Friday, May 1, 2009

Odds 'N Ends

1. A New Spokeswoman?

Previously, a group of "marriage defenders" treated us to some entertaining graphics opposing marriage equality which fell into one of four amusing categories. After that, the National Organization for [Heterosexual] Marriage (NOM) released a widely parodied and campy "Storm is Gathering" advertisement. In one of its latest PR moves, the professional "marriage defense" set has been using supporter of "opposite marriage" Miss California (Carrie Prejean) to advance its cause. Most recently, the anti-equality National Organization for [Heterosexual] Marriage is including Ms. Prejean in its new $1.5 million ad campaign against same-sex marriage.

Before the ad was released I had a hunch that it would fall into either the "I'm pretty, therefore same-sex marriage is wrong" category or the "I lost the beauty pageant crown because of the Incredible Power of the Gay" category. Now that I've seen it, I think it's a fun combo of each category. I wonder how much Miss Prejean was paid for her participation.

2. Calm Down, Take Two

The other day, I wrote about the media's annoying tendency to hype possible threats to humanity. You wouldn't know it by reading all of the ScArY NeWs StOrIeS about the swine flu, but a group of mathematicians at Northwestern University have projected the worst case scenario for the swine flu pandemic. As of yesterday afternoon, their model was predicting that over the course of 28 days, 2012 Americans will become infected. Interestingly, a separate and independent group at Indiana University using a different model came up with similar results.

While some of these 2012 individuals may die and that will, of course, be tragic, I think it is important to remember that there are like 300 million people living in the US.

3. Big Talker

Perhaps you've heard that conservative proponent of "enhanced interrogation techniques torture Sean Hannity joked, while being challenged on the issue of his support for waterboarding, that he would consent to being waterboarded for charity. In case you aren't familiar with waterboarding, it essentially entails strapping someone down, putting a mask over his/her face, tilting the person's head backwards, and pouring water into the nasal passages so the victim experiences suffocation and drowning. While most people who are actual authorities on this sort of thing agree that waterboarding is torture, television host Sean Hannity apparently does not.

So, while I don't believe Hannity should actually undergo waterboarding (for many reasons), let's break this down a bit:

Keith Olbermann offering to donate money to charity for each second Hannity undergoes waterboarding: $1000/second

Exposing Sean Hannity to the reality of what he advocates: priceless

Checking Sean Hannity's boxers afterwards: nasty.

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