Saturday, January 31, 2009

Octuplets in California

Info is coming out about the woman who had the in vitro octuplets. Her other 6 kids were in vitro babies too:
There were frozen embryos left over after her previous pregnancies and her daughter didn't want them destroyed, so she decided to have more children.
Oh, no,
don't waste an embryo!

Her mom has been helping out, but is now getting stressed out:
"It can't go on any longer," she said in a phone interview Friday. "She's got six children and no husband. I was brought up the traditional way. I firmly believe in marriage. But she didn't want to get married."
But even if marriage is bad,
why haven't I heard of a dad?
Her mother told the Los Angeles Times all the children came from the same sperm donor but she declined to identify him.
Sperm donors don't have to pay
for their offspring the old fashioned way.
Yolanda Garcia, 49, of Whittier, said she helped care for Nadya Suleman's autistic son three years ago.
Ms. Garcia deftly inquired about the expenses involved:
"She told me that all of her kids were through in vitro, and I said 'Gosh, how can you afford that and go to school at the same time?'" she added. "And she said it's because she got paid for it." Garcia said she did not ask for details.
Somehow I suspect that a great
part of that pay comes from the state.

A Trifling Sum

Tom Daschle, Obama's nominee for Secretary of HHS, has really impressive tax troubles:
Mr. Daschle also didn't report $83,333 in consulting income in 2007.
If I failed to report 83 thou
I'd be in the hoosegow.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Parenting: Inheritance of Traits

Frequently offspring exhibit annoying traits
you know are your own or your mate's.

If you think they're neither, just wait.
Soon enough you'll get the news
that this behavior's "just like you."
And, generally, it's true.

The person who tells you may be biased,
but their familiarity with the facts is of the highest,
since this informer in the house
is typically your spouse.

So whatever you regret
about yourself... your children get.

Get used to it. 

Thus we are endowed,
timid or reckless, quiet or loud.

You learned over the years 
to cope,
so put away your fears - 
embrace the hope.

No one's more qualfied to help
with your own traits than you, yourself.

And your mate,
who has learned to love
or at least to tolerate
your quirks
may also be a workable candidate.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

White House Goes Hot House

Obama has cranked up the temp at the Oval:
“He’s from Hawaii, O.K.?” said Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, who occupies the small but strategically located office next door to his boss. “He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there.”
But this is the guy who admonished the country:
We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times . . . and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.
Turn it into a sauna.
See if I care.

But that's not orchids
growing in there.

Something was Stinkin' in the Land of Lincoln

Blago is out.
Quinn is in.
The conviction on a sweeping article of impeachment means the governor was immediately removed from office. The Senate also unanimously voted to impose the "political death penalty" on Blagojevich, banning him from ever again holding office in Illinois.
I guess he could still run for federal office representing Illinois.

Assuming, that is, that he doesn't end up spending excessive time in other federal facilities.

You know like the facilities in Indiana where another former governor currently resides.

Blago's best bet is to run in disquise -
shave his head bald, dye his skin green,
and claim he's a Martian come down from the skies
to reform Illinois and mop it all clean.

Alliterative Endeavor

I spent about an hour this morning working with 9 to 12 year olds on alliteration. They wanted practice writing something highly alliterative, so I helped them write a little story. It was their idea - boys mostly - to write about a barfing baby soiling a sofa. It came out quite cute, although I don't have a copy with me.

Kudos to these clever kids 
for lining up lots of letters 
to tell the terrible tale 
of a baby behaving badly! 

I gave my guidance gladly.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Banks In Need Of Dough

Banks, already in trouble due to the financial crisis, are now struggling with changes in customer behavior:
"It doesn't seem to be a change in being more prudent about non-sufficient fund fees or anything like that," Cooper replied. "It more of just they're spending less so they have fewer incidents" involving bounced checks and their subsequent fees.
Your poor old bank
is on its knees.

So bounce some checks
and pay some fees.

Thermoregulation

When it's zero fahrenheit outside, I look at the birds and wonder how they do it. 

Talk about warmblooded, I think. Then I remember - that word is out:
Both the terms "warm-blooded" and "cold-blooded" have fallen out of favor with scientists, because of the vagueness of the terms, and due to an increased understanding in this field.
"Endothermic" is more of a current term.

"Warmblooded' is old-fashioned -

and carries connotations which concern
personal lives that burn 
with persistent passion.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cop For A Day

Deb Ross alerted me to this story of a 14 year old Chicago boy who impersonated a police officer - fooling other police officers - even riding around on patrol with one of them!
After his tour was over, a ranking officer became suspicious of the boy. Police said the officer discovered the teen was not a real police officer when he couldn't produce any credentials. The boy was wearing police-issued pants, shirt, vest, sweater and skull cap, police said.
Turns out he had been arrested once before for impersonating an officer. To me it sounds like something a boy would think was fun. But tonight we are told this behavior was "a cry for help".

He's copycat cop
with excellent props 
from a uniform shop
but I guess, after this, he must stop.

The Trial Begins

Our governor is now on trial. Well, they call it a trial, but it's not in court. It's in the Illinois Senate. It sounds like they may have some federal eavesdropping tapes to play.

But the gov himself is out of state, visiting network TV shows. I assume he's thinking that he will reach over the heads of the Illinois Senate to the people themselves. It has worked for him in the past.

I should be preparing a proper salute
to wish him farewell when they give him the boot.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dragon Dance Days

We ate Chinese for my brother-in-law's birthday. The restaurant had a dragon dance with drums, to help ring in the lunar new year. It's the year of a certain big mammal.

It's a new year - so open the box -
out jumps an obdurate ox
ready to take on a world of hard knocks.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Patio Table Revisited


The snow cake, though diminished,
is not finished.

Inaugural Hindsight

I've decided that the musicians were the smart ones. The Justice and the President should follow their example.

I hope next time they pre-record the oath.
Lip-synching would have been better for them both.

Friday, January 23, 2009

How About An Anime Version?

The Atlas Shrugged movie is once again up in the air. Angelina Jolie is no longer attached to the project.
Actresses who have expressed interest in the role and are reading the script include Cate Blanchett, Keira Knightly, Julia Roberts, and Charlize Theron. Randall Wallace, who wrote the current version of the script, is a strong possibility as director.
My money is on Abigail Breslin. She's 12. Which should make her about the the right age in 2030 - when the pic finally gets made.

For Abigail, we'll have to wait.
I predict she'll do just great.

How Stimulating

Obama puts Limbaugh off limits:
"You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package.
I haven't listened to Limbaugh lately, but this will be great for his ratings.

When it's time to divvy up the smackers,
there's no room for partisan attackers.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

In Sync But Not In Tune

If you watched the inauguration, you saw Yo-Yo Ma on cello and Itzhak Perlman on violin, playing a John Williams piece. But what you heard was prerecorded.
"This isn't Milli Vanilli," Florman insisted, referring to the late 1980s group stripped of a Grammy for lip-syncing. "They had to perform in such cold weather, the instruments couldn't possibly be in tune. They were able to play in sync with the tape. It's not unusual."
I'd say it's Milli Vanilli
as played by Chilly Willy.

Ontology for Kids

Maybe there's an elephant in the room,
I used to tell them,
one that you can't see or touch or smell
that no one can know about 
in any way
except for the fact I say
it may be there.

They grasped it was a joke
some fatherly nonsense
and they laughed
and wondered why I went on so.

I hoped that many years hence,
when the same idea came before them
in rather more noumenal guise,
it wouldn't be such a surprise,
and they would be immunized.

Inauguration Records

Reagan reportedly beats Obama for inauguration viewership:
Nearly 38 million Americans watched inauguration coverage of President Barack Obama on Tuesday, the most popular inauguration day on television since Ronald Reagan took office in 1981. Nielsen Media Research said Reagan's 41.8 million remains the record.
But the stations ran more stories
about this president's glories.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

May Cause Drowsiness


In a flipped clip, a Roman poet puts part of his audience to sleep.

Ann Althouse says she turned off mentally when yesterday's inauguration poem began. She thinks that rap would have been better:
It would have been exciting, surprising. It would have thrilled us or at least amused us with humorous rhymes.
Better to amuse
than let your audience snooze.

Numbers Don't Lie, But They May Mislead

After he took his slightly rearranged oath, our new President declared:
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.
Strangely enough, this is incorrect. That's because Grover Cleveland is counted as being BOTH the 22nd and 24th president.

So though Obama's known as "44"
there were only 42 persons before.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Intellectuals

I read a very funny play today, Intellectuals, by Scott C. Sickles, which happens to mention Ayn Rand.

The central characters are a therapist wife and her professor husband. The wife decides she wants to take a "sabbatical" from their marriage and give lesbianism a try. She doesn't seem to feel a real pull toward women, but she thinks she might if she gives it a shot.

Review hereIncluded in this collection. 

Just towards the end, the wife says:
I was not railing against anyone's right to think. I was merely reacting to how you are, at times, carried away by your thoughts, which lead to leaps of logic that are - for lack of a truly appropriate existing word - Evel Knieve...lian. You don't have to, as the youth might say, "go all Ayn Rand on me."
I suppose the intended moral is something like:

Those who are intellectual
are often ineffectual
at knowing what they feel
for real.

Nothing To Fear But The Truth

"I know the truth of things, and I have nothing to fear but the truth!"

That's our governor, here in Illinois, awaiting federal charges - and a state impeachment trial.

I wondered about this "Truth" he referred to, and I found her, embodied as a statue by Daniel Chester French, at the Chicago Art Institute.



I asked for a comment, but she refused,
looking rather unamused.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Job Opening

George Bush?
Whoosh!

The nation's dumbest Harvard MBA
is finally going away.

Who are we going to pick on next?
I admit, I'm quite perplexed.

Do you have an answer to this question?
Help me, please. I'm open to suggestions.

Testing Virtual Drugs On Virtual Humans

From my wife comes news that drug companies are using software to simulate biology, to cut down on expensive fail:
At first, I could hardly believed this worked, because the human body is so complex, but, apparently, they're able to use this technology to weed out "sure-fire losers." "...high speed processors and other technological advancements are enabling relatively small-scale simulations--of particular organs, for instance--to be integrated into increasingly complete software-based 'virtual humans'..." It's saving the companies millions and reducing human risk.
Really, it's a pity
they can't test drugs in Sim City.

Less Snark for Lamarck

Here's an article in Newsweek, reporting on some of the recent research on the inheritance of acquired characteristics, and how it happens - not by "changing" the DNA but by "marking" it. (Marking by methylation, I guess.)

The piece opens: "Alas, poor Darwin." But that's not really fair to Darwin, since he accepted some inheritance of acquired characteristics. It was his followers, who purified his theory, who are likely to be disturbed if these results are borne out.

Please note, what is now being proposed is quite different than what anyone ever imagined in the 19th century. We're so far into the biochemistry that some people even think the word "gene" is starting to look antiquated.

I hope that "Gene"
doesn't vanish from the scene.

"The Selfish Molecule String"
just doesn't have that zing.

Parenting - Arrivals

The first arrival's very odd.

You know, of course, that human bodies
have this feature - they  can reproduce -
so there's no excuse
for your surprise
when you look into the eyes
of your child.

Later, you get used to it.
Sort of. 
Still, there's the shock
of who this new person is.

Knock, knock.
"Who's there?"
"Just me."

A strangely familiar face
you've never seen before.

Wordless but vociferous
the new arrival pleads:
"Hey, I'm new to the place!
Please - take care of my needs!"

First Thoughts on She And I

Recently I read She And I: A Fugue, by Michael R. Brown. I've never spoken to the author, but he's an online friend. I found the book to be quite unusual, and quite gripping. It's a memoir, especially focused on the arc of his love life. Or, as he writes:
Follows apparently disparate lines of experience into a final sounding of nature, time, and the Female Principle.
That sounds rather dry, but the story is juicy and full of emotional events, as he pursues love where it takes him. I take the subtitle, "A Fugue," as referring to the name of the theme-and-variations musical piece. He feels recurring patterns in his story.

I don't want to offer much in the way of story spoilage, but perhaps it is safe to say that it offers explorations of grief, internet relationships, and even polyamory. Some of the key players are what the author calls "the Rand-touched" - people deeply influenced by Rand. It's clear some people have been anonymised, so I kept wondering if I knew any of the people in the story.

He has one stylistic quirk that took some getting used to for me. It looks like this:
No girl’d ever made me feel that.
Thus does a "had" get reduced to an apostrophe and a "d". We do, often, talk like that. But we don't usually transcribe it like that. That took a little getting used to. But perhaps it does make you feel that you are listening to speech, not reading the written word.

The writing is spare, teasing you to imagine the scenes as they glimmer past. To me it felt, at times, like a fairly fast road trip:
We flashed along, by trees - one stand leafless, bare branches swept
against clouds - then copseful of pines - needley, solid, rich-green.

Our hands found one another across divider and clasped.
I kept thinking of Emily Dickinson. I guess it's the love of evocative language, plus the inner yearning for bliss. Like Dickinson, he does not aim to titillate; rather he means to inspire.

There are a couple of previews in the middle of this page, if you want to get a real idea of whether the book speaks to you.

It's often hard to find and hold what will
fulfill.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Celebratory Emergency Grips DC

It's an emergency:
Obama's inauguration expenses are likely to be to the tune of over $150 million, overshadowing the $42.3 million spent on George Bush's inauguration in 2005 and $33 million on Bill Clinton's in 1993, media report said.
You don't think that's an emergency? Well, George Bush has declared it one:
President Bush today announced that an emergency exists in the District Of Columbia. That emergency? The inauguration of Barack Obama – or, rather, the fact that millions are expected to descend on the city to witness it.
So, they got extra inauguration money by declaring this an emergency.

I sense a growing trend:
emergencies without end
with one solution: spend!

Stomachs Aflutter Over Peanut Butter

The first great food scare of 2009 has begun. The FDA blares a salmonella warning:
"We urge consumers to postpone eating any products that may contain peanut butter until additional information becomes available," Sundlof told reporters in a conference call. "As of now, there is no indication that the major national name-brand jars of peanut butter sold in retails stores are linked to the recall."
"Products that may contain peanut butter..." wouldn't that technically include jars of peanut butter?

It's scary news for Little Debbie snackers.
She's had to recall her peanut butter crackers.

Even the Keebler elves
are pulling stuff from the shelves!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Looking Out My Door


Today upon our patio -
a table piled high with snow.

Maybe it's warming worldwide,
but, right here, it's cold outside.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Foul Fowl

Geese. They took down one of our jetliners. Disaster was only overted because the pilot was, basically, awesome. 

Now it's time to get even.

Mr. Obama, let's get rid of these regulations which protect geese from hunters. Why not start up a little open season on these big bad birds?

The country is over-run with them. And they're not even Americans! They're Canadian geese!

Please, loosen up the regs.

After we've eaten their legs,
we'll scramble their eggs.

In Memory

My first daughter, who died when she was 9, would have been 25 today. 

I think of how much I've enjoyed watching my other 2 children grow up. I miss having that with her.

Grief is always complex, fluxing as it does between sorrow and remembered joy.

Glad of the good that went before,
sad there couldn't be more.

She and I

Coming this weekend... I promise to post something about She and I: A Fugue by Michael R. Brown.

It's not really out, yet. I read an advance copy.

I found it rather haunting.
But reviewing without spoiling... that's quite daunting.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This Craft of Verse

From spotboy -THANKS! - comes a book that looks divine: This Craft of Verse by Jorge Luis Borges. Just to give the flavor:
I think that our idea of words' being a mere algebra of symbols comes from dictionaries. I do not want to be ungrateful to dictionaries - my favorite reading would be Dr. Johnson, Dr. Skeat, and that composite author, the Shorter Oxford. Yet I think the fact of having long catalogues of words and explanations makes us think that the explanations exhaust the words, and that any one of those coins, of those words, can be exchanged for another. But I think we know - and the poet should feel - that every word stands by itself, that every word is unique.
No synonym's
a perfect twin.

They're merely kin.

Phenomenal

What a pilot.

Birds take out his engines so he glides his Airbus smoothly onto the Hudson River. The plane stays afloat long for everyone to be rescued.

It helped that he put it down next to Manhattan. Ferries and fire department boats were readily available.

Get this:
It appears to be the first time that a large commercial jet liner ever has made a successful controlled landing into a body of water.
I'm not sure it can really be called a "landing,"
but, man, that's outstanding!

UPDATE: Here's what looks like a nice history of commercial planes landing on the water. I haven't studied it carefully, but survival rates are not too good - though survivors there were! The claim above that this is "the first time" seems to hinge on what is meant by "successful" and "controlled."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Quo Vadis, Retold

We read Quo Vadis for book club. It's Christians vs. lions, the burning of Rome, a couple of love stories, with a suspenseful plot that hums along. I love it.

I was struck by the divergent views that book club members took. People pay attention to different things. So here is a summary of the story, as told by a mythical Chicago mom:

A Polish girl, far from home,
faces peril in Nero's Rome.

Amid the murderous insanity,
she holds firm to her Christianity.

Fetching, but not much for flirting,
she charms her boyfriend into converting.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Catch and Release

The Pentagon says 61 people, after being released from Gitmo, went back on the attack.

Of lesser note, the same thing is true of our entire prison system. We are constantly releasing people who go back to committing crimes.

In both cases, some people do stop.

If only we could reliably tell,
whose behavior would turn out well,
and who will continue to give us hell!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Alternate Reality

A local reporter of note, Carol Marin, feels she has entered "the Bizarro Universe", in which reporters shout questions at Blago, but don't even raise their hands to ask question of Obama.
The press corps, most of us, don't even bother raising our hands any more to ask questions because Obama always has before him a list of correspondents who've been advised they will be called upon that day.
In the Bizarro mood,
reporters don't wish to intrude
or be rude.

It's what we call: subdued.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Michelle Obama's Old Job Eliminated

Another scary job cut at the University of Chicago Hospital:
...the hospital is eliminating 15 senior executive jobs, including vice president for community and external affairs, a position that had been by incoming First Lady Michelle Obama.
Which is too bad, because it was a well-paying job - $316,962 a year. I wanted to apply for it!

A former executive at the hospital described her as "worth her weight in gold."

How much, exactly, does she weigh?
And what's the price of gold today?

(I know, it's just a metaphor,
a rather dead one, quite a bore,
but I admit to twisted glee
in taking such words literally.)

You Know They Like It When They're Quiet Or They Laugh

The play of Little Women is playing well. Last night was a full house - maybe 50 people? A goodly number of laughs were had, and the audience went home happy after Jo finally got her marriage proposal from the Professor. 

Hushed silence fell for Beth's "I'm dying" scene. The actress playing Beth, Ava Raddatz, is still in middle school, but she has figured out how to play that scene for real impact. The danger of the scene - I think - is that it could sound too sentimental if played wrong. But she plays it forthrightly, and it works. Our director, Kevin McSweeney, surely deserves some credit for that too.

Ava's mom, after the show, remarked on the sheer longevity of Little Women, which came into the world 150 years ago. A lot of the book is based on Alcott's real family, and you really do get a sense of a vibrant emotional life maintained in the face of adversity through moral dedication.

The play's philosophy
is too altruist for me,
but the sense of family -
tumultuous and warm
makes it a joy to perform.

The Joy of Illinois

For the first time in Illinois history, a governor has been impeached. The Illinois House vote was 114 to 1.

Now the Illinois Senate needs to hold a trial. Should be fascinating.

I don't think it's fair.
I even think it's sad.

No one with so much hair
can be all bad.

Also, our governor has shown good taste in poetry, quoting both Kipling's "If" and Tennyson's "Ulysses".

Meanwhile, the Establishment Roadblocks are crumbling in the face of Roland Burris, chosen by our governor to be our Obama replacement.

The Senate said they'd stop him,
but then they lost their spine.

Our Secretary of State said the same,
but now he says he'll sign.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Eyeless in Texas

A death-row inmate, in Texas, pulled his eye out and ate it.

Okay, that's hard to top. 

But here we go - he had plucked out his other eye some time ago.
Thomas was treated at East Texas Medical Center in Tyler after the Dec. 9 incident. Then he was transferred and remains at the Jester Unit, a prison psychiatric facility near Richmond southwest of Houston.
The "Jester Unit"?

He sounds like something from the dark side of the comic book world.

He's sentenced to death for killing his wife and kids, and cutting out their hearts.

Leave him alone with a fork and a knife.
Maybe we won't have to take his life.
He'll eat himself till he's not there -
simply digested into air.

Upsetting Assumptions

In a shocking development, researchers have found that some people stay in love, despite researchers' persistent assumptions:
...in survey after survey we always have these people who have been together a long time and say they are intensely in love. It was always chalked up to self-deception or trying to make a good impression.
If people say things that you don't expect,
Disregard them. They can't be correct!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Begging for Fun and Profit

We're bailing out businesses left and right,
but I'm not sure it's bright.

Trillions and trillions - gee it sounds great.
But who will bail out the United States?

Shakespeare Loved Them

Deb Ross's daughters were working together on some poetry:
Madison said, "Ella is my Poetry A-sister."
Like hamburgers and buns,
or birds of a feather,
poetry and puns
simply go together -
both deal with words
as they're heard.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Words As Bare Bones

I was telling a friend, the other day, that the script of a play is like a skeleton - and the flesh is put on by the cast, director, and crew.

She asked how a play of mine would be performed ideally, and I opined in turn that I didn't envision a specific ideal, that these other artists were required to make the play real.

She was surprised, but I argued that a play script is much less fully-specifying than an orchestral script. I think that's partly because actors are much less standardized than cellos!

Every creative actor
is an individual factor
in getting a script
fully equipped.

Little Women Photo

From rehearsal last night, shot while I'm giving Amy advice.

My character is a preacher, so he gives some advice that I wouldn't.

But you don't sign up to act
in the hope of sticking to literal fact.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Cheez Whiz

It's guaranteed to please, 
and it's expedient.

What's more it does have cheese 
as one ingredient.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Honeymoon Hassles

Bill Richardson, Obama's nominee for commerce secretary, has withdrawn.

Something to do with an investigation of how Richardson conducted business as governor of New Mexico.

The good news is that he still has his job as governor.

It's hard to get a handle
on all the Democrat scandals
which lately continue to ooze
across the news.

Perhaps, to do my part,
I'll prepare a helpful chart!

Move Along, Nothing To See

From the NY Times:
An upstate New York developer donated $100,000 to former President Bill Clinton’s foundation in November 2004, around the same time that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton helped secure millions of dollars in federal assistance for the businessman’s mall project.
Not to worry:
His contribution is the only known situation so far in which an American donor gave a large sum to Mr. Clinton’s foundation while benefiting from his wife’s official actions.
It sounds like they intend to keep on mining,
but don't expect to see Mrs. Clinton resigning.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

IRS We Can!

Here's a Detroit lawyer who got a letter from the IRS telling him he owed 5 cents, and that he had better pay up to avoid "additional penalty and/or interest".

He also got a letter from the IRS telling him he was due a refund of 4 cents. But that if he really wanted it, he would have to request it, since it was under a dollar.

If you owe them less than a dollar,
they holler:

"You're our debtor
and you need to pay!"

But if they owe you under than a buck,
you need to write them a letter
or else you're out of luck.

Funny how it works out that way.

Journalspace Erased

Journalspace is gone. They were a fairly big blog hosting service. Poof. All their data got overwritten. Somehow. Maybe a glitch. Maybe sabotage.

The company suffered a catastrophic crash.
But people's old posts can be found on Google Cache.

Homer at the APA

The Philadephia Inquirer has an article up about the recent American Philosophical Association meeting.

The article has a quote from a friend of mine who works at Open Court Publishing:
"Our all-time best seller," confided David Ramsay Steele, the house's top editor, "is The Simpsons and Philosophy- more than 500,000 copies sold."
Doh. 

I was hopping it was Harry Potter and Philosophy, since another friend of mine, Shawn Klein, edited that one.

There was a theory that Greek Philosophy began with Homer...

The Greeks heaped all their glories
on Homer who wrote the stories.

But we Americans go nuts
for Homer who loves the donuts.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Albinos At Risk

Albinos everywhere face a heightened for various health problems. But in some parts of Africa they face a heightened risk of having their limbs chopped off.
The killings are orchestrated by witch doctors who claim they can make people rich using limbs and blood from their white-skinned neighbours.
These practitioners 
function in a niche
that's short on the "doctor", 
and long on the "witch".

Sense Memory

Someone asked me what it feels like - the moment when you dive into icy cold water.

I think the guy in this video from yesterday explains it best: "It was cold." The video does capture the festive atmosphere of the event.

I've done it four times, and...
it's really just kind of a jolt
that motivates you to bolt
back toward land.

Earmark Wrangling

Extreme Mortman claims we need a U.S. Department of Irony.

He's amused by Charles Rangel (D-NY), who was cited on Time's list of "Top Ten Outrageous Earmarks of 2008":
$1.9 million for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service: It’s been dubbed the “Monument to Me” — a planned $30 million academic center supported by longtime New York Rep. Charles Rangel and named, not so surprisingly, for Rep. Charles Rangel.
Mortman is incorrect.
What do they need this new department for?

The people we elect
already generate irony galore.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Year So Far


A midnight bash,
5k dash,
polar splash!


HNY

We've ticked over here to 2009.
I hope your year works out fine.