Thursday, August 19, 2010

Words Will Never Hurt Me

So Dr. Laura has been shooting her mouth off again. Dropping the "N-bomb" everywhere. I saw part of Larry King interviewing the African American woman the good doctor went off on she was very upset. After seeing the interview, I read a transcript and, I hate to say it, but I understand the point she was trying to make. If a word is "bad" (and I'm not really sure it's the word that is the problem) then it's "bad" all the time. For everyone.

Having said that, I don't think she needed to say it 11 times. I would not have said it once. She could have found a better way to get her point across. I think her point became lost in the emotional reaction to the word. She should have known saying the word would upset people. That's what the woman was calling in about.

There are a lots of people who would not say the word but they would think it. There is a part of me that says let them talk. At least we will know where they stand. It's the racists and homophobes and misogynists who hide their feelings behind smiles and pretty words that are really dangerous.

There is another part of me that says if everyone just started using the "bad" words all the time then they would lose their power. Many years ago I saw a video of Lenny Bruce talking about this subject and it had a huge affect on me. I think he was right.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Virtual Puppy Fix

Today I took a major step towards permanent Second Life (SL) citizenship. I bought a dog from the Virtual Kennel Club (VKC). Her name is Nephthys (pronounced Neffis) and she's a "Widget". I went looking for a schipperke but no one makes them. I can special order one but I shudder to think how much that would cost.

Nephthys cost me L$2000. VKC dogs can cost as much as L$5000. They're expensive because they're AI. They respond to a whole whack of commands and can learn new commands. They even make and remember friends. There are some commands that would only be found in SL like "attach 28" which attaches the dog to your spine (she shows up on my back) so that you can use a teleport (TP) together. Which is cool. We can TP from my home to the dog park in a couple of seconds. I have to remember that, with Nephthys, "heel" means walk by my side and not sit on my right side as I teach my PADS puppies.

The most unintentionally funny thing about VKC dogs is that they notice new things or things that have changed/moved. "Nephthys notice Madison" will show up in chat followed by "Nephthys greeting Madison". Which is fine, but you'll also see "Nephthys notice bowl" and "Nephthys greeting bowl". Heaven forbid you change your furniture around. The dog will go around noticing and greeting everything. One of the trainers told me a woman brought her horse to the dog park and it left a dropping behind and all the dogs "notice poop" and "greeting poop". I said it was artificial intelligence.

I've only had Nephthys a few hours and already my SL home is littered with balls, squeakies, and kongs. I have beds (yes plural), blankets and food dishes. I'm beginning to realize that there are just as many things to buy for a virtual dog as there are for a RL dog.

I've gotten attached to her. I'm feeling a little guilty that I'm not in SL with her right now. When SL crashed while we were at the dog park I worried about what was happening to her while I was gone. I don't think she cared. When I came back and found her she was at the water bowl with a bunch of other dogs.

I know I'm in for a period of learning and adjustment but I think it will be cool. I'm already hooked into a bunch of other SL dog owners. Hmm. Now I can talk about dogs in RL and SL. Is that a good thing?

BTW Nephthys looks way better than she does here. My picture is kinda crappy because I have an old graphics card and a computer that shouldn't even be able to connect to SL. A new computer is on my list of things to get...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Following The Superhero Theme

How to become a superhero*:


Or read this book: How to Be a Superhero: Your Complete Guide to Finding a Secret Headquarters, Hiring a Sidekick, Thwarting the Forces of Evil, and Much More!!

*I have no idea where this came from. Found it on a Google search and then couldn't connect to the page it was supposedly on.