December 10th, 2008

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Little Teeny Weenie

My Canon SD770 IS arrived in the mail today. I was shocked at how small it was when I finally got it out of the box. It's tiny. I know that people usually bitch about their electronics being too large and smaller is better, but there is a limit, people. This thing was so small that it felt like a toy in my hands. Just holding it up to take a picture felt like I was playing with tinkertoys. It was hard to actually find a place to hold it with both hands where I wasn't pushing a button or obscuring some necessary camera part. It probably doesn't help that I have pretty big hands and pudgy fingers.

I'm also a bit concerned about the exposed LCD screen. On my old digital camera, the LCD screen was a flip out, which means that when not in use it was nice and protected inside the camera. This one is just sitting open on the back of the darn thing. I shudder to think about how easy it could get scratched up just in daily use, like, say if I had it in my pocket with my car keys or something. I'm going to have to find a cloth carry bag for it. My old camera bag certainly isn't going to work out now. The new camera would just rattle around in there like chucking a marble into a tin can.

Since I'm listing all of my complaints, I should also say that I really don't like the new battery charging system. I liked it better when you just had a nice and simple AC adapter and plugged your damn camera into the wall. Nice and easy. The way it works now though requires that you remove the battery from the camera and charge the battery in an adapter. It's not a huge big deal but it just means that I'm going to have to put the battery in and out and it could lead to a greater propensity of losing it. I guess the idea is that people buy multiple camera batteries nowadays. This way they can charge one up while the other is in the camera.

I took a couple of pictures just as a test and it seems to work just fine. I didn't notice any problems but I figure I'll get a better idea of the quality as time goes on. For all the complaining, it's still nice to have a new camera. It's only the second one I've ever owned and it's always a thrill to get new things.
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Itsy Bitsy

I'm not quite why I'm still up. It's not like I'm doing anything interesting and I'm pretty sleepy to boot. Still, my insomnia has a positive benefit of sorts. Ever since the number of userpics for permanent accounts got bumped up, I've been scouring the internets for new icons. I've added quite a few and I just finished animating one of them and I think it's pretty spiffy.

The finished version ended up being just a weee bit too big for LJ. Userpics are capped at 40k. I ended up having to change the format of the images to get it smaller which ended up making it look sort of pixelated. Crappy, but I dunno that there's much I can do about it.
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My genes are too tight

Feeling lonely? Genes might be at fault

For one person, the idea of spending a cold winter's night alone seems great -- a perfect time to catch up on novels, watch cheesy movies, and drink hot chocolate with marshmallows. For another, the prospect is less comforting -- feelings of depression, anger, isolation set in as the hours go by.

Research suggests that the degree of loneliness that any two people feel in a particular situation may vary widely, partly because of genetics. In fact, loneliness is half inherited, half environmental, says John Cacioppo, director of the University of Chicago's Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience.

In his recent book "Loneliness," with co-author William Patrick, Cacioppo defines loneliness in terms of the need for social connection and notes that a person can feel lonely even in a large crowd. At any given time, about 60 million people in the U.S. feel so isolated that it's a major source of unhappiness, the book says.

"Loneliness we see to be much more like hunger, thirst and pain than a personality factor per se," Cacioppo told CNN. "It's something everybody has, everybody has the capacity to feel that way, and it serves to call attention to a real biological need."

Using data from more than 8,000 people in twin studies and sibling studies, in collaboration with the Netherlands Twin Register, Cacioppo and colleagues found strong evidence that genetics accounts for about half of the differences in loneliness among people in the study.


"It's really having one good relationship is all that it takes," Cacioppo said. "Spending all your time online getting 4,000 friends on Facebook is not useful. The number is not where connection occurs."

You have to love these sort of heritability studies. They results are always interesting and often spark more questions than they answer. This latest study just continues the trend that seems to show that genes are even more important than we gave them credit for. If the nature vs nurture debate were still going on, nature would have nurture in a headlock and taunting it to scream uncle. Whereas people would often say that genes and environment split things 50-50, the latest numbers give 50% to genes, 25% to environment and then another 25% to interactions and random crap. Of course, this will vary greatly based on whatever you're measuring but it seems to be holding true across a variety of variables.

You really have to wonder what's going to happen as we unlock more of the human genome. As genes become more important, how long will it be before society starts making decisions based on genetics? If some of you felt uncomfortable with the whole idea of The Bell Curve, just wait.
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Lesbian bitchasaurus

What is it with Top Chef that they manage to find an overabundance of obnoxious lesbians? It's uncanny. Frankly, I'm sort of amazed that there are this many gay chefs out there to begin with. If the proportion on Top Chef held true for the general population, you would expect a gay population of 15-20%. When I mentioned this to a couple people at Randy's birthday party, Bill remarked that it's because they know their audience. I guess that could be true. If you're servicing the gay community as your audience, then you need to have gay individuals on the show. I'm just not sure where they find all these asshole lesbians.

Season 1: Tiffani

I don't think there was a single person who didn't loathe her bitchy ass. I still remember watching the season finale where they had that call in poll as to who should win Top Chef. The results were skewed in Harold's favor over 9 to 1.

Season 4: Zoi and Jennifer

My God were these two obnoxious or what? I can't be the only person who would have freaked if I heard Jennifer whine about doing it for Zoi one more time. This was going to be a train wreck having a couple on there. Hell, if there were going to do that as a gimmick they could have at least found a talented pair. Instead, all they did was whine nonstop. The best part is after all that angst on the show about being together, they broke up soon after.

Season 4: Lisa

What a fucking bitch cow. You just wanted to punch her in the face when she folded her arms and gave you that disgruntled cow chewing cud look. Even among the whole Lesbians to Loathe crowd, Lisa was something special. She's one of those people who if you saw her in the middle of a crosswalk, you'd feel obligated to the human race to hit the gas.

Season 5: Jamie

Ya, the season's still new and we're only a few episodes in but I think we've found our new lesbian bitchasaurus. She's already shown hints of that whining sort of arrogance we've come to expect from this crowd. It's only going to get worse as time goes on. She already spends at least 3-4 minutes an episode complaining about she hasn't won yet and how she deserves to win. I figure by the time we hit the midway point, it'll be a solid 10 minutes.

Crap, I'm watching the latest episode right now and they just announced Arien won. I'm watching for Jamie to explode into a gripe fest any minute. Wait for it....wait for it...'None of us expected anyone but me to win'. BINGO! What a bitch.