Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gosnell: Drifting With the Current

Preface: This is a draft of a opinion article I'm hoping to submit to my college newspaper. Constructive criticism on structure, wording, content, etc. would be really, really appreciated - I really want to make this good!

Dr. Kermit Gosnell of Philedelphia may be the worst serial killer in American history. He has been charged with eight counts of murder – one for the death of a patient who was overdosed on his operating table, and seven for using scissors to cut the spines of newborn infants – but is suspected to have committed hundreds of similar killings. Federal drug agents raided Gosnell’s abortion clinic last year and discovered a “shop of horrors” – jars holding severed arms and legs lining the walls, blood on the furniature and floor, and a complete lack of sanitation.

More damning, the year-long investigation of Gosnell's abortion operation has uncovered evidence that hundreds of Gosnell’s patients had been born alive and even played with before Gosnell shoved scissors into their necks. Steven Massoff, a medical school graduate working at Gosnell’s clinic, testified that in approximately 100 cases, he himself cut spinal cords after seeing the babies breathe or show some other sign of life. Ashley Baldwin, a young employee at Gosnell’s clinic, testified that she had personally witnessed dozens of babies who were crying, moving, or breathing before their necks was severed.

However, according to CBS Philadelphia, Dr. Gosnell seemed confused by the murder accusations. During his arraignment last Thursday, he asked, “Is it possible you could explain the seven counts? I understand the one count because of the patient who died but not the others.”

We should probably excuse Dr. Gosnell for his confusion. Twelve states permit late-term abortions on-demand, at any time and for any reason. Many more allow third-trimester abortions of babies with abnormalities like Downs Syndrome. These abortions are generally now performed by injecting salt solution into the infant’s heart before delivering it, dead. For Gosnell, the distinction between this procedure and just killing the babies after delivering them apparently seemed superficial.

But while “killing, then delivering” is perfectly legal in a number of states, “delivering, then killing” is first-degree murder. And how the nation howled at poor Dr. Gosnell, who didn’t understand what all the fuss was about! Who's the real hypocrite?

Lynda Williams was a “medical assistant” at Gosnell’s clinic. According to Kareena Cross, another assistant, Gosnell had left a baby on the counter breathing and waving its arms for twenty minutes. Williams touched the baby and then slit its neck. Cross was asked why Williams did this, and answered, “Because the baby, I guess, because the baby was moving and breathing. And she see Dr. Gosnell do it so many times, I guess she felt, you know, she can do it. It’s okay.”

Cross’ line of thought is precisely where 38 years of sanctioned killings have brought us. We’re brought up watching people we respect commit murder, nice doctors and friendly nurses, and eventually we go numb to it all. With abortion, we let ourselves be swept along with the current. Don't think it doesn't happen - Dr. Gosnell’s staff let themselves drift along with infanticide.

Just because authority figures, friends, coworkers, and society at large claim something is perfectly acceptable (and convenient, to boot!) does not make it so. Remember the big ones – slavery, segregation, the holocaust – and also Gosnell’s shop of horrors. You’re all college students – stop, allow yourselves to think!

Something is rotten in America today. And sometimes it takes an extreme case like serial infanticide to make us wake up, take stock, and reflect on where we drifted past the line.

Go to for the Philadelphia Grand Jury’s full report.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Get trippy!

Ever feel a strong, insatiable urge to go on a "trip"? The kind that ageless rock singers, aspiring screechers and just plain old bums keep boasting about all the time?

Are you, like me, not interested in taking drugs to get there?

Well fear no more.

1.Simply go to

2. Click get trippy.

3. Boom! For 10 seconds, you too will see Lucy in the sky with diamonds (and who knows what else).

Completely legit site made by some graphics nerd. I mean the site's motto is "Like dropping acid, but not" - how benign is that?

And as always, we at UG remind you to be safe not to try this if you suffer from epilepsy of any kind.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pyramid of greatness

I recently got into the underrated NBC comedy Parks and recreation. For newbies, it is basically The Office in a small-town Parks and Recreation department, except exponentially better. The show features a phenomenally funny cast and unlike The Office, serves up the right mixture of awkwardness, sweetness, and comedy.
Amy Poehler plays Leslie Knope, an overly enthusiastic deputy parks director surrounded by jaded and apathetic bureaucrats.

But it is the character Ron Swanson (Leslie's boss) who has emerged as a breakout cult hit. Swanson is a libertarian and hates the bloated government so much that his only motto is to do as little work as possible. He is more than happy to let Leslie be the de facto director. Swanson is somewhat of an oddball (his Office analog would be Dwight) for his views (he loves breakfast and brunettes, makes canoes and harps, lives a double life as a saxophonist named Duke Silver and on an on) but his oddities are wonderfully played by Nick Offerman.

Instead of yapping any more, let me give you one extremely funny example of what this show (and Swanson) is capable of (click on it to enlarge):

Behold the Ron Swanson Pyramid of Greatness!

I highly recommend this show.

Songs Bazarov Should Really Listen To And Then Tell Me How Awesome They Are: Part 1 of a 1-Part Series!

Hi Everyone! So, today I'm going to introduce you to a special category of songs: songs I've been telling Bazarov about that he should totally listen to!

This week's song is "Layla" by Eric Clapton. It's so awesome that it has its own Wikipedia page! Yeah, that's right - and it's longer than the page for its co-composer! Take that Jim Gordon!

According to Wikipedia, "It is often hailed as one of the greatest rock songs of all time." [Citation needed] For me, its defiant chords, wailing guitar, and unparalleled four-minute instrumental second act just set it apart. And the backstory adds an edge of scandal, immorality, and powerlessness that makes the whole affair tragic.

According to my sources (Wikipedia), Clapton was a best friend of George Harrison, who married model Pattie Boyd. This Boyd chick must have been drop-dead gorgeous, because Clapton in turn fell irrepressibly in love with his best friend's wife. "Layla" is about those forbidden feelings. Clapton performed the song for Boyd at one of Harrison's parties, and confessed his feelings to George Harrison. Boyd went on to divorce Harrison for Clapton, who wrote other famous songs about her, among them "Wonderful Tonight," another of my all-time favorites. Whatever Wikipedia's claims, George was devastated. Ultimately, Clapton and Boyd divorced.

Interestingly, at the time of the song's writing, Clapton had been in a relationship with Boyd's sister, who upon hearing the song divined its meaning and left him.

Anyways, without further ado, the song Bazarov should really listen to some time:

Monday, January 17, 2011

I want a verse like this one

I am sure many of you wonder everyday: what is the worth of a person? How do we remember someone? When does one know one has "made it"? Very difficult questions, I think.

But sometimes it is very easy to know when you have made it big in life. Take Sir James Dewar, for instance. Dewar was a Scottish chemist who did a lot of research into liquefying gases i.e. turning gases into liquids. If you've ever used a propane tank, you are using the liquid form of Propane gas. He was the first person to liquefy Oxygen and Nitrogen. Pretty big deal. So big of a deal, in fact, that folks at his college (Cambridge) composed this nifty little verse when he was still alive:

Sir James Dewar
He is a better man than you are
None of you asses
Can liquefy gases

I mean the dude is clearly important because he has a sir attached to his name. But having a verse composed about your efforts? That's unbeatable. 

Bow down, Babylon:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

UG Sports - 9: Three birds and a bear walked into the divisional playoffs

Three birds, one animal and four nouns: that's your playoffs picture for this weekend, folks. Seriously though, this has to be an unprecedented number of birds in one playoff (if only the cardinals had made it...). I was pretty seriously wrong with my predictions last week (1 out of 4), but since when has being wrong stopped anyone from doing anything in this world?

So here we go:

Ravens vs. Steelers: I think it's about time we inducted this rivalry into the rivalry hall of fame. You know, alongside England-France in the dark ages, Yankees-Red Sox, Pepsi-Coca Cola, Heidi-Lauren from the Hills...
The Ravens were brutal last week as they flattened the hapless Chiefs with remarkable ease (so much for the perceived home-field advantage for the Chiefs). But the Steelers are no Chiefs. Troy "the zen master" Polandabcradabramalu can turn games around faster than you can blink and although Big Ben has looked shaky at times, there is a reason they call him Big Ben. The football nerds have been calling this a battle of safeties: Ed Reed from the Ravens and Troy from the Steelers. This one is tough to call, but my vote goes to the Ravens.

Falcons vs. Packers: It's here folks. The Falcons and Mattie Ryan have been virtually indestructible inside the Georgia Dome and the experts can't stop raving about this x factor. The Packers, on the other hand, are looking very dangerous every week. Their defense made Michael Vick look absolutely pedestrian last week, and Clay Matthews (the stringy, vaguely Steve Tyler look-alike) is the x factor on their side. Football runs in his blood, literally. He is the fourth generation of Matthews to play at the pro levels. The Saints made the Falcons look surprisingly mediocre in their MNF game in the regular season, so I think they are going to be
shaky. I am going to be grinning with Green Bay when then win.

Jets vs. Patriots: Boy that Rex Ryan simply won't shut up. This time he really put his foot in his mouth. Or shot himself in the foot (my goal here is to reach a hundred foot jokes before the end of postseason). After saying their game against the Colts was personal, Ryan has now called this game personal as well. Seems like he has a fetish for making things personal. You know what I think? Those who can't win talk. And talk. You never see Tom Brady yapping away. The patriots have been relentless this season and they seem to have an unlimited supply of Wide Receivers and Tight Ends that Brady can throw to. This one is easy: Patriots are kick the Jets out with their feet.

Seahawks vs. da Bears: I think it's time da Bears roll out the superbowl shuffle. No one expected the hawks to make it this far, and I certainly don't expect them to make it past this week. Marshawn Lynch can't roll around like a battering ram each week. Bears.

Now go place your bets, people. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

UG Sports - 8: playoff predictions

It's playoffs babby!!! Wildcard games on Saturday and Sunday.

Since everyone and his grandmother are going to be out on the streets making predictions, UG Sports has decided it will do the same. And we are providing this service free of cost. A pretty freaking good deal, I gotta say. Here are the predictions, in no particular order:

Colts - Jets: Although Indianapolis is missing several key players(Collie, Clark, Manning's magical arms) I don't expect the Jets to win. You see, Mark Sanchez is pretty overrated. And most of the Jets' wins this season were in tight games that could have gone either way. They were destroyed by the Patriots and lost again  - can you believe it - Miami. For the NY Jets, the luck stops here.   

Ravens - Chiefs: I will admit, I didn't get to watch the Chiefs play much this season, mostly because our local channels preferred to show other, more important games and also because..well they are the Chiefs. But lo and behold, after going 4-12 in 2009, the Chiefs upped their game dramatically and won their division.
Eh who am I kidding? The Ravens, although a bit wobbly at times, are still very very formidable. Plus they have my favorite Asian (ok ok half-Asian) player T.J. Houshmanzadeh. Ravin' bout the Ravens.

Saints-Seahawks:  The incredible Bucs and even the error-prone but still earnest Giants got stranded as the playoffs bus took off. Not these seahawks. They limped in. Proudly too. The defending champs are in an unfamiliar position here. Last year, they rolled through regular season and the playoffs like a Sherman tank. This year, it will be a slow march for them, like a buffalo wading through molasses. Reggie Bush can spontaneously create wormholes and warp spacetime to run faster than the speed of light AND he can clone himself. The buck stops here for Seattle.

Packers - Eagles: Easily the most explosive and most exciting game of the weekend. Anybody who knows a thing or two about football knows the Michael Vick express is steaming through stations (here at UG, we still operate steam engines) and although the Bears and the lowly Vikings stopped it, lightning doesn't strike thrice. You may have heard of DeSean Jackson too. The Packers are on a roll, but by Newton's laws anything that rolls has to stop sometime. Eagles will be 'Vick'torious. And I even made it without making a single bad pun about Vick...oh wait.

Blogger's disclaimer: All views delineated here - outrageous, moderate or otherwise - are solely the property of the blogger. He/she/it claims no responsibility for your remorse, frustration, guilt trips or large losses on foolish bets, nor can he/she/it guarantee any results. What, you thought this was a snuggie informercial? Read with a grain of salt.

Monday, January 3, 2011

UG Sports - 7: Playoffs

An hour before I scramble to my first class of this brand new quarter (Human Genetics - very fascinating, right?), I want to rattle off this post.

Yesterday was the last day of the NFL regular season. Today is bloody [or insert gruesome epithet of your choice] Monday, when coaches and other errant souls will be terminated mercilessly. With the end of regular season, the playoff picture is LED clear in both conferences.

1. Atlanta "take that Vick" Falcons
2. Chicago Bears
3. Philadelphia Beagles Eagles (sorry for the horrible pun)
4. Seattle Seahawks (with a proud 7-9 record)
5. New Orleans Saints
6. Green Bay Packers

  • Seattle won the yawnfest against St. Louis Rams in such an unspectacular fashion that I think the Saints effectively will have a bye next week.
  • The Seahawks are the first team in NFL history to enter the playoffs with a losing record. Strut around, Whitehurst. 
  • How absurd is it that the New York Giants, with a 10-6 record, were eliminated but Seattle got in?
  • No more stagings of Hamlet: With their loss to Detroit Lions, the Minnesota Vikings ended up at the bottom of NFC north, like tea dredges, effectively ending Brett Favre's career. T.S. Eliot had it right: "This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper."

1. New England Patriots
2. New England Patriots
3. New England Patriots

Nah just kidding:
1. Patriots
2. Pittsburgh Steelers
3. Indy Colts
4. KC Chiefs
5. B'more Ravens
6. NY Jets (who hop-footed into the playoffs)

  • Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? The Carolina Panthers finished with a 2-14 record. Brady Bunch mirrored that with 14-2. The previous three times they did this, they made it to the Super Bowl. The first time they did this, they ended up meeting the Panthers in Super Bowl 38. Weird.
  • The chiefs??! Wow. I guess that will teach the Chargers not to slack off.
  • After the Jets made it to the playoffs, boisterous Rex Ryan immediately proclaimed that his team will win it all. Somebody should tell him that repeating something a million times doesn't make it true.

Meanwhile in the NBA, the Lakers lost (yet again). Kobe Bryant, who fell asleep in the first half, woke up irritated in the second, but alas that wasn't enough. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy (slightly belated) New Year!

I know, I know. It's been almost two days now. We are in 2011 now. And yet, no flying cars. No feasible electric cars, for that matter. No jetpacks. At least that's what the six-year old existentialist Calvin seems to be pondering in this classic strip:

"The problem with the future is that it keeps turning into the present[]