Clutching Pearls

Woman Clutching Her Pearls. 5th Ave - MDPNY20090617, by mdpNY @ Flickr

Woman Clutching Her Pearls. 5th Ave - MDPNY20090617, by mdpNY @ Flickr

I recently received a bit of a hat tip from a teacher of 18 years who is just dipping her feet into the blogosphere. I always appreciate a mention and a link when someone finds something here at Crowded Head that they like or find informative. Peggy apparently did, and said so. I sort of got conflated a bit with Brian Switek who led the discussion in the conference session about which I blogged, but there are certainly worse people with whom to be confused, from my point of view. (I’ll let Brian speak for himself on his end.)

In any event, Peggy found some interesting points that she thought might be useful to her as a teacher and pointed them out as part of an assignment for her ITED 511 class.

One of her commenters though, not so much.

This is a comment about the first blog entry – “Teaching College Science: Blogs and Beyond”

How do I say…what I am about to say…and be politically correct? There is too much sex referenced on the web page. It distracted me from the blog. It also gave me credibility issues. In one sentence the blogger talks about his excitement with teaching high school students, while several sex-related ads run in the margins.

Or am I misunderstanding the sex part? Please come to my rescue here.

I hope I’m wrong.

I presume that Linda meant that my blog gave me credibility issues, but I’d argue her statement is more accurate as it stands.

I of course was a bit bewildered, thinking perhaps my blog had been hacked or something and immediately checked, looking for “several sex-related ads run in the margins”.

Um.. yeah.

There is exactly one ad and it’s for a charity calendar, unless you count the link to Sex in the Public Square where I am a contributing editor (though calling that an “ad” when SitPS doesn’t sell anything is a bit of a stretch of the vernacular). No racy pictures or nuthin’. (What’s with that, anyway? I really have to spice up the blog sidebars at some point.) A purple banner linking to the 2010 NYC Sex Bloggers Calendar (have you ordered yours yet? Get on that!!) gets poor Linda clutching her pearls. Not exactly what I would characterize as “several sex-related ads run[ning] in the margins”.

Anyway, more interesting than Linda’s apoplexy is the underlying assumption that high school teachers should be asexual, or perhaps at least publicly so. It’s not an uncommon attitude in our society, but exactly where did this supremely bizarre notion come from? Does anyone actually know any high school teachers that are not at all sexual? Is that even possible?

Honestly, I’ve considered writing less about sex here from time to time in light of the medieval attitudes about the subject. I am aware that here in North Carolina school boards and the general public are all about waving their Bibles around and clucking their tongues about other people’s sex lives. (And let me point out here as an aside that the Bible is probably not the best anthology of fairy tales on which to base one’s prudery – have you ever read that thing? It’s not even well written porn, mostly.) Yes, even tangentially discussing human sexuality decimates my hirability here in Jesusland, but that’s exactly the kind of problem I work to correct with what I write. It would be rather hypocritical of me to bow to that kind of pressure when I’m preaching on the other corner about standing up to sexual repression.

I just can’t bring myself to do that.

So for the foreseeable future expect to see posts here on sex and sexuality right alongside posts about my Biology and English classes. You’ll find sexy photos of my wife, and you’ll find write ups of Science Conferences I attend. If a school board I’m considering working for later has their panties in such a wad that they can’t hire me because I’m unashamedly human, then that’s their loss and unfortunately, their students’ loss.

Hell, just for spite I might even let JanieBelle make the occasional guest appearance.

From whence came the art:

That image is titled Woman Clutching her Pearls. 5th Ave – MDPNY20090617, by mdpNY, and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial No Derivative Works license.

The Unlikely Disciple’s Unlikely Victim

The Unlikely Disciple

The Unlikely Disciple, by Kevin Roose

In the very unlikely event you haven’t heard me squawking about it all over the universe, I’ve got a book review up at Carnal Nation.

“The Unlikely Disciple’s Unlikely Victim” is my review of Kevin Roose’s Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University.

An excerpt from my review:

Inspired by a research trip to Jerry Falwell’s Thomas Road Baptist Church, Brown University sophomore Kevin Roose, raised a liberal Quaker, decided he wanted to know what it was like to live in the world of the fundamentalist Christian. Rather than do his research from the outside, Roose took the extreme measure of going undercover and transferred to Liberty University for a semester. He lived in the dorm, attended the classes, and immersed himself in the student subculture. His research trip takes place in the Spring semester of 2007, and he was there during the shootings at Virginia Tech, and there for the death of Falwell himself. Roose even managed to finagle a one-on-one interview with Falwell for the school paper, just a handful of days before Falwell’s fatal heart attack. The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University is his story of that semester.

When Chris Hall first asked me to review Unlikely Disciple for Carnal Nation, I was ecstatic. I’d heard about it and read a few short reviews before then, and was anxious to read it myself. I never suspected that by page fifty I’d be slogging to the bathroom with the dry heaves every few pages, wishing I’d never heard of this book. Roose’s account has given me just a glimpse of what trigger warnings are all about.

Read the rest at Carnal Nation.

There Is No Such Thing As Alternative Medicine

Witch Doctor by Felix42 contra la censura @ Flickr

Witch Doctor by Felix42 contra la censura @ Flickr

There is no such thing as alternative medicine. Test it against a placebo. If it works better than the placebo, it’s not alternative – if it doesn’t, it’s not medicine.

At its most basic, the heart of the matter really is that simple.

Think your herb tea cures your cold?

Test it against a placebo. If it works better than the placebo, it’s not alternative – if it doesn’t, it’s not medicine.

The United States federal government has spent $2.5 billion testing alternative medicines.

Ginko biloba helps your memory?

There is no such thing as alternative medicine. Test it against a placebo. If it works better than the placebo, it’s not alternative – if it doesn’t, it’s not medicine.

“Echinacea for colds. Ginkgo biloba for memory. Glucosamine and chondroitin for arthritis. Black cohosh for menopausal hot flashes. Saw palmetto for prostate problems. Shark cartilage for cancer. All proved no better than dummy pills in big studies funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The lone exception: ginger capsules may help chemotherapy nausea.”

Shark cartilage cures cancer?

There is no such thing as alternative medicine. Test it against a placebo. If it works better than the placebo, it’s not alternative – if it doesn’t, it’s not medicine.

The board in charge of the testing was artificially loaded with proponents of “alternative medicine”, and still FAILed to find any evidence that these treatments worked any better than placebo.

“The bottom line is that NCCAM is an ideological, not a scientific organization. It exists to validate CAM, not to test whether it works or not. And when it doesn’t produce the results its boosters in the legislature, like Tom Harkin, want to see, there’s serious trouble.”

Guess what? There is no such thing as alternative medicine. Test it against a placebo. If it works better than the placebo, it’s not alternative – if it doesn’t, it’s not medicine.

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Storm Clouds

Storm Clouds

Storm Clouds, by LouFCD

I guess I prefer photographic drama over blog drama, so I’m skipping commentary on being misrepresented and lied about. I’m not going to say I enjoy being dishonestly set up for a good old fashioned bashing on the blogs of people I called friends, but I’d really rather talk about the cool storm rolling in here to Jacksonville yesterday evening. Because really, the irony of getting pissed off over being called a douche about all that is pretty thick all things considered, “and when the core of the argument goes a bit over your head or turns out to be something that you didn’t think it was (egg on your face) you focus on spelling and word meaning and other stupid ass shit” as someone once said.

So this storm rolled in yesterday afternoon, and Jane summoned me out front to see it. I walked out, mesmerized by the clouds. They were really low and really fast, rolling and roiling like in some mega-disaster movie. I sent my son back inside to fetch the camera equipment, so I could share this on the blog.

It’s funny how those clouds, the turbulence of them really, is sort of a metaphor for the relationships in our lives. Doubly so for the relationships we build and forge and release online. I was talking to a friend (one that hasn’t kicked me in the ‘nads) yesterday about why I don’t write as much as I used to.

Storm Clouds continues below the fold.
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A Minor Thing

Douche by Mike Schmid

Douche by Mike Schmid

I would just like to point out from my humble little corner of the blogosphere that if you start your discussion of the causes of war-time rape with, “You are a rapist, even though you’ve never raped anyone”, it isn’t really me who has made it all about me, is it?

That’s all.

From whence came the art:

That image is titled Douche, by Mike Schmid, and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license.

Shorter

Friend 1: Hey, this is an interesting thought. *kicks me in the ‘nads*

Me: Hey, could be, but I’d be a little more willing to listen if you hadn’t kicked me in the ‘nads.

Friend 2: Hey, stop making it all about you! *kicks me in the ‘nads*

Me: Well, you guys could stop kicking me in the ‘nads and I might consider that.

Friend 2: See? You’re making it all about you again! You’re ignoring my pain!

Me: Ok, it’s not about me. Help me understand your pain.

Friend 1: You’re really starting to annoy me with this. *kicks me in the ‘nads*

Friend 2: Thanks for finally listening. *kicks me in the ‘nads*

Me: Y’know, kicking me in the ‘nads isn’t helping me understand here.

Asshole stranger attempts to kick Friends 1 and 2 in the ‘nads.

Me: Hey! Don’t kick my friends in the ‘nads!

Friend 2: Way to bring the attention away from me again! *kicks me in the ‘nads*

Me: fml. *kicks self in the ‘nads*

Posted in About. Tags: , , . 8 Comments »

ourtroom no 4


ourtroom No 4

Originally uploaded by Lou FCD

ourtroom no 4

Posted in About. 2 Comments »

Do not feed birds & ducks


Do Not Feed Birds & Ducks

Originally uploaded by Lou FCD

Do not feed birds & ducks

Jane Disrobes

Jane Disrobes, by me @ Flickr

Jane Disrobes, by me @ Flickr

I’m really enjoying the new camera. It’s a Canon EOS Rebel XS (AKA the 1000D), an entry-level digital SLR. One of the smartest things I did was to pick up an 8 GB SD card when I bought it. That sucker will hold a ton of pictures before it’s full. A few days ago I went out and about and took 664 RAW format photos, and had plenty of room to spare. I ❤ that.

I’ve been clicking away at anything that catches my eye. I’ve got a couple shots around town that I’d like to think are pretty decent. A handful of my shots of birds and other critters are pretty good, but birds seem to be my toughest targets. I’m working on it.

Mostly though, I’m enjoying taking photos of my favorite subject: Jane. I’ve easily taken a thousand photos of her in the couple weeks we’ve had the camera. Some of them she lets me share on my Facebook page. There are more … grown up… shots on my Flickr page. There are some really beautiful nudes on my hard drive. She’s not ready to let me share those with the world, though. Sorry. (I’ll let you know when she gets a little more comfortable with that!)

This morning some really bright morning sun was being reflected off the neighbor’s car window and through our bedroom window, onto the wall. It inspired me to wake up my sleeping bride, and take a mess of photos as her eyes opened. Some of them came out ok, and they’re on my Flickr page. They start with the morning light on the wall that awakened me (and hence the set is named Morning Light).

Later I talked her into, and then out of, a bathrobe. Jane Disrobes follows the Morning Light shots.

Pop on over for the two sets I took so far today, Morning Light and Jane Disrobes, and leave a comment if you see something you like, or if you have a suggestion on how to improve my pichertakin skilz. Feel free to browse around the rest of my photostream, as well. There might be something half-way decent there that catches your eye. If so, I’d love to hear about it.

Updated: This post has been very kindly featured in Diva’s Friday Foto Fiesta at Best Sex Bloggers. Thank you, Diva.

From whence came the art:

That image is part of the set I took today called Jane Disrobes, and can be found at my Flickr page. The ghostly groper in the image was a happy accident.

After Bob


After Bob

Originally uploaded by Lou FCD

My cousin Bob takes the most beautiful black and white photos of old tobacco barns. He’s had his own shows where they were displayed, in fact.

This one is about a block from my house, and while I was out walking this beautiful Sunday morning I was inspired by his work to pull the trigger button on it. I’m sure he has dozens of shots of this barn, having grown up across the street from it, but this one is from me to him.

Peace cousin.

JP Straight Up


JP Straight Up

Originally uploaded by Lou FCD

James and I had meant to get up early and head for Emerald Isle this morning, to shoot the sunrise. We overslept, messed around all day, and late in the afternoon we were bored. The car’s tail lights had mysteriously remained on all night and day and the battery was dead, so I couldn’t take him over to the skating rink.

We decided to take a few shots on the front lawn instead.

The results are on my Flickr page:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/loufcd/

Shakespeare Looks Innocent


Shakespeare Looks Innocent

Originally uploaded by Lou FCD

What?

Flickr

This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Carnival of the Liberals, Number 91 – Eine kleine Nachtlesung

Carnival of the Liberals, Thinking Liberally

Carnival of the Liberals, Thinking Liberally

Following Quiche Moraine is a monumental and intimidating task. The collaboration of writers they have over there is a top notch, first rate bunch of folks. I’ll do the best I can to fill their shoes, rather than wind up the mess on the bottom.

Let’s start with a little humor, move through some more serious stuff, and see if I can send you off to your bed with a liberal dose of sex that will have the NeoCons pulling out their hair, and you pulling out… something more interesting.

Pointing out the bizarre nature of Republican logic is often an excursion into the ridiculous, but it’s rarely been as toe tappingly funny as The “We Did Nothing Wrong & Nancy Should Have Stopped Us” song. Now you see why Kane is quite Mad.

And Kilroy_60 seems to have discovered an important clue as to why. Send in the Clowns? They’re Already Here. Boy, does that explain a lot.

Johnny Pez has uncovered the Secret Hope In Time that the Republicans have been waiting for. Turns out they have an ace in the hole. Inspired by Isaac Asimov’s Foundation books, they’re going to get direction from their glorious past, and all they have to do is wait Inside the Time Vault.

(The rest of this edition of CotL lies below the fold.)

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Real Women

Reaching, by me ©2009, all rights reserved

Reaching, by me ©2009, all rights reserved

I never cared for Loni. While every boy I knew went on and on about Jennifer’s tits, I was dreaming about Bailey. I did fall for Farrah, but it was a passing fancy. Pam was ok before the mega surgery I guess, and I never thought much of Dolly at all. Diana Prince had a neat secret outfit, but I lusted for Jaime Sommers. More recently, Six was nice to look at but nothing like Boomer or Starbuck. Truth is, all I needed to know about Barbie was that “Math is hard!!” She was plastic, fake, and not very bright.

These days, Carrie Prejean exemplifies everything that turns me off in a woman. Just like Barbie, she’s plastic, fake, and not very bright. I don’t find her attractive at all: not her fake smile, fake beauty-pageant breasts, fake walk, fake hand wave, or fake holiness. Not even if she keeps her idiotic, homophobic mouth shut. I’m just not interested. She’s not pretty. She’s not pretty at all.

I love real women.

(Continue reading, below the fold.)

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Jane in Gray

Jane in Gray, by me ©2009, all rights reserved

Jane in Gray, by me ©2009, all rights reserved

From whence came the art:

That image is titled Jane in Gray by me ©2009, all rights reserved.

Summer Update

Turkey Vulture in the Clouds

Turkey Vulture in the Clouds

So the semester is over and summer is officially here for me, solstice be damned. I’ll probably be able to blog a bit more, and vent some of the accumulated thoughts jumbled up in my brain.

For now, a few bits of updates.

I’ll be reading and reviewing The Unlikely Disciple, by Kevin Roose, for Carnal Nation. I’ll post a link for you when it’s up.

I’ll be hosting the next Carnival of the Liberals here on May 20th. I’ve been receiving submissions and should be getting to those by tomorrow. To this point, they’ve been shunted into a folder in my mailbox just because they started coming in during the lead up to finals week.

Speaking of finals, I think our team project for English 113 (our final was a presentation on one of Hamlet’s soliloquys) went OK, and I expect an A on that and in the class.

I bumped into my Bio 112 prof in a store here in town a few hours after the Bio final. He stopped to say hello and told me I got an A on the final, and complimented my answer regarding The Tragedy of the Commons. I don’t think I did well on the previous exam, so I’m thinking I’m in A/B borderland. Hopefully the final will pull me above the line.

I’ve been doing a lot of photography, uploading pics to my Facebook albums and to Twitpic. Kay is prepping to graduate high school next month, and since the ceremony will be in the football stadium, we needed a decent camera. I had been scrounging to find some cash for summer tuition, but we diverted those funds (and then a little) into getting a Canon EOS Rebel xs a few days ago since I won’t be going to school this summer anyway, and I’ve been using the heck out of it and trying to figure out all those knobs and buttons.

And that’s a bit of a story, too. UNCW Center for Marine Science gives two paid internships per year to Coastal Biology students, and I was nominated by the department for one of them. That was awesome and I was very excited. But then Dub emailed The Chair to tell her that the economy tanked those two internships. That was not awesome and I was bummed. Then Dub emailed The Chair again, and offered one internship on a volunteer basis, and I was offered that. So I guess now I’m quasi-excited. I said from the beginning that I would have done it for free, and in fact assumed it was volunteer at first and was happy to do it, but then I found out I was going to be paid, and now that I’m not going to be paid… well, y’know. I’m excited, but feel a bit like a kid teased with a lolipop. Oh well, I’m looking forward to it. Dub is where I intend to finish my bachelors degree and they have a ton of interesting research projects going, so it’s still a great opportunity. I’m really proud of being nominated for that one slot.

Easy Cool

Easy Cool

And JP. James tried pole vaulting this year for the first time. It’s interesting in that he had no idea that my Pop was a pole vaulter in high school. He seems to love it, finished fifth in the conference, and even went to Regionals. He lettered, and he’s got three more years of vaulting ahead of him. How freaking cool is that?

Oh, and he’s fifteen today. Happy Birthday, son.

From whence came the art:

I took both of those images with my new Canon EOS Rebel xs, and they are each licensed by me under the Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial- Share Alike 3.0 License.

Enter the Queen

Queen Gertrude, by Jim Carson @ Flickr

Queen Gertrude, by Jim Carson @ Flickr

One of the prompts for my last paper in English 113 was to write a soliloquy for Gertrude. The following essay was an eleventh hour idea that was instantly one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever written.

I put it at the beginning of the play, as a prologue to the play itself. As such, I thought I’d give iambic pentameter a go, which sort of separates it from the main play.

(Note that Aros is an archaic alternate spelling of Eros.)

Enter the Queen

Prelude

GERTRUDE: Life was a field of hay when first we wed.

The joy and pain and lust and tame were mixed

within our bed. Where hath my lover gone?

Submissive colt, my sweet adoring man,

Hamlet my King, both Dane and thane. Secret

desires not known or feared among common

or high lay deep within the breast of him.

The rest of Gertrude’s soliloquy lies below the fold, click to read the rest.
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Name that Flu

Vote early, vote often! Or write in your own answer!

The Writing is on the Wife

Sexy Hand

Sexy Hand

I love my wife.

That is all.