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Weekend This & That: Open Thread

It’s an open thread! Pleeeeease feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread…

Bookworm BobSo below is what my cartoon sockpuppet Bookworm Bob & I have been looking at into this weekend.

Washington Secretary Of State Blog‘s Wayfinder is way cool…No way!! Way!:

The folks at the State Library are offering a new and very helpful online program called Wayfinder that can let you search for something among millions and millions of items found in many libraries throughout Washington. bookwormlaptopWayfinder is an online catalog that provides a single search for locating materials owned by the participating Washington libraries.

The catalog contains information on the collections of more than 250 public, academic, government, law, medical, corporate, special and tribal libraries throughout the state. Combined, these libraries hold more than 17.8 million items in various formats: books; newspapers, magazines and journals; movies; CDs; DVDs; digital objects such as electronic documents, subscription research databases, or historical items that have been scanned and made available on the Web; books in audio and large-print formats, and much more…

Okay, this is creepy that they have a sockpuppet bookworm too. But the bookworm’s name —bookwormlaptop — seriously! It’s just too unimaginative and dull!

Why not Library Larry? Or Bookworm Becca?

Oh yeah, good on the Washington State, like, y’know, this library program. But, that’s like, y’know, so much more like boring than my rant about a cartoon sockpuppet, don’t ya’ think?

And hey! Thanks to the efforts of artist “M,” Bookworm Bob is a much cooler lookin’ bookworm than that bookwormlaptop!

Los Angeles TimesCash-strapped states revise laws to get inmates out; Mandatory sentencing laws are relaxed, parole is accelerated, and time off for good behavior is increased as states scramble to save money:

After decades of pursuing lock-’em-up policies, states are scrambling to reduce their prison populations in the face of tight budgets, making fundamental changes to their criminal justice systems as they try to save money.

Some states are revising mandatory-sentencing laws that locked up nonviolent offenders; others are recalculating the way prison time is counted.

California, with the nation’s second-largest prison system, is considering perhaps the most dramatic proposal — releasing 40,000 inmates to save money and comply with a court ruling that found the state’s prisons overcrowded.

Colorado will accelerate parole for nearly one-sixth of its prison population. Kentucky has already granted early release to more than 3,000 inmates. Oregon has temporarily nullified a voter initiative calling for stiffer sentences for some crimes, and has increased by 10% the time inmates get off their sentences for good behavior…



State funding for prisons and prisoners is all well and good on tough sentencing until the economic climate gets tough, eh?

• An opinion piece by a high school student is this one from WestLynn Tidings‘s WLHS not honest in teacher sex change:

It’s no secret that West Linn High School math teacher Nick Kintz is returning this fall as a female. But from a student’s point of view, that’s just what the school wants it to be – a secret.

I will be a senior this year at WLHS and had Ms. Kintz as a math teacher sophomore year. While everyone has different opinions about the ability of certain teachers, Ms. Kintz is certainly capable of teaching math.

The issue shouldn’t be whether her sex change will hinder her ability to teach because I can say from experience that I don’t think it will.

Rather, the issue needs to shift focus to how the school is handling the situation and how students are affected by the change…

I realize the students are aware of this teacher’s transition, and I’m aware they want to have the administration talk to them about the teacher’s transition. But that said, transition is a social, physical, and medical experience for the transitioner.

And, that medical part of this makes this all particularly tricky. One’s medical record is supposed to be protected by HIPAA. If a transitioning teacher wants to keep the details about his’ or her’s transition details quiet, this puts a school in a tough legal spot.

Examiner.com‘s What Are Bisexual Symbols?:

Yes, there are Yes, there are bisexual symbols, despite what they say on the Lambda.org site about all GLBT symbols. Bisexual FlagSure, they may not be as ubiquitous as the red ribbon, or the rainbow flag, but they are prominent in certain communities, and it's good to get to know what they mean.

The bisexual flag is the most important symbol. It's more simple than mixing the blue (for boys) and pink (for girls) and a nice purple blend of the two in the middle (purple was also adopted as a color for bisexuality in some unofficial capacity). In actuality, the pink represents same-sex attractions (gay and lesbian) and the blue is opposite sex (heterosexual) attractions while the overlapping purple is attractions to both and all (bisexual) attractions. The purple pixels blend unnoticeably into both the pink and blue just as the real world where bi folk blend in with both communities. Read Michael Page's own description of the flag and what it means to him (click here).

The Bi Pride Flag is one of the few GLBT symbols that isn't trademarked or patented, and is open domain for anyone to use. Michael Page, of Florida, designed the flag as a symbol to show that bisexuals can be part of the GLT community. He wanted to emphasize bi individuality.  (Personally, I was at the event in Florida when Michael Page—a jet pilot and founder of BiCafe.com and an out bi activist—unveiled the flag and distributed it freely with his own money…

• Wiener story of the day: Fox NewsDinner With Palin Auctioned on eBay:

Want to have dinner with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin? Plan on writing a big check.

Wiener WorldThe ex-Republican vice presidential candidate is offering the dinner as part of a charity auction on eBay for the Ride 2 Recovery program, which supports wounded veterans through cycling programs.

The 10-day auction starts Tuesday. The opening bid for dinner for five with Palin is $25,000, and organizers say the winner will have to foot the travel bill to meet up with her, likely in Alaska.

There are nine other celebrity items in the auction, including lunch with former Bush aide Karl Rove. That opening bid is $7,500.

By comparison, $2.1 million was paid in 2008 for a lunch with financial guru Warren Buffett…

If one actually one the dinner date, could one specify what one ate for dinner? Just for fun, I’d want to go somewhere that tofu dogs were sold — I’m sure that would be a meat-like dish the former governor could sink her teeth into!

Hey, I got this wiener story of the day from Barista Louise. If y’all want to forward me any stories you think would be good nominations for a wiener story of the day, please do forward these to me. I like having a fun or snarky edge to these stories about hot dogs, “wiener” people/behavior, wiener dogs, “nasty bits,” and fun foods (like Spam), so please keep that in mind should you forward a story to me for this feature.  

So anywho…It’s an open thread! What are you thinking about today, or what books or articles have you been reading the past few days? Wanna share?

And again, please feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread because…it’s an open thread! Woo-hoo!  

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