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September 30, 2021

Three From The 1996 GNI Gathering

It seems that my photos from the 1996 gathering of Gay Naturists International fell through the cracks and I never scanned any of them. Here are three; all Kodachrome.

GNI 1996 (16)

GNI 1996 (4)

GNI 1996 (5)

Filed under Naturism-Nudism,Photography | permalink | September 30, 2021 at 07:43 PM | Comments (0)

Idaho Republicans Do A Recount And Get Arizona Results

Stupidly, the Republican Secretary of State in Idaho, where Trump won 41 of 44 counties, ordered a recount in two small counties that Trump had won. The results were a loss of nine votes for Trump in one county and a gain of one vote for Trump in the other. Votes for Biden remained unchanged. Therefore, they will conduct another recount in another county where Trump won. Whose side are the Republicans on?

Filed under Politics | permalink | September 30, 2021 at 05:44 PM | Comments (0)

Los Angeles World Naked Bike Ride 2012

I wasn't able to participate in this year's LAWNBR, but just yesterday I did happen to come across this video shot at the beginning of the 2012 naked bike ride, which was the first LAWNBR I rode. The video has been lounging over at Ipernity all these years, where it appears only 11 people have seen it. So I copied it over to Vimeo.

Filed under Cycling,Naturism-Nudism,Photography | permalink | September 30, 2021 at 02:44 PM | Comments (0)

Religious Exemptions

An interesting opinion piece in the Washington Post by Kate Cohen who has "a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from Dartmouth College." IOW, a liberal arts major.

Opinion: If they’re going to keep passing religious laws, we’re going to need exemptions

Opinion by Kate Cohen
Contributing columnist

Religious exemptions make no sense to me.

These escape clauses from our civic compact allow people to claim that such-and-such a law does not apply to them since it conflicts with their “sincerely held religious belief.”

A person can claim a religious exemption to the equal opportunity clause that’s required in all federal contracts; to the contraceptive coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act; and, in some states, to the requirement that a child be immunized to attend public school.

This seems crazy. Obviously not everyone agrees with every law, but that’s the bummer about living in a society. In a democracy, if you feel strongly enough, you can set about finding like-minded people and try to change the law. Or, if that doesn’t work, and you truly believe it’s a sin to, say, fill contraceptive prescriptions, then (a) don’t be a pharmacist or (b) risk getting fired. Wouldn’t God appreciate the gesture?

If your religion won’t let you get vaccinated against the coronavirus, then don’t get the shot, but be prepared to suffer the consequences.

If your God-given anti-mask beliefs are sincerely held, then they’ll carry you through trying moments such as homeschooling your child and driving from Miami to Houston instead of flying. Martyrdom is supposed to be hard!

But ever since the Texas abortion ban went into effect, I’ve been rethinking exemptions. Maybe we actually need more of them.

If religious people can opt out of secular laws they find sinful, then maybe the rest of us should be able to opt out of religious laws we find immoral.

That’s right: immoral. We act as if religious people are the only ones who follow a moral compass and the rest of us just wander around like sheep in search of avocado toast. But you don’t need to believe in God or particular religious tenets to have a strong sense of right and wrong.

I am not a believer, but I have beliefs. Strong, sincerely held beliefs. Such as: A seven-week-old embryo — which is a week too old to abort according to the Texas law — is not a person. It’s the blueberry-sized potential for a person.

There is no moral component to aborting a seven-week-old embryo. None. But it is immoral to force people to bear children they do not want to have.

I realize that not all Texans would agree with me. But most Texans don’t agree with this law either. A majority even of pro-life Texans think that abortion should be permitted in the case of rape or incest, which the new law does not allow.

Shouldn’t there be some sort of exemption from that law?

Around the country, people are claiming religious exemptions from mandates that they be vaccinated. They want to opt out of laws that seek to protect their health and that of their neighbors.

Surely people should be able to opt out of a law that forces them to risk their health.

Let’s call it an un-religious exemption. Or no — since there are plenty of religious folk who object to the Texas law — let’s call it a rational exemption.

Rational exemptions could be used for religion-based laws with which people strongly, sincerely disagree. For example, a law that values the life of a quarter-inch embryo more than the life of a person carrying that embryo.

That’s clearly a religious law. It’s not based in science or public health or the Constitution or biological reality. It’s based on the idea that, as Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said on signing the bill, “Our Creator endowed us with the right to life.”

Religious laws are a part of our history, ranging in character from inconvenient (“blue” or “Sunday” laws) to unconscionable (laws banning interracial and same-sex marriage). But they are not a thing of the past. In fact, they seem to be enjoying a resurgence. There are laws that discriminate against trans people. Laws that permit or require schools to teach creationism along with evolution. Laws that require schools to teach abstinence but not contraception.

Such laws try to force 21st-century America into alignment with a first-century moral code according to some toxic combination of political posturing, fear-mongering and — sure, why not? — the sincere beliefs of a certain subset of people who adhere to a certain religion.

If they’re going to be making these laws, and the Supreme Court is going to let them, then the rest of us should be able to opt out.

In Louisiana, the attorney general helpfully offered language to parents in his department who object to school mask mandates: “I do not consent to forcing a face covering on my child, who is created in the image of God. Masks lead to antisocial behaviors, interfere with religious commands to share God’s love with others, and interfere with relationships in contravention of the Bible.”

For a rational exemption to the Texas law, may I suggest, “I do not consent to bearing a child I do not wish to have. Pregnancy and childbirth lead to assorted health issues up to and including death, and bearing a child interferes with my right to live my life and use my body as I wish, in contravention of both reason and morality.”

At least mine makes sense.

Filed under Politics,Religion | permalink | September 30, 2021 at 09:21 AM | Comments (1)

September 28, 2021

White Man Wins Quad City Marathon

Tyler Pence won after two Kenyans who had been far in the lead were "diverted off the course by a race volunteer bicyclist."

Race director Joe Moreno confirmed that the bicyclist went the wrong way but said the two runners also should have known not to follow him.

“At that intersection where that incident happened, the course was well-marked,” Moreno said. “The signage is well-displayed. The volunteers are there. And the fourth element is those elite runners have a meeting the day before to get familiar with the course.”

Filed under Sports | permalink | September 28, 2021 at 09:13 AM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2021

Four From 1985-86

Coolidge Corner at Dusk
Coolidge Corner, Brookline, after sunset
. Agfachrome, February 1985.

Alcatraz (4)
. Polaroid Polapan instant slide film, June 1985.

Baluster (1)
February 1985, E6 slide film, unknown brand

Charles Engelhard Court (1)
Charles Engelhard Court in the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
. May 1986. E6 slide film.

Filed under Architecture,Photography | permalink | September 26, 2021 at 07:02 PM | Comments (0)

Swiss Vote To Approve Same-Sex Marriage

It carried in all 26 cantons with an overall majority of 64%! The parliament had already approved same-sex marriage, but the hate-mongers triggered a referendum.

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | September 26, 2021 at 04:34 PM | Comments (0)

Liz Cheney Writes

I wonder what it was like for the person who had to explain this to Trump.

Filed under Politics | permalink | September 26, 2021 at 01:12 PM | Comments (0)

60% Of Police Line-Of-Duty Deaths In 2021 Due To . . .

What do you think? Gunshot? Heart attack? Car accident? Don't be silly. It's COVID. Vehicular assault comes in second place at less than 5%; heart attacks and automobile crashes (which they distinguish from motorcycle crashes) come in 3rd and 4th. Cops can potentially show up anytime and almost anywhere in your life, often without invitation or warning. But we know that Sheriff Bianco won't enforce any vaccine mandate, and the LAPD and LAFD unions are vigorously opposing their vaccine mandates.

If only there were some agency that, you know, tried to work for the safety of the public.

Scroll down on the Officer Down Memorial Page and you'll also see that both the rate and the actual number of all on-duty deaths of law enforcement personnel in Florida and Texas greatly exceed those in California: 51 in Texas, 32 in Florida, 23 in Georgia, 17 in California.

Filed under Health,Public Safety | permalink | September 26, 2021 at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2021

Candy Corn Has Been "Upgraded"

Brach's is producing "Turkey Dinner + Apple Pie and Coffee Candy Corn." "Flavors include Green Beans, Roasted Turkey, Cranberry Sauce, Ginger Glazed Carrot, Sweet Potato Pie & Stuffing." One wonders if "Sweet Potato Pie" really just means more of the ubiquitous pumpkin pie spice flavor. There seems to be a tie-in with Walgreen's, but I don't imagine they'll have a monopoly on this mélange.

Filed under Food and Drink | permalink | September 25, 2021 at 02:02 PM | Comments (0)

Subaru Uses Nude Bowl For Commercial Advertising

Did they get a filming permit from the city? I doubt it.

Direct link if the embedded video is not appearing for you.

Filed under Automotive,Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs | permalink | September 25, 2021 at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2021

Four More In Palm Springs, Again

All of these were shot with my infrared Canon G12 using an infrared filter.
Downtown Loop (1)

History of Suspended Time (1168)
"History of Suspended Time"
displayed across the street from Palm Springs Art Museum.

The Rowan (1178)
How the scene now looks from the front of the museum
. Museum Way is barricaded with those ever so lovely A-frames and cones. Further up Museum Way you'll see "Forever Marilyn." "History of Suspended Time" is to the right, partially blocked by the palm. The Rowan Hotel hulking in the background there.

LuV Biden (1)

Filed under Architecture,Art,Coachella Valley,Photography | permalink | September 24, 2021 at 09:28 PM | Comments (0)

Who Writes This Stuff?

I guess, the easy, literal answer to that question is Emily Rasmussen of the Long Beach Press-Telegram. In reporting on today's generous amount of rain she writes "Mountains, deserts and valleys were the most likely to see some rain Friday afternoon and into Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service." I couldn't find where the NWS actually reported that, but I want to ask what part of the Inland Empire is NOT mountain, desert or valley? The only exception I can think of is the Salton Sea itself, unless she intends to include all of the great outdoors, excluding only those areas that are the interiors of structures.

She also writes "There could be up to a half-inch of rain in some of the heaviest areas, which could double in the mountains." I would rewrite that sentence to "There could up to an inch of rain in the heaviest areas, the mountains."

Filed under Coachella Valley,English | permalink | September 24, 2021 at 02:34 PM | Comments (0)

Maricopa County Batshit "Recount" Favorable To Biden

Draft findings from that clown car operation in Maricopa County show that they found 99 MORE votes for Biden and 261 FEWER votes for Trump. But considering what a politicized, incompetent mess the counting was, I suspect now this may be an indication that Trump actually got a majority in Maricopa County. IOW, whatever their findings, the opposite is more likely to be true.

Filed under Politics | permalink | September 24, 2021 at 11:21 AM | Comments (0)

This Is How Palm Springs Police Conduct Themselves?

An article with videos in the Desert Sun about an attempt by an illegitimate bounty hunter to seize a "fugitive." Ignoring the fact that the bounty hunter has no license and is a convicted felon carrying firearms dressed up in an imitation Riverside County Sheriff Deputy uniform, I want to comment on the actual Palm Springs Police in the story. They came to the scene in response to a 911 call from the bounty hunter. When the police show up, they find the front door of the home smashed in so they walk right in announcing themselves by saying "Hey, where ya at? Hey, where ya at?" My knowledge in this area consists solely of watching a lot of other police videos like this, and when the police get to the door standard procedure seems to be that they first announce they are the police and then stand back, or if they decide to enter, they do so with extreme caution. Not so the Palm Springs Police. They barge in like it's a free for all, which seems to be the attitude of the bounty hunter as well.

After the bogus bounty hunter somehow manages to fail to embed his taser into a man standing only a few feet away wearing nothing but a pair of boxers, somebody fired a gun, putting a hole in the chest of the victim. The Palm Springs Police response to that is to "get some gauze." It's going to take a lot more than gauze (which no one actually goes for) to stop that wound. The victim, David Spann, died.

Spann's repeated questioning of the authority of the bounty hunters in the video footage seemed to indicate that he understood what the cops didn't: Herrera didn't have the authority to be there.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Public Safety | permalink | September 24, 2021 at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

Newsom Recall Gains Majority In Riverside County

As vote counting has progressed the Yes votes have pulled ahead in Riverside County this week. Voteinfo.net says the numbers (as of 9/23/2021) are 358,062 Yes versus 351,958 No. Larry Elder has 279,291 votes so far, highlighting the anti-democratic element of California's referendum laws. The Press-Enterprise reports that Elder "has 60.6% of the vote in Riverside County," which is not accurate. Newsom got 351,958 votes, greatly exceeding Elder's. If you add the No votes to the vote total, No (Newsom) got 43% of the votes while Elder got 34%.

I think this means that we can expect a lot more hateful, ignorant, bigoted politics from Republicans in Riverside County for the 2022 elections. But that's like predicting there will be more wildfires or greater COVIDiocy. No need for a crystal ball or precognition.

Filed under California,Politics | permalink | September 24, 2021 at 09:44 AM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2021

3D Printing Chicken With Frickin' Lasers

The cutting edge in the food extrusion industry right now is crafting real chicken breast meat into some kind of shape using lasers that can also cook 'it.'

The laser-cooked chicken retained twice as much moisture as conventionally cooked chicken, and it shrank half as much while still retaining similar flavors. But different types of lasers produced different results. The blue laser proved ideal for cooking the chicken internally, beneath the surface, while the infrared lasers were better at surface-level browning and broiling. As for the chicken in plastic packaging, the blue laser did achieve slight browning, but the near-infrared laser was more efficient at browning the chicken through the packaging. The team was even able to brown the surface of the packaged chicken in a pattern reminiscent of grill marks.

I'm looking forward to the art project that scales this up to a size suitable to appear on the playa at Burning Man.

Filed under Art,Food and Drink,Technology | permalink | September 23, 2021 at 09:22 PM | Comments (0)

Three In California; One in Boston

Round Valley (1)
I took this photo (Kodachrome) of the trunk of a Jeffrey Pine in Long Valley on Mt San Jacinto on my first visit to Palm Springs - in 1996

Ocean Beach (2)
Here I am on Ocean Beach in San Francisco
in the days just before California AIDS Ride 2 started in May 1995. This was my Cannondale bike's first trip to the west coast, so I wanted to baptize it with Pacific Ocean water.

Park Street Church - Boston (3)
Park Street Church and Park Street Station shot on Agfachrome in December 1992.
In the foreground is the Brewer Fountain.

Prosperity Cleaners
Prosperity Cleaners on Cole Street in San Francisco
, May 1995.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Cycling,History,Photography | permalink | September 23, 2021 at 07:33 PM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2021

Yet Another Way To Wreak Havoc On Your Body

Putting hydrogen peroxide in a nebulizer and inhaling it. Some adults have had to issue a warning against the practice.

Filed under Health | permalink | September 22, 2021 at 09:34 PM | Comments (0)

New Challenge For High Speed Rail To Vegas

Land bridges for bighorns. That's the challenge. Conservation groups say that a 6-foot high barrier wall that will separate I-15 traffic from the new rail line to be constructed down the median of the highway will prevent bighorn sheep from crossing. One assumes that currently the sheep are just dodging between motor vehicles, but the article makes no mention of rates of roadkill except for citing one traffic accident. The demand is for three crossings which the railroad has not budget for. As a railroad project, it is solely under federal jurisdiction and, therefore, CEQA does not apply! The conservationist toolbox is diminished in this case.

Filed under California | permalink | September 22, 2021 at 07:53 AM | Comments (0)