Today's Mighty Oak


Alright, catching up on a bit of a backlog in addition to some current items, but let’s see what we have today. First up, a favorite web comic/series, Surviving the World is returning with classic reposts! Here’s where he ended it. Class Dismissed.

Science news you can use: don’t drink your whiskey ‘neat’:

The United Methodist Church is splitting over gay issues. As someone who has come out of that on the other side, hey welcome, it’s a bumpy ride. Sorry you have to do this, it’s painful.

This fight (is still going on all across the country) happened in September in Arizona. Their GOP governor said they don’t need to extend non-discrimination protections to gay people, and their supreme court said businesses can deny service to gay people. The fight continues, and is seemingly never ending.

In other disturbing news, the Interior Department cut sexual orientation from their internal discrimination policies as well.

I wrote earlier about my displeasure at Marvel (and Star Wars) for LGBT erasure. The upcoming film, The Eternals, will, for the first time, feature a gay superhero (and kiss). Yes, it’s progress. Should it have taken 11 years? No.

In other movie news, the trailer for the new Wes Anderson film looks amazing:

If you haven’t, check out Eastsiders on Netflix. It was an amazing series, and here’s an interview with the creator.

Stranger Things 4 gives us a present from Russia (with love).

In good news, a New York state park will be named for Marsha P. Johnson!

The Church of England said sex is only for straight, married people. Then they apologized for offending people, not actually changing their minds.

Firefighters who got angry comments when they showed their support for the queer community hit back in an awesome video.

NASA is adding a luxury hotel to the ISS. Spoiler, if you’re reading this, you will not be able to afford visiting.

An awesome video from a favorite creator that I’ve been mulling over: death and minimialism:

The Utah Governor pulled the campaign that put AMAZING art on condoms to prevent STIs. They’re all great, and it’s a shame he pulled them.

Speaking of, the UK has seen a massive decline in HIV infections due to PrEP. No surprise there.

The Catholic bishops in Texas have blasted their governor (who is Catholic)over his rule to not accept refugees. I’m highly, highly critical of the Catholic Church, so I have to give them points when it’s appropriate. Good for them.

Disney is announcing more details of their immersive Star Wars hotel for their resorts, and it looks amazing and I can’t wait to go!

Google pretty much hit it out of the park with their Superbowl ad:

And another great ad, this time from Microsoft:



Alright, let’s see what we have today. First up, as part of the 50th anniversary celebration, the entirety of Stonewall has been 3D scanned, preserving the record of it.

I’ve been running a lot recently while listening to audio books, and before this news broke (even though the biography was published last year), I had started the biography of Mr. Rogers (as read by Lavar Burton, so just amazing all around), but he basically came out as bisexual!

The third season of Santa Clarita Diet is about to drop:

Young activists received a letter of apology from the governor of Utah. A great story, and hopefully it leads to a great outcome!

It’s higher than I thought, but still lower than it should be: the CDC reports that 35 percent of at-risk gay and bi men are on PrEP.

This is amazing: A woman recited (as much as she could in her three minutes) the Patton Oswalt filibuster from Parks and Rec! She even got to say “please allow me to finish.” These are civic engagement goals.

Speaking of civic engagement, one of the candidates running for the Democratic nomination, Pete Buttigieg, has impressed me so much, he makes me want to register with the party instead of being an Independent. I don’t have the link handy, but his interview on the Today show, talking about reclaiming faith for the left, was inspirational.

The massacre in New Zealand is of course, horrific. The outpouring of love, and hakas, has been emotional to say the least. It gives me hope (and makes me sad we can’t do it here), that tighter gun restrictions really can be done so quickly.

Also in super sad news, a survivor of Parkland has taken her own life.

In amazing karma, an anti-vaxxer in Italy…got chicken pox. Which is much worse if you’re an adult.

And finally, in funny news from the EU, France’s EU minister has named her cat Brexit: it cries to leave, but then never does.



For about two weeks, I had what felt like the black death.  It ran rampant through my workplace and I was unlucky enough to get hit with it hard.  So bad in fact, my boss sent me home early one day, where I promptly crawled under the covers and fell asleep.

I woke up a few hours later, still in somewhat of a fever-haze and saw the news that a judge struck-down the ban on marriage equality in Utah.  I chalked it up to my bacteria-riddled brain and shuffled down the hall to make some tea.

After some of the warm liquid began to clear my head a little bit, more synapses were sparking and I realized my RSS reader had been showing the news coming out of Utah from multiple sources.  Suddenly, Utah had marriage equality 1.

In the ruling, Judge Shelby dismantles every argument against marriage equality 2: that gay couples can’t procreate without outside assistance, that marriage equality is creating a “new right,” that history and tradition say marriage should remain exclusively between heterosexual couples, that marriage equality bans are not passed because of animus, that the state should be promoting procreation, that heterosexual parents are the best kinds of parents, that marriage equality is somehow new and unchartered territory and that the citizens of Utah should be allowed to vote on one group’s rights.  Each point Judge Shelby smacked down with legal authority, even using Supreme Court Justice Scalia’s own dissent 3 from the Windsor case as a way to show the urgent need for marriage equality.

Throughout the next few days and weeks, two stays were denied 4 5and marriages continued.  The governor of Utah has done everything he could to roll back marriage equality, calling it chaos 6, including eventually spending two million dollars 7 to appeal to the US Supreme Court 8

The Governor even went so far to announce that the state would not recognize 9 the legally valid marriages performed before the stay that was eventually put in place by the US Supreme Court as appeals were filed 10

The US Government 11, as well as many other states 12 have stepped forward and said they will recognize the marriages performed, even while Utah, the very state where those marriages took place, will not.

When this decision came down, after a few hiccups (including one county that closed its office to everyone rather than grant same-sex marriage licenses 13 and four counties that blatently broke the law and were in contempt of court for only offering licenses to heterosexual couples 14), a record number of couples flooded county offices, filling them for hours on end.

Couples did not know how long they would have, and the urgency was palpable.  Like a scavenger hunt, suddenly these couples had stumbled upon some basic civil rights, but they didn’t know how long they would last.  Many left work, grabbed their partners and rushed to the nearest court, resulting in lines filled with citizens in hoodies and jeans, and couples getting married without their families, in a rush to obtain the basic protections they had been denied for so long 15 1617.

“Gay couples are second class citizens in their own country.  We don’t have the luxury of planning out our marriage 18.”

Throughout the day, records were shattered 19 for the sheer number of marriage licenses being produced, and amid the chaos, a heartwarming story emerged of a local Boy Scout and his dad who showed up to pass out pizza to the couples in line and the clerks who were working through their lunches to process as many licenses as they could 20.

Utah has since allowed the couples who got married to file their taxes jointly 21, even while refusing to somehow recognize them.  That doesn’t make any sense, but that’s what’s going on, the very chaos the governor was afraid was running rampant.  In the meantime, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit to force the state to recongize the marriages22.

The state asked for ten extra days 23 to submit their briefs 24, and the plantiffs submited a brief opposing that delay 25, a delay which was ultimatley granted 26.

So now that the dust has finally settled in the legal ping-pong battle between civil rights and those opposed, we wait for the courts to rule once more.  Utah proved to the country the necessity and urgency of marriage equality.

The pictures of lines winding through buildings, while triumphant and exciting, I can’t help but view with a twinge of sadness.   These are loving couples who were forced to wait for so long for basic civil rights, and what should have been a fully joyous occasion, became a battle of logistics to secure what rights they could, even if their friends and family couldn’t be there to witness their vows.

Conservatives in Utah, you may remember, were the major donors to California’s Proposition 8, which banned marriage equality in the state for a time, so, now it is with great pleasure that the Golden State can send this postcard:

It’s hard to fully explain what it’s like to have to claw and scratch you way to full civil equality.  Nor would I ever want anyone else to have to go through the uncertainty and isolation that comes with that fight.

And even though this series of events happened half a country away, my heart raced with those couples.  My heart beat with those couples, finally able to get a glimmer of the recognition they so desperately deserve.

It can be exhilarating and infuriating, and even downright scary to watch the process, but we can cheer from afar, both as members of the community, or as allies standing shoulder to shoulder.

Marriage equality may be in stasis at the moment, but we can already see the cracks and know that the tide of history is pushing against that wall.  It’s a messy business, trying to deny a group their civil rights, as witnessed by the chaos stemming from the governor’s mansion in Utah.  But marriage equality will be the law in the Beehive State, it’s only a matter of time at this point.


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Notes:

  1. http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2013/12/utahs-first-gay-marriage-has-happened.html 
  2. http://goodmenproject.com/gender-sexuality/how-a-federal-judge-in-utah-adeptly-dismantled-all-of-the-arguments-against-marriage-equality-jvinc/ 
  3. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2013/12/23/the-utah-gay-marriage-decision-used-justice-scalias-own-language-against-him
  4. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2013/12/23/judge-denies-request-to-stay-utahs-gay-marriage-ruling 
  5. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2013/12/24/yet-again-the-court-denies-a-request-to-halt-gay-marriages-in-utah 
  6. http://www.towleroad.com/2013/12/utah-governor-and-ag-desperate-to-bring-order-in-utah-halt-gay-marriage-chaos-1.html 
  7. http://equalityontrial.com/2013/12/30/utah-seeks-outside-counsel-defend-sex-marriage-ban-defense-may-cost-2-million/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=utah-seeks-outside-counsel-defend-sex-marriage-ban-defense-may-cost-2-million&utm_reader=feedly 
  8. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2013/12/26/when-will-utah-ask-the-supreme-court-to-halt-gay-marriages-maybe-in-a-few-days 
  9. http://www.towleroad.com/2014/01/utahgh.html 
  10. http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2014/01/rachel-maddow-on-utahs-marriage-battle.html 
  11. http://www.washingtonblade.com/2014/01/10/breaking-obama-admin-to-recognize-utah-same-sex-marriages/ 
  12. http://www.towleroad.com/2014/01/maryland-will-recognize-same-sex-marriages-performed-in-utah.html 
  13. http://goodmenproject.com/good-feed-blog/utah-county-adopts-jim-crow-tactic-preventing-same-sex-couples-from-marrying/ 
  14. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2013/12/24/utah-counties-continuing-their-christmastime-war-against-marriage 
  15. http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2013/12/utah-gay-couples-rush-county-clerk.html 
  16. http://www.towleroad.com/2013/12/75-couples-still-in-line-to-get-a-marriage-license-in-salt-lake-city-.html 
  17. http://www.towleroad.com/2013/12/gay-couples-rush-for-marriage-licenses-in-utah-ahead-of-stay-request-hearing-photo.html
  18. http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2013/12/video-utahs-first-married-gay-couple.html 
  19. http://www.towleroad.com/2013/12/utah-gay-couples-shattering-states-marriage-records.html 
  20. http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2013/12/utah-boy-scouts-brought-pizza-to.html 
  21. http://www.towleroad.com/2014/01/utah-to-allow-joint-tax-filing-for-married-gay-couples.html 
  22. http://www.towleroad.com/2014/01/aclu-sues-utah-over-governors-refusal-to-recognize-same-sex-marriages.html 
  23. http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2014/01/utah-needs-ten-extra-days-to-figure-out.html 
  24. http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2014/01/utah-needs-ten-extra-days-to-figure-out.html 
  25. http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2014/01/utah-plaintiffs-file-opposition-to.html 
  26. http://equalityontrial.com/2014/01/21/tenth-circuit-grants-time-extension-as-aclu-files-lawsuit-challenging-utahs-non-recognition-of-marriages/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tenth-circuit-grants-time-extension-as-aclu-files-lawsuit-challenging-utahs-non-recognition-of-marriages&utm_reader=feedly 


Alright, let’s see what we have today, first up, this amazing ad from Guinness:

Also in the world of advertising, this guy spend over $1,000 on Twitter ads because an airline lost his luggage and he wanted them to actually do their job.

The KKK, which is sadly still a thing, had their first-ever meeting with the NAACP, and it was described as “peaceful.”

A new study shows that gun ownership, not suicidal behavior, is actually the highest indicator of suicide.

Hahaha, amazing chart of things said to designers.

So this exists:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIcduHjDMI

Russia is now moving towards forcibly taking children away from LGBT parents.  At the end of the G-20 summit, when Obama met with Activists, they begged him to help get them out of the country.  Things are only going to get worse as we head towards the Olympics.

Utah follows in Florida’s idiotic footsteps.  Again, for those keeping score: those on public assistance are far less likely than the general public to be on drugs, stop wasting money.

And finally, a great idea for a public service campaign:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efAUCG9oTb8



Short update today.  First up, the big news here in Pittsburgh is Luke v. UPMC.  Ginny talks about it, and you should give it a read.

Sounds like something I came up with: replacing guns with thumbs up.

Chiptole has cancelled their sponsorship of a Scouting event in Utah because, you guessed it: the BSA discriminates against children.

And in a week, the arguments will take place at the Supreme Court against Prop 8 and DOMA.  It’s a big deal, and to help support it, a young man wrote a letter to Chief Justice Roberts, who has adoptive children:

That’s it for now, have a great one!



First up, I’m at a bit of a loss for words.  Remember how the Catholic Church is strangely concerned with all of our private bits and the sex that we have?  You know, with the “pro-life” stance and the marches and the protests and whatnot?  Well, they can change that position as soon as it’s financially beneficial to them (you know, after basically killing the two children in this sad, sad story).

And just a reminder, open, legal, safe access to comprehensive health care (which includes abortion and family planning services), as well as marriage equality, results in more stable families.

People being awesome:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6XUVjK9W4o

So now we can 3D print houses for use on the moon!  And of course, it’s a Mobius strip, which is totally cool!

The Good Men Project is launching the Hacker Scouts.  Building rockets, small electronics, sounds like fun.  If you’re in NYC, check it out.

The good Men Project also looks at the unthinkable: What if my son doesn’t like Star Wars?

Too nerdy not to pass up:

 The original Batmobile sold for 4.2 million.

So, in Utah you can be fired for what your boss thinks your political affiliation is.  Crazy.

That’s it for now, have a great one!



Been a while, and I have a lot to share, so let’s get going.  First up, this has been floating around, and it’s been overdone, but this time, it’s at my alma mater:

Fun fact, the Steelers are the only football team to have a training camp day for those with special needs.  Shame on all the other teams!

After years of waiting, and hunting for a copy that wouldn’t put me in the poor house, The 50 Year Sword is being reprinted in America and the cover was just revealed in io9:

I’m really hoping that Yinztagram comes to Android.  I would totally add Rick Sebak to just about every picture ever.

Here are some awe-inspiring (in a bad way) of the interior of Monsour Medical Building, which I pass all the time going to SVC.

This is amusing:

An artist has used thousands of CDs to create amazing works of art.  Makes my coathanger and AOL CD suncatchers look like child’s play…since they were.

This is a really cool table, although I don’t know how much it costs, but I’m guessing it’s really expensive.

Also amusing:

Act Classy took the ruined Jesus Fresco and showed his whole life.  Funny, because all we can do is laugh about the situation.

Click here to listen to the sound of a star dying.  Seriously.

A great riff on Warhol’s famous quote:

I’ve always loved utensil-less cooking while camping, this looks really awesome.  It’s totally for breakfast.

That’s it for now, but I’ll be back soon with more!



Alright everyone, I have a lot of stuff to post again, so bear with me.

First off, Dollhouse went off the air two weeks ago, I’m still sad about it, but I highly suggest you watch it on DVD (skip the first few episodes of Season 1 and start with “Man on the Street”), in case you’re wondering here’s what you missed (spoilers, obviously):

Priya’s painting from season one was auctioned off for over $6,000, all going to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.  And io9 recaps why we’ll miss Dollhouse, and it’s an excellent read.

But luckily, Lost is back.  Here’s what you missed the first five seasons:

And here are Newsweek staffers who have never seen Lost trying to explain what’s going on:

A new series of books is going to be published via Geocaching.  I saw an updated interview with the author, and he’s trying to spread them all over the globe, pretty cool, but kind of impractical.  Also, I don’t seem very interested in the books themselves.  Oh well.

Thankfully, PG+ has more than 35 members.  And by the way, it’s awesome!  I’ll be writing about it over at Metblogs pretty soon I hope.

Thanks Supreme Court:

I’m not sold on the iPad, if it was open to more than just the app store, I think I would get one, but right now, I don’t think it’s worth it.  Check out Slog’s coverage of it, icnluding this gem of a sentence:

UPDATE: Post edited and cleaned up, because I was drunk.

Pensblog has an awesome guide to hockey fans.  Check it out here.  And the game is still going on tonight but the doors open early at 6 p.m.

One of the guys I work with is the Mayor of North Irwin!  I call him Mr. Mayor now.  Apparently the city council just fights a lot, so I want to get a group from work to show up with posters and bells like at a little league game or something.  I think it would be fun.  Also, as I like to mention, he won by 23 votes: mandate of the people!

Berger and Green made it to BoingBoing!  Oh boy!  Explosion!

Betty Bowers, America’s best Christian is back, this time, she’s cooking:

Ever wonder what the 57 Heinz varieties are/were?  Check them out here.

A Dr. Pepper flash mob took over the NYSE, they were not too amused.

Words.  Can’t.  Comprehend.  Ewwww?

I can’t embed it, but here’s the link to Pink’s awesome performance at the Grammy’s.  It reminds me of her performance in Australia, pretty awesome.

Jesus gets a make over:

JESUS2000 from jesus 2000 on Vimeo.

 

NPR has a great article about the passage of time, and how we perceive it as we age.  Check it out.

Rob Tisinai is back, his videos are articulate, well researched, and just all around amazing:

The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell hearings continue on.  Want to see McCain absolutely owned?  Check out this link.  Not that he’ll change his stance, but it’s great to see nonetheless.  Here’s more reactions to the hearings.

This is pretty awesome, and I think Pat would really dig it:

I commented earlier about the first legal male prostitute, and how he, ahem, compared himself to Rosa Parks.  Yeah, he’s not bright at all.  Well, the New York Post partook in his services (not all of them), check it out, but be ready to laugh a lot, and barf.

And if that didn’t enrage you enough, check out these three links about the “relief work” Scientologists are doing in Haiti.  Disgusting.  Because Haiti doesn’t need food or water, no, they need machines to con them into thinking they have dead alien spirits inside them.  If you’re still looking for something to do to help, look no further than Savage Love, Facebook, and an awesome idea.

Are you going to be appearing on The Daily Show?  Read these tips first!

I talked about it over at Metblogs, but The Big Money also covers the redesign of the Heinz ketchup packet.

Have you been to SellecWaterfallSandwich?  It’s exactly what you think it is.

I like the ads, especially the first one, a lot.  However, I do have to agree, I won’t be taking marriage advise from Utah thankyouverymuch.  Also, the comments are a great read!

Want to commemorate the recent snow, get the t-shirt (I also suggest the map of Pittsburgh shirt):

That’s all I have for now, I have more, but I need to take a break, this has been a long post, but I’m almost all caught up!  Catch everyone in a little bit!

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