Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How could you not want this book?


Saturday, June 27, 2009

A few interesting links

This picture from the Banksy exhibit in Bristol. http://twitpic.com/8l4gh Man, I wish I could go to this. If you are in the area be advised that lines are said to be about an hour long just to get in the building.

I also like this bear, which fits into my bear attack reading I've been doing this week. http://www.rolcats.com/2009/02/09/152/

List of fatal bear attacks here, in case I didn't already link to them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_bear_attacks_in_North_America_by_decade

Here's a sex scandal flow chart in case you can't remember who is hiking the Applachian Trail and when. http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2009/06/sex_scandal_flow_chart.php I've always had a soft spot for flow charts ever since I was programming in BASIC when I was sixteen.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Amazing letter

Here's an amazing letter courtesy of @JustineLavaworm http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/black_voices/voices_display.cfm?id=80

It's listed as "Jourdon Anderson, an ex- Tennessee slave, declines his former master's invitation to return as a laborer on his plantation."


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Da da da

I've been super busy this week. Cam went to Alaska on Monday. Cullen leaves on Sunday. I'm swamped with errands and getting ready to go stuff and I'm trying to get some research done. As a result blogging has suffered for the last couple of days. You don't even want to know the status of my email. It's hopelessly behind.

I've been reading a lot of interesting stuff this week but the most relevant for me for right now is Alex Epstein's post of April 13th about comedy. I can't find the link to just that post but you can do a control f and find it pretty quickly. I'd forgotten that zero gain isn't just acceptable in comedy, it's expected. http://complicationsensue.blogspot.com/2004_04_01_archive.html

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

The movie I'd least like to see

A lot of movies that are clearly not meant for me come out every year (Angels and Demons comes to mind) and most of them don't really stir any emotion at all. Some of the trailers I see really press the old loathe button and I scoff every time I see any mention of the film. My Sister's Keeper is currently at the top of the list of films I want to avoid.

As a mother of a child who may need a kidney transplant someday I'm particularly annoyed by the negative connotions of donating a kidney, a procedure that doesn't appear to harm the giver at all. (Did you know LaVar Burton gave one to his mom? He's beyond awesome.)

I finally looked the thing up to make sure I was understanding the plot and it's a MILLION times worse than I thought it was. Talk about manipulating and sentimental. Yuck. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Sister%27s_Keeper


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Blood marrow donation

I found out some interesting things about bone marrow donation today. Read all about it at my saving money blog. http://shoestringliving.com/content/have-you-thought-about-donating-bone-marrow


Friday, June 19, 2009

Wii Fit Plus coming!

This is exciting news. The Wii Fit Plus is on its way. Check out the dog at the end of the video. Hooray!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Which trailer is weirder?

I can't decide. They're both crazy in their own way.

I can't embed the other one so you'll have to click through if you want to see it. http://www.afterlastseason.com/


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Let's Play Guess the Animal

I was taking Cam home from getting his allergy shot when we saw an animal on the grass on route 100, in an island between the actual highway and an entrance ramp. It was going back and forth in circles trying to figure out what to do. I don't know why it was there in the first place as there didn't seem to be anything there that would lure it out onto the road.

At first I thought it was a groundhog, of which there are many where we live, even one down at the corner of our decidedly suburban neighborhood, but then realized it was something very different.

It was a beaver. I didn't even realize there was a body of water near that entrance but we live in a very watery county with loads of waterfront property so there must have been something nearby. I hope it made its way safely back to wherever it's been living.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Can an HIV negative mother give birth to a positive child?

Dr. Bob answers a mother to be who is concerned because the clinic that washed her husband's sperm told her the baby needs to be tested at regular intervals because it might be positive. Weird.

You can read the whole thing here: http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/SafeSex/Current/Q201662.html?ic=700101

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

BMI slideshow

Justine Lavaworm tweeted this link today and I just spend the last half hour or so looking at the images and reading the comments. I used to work in a health club and my continuing education credits when I was a CA were in rehab so I've got a pretty good idea of how radically different people who have the same weight and height or BMI can look, but the slideshow was still eyeopening. (Obviously BMI is bullshit, for more see Paul Campos' excellent book The Obesity Myth.)

The comments are interesting also, especially the ones that really push home the point of how much a gym class can spoil a perfectly good love of exercise and activity. I had some horrid run-ins myself, not because I was fat but because I was small and skinny and afraid of the ball. I also had some fantastic teachers, in particular I really enjoyed when we did gymnastics, loving the hell out of the uneven parallel bars.

But a lot of gym classes are awful, boring and demeaning. And showering when you're in your awkward years and people are being mean, forget it.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

George Flegel

I'm very taken by the paintings of Georg Flegel, who mostly did still lifes, although they all seem to be scattered with insects, with some animals thrown in. I looked at a few of them online today and was impressed with the lushness of his work. Everything is so beautiful and lavish. It's just lovely. I'm wondering if any of his work is near me so I could go and see it in person.


Friday, June 12, 2009

An Old Adventure

I was reading this letter from Elinore Rupert, a woman who went out west to create a new life for herself in the latter part of the nineteenth century, and was a bit shocked by the ending. The beginning is all very nice with an adventure out in the mountains and then danger strikes in the form of a sudden very deep snowfall, leaving her small party stranded.

She's quite capable and resourceful and the letter was a fun read, until the end where there's some language that made me very uncomfortable. Be forewarned.



Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bruno Heller WTF?

Bruno Heller has brought us some terrific television but I'm continually baffled by what he has wrought with the Mentalist; a show about a sneering, banal sociopath who used to be a fake psychic and now fights crime. (Huh? I know, right?)

Sadly we're supposed to think the protagonist is now on the side of good for the most cliched, lazy reason of all; revenge. His family was slaughtered by a serial killer called Red John, a lackluster name if there ever was one, who was annoyed when he saw the fake psychic on television yammering on about how he was reading Red John.

The psychic, who goes by Jane, or some variation thereof, I've not seen his name written down, appears to be based on Encyclopedia Brown, the middle grade detective who could solve crimes in a couple of pages based on often silly assumptions. I recall one that I read when I was a small girl where Encyclopedia proved that a man was lying about going to Russia because he couldn't pronounce the Russian word for restaurant correctly.

Jane annoyed the living fuck out of me a few weeks ago with a pronouncement that reeked of smugness and a life of pampering. He decided the bad guy was the bad guy because the bad guy was in a wheelchair but the bottom of his shoes were scuffed. Jane said he'd been looking at the bottom of people's shoes for his entire life but only now had it paid off.

This made me crazy. It assumes so much that is WRONG. It assumes that anyone who is in a wheelchair right this second is always unable to ambulate. There is not a single person on the planet living with a chronic condition that flares up, causing the patient to retreat to a wheelchair until they're strong enough to do without again.

It means that every single person on the planet is so wealthy they've never had to wear hand-me-down shoes.

It means nobody ever, not even once, has let a child wear their shoes for dress up or let a sibling, friend, what have you, borrow their shoes for two minutes to run outside and get the mail or take the trash out.

This one assumption seemed to sum up all that is wrong with this show and Jane. Ugh.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Goth Girl Rising Trailer Contest

Here's a fun contest from Barry Lyga. You've got until July 31st to make a trailer for any one of Barry's four books, post it on YouTube and send the link to Barry. Here's the most awesome part - every single person who enters will win something. Complete details can be found here: http://barrylyga.com/new/ggr-trailer-contest.html

Have fun!


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Looking sharp

I love this picture of Miss Ivy's husband Harold. He looks fantastic. http://twitpic.com/6z0ke


Monday, June 08, 2009

Gotta lovethe DVR

I was just fast forwarding through some commercials, pausing every couple of seconds and here are the three sentences I got in a row.

Email, shopping

vaginal infection at home

that's what greatness tastes like.

I don't want to know what they're selling.


Sunday, June 07, 2009

Book of Days

Here's a link to a Book of Days in blog format. http://www.thebookofdays.com/

If you're unfamiliar with these types of publications you'll be interested to know that they contained an assortment of interesting facts and stories, arranged in chronological order. For instance June 8th contains a story about Cagliostro, a hoaxter who I was also just reading about in a book by PT Barnum. It also lists who lived and who died but you won't find any contemporary names as the book was written in 1869. It's pretty fascinating. Let me know what you think.


Saturday, June 06, 2009

Check out this horse's extended trot

To die for.


Friday, June 05, 2009

Blood clots and headaches

Some interesting research into two of the problems that plague me, blood clots and intracranial hypertension. Here's an article about some new research into exactly how clotting works, which will hopefully lead to treatment for those who clot too quickly or slowly.

The team say the work will improve understanding of how the body regulates the formation of blood clots, and could also give some insight into how bleeding disorders, such as von Willebrand disease, disrupt this regulation system, potentially leading to new avenues for treatment and diagnosis.

This one is about headaches in space, which has particularly interesting timing as I was discussing this very thing at Balticon over Memorial Day Weekend. I had heard that astronauts were experiencing intracanial hypertension and that NASA was studying Pseudotumor Cerebri in an attempt to help their astronauts.

The researchers believe there are a number of reasons why space travel could cause headaches, the root cause being microgravity.

Microgravity is known to cause lower oxygen levels in the blood and this may be the trigger for space headache.

It can also cause a shift in the body's fluid towards the brain which would raise intracranial pressure - another possible trigger.

It would be nice if we could get some more effective treatment than shunting or chronic dehydration.

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Your Chance to Win a Copy of Liar, Shiver and Catching Fire

If you're dying to read any of these three hot books, Liar, Catching Fire (sequel to Hunger Games) and Shiver, you should get over to Presenting Lenore and enter the awesome contest. Talk about what makes you shiver, tell us a lie you've told or what you would do to get your hands on Catching Fire and you're automatically entered.

Bonus, if you find my entry you'll find out about an enormous lie I told when I was a YA myself.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A mask didn't know about

I'm reading a book called the Devlin Diary and there's reference to a type of mask I hadn't heard of before, called a vizard. I looked it up online and here's what I found:

Randle Holme described a vizard mask as a MASK 'which covers the whole face, having holes for the eyes, a case for the Nose, and a slit for the mouth, and to speak through; this kind of Mask is taken off and put on in a moment of time, being held in the Teeth by means of a round bead fastned on the in-side over against the mouth' [Holme (2000)].

Sounds delightful, doesn't it?


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Chewing razors

The abscessed tooth feels like I was flossing with razors and left one behind, stuck between my teeth. I'm pretty sure I didn't. Boy will I feel dumb if that's what the endodontist finds when he starts my root canal tomorrow...

I'll be so glad when this is over. It's so hard to get anything done and I don't want to drive because the pain is so intense when it strikes. Hopefully will feel better by this time tomorrow.


Monday, June 01, 2009

And now a few words from Mr. E

But first, all of this pain in my jaw is apparently an abscessed tooth so I am on antibiotics and scheduled for a root canal later this week. Oh joy! Hopefully the endodontist will give me the right numbing agent this time. Novocaine makes me sick as a dog.

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