Category Archives: Antimatter

The Pencil Today:


THE QUOTE

“…[T]he fact is, most people are not going to be rich someday.” — Roger Ebert

THE WAGES OF SIN

So, the state Court of Appeals reduced Michael Griffin’s sentence by five years. They’re saying the fact that he had to suffer the horror of homosexual sex is as onerous as five years in the joint.

Don Belton: Dead

See, Griffin, who summarily executed IU professor Don Belton during the Christmas season 2009 claimed during his trial that Belton orally and anally raped him while he (Griffin) was passed out drunk after a party. And because Belton did that bad stuff, he (Griffin) felt compelled to stab him 21 times with his Marine combat knife a couple of days later. Did I mention that Griffin also slashed Belton’s throat?

Griffin was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 50 years in prison. Monday, his sentence was reduced by the higher court. The reduction was based on that claim that Belton committed a crime.

Michael Griffin: Five Years Closer To Freedom

Does this mean that every time Hooisers are sentenced for crimes, all they have to do to get years shaved off their sentences is to claim their victim did something bad first? Without any corroborating evidence?

Just wondering.


WHO WAS FIRST?

The Bloomington Science Cafe convenes again tonight at Rachael’s Cafe on Third Street at 6:30.

The bi-monthly caucus of certified knowledge geeks and the folks who dig them (me, et al) will hear IU archaeology doctoral student Matthew Rowe discuss the peopling of the Americas at this second confab of the season.

Who Were These People?

Organized by Alex Straiker and Jim Wager-Miller of IU’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, our town’s Science Cafe brings topics of pressing import to the knowledge hungry masses of Bloomington. IU physicist Michael Snow wowed the crowd with a trippy explanation of antimatter two weeks ago.

Rowe’s gabfest, entitled “The First Americans: New Insights into Ancient Migrations,” will address the question of whom, if not the Clovis people, were the first Americans.

Get to Rachael’s early if you want to find a seat.

VI ON RICHISTAN

The race for Indiana governor between Tea Party darling Mike Pence and Dem John Gregg may be a close one.

Gregg earned high praise for selecting as his running mate former State Senate minority leader Vi Simpson. She’ll give a talk today at the Indiana Memorial Union Dogwood Room on “The War on the Middle Class.”

Vi Simpson & John Gregg

The topic is fairly timely for me. I’m reading a book called “Winner-Take-All Politics” by Yale’s Jacob S. Hacker and Cal-Berkeley’s Paul Pierson. Hacker and Pierson are as liberal as the Republican Party fears all university-employed political scientists are. Their thrust is the Republicans have engineered an economy and a federal legislative system in the last 40 or so years that’s geared to funnel more and more dough in the pockets of the plutocracy — at the expense of the middle class

Funny thing is, the Tea Party, which trumpets itself as the voice of jes’ plain folk, really is in the bag for the billionaires of this holy land.

Check out Vi if you have a chance. She’ll speak at noon.

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Brought to you by The Electron Pencil: Bloomington Arts, Culture, Politics, and Hot Air. Daily.

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Center, outside WFHB StudiosParticipate in the construction of “The Messnger,” recycled metal sculpture to be installed at B-Line Trail; 9am-5pm

POLITICS ◗ IU Memorial Union, Dogwood RoomIndiana Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor talks about “The War on the Middle Class,” free and open to the public; Noon-1:15pm

DISCUSSION ◗ Meadowood Retirement Community, Terrace RoomIssues & Experts series, bi-monthly talk by an IU faculty member on an issue of local, national, or international importance, today: Tim Grose of Central Eurasian Studies discusses Economic Disparities & Consumer Confidence in the People’s Republic of China; 12:15-1:45pm

SCIENCE ◗ Rachael’s Cafe — Bloomington Science Cafe, bimonthly discussion led by an IU faculty member on a selected topic in the hard sciences, tonight: Matthew Rowe discusses “The First Americans: New Insights into Ancient Migrations;” 6:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Cafe DjangoDave Gulyas & Dave Bruker; 7pm

FILM ◗ IU Memorial Union, Whittenberger AuditoriumUB Films: “Perfect Pitch,” sneak preview; 7pm

SPORTS ◗ IU Bill Armstrong StadiumHoosier men’s soccer vs. Notre Dame; 7pm

PERFORMANCE ◗ Unity of Bloomington ChurchAuditions and rehearsal for the Bloomington Peace Choir; 7pm

STAGE ◗ IU Halls TheatreDrama, “When the Rain Stops Falling;” 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubStardusters; 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlaceOpen mic; 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallPro Arte Singers, William Jon Gray, conductor; 8pm

DANCE ◗ Harmony SchoolContra dancing; 8-10:30pm

ASTRONOMY ◗ IU Kirkwood ObservatoryOpen house, public viewing through the main telescope (weather permitting); 8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Buskirk Chumley TheaterAni Difranco; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdRod Tuffcurls & the Benchpress; 9pm

ONGOING:

ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “New Acquisitions,” David Hockney; through October 21st
  • “Paragons of Filial Piety,” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi; through December 31st
  • “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers,” by Julia Margaret, Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan; through December 31st
  • French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century;” through December 31st
  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Pop-art by Joe Tilson; through December 31st
  • Workers of the World, Unite!” through December 31st

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • What It Means to Be Human,” by Michele Heather Pollock; through September 29th
  • Land and Water,” by Ruth Kelly; through September 29th

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibit:

  • “Samenwerken,” Interdisciplinary collaborative multi-media works; through October 11th

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibits opening September 28th:

  • A Place Aside: Artists and Their Partners;” through December 20th
  • Gender Expressions;” through December 20th

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibit:

  • “CUBAmistad” photos

ART ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits:

  • “¡Cuba Si! Posters from the Revolution: 1960s and 1970s”
  • “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”
  • “Thoughts, Things, and Theories… What Is Culture?”
  • “Picturing Archaeology”
  • “Personal Accents: Accessories from Around the World”
  • “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”
  • “The Day in Its Color: A Hoosier Photographer’s Journey through Mid-century America”
  • “TOYing with Ideas”
  • “Living Heritage: Performing Arts of Southeast Asia”
  • “On a Wing and a Prayer”

BOOKS ◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit:

  • Outsiders and Others:Arkham House, Weird Fiction, and the Legacy of HP Lovecraft;” through November 1st
  • A World of Puzzles,” selections form the Slocum Puzzle Collection

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Soup’s OnExhibit:

  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Culture: “CUBAmistad photos; through October

ART ◗ Boxcar BooksExhibit:

  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Papercuts by Ned Powell; through September

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

  • Bloomington: Then and Now,” presented by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

ARTIFACTS ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

  • “Doctors and Dentists: A Look into the Monroe County Medical professions

The Electron Pencil. Go there. Read. Like. Share.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Let’s face it; god has a big ego problem. Why do we always have to worship him?” — Bill Maher

PAY ‘EM: DAY 3

Bill Lichtenberg of Forest Park, Illinois feels I took too strong a position yesterday on the venial nature of the Chicago Teachers Union strike.

In case you missed it, I said the strike is not about children, it’s about pay and workplace conditions.

He’s a strong supporter of teachers unions, as am I. But we come to our stances via different paths.

Striking Chicago Teachers, September 11th, 2012

His path, I suppose, wound through the neighborhood of the angels. Me? I’ve always taken shortcuts through the alley.

Bill sent me a link to the CTU’s dissertation on what the Chicago Public Schools system needs to do to ensure that every student gets, in the union’s words, “the same quality education as the children of the wealthy.”

Make no mistake, I’m with the teachers on that issue as well. I just know that unions usually don’t go on strike for high-minded ideals.

BLINDED BY SCIENCE

I’ll be at Rachael’s Cafe tonight listening to physicist Michael Snow talk about antimatter.

It’s the season’s first gathering of the latest incarnation of the Bloomington Science Cafe.

I’d post an image illustrating antimatter but, well, I can’t. And if I have to explain this gag, you ought to come to Rachael’s tonight at 6:30pm to find out why.

THE WRATH OF GOD

Religious fundamentalists in Egypt and Libya are having apoplexy over some amateur video that purportedly insults Muslims or their god or whatever.

Word just came in that the US ambassador to Libya was killed in an attack on the American consulate in Benghazi. It was one of several such attacks in the two countries.

Demonstrating His Holiness

The film reportedly was made by an Israeli-American but certain people in Cairo believe it was actually made by Egyptians Copts living in the US. The Copts are a favorite minority for Muslim fundamentalists upon whom to vent whatever rage they happen to feel on a given day.

So now the Copts of Cairo are coming out into the streets to shake their fists at anyone who insults anybody’s religion.

Sigh.

I suppose I understand why the Copts are joining in on all the fun. It’s better than getting the bejesus beaten out of them for something they didn’t even do.

In any case, it apparently doesn’t matter who made the film, only that wild-eyed fundamentalists get to whack the crap out of somebody to show how much they love god.

You know, we’ve got out own religious lunatics in this holy land. The Rev. Fred Phelps jumps to mind. Gasbags like Pastor John Hagee and TV plaster saint Pat Robertson have done their share to foment hate as well.

Phelps Is Deranged But He’s Not A Murderer (As Of This Morning)

But it has to be said we don’t have mobs running around snuffing out lives to demonstrate how spiritual they are.

Today’s events remind me of a controversial riff delivered by Bill Maher a couple of years ago, comparing Muslim extremists to other god fans. “When I make a joke about the Pope,” Maher quipped, “he doesn’t send one of his Swiss Guards in their striped pantaloons to stick a pike in my ass.”

Much as I loathe defending the Pope on any topic, I have to agree with Maher on this one.

YOU’LL SURVIVE

No Big Mike’s Playtime: Fun on the Interwebs today. I’m in too much of a hurry.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“It was the labor movement that helped secure so much of what we take for granted today. The 40-hour work week, the minimum wage, family leave, health insurance, Social Security, Medicare, retirement plans. The cornerstones of the middle class security all bear the union label.” — Barack Obama

PAY ‘EM!

TOP OF THE HILLER

Congrats to Pencillista Nancy R. Hiller for earning state kudos on her fab tome, “A Home of Her Own.”

The Hiller opus was named a finalist in the Best Books of Indiana: Nonfiction 2012 beauty contest this week.

Hey, I ain’t the only guy who can write around here.

GEEK LOVE

A quick reminder: Bloomington’s Science Cafe fires up again Wednesday, September 12th.

IU experimental nuclear physicist Michael Snow will deliver the first presentation on Antimatter.

Physicist Michael Snow

Brain scientist Alex Straiker, who’s organizing this latest incarnation with lab-mate Jim Wager-Miller, says the shebang will begin at 6:30pm at Rachael’s Cafe.

This fall’s science topics will also include “The First Americans,” “Climate Change and Bloomington,” and “Brain-Machine Interfaces: Eye Tracking.”

FLYNT HUSTLES MITT

Hustler was among the worst porn I’ve ever seen in my life.

I say was because I haven’t seen the mag in years. Maybe even decades.

So I have no idea what unflattering poses its intentionally half-witted looking models are being put into these days. Suffice it to say I recall them reclining akimbo to such an extent that were I so trained, I could proffer them instant cervical exams from afar.

That is, were I moved open the mag’s pages.

I just never found the thing arousing. I consider my tastes in unclad women fairly, um, progressive. I mean I don’t need my pix of naked ladies to feature impossibly long-legged and wasp-waisted, vacant-staring, “hotties” with plastic half-cantaloupes on their chests.

That’s me. Apparently the vast majority of American male-dom (male-dumb?) digs that look. Hustler had it in spades.

Duh

The mag’s circulation stands at around half a million these days, down from a high of 3 million per month in its pre-Interwebs hayday.

Larry Flynt, the visionary behind Hustler, long has been a scourge to the Right, specifically its self-appointed plaster saints like the late Jerry Falwell and the regrettably still-respiring Gov. Rick Perry. That alone earns my grudging respect for him even though I hold my nose while stating it.

And now Flynt has flopped a million bucks on the table, calling for anyone in this holy land to produce Mitt Romney’s tax records.

You know, those things Ann Romney, hands on hips, jaw set, has refused to allow us to see. She says she and her special guy have nothing to hide, therefore they’re hiding the returns.

We’ve Given ‘You People’ Enough!

If someone does come through with the docs that’ll tie Romney in with an arch-criminal, global, underground, crushing tyrannical corporate syndicate looking to addict the world population to dangerous chemicals, financial “instruments,” and magic underwear, then a million bucks’-worth of the dough Flynt made portraying woman as DNA receptacles will have done some good.

Of course, it’ll be just as good if the elusive tax returns simply reveal the Romneys to be richer than the spooky god they worship.

I CAN SEE FOR MILES AND MILES AND MILES….

Here, thanks to I Fucking Love Science (or, for the more skittish among us, Science Is Awesome) is a comparison of the mirror sizes of the Hubble Space Telescope and the proposed James Webb Space Telescope.

Is there an “edge” to the Universe? Maybe, the JWST will allow us to see it.

From NASA: James Webb vs. Hubble — How Do They Compare?

From The Moscow Times we learn that Russkies are dying to sound like bossman Vladimir Putin.

Apparently, Putin is the most accomplished of Russian leaders when it comes to prevaricating in the language of his land.

Silver Tongues

In that, he’s like our very own Bill Clinton.

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