Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I can't think of a good title for this

Just start here and read forward, and be sure to click on all the links - it's a widespread thing.

If I were clever, I'd jump in and play along in character, but I've never been any good at that sort of thing.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

19th century medical science

According to things I've read/seen on TV lately, 19th century medical science believed the following:

- Women will become infertile if they learn how to type
- Women who are given chloroform as an anesthetic during childbirth may become sexually aroused.

I wonder what medical science believes today that will sound equally ridiculous 150 years from now?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

How adult are you?

I am 92% adult

Love 89%
Sex 89%
Leadership 89%
Problem Solving 100%
Physical Abilities 44%
Verbal & Math Skills 100%
Interpersonal Skills 100%
Handling Responsibility 100%
Managing High Risk Behaviors 100%
Managing Work & Money 100%
Education 89%
Personal Care 100%
Self Management 89%
Citizenship 89%

Then I fiddled with the questions to see where I lost points.

I lost points on love because I agreed that true love lasts forever. I think we're quibbling over semantics here because part of my definition of true love is that it lasts forever. (I suppose we could also quibble over the definition of the word "lasts".)

I lost points on sex because I said a woman can get pregnant at any point in her menstual cycle. While I know that you can only get pregnant while ovulating, I was taking it as a given that you can't necessarily tell if you're ovulating, and therefore protection is required throughout your cycle. I think perhaps they're thinking from a trying-to-conceive perspective rather than a childfree perspective.

I lost points on leadership because I suck at negotiating.

I lost points on physical ability because my body is crap. (Although I do find myself questioning what that category is doing here - if you're deaf or paralyzed, you're still an adult).

I lost points on education because I disagreed that higher grades pay off with more salary and opportunities. I answered this way because it reflects my experience - people care about my credentials, not my grades. However, this might also be because when I think "high grades", I think getting 95% as opposed to 85%, while they might be thinking getting 85% as opposed to 49%.

I lost points on self-management because I don't keep a to-do list. Because I don't need one - I can remember stuff.

I lost points on citizenship because I didn't know you need a college degree to be an officer in the military. As this is an American quiz and I'm a Canadian pacifist, I don't consider this a liability.

I also found some of the questions weren't clear about how much ability they wanted from you. Can I strike up a conversation with someone? If there is something that needs to be talked about, of course! If we're in an elevator together for 2 minutes, sure! But if I'm seated next to a stranger for 2 hours, there are going to be awkward silences.

Another of the questions was something like if you couldn't take care of yourself, would you know where to go for help? Well, I'd know where to go for a referral - I'd call my family doctor (I don't know why I call her that when I'm the only one in the family she's a doctor for) or Telehealth, but I wouldn't know what the next step is.

The question on whether you can be spiritual without being part of an organized religion I answered entirely based on hearsay, since I seem congenitally incapable of spiritually. I don't know whether they expect me to know firsthand, but I don't.

Also, two of the questions are do you know how to write a cheque, and do you know how to write and send a letter. I think these are quickly becoming obsoleted. If you're, say, 11 years old today and for some reason you don't know how to write a cheque or mail a letter, that may not prove a liability by the time you reach adulthood.

Things They Should Invent: extreme long-term education planning

I think when they need to make massive changes to the basic structure of public education, they should do so in the extreme long term, so that the children it will affect haven't been born yet. Then parents or potential parents can plan their families to avoid having their children affected by the changes, if they so choose.

I first thought of this for the double cohort. Instead of eliminating OAC for students who were already in the school system, they should have made it at 20-year plan. Then in 1995*, for example, they could have told parents, "The double cohort will affect students born in 1997* and 1998*" and parents could have made an informed decision on whether or not to have children who will be affected by the double cohort. Of course, some students would still be affected for various reasons, but perhaps enough family planning would take place that the impact of the double cohort would be reduced.

*All these years are made up - I don't remember the precise timing

Now it just occurred to me that they could do the same thing about eliminating public funding for Catholic schools. (Yes, I do think this is inevitable - I thought so even back when I was Catholic.) They could announce now in 2007 that publicly-funded Catholic education will be available to all children born up to, say, December 31, 2017, and then it will be eliminated. That would give people the opportunity to plan and/or complete their families (yes, the combination of family planning plus Catholic education is far more common than you might expect) to ensure that all their kids get a Catholic education, and wouldn't pull the rug out from under any existing students. And people who still want a Catholic education for their children but won't be able to have said children before the end of 2017 will have plenty of time to come up with a contingency plan.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Behind the scenes of Python

I'm reading Michael Palin's diaries, and I just read about filming this sketch (sorry, can't find a Youtube). It seems that he stopped traffic to cross the bridge using the authority vested in him by is policeman costume. There weren't any production peope off camera controlling the flow of traffic or anything, instead Michael just held up his hand and the cars stopped for him!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Just because it's statistically improbable doesn't make it trivial

I have a kind of personal confession to make. There's something in my sexual history that's apparently rather unusual. Some of you may have guessed this by now - I have alluded to before - but I've never stated it outright until now because I do prefer to be rather circumspect about my private life. But to make the point I want to make today, I'm going to have to just come out and say it bluntly:

I am 26 years old. I am not a virgin. I have never been married. And I have never, not once in my life, had an STD or even an STD scare.

I know, I didn't think it was that wild either. But apparently this is highly statistically unlikely, and epidemiology doesn't think or doesn't care that I exist.

That's why articles like this piss me off. So much of the discourse surrounding the HPV vaccine focuses on who is statistically likely to have had HPV, to the extent of ignoring people who haven't had it despite their demographics, and even being dismissive of the desire to avoid it even if you are statistically likely to have had it.

"The vast majority of those who have had skin-to-skin contact in a sexual experience, heterosexual, lesbians, whatever, have already had it, cleared it and gone on with their lives," says Abby Lippman, an epidemiologist at McGill University and chair of the Canadian Women's Health Network.

So maybe they have had it, treated it, and gotten on with their lives. Maybe it really isn't a big deal and can in fact be spoken of so dismissively. But I wouldn't know because I haven't had it, and I'd like very much to stay that way. The fact that the majority of people in my demographic group have had it doesn't mean that I should have to accept it as inevitable. Just because everyone in the office has a cold doesn't mean that I shouldn't keep washing my hands. Just because my fertility is statistically likely to have peaked doesn't mean that I shouldn't keep abreast of new developments in birth control. And just because I'm statistically likely to have had HPV doesn't mean that my desire to avoid it is trivial.

One of my standards for safe sex is that all parties must have full STD testing before any sex occurs. Thing is, HPV is the big hole in this line of defence. HPV doesn't show up in a blood test. The only way to tell if you have it is if you have genital warts. However, people can carry it and even transmit it without showing any symptoms whatsoever. So it's quite possible to do everything right, get every test humanly possible, and still not know that you're carrying HPV. But by making me immune to HPV, Gardasil fills the vast majority of that hole in my defences. For me, this is huge! It might not be statistically significant in the world as a whole, but to me it represents probably the most major breakthrough possible in terms of my sexual health.

So please, stop trivializing it, and stop trying to change policy to make it harder for us to get the vaccine. For those of us who've never had it, it is a major thing.


A Globe and Mail fluff piece on so-called alpha females.

Putting aside for a moment the journalistic worth of the piece, the problem is that the behaviour they're describing isn't alpha. It's self-sufficient and competent, to be sure. This wide range of life skills isn't nothing - I can't do half this stuff (although I've deliberately arranged my life so I don't have to - I don't know whether I gain or lose points for that). But it isn't alpha. Alpha implies dominance over something or someone. And being able to maintain your own household and possessions has nothing to do with that.

Also, I take exception to this quote: The bigger question, Dr. Heald says, is: "Why are women in 2007 growing up with the idea that someone is going to do half the work?"

Thing is, I don't think they are. Everyone quoted in this article is well over 40. They grew up well before 2007. If you're going to make a sweeping statement about women growing up in 2007, find some women who are actually growing up in 2007.

I'm close to that age group (a bit older) and as I take mental inventory of all the opposite-sex couples I know in my age cohort, I can think of maybe one case where the man began living independently before the woman. (And in that case, the man is older enough to be significant.) In some cases they both began living independently at the same time, but in the majority of cases the woman began living independently first. I'm not claiming this is a significant social trend or anything, but it is what I observe watching young adults around me - which is more than the article did before making a sweeping statement about this generation.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Childish gloating

Today I saw my first abortion protest. I've gone past them in cars before, but this is the first time I encountered one as a pedestrian. It's weird, because there is nothing whatsoever to do with abortion at that particular location.

So I walked up looking rather glum, and read with interest the literature they gave me (featuring giant pictures of mangled bloody babies). Then my face lit up. "You know what? This is exactly what I need!" I gleefully announced to the lady who had handed me the pamphlet. Then I gushed enthusiastically about how wonderful medical science is until the light changed and I bounced my way across the street.

I've always wanted to do that.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Honey badgers

These badgers are covered in bees! Poke them with a spoon!

Quick, someone call the girl police and file a report

What I love about my ipod is I'm rediscovering music that I've inadvertently set aside for ages. Today it's Little Plastic Castle.

People talk about my image
Like I come in two dimensions
Like lipstick is a sign
Of my declining mind.

And what I happen to be wearing
The day that someone takes a picture
Is my new statment
For all of womankind.

I wish I'd had that in my active rotation back when people were trying to make a role model of me!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Thinking outside the box

This might just be my favourite Post Secret ever

Conspiracy theory, anyone?

The Cancer Society recently issued a sweeping recommendation that people take 1,000 IU of vitamin D every day to prevent certain types of cancer. This recommendation is interesting, because it was worded much more definitively than the usual cancer announcements. I did some research, and it seems that the vitamin D will almost certainly not hurt (apparently you'd need 40,000 IU a day to overdose), so I actually started doing it myself because it's so easy and they seem so certain it will help.

But what if vitamin D doesn't help at all? What if it's just a massive placebo?

It's easy to convince people that they don't get enough vitamin D, what with living and working indoors and wearing clothes. Plus taking vitamin D is easy enough - the pills are small and inexpensive (I paid like $7 for 250 doses). It's not difficult or a major lifestyle adjustment, like quitting smoking or getting an hour of cardio a day or eating 12 servings of leafy green vegetables. I just have to pop one tiny pill in the morning with my birth control and my multi, and, voila, I've prevented cancer.

So what if they just had a big strokey-beard meeting, identified the supplement that would make the easiest and most convincing placebo, and launched a massive campaign to convince people that if they take this one supplement, they won't get cancer? And then maybe cancer rates will drop because of the placebo effect?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

You scream, somebody shoots you...

Banning panhandling

Some panhandlers allegedly murdered some guy. So they're talking about banning panhandling in response to this.

It just occurred to me that they've already banned murder.

Open Letter to Fido

Dear Fido,

I recently received what I believe is a phishing email disguised as a pretty authentic-looking email from you. As I am, in fact, a customer of yours, I wanted to forward it to you so you could do something about it, but I can't find any email addresses on your website. Yes, there are forms, and yes, I generally do prefer forms when contacting customer service. However, to forward a phishing email I need an email address. Since you don't provide any email addresses, I can't do anything about it.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Things They Should Invent: YouTube/YouTune regions

I recently wanted to download a particular audio file that was obscure enough that I couldn't find it through my usual means. Both iTunes and Audible had it in their catalogues, but they wouldn't let me download it because I'm in Canada. I was all WTF, but some research revealed that they buy licences for selling media by country (I'm not sure who's buying or selling these licences) so if no one has bought the Canadian rights then it can't be distributed in Canada.

I have the same problem with movies that you can't get through iTunes in Canada and aren't available on Region 1 DVD, but get deleted from YouTube because of copyright issues.

But if no one has the right to sell what I want to me in Canada, they should let me access it on YouTube, or its as-yet-uninvented audio counterpart, YouTune. I want to be able to log in, tell the site I'm in Canada, and have it allow me to view/listen to anything that no one is willing to buy the rights to sell me. They can C&D it for other countries where the material can be bought legally, and they can C&D it for Canada once someone buys the Canadian rights. But it just makes no sense to say "Noooo, you can't have it for free because that's stealing! But we won't sell it to you either!"

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Things They Should Invent: a word for "palindrome" that IS a palindrome


My subconscious is being mean to me

For the past week or so, I've been having an utterly fascinating dream every time my alarm went off. Something extremely interesting was always happening, or I was learning something mindboggling, or I was about to make some monumental achievement that I never in my wildest fantasies hoped possible. And my alarm would always interrupt. So then I wanted to roll over and go back to sleep to see what happens next, AND my dreams have sometimes (but not always) permitted me to do so.

So as a result, I've been muddling through the past week without proper breakfast or yoga, always running late for everything.

Why can't I have the fascinating dreams earlier in the night, or on weekends when I can sleep in as long as I like?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Brilliant Ideas That Will Never Work: blatently prioritize urbanism

For the purposes of this post, let's use gross generalizations in the service of brevity and divide human lifestyle into two categories: urban and suburban. Urban lifestyle is high-density, based on and valuing apartments/condos and public transit and all the services amenities you need right around the corner. Suburban lifestyle is low-density, based on and valuing houses and land and cars, and not minding if you have to drive to get anywhere.

Suburban lifestyle you can get anywhere in the GTA. Urban lifestyle you can get only in Toronto. Other places do try, but you always come away feeling like an eccentric making a sacrifice on principle rather than simply quietly going about your life. Toronto is the only place around here where urban is a viable enough option that people might choose it out of preference rather than necessity.

In light of the recent budget situation in Toronto, I find myself wondering what would happen if the City of Toronto made a deliberate choice to prioritize urban over suburban. What if they just said "Yep, we're taxing house ownership, we're taxing cars, we're introducing congestion charges. Houses and cars are luxuries here, so we're taxing them to subsidize public services. If you don't like it, go to 905." Boldly make Toronto even more Toronto at the expense of things that are non-Toronto about it. You want city? We'll give you city! You don't want city? Then what are you doing here?

Would it work? I have no idea. But it does occur to me that people trying for the suburban lifestyle within 416 have chosen to live in 416 for a reason. Houses and parking are cheaper in 905, so if houses and cars were their top priority they'd go elsewhere. It just remains to be seen if whatever led these suburban-lifestyle-seekers to live in 416 is strong enough to keep them there.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Prayer in school

The Toronto Star asks if students should be required to recite the lord's prayer in public schools. (I have no idea why they're asking this and can't seem to find the associated news story.)

We actually did say the lord's prayer when I was in school, up to about grade 3. This was a source of a great moral dilemma for me. You see, I was raised Catholic (which I'm capitalizing only because it changes the meaning if you don't) but I went to public school because my mother's experience as a teacher in our local Catholic board led her to decide that she didn't want her kids going to school in that environment. (To answer the inevitable question, going to public school isn't what drove me away from the church - it was my experience with other Catholics and with the church's teachings themselves.)

Thing is, in the Catholic church, the our father ends with the line "Deliver us from evil." The version we had to say in school had more lines after that: "For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever, amen." (Here's a theological explanation of why from a Catholic perspective, but I didn't have access to that information at the time.)

Now I knew that, to be good, I had to do what my teachers told me to in school. And my teachers in school were telling me to recite the lord's prayer complete with those last few lines. And I knew that if I didn't do what my teachers told me, I'd go to hell for being bad. But I also knew that, to be good, I had to do what the church told me. And the church told me stop at "deliver us from evil." And I knew that if I didn't do what the church told me, I'd go to hell for being bad.

So there I was, a good, virtuous child who wanted very much to do the right thing, (seriously, this is actually what I was like at that age) utterly convinced that I was automatically going to burn in hell for all time because the prayer script my school gave me varied slightly from the prayer script my church gave me. I was between the ages of 4 and 8 at the time.

And the thing is, I was just coming from a different sect of the same religion! All this distress was being caused by a slight variance in how to articulate the exact same sentiment! Imagine the kind of confusion and cognitive dissonance it would cause for students from religions with completely different deities! And remember, this includes elementary school students, who are still young enough that they genuinely want to be good by obeying the grownups around them! What on earth do they think reciting the lord's prayer will do (and why this one prayer specifically?) that it's worth putting all the students who, through no fault of their own, were born into a different religion or no religion at all in a catch-22 where they cannot possibly be good?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Eddie Izzard reference in Cornered?

(I didn't mean to do two Izzard posts in a row, but we'll blame the composition of today's newspapers.)

First, watch Eddie.

Then, read Cornered.

It's all about Eddie

1. It seems that Canada Post took foreign policy advice from Eddie Izzard long before the Russians did. And announcing that they were doing so to better serve Santa Claus? Dash cunning of them!

2. A writer to the Globe & Mail's Group Therapy column says he likes dressing as a woman, but his wife would leave him if she found out. I'm surprised no one suggested Eddie Izzard therapy!

I'm quite serious about this. He could just show his wife a couple of youtubes of Eddie, not on the basis of "See, trannies are people too!" but more like "Hey, watch this, it's funny!" Watching Eddie talking about supermarkets or giraffes or language while he just happens to be dressed in women's clothes would help make the wife less uncomfortable with the concept, and if she likes his work they could move on to material where he actually discusses and demystifies transvestism.

And if the wife does like Eddie's comedy, that may provide an opening to take things a step further. Picture a nice cosy night in, wine, comfort food, a couple of comedy DVDs (one of which happens to be Circle), feeling safe and comfy and happy, full of residual giggles. Then he casually pops Circle into the DVD player and presses play, carelessly neglecting to skip over the opening sequence. Best case, she'll find herself surprisingly intrigued by the concept. If not, they still get to spend 2 hours laughing hysterically and normalizing transvestism. And, of course, if the husband doesn't want to tell her he's been hiding this key aspect of himself for a long time he could even present is as being intrigued by Eddie himself and wanting to see if maybe there was something to it.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


If you asked me whether "morning" and "mourning" are pronounced the same, I would unhesitatingly tell you that yes, they are.

But I pronounce them differently. I pronounce mourning a bit lower, with something of a dipthong.

I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to be doing this. As I recall (and correct me if I'm wrong) there are only two dipthongs in Canadian Standard (i.e. two plus Canadian raising - ride, write, cloud, clout) and "mourning" isn't one of them. And while my consonants do tend to devoice themselves when they're not supposed to, my only frame of reference for vowels is Canadian Standard.

So I have no idea why I'm doing this. It's like a fake enunciation, an overcorrection. I also do it with "boy" and "buoy". And I don't mean that I pronounce "buoy" as "booo-eeee", I just mean that I insert a sort of fake dipthong and then Canadian-raise it even though no such thing exists in reality (and there isn't even a devoiced consonant afterwards) - just to acknowledge the spelling difference or somsething.

No wonder phonetics was my worst thing in linguistics.

(Aside: I wonder if Phonetics has anything to do with Phonecians?)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Mystery gum

There's this one place I like to stand on the platform while waiting for the subway home, because it's directly in front of the door I ultimately need to exit the subway from. Conveniently, there's a pillar right there that I can lean against right there. However, lately someone has been sticking a piece of gum on the pillar, right where I like to lean. This piece of gum keeps showing up, and then disappearing, and then showing up again. It's like someone cleans it off, and someone else keeps putting it back. WTF?

Monday, August 06, 2007


I'm becoming increasingly convinced that I can see the future in my dreams. My whole life, every so often I'd be in a situation and get a déjà vu from a dream. Usually it's only a moment - imagery plus train of thought - and then the dream moves on to something else in service of a greater plot. But I definitely have dream déjà vu (déjà revé?).

For example, in Grade 9, I had a dream where the answers to my Geography exam were on the blackboard, but I didn't pay attention to them because I was distracted by the emotions I was feeling at the time. Then, several weeks later, we were taking up our Geography exam in class, but I was distracted by a situation in my social life that was causing me to experience those exact same emotions. But then, an objective observer could have told you that emotional situation was forthcoming, and, while I am convinced that the exam answers in my dream were the real answers, I didn't actually see them. So that one could be explained away.

But just now, I was looking at the menu of a DVD while thinking about whether I want to attend a barbecue, and I was overcome with déjà vu. I have had a dream where I was thinking these thoughts while looking at these images.

But I'm looking at this DVD for the first time ever. I only just heard about the movie recently, and have never even seen it advertised. I'm seeing the images for the first time, and the general idea has been in my brain only a few days. Similarly, I just got the invitation to the barbecue maybe an hour ago. I did not expect to be invited to a barbecue, and I would never have guessed that the people who issued this invitation would invite me to anything. But I have definitely dreamed this moment before.

Intelligent comedy

A lot of what is considered intelligent comedy isn't actually hugely intelligent, I don't think. I'm thinking mainly of Python here, but the same goes for Eddie and other Pythonic spiritual successors. I'm not saying it's unintelligent, just that it isn't this massive intellectual behemoth. It's more that the creators aren't afraid to show that they know stuff.

When I was in middle school, knowing stuff suddenly became extremely uncool. You were supposed to play dumb. I was tormented extensively for once using the word "theoretically" (which I used because I meant "theoretically" - I know no other way to say it). The stuff you learned in class? You had to pretend you don't know it. Stuff you learned elsewhere? You had to pretend you never learned it. Five syllable words? Worth at least two sessions of locker-room harassment, even if most of the syllables were the morphemes necessary to create an adverb.

But this attitude seems to carry through into adult culture. People on TV going "Oh, this is just too complicated for me" when faced with simple arithmetic. Comedy based on the premise that we don't know stuff that we do of course know. (The real-life equivalent of Krusty the Clown going "Yellow pages and white pages? What's up with that?") This isn't ubiquitous, of course, but there's enough of it around that comedy gets defined as intelligent simply by virtue of the creators not being afraid to show to show that they've picked up a thing or two throughout their lifetime.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Gated communities

You know, apartments are like gated communities. Only people who live there are supposed to be able to get in.

That weirds me out.


One of my favourite feelings in the world is a Sunday evening when I don't have to wake up early the next morning.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Leave your radio on during the night?

From Python: "Now here is a reminder about leaving your radio on during the night: leave your radio on during the night."

Now was this a real thing that they reminded people about in the UK in the 70s? (Or perhaps before the 70s?) If so, why? Or did they remind them to NOT leave their radios on (which would make more sense)? But then, why would you need a reminder? The sound of the radio would interrupt your sleeping. Or was there no such thing as reminders about leaving your radio on or not, and the Pythons just made that up from nowhere?

Edited with more from the same episode:

When the timer shows 1:55 (embedded youtubes count backwards for some reason), Eric is wearing a Gryffindor scarf!

I may have blogged this one before, but since I'm here anyway, the conversation at 5:35 reminds me of people who claim they aren't opposed to same-sex marriage but don't want it to be called marriage.


I wonder about people who wear leggings and are old enough to have been around last time leggings were in style. Do they think it looks good? Do they think it looks better than pants, or a skirt, or (if worn under a skirt) than stockings? If they think it looks good, why did they stop wearing it last time around? Because it was out of style? Because they were no longer available? Are they like "Yay, I can finally find leggings in stores again"? Are they like "Yay, I can finally wear leggings without being ridiculed again"?

Despite their resurgence, it is still possible to dress without wearing leggings this season, so if someone is wearing them that means they must like them. And if they do like them, and they liked them and wore them last time around, that does raise the question of why they stopped. I can't imagine stopping wearing something you actively like to wear just because it isn't in style. And I can't imagine resuming wearing something you've previously rejected just because it came back in style. So I just don't get what's going through the head of people who stopped wearing leggings and then started again.

Another benefit of living alone

I impulsively dyed my hair (a subtle auburn rinse intended for a lighter brown, causing my hair to shine red in certain lights and doing fascinating things to my greys) for the first time since I started living alone. And it's SO much easier when you live alone! If I forget to bring something to the bathroom, I can walk out and get it regardless of my state of undress (because putting clothes on with a headful of dye is impossible). When it comes time to rinse the dye out, I can take as long as I need to under the shower, just relaxing and letting my mind wander under the warm water until the water runs clear, without having to worry about anyone pounding on the door and asking if I'm going to be in there all day. And, of course, if I miss a spot when cleaning up afterwards, I can just catch it later without any lectures about ruining the bathroom or people disingenuously pretending to mistake the dye for menstruation so they can run from the bathroom screaming "Ewww, gross!"

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Торт или смерть?

Russia has been taking foreign policy advice from Eddie Izzard.

Things They Should Research

Scott Adams muses that women's salaries might be lower because women are more hesitant to negotiate.

This gives me an idea for something that should be researched: what is the male/female ratio like in jobs where there is no room for negotiating salary?

If you're unionized, you can't negotiate your salary - it's in the collective agreement. Some jobs have salary legislated by the government - you can't negotiate those. And some employers simply pay what they pay, and if you don't like it they'll call in the next candidate. I wonder if this all has any effect

The Riches

I've been having something of a tumultuous relationship with The Riches. I never meant to start watching. I just intended to tune in briefly to see how Eddie acquitted himself in a drama, with a beard and an American accent.

But I couldn't stop.

It's not an entirely positive relationship. The premise is intriguing, but the show gets much too dark for me, but I find myself bursting into hysterical laughter when I least expect it, but Wayne's attempts to fake being a lawyer make me uncomfortable, but I'm always surprised by the twists the plot takes. At any rate, instead of gaming and watching out the corner of my eye like I normally do, I always find myself right in front of the TV, literally on the edge of my seat, leaning forward to see what happens next, and a week always seems too long to wait for the next episode.

Yesterday I watched the season finale, and it was SUCH a cliffhanger! It was such a cliffhanger that, if it had been possible to do so, I would have stayed up an hour later to see the next episode (even though I had to work the next day) rather than waiting even another day to find out what happens next. Problem: the next episode hasn't been written yet. The next season doesn't start until spring 2008 (and that's in the US - we might have to wait longer here).

I haven't been this eager for the next season of a TV show since the summer when I was 11, when Data's head was found in a cave in San Francisco. But then I only had to wait three months - now I have to wait at least six!

Honestly, I don't like this. I'm not used to it. I tend to fall into TV serieses once they're in syndication, so I can watch an episode every day and not have to wait between seasons. And yet here I am, sucked in, unwillingly beholden to this thing, with no choice but to wait around for it to come back. It's like being in a bad relationship. And yet, when it comes back, I will welcome it with open arms.