Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Monday, March 31, 2008

Eyewitness to genocide

Dith Pran, 'Killing Fields' photographer, dies at 65 of pancreatic cancer. He worked tirelessly to educate others about the Cambodian genocide, in which about 2 million people (a third of the population) were killed. About the genocide:

'One time is too many,' he said in an interview in his last weeks, expressing hope that others would continue his work. 'If they can do that for me,' he said, 'my spirit will be happy.'

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hilarious parody of the Wonder Twins

from 'Superfriends', the 1970s cartoon. These shorts appeared on Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network. The gopher moat is my favourite. Or maybe the ice bridge. Thanks to YKWIA for showing it to me. I always thought Zan had the lamer power, but Jayna has her own troubles, especially with male eagles. :)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Random post

Reading: Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

Listening to Phil Collins' 'In the Air Tonight', a great song:

and for good measure, one of my favourite songs by Genesis (of which Phil Collins is a member), 'No Son of Mine'

Anyone who knows me well can probably figure out why I identify with the song.

I think I need to get my CD to We Can't Dance out and listen to it. :) Okay, time to go to bed. I have to work 8 hours tomorrow, plus do notes.

And crazier

Mom pleads not guilty to murder, had declared bankruptcy (the link, unfortunately, should only be good for 7 days...that's the Herald-Leader for you).

Gail Lynn Coontz, 37, a University of Louisville student and a widow, apparently took a counselor at the school hostage at gunpoint on Thursday, then handed the gun over without anyone being harmed. She was sent to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. U of L police contacted the Louisville police, advising them of this and asking them to check on the woman's two children.

They found the children, a 14-year-old boy, Greg, and 10-year-old girl, Nikki, dead of multiple gunshot wounds. They had been shot in their sleep, according to reports.

This looks to be a clear case of mental illness. The woman had apparently racked up huge amounts of debt despite being on disability payments and a small part-time job with a non-profit agency. She looks in pictures like she has the weight of the world on her back--she is three or four years younger than me and looks ten years older in the photo they published. I could almost feel sorry for her, because being a victim of mental illness is a horrible thing.

But my sympathy stops when I think about her children, and how they are truly the victims in this case. I hope their mother gets the help that she obviously needs, and that she can live with herself afterwards but at the same time understand what she lost. I wish someone had seen the danger signs and the children could have been removed from the home rather than be endangered.

So sad.


$21 theft, $1 million bond

A 41-year-old Kentucky man was charged with disorderly conduct at a motel, plead guilty and was sentenced to a day in jail in Hamilton County, Ohio. That should have been the end of it, right?

But he had a theft charge on his record from 18 years ago. A judge, Richard Bernat, has ordered him to be held on a $1 million bond and refused to reduce it. Gosh, he must have taken people's life savings or something.

No. Authorities say that back in 1990 he bought items at a store valued at $21.64, paying the bill with rolls of dimes. Store employees later discovered they were rolls of pennies, and he was charged with theft.

Not to play the race card, but I'd really like to know if Gary Weaver is black. What on earth is going on in the mind of this judge that a bond would be set so high for a misdemeanor from 18 years ago? Why is this man in an overcrowded jail when there are plenty of violent criminals to make an example of? And shouldn't there be a statute of limitations on this? This is so weird.

Move over, Edison

Remember when you were told in school that the first recording of the human voice was Edison's 'Mary Had a Little Lamb'? That was in 1877. Now an audio historian has uncovered four phonautogrammes recorded by Parisian inventor Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville 17 years before that, in 1860. The phonautograph was a hand-cranked device that created visual images of sound waves on sooty paper. Several of those found were dated and had been deposited at the French Academy of Sciences in 1861, when Scott sought patents on the technology. A laboratory in the US analysed the images and re-created the sound that was recorded there.

Listen to 'Au Clair de la Lune' as recorded on phonautogrammes at the First Sounds website. It's not clear by any means, but is recognisably a woman's voice. She is singing the beginning line of the second verse-'Au clair de la lune, Pierrot répondit'. It's possible, of course, that there are other recordings of the human voice that remain undiscovered, but for now, this is the earliest one that we know of.

Neat, hmm? Thanks to zzshupinga of LISNews for the story.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Have $17,300 to spend on your favourite bibliophile?

Get them this special bathtub with storage for books and a nice backrest for reading in the tub.

I have one book that I will read in the tub, because it's waterproof (it was displayed in a vat of water in the bookstore). Otherwise, no. I can't stand the thought of ruining a book with my klutziness. So this is not for me.

Incidentally, the Bornrich website has all sorts of unusual things, including an aquarium kitchen table that really was spiffy (although I hate trying to balance on barstools).

Thursday, March 27, 2008

So I was at Walgreens

getting almost all of my meds refilled, when I came across the LifeScan OneTouch UltraMini, a new glucometre that's about 1 inch by 4 inches, much slimmer than my OneTouch Ultra. Even with the carrying case and supplies, it's fully only 3/4 of the size of the Ultra, and lately I've had a very packed purse, so I was intrigued.

It's very basic compared to some of the others on the market, but it does everything mine does, including being compatible with the LifeScan software you can get for the computer. I just put mine into an Excel spreadsheet, but hey, you never know if I'd like to get the software and cable later.

The nicest thing is that it is only $19.99 and covered by my flexible spending account. It uses the same strips I'm using now--the only ones covered by my insurance.

Granted, there was nothing technically wrong with my metre, although it is several years old. However, my lancing device that allowed me to test on my forearm or palm died a long time ago, and I've been using a generic one that can only do fingers. A new lancer retails for about $24.99, although I've seen it as low as $12. A compact lancing device that allows for alternate test sites is included with this kit. My fingers have gotten pincushioned a lot now that I'm testing twice a day, so that's a concern.

So, anyway, as you've probably guessed, I got it. Mine is 'pink glow' in colour (they come in silver, black, and gold, too) but it's not a bright pink, more a subtle metallic one, as you can see in the picture. It looks for all the world like an .mp3 player or maybe something along the lines of a pen shaped flash drive, and fits in my purse nicely. If I didn't take all the stuff that I normally do (the logbook, the lancets, control solution, etc.) it would easily fit in a pocket. So I think it was a good deal. Granted, I know, I'm justifying. The fact that I didn't have to lay out money from my bank account was a plus, though. It's easy to use, too--I tried it out right off the bat.

As for the old one, I may keep it as a backup or more likely, give it away through the local Freecycle group, so someone else can benefit from it.


That's how many points I have through the rewards programme with my bank. I get points for every dollar I spend using my debit card or cheques. And at 40,000 I can get a $100 Amazon.com card. Whoopee! That's 1,407 points away (or about $70). Yay!

PS I just read the fine print and I'd get points quicker if I stopped using a PIN with my debit card and treated it like a credit card instead. Hmmm...

Good question

Should bookstores stocking racy romance novels, the Bible (the Song of Songs read literally), or Dr. Ruth’s Sex for Dummies have to become state-registered vendors of sexually explicit materials?

ABFFE challenges Indiana law

The rough seas of the blogosphere

Corporate employee blogs: Lawsuits waiting to happen?

I've had my own run ins because of this blog. It seems everyone wants to control your opinion these days. This article focusses on employees and policies regarding identifying their connexion to various industries or companies when discussing issues related to their field.

As an example, a quote:
If someone is a fisherman and they want to talk about fly fishing outside of work, then that's not our business, it's personal. But if someone is going to talk about notebooks...they have to say they're from Dell.
--Bob Pearson, Dell vice president


YouTube Feature Tells Video Creators When and Where a Clip Is Being Watched

Don't worry--it won't tell them where you live, beyond which state you're watching from (or in the case of international users, which country). There are also plans to tell creators which site the video was reached from, to debut in a couple of weeks.

I'm sure both privacy advocates and marketing people are going to be all over this.


I have a real fear of Alzheimer's. My great-grandmother had it; I saw her deteriorate over fifteen years to silence. I live in and am a ninth-generation native of a state ranked 15th in deaths due to Alzheimer's as of 2004 (the last year they have statistics for, apparently). I spent a good chunk of my childhood in the state ranked #1, Louisiana. I already have problems with memory, and it's hard to distinguish factors like normal aging, psychological or medication issues, and something more serious when it's early on. Plus, I have another risk factor according to this article:

Study Links Middle-Age Belly Fat to Dementia

160 square miles of ice collapsing

Massive ice shelf collapsing off Antarctica

I've been learning about and paying more attention to Antarctica since we started the Beyond the Mountains of Madness campaign for Call of Cthulhu, and saw this on the news. Wow.

Two gems from YKWIA

Chute Find Rekindles D.B. Cooper Legend

For some reason I thought the money came from a bank robbery, but it was ransom for the passengers he'd taken hostage in the hijacking. This parachute that they're looking at may have been one given to the man who identified himself as Dan Cooper (not DB as it has come down in the legend).

Obama Related to Pitt, Clinton to Jolie

My theory is that if you go back far enough, you're related to someone famous. I'm related to Ty Cobb, for instance. But it's funny when you've got Obama related to both Bush AND Cheney. :)

An arms race with too many bystanders

AK-47s Are Turning Up More in US

and a different use for guns

Ricker melts guns, turns metal into art

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Requiescat in pace

Allen Ross Scaife, 47, Professor of Classics at the University of Kentucky, died of cancer on March 15, at his home in Lexington, KY. Ross was born in Fredericksburg, VA on March 31, 1960. He graduated from the Tilton School in Tilton, NH in 1978 and from the College of William and Mary in 1982 with a major in Classics and Philosophy. He earned a PhD in 1990 in Classical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1988 he participated in the summer program at the American Academy in Rome, and in 1985 was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for a year of study at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece.

From 1991 to the time of his death, Ross was on the faculty at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literature, and Cultures where he taught courses on women in the ancient world, Greek art, Aristophanes, and the Greek historians, as well as Greek and Latin language courses. A pioneer in using computer technology to advance scholarship in the humanities, Ross was the founding editor of the Stoa Consortium for Electronic Publication in the Humanities. The Stoa (www.stoa.org/), established in 1997, set the standard for Open Access publication of digital humanities work in the classics, serving as an umbrella project for many diverse projects not supported by print publishers. He was the co-creator of Diotima: Materials for the Study of Women and Gender in the Ancient World and of the Neo-Latin Colloquia collection. Ross had a long-standing belief in the power of collaborative work, and he worked throughout his career to build working relationships among an international circle of collaborators. As a founding editor of the Suda On Line, a web accessible database for work on Byzantine Greek lexicography, Ross helped to build a framework that allowed a large number of people to work together on a single edition. Ross had long-term associations with Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies, the Perseus Project, and the Digital Classicist. Most recently, Ross was instrumental in forging the collaboration that resulted in the high resolution digital imaging of the Venetus A, a 10th century manuscript of the Iliad located at the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice, and was an initiator in the project EDUCE, which aims to use non-invasive, volumetric scanning technologies for virtually "unwrapping" and visualizing ancient papyrus scrolls.

Since July, 2005 Ross has been the director of the Collaboratory for Research in Computing for Humanities, a research unit at the University of Kentucky which provides technical assistance to faculty who wish to undertake humanities computing projects, and to encourage and support inter-disciplinary partnerships between faculty at UKY and researchers around the world. Ross was highly involved in the activities of his family. He was a strong advocate of Latin study at the secondary level through support of his wife and Latin teacher Cathy Edwards Scaife, by providing enrichment resources, facilitating technology projects, and giving presentations at professional and student conferences.

He took pride in the academic, athletic, and musical achievements of his three sons, Lincoln (16), Adrian (13), and Russell (9). He loved to watch them play soccer, and to go sailing with them and the rest of his family in the Northern Neck of Virginia. He enjoyed hunting in Anderson County, KY, renovation and woodworking projects in their historic Lexington home, cooking ethnic foods, and photography.

In addition to his wife and children, Ross is survived by his parents, William and Sylvia Scaife of Fredericksburg, VA., and three siblings, Bill Scaife, Susan Duerksen, and John Scaife, as well as their spouses and children. A celebration of life service will be held on Sat, April 12, 2008 at 1pm at Memorial Hall at the University of Kentucky. Memorial donations may be made to the Swift/Longacre Scholarship Fund which provides support for students of classical studies at the University of Kentucky. Please make checks payable to the University of Kentucky and send in care of Dr. Jane Phillips, Department of MCLLC, 1055 Patterson Office Tower, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0027. Donations may also be sent to a college fund for his sons. Make checks payable to Scaife Scholarship Fund and mail to Chase, 727 E. Euclid Avenue, Lexington, KY, 40502. Arrangements by Care Cremation Service.

Published in the Lexington Herald-Leader on 3/23/2008.

Dr Scaife taught me classes in Greek language, the art of Greece and Rome, and women in the classical world. He encouraged me to seek a master's in Classics in addition to my undergraduate studies, and although I did not go on to get the higher degree, I sometimes think about going back to do just that.

I can't believe he's dead. A friend who gets the Sunday paper told YKWIA and me about it, since we were both Classics majors.

He was only seven years older than I am. It gives you pause when someone you know--and who is not much older--dies, bringing you a little closer to your own mortality.

My deepest sympathy is with his family at this time. The obituary's length says a lot about the lives he touched. I don't know if I'll be able to go to the memorial service on April 12th (it's a Saturday, and it's hard to get away from the store), but I'd like to. Somehow it seems fitting for a Classicist to die on the Ides of March (the date of Caesar's death, although the calendar is different from the ancient Roman one these days). Dr Scaife was always very kind to me and listened to my ideas and gave constructive advice. He has achieved a kind of immortality from his work, and I think the projects that he helped found will flourish as others step in to keep his memory alive. May he rest in peace.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Okay, we all know I oppose the war

but this is a looney and tasteless way to protest, and no way to get a message across:

War protest mars Holy Name mass: Demonstrators spatter selves and worshipers with fake blood

According to the Cardinal who was performing the mass:
'We should all work for peace,' George said, 'but not by interrupting the worship of God. It's an act of violence to come among a group of believers and try to manipulate worship to your own purposes, no matter how noble and good they are.'

Hear, hear.

A sad milestone

Four U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq, death toll 4,000

President Bush has a good deal of blood on his hands.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A strange video on my RSS feeds

via Steven on Library Stuff

Nina Persson (of the Swedish band The Cardigans) & husband Nathan Larson - Losing My Religion

An excellent cover of R.E.M's classic, set to a video of images related to atomic bombs and 'duck and cover' videos. Steven's right, it's an eerie combination. Well, I've eaten; it's time to go to sleep now. Good night.


I don't have words to explain how I feel about this young woman's death. Those involved should suffer just as much.

Torture death shocks Illinois town

Dorothy Dixon, a 29-year-old developmentally disabled woman who was six months pregnant, died after weeks of abuse by her housemates. Her one-year-old child has been taken into state custody.

Dorothy Dixon ate what she could forage from the refrigerator upstairs, where prosecutors say housemates used her for target practice with BBs, burned her with a glue gun and doused her with scalding liquid that peeled away her skin.

They torched what few clothes she had, authorities say, so she walked around naked. They often pummeled her with an aluminum bat or metal handle.

Two adults, three teenagers, and a 12-year-old have been charged with her death. One of those adults, Michelle Riley, had been a coordinator for housing and other services for developmentally disabled clients despite a history of drug convictions. Dixon was one of her clients prior to their moving into the home in another town.

It's hard to believe that anyone could do this to another human being, especially one who was mentally challenged. It's even worse that a whole group of people could do this, treating her worse than you would an animal.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Strange Christian thing of the day

Okay, I have trouble remembering when Easter is, since it's not one of my holidays, but for a wonder I remembered not only that Easter is Sunday, but today was Good Friday. But even so, I was not prepared for what I found as I was cruising down Chinoe this afternoon. I looked in my rear-view mirror and the woman in the car behind me is holding a large (10-12 inch) crucifix out of her window. My first reaction is that she somehow recognised the Hekate figure on my car and was calling upon God to smite the evil idol-worshipper. (Not that I worship idols, but that's another topic). My second thought was that she was just going along with a literal 'Jesus is my co-pilot' thing. Weird, but there are weirder things in the world. She turned at Gainesway and kept it out, so it wasn't aimed at me. Let's face it, 9.5 out of 10 Christians would not recognise Hekate even if She were blatantly shown. So, later I realised that this might be some sort of cognate to the pilgrims who go to Jerusalem and carry life-sized crosses (or some other places where they go through mini-crucifixions) along the path Jesus was reported to have done so they can better understand what he did for mankind. I could see where driving a similar route could at least make you more mindful of your Saviour's trevails, but I don't see where toting a 2 lb cross whilst behind the wheel is really going to get you into the mindset of the suffering he reportedly endured. You just look silly. And what if you drop it and some car runs over it? Or worse, what if you're in an accident? That's got to be pretty distracting, especially if you're praying as well. People, this is something you do whilst *walking*.

Just my musings. I hope I haven't offended anyone. I don't mind if you believe that Jesus was the son of God (there were many in the ancient world...my favourite was the whole Zeus appearing as a shower of gold story). I don't mind if you believe he resurrected (again, several cases reported). But the whole one-hand-on-the-wheel-one-hand-on-the-cross is a little creepy. Next time, just put it on your grille like people do wreaths at Christmastime.

Anyway, for those who are sane who are merely marking this important holiday of your faith, happy Easter. And for those of you who have thrown this sadness followed by joy thing to the wind and just gone with the very pagan theme of coloured eggs and chocolate bunnies, happy Easter too.

(I didn't say Happy Spring (my holiday, known as Ostara to some, Alban Eilir to others)--Eilir being rather recognisable to readers of this blog as it is my middle name and means spring, rebirth, or (as a different but related word), butterfly. Anyway, Happy Spring!)

Also, the full moon tonight is very pretty. That's why Easter is as early as it is. It has to fall on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring (note the word 'after'--if the full moon is on the first Sunday after the vernal equinox, then Easter is the next Sunday. Got it?) Passover, meanwhile, begins on the 15th of Nisan (at sunset, as the Jewish day goes from sunset to sunset, the month from new moon to new moon). This year it's much later than Easter, beginning at sunset April 19th this year. (Note: In Israel and amongst Reform Jews, the holiday is seven days long...amongst the Orthodox and Conservatives outside Israel, it is eight, to be on the safe side and make sure the whole period is commemorated, as days are based on the moon and not on some clock.)

Okay, there's my splurge into spring holiday lore.

I should have kept my mouth shut

The UK baseball team lost 2-0 today in Auburn, Alabama, making them 19-1. See, this is what happens when I get interested in sports. :)

Friday, March 21, 2008

I'm not a sports fanatic

but it seems all those people going crazy about the University of Kentucky's NCAA bid in basketball (which was dashed in the first round against Marquette) were watching the wrong game.

The baseball team is 19-0, an impressive opening, and was number 2 in the nation going into the game. A friend of mine is a really big fan. He went a couple of days ago and they called the game, then the sun was out. Yesterday was miserable with rain and of course they didn't play. Today was beautiful, but he had to work, although I think he made part of the game, since he works nearby the stadium.

I'll probably jinx them by bringing them to your attention, but I hope not. It would be nice to see them break that record. So my fingers will be crossed for them on Friday. :)

This tears at my heart

A dramatisation of Pfc Jesse Givens' last letter home (before he died in 2003, 28 days before his son was born)--the song is sung by Cantus, a men's chorus.

For the story behind the letter, please see: Pfc Jesse Givens: A Legacy.

That unborn child is going to turn five this year, along with this war.

I never believed in the war, but I believe in the men and women fighting it. I do support the troops and part of the reason for that is I spent the first fifteen years of my life on Air Force bases--and the first six of them as a child of a soldier in Southeast Asia.

There is a photo of me, I guess I was two, pointing to a picture of my father as if asking, 'Is that my daddy?' That photo always seemed to bother my mom. I think she thought it might be all I knew of my father. In the grand scheme of things, that may have been okay. My father was not prepared to raise a child and to be a father, and his own insecurities and background ruined any chance we had to have a healthy relationship. I think his time in Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia did, too. I never knew my father before he went to war; he went to basic training whilst I was in the womb, was at more training when I was born, several states away. He went to Vietnam, when I was barely one. I have recorded 'letters' home from him, where he is tired, disillusioned, but trying to soldier on. My mother erased the one where you could hear the shrapnel. I've always wondered how different he might have been without his wartime experiences.

If he'd died, I'd have an idyllic father whose memory couldn't tarnish; people would forget the bad qualities and focus on the good ones. But as much as I sometimes wish I'd never known my father, I'd rather have one with all the frailities of a human being than just have some idea of a father, which is what these children will be left with. I think the little boy kissing his daddy to sleep each night--on a screen of a tape that was made the night before he left, did it the most for me; I cried.

Wherever Melissa Givens and her sons are today, I hope they are well. I'm sorry for their loss, and I hope they find happiness in their lives.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sorry I haven't blogged

The night before last I just crashed by 9:30 pm, then yesterday I did the same after catching up on my Web 2.0 class. This time I had to set up a wiki and make changes on the class wiki. I set up two, one public one called Rabid for 2.0 and then a private one I'd like to get the game members into and doing some collaborative stuff (won't bother linking to that; you can't read it). We're using WetPaint in class and it's very easy, much easier to edit than the limited wikis I've worked on.

I was sad to see that Arthur C Clarke died. He'd apparently had post-polio syndrome for decades and died after suffering from breathing problems. Still, he was 90 years old, and had a long life. He will of course be known for 2001: A Space Odyssey, but I remember reading Rendezvous with Rama as a child, whereas I've only seen the movie 2001 (something I should rectify). I also enjoyed his Mysterious World series when I could catch it.

Well, I'm between jobs for the day right now, having had a crown put on at 3 after gettting out of work at the hospital. It's time to get ready for job #2, for truck night at the store. Overall I'm going to work the same amount of hours this week as usual, but not in the long stretch like I normally do on Saturday (10 hours at a time); I'm working 2 tonight, 4 Saturday, 3 on two of the weekdays. So I'm kind of looking forward to having a Saturday for a change.

I do seem to have broken my toe last Friday night. I stubbed it badly and although the swelling's a little better when I wake up in the morning, it hasn't really improved. I'm going to call the podiatrist tomorrow but my understanding is there's not much to do for a toe (especially the little toe) than put some ice on it, take some pain reliever like ibuprofen, and wait. The dark bruising has gone away though. It was feeling better this morning and then I propped a door open with my foot. Right, so I hadn't had my smart medicine today, okay? :)

Monday, March 17, 2008


Today I was off work at both jobs. I only had three hours' sleep last night because I had to be somewhere by 6:45. People really shouldn't have to get up before the sun. But everything that needed to be accomplished was and I am now home for a little while and ready to sleep at least 2-3 hours.

I didn't see anything on the news that really struck me to blog about. One thing you might want to check out is YouTube's 2007 Video Awards voting, which they'll be announcing the 19th. I voted for 'The Guild' under Series, 'Doll Face' under Short Film, and the Mike Huckabee/Chuck Norris video under 'Politics'. There was also a piano-playing cat under Adorable and the University of Florida tasering at a Kerry speech under Eyewitness (okay, the tornado was cool in one of the other voters, but those storm chasers are crazy). I didn't really vote for any of the others. But you can vote once a day. Anyway, check it out.

Oh, and happy St Patrick's Day. Okay, so I'm pagan (you know, the things he supposedly drove out of Ireland, although they called them snakes), but I'm also got a lot of Irish in my background, and the holiday as we celebrate it in America isn't really religious. Of course, I forgot this morning and only by happenstance did I wear a top with pink roses and green leaves, so I had a bit of green on me. I ususally wear one that has purple and orange flowers on white with green leaves, because it has the colours of Northern Ireland (orange), the Republic of Ireland (green), and white, the colour of peace.

Okay, I know, I can be a loon sometimes. But I've been aware of the Troubles in Ireland since a Scottish teacher in Junior High pointed out to us that she wore orange instead of green to support the Protestants. Thankfully, a lot of the violence seems to have died down for now, and both factions, Protestant and Catholic, can hopefully co-exist.

I took a test in the newspaper to see how 'Irish' you are. It had a lot of cultural and historical questions. Out of fourteen the only one I missed was 'What was the boat that carried Patrick from Ireland to Britain carrying as cargo?' I said cattle (cattle being very important in Celtic cultures, but on second thought, a bit big for those boats) and the answer was wolfhounds. But everything else I got right, including that Patrick was a Briton who was enslaved by the Irish, and not Irish at all.

Here's some traditional Irish music, with lots of fiddles by way of celebration:

Now I'm going to sleep.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

This week California has been the place for 'no good deed goes unpunished'

First there was the librarian who turned in the patron looking at kiddie porn. Now, this:

Student disciplined after stopping out-of-control school bus

A high school student on a bus carrying 40 elementary students managed to jump up and apply the brakes when the driver fell out of her seat and hit her head, possibly saving lives.

But she wasn't supposed to be on the bus. She'd fallen ill on the way to school and asked the bus driver for a ride rather than calling in. So, she's got a Saturday detention as a result.

I'm not saying she shouldn't get the detention--she should, since she broke the rules. But maybe a little appreciation in addition shouldn't be out of the question, you know?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Another film from the maker of 'Cat Man Do'

Simon's Cat in 'Let Me In'

I love cats. I especially love being an auntie to cats these days. I used to have a cat, Buns, who would wake me up by putting his paw on my eyeball and then when I opened my eyes, he'd be an inch away from me staring down with his own large eyes. He would do this to get in. :)

I finally just went ahead and subscribed to the channel--it's a nice pick-me-up.

Good night, heading to bed now.

But she did the right thing

Sometimes you can't just sit back and catalogue or classify...sometimes you have to take action. One librarian did--and lost her job over it.

California Librarian Fired for Reporting Man Viewing Child Porn

Lindsay Librarian Fired for Reporting Man Viewing Child Porn

The supervisor told her to make a note on the man’s library account and tell him to stop looking at the pictures. Biesterfeld felt that the authorities needed to be alerted, so she called the police anyway. When police did get involved, they found thousands of images of child pornography. 39-year-old Donnie Chrisler was arrested, and a day and a half later; Biesterfeld was out of a job.

There's a time when our desire to protect the privacy of our patrons has to submit to the greater good. And whilst that greater good is sometimes hard to define, I think most of us agree that protecting children from exploitation and possible abuse is more important that anyone's anonymity as a library patron surfing the net.

Okay, so last night's post was pissy

I guess I've never forgiven Liz...I still remember the date of the break was June 12, 2003. If you're curious, read her post and maybe you'll understand where I'm coming from. Or if you're not interested, we can move on.

Today was much better, even though I spent a good bit of it touching up paint throughout a house. It'll be a busy weekend--tomorrow I work 10 hours plus another round of painting. Sunday's the game (and another funeral to attend for one character, the final leg of a voyage to Antarctica for another, and for one character who hasn't completed a mission yet, getting a chance for another after being in a coma). I've had three characters thwarted on their first missions. One was bitten by a venomous snake and spent the whole time hovering between life and death. One was on a plane that crashed thanks to Nyarlothotep and his wicked sense of humour. The last one went down a oil shaft and succumbed to poisonous gases, because no one made an idea roll that would have suggested respirators, and the players totally had gummy brains that day, too. Monday I'm off work to help out with something, and I'll have to get up very early (but not as early as the last time we did this, thankfully).

Tonight I started a new (temporary) blog for my class on Web 2.0 in libraries. You can find it at http://rabid-librarian2point0.blogspot.com. It's just for that, but if you're interested stop by. It is funny, though, because this blog was customised long before Google brought in all their widgets--or for that matter, before Google owned Blogger. So I've never gotten to play with those sorts of things. I put a newsfeed on the other page. That was fun. Oh, and I put a shared list from Google Reader on that page. Now I just have to comment on a question and send a link to my teachers and I'm done with the assignment. Yay!

Friday, March 14, 2008

I don't understand IKEA madness

(also known as the Rant Against a Materialistic, Freakish Ex-Friend...you have been warned...)

So IKEA opened a store in West Chester, Ohio, near Cincinnati, making the trip for Lexingtonians much shorter than the previous jaunt to Atlanta. It made it onto the front page of the Lexington Herald-Leader (with a picture of a bunch of employees with what for the life of me look like giant yellow dildoes but which are supposedly noisemakers as customers cheer). [NB--The H-L takes those stories and mothballs them into archives for which you have to pay to view after 7 days, sorry.]

I don't get it. And it's not because I don't like the simplicity of the Nordic style--I do. Some of the Danish designs I've seen have been wonderful, for example, and I also like Swedish products. But the stuff I've liked has not been, shall we say, within my budget. But a friend's right--this looks like stuff you'd find in a dorm room, and cheaply made at that. It looks like knock-offs of the designs I liked. But hey, it's trendy, so I shouldn't be surprised that Liz was there. (Sorry, she doesn't have permalinks. The story is dated 3/13.) She will slavishly go on about anything she thinks is trendy, but deny it and get angry if you point it out to her. The only thing she got in my opinion that's even worth it was the white ceramic pitcher, which was only $4.99. Okay, so we have different tastes. But I don't understand why a professional graphic designer who by her own admission primarily is there to 'make pretty' likes so much ugly stuff (and comes up with so many ugly designs, such as the cover of her book).

But hey, I'm biased. This is the 'friend' I had for several years--was there through her divorce (he was originally our friend, we got her in the divorce), her abortion, all her ups and downs, who broke off our friendship over an innocuous comment made on her blog, by blogging about me rather than talking to my face and ranting about how disgustingly I ate ice cream (?). I probably shouldn't read it any more (it's mostly about knitting and Wizard Rock, the first of which I can do, although not well, mainly because it bores me, and the second which is best left to 12- to 14-year-olds, not someone in their 30s or 40s. And to be honest, I check it maybe once a week, because she doesn't blog that much anyway. But it's like watching a train wreck, and I have a perverse curiosity about people who have been in my life but are no longer in it and what they might be up to.

There are so many times I want to comment on her blog, to inject some reality. When she was a part of our group, that's what we all did for one another, and it tended to keep those of us who like to run amuck (I include myself in this) grounded. A little mocking goes a long way, after all. (What? You're buying your neighbour's dog a $300 heated dog house and don't understand why the neighbour might not appreciate you butting in? What? You obviously didn't get your house inspected by someone competent when you bought it, got tired of it, didn't like the location which is Lexington's equivalent to Spanish Harlem when you thought it was going to be some sort of mix of professors, faculty, and students even though it's not near campus, so now you've bought another house right as the housing market crashed and you have two mortages now? What were you thinking? Those are just two I'd like to have weighed in on.) But she's not part of our world anymore; she's gone off and found people who leave glowing comments on her blog about what a great person she is--in other words, she's found yes men (or in this case, mostly yes women) who are enabling her into thinking that everything's fine.

I'm lucky. I have brutally honest friends. Well, okay, one brutally honest friend, a few comforting ones, and good acquaintances who would look at me like I was a loon if I did half the stuff she does. I used to count Liz among that number, even though she treated me like shit and once asked a friend to shoot her if she ever got to my weight at the time (judging from her posts, she's way past that point). I'm glad I don't have her in my circle anymore.

I'm not saying my life is perfect. I'm still struggling with lots of health and personal issues, and I'm just happy if I can get my bills paid (rent was today, whew!, late but within the limit), do a good job at work, and spend time with the friends who keep me from retreating into Lisaland.) I've made lots of bad choices in my life, and I'm living with their consequences, but I think I've improved over time, and certainly I actively seek counseling and try to change. I don't think Liz is on that path, and at her age, she should at least be considering working through her issues.

Okay, rant over...that took 45 minutes more than I would have liked to blog about. But it's been building up for awhile. I know, obviously I never got any closure. But sometimes that's the way things happen, and the feelings remain somewhat raw.

PS You know, it occurs to me that for someone who leads a relatively obscure life, I have a strange history of unusual friends/acquaintances, many of whom have been jettisoned because, well, it should be obvious:

1) A Paedophile (gamed with one, never really hit home until he was charged and imprisoned, even though a friend had been insisting it was true for years and none of us listened)
2) An Anti-Semite (a woman I'd known and respected for years suddenly wouldn't let a mutual friend in her house when she found out he was Jewish)
3) A blond-haired, blue-eyed want-to-be Indian who kept finagling his genealogy to get greater and greater percentages
4) A Sexual addict (he knows who he is)
5) A woman who could only relate to animals and will probably wind up in the state's care
6) A woman who believed (or at least wanted us to believe) that a death cult from Taos was after her
7) A woman whose husband has no sternum because his family bred back in every third generation
8) A woman who practiced Voodoo who was known as the 'Screamer' playing bongo drums whilst masturbating at her open window
9) A musician from New Jersey whom I'm beginning to think really believes he's Irish
10) A woman who once lectured a mutual friend on the dangers of 'mud people' (meaning anyone of color)
11) A man who once created a collage with the head of George Bush Senior being carried away by the Hindu Goddess Kali (after being severed, of course) and who would run around making random possessed noises

I have met many, many, many loons in my time...this is just a sampling. Why? A good many of them were in the Pagan community. The others were gamers. Both tend to be on the fringe of society, and so there is a wackier than normal lunatic fringe.

The friendships/acquaintanceships I maintain:
1) A mechanical engineer building things for NASA's Mars mission
2) A social worker with a great big heart
3) A good soul, even if he is ADD-boy
4) A philospher
5) A collie queen
6) A Rocky Horror lighting tech by night, tech support for school by day
7) A comic geek
all of whom are at least as sane as I am, I think, or more so. :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

How the studio is dealing with Rowling's weighty prose

Last 'Potter' to be split in half: Warner to make two films from final 'Harry'

They'll be filmed concurrently but shown 6 months apart. Not a bad way to deal with the size of the book and wanting to fit as much in as possible--not to mention it'll gross more money that way. According to the article, the Potter films have surpassed the James Bond franchise in terms of revenues.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

As part of this whole Library 2.0 thing

with the webcast and the class, I finally got around to using Google Reader as an RSS aggregator to subscribe to different blogs without having to go to each and every one. Google Reader allows you to 'share' particularly interesting posts with others, and then list some of them on your blog, which I have done up above. So, if you're wondering what I'm reading, that's a snippet. Click on 'read more' in the widget to get more posts. Most of what I'm reading through the aggregator is library-related. So if you'd like to get a snippet of library literature and I haven't posted about a story here, you may want to try that.

I'd like to blog more tonight, because I have several things to blog about, but I'm tired and should probably head on to bed. Perhaps tomorrow....

Monday, March 10, 2008

I was listening to

'Never Too Late' by Three Days Grace, which has been in my head of late. (I can't embed the video.) The video is about a woman who was molested as a child and has to conquer her inner daemons to be free at last. They did a good job with it. My favourite part is the handprints all over the room, symbolising the molestation. It has been pretty controversial due to its theme.

That got me thinking of a video YKWIA showed me, an educational video on not talking to strangers. I'd say it's from the 1950s or early 1960s. This messed-up town is full of paedophiles, but the twins avoid them at every turn:

Unfortunately, it's not always strangers that pose a danger to children. I know that from my own experiences. I just hope someday I can conquer my daemons, too.

Really troubling

YKWIA told me about this:

AP Probe Finds Drugs in Drinking Water

There's growing concern in the scientific community, meanwhile, that certain drugs — or combinations of drugs — may harm humans over decades because water, unlike most specific foods, is consumed in sizable amounts every day.

Our bodies may shrug off a relatively big one-time dose, yet suffer from a smaller amount delivered continuously over a half century, perhaps subtly stirring allergies or nerve damage. Pregnant women, the elderly and the very ill might be more sensitive.

Many concerns about chronic low-level exposure focus on certain drug classes: chemotherapy that can act as a powerful poison; hormones that can hamper reproduction or development; medicines for depression and epilepsy that can damage the brain or change behavior; antibiotics that can allow human germs to mutate into more dangerous forms; pain relievers and blood-pressure diuretics.

Some research shows that the chlorine in treated water could increase toxicity. Fish, earthworms, and other 'simpler' animals are showing signs of contamination. What are they doing to us and to our environment?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Almost too tired to blog

so I'll make this quick.

10 hours at work + 1 giant Kroger run + painting baseboards + driving in snow and ice + nearly falling on ice = 1 really tired and sore rabid librarian

PS When all was said and done, we got about 4 inches of snow (we set a record for March 8th, according to Weather Underground). I would include a picture, but a friend has borrowed my camera.

Good night.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

One last, last thing

Kittens apparently wound up being part of a rehearsal joke for the webcast the other day that made it into the final live performance. The analogy was great. But the first mention was the one that sent me hanging onto the chair in front of me whilst I laughed really hard (and I wasn't the only one). I think the thing that threw us was Dale Prince's delivery of how he used flickr because he liked to look at pictures of...kittens. You just had to hear the tone and see the expression as he dared you to think otherwise.

Thanks to Michelle Kraft of the Krafty Librarian, for clearing that up.

One last thing

One of the RSS feeds I subscribe to is 'MedTerms Word of the Day'. Here is the one for March 5th (okay, so I'm behind). I'm including this because it might just be perfect for Cthulhu some day.

Eisoptrophobia: An abnormal and persistent fear of mirrors. Sufferers experience undue anxiety even though they realize their fear is irrational. Because their fear often is grounded in superstitions, they may worry that breaking a mirror will bring bad luck or that looking into a mirror will put them in contact with a supernatural world inside the glass.

Mirrors and other reflective surfaces have long been associated with the strange or the bizarre. For example, in Greek mythology, Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in the water of a fountain. He thought he was seeing the image of a beautiful nymph. Unable to embrace or call forth the image, he pined away and was eventually transformed into a flower. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, a novel by Oscar Wilde, a portrait of a handsome young man begins to deteriorate, reflecting the corruption of the man's inner being. The portrait becomes a mirror reflecting the state of the young man's soul. The man eventually commits murder and suicide.

"Eisoptrophobia" is derived from the Greek "eis" (into) and "optikos" (vision, image, sight). Other English words derived from "optikos" include "optic" (relating to vision) and "optician," a technician who designs eyeglasses according to a prescription.

MedTerms (TM) is the Medical Dictionary of MedicineNet.com.
We Bring Doctors' Knowledge To You

Unclean numbers! Unclean numbers!

Okay, that was an Epicurus the Sage quote, which is lost on non-Classics-majoring-comic-afficionados/geeks, but there you go. It comes from a scene where Pythagoreans are doing their holy rituals and those watching in secret start chanting random numbers at them. The Pythagoreans get totally discombobulated and start shouting, 'Unclean numbers!' I think the culprits were Epicurus and Plato, if I recall. I'm sure YKWIA will correct me if I'm wrong. I have my copy of this great book, but it's in a comic box in the closet and it's too late to go looking for tonight. Anyway, highly recommend it.

But, back to unclean numbers...

Every wonder what was so special about a number? This site tells you why:

What's Special About This Number?

For example, picking my current age, '40 is the only number whose letters are in alphabetical order.' There you go. Found that on del.icio.us.

A nice bit on conservationism at the British Library

via The Beached Librarian, which I in turn found whilst perusing BlogShares

Home safely, for now

Reading: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (a favourite mystery writer--her Aurora Teagarden mysteries have a librarian as protagonist--and well, I'm not sure where you'd put the vampire stuff...it's not exactly horror, mystery, or romance, but a bit of all three).

So we're in the midst of our first (and presumably only at this late date) substantial winter storm, getting a mix of snow and ice right now and expecting 6-10 inches of snow by tomorrow afternoon. I, of course, did my nightly midnight run to pick up a friend who works second shift. Fortunately we decided against the grocery run tonight, so I am home where it is warm not out in the wind having ice pelt against me. The roads weren't bad at all yet and the snowploughs are out doing what they can. It should be interesting when I wake up tomorrow, and of course I work 10 hours then.

I did stop at a gas station on the way that had not changed its price today. It was at $2.14 a gallon and most of the stations in town jumped up to $3.25. (It's the same company I work for--I suspect the manager forgot to change it before he left.) I was ranting about the prices being jacked up when YKWIA thought I should take a page from the eco-terrorist group ELF and torch a gas station in protest (okay, Homeland Security, he was joking). He said I needed an acronym of my own and came up on the spot with TROLL (Terribly Rabid Overweight Liberal Librarian). (Yes, this is my best friend of 20 years--with friends like these....) Seriously, all ribbing aside, I had to admit it was funny. And Trolls can beat up Elves anyday, though they aren't so nice to look at. (Just for the record, I consider myself to be environmentally conscious--and was before it became trendy--but I don't believe any cause is helped by those who blow up things, destroy property, and who do so without regard for human life.)

At $3.25 a gallon I'm going to hear a lot of complaints/possibly deal with drive-offs tomorrow. Maybe everyone will stay home. I guess we won't have many car wash sales then. Of course, by Sunday it's supposed to be clear yet cold and by Tuesday it'll be in the 50s. Welcome to Kentucky weather.

YKWIA is always on the lookout for blog material for me, since he finds such interesting and random things online. Today's haul included the following videos, which didn't so much harm him (he's Jewish--all will be self-evident) as leave him just staring at the screen in disbelief. They threw him. (Chuckle). I, for one, found the first to be great. I wish my Hebrew was better to read the slogans in the second one.)

'Japanese Fiddler on the Roof'

(I figure lots of Europeans, including Jewish ones, play Japanese people in theatre (I give you the Mikado, for example). Why not Japanese playing Jews?)

Then there are the Japanese Jews who converge upon Israel once a year in pilgrimage...

According to YKWIA, they are singing a song about the Sabbath. I love the blend of Japanese and Jewish culture. The cranes of peace with Shalom are perfect. How does he find these things?

Friday, March 07, 2008

Isn't she cute?

Tinkerbell is a tiny joey, a baby koala. :) She's at the Koala Hospital in Port MacQuarie, New South Wales, which rescues koalas and releases them back into the wild. It's run completely by volunteers and via donations. You can adopt a wild koala to help support their work for forty Australian dollars (within Australia) or fify Australian dollars (for those outside of Australia) [right now that's about US$46.58 for those of us in the United States, according to the XE Universal Currency Converter].

Good night.

Five things that Dungeons & Dragons begat

According to an article from the BBC:

3. REVIVING FANTASY MANIA (Call of Cthulhu and HP Lovecraft get a mention :))

I've reached an age

where youth is fleeting and I mourn when it is interrupted by some senseless crime. Two young Georgia women, both college students a few hundred miles apart, were killed at a time when most students are thinking of spring break. For the University of Auburn in Georgia and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, thoughts are with vivacious young women whose lives were cut short.

Two students' killings hit Georgia hard: Grief mingles with fear at Auburn, UNC

No one knows what Lauren Burk and Eve Carson might have achieved in their futures. Let's hope they find the people responsible for taking those futures away.

Another case in the South today was that of Jajuan Holmes, an 18-year-old high school student in Alabama who had recently been charged with robbing a Dairy Queen and who was suspended from school on Wednesday for undisclosed reasons. On Thursday he made his way into the gym during a test and committed suicide by shooting himself in front 150 students. No one else was hurt, thankfully. In Holmes' case he was on a much different track than the young women were, and his death was by his own hand. But it's still sad.

It really makes me glad in a way that I don't have children. There's nowhere safe, really, and while I make it through much of my life not overly worrying for myself (beyond what is normal), I think I'd obsessively worry about a child--and it doesn't matter how grown they are, I'd still worry.

For the families of Lauren Burk, Eve Carson, and Jajuan Holmes, my deepest sympathies. To lose the light of you life at such a young age is horrible. You are in my prayers.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


Here's something that is just too nifty for words--you have to see it:

The Amazing Staircase Bookshelf

Okay, off to bed!

I was doing a little searching for

mentions of this blog on others, and came across a list of the top-25 librarian blogs that was done back in 2007. Guess what? While I didn't make the top 25, I was on their raw data list in the study. I'm number 51. Okay, so it's near the bottom, but at least I met the criteria they set forth. :)

I found out through the Vancouver Law Librarian Blog, which has the complete list here. It's originally from OEDb, the Online Education Database.

My little car has had a couple of upgrades this week

First, new windshield wipers, which I got at AutoZone and my co-worker Tim put on for me. Here's to seeing out the windshield for a change. They've done marveously during our torrential downpours the other day; I'm waiting to see how well they do in snow. As far as putting them on, I can do a lot with my car--check the oil and transmission fluid, fill tyres, for example, and I can even change a tyre. I also recognise anything that's wrong that I've experienced in a car--on my Nissan Sentra I could actually disassemble and assemble part of the electrical system. The Taurus hasn't been a lemon like that one, so I don't have as much experience--although the things that have go wrong on it were expensive--a salvaged engine was put in and the transmission was rebuilt. My stepfather also put brakes on at some point, and I had all the tyres replaced with used ones about a year or two ago because I kept getting slow leaks that would make the tyres go down when it rained and the air pressure changed. But the clips on the windshield wipers totally threw me, until Tim showed me how to change them. Tim was going to change my tyre and put on my spare, but it turned out the spare was flat and my car didn't come with a jack (I've always called AAA with flats, since I can of course change one, but they're faster and why should I get all grimy when I'm paying for the service?) Tim also called the reason my car was shimmying from side to side (the steering wheel kept turning left and right quickly shaking back and forth). I had a tyre that picked up a nail and it went through the band, breaking it. I now have a new tyre (cheapest one that Goodyear carried, about $55, $80 once you factor in putting it on, balancing, and the disposal fee for the old one).

I'm taking a class

worth 8 continuing education credits starting Monday called 'Web 2.0 101'. It lasts for 8 weeks and is free to members of the Medical Library Association. Here's their blurb on it:

MLA Members: Learn More About Web 2.0 and Earn Eight Hours of Free CE Credit!
MLA's Social Networking Software Task Force, in partnership with the 2008 National Program Planning Committee (NPC) Geek Squad, is hosting a free CE course, "Web 2.0 101: Introduction to Second Generation Web Tools," for MLA members wanting to explore and discover both established and emerging web 2.0 technologies. Course content will include background readings, discovery exercises, and a discussion blog. The program will run from March 10 to May 4, 2008, following MLA's web 2.0 webcast and leading up to MLA '08 in Chicago. For more information and to register, visit the MLANET members-only area. Registration deadline is March 9, 2008. Read more and register...

You'll need your MLA username and password to access the registration page above. (I unfortunately keep mine at work, so I couldn't read the expanded description again and tell you more.) It will discuss things like blogging (okay, I've probably got that down, but I'm always open to new ideas on how to use them professionally), RSS, wikis, social networking sites, tagging, and mashups. I'll probably have to do a lot of the work from home, since like most institutions, some sites are blocked by my workplace (MySpace is, I know, as well as YouTube. I'm not sure about others. Blogger isn't, but I'm not allowed to blog at work, although I can read blogs on Blog*Spot, so I can still keep up with some of what others are doing. I should be able to access Google Reader from home or work to remain up to date in my field's literature.)

Today I attended a webcast held at UK also on Web 2.0 which was a nice overview of what's out there. I learnt quite a lot, even though I am at least familiar with everything but mashups, which weren't discussed much other than to say they required more tech support and weren't as freely available as some of the other tools. One of the speakers was Michelle Kraft of the 'Krafty LIbrarian' blog.

I came out of that webcast with one burning queston--'What's with the kittens?' Trust me, if you'd seen it, you'd understand. Anyway, a lot of these teleconferences have kind of bored me in the past, but I found this one really enjoyable (except for random kittens). I got a lot of information that I found really useful. There were a few problems (the speakers were obviously nervous at the beginning, one speaker's slides were labelled differently in the handouts, which made it harder to follow, and some of the resources in the back were obviously printouts of hyperlinks but without the actual URLs), but they were relatively minor. All in all it was really good, and I'm looking forward to the 8-week class. Plus, at the national convention in May they're going to do a plenary session on Web 2.0 and for those of us who can't attend (I doubt I'll ever get to go to the annual meeting, unless I come into some mega personal money, because work won't help me out on that one), they're going to simulateously show it by video. Yay!

It's nice to get the opportunity to learn something in a class and not have to pay out the wazoo to get the credit. Thank you, MLA!

I'm appalled

YKWIA told me about this, and I was floored. I'm not a health professional, even though I work in a hospital. But I know you don't reuse needles without exponentially increasing the risk of Hepatitis B and C and HIV transmission.

So how could normal, licensed health professionals either not know to do this, or had such disregard for human life that they did it anyway? We're not talking about somewhere in a Third World country. It happened in Las Vegas.

Vegas Clinic May Have Sickened Thousands

40,000 people have been told they may have contracted a disease through this clinic. That's a good-sized town's worth of people.

Hepatitis C is the greatest concern, because it's not curable at this point, can damage the liver to the point of death, and is far easier to get than HIV.

Staff have apparently said they were told to reuse syringes as part of an unwritten policy. That doesn't let them off the hook. The moment they were told that, they should have resigned their positions and blown the whistle on the centre.

Amid hepatitis scare in Nevada, 5 nurses hand in licenses

According to that article, the Las Vegas Sun said Nevada 'ranks among the worst in the nation for numbers of doctors and nurses per capita, the number of uninsured patients, and the number of unvaccinated children'. (The quoted article was no longer available via link). Apparently it's not very good on overseeing these type of endoscopy/surgical clinics that operate apart from a hospital, either.

The authorities have closed two more clinics owned by the same company, leaving one other open for now.

Agh. This is something that deserves more than losing licences or being sued. This should be a criminal negligence case at the very least.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I'm disappointed

that Hillary Clinton took Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island today. That means the fight between Obama and her is still very much engaged and the talk of her dropping out of the race was probably premature.

Big Wins for Clinton in Texas and Ohio; McCain Clinches Race as Foe Concedes

Obama did win Vermont, but his momentum may have just come to a crashing halt. We'll see. I still think that he's the better candidate.

Gee, maybe our late primary will not be as lame as we thought. If things keep up like this, they're going to need every state they can get, and more importantly, perhaps, every superdelegate.

Don't get me started on what should happen to these men

Puppy-Throwing Video Raises Many Hackles

There's a lot of debate over the authenticity of the video, but in it a man appears to show the camera a black-and-white puppy, talks about how cute it is, then throws it off a cliff, saying that it was a mean thing to do. The video has (thankfully) been removed by YouTube. A name mentioned in the video may be the person shown throwing the dog to its supposed death. Even if the dog were already dead (it didn't move in the video) or if it were somehow faked (the yelping of the dog did not diminish as it got further from the recorder as it should have), it is sick. Really sick. And if it's true, then I think the person (and the cameraman, for that matter) should be prosecuted to the fullest. Oh, hell, I think they should be flung off cliffs, but that's not going to happen. But they shouldn't be allowed to remain in the Marine Corps, and they should serve time for their actions.

Then there's a local story (it'll only be up for 7 days...the Herald-Leader makes stories pay-per-article after that time, which is just annoying):

Alford plea in kitten drowning: Professor gets $500 Fine, No Jail Time

Bill Fountain, a horticulture professor at the University of Kentucky claims that he thought his neighbour's five-month old kitten, which he'd trapped, was a raccoon, and he drowned it because it attacked him. What rubbish. Granted the man's professional focus is plants, but he had to have taken at least basic biology to become a horticulturalist and I think anyone who has should be able to tell a kitten from a raccoon, don't you? And although he supposedly passed a polygraph, I find it interesting that several other cats in the neighbourhood were known to have disappeared--including another cat belonging to the same neigbhour. An Alfred plea is one where a person does not admit guilt but does admit that there is enough evidence to convict. This man should not be working for the university. He shouldn't be around animals or other people for that matter. Again, animal cruelty is sick--and if a person mistreats animals, there's a good chance he or she will abuse a person, too. Think of serial killers who as children tortured or killed animals, like Jeffrey Dahmer.

I'm also disappointed that the Kentucky Kernel does not appear to have covered this story when it first broke or the plea entry. At least Fountain's name doesn't come up online when you search their site.

Here's the original story as posted on Topix, appearing in the Herald-Leader on September 10th.

Man drowns neighbor's kitten in barrel, says he was attacked

Oh, these stories just make me so angry.

I never got to play D&D

(the guys I knew who played were into mega-level characters and not about to teach a newcomer how to play), but role-playing games have been an important pastime of mine for nearly 17 years, and without Gary Gygax, a lot of gaming wouldn't exist (not just in regular RPGs, but computer ones as well, since many of them are based off of D&D). So it was sad to learn that he died today at the age of 69, after years of declining health.

It's a shame we don't really have potions and spells that will restore health or the dead.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Isn't it cute?

Pint-sized primates were first in North America: Leaping, furry mini-monkeys crossed Bering land bridge long before humans

Check out the page above for a drawing of Teilhardina magnoliana, a tiny primate (weighing about one ounce) whose fossil remains have been unearthed near Meridian, Mississipi (which is kind of funny, because they crossed the Bering Strait, as did the American Indians, and I know someone from Meridian who believes in parallel co-evolution of races. Of course, he's also blond, blue-eyed, and keeps doing creative genealogical math to prove he's more and more Indian than he really is. and muttering about what the White Man did to his ancestors, totally ignoring that he's more white than Indian. But I'll reserve judgement on the town for crazy factor and not just base my opinion on Mike.)

Speaking of blonds/blondes (one is masculine, one is feminine, just for those of you confused by proper English--nowadays it often seems to be used randomly regardless of gender, mostly as 'blonde'), there was a blonde hoax a few years ago claiming that natural blondes would die out in a few years. Several news agencies were taken in by the story, including the BBC. I guess they didn't really do their basic genetics portion of high school biology.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Listening to

Ingrid Michaelson's 'The Way I Am' (Lyrics)

Speaking of religion

Here is Graham's (somegreybloke) latest video post:
'Choosing My Religion 2'

I love the Jesus-headed pigeon with God's thunderbolt. :) What can I say, you have to watch. My favourite line, 'It depends if you favour the words of Jesus or the words of Paul. Most Christians seem to go with the latter. Which is odd, because you would think Jesus would outrank Paul. Apparently not.'

Okay, I do believe in deity

(many of them, in fact), but I came across the Invisible Pink Unicorn favoured by atheists and had to share.

It is in the same vein as the Flying Spaghetti Monster which YKWIA told me about months ago, although not as Cthulhoid-looking.

Have I ever mentioned how much I like unicorns? They are the main theme to my bath, as I used to collect them. I never found any invisible pink ones, though. :)

Hey germaphobes, listen to this:

At the core of snowflakes, bacteria

In order to precipitate, water has to cling to something. A study sampling snowflakes from various parts of the world (including Antarctica), found that in about 85% of them, bacteria were at the nucleus. The most common is a type of bacterium known for causing problems for tomatoes and beans. Of the locations studied, France had the most bacteria at the core of snowflakes.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Bless You, US Postal Service

Who figured out my apartment number and delivered my One Spirit books.

I got a nice big box with:
The Secret Language of Birds
Tibetan Meditations
Chakra Meditation Kit
Healthy Brain Kit
The Complete Guide to Chinese Calligraphy
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
Self-Hypnosis Diet

and a Black and Ivory tote bag. :)

Five of the books were 40 cents each, and two were 50% off. The bag was free. I only have to buy 2 books in 2 years. Plus, with online shopping these days, I'm better at dealing with accepting or rejecting featured selections. Of course, it's the shipping that kills you. :) Still, not a bad haul. I went back and looked online whilst linking and the only one that gets substandard reviews in the chakra kit, because the man on the CD apparently does not have a soothing voice. I'll have to listen for myself. I'm especially interested in the Healthy Brain kit, which has a CD, book, and cards of mental exercises to stay sharp. I so need that. Plus, I've always wanted to know what various Chinese characters you see in calligraphy really mean. :)