucker or not enough of a shark or something to feel motivated and good about leaving my departments in a lurch. so i'm in for another stretch of the joyful, non t.a. supported, unappreciated, vastly undercompensated, ultra-critical work of educating your undergrads, oh sacred ivory tower.

i'm king arthur standing outside of the castle, and the french taunters are up there throwing cows at me. too bad i'm vegan.

i should say that for all the grief a couple of students gave me this term, the gratification level i experienced was pretty darn high. i saw students get stuff like never before. so, ultimately i'm content, even though i'm poor and my kids need new shoes. i know that (cue annie lennox: i saved the world today) i've made a difference. can't talk about it here, but damn, i'm good.

now all i have to do is get that thing written. the motivation isn't there. i know i won't be adjuncting forever because i want a full time job and it aint gonna happen for me around here with teaching. so what's the point? someone else will eventually figure out what i'm going to write about anyways, and i have appointments to schedule, crap to mail, leaves to rake, and kids to tend to. maybe if i had a wife...

posted by mean regression | 8:08 AM |

Thursday, December 16, 2004  

a math quiz!

Congratulations! You are the First Fundamental Theorem of Calculus

The big guns! Most people go over you in high school calculus but fail to see your intrinsic beauty, but you know you're great.

Which Fundamental Theorem of Mathematics Are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

posted by mean regression | 1:54 PM |

Tuesday, December 14, 2004  

how is it possible that i can have such a bad case of diarrhea of the mouth while my foot is so firmly lodged in it?

posted by mean regression | 10:43 AM |

Sunday, December 12, 2004  

you know that nasaly voice of the grownups talking in all the old peanuts movies?
waaah waah waaaaaah
that's what my students' papers sound like to me right now. oh! the lack of creativity! first-year comp people, what are you teaching your students? this is all your fault!

best comment i didn't write on a paper so far this term:
thank you for this! i was dealing with a stubborn bout of insomnia and your paper put me right to sleep! A+!

so. new policy. any paper turned into me from here on out must contain at least one joke.
knock knock
who's there?
marx who?
marx depend on keeping your teacher interested in your paper.

posted by mean regression | 9:06 AM |

Friday, December 10, 2004  

cows are not male, they're female, for chrissakes. alrighty then. when magical trevor starts to piss me off, i know i better get to work and get this damn grading done. i like doing it, there's just so fricking much of it.

posted by mean regression | 11:52 AM |

fall term trend analysis

of 100 students polled, the number who used the following excuses...
travel plans during an exam: 4
sick or dead grandparents: 3
stolen backpacks: 2
dead computers: 2
broken cars: 2
sick friend: 1
dead friend: 1
sick dog: 1
sick kids: too numerous to count

and i've noticed a new trend: students who refuse to turn in the term paper. maybe i'm just behind the times, or i've been a better motivater in the past, but this is new to me. i want to fail them for not completing all the coursework, but i didn't explicitly state that i would in my syllabi. it's implied though. they'll probably fail anyways if they get zeros on their papers. that makes me sad, and i'm also concerned about their mental health. what makes me happy is the amount of absolutely kick-ass papers other students have written.

posted by mean regression | 7:46 AM |

Saturday, December 04, 2004  

so many so called pundits are predicting that after arafat's death, if that bad plo doeesn't replace arafat with another bad guy, there will be a lovely harmonic peace between iasrael and palestinians. what this fails to take into account is that israeli policy is imperialist and colonialist . take for example the info in this letter that's making the rounds:

A list of phone numbers is at the end of this letter. Please act now to stop the destruction of farmlands in the Palestinian village of Jayyous. These orchards, fields and greenhouses are well within the Palestinian territories, far from the Israeli border. They have been cut off by the separation wall, but farmers have been allowed limited access through a gate operated by Israeli soldiers. Within the past few days, bulldozers have arrived and are destroying these farmlands to build a new Israeli settlement. 95% of the families depend on these lands for their only income, and village water supplies are located there, so in very real terms, Israel is killing an entire village. There are things you can do to change this.

Every phone call makes a difference to members of Congress. You will receive a receptionist who will record your call, and the numbers of people expressing concern will be reported to the senator or congressman. I have been telling these offices that there are many Rhode Islanders concerned with this village, and that some of us have been and stayed in the homes of families there. Now it is up to you provide substance to this claim. Your phone calls are urgently needed NOW! Lives are depending on it.

When calling our leaders and those in Israel, here is what you might say:

1. Bulldozers have appeared this week in the fields and orchards of Jayyous, a small farming community in the northern West Bank, and are destroying the village's farmland to build a new settlement. This is the only source of income for most people in the village, and the location of their primary water wells.

2. Building settlements on stolen land is illegal, violating the Geneva Conventions and universal laws regarding the theft of private property.

3. It is in violation of commitments Israel has made to the United States about the wall not annexing territory.

4. This demonstrates that much of the Separation Wall is designed for land confiscation, rather than security. (A map of the most fertile lands and water sources, compared with the route of the wall, also confirms this. The new settlement will place Israelis in immediate proximity to villagers whose land has been taken, proving that this "buffer zone" is an empty argument for the wall's location.)

5. The action in Jayyous, and the route of the wall which traps thousands of Palestinians between Israel and the wall, are clear and present examples of ethnic cleansing.

6. Israel's settlement activity on Palestinian land is continuing at a rapid pace. This endangers the peace process and the lives of people in Israel. When Palestinians feel the international community will not protect them from activities that are destroying whole villages, a violent response may seem for some the only option.

The people of Jayyous have done everything possible in terms of non-violent action as the wall cut through their land. They have testified at the Hague, started websites, published reports, invited people from all over the world to their village to see the wall's impact, and linked arms with Jewish peace activists from Israel to march against the taking of their land. Israeli soldiers responded by opening fire on the marchers, severely wounding several, including two Israelis. We must respond to this non-violent cry for justice now, before these hard working self sufficient people are reduced to refugees with no means of supporting themselves and their families.

Please call each member of your congressional delegation -- they can all be reached in Washington at (202) 224-3121, as well as the State Department Near East Desk (202) 647-2647, White House (202) 456-1111, and the American Consulate in Israel (011-972-3-519-7575) before 9:30 am est. Ask to speak to Chris Stevens or Neil Hopp, who have promised to investigate this. Senator Chafee is in Israel right now, and will be meeting with Arial Sharon. Please ask his office to be sure he mentions what is happening in Jayyous.

Your actions can help save lives, but time is critical. Thank you!

Susanne Hoder

not everyone has bought into the idea that israel can do no wrong. i'm not going to make the case here, there's plenty of good solid info out there about the atrocities israel has been up to. take for instance, the alderpeople of the town of sommerville, massachusetts:

Note: Co-sponsored by 8 out of 11 Aldermen, this resolution is now before the Board of Alderman, who will vote on it on December 9th, 2004. The Board will be accepting comments until December 1st.

Whereas, Israel is currently militarily occupying land seized in the Six Day War of 1967, including the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242; and

Whereas, during this occupation, Israel has, and continues to, violate the Fourth Geneva Convention on Rules of War of 1949, of which it is a signatory, by engaging in acts against Palestinians including

* Blocking humanitarian aid
* Engaging in collective punishment such as demolishing homes, destroying olive groves and curfews
* Using excessive force on demonstrators
* Acquiring land illegally across the Green Line
* Repopulating land in the occupied territories (settlements)
* Using Palestinian homes as army military stations
* Blocking ambulances
* Detaining individuals without charge
* Use of torture and ill-treatment of prisoners and

Whereas, the City of Somerville abhors and unequivocally opposes all attacks, by either Israelis or Palestinians, where civilian casualties are likely, whether the attacks are aggressive or retaliatory; and

Whereas, the Board of Alderman of the City of Somerville, in order to remain consistent with its commitment to human rights, is against contributing to and profiting from the above violations of human rights by investment in companies that sell equipment used directly in these violations, and by investment in Israeli Bonds, which are part of the funds from which Israel finances these violations;

Therefore be it resolved that:

1. The Board of Aldermen of the City of Somerville urges all investors in the city to divest from companies involved with Israel's human rights violations and from Israel Bonds.

2. The Board of Alderman of the City of Somerville specifically recommends the divestment of funds currently invested in the following:

a. Israel Bonds, which help fund Israel's violations of human rights,
b. Caterpillar Inc., which profits from bulldozers that are used by Israel to illegally demolish homes
c. United Technologies, which makes the Blackhawk helicopter that is used for illegal attacks involving civilian populations

d. General Electric, which produces parts used in Apache helicopters that are used in illegal attacks involving civilian populations,

e. Boeing, which sells AH64 Apache helicopters used in illegal attacks involving civilians,

f. General Dynamics Corporation, which produces weaponry used on F16 fighter jets used in illegal Israeli attacks in civilian areas,

g. Northrop Grumman Corporation, which produces high energy lasers used by Israel in its military occupation
h. Lockheed Martin, which produces missile systems used by Israel

and all companies that manufacture military equipment used in Israel's illegal military occupation.

posted by mean regression | 1:03 PM |

Tuesday, November 30, 2004  

so i'm a flasher now.

buy nothing day was very very good to me. i got a 50 dollar flash drive for ten bucks. i needed it REALLY BAD. none of my schools would put zip drives in our offices, and only one school had a zip drive in one of the classrooms. i don't have a cd burner, so i was always emailing myself sttuff and wondering how it was going to come out on the other side (deformatted, usually) or else i was dragging around that infernally huge zip drive everywhere i went. the flash is so cute - it's the size of a lighter. bless the geek a million times who invented that thing. i love it, i love it, it's so unusual when i can make my life this much easier.

obligatory holiday update: remarkably, no one in my family commented on my weight over the holiday. it was nice, but weird. kind of like having my head on the guillotine and waiting for the blade to drop, but it never did.

here's a really interesting article about the chicago city college faculty strike. the full time faculty ended up getting a lot of their demands met and the adjuncts/part-timers that refused to cross the picket line got canned. what a position to be in. i'd like to think that if i was in the same situation, i wouldn't cross the picket line either. but i don't know, i'm more of an industrial unionist. the full-time faculty demands didn't include, as far as i can tell, job security protections and other benefits for part-timers. they should have all organized together. if the full-timers' union wouldn't represent the part-timers, a better strategy would have been to ditch the union and go with one big union. those students sure did stand up for their teachers, though.

posted by mean regression | 3:02 PM |

Tuesday, November 23, 2004  


email from my friend who works in a clinic:

The Centers for Disease Control has issued a warning about a new virulent strain of sexually transmitted disease. This disease is contracted through dangerous and high risk behavior. The disease is called Gonorrhea Lecthim (pronounced "gonna-ree-a-lect-him").

Many victims have contracted it after having been screwed for the past 4 years, and in spite of having taken measures to protect themselves from this especially virulent disease.

Cognitive sequellae of individuals infected with Gonorrhea Lecthim include, but are not limited to: Anti-social personality disorder traits; delusions of grandeur with a distinct messianic flavor; chronic mangling of the English language; extreme cognitive dissonance; inability to incorporate new information; pronounced xenophobia; inability to accept responsibility for actions; exceptional cowardice masked by acts of misplaced bravado; ignorance of geography and history; tendencies toward creating evangelical theocracies; and a strong propensity for categorical, all-or nothing behavior.

posted by mean regression | 1:47 PM |

Monday, November 22, 2004  

when i took little binky to the mall this weekend for some green sparkly shoelaces, just for the hell of it i tried on some boots. even though they were kind of clunky and looked sort of manly, they were cute and comfortable, and had enough of a bottom on them to hedge myself against flying across the room and landing on my face during a lecture. i was so tempted to spend the heating oil money on them, but, alas, i was a good, responsible householder and kept my wallet in my pocketbook.

an old friend of mine passed away. we met when all our kids, who are about the same age, were tiny - the youngest were newborns. it was lung cancer; poor kids, he was a really good dad. he lived life kind of hard, harder than me. i've always felt that one of the best parenting moves i could make was to quit smoking. i quit smoking when i got pregnant with my oldest and didn't smoke again until the youngest was done breastfeeding. then, genius that i am, i started up again. i quit again for about a year and then closet smoked until last year when i came out full blown. i know i'm setting a bad example for the kids, especially now, about how to take care of myself and how to take care of business. they know why our friend died. my justifications for not quitting are thus: i've lived a way healthier life than him so my body can process it better, i only smoke the additive free ones, and if i quit, i know i'll gain alot of weight (i did last time and i still haven't gotten rid of it) and if i gain alot of weight i'll have to get a new wardrobe and there's no way in hell i can afford that, not even with the money i save from smoking. i don't actually smoke that much.

i hate that tv show the west wing. it's the worst kind of propaganda, the kind that's disguised as something nice and fluffy and friendly. i hate the way arabs are portrayed on the show, and i can't stand the way they portray muslim countries, even if they're fictionally named. the human qualities that the main characters are so aptly drwn with obscure the fact that people who work in presidential administrations, even democrats, are wankers - the power elite. but i try to watch it when i can, just like i try to check in often with right-wing talk radio. it's best to know what the enemy is up to. anyways, i haven't seen it in a while, and the last few i saw only in snippets. what happened to leo, did he croak?

yoga: my twists are really getting intense. i think the muscle tightness around all my old broken ribs is finally starting to loosen up, but now the pain in them is coming back. i suppose it's a good thing. i intend to keep working through it and see what happens.

posted by mean regression | 8:09 AM |

Saturday, November 13, 2004  

saw an old colleague the other day. he gave me shit for the nikes i was wearing, the hand-me-downs my neighbor gave me after she saw my old shoes, the ones she gave me four years ago, were literally falling apart. the last pair of sneakers i bought were chucky t high tops, before converse got bought out the first time.

i have asthma, but i can't afford to pay for the doctor's appointment i need so i can get another inhaler. a year or so ago, my last hoarded inhaler ran out, so some nice chick gave me one (you know who you are.) i have no idea when i'll ever be able to get another without paying for a doctor's appointment, and i have zero time to sit in the "low cost" clinic to wait for one of their appointments. so when my asthma kicks up, i skip the medicine unless i'm about to literally keel over. i have other unappealing health things going on that i won't go into here, ones i can't afford to take care of.

so i shop on buy nothing day if there's a good sale on something i need. and i wear nikes. and i buy low-quality sweatshop made crap i need off the dollar rack at target. i'm not going to change the world by not doing those things. my old colleague, he can boycott that stuff. me, i can't afford to.

posted by mean regression | 8:09 AM |

Monday, November 08, 2004  

i have a love-hate relationships with study guides. on the one hand, they really help students focus their study time. on the other hand, i include everythng on them from texts, lectures, and classwork. i might as well just tell the students to study everything. in the past that's what i did, and it worked for some students, but other students seem to do better if i write down what "everything" is. dude. that's what your notes are for.

i always thought that castro and arafat would live forever. i take that back. one of my dreams is to travel to cuba before the old man dies. i just always thought i would have a really long time to get there. but arafat's fading away makes me think that if i want to see castro's cuba, i better get there soon.

we're in for some big changes. when those big-time charismatic leaders, the symbol of the struggle kind of people die, things happen. i wonder what's to come. shame the zionists won't let arafat be buried in jerusalem.

posted by mean regression | 11:19 AM |

Saturday, November 06, 2004  

don't worry, be happy.

the presidential election results were crushing, more so for some than for others. before the u.s. was even a country, people have been organizing against tyrrany here. it's never stopped. some communities are more used to dragging up off the ground, brushing off, and getting those dukes back up than others.

hopefully this latest selection will not dicourage relative newcomers to the struggle. hopefully millions will take their cues from the ongoing generations-long struggles that u.s. history is replete with. hopefully.

when bobby mcferrin's don't worry be happy came out, it received alot of criticism from newish activist types along the lines that it encourages people to brush their woes under a raggy, tattered, rug in order to ignore them. the response to that critique was strong, and something that oppressed people know deeply: in order to sustain a struggle, in order to keep going, we have to find joy in it, we have to have fun, we have to be silly, while keeping the serious push on.

how can we not push on? we might as well have a blast while we do it. remember, the road is long and all that. we have to laugh along the way.

my kid's idea for fixing whatever it was that went wrong last tuesday is great. all democrats, lefties, radicals and the like should move to the red areas and have as many kids as possible, like fifteen per person. it'll be easy as school based sex ed, access to birth control, and doctor's office abortions become less available. according to the plan, in about twenty years there'll be enough people to overthrow the republicans in all areas of the country.

i like the plan even though it goes on the assumption that republicans are the root of all evil. they're the root of a chunk of it, but not all of it. but this plan situates nurturers as warriors and warriors as nurturers. that's what an effective grassroots movement needs. people who can do both.

posted by mean regression | 1:30 PM |