March 23, 2010

The 11th plague: Preschool assemblies

The Cadbury Creme Egg commercials are on TV again, and that can only mean one thing: Passover is almost here.

While that might bring joy and excitement to most of North America, my younger nephew seems rather nonplussed. But still, he was required to celebrate the holiday during some kind of wacky preschool song-and-dance-and-sit-in-a-chair routine.

When I saw this photo, I was immensely proud. It's clear he's way too cool for this nonsense:
Actually, I think he was just ticked off that he had to wear a green, frog-related hat that read (and this is too good to be true), Hoppy Passover.

March 12, 2010

Mississippi learning

I still don't get why the U.S. doesn't have a minimum IQ requirement for people interested in serving on school boards.

I'd certainly support some kind of federal legislation in that area. It might minimize the chance for morons to be in positions where they can teach children that it's a good idea to hate people for being gay.

Imagine the message it sends - and not just to the students but to the entire town - when a Mississippi high school cancels a senior prom because a female student wants to bring her girlfriend and (gasp!) wear a tuxedo. I know, soooo dangerous.

Seriously, I don't get it: What do they think is going to happen when two girls show up at the dance together? Why does a school board even have a policy against same-sex couples at a school event?

The new law - could we call it All Morons Left Behind? - would also help prevent Texas science teachers from having to instruct their students on the "strengths and weaknesses" of evolutionary science (which I wrote about here). It might help us avoid the awkwardness of reading - in a New York Times piece on curriculum revisions being pushed through by the Texas Board of Education - quotes like this one:
"I reject the notion by the left of a constitutional separation of church and state," said David Bradley, a conservative from Beaumont who works in real estate. "I have $1,000 for the charity of your choice if you can find it in the Constitution."

Yep. It's 2010 and that dude is a member of a state board of education.

March 8, 2010

Wow, that must have been one fabulous arrest

To the growing list of Republican legislators who have consistently voted against gay rights measures despite eventual revelations that they are gay, we now add the name of California's distinguished Roy Ashburn.

You can get the details here. Mostly, though, I just want to call your attention to the strangely composed headline, which - for a moment - led me to believe that the arrest itself had somehow changed his sexual orientation:
Calif. State Senator Says He's Gay After DUI Arrest

Best in show

Without a doubt, the best part of the Oscars telecast - better than the crazy lady in the purple tablecloth channeling Kanye, better than RDJr. channeling Chris Kattan (sartorially, anyway), better than Sandra Bullock's best-acceptance-of-the-night, better even than Christophe Waltz's invention of the word "uber-bingo" - was a commercial.

Specifically, a commercial for My New Favorite TV Show, Modern Family. Because nothing during the Academy Award ceremony was better than watching Sofia Vergara blurt out, "Cloudy with a chance of the meatballs!"

In case you missed it:

March 4, 2010

One word more or less

I found two eye-catching headlines on Yahoo! News this morning. Probably because they were so eye-catching and all.

For the first one, it occurred to me that if an editor had accidentally dropped a word (in this case, "vote"), the headline would have been overly logical and, at the same time, shockingly stupid:
White House discourages Armenian genocide vote

And for the other, I actually thought the inclusion of one specific word ("temple") made the story seem much more interesting than it would have been without it:
63 die, dozens injured in Indian temple stampede

Speaking of India, have you read about this monkey-man crime spree in Delhi? Not kidding: There's even an article about it on the BBC website.

I don't really even have anything funny to say about it, although I think this line from the article speaks for itself: "One theory is that a rogue male monkey is causing the panic."

March 2, 2010

Job stress

(No, this isn't about me.)

I'm just concerned that the world of international diplomacy is taking its toll on Secretary Clinton. She looks so much older than she did when she was appointed. For comparison, here's her official portrait from early 2009:

And here's a headline and photo from the New York Times website, apparently showing her after her arrival in Chile today:

Also, for someone offering lots of financial aid for disaster relief, she doesn't look especially pleased to be making a difference.

March 1, 2010

Not so fast

Yesterday, driving through the mind-numbing Los Angeles traffic on the 10 (or the 110 or 101 - Angelenos are nothing if not creative with the numbering of freeways), I spotted a billboard that looked something like this:

Except a lot bigger. And without the drop shadow.

Point is - and I should have thought of this about five months ago - amid all of its, um, "unplanned acceleration" issues lately, wouldn't you think that the geniuses at Toyota would have come up with a slightly less dangerous-sounding tagline by now?

Like, maybe, braking appropriately?

This post written by an increasingly nervous Prius driver.