Life: May 2008 Archives

A Recent Conversation

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Sophia holds up her bunny, sans the usual bow tied around its neck: "See, I took off his bow. Now he's a boy."
Me: "The bunny's a boy now?"
Sophia: "Yes, she is."

Caught in the Act

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Me: What's going on here?
Sophia: Nothing.
Me: Then why's there egg all over the place?
Sophia: It's nothing.
Me: Were you playing with the egg?
Sophia: Uh, probably.

I have a few requests in case anyone reading this blog can help. If you've been following my recent submissions and approvals for the Blackwell philosophy and pop culture series, you might have some idea of why I want some of the following information if anyone has it readily available. If you have exact quotes or specific scenes from the movies or issue numbers in the comics, that would be wonderful. I have a large number of X-Men comic books (mostly from the mid-late 80s until the early 90s, but I have reprints of older stuff too), but if it's easy for anyone to find some then it will make my work much easier in two weeks once I'm done grading and begin writing, so I can focus on the philosophy.

1. I'm looking for any instances in X-Men movies or comic books where any character or the narrator uses race-language or species-language to refer to mutants as distinct from humans. This includes when it's morally loaded but also when it's not. I'm interested both in Magneto's elevated view of the rights of mutants as superior beings but also in the factual claim that mutants are a separate race, sub-species, or species.

2. I'm also looking for instances where Magneto has given moral justifications for his questionable or immoral actions, again from the movies or the comic books. (I have no cartoon episodes to verify the information.) I'm interested in his attitude toward humans and the moral difference he sees between mutants and humans. I'm also interested in any general moral principles he might state in the process of explaining his reasons for doing things. Any specific descriptions of Magneto's actions as terrorist would also be nice or descriptions of particular actions he's taken that are morally questionable or outright immoral would also help me.

3. For those more wizard-inclined, I'm hoping to compile a list of seemingly-chance occurrences in Harry Potter, where something not under the conscious control of any character, i.e. lucky occurrences, are absolutely crucial for the major plot of the book to move along, particularly if Harry's success or the bad guys' defeat or frustration in their purposes hinges on it. I'm also looking for specific instances where any characters talk about issues related to destiny, the various prophecies, time travel and changing the past, free will, and so on. If you can give page numbers in the American paperback editions (hardcover for Deathly Hallows) or chapter numbers otherwise, that would be great. But even just mention of the events and how important they are could help me if it's something I haven't thought of yet, especially if it's a really big deal.

Whatever help anyone can offer is appreciated.

We got this message on our voicemail from a number that was listed as RESTRICTED. It was an automated message that must have started before it began recording.

We just need to know what email address we can reach you at. The email address we have for you stopped working. So we wanted to ask you to take a quick second to update your address. You can do it over the phone right now. All you have to do is press 1 and fill out your email address. Just press 1. It just takes a second. That way we'll be able to keep you up to date on the great work that MoveOn's 3.2 million members are doing every day to win back the country from radical Republicans. So please just press 1, and thank you for your time and your continued support of MoveOn. And of course this message was paid for by MoveOn.org's political action and was not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Then the voice changes, and there's a phone number for how to reach them (I assume for when the recording is left on an answering machine or voicemail, and you can't press 1 to get anywhere).

So is this a new tactic or something? Our phone number is associated with only two adults, both members of the Republican Party. No one else has been at this number since 1999. I don't think MoveOn.org even existed back then. (Update: I guess it has.) I'm pretty confident they would count us as radical Republicans. So is there something we actually did that they incompetently assumed would make us prime candidates for giving money to them? Or are they just trying to annoy conservatives by sending them spam phone calls?

April License Plates

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U.S. States: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin

other U.S.: District of Columbia, U.S. government

Canada: Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec

U.S. States Lost from March: Alaska, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming

U.S. States Gained from March: Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada

U.S. States not seen yet at all: I still haven't seen Hawaii and Mississippi since I started doing this in October.

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