Sunday, November 26, 2006

Risk Assessment and Perception

I've talked about perception before and how I am fascinated by the way people can view the same thing in such different ways. Risk assessment is something else that I find interesting, particularly the way in which small risk items are blown SOOOO out of proportion compared to everyday risks. This is a pretty good article describing exactly that.

Big update coming when I get around to writing it. :)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Holy Crap

Amazing what a major shake up in the power struggle of the US Congress will do to a stubborn President. Rumsfield is stepping down.

It's so fun to watch Bush squirm on his press conference. It's like a little kid getting his lollipop stolen. He suddenly figured out that the tactics aren't working and that maybe Rumsfield isn't the person who should be in charge. It's just totally amazing how unstubborn he became!

What a jackass.

You know what it is? It's nice to see that cocky bastard humbled.

Democracy Rocks

Well, Bush is going to have a BAD couple of years and it couldn't happen to a more deserving man. Not only did the Dems pick up the 15 seats they needed to take the house and thus the purse strings AND investigation power (finally), at the last count there up to almost 30 seats with 13 still undecided, and most of those leaning Dem. That is HUGE.

Additionally, they are two recounts away from taking the Senate as well and lead in both races. That is even crazier because while the House was pick-up was pretty much expected the Senate seemed pretty unlikely. Yanking boths chambers is pretty much going to shut down the Neocon experiment that has been driving the country into the ground.

The makeup of the takeover is going to be very healthy for the country. What ended up happening is a lot of the crazies that hijacked the Repubs (i.e., the religious right and neocons) were kicked out on their butts and moderate dems came in...several of whom were traditional repubs that switched parties because of how far right the repubs swung since '94. So what you end up with is a more moderate congress. Maybe finally we will get some sanity back into policy

The only downer was that Liberman won...that dudes an ass. While he is probably going to cause problems he can be mitigated as long as the dems control the dialog. The issue with that guy is he kept kissing the neocon's ass and provided 'bi-partisan' support for some of the more screwy legislation such as the torture bill and such. With the dems in control he won't even have the option to be such an ass

So, in a nutshell, regardless of if the Dems pick up the senate or not, Bush's freehand has been shut down and investigations of the more ugly things such as the energy policy and extrodinary rendition can finally be explored. Plus, we may actually start to implement some of the 9/11 Board recommendations and not just pretend to. It's going to be a good couple of years.

Just remember, Politics are a soap opera you can participate in.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Go Vote!

Do it or you can't bitch later.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Day After - Part 2

The previous post was about the forrest, this one is about what I did afterwards. :)

So we all had back to the bonefire, do a group picture, and then start wonderering around to see what other kinds of trouble we can get into. The group of four I was in decided to head to Bethesda to find a bar and do some drinking. The group consisted of a Indian chick, a Pakistani chick, and an Indian dude. It was the same group I went through the forrest with.

We made our way to a bar in Bethesda that didn't card because someone forgot their license (no, it wasn't me). The cool thing about this little group was the diversity. We spent most of the night talking about travel places in southeast asia which was totally fascinating to me. Oh oh oh, and I learned something! We were talking about labels and how Indians and Pakinstaniens aren't really middle eastern or asian and they told that they are desis. And I learned that people just arriving in America are called FOB's (Fresh Off the Boat). :)

So we hung around for maybe a couple hours, enough time for a couple of drinks and some food, then headed out around 1 am because of work the next morning.

There you go. Good times.

The Day After

Ok! So I went to the Haunted Forrest last night. The place was just across the river in Maryland so I was able to hop the ferry and get there in 20 minutes. About 56 people showed and we hung outside of the entrance for about an hour while we waited for everyone to show up. Turns out about 8 more people showed up then payed so that took a while to get sorted out as well. At one point all 56 of us were lined up in a line, it felt like grade school again.

We are standing in this line, right, and we hear this screaming and two girls come running out of the forrest like they are afraid for their lives...then right behind them comes this chick dressed all in black on this big ass black arabian horse chasing them. One girl stumbled and the horse kinda pushed her with it's head. It was f'ing awesome!

Finally we have everyone together and our guide (an older dude in a zombie costume) gathers us all around. He starts by saying 'This is your last change to turn around...' and then his cell phone rings and he steps away to take the call. Classic.

He leads us in through the central area which is like a little town. They have about five big ass bonefires with a small fence around each one and benches to sit on for those waiting to be called to hang out at. Around the perimeter are concession stands, bathrooms, a zip line thing about 30 feet in the air, a rock climbing wall to get to the zip line, a haunted hay ride and some other stuff. You can see flames shooting off in the forrest and people screaming and the sound of chainsaws. Good times.

The dude leads us to a private bonefire we paid for back in the forrest a bit. There we hang out for about 10 minutes before our group is called, then we head over to the entrace. We have to split into groups of 4 or 5 to do the trail. I break off with one chick I met at an earlier event and two others I never met before.

The trail itself was pretty cool. It was about a 1/2 mile long and took about 20 minutes or so to work your way through it. It was lit by candle light in little buckets so that they would temporarily blind you and then crap would jump out at you. There was one area where they had all of these really cool pumpkins carved and I was looking real close at one and this dude jumped in front of me and scared the crap out of me. Good stuff.

The end of the train was by far the coolest. I mentioned chain saws? Well, the entire time you are walking the trail you hear these things going and people screaming. I figure there was one guy running around chasing people, right? We get up to this little house where the two trails merge (there were two trails so they could get people through faster) and there are zombies and crap following close behind you. Then out of nowhere like 3 people show up, including the dude right behind us, with real chainsaws minus the rotating blade, and start chasing you. Mass havoc! People running all over the place to get away. They heard you towards an overturned bus with a strobe light going. You make your way through that with people grabbing your legs and slamming on the side of the bus into this scene straight out of Mad Max's Thundedome. Blaringly loud death metal playing, smoke and strobe lights, people jumping out of the corners and crap falling from the ceiling. It was totally awesome.

And then it was over. Most of the trail was kinda blah but the end was fantastic. Definitely doing it again next year.