toilet seat etiquette

I recent­ly had a con­ver­sa­tion with a friend about toi­let seats: name­ly, whether men were required, eti­quette-wise, to put the toi­let seat down after tin­kling. I vague­ly recalled a good argu­ment in favor of that view, and scoured the inter­net in search of that (or some sim­i­lar) argu­ment. I found one such argu­ment (giv­en by “Mr. Man­ners”, who­ev­er that is) who cit­ed three rea­sons in favor of hen-peck­ing wives everywhere:

  1. Nat­ur­al State: Since men have to leave the toi­let seat down for one (out of two) of their toi­let “duties” (no pun intend­ed), and women have to leave the seat down for both of theirs, the nat­ur­al state of the toi­let seat is in the down state. 
  2. Reper­cus­sions: If a man tin­kles on a toi­let seat in the “down” posi­tion, at most he will have to clean up a tin­kly seat. If a women, alter­na­tive­ly, unknow­ing­ly sits down on toi­let whose seat is up.…well…need I go on? The con­se­quences in the lat­ter case are a lot more unpleasant. 
  3. Aes­thet­ics: The last rea­son mere­ly appeals to the fact that a toi­let with the seat down is a far nicer site to behold than a toi­let with the seat up (and I can sure­ly attest to the “eew” fac­tor of look­ing at the bot­tom of a tin­kle-spat­tered toi­let seat…nobody needs to look at that). 

re you go. I wel­come any com­ments or counter-argu­ments. Or, alter­na­tive­ly, you could voice your opin­ion in a poll:

Con­tin­ue read­ing toi­let seat etiquette

progressive patriotism

I came across this nice arti­cle by E.J. Dionne about the kinds of issues that Democ­rats and oth­er pro­gres­sives should focus on. I still have to read over this arti­cle a bit more close­ly, but here is a nice quote that sums much of it up:

Com­pas­sion­ate con­ser­vatism was a bril­liant slo­gan. By the same polit­i­cal log­ic, it is nec­es­sary to pro­claim loud­ly and with­out apol­o­gy that there is such a thing as pro­gres­sive patri­o­tism. A pro­gres­sive patri­o­tism would begin with a strong empha­sis on ser­vice to the coun­try. It would con­trast itself to a rad­i­cal indi­vid­u­al­ism that rejects any idea of a com­mon good. It would insist that a free repub­lic will not pros­per if too many of its cit­i­zens are deprived of oppor­tu­ni­ties, of health care, of edu­ca­tion, of hope. It would declare that we are all in this togeth­er. That’s an old-fash­ioned idea that would offer a bold chal­lenge to a sta­tus quo that is divid­ing, and fail­ing, our country.

hamburger bun french toast

This evening, I had a han­ker­ing for french toast, but had no reg­u­lar sand­wich bread with which to make any…the only kind of bread I had were ham­burg­er buns (sans sesame seeds). I decid­ed to dare the ham­burg­er bun french toast…and need I say it was sur­pris­ing­ly good? The buns are so light and thick — the per­fect size and con­sis­ten­cy for deli­cious french toast…I high­ly rec­om­mend this to french toast lovers (although I would sug­gest the small, cheap buns for this endeavor…I sus­pect if they are too big, the top too “round­ed” that it may not cook evenly).

twinkies turing test

Check out this page describ­ing The Tur­ing Test as applied to a twinkie. Too fun­ny. For those of you that don’t know what The Tur­ing Test is: it is essen­tial­ly a test for com­put­er intel­li­gence. You set an exper­i­ment in which a vol­un­teer is talk­ing to “some­one” via a com­put­er con­sole. The vol­un­teer is not told whether it is a com­put­er or a human being at the oth­er end, and is asked to guess what she thinks she is talk­ing to (a com­put­er or a human). If the com­put­er fools the vol­un­teer into think­ing that it’s human, it “pass­es” the test and thus has intel­li­gence. Look here fore a more thor­ough explanation!

to make us feel a bit less cynical…

In a world where there is a com­mon lament that there are no more heroes, too often cyn­i­cism and despair are per­ceived as evi­dence of the death of moral courage. That per­cep­tion is wrong. Peo­ple of great val­or and heart, com­mit­ted to noble pur­pose, with long records of per­son­al sac­ri­fice, walk among us in every coun­try of the world.”
— Ker­ry Kennedy

the prison abuse scandal: the buck stops…where?!

Yes­ter­day I recieved a notice from that recent find­ings clear­ly indi­cate that the respon­si­bil­i­ty of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse ulti­mate­ly rests with Rums­feld, not with a few iso­lat­ed sol­diers. Rums­feld put into place a pol­i­cy that “encour­aged phys­i­cal coer­cion and sex­u­al humil­i­a­tion of Iraqi pris­on­ers in an effort to gen­er­ate more intel­li­gence about the grow­ing insur­gency in Iraq”. urges us to call our Sen­a­tors and Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and urge them to FIRE Rumsfeld…you can read the details of this sto­ry here.

p.s. I prob­a­bly won’t make the call…strangely enough, I don’t feel as if I know enough about pol­i­tics to make a case for much of any­thing. It takes alot for me to even write these polit­i­cal­ly-relat­ed posts. My inter­est in pol­i­tics has been rather recent — ever since the war (it REALLY angered me). Before that I just felt rather jad­ed about politics…that it was ulti­mate­ly so cor­rupt that I could nev­er make any dif­fer­ence any­way. I am now of the opin­ion that, even if that’s the case, I have a respon­bil­i­ty to try. But, it’s dif­fi­cult for me because it’s a strug­gle to get all of the rel­e­vant news — I nev­er feel as if I know enough about the issues and, fur­ther­more, I nev­er know what news sources to trust. Its a frus­trat­ing — and poten­tial­ly par­a­lyz­ing — posi­tion to be in.

categorizing my entries

I’ve been long­ing for a way to cat­e­go­rize my log by top­ic entries for a while. I use Grey­mat­ter to pow­er my blog, and while it is a won­der­ful piece of open­source blog­ging soft­ware, it lacks a cat­e­go­riza­tion fea­ture. Well, lucky me, I stum­bled upon a script for Grey­mat­ter that allows one to do just that. I’m quite excit­ed about it! I had to hand cat­e­go­rize all the pre­vi­ous entries up to this point (kind of a pain), but from now own the script will do it auto­mat­i­cal­ly. So, now I have a page that allow you to browse my entries by top­ic. Neat! 🙂


I came across an arti­cle on a renew­able ener­gy resource — ethanol — pro­duced from crops (par­tic­u­lar­ly corn) in a fan­tas­tic pro­gres­sive polit­i­cal site that I dis­cov­ered. A recent report by the Ener­gy Future Coali­tion has out­lined the ways in which such an ener­gy resource can be glob­al­ly ben­e­fi­cial. Use of this resource is not only bet­ter for the envi­ron­ment (its emis­sions can be absorbed by plants) but can also decrease our depen­dence on oil, and can allow oth­er (poor­er) coun­tries to be more self-suf­fi­cient, as they can grow their own fuel source. I think this is a fan­tas­tic idea, and will make sure to keep tabs on this issue.…in fact, I find it quite curi­ous that this coun­try isn’t ded­i­cat­ing more ener­gy and resources to less­en­ing our depen­dence on fos­sil fuels (instead of spend­ing bil­lions of dol­lars on…ahem…less noble causes).

my new obsession

I dis­cov­ered this tool­bar exten­sion for Mozil­la (called Stum­ble­Upon) that pro­vides a unique way to surf the web. When mak­ing your pro­file, you tell it what sub­jects you are inter­est­ed in, and, via the “Stum­ble” tool on the tool­bar, you can jump to pages rel­e­vant to that sub­ject. Then, if you like the site, you click the “like it!” (or “not for me” if you hate it) but­ton, and it can then learn what kinds of sites you like or don’t like, and can make more accu­rate sug­ges­tions for future “stum­bles”.

It sug­gests the sites that it doees based on oth­er users, who sug­gest sites via their “like it” but­tons. You can post com­ments about the stum­bled-upon sites as well, as well as read what oth­er users had to say about it. You can join user groups, make friends with oth­er users…you even have an rss feed on your site picks and com­ments. It’s quite neat, and I find myself spend­ing way too much time look­ing for keen new sites. Here’s my stumbly profile.