I was surprised to discover recently that James had only appeared on the blog once before, December 28, 2009.
I am very happy to rectify that situation by presenting these four images of James doing what he does so well: looking good!
A personal blog by a Black, Gay, Caribbean, Liberal, Progressive, Moderate, Fit, Geeky, Married, College-Educated, NPR-Listening, Tennis-Playing, Feminist, Atheist, Math Professor in Los Angeles, California
|Ariocarpus scaphirostris, extremely rare, occurring only on the Valley of Rayones, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. It is endangered by unscrupulous collectors... and by goats, which damage their habitat. This 2-inch plant is probably at least 8 years old -- minimum flowering age.|
|Same plant in full bloom 3 days later. In habitat, only the tips of the leaves (and flower) would be visible above the gypsum shale scree. (And yes, I just enjoy writing gypsum shale scree.)|
Richardson’s been the subject of ethics questions recently: She’s accused of forcing her staff to work for and contribute to her campaign. She’s denied the allegations, but her fundraising dropped off in the third quarter, bringing in only $72,000 with just $116,000 in the bank. Hahn, after her special election, raised $139,000. A third Democrat, Assemblyman Isadore Hall, outraised them both with $158,000.Very interesting. In the Los Angeles area there are a number of these intra-Democrat incumbent versus incumbent battles, the most amusing being Rep. Brad Sherman versus Rep. Howard Berman (in the new CA-30), who not only have similar sounding names but basically identical voting records.
|Caroline Wozniacki, #1 player in the world, failed |
to make the semifinals of the WTA Tour Championships
Chief Roger Moore
28 North Paint Street
Chillicothe, Ohio 45601
Phone: (740) 773-1191WonderMan has an update on his blog that charges are expected to be charged soon, but that the bully claims he has "mental problems" and "zoned out."
Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games.” The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When her sister is chosen by lottery, Katniss steps up to go in her place.By definition, The Hunger Games is a much more violent series of books than the Harry Potter books. There are deaths in both, but in The Hunger Games it becomes almost routine. Also, the fact that Katniss is 16 years old when the books begin makes the possibility of sex (or at the very least romance) a very real possibility.
This is very cool but unsurprising news. Then again, the more countries that legalize marriage equality make the progressive change more and more inevitable.
The government is planning to propose legislation at the beginning of the year, the Copenhagen Postreports. Manu Sareen, the coalition government's church minister, said he hopes to see same-sex marriages legalized in the Church of Denmark by Spring 2012.Currently, gay couples are allowed to join together through "registered partnerships," a civil union, theCopenhagen Post points out. Denmark was the first country to legalize civil unions in 1989, but the couples still cannot marry in the Church of Denmark."I look forward to the moment the first homosexual couple steps out of the church. I'll be standing out there throwing rice," Sareen told Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper.Danish political parties are reportedly "extremely gay friendly," and many officials took part in the discussion to allow same-sex weddings in the church, an August article in the Copenhagen Postexplains.
Scotland and England are both considering same-sex legislation for next year, but like other countries, officials there have faced opposition, namely from the Catholic Church, ATV Today reports.A May 2011 article in the Copenhagen Post indicates that about 75 percent of Danes support same-sex marriages through the church. Religious leaders acknowledge the public's support for gay marriage and have expressed that a compromise -- such as a "specific marriage ritual for homosexual couples" -- might be the way to go.
|Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe|
Mr Tsvangirai told BBC's Newsnight programme that there was a "very strong cultural feeling" against homosexuality in Zimbabwe, but he would defend gay rights if he became president.This is excellent news.
"It's a very controversial subject in my part of the world. My attitude is that I hope the constitution will come out with freedom of sexual orientation, for as long as it does not interfere with anybody," he told Newsnight's Gavin Esler."To me, it's a human right," he said.Zimbabwe's long-time leader Mr Mugabe - a practising Christian - once said gays were "worse than pigs and dogs", sparking international condemnation.In March 2010, Mr Tsvangirai said gay rights was not up for discussion in Zimbabwe.
When I bought this Lobivia schieliana (syn Echinopsis schieliana), it had no flowers or buds. I got it for the wonderful spines, which turn the rounded (globose) stems of the plant into little inverted birds' nests. It was a homely beauty, a miniature sculpture of meticulously attached pieces of straw spun into whorls. It was in fact a perfect example of a particular cactus aesthetic: curious, ugly-as-beautiful — the implicit danger of spines, tamed by culture... and in this case, by the plant's tendency to use its defensive spines as horny shield rather than stabbing weapons.
And then... out of nowhere... the blooms. Shocking red, raised above the body of the plant on narrow tubes — the better to be seen by their dancing partners... hummingbirds? Much as I want to write about my other strange cacti — exquisite snowy globes or pineapples with spines like bouquets of grass — I can't ignore these flowers any better than the hummingbirds can.—
PS One of the... I say THE... references on cactus just arrived in the mail and I'm very excited: The Cactus Family (2001) by Edward F. Anderson. He writes,
Plants often forming clusters from basal branching. Stems globose to cylindrical, often slender, to 4.5 cm (1.8 in) long and 3.5 cm (1.4 in) in diameter. Ribs about 14. Central spine one, often absent at first, bent downward, light brown, 5–6 mm (0.2 in) long. Radial spines about 14, pectinate to radiating, interlacing, light brown. Flowers bright light red; floral tubes slender. Distribution: Peru and Bolivia.
|Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images|
Feingold has long been an advocate for strong Wall Street reform and cleaning up corporations -- he opposed the Dodd-Frank legislation because it didn't go far enough and called on Democrats to stop taking corporate contributions.The only other non-incumbent endorsement Feingold has made in 2012 is his backing of Elizabeth Warren, who is running for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. In his email endorsement of Warren, Feingold also stressed that she "stood up against the Wall Street wish list of a bankruptcy bill" and would "keep fighting for middle class families on Capitol Hill.""Tammy is a true progressive champion, one of the strongest fighters for working families our state has ever produced and a hero to those of us who believe in breaking barriers and eliminating injustice in our society," adds Feingold, who also asks supporters to contribute to the Baldwin campaign. "I was proud to call her a colleague as we fought together in Washington for Wisconsin families -- and I’ll be proud to call her my Senator."
|Zachary Quinto played Spock in J.J. Abrams' re-boot of Star Trk|
Last year, the Times, in profiling him forAngels, noted that “the blogosphere is rife with speculation about his sexuality” but that “he prefers not to feed the rumor mill with either substantiation or dismissal.” That has changed. A little while later in our conversation, speaking of the cultural bipolarity that can see gay marriage legalized in New York in the same year that yet another gay teenager, Jamey Rodemeyer, was bullied and killed himself, Quinto says, “And again, as a gay man I look at that and say there’s a hopelessness that surrounds it, but as a human being I look at it and say ‘Why? Where’s this disparity coming from, and why can’t we as a culture and society dig deeper to examine that?’ We’re terrified of facing ourselves.”Hmmm, I hope this doesn't impact his career negatively. (I doubt it will.) I'm also curious about his Star Trek co-star (who played the other pivotal role of James T. Kirk), Chris Pine, and has gone on to co-star in films with big stars like Denzel Washington in Unstoppable. Pine still has no "personal information" in his Wikipedia page, while Quinto's contains the fact that he is now out as a gay man.
And the heterosexual supremacists lost the referendum campaign in 2009 as well. Washington voters approved the referendum (upheld Washington's comprehensive domestic partnership law) and it has been in effect since November 2009.
The 138,000 people who signed petitions to force a vote on a 2009 domestic partnership law are unlikely to face harassment if their names are disclosed a judge said Friday while ordering the release of signatures.U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle said the petitioners who advocated for privacy provided only a few experiences of indecent statements and other uncomfortable conversations. Also, there was only speculation that those incidents were connected to the issue, he said.Disclosure would become the exception, rather than the rule, if just a few instances of harassment were used as the standard for preventing the release of names, Settle said.
|Beth Robinson, 46, was co-counsel in the landmark Baker case|
which led to Vermont civil unions
This is incredible news! It is astonishing how the number of openly LGBT people on state supreme courts is increasing from the less-than-a-handful from a few years ago to more than a half-dozen now.
“It’s a huge privilege and honor for me,” said Shumlin, in a press conference, “to be able to announce I’ve selected Beth Robinson to serve on the Vermont Supreme Court.”“Beth has extraordinary integrity,” said Shumlin. “She is one of the most decent, fair, hard-working and bright people in this great state…. There is no one I know in Vermont who is more able to carry out justice for Vermonters, to be fair and clear, and promote the greatness of this state than Beth Robinson.”Robinson has been serving as Shumlin’s chief legal counsel since he took office in January. Prior to that, she was a lawyer in private practice.Though she keeps a relatively low profile when it comes to publicity, Robinson has played a key role in the litigation and organization surrounding the historic achievement of the nation’s first civil unions law in Vermont in 2000, and the legislature’s passage of marriage equality nine years later.
|Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images|
|Revisiting Mammillaria hernandezii in October, this time in bloom|
|The same plant(s) from back in July. Besides the bloom, notice how much smaller the second head was.|
|Lithops sp, tentatively L marmorata, on 2nd day of bloom.|
The largest body here is under 2 inches at its widest.
Mid-October, the time of this post, is prime time for Lithops flowers. They like to make hay while the sun still shines.
Cole, Desmond; Cole, Naureen (2005). Lithops—Flowering Stones. Cactus & Co. 368 pages (20.7 × 29.5 cm), 644 col. + 5 b/w photos, 3 col. + 85 b/w drawings, 7 maps, 98 habitat photos. ISBN-10 88-900511-7-5. ISBN-13 978-88-900511-7-3
Hammer, Steven (2010). Lithops: Treasures of the Veld. 2nd Edition. BCCS. Softbound; 156 pages; 238 photos. ISBN-10: 0902099922. ISBN-13: 978-0902099920.Shimada, Yasuhiko (2001). The Genus Lithops. Dobun Shoin. 240 pages (19 × 26.5 cm), 437 col. photos, 1 b/w map. ISBN-10 4-8103-4066-X.
This poll just goes to show tat just enacting a marriage equality law in Maryland will be less than half the battle, making sure that there is popular support for the measure, and that it goes into effect before a ballot battle is even more important. As things stand now, the good guys would lose the marriage equality battle at the ballot box in Maryland.
The Gonzales poll found 48 percent of Marylanders who vote regularly favor a law allowing same-sex marriages, while 49 percent of that population are against allowing same-sex marriages.There is a notable difference based on race. Fifty-one percent of white voters approve, compared to 41 percent of African-American voters. Meanwhile, 46 percent of white voters disapprove, compared to 59 percent of African Americans.The opinion of voters could become particularly relevant if a same-sex marriage bill passes this session.Opponents have vowed to take advantage of a provision in the state Constitution that allows citizens to petition just-passed laws to the ballot. With enough signatures, same-sex marriage would be subject to a statewide vote in November 2012.
Djokovic becomes the 16th person in the history of the ATP rankings to end the year at #1.
The 24-year-old Belgrade native is the first Serbian man to finish No. 1 in the history of the ATP Rankings (since 1973). It also marks a record eighth straight year a European is the No. 1 player on the ATP World Tour. For seven years from 1985-91, Europeans finished No. 1.Djokovic is the first player other than Roger Federer (2004-07, ‘09) or Rafael Nadal (2008, ’10) to finish No. 1 since American Andy Roddick in 2003.[...]En route to a 64-3 match record, he has captured a record five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles in a season, in Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid, Rome and Montreal. He has also compiled a 20-2 mark vs. Top 10 opponents, defeating rivals Nadal six times and Federer four times so far in 2011.
It just goes to show you how much more seriously conservatives take the federal judiciary than liberals when they were willing to vote against this amazingly well-qualified person for basically illusory reasons.
Nathan, an out lesbian, will be the second out lesbian federal judge with lifetime tenure in the country, joining U.S. District Court Judge Deborah Batts on the bench of the Southern District of New York.
White House spokesman Shin Inouye praised the Senate action, writing, "The President welcomes the confirmation of Alison Nathan. She will serve the American people well from the District Court bench."
Five members of the Democratic caucus did not vote for Nathan's nomination, and no Republicans voted for it. Less than three months ago, U.S. District Court Judge J. Paul Oeken, was confirmed with the support of 28 Republicans. Oetken also sits on the Southern District of New York bench and currently is the only out gay male judge serving in one of the lifetime tenure positions in the federal judiciary.
Four Democrats not voting today were Sens. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.). Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), who caucuses with the Democrats, also did not vote. The three Republicans not voting were Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and David Vitter (R-La.).
Of course the cynic would say the reason why there are more sponsors of the Respect for Marriage Act in this Congress is because the bill has almost no chance of actually passing the U.S. House with a Republican majority. Therefore, Congressmembers know they can get "credit" for co-sponsoring pro-LGBT legislation without even having to bite the bullet and actually vote in favor of pro-LGBT rights. But that would be cynical, wouldn't it?
“I’m pleased to join the Log Cabin Republicans in our fight for marriage equality,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “I co-sponsored the repeal of DOMA because I firmly believe that equality is enshrined in our constitution and in our great democracy.”Ros-Lehtinen’s support means the DOMA repeal bill, which in the House was introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), now has 125 co-sponsors. The House legislation now has more co-sponsors than it had in the 111th Congress when Democrats held a majority in the chamber.In a statement, Nadler said he welcomes Ros-Lehtinen as a co-sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act “with great joy.”“And her support reminds us that the march to repeal the discriminatory DOMA is not a partisan issue,” Nadler said. “Just as New York showed the nation this summer in its bipartisan embrace of marriage equality, the drive to end DOMA is — and must be — a collective, nonpartisan effort that unites Americans behind a simple push for equality.”Other pro-LGBT bills to which Ros-Lehtinen has signed on as a co-sponsor include the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Every Child Deserves a Family Act. In May 2010, Ros-Lehtinen was among five Republicans who voted for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal even before the Pentagon report on the issue was published.