Stem Cell Miracles

I have written before about stem cell research and how adult stem cells are better for medical science then embryonic stem cells. Most of my information came from listening to the Michael Reagan radio program.

Michael Williams is currently keeping a great list of the many developments that are directly related to adult stem cell research.

Generally I don’t support the idea of government funded research accept for research that is directly related to the military. And the idea of funding research for embryonic stem cell research is wrong. However, since research is already funded by the government then we should be spending on he mos productive types of research. And in this case it is adult stem cell research.

Fabulous Farding Friday: Hard Drives

Mine Crashed.

I knew it was going to. My computer kept warning me. And since the move the warnings got more frequent.

“Back up your data and replace you hard drive,” it would say, almost over other time I would turn on my computer. But I knew it had a little more time.

So, I just kept on using my computer, telling myself that I would fix it later. After all, I have never had a hard drive completely crash on me before. So, I waited.

Well, last Saturday, I came home from work, and my kids said the computer wasn’t working. “What minor problem is it now?” I thought to myself (the rolling of my eyes might have revealed my thoughts if the kids noticed).

Then I remembered. I had set the computer up to defrag while everyone was asleep.

Then I remembered. My hard drive is failing.

Defragmenting a computer when it’s on the verge of failing is like taking a man with a clogged artery to the top of the highest peak in your area. It’s not a good idea.

“Don’t worry,” I told myself. “I can fix this.” But after a couple of attempts I realized that I needed to buy a new hard drive. Also it’s a good excuse to get a larger hard drive (see Mom-in-law, I am an optimist).

My plan was to then transfer all the data from the failed hard drive to the news one. Boy am I naive or what.

No success there.

So, lost are 5 years of photos (some are backed up on a CD but that was at least a year ago and I haven’t found the CD yet); lost are 2 years of my checking account; lost are several years of emails; lost are old web sites that I used to administer, but are no longer; lost is my computer journal; lost is my wife’s memoirs to give to her children.

Gag Order On Google

A few months back, Michael Medved, had as a guest on his program one of the founders of BuyBlue.org to discuss the merits of their website and program. Buy Blue is basically an organization that lists which companied donate to liberal and conservative caused, thus informing consumers of who their purchases effect the political climate.

Their mission statement reads:

You may have voted blue, but every day you unknowingly help dump millions of dollars into the conservative war chest. By purchasing products and services from companies that donate heavily to conservatives, we have been compromising our own interests as liberals and progressives. BuyBlue.org is a concerted effort to lift the veil of corporate patronage, so consumers can make informed buying decisions that coincide with their principles.

Well, wanting the be the informed consumer, and be sure that I supported those companies whose principles coincided with my principles. I checked out BuyBlue.org.

While for the most part, I wasn’t too shocked by what I had found, the real kicker was looking at Google.com. I really didn’t know what to expect to find, but was was thinking that it would either be neutral or conservative leaning. I was quite shocked to find that it was given a 100% rating as a blue company.

My first thought was that I should boycott Google. After all, their are plenty of other search engines I could use. After all, Yahoo has a neutral rating, with PAC contributions going mostly to conservatives.

But I hate Yahoo!. I have hated them for the longest time. So, I gave up on the idea of a Google boycott.

Until, I heard (again on the Michael Medved Show) that google true colors were revealed. Apparently, They banned an ad that leaned politically to the right, when they had accepted an ad that leaned just as politically to the left.

Well, that was strike two.

So, I decided that maybe I should start a partial ban of google. You know only use google, when other search engines aren’t performing like I would like them to (Don’t ask me about the time I did a filtered image search at Excite.com for cowgirls, and had to shut down the browsers because I was searching for/with my daughters.)

Anyway, I have had to resort to google, about 90% of the time (probably even more). I am going through google withdrawals, sort of. I would be in complete withdrawl if it weren’t only a partial ban. I hope that strike three doesn’t come for a vary long time. Otherwise, I am going to have to start using Yahoo!.

To Buy Or Not To Buy?

At the risk of sounding like a broken record from the last blog, I find myself needing to address the issue of “edited,” “cleaned,” or “sanitized” videos because the Washington Post discussed it and on his show Michael Medved debated it (not a link to actual Medved commentary).

Here in
Utah, this is a big thing. I guess that here in
Utah we are so starved for entertainment that we have to turn to movies that generally violate our personal standards. But in an effort to maintain our standards we have our videos edited for us.

I am glad that we have a desire to keep our homes free from the filth that is commonly found in such movies. However, I think that this misses the larger picture. We are still sending the wrong message to
Hollywood.

And despite the fact that most of the debate about this editing practices is regarding whether it is legal, moral, or appropriate, I really don’t have an issue with it. What these entrepreneurs are doing is completely legal, moral, and okay. I am not sure, but I think that it has even been fought in a court case, and the “sanitizers” won.

My big complaint about this practice of editing is that it reduces the effectiveness our purchase power. As I mentioned in my last blog, the makers of such trash, don’t often know that their content was edited. All they know is that they sold 22 million videos. They have no idea that some, most, or all of them might have been edited.

So, they see that the filthy, disgusting, inappropriate, racy, and salacious video they sold made them millions. So, they think that they should make more of such filth. They either produce a sequel to the original or they produce another movie that contains as much filth (if not more) for the next year.

This doesn’t take into account that by spending money on these edited videos, we are spending less on producers who create family friendly films (i.e., Feature Films for Families).

If we want cleaner, family-friendly entertainment, purchasing edited filth, will not send the message to producers that they should clean up their act. So, the simple answer the the title question is, NOT TO BUY (nor rent).

Update (19 Apr 2005):

It looks like the practice of editing videos will become officially legal. Again, I support this bill and the move to help people filter out inappropriate content from their videos. I just don’t think that we should support video makers who publish such content by buying such videos (edited or not).

Porn Bill – No Worries

Talking Utah…

The ACLU is at it again. Despite the fact that pornography has been defined as out of the perview of free speech in many legal cases (talk to a good lawyer if you really want to know which one’s they are), The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is fighting HB 260.

They claim that this bill is a violation of the pornographers free speech rights. I personally would argue that you don’t have a right to pervert the world with your filth, but regardless of that. HB 260 is not a violation of your “rights” to put such filth on the Internet.

HB 260 is designed to protect my right to avoid such filth. The most important part of this bill is that this filtering be “Upon request by a consumer.” Thus, It is to protect those who wish to be protected. It isn’t about trying to thwart the legal business practices of pornographers.

John Morris, in a Salt Lake Tribune article, claims that this will cause problems because if one portion of a site is deemed pornographic then then the whole site will be blocked prevent access to decent content.

Morris needs to get up to date with today’s technology. Many filtering companies have overcome this hurdle, and it really should not be a problem.

The biggest problem will be keeping up with these perveyors of filth. They change thier web addresses frequently, because they are out to ruin our society and our children.

This is a good law. Governor Huntsmans should and will sign it. Lawsuits will be futile.