Archive for the ‘In the Media’ Category

Atlantis’ Last Launch

As part of the publicity program at NASA, I was invited to the #NASATweetup through Twitter to watch the last landing of the Space Shuttle Atlantis. I had signed up to watch the launch along with fifty-one hundred other people. A hundred and fifty people were accepted and another hundred and fifty people were put on a wait list. I was put on the wait list and never called.

Until Friday.

NASA invited fifty people from the wait list to come to Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and watch the final landing of the last of the three space shuttles. So, a train, plane, and automobile trip later, I was in Cocoa Beach.

I met up with two other tweeters for dinner at the Shark Pit where I had a couple of the local brew so I could get to sleep for four hours from what on the west coast was 7:30 pm to 11:30 pm. I felt like I was in college again, sleeping before going out to a party.

I was out the door by 3 am on east coast time and was bombarded by humidity. It is amazing how much I forget about that after spending eight years in California. It didn’t help that I was wearing jeans and a light sweater because we would be standing on grass in the nature preserve that is KSC.

My dinner companions became my carpool companions, and we headed out to the Press Accreditation Building just before KSC. There, we had to hand over our two forms of identification to receive our passes. By 4 am, we were on the bus and ready to go.

Nasa Tweetup

We had to wait for deorbit before we were allowed to drive to the landing site. The wait felt like an eternity, but wasn’t really all that long. In the end, it was for the best because it meant we spent less time getting eaten alive by the bugs. Silent little devils got my ear without me noticing!

We arrived about fifteen minutes before landing. I managed to sneak my way up to the front of the rope. We were warned that it would be pointless to try to take photos. Turns out that is true. But I attempted to take some anyways. Problem was that I didn’t have a tripod, and I’m not particularly steady. I tried a couple before the landing and realized it wasn’t worth it. The sky was brighter fifteen minutes after the landing, but was dark for the landing itself.

The most noticeable moments of the landing are the two distinct sonic booms that happen as the wings and the tail of the shuttle pass the sound barrier. You will notice in the video that even though I knew it was coming, it still surprised me. The other moment is just as the shuttle lands, there is a loud roar.

Since there don’t seem to be any lights on the shuttle, it was impossible to see it land. The only time we could actually see the shuttle was as it passed briefly with the parachutes deployed. In the video, I forget to turn my phone to follow it because I was actually watching it in real life, not through the screen.

After the landing, there are a bunch of trucks that all rush out to the shuttle, which by then was behind the trees again. There isn’t really much more we could see, so the whole experience was less than thirty minutes.

Was it worth it for thirty minutes? How many of you can say you saw a shuttle land? Or the last space shuttle landing?

So yeah, it was worth it.

I took a few more photos before leaving. Now I’m going to take a nap before exploring Cocoa Beach.

Control Tower

Control Tower 2

American Flag


Prepared for The Rapture

I left out wine and bread before going to bed. Hope Jesus likes it for The Rapture. Friends said he’d like it more than milk and cookies, or carrots, or teeth.

Hope he doesn’t mind the bread is partially eaten. I got hungry waiting for The Rapture.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Dinner, friends, and phones

Intern pointed me to this recent NYTimes article, Keep Your Thumbs Still When I’m Talking to You, by David Carr, about the use of phones/tablets during social gatherings. Intern knows this is a sensitive subject with me as he was witness to my outburst at lunch during his first week of work. Intern, Cub Scout (formerly known as Intern, but had just become a real employee), Fuckin’ Hipster, and Artery Clogger went out to lunch off campus. Fuckin’ Hipster and Artery Clogger were on their phones while we drove there. They were on their phones while I held the door. And they were on their phones while I requested a table. I do appreciate the feminist movement, but it has killed chivalry and made it possible for men to remain little boys forever. But that is another story. When we sat at the table, as soon as Fuckin’ Hipster and Artery Clogger had decided what to order, they checked out of the conversation again and psychologically left me, Cub Scout, and Intern at a table for three.

I flipped out.

Granted, since then, Fuckin’ Hipster and Artery Clogger have seriously curbed their phone use at the table when I’m around. Probably because they know that just like Anthony De Rosa, a product manager and programmer at Reuter said, “I’m fine with people stepping aside to check something, but when I’m standing in front of someone and in the middle of my conversation they whip out their phone, I’ll just stop talking to them and walk away. If they’re going to be rude, I’ll be rude right back.”

The best way to describe why I flipped out is to analyze this TechCrunch article,I Will Check My Phone At Dinner And You Will Deal With It, referenced by the NYTimes article, where MG Siegler tries to explain that, “Love it or hate it, this is becoming the norm.”

First off, is the title, “I Will Check My Phone At Dinner And You Will Deal With It”. No, I won’t deal with it. I have options. I’ll choose not to eat with you. You won’t miss me at the table because you’ll have all your internet friends, the same friends who wouldn’t take precious time away from something better they were doing without you to have dinner with you. Those are real good friends you have. Keepers.

I’d pretend to read the menu or fix my napkin to just be slyly looking straight down at my device beneath her line of sight — you know the drill. And while I was doing that, I would look around. Sure enough, there were a half-dozen other people at the tables around me doing the same thing.

I will take that opportunity to look around the restaurant to find the good-looking guy at the bar who is actually willing to make eye contact with me. While you are “fixing your napkin,” I’ll write my number on a piece of paper and then excuse myself to the bathroom and hand it to the guy who actually wants to be having dinner with me.

Love it or hate it, this is becoming the norm. And when it fully becomes the norm, there will no longer be the same stigma attached to checking your phone at a restaurant. Naturally, my mother refuses to believe this will happen, but it’s happening already. Go out to dinner with people in their 20s or 30s. Or worse, go out to dinner with teenagers.

Oh, so now, grown men are supposed to take their social cues from teenagers. Please see my earlier comment about chivalry being dead and men being allowed to continue acting like unruly children.

When I go out to dinner with my peers these days, it’s not considered weird at all to pull out your phone. In fact, the situation has sort of reversed itself: you feel awkward if everyone else is using their phones and you’re not. It happens. A lot.

So now, because I was actually taught manners in the backwoods of Maine, I have to feel uncomfortable for trying to show my peers respect. Great.

Obviously, at a fancy restaurant this behavior is less prevalent than at a bar. But it’s still increasingly happening all around you.

Does this statement not send up a RED FLAG for you? The difference in manners between people in a fancy restaurant and people in a bar? Which would you rather emulate, the people who make things happen and can afford to eat out at lavish places or the ones making minimum wage and getting drunk? Oh yes, you’d rather emulate the manners of a teenager. I forgot. Manchild.

And it has made going to dinner so much better.

For you, because you no longer have to work hard to keep conversation going, or to make sure that all your guests are having a good time. You leave that to the person at the table who actually has manners. And make her feel uncomfortable all at the same time. But no worries, by now, I’ve left you with the check and took my dinner to eat with the guy who wants to have conversation with me. Even if I know it is only because he wants something else. At least he knows how to get what he wants.

I shouldn’t have to state the obvious, but I will: using your phone in this context does not mean talking on the phone. That is still very frowned upon in restaurants for a very good reason: it’s annoying. A person talking on their phone is making noise, a person using their phone (as in surfing the web, sending texts, using apps, etc) is often doing the exact opposite.

Of course, the stigma around using the phone at the table stems from the same idea: it’s considered rude. But again, it’s not rude as in annoying, it’s rude as in you’re ignoring those around you. It challenges the social norm that when you go out to dinner with people, you’re supposed to have conversations with them.

At least you can admit that you are ignoring me. That makes me feel better to know that when you check your email/twitter/Facebook that you are purposely signaling to me that I am not enough to entertain you. And that you don’t feel any responsibility at all in holding up part of the conversation. If you don’t like the conversation, you will just check out. It is fine. Now I know you are a follower, not a leader. You aren’t someone who makes things happen, you let them happen around you. Lemming.

That itself is a bit odd since it’s also considered rude to talk and eat at the same time, but I digress…

See, this isn’t a problem for you because you aren’t making eye contact with me while we are eating. Just in case you didn’t notice, my mouth is a lot closer to my eyes than my boobs, so if you were actually making eye contact, and I were talking with food in my mouth, then you would have to watch it on spin cycle. And then you would see that occasionally it gets spit out onto you and your plate. But you aren’t even looking at my boobs, you are looking at your phone, so never mind.

Here’s the thing: the common misconception that my parents and others have about using the phone during dinner is that it’s antisocial. But increasingly, it makes dinner even more social.

In the situations where I go out to dinner with my peers, use of the phone often augments the conversations being had. Don’t know who won game 3 of the 1995 World Series? Don’t know who directed that movie you all saw? It’s all right there in your pocket.

We can agree here. I’m not completely against phone use. I will occasionally check something to find facts, show someone a photo I took, or to help someone with directions if they can’t find where we are. Or if I went to the bar alone, purposely to blog. I will even do work on my laptop with friends, if the whole purpose was to go early to get a table for quiz night. But as soon as someone who isn’t working shows up, I put it all away.

But even more fascinating is when the topic of conversation now often revolves around the phones themselves — or more specifically, what is on them. Tweets, Instagrams, Belugas, etc. These all now spark new conversations or tidbits of personal connection.

But I do not want to have a conversation about the people who can’t be bothered to have dinner with us—the ones who are tweeting about what amazing things they are doing without us and didn’t invite us to join. My friends are the ones who are here, in front of me, sharing a meal with me. Laughing, analyzing, inventing. Sharing a special moment in time.

And if you can’t think of something interesting to talk about all on your own, I’d rather be out with those people who are saying the interesting things you are reading while you are ignoring me.

And then there are the shared experiences of doing things like checking-in or Foodspotting. One person at a table doing it often trigger everyone else to as well.

Spineless lemmings.

Forgive me, but it’s Dinner 2.0. And again, I’m having more fun at these dinners than I ever have.

Because you didn’t have to do any work. You didn’t have to come up with conversation topics. You didn’t have to make sure I was having a good time. Because, for once, you feel included in something, but it is all fake. You think you are part of something, but you are not creating it, you are just consuming and sharing what others created. You are a middle man.

Is part of it antisocial? Sure. Can it lead to distractions if you read a work-related email that you need to respond to? Of course. But this is the way the world works now. We’re always connected and always on call. And some of us prefer it that way.

And some of us don’t. And we won’t be dining together. Oh and that need to read work-related email isn’t impressing me with how important you are, it tells me that you are bad at scheduling/managing and couldn’t get the work done right and in a timely fashion. It tells me that work is more important than spending time with me. It also tells me that you aren’t the most important person at work because if you were, they could wait for your response when you are done dinner.

What’s annoying to me isn’t someone using their phone at the table, it’s the people who really believe I shouldn’t be allowed to use my phone. Why? So I can repress the desire I have to check the phone while failing to engage in a conversation so I can be able to quickly excuse myself to go to the bathroom to check the phone?

Sorry, bathroom is busy because I’m in there fucking the guy from the bar because he actually noticed I had nice boobs. Oh, and you might want to curb that addiction you have to your phone.

My mother’s answer: yes.

Makes sense. It’s exactly why things are changing. Get with the program, or get out of the way.

No worries, we won’t be friends because you are a guy who can’t show respect to his mother. And if you’d just look up from your phone, you’d notice that I’m not in your way anymore. Although I’m not sure where you are going, lemming.

What’s more likely? In ten years, everyone goes to a restaurant and talks to one another without pulling out their phones at the table — or in ten years, the table is designed in a way to enable you to more easily use your phones? That’s an easy one.

Yeah, because tables “designed in a way to enable you to more easily use your phones” already exist. They are made out of glass so you can see your phone through the table so that it looks like you are looking at your food instead of giggling at your cock.

(Note Bene: I have not, and do not intend to have sex with a stranger in a bathroom, but fantasizing about it is not out of the question.)

It was a long night.

And a longer day.

I was trying to get my work complete and handed in before my flight this morning. I had to go home so I could do my laundry before quiet hours in my complex. So I sat on the couch with my laptop and turned on the tv thinking I could cover the noise of the washer and dryer.

I spent six hours working and watching the same tv show over and over again. It was the news. It had taken over all the networks. There was a huge gas fire in San Bruno. People thought it was a ditched plane. They thought it was 9/11 again. I wondered if it was a meth lab or a bomb.

There was a huge fireball burning in a residential area. The firefighters couldn’t get near it. A two foot wide natural gas line was on fire. It had exploded a house. And was burning the ones nearby. The firefighters made their best effort to keep the fire from spreading while waiting for PG&E to shut down the gas line. You can’t just turn those things off.

I watched as more houses burned. One person was declared dead. A couple more were in the hospital. But I knew that count would go up by morning. It wasn’t just one house, but dozens. And the explosion had thrown people across rooms houses away. A few people had been spotted running away with what looked like third-degree burns.

It was scary. I couldn’t turn it off. I kept working.

At midnight, I was still working and watching. I updated something and everything broke. I tried fixing it and it made things worse. After an hour and a half of futzing, I finally gave up and packed. I slept for four hours.

I tried updating and fixing my stuff again in between showering, packing, and walking the dog. I hoped something magical had happened while I was sleeping. It hadn’t. Pissed off and out of time, I packed both my laptops and Cub Scout drove me to the airport. He offered to check in my code for me. But I couldn’t let go. I’ve worked too hard on this. My ego needs to see commit messages.

At the airport, I put my golf bag on the scale and gave the cute attendant behind the counter my ID. Then a prematurely aging attendant with wrinkles and attitude picked up my carry-on luggage. I grabbed for it. She claimed it was too heavy and pulled it away from me. I couldn’t figure out what she was doing. She put it on the other scale. I thought she wanted me to check it, so I took out the laptops and I went for the camera.

“No, No. No! Leave it.”

“I’m not going to check it with my camera still in it.” I was still confused. Then she told me I couldn’t put my laptops and book back in.

“Not even just to get to the gate?”

“No you have to carry it.”

“I’ll take it back out to get on the plane, I was going to anyways. Can’t I just put it back in until then?”

“No, no. You have to keep it out now.”


“Yes. Your bag is too heavy.”

“But I just want to carry them in it until I get to the plane. This doesn’t make sense.”

We kept bickering back and forth. The guy behind the counter finally asked for a credit card so he could check in my golf bag. He asked about the book I’m reading, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest.

“It’s the third in the series. The author wrote three, got them published then died. He’d never written novels before. And because he lived in Sweden…”

“Sweden,” the wrinkle woman interrupted. “He’s from Sweden?”

“Yes, and because Sweden doesn’t believe in common law marriage, the woman he’d lived with for years got nothing.”

“Oooooh. That no good. Bad Sweden!” she interrupted again.

“That does suck,” claimed the guy behind the counter.

“Yes, it sucks, but she might have a fourth novel on a laptop. Some people think she wrote them. There was an interesting story in the NYTimes about the author’s life story.”

The woman finally tired of me and walked away. The guy leaned over to give me my ticket and then quietly, as if I were going to secretly get upgraded to first class for my troubles, asks, “Window or aisle?”

He’d already printed my pass and was holding it. “Window, please,” I responded softly to keep the conversation just between us.

Then he leaned over again and said, “See, I can give you a window, but it is way in the back next to the bathroom. Or I have a nice aisle seat right up front. Window or aisle?”

“Well, in that case, I’ll take the aisle. Window or aisle, whichever is better. I’ve been to Hawaii enough that I don’t have to see the view.” I flashed him one of my patent-pending smiles. It wasn’t enough to win me the prize of first class, but it would get me a decent seat.

He handed back my ticket and leaned over again and whispered, “Just wait until you get upstairs and then you can put your computer back in the bag.”

I whispered back, “I was planning on it.” Then I winked, took my new ticket, and turned away, my red golf skirt with the white pleats swishing as I sauntered through the terminal carrying two laptops, a book, and a plum.

On the escalator, I realized I’d forgotten my headphones. Shit. It was going to be a long flight to Honolulu without my original Bose noise-canceling headphones to separate me from the other passengers. I’ve given up on meeting people on planes. Sometimes it just leads to long uncomfortable conversations when I’d rather be reading.

The security line was practically non existent, but the black-strapped corral was set up as though there were hundreds of people clamoring to make their way through the gates. I, and the two guys ahead of me, started switchbacking through it pigs to slaughter when a TSA agent opened a secret passageway in front of me. I stopped. I waited for the guys ahead of me to get there. I smiled.

“After you,” the second one said.

“No, it is only fair that you go first since I didn’t have to walk the whole way.” He shook his head and passed by me, but then stood behind someone else instead of going to the free TSA ID checker.

I grabbed three buckets, one for each laptop and one for my book, my plum and my shoes. On the other side of the metal detector the TSA guards were talking about the fire. I think they said the house toll was up to 50 now. I’d heard on the news this morning that at least six were dead and dozens injured. They still hadn’t been able to get into some of the houses to look for human remains because they were still too hot.

A female TSA guard asked to open my bag. I said sure and pointed out my camera in the bottom, but she was going after something else.

“Oh! The flash!” I exclaimed.

“I’m going to have to put the bag back through with the flash separate.”

“Do whatever you need to do.” I collected my remaining items and put on my shoes.

The other TSA guard asked me about the book.

“Have you read them?”

“No, but my wife has,” he said. “She really likes them.”

“They’re good books. Have you heard the story about the author?” I proceeded to repeat my previous discussion until my bag came back.

We reinserted the flash and the second guard looked at me and said, “You can put your computers and book back in now.”

HA! TSA says it is okay for me to carry my laptop and books in my bag until I get to the plane. I have been vindicated!

And I was going to do it anyways. I’m a rebel like that.

I ate my plum, licking my fingers seductively towards no one. I used the bathroom. I bought new earbuds. I went to my gate. I didn’t have time to check in my work. I decided to finish on the plane and hope that the problem magically gets fixed by the time I find an internet connection.

Before boarding, I took out my laptops and turned them both off. I kept them and the five-hundred page tome out while I boarded. I was planning on putting them under my seat for easy access anyways. I asked an attendant if there are outlets on the plane.

“No, but you can plug in over there until you board.” Boarding had already started. They were already at seats 30 and higher. My time would come soon.

“It is a little too late for that. It isn’t a problem, I just wanted to know if I should take out my power cord now before it goes into an overhead compartment.” I smiled a sincere-but-award-less smile as I would get nothing from this interaction and walked away.

Another passenger, in his 50’s with an Indiana Jones style hat and metal rimmed glasses stepped up beside me and said, “At least we are in the front, right?”

“Yup,” I replied. “I suppose getting off the plane first is better than getting on the plane and waiting.”

“True,” he said. We stood the rest of the time in slightly awkward silence.

When I’d been waiting to ask about the power outlet, two twenty-something guys—one slightly asian, one slightly white—were in front of me worrying about their luggage. When I tried to cut in line, I waited for them. They were too young to take the queue. Guys older than me will see me standing on the side and give the underhand wave suggesting that I may cut in front of them. But guys younger than me, even when I’m wearing a cute skirt, miss this opportunity to open a line of communication and start a conversation. So I looked at the more animated one and asked, “What was all the hoopla about?”

“Oh, we missed the cutoff by five minutes at the front desk, so they told us that our luggage might not make it until tomorrow. So we were asking if there was any way their bags might be on the flight.” He smiled a boyish grin, “Looks like they are already on board!”

“Nice! So what are you guys going to do in Honolulu?”

The first guy was going for work. He’s a shoe distributor and is checking on some clients. His wing man is tagging along for the free hotel room.

“Me too! Well, not *your* free hotel room.” Another smile. This one hoping it would get me somewhere, but they didn’t bite.

I lost them on the plane. They are seated in the back. I looked for space in the overhead compartments. Nothing big enough for my carry on bag. Even without the two laptops and overstuffed novel. The overhead compartments are really small and luggage companies make carry-on luggage way too big now. I wish that there were guarrantees on luggage that they fit in the regulation space. Most don’t it seems.

I fell asleep right after takeoff, but not for long enough. Woke up when the guy across the isle from me stood up. He saw me wake up and I said, “I was distracted from sleeping by the code on the back of your shirt. What does the front say?” It was from Defcon.

“The code is really good. You should read it.”

“Maybe later.”

He took out a fifteen-inch MacBook Pro with a screen filled with Terminal. He had no developer tools other than TextMate in his Dock. Earlier the stewardess asked if he works for Google. I heard him say no. He was writing PHP scripts. No one else around me really looked like a programmer, so I started up Ken, my fifteen-inch MacBook Pro and cleaned up the rest of my code. It compiles, but I can’t try it. Hopefully it will work later. It is like baking a cake by guessing ingredients and then instead of trying it, just bringing it to the party. Hopefully it will be good when the guests eat it.

I finished in time for snacks. Spinach frittata and a blueberry muffin. Nothing really worth writing home about, but it was free and all I’d eaten was a plum. At least I’d made a tasty stir fry last night with the veggies and rice from my CSA box. I wasn’t going to starve to death anytime soon, but I ate it anyways. I also had half a can of Coke. I like to splurge when flying. It isn’t keeping me awake. Maybe I should have had a Mai Tai with Defcon Man.

I traded Ken for Barbie, my MacBook Air. She’s an airhead, but she fits better in the airline seats. I fly JetBlue most of the time, so I forget what it is like to be able to touch the seat in front of me with my knees. I don’t know how tall people deal with this. It is annoying to me, it must be painful to them.

The earbuds I bought are painful too. Anyone want a set of slightly used Sony white earbuds? I cleaned my ears this morning in between compiles and downloads and watching the update of the fire. I want to help. I wish I was O-negative. And that I hadn’t gone to the DMZ so I could give blood. Seems the Red Cross is also accepting cash donations. Maybe I could donate some earbuds and oversized carry-on luggage?

Self imprisonment

This week marked the fourth American to enter and leave North Korea in a year. Two journalists were rescued by President Clinton. One guy apologized and was set free after 40 days of work camp. Yesterday, a teacher was rescued by President Carter.

This has got to stop.

People should not assume that breaking the laws of a country—just because they don’t personally agree with them—entitles them to a rescue by our government. This is like purposely walking into a Wyoming forest with no gear expecting to be helicoptered out by Harrison Ford.

If Carter and Clinton went on “humanitarian missions”, not representing our government, then why were they having political discussions about resuming the six party nuclear talks? If the government wanted to rescue these people through humanitarian means, they should have sent George Clooney and Brad Pitt to negotiate their release. Sending ex presidents gives Kim Jong Il fodder for his propaganda to show how he can make the mighty United States, occupiers of the southern half of Korea, bend to his will.

Anyone who walks into North Korea should accept their fate. We all know they will be fined and sent to work camp. We all know these conditions are miserable. These were educated people. They did not cross the border without a good understanding of what would happen to them. Even if they did, ignorance is a lousy excuse. But if they chose to cross the border—if they chose to personally fuck with foreign policy—then they also chose to accept the consequences. If they want to write policy, they should negotiate for their own release, or run for elected office, instead of walking into a mental institution state and declaring themselves crazy and then expecting to be saved.

Why business ethics courses are necessary

Germany is considering a law that would prohibit employers from reading and using Facebook profiles during interviews. While I do believe that employers shouldn’t discriminate based on what they find on the web, I don’t think that future employees should be lured into believing that what they post in a public forum will not be used against them. What I don’t know is whether the German government is just restricting Facebook or if tweets and blogs are included. Why stop at the Internet. Why not prohibit asking about anything you’ve done publicly? I don’t think the Internet should be treated as a safe haven of places to say stupid things.

While I’m mentioning interviews, a friend of mine had an interesting one lately. She went in to talk to the owner of a small business about a job. Everything seemed normal. They made small talk and then chatted about the position. He could only afford to hire her half time. He knew that wouldn’t be enough. So to sweeten the deal, he mentioned that he has a three bedroom condo. That he lives in. But he has extra space. And maybe if things worked out, they could get married.

Yes, he said that.

This guy is probably 30 years older than my friend. Knowing that, he explained he has no problem getting it up.

Yes, he went there.

Then he explained that he had to buy his ex wife and teenage son a condo in the same building so he could spend time with his kid. He likes kids. He wouldn’t mind having more. He even has some frozen sperm just in case.

Yes, frozen sperm.

By this point, my friend was sitting in the interview looking like a deer in headlights. Stunned. What do you say to moving in, getting married, sex with an old guy and having his frozen sperm children.

She got up to leave. On the way out, he gave her a once over and said, “You could stand to lose a few pounds.”


I’m still flabbergasted. I am hardly ever at a loss for words, but I have no idea how I would have handled this situation.

What would you do?

10 Reasons Why Gay Marriage is Wrong

(reposting Mitchell Sturges)

01) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

02) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

03) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

04) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

05) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

06) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.

07) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

08) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.

09) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.