Monday, September 28, 2009

That's What I'm Screaming

Read this NYTimes op ed piece for jewels of educational reason such as this:

One of the tests I scored had students read a passage about bicycle safety. They were then instructed to draw a poster that illustrated a rule that was indicated in the text. We would award one point for a poster that included a correct rule and zero for a drawing that did not.

The first poster I saw was a drawing of a young cyclist, a helmet tightly attached to his head, flying his bike over a canal filled with flaming oil, his two arms waving wildly in the air. I stared at the response for minutes. Was this a picture of a helmet-wearing child who understood the basic rules of bike safety? Or was it meant to portray a youngster killing himself on two wheels?

And trust me, it gets better. When will we realize that unstandardizable standardized tests are a complete fallacy?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I [heart] Bollywood

We had dinner last night at a Hindu Indian restaurant in Barcelona called Bollywood. It's in the Raval part of town, not far from the Ramblas and the statue of Christopher Columbus. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the food. I do miss certain kinds of food here in Spain (read here all manner of spicy food). And the food at this particular Indian restaurant is marvelous. Not to mention the excellent ambiance, which includes Indian dancing on weekend nights (we unfortunately missed it).

But there's one thing I noticed during dinner. I'm left feeling a bit out of the loop when exposed to the cultural phenomenon that is Bollywood. Not the restaurant itself per se. The movies. I haven't seen any actual Bollywood films. And I'm always left with the feeling that I should. Oh, I've seen a few westernized films with Indian themes and characters: Bend it Like Beckham, Slumdog Millionaire, and the like. But my exposure to the actual film genre has been horribly limited. I feel I should remedy this situation.

When I see something like this video which I noticed at World of Wonder:
I feel left out. What is going on in the video seems to have absolutely nothing to do with the lyrics, which appear to simply be a list of international film directors. I just don't get it. But with the catchy rhythms, brilliant costumes, and exciting dancing, I want to. Oh I really, really want to.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I'd like to ask for Sinead's hand in marriage

Via Gay Family Values:

You may have already seen this, but I think it's just brilliant.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wal-Mart Bingo

Did you see this over at World of Wonder? You might have to click to see the whole thing. It's worth it.
So true.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Blue Corner of Texas

The El Paso City Council voted 7-1 yesterday to allow unmarried couples the right to receive health benefits. That means the partners of gay city employees can now receive equivalent care to the partners of married heterosexuals. According to an El Paso Times article:

The decision means that live-in partners of unmarried municipal employees will

qualify for city medical coverage for the first time.

More than 40 people spoke

before council members voted 7-1 in favor of the benefit program. Northeast city Rep. Carl L. Robinson


City Hall was tense as the crowd of speakers formed

to try to lobby the council one last time. Mayor John Cook warned visitors

against using hateful terms or inflammatory language.

Of course people are arguing that it's just a reaction to the recent bad publicity about an incident at Chico's Tacos. But who cares? If the "915" city council does the right thing, it doesn't really matter why.

At Least We're Not in Senegal

Via Big Gay News:

A Senegalese court is trying two 17-year-old boys for the crime of homosexuality. According to a Voice of America article the boys come from Darou Mousty, a devoutly religious town in northern Senegal. Their trial in juvenile court is the latest in a series of cases against gay men. From VOA:
Three other young men from Darou Mousty were arrested with the teenagers in June, but were tried in an adult court in August. Two of the men received five-year sentences and a third, who is younger, was sent to jail for two years. In Senegal, homosexuality is punishable by a maximum of 5 years in jail and fines of up to $3,000.

Siré Ba is a lawyer representing two of the men, including one of the seventeen-year-olds. He says the men were in a private house when a neighbor walked in. Ba says the young men were not caught in the act of having sex, but rather were involved in what he calls 'questionable' activities.

Senegalese law requires that people of the same sex be caught in-the-act in order to be convicted. But Ba says the judge's decision in sentencing the men was subjective.
Senegal has a history of intolerance toward gays. When nine men were convicted of unnatural acts and conspiracy and sentenced to eight years in prison in 2008, their convictions were overturned. But that caused violent public backlash . The grave of an out gay man has been repeatedly dug up and dumped outside the Muslim cemetery. And many homosexuals fear for their lives and safety in Senegal.

Ted Kennedy

Senator Ted Kennedy, 77 died of brain cancer Tuesday night at his home in Hyannis Port. A statement from his family as quoted in the Huffington Post:
"Edward M. Kennedy - the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply - died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port," the statement said. "We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever. We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all. He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it. He always believed that our best days were still ahead, but it's hard to imagine any of them without him."
He was an advocate for universal health care and LGBT rights as well as many other important issues. Sometimes he seemed like the only sane voice during the dark years of the Bush administration. He will be greatly missed.