Strange Musings *hyuk*
Monday, October 17, 2005
  8:35 AM — More on New Orleans Hospital Murders
I've finally seen the alleged New Orleans hospital "mercy killings" in a news source other than CNN, though not one I've ever heard of. It's also got much less info than the CNN article I quoted previously.

  12:04 AM — State of Emergency?
Apparently Massachusetts was under a state of emergency until this afternoon. Who woulda thunk it?

Friday, October 14, 2005
  8:30 PM — Random
Today while commenting on Gran's On Bran, Google's "human verification" system threw me an interesting random set of letters.

I fuck mu.

"mu" as in the Greek letter that indicates the metric prefix micro (10-6) or the coefficient of friction.

*hee* I am entertained. :)

  5:11 PM — Mormons in Ar-Kansas?

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (AP) -- Michelle Duggar just delivered her 16th child, and she's already thinking about doing it again.

Johannah Faith Duggar was born at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and weighed 7 pounds, 6.5 ounces.

The baby's father, Jim Bob Duggar, a former state representative, said Wednesday that mother and child were doing well. Johannah's birth was especially exciting because it was the first time in eight years the family has had a girl, he said.

Jim Bob Duggar, 40, said he and Michelle, 39, want more children.

"We both just love children and we consider each a blessing from the Lord. I have asked Michelle if she wants more and she said yes, if the Lord wants to give us some she will accept them," he said in a telephone interview.


  4:51 PM — LJ
I'm starting to use my LiveJournal account a bit more for posting "classified" material ever since I found out that a search on my full name could lead to this page. Check it out and friends me to keep tabs, though if I don't know you I may not friends you back and let you see all the secret stuff.

  7:09 AM — Killing Birds
The large number of birds that has to be killed in Europe and Asia to prevent the spread of the avian flu saddens me. In Thailand I think they tried vaccinating the birds, but not everywhere has the money and/or desire to do so. It probably also isn't a failsafe way of preventing the spread. If you want to be sad about dead birdies too, scroll through the pictures in this CNN article.

  12:46 AM — Charity Evals
I just found a link to, an independent non-profit group that rates US charities (equivalencies exist in other countries as well).

Meanwhile, I've been pondering making a monthly donation to Mercy Corps. If I did $10/month that'd be $120/yr. Some religions suggest their members donate 10% of their yearly income to charity. I'm aiming for 1%, or around $300 so $10/mo isn't unreasonable, and I'm under the impression that a regular donation helps more than event-targetted donations.

Thursday, October 13, 2005
  6:36 PM — Super Secret Spy Service

The National Clandestine Service (NCS) will oversee all human espionage operations - meaning spying by people rather than by technical means.
The chief of the new service will supervise the CIA's espionage operations and co-ordinate all overseas spying, including those of the FBI and the Pentagon.

The director of the new agency, whose identity will remain secret and is simply known as "Jose", will report directly to the head of the CIA, Porter Goss.

"This is another positive step in building an intelligence community that is more unified, co-ordinated and effective," National Intelligence Director John Negroponte said.

Setting up the NCS was one of more than 70 recommendations made by a commission on weapons of mass destruction in March, which was highly critical of the US' intelligence capabilities.

As part of reforms following the 11 September 2001 attacks, the CIA lost overall control of US intelligence to the newly created National Director of Intelligence.


Too secret to be on American media apparently. But see how much we lag behind British intelligence agencies? They've got it on their news!

  5:55 PM — What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

Your Linguistic Profile:

50% General American English

30% Yankee

15% Dixie

5% Upper Midwestern

0% Midwestern

What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

They left out a few choices though - not that I say these, but I hear them all the time here in Massachusetts.

5. You call sweetened, carbonated beverages:

6. You drink from:
A bubbler

14. You work out in...

And a few other interesting points...

1. The level of a building that is underground is called the:
In Europe, the ground floor is 0, and if you go up one flight of stairs it's the 1st floor. For the geeks, it's just like the difference between Fortran and C. ;) Belowground are increasingly negative numbers.

15. "Y'all"...
Some people around Pittsburgh, PA, say "Y'ins".

20. Mary / marry / merry...
Dawn / Don - I say those VERY differently. (I'm from NYC originally.)

  8:39 AM — CNN: New Orleans hospital may have performed "mercy killings"
Holy fuck.

[Dr. Bryant] King said, the second-floor triage area where he was working was cleared of everyone except patients, a second hospital administrator and two doctors, including the physician who had first raised the question of mercy killing.

King said the administrator asked those who remained if they wanted to join in prayer -- something he said had not occurred at the hospital since Katrina ripped through the city.

One of the physicians then produced a handful of syringes, King said.

"I don't know what's in the syringes. ... The only thing I heard the physician say was, 'I'm going to give you something to make you feel better,' " King said.

"I don't know what the physician was going to give them, but we hadn't been given medications like that, to make people feel better, or any sort of palliative care," he said. "We hadn't been doing that up to this point."

King said he decided he would have no part of what he believed was about to happen. He grabbed his bag to leave. He said one of the doctors hugged him.

King said he doesn't know what happened next. He boarded a boat and left the hospital.
The coroner said the attorney general's office has requested autopsies but, because of the condition of the bodies, it may be difficult to determine why so many patients died at Memorial.

Tenet Healthcare, the company that owns Memorial, told CNN that most of the 45 patients who died were critically ill.

Tenet said about 11 patients had died the weekend before the hurricane and were placed in the morgue.

Twenty-four of the dead had been patients of an acute care facility known as LifeCare that rented space inside Memorial.

But King said he finds it hard to understand how that many patients could have died at the hospital, even under such grim conditions.

"There was only one patient that died overnight," he said. "The previous day, there were only two. From Thursday to Friday, for there to be 10 times that many, just doesn't make sense to me."


The other individuals involved have said "no comment," but if Dr. King is right, it's scary. I am not against euthanasia in general, and I understand their reasoning - these people were in pain, dying, with no care available and no clue of when there would be - but I am against it in this specific case: I feel (I don't have evidence) these patients could've made it out, so if their deaths were purposeful, it's absolutely horrible. Worse, as Dr. King tells the story the patients were NEVER given a choice! It's murder, not a mercy killing. The whole point to assisted suicide is that it's SUICIDE with a little help.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005
  7:22 PM — Fashionista!
C/o [info] sarrichelle.

45% Tastefulness, 60% Originality, 47% Deliberateness, 38% Sexiness
[Tasteful Original Deliberate Prissy]

One is certain: you have great taste and plenty of ideas. You have clearly defined beliefs about what's good and what's bad in fashion but they are far from banal. Stylish and imaginative, you prefer to inspire admiration than to shock and you mostly succeed. Even if sometimes you'd like to have more courage to put on something absolutely outrageous you do great job in creating a unique look that others look up to. There is a possibility that you work in the fashion industry. If you don't, perhaps you should.

The opposite style from yours is Bar Cruiser [Flamboyant Conventional Random Sexy].

All the categories: Fashion Enemy Bar Cruiser Kid Next Door Sex Bomb Hippie Kid Fashion Rebel Fashion Artist Catwalk God(ess) Librarian Sporty Hottie Office Master Uptown Girl/ Boy Brainy Student Movie Star Fashionista Glamorous Soul

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 4% on Tastefulness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 89% on Originality
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 33% on Deliberateness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 23% on Sexiness
Link: The Fashion Style Test written by mari-e on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Tuesday, October 11, 2005
  10:39 PM — Morse code beats SMS
OK, so it's an old article (April 2005), but it's news to me. A 93-year old man beat a 13-yr old girl by sending a teeny-bopper message verbatim via Morse code while she txtd it w/ abbrvs. Link above.

  10:30 PM — Enlistment rates
Army enlistment rates have begun rising again, however not enough to make much of a difference.

Michael O'Hanlon, defense specialist at the Brookings Institution, said Monday that if conditions get worse the future of the all-volunteer force could be in jeopardy.

"Unless the situation in Iraq improves, or unless we drastically enlarge the pool of possible recruits in some way -- for example, lowering academic standards for them, or even considering an extreme option like allowing foreigners to gain U.S. citizenship by serving -- one would have to expect continued tough slogging for the Army," O'Hanlon said.


Many other countries already impose a version of this. Mandatory civil service or army duty is required in many countries before your 25th birthday. Those who refuse face a fine and jail time. Heinlein's novel Starship Troopers (not the movie) suggested that in order to become a full citizen with voting rights, one must serve in the army, including seeing combat.

What would these various potential situations do to the US as we know it? Many people do wish to become US citizens, so O'Hanlon's suggestion would probably allow the army size to grow, while allowing many more people to become citizens. It would also allow a wonderful way in for terrorists. Today men already have to register for the SS (Selective Service?) which means they would have to serve in a draft, but women (sexistly) do not register.

Would mandatory army service disenfranchize the poor? Or would it perhaps empower them, as I get the impression that they are more likely to join the army? It would definitely have the effect of raising the effective legal voting age, since you can't serve until age 18 and then if say, 2 years service were required to vote you'd then be aged 20 by the time you could vote. It would also prevent the "Rock the Vote" efforts that the Republicans successfully employed to turn out the vote for Bush in 2004 (as I recall, do correct me if I'm wrong).

I believe (perhaps incorrectly) that Democrats are more likely to be pacifists, so mandatory army service for voting would lead to a more strongly Republican controlled government. Additionally, women would likely be under-represented with such a scheme, as would any cultures that emphasis pacifism or scholasticism. They would have to work hard to come up with other alternatives to combat duty, for example National Guard (which today can still involve combat duty) or domestic civil service (maybe at a 2:1::combat:civil ratio? though as I wrote it you can interpret it either way).

Any thoughts?

  5:38 PM — Orientation terms?

More than 1,000 Croatian gays and lesbians have had their names published in several of the country's newspapers in a bid for greater tolerance.

One thousand two hundred names appeared in the advert under a banner reading: "I don't want to hide any more."

The people named on the list identified themselves as either gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, queer or heterosexuals who support the campaign.


Can anyone clarify for me what "queer" means? I thought it was a derrogatory term meaning "homosexual," (i.e., either gay or lesbian) but from the context it seems to mean something else.

  10:19 AM — Rain
I knew we got a shitload of rain, but I didn't think this much!

Driving back from [info] tiurin's Saturday evening I had to go 50-55 on the highway because I couldn't see the lane markers - the Pike is being repaved and there are just short dashes instead of the usual long white ones, and no reflectors. Going to see Jethereal Sunday afternoon I saw some of the cliffs off the Pike had had boulders knocked off, but I figured from the wind. Driving back Monday evening was hellish, as the Pike was bumper-to-bumper the whole way.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005
  12:09 AM — blame the victim
Crossposted from a comment at Rosefox's LJ. Read the article first.

Holy fucking fuck fuck.

Picture this scenario: a teenage girl in the Mid-West gets raped. The rapist doesn't use a condom b/c (1) he learned in school that they're ineffective, and (2) they're required to have warnings on the labels that reinforce this. She is not on birth control because her pharmacist wouldn't fill the prescription. She is not allowed to get the morning-after pill without a prescription from her doctor, and her earliest appointment to see her doctor is long after the 72-hour window of effectiveness. She tries to go to a Planned Parenthood for information about abortion, and is stoned and cursed at on her way in, at which point she finds out that she'd have to get parental permission. By the time she does so, it's in the third trimester, and "partial birth" abortion is illegal. Then on top of all that she has the baby, is FUCKING FINED for it, and has to drop out of school to take care of the child.

"So, we do want to have laws that protect the children." Explain that one to me again, would you?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005
  11:55 PM — Seduction Style Quiz
Man, I gotta stop doing these time-wasting quizzes and do something useful! Like sleeping.

Your Seduction Style: Sweet Talker

Your seduction technique can be summed up with "charm"
You know that if you have the chance to talk to someone...
Well, you won't be talking for long! ;-)

You're great at telling potential lovers what they want to hear.
Partially, because you're a great reflective listener and good at complementing.
The other part of your formula? Focusing your conversation completely on the other person.

Your "sweet talking" ways have taken you far in romance - and in life.
You can finess your way through any difficult situation, with a smile on your face.
Speeding tickets, job interviews... bring it on! You truly live a *charmed life*
What Kind of Seducer Are You?

  11:50 PM — Gender Role Quiz
Found via Jo Harris, I find my results not at all surprising.

You Are 50% Boyish and 50% Girlish

You are pretty evenly split down the middle - a total eunuch.
Okay, kidding about the eunuch part. But you do get along with both sexes.
You reject traditional gender roles. However, you don't actively fight them.
You're just you. You don't try to be what people expect you to be.
How Boyish or Girlish Are You?

  9:19 PM — Who'd win in a fight, the US Army, or Avian Flu?
On the one hand, it's nice to see the government (read: Bush) taking a proactive stance on an inevitable disaster. On the other hand, he wants to personally and directly control the US Army within the borders of the country to stop a disease. Anybody else think that's fucked up and really really scary?

  5:32 PM — Lake Effect Snow!
Now announcing the launch of the Lake Effect Snow blog, [info] lakeeffectsnow. We're an MIT Mystery Hunt semi-competitive team, and new members are welcome - especially if we know you ftf. For more info, check out the links here and there.

  2:25 PM — Would you have been a Nazi?
I just took a (semi) thought provoking quiz, about whether you would've been a Nazi had you lived in Germany when Hitler came to power. My result is that I would've expatriated. I am inclinded to agree: I have joked that if Bush manages to Constitutionalize discrimination in the form of a Straight Marriage Only Amendment that I'd look into moving to Canada. The primary thing preventing me is Peeper.

The Expatriate

Achtung! You are 30% brainwashworthy, 31% antitolerant, and 23% blindly patriotic
Congratulations! You are not susceptible to brainwashing, your values and cares extend beyond the borders of your own country, and your Blind Patriotism does not reach unhealthy levels. If you had been German in the 30s, you would've left the country.

One bad scenario -- as I hypothetically project you back in time -- is that you just wouldn't have cared one way or the other about Nazism. Maybe politics don't interest you enough. But the fact that you took this test means they probably do. I'm gonna give you the benefit of the doubt.

Did you know that many of the smartest Germans departed prior to the beginning of World War II, because they knew some evil shit was brewing? Brain Drain. Many of them were scientists. It is very possible you could have been one of them.

Conclusion: born and raised in Germany in the early 1930's, you would not have been a Nazi.

The Would You Have Been A Nazi? Test

- it rules -

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 33% on brainwashworthy
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 50% on antitolerant
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 22% on patriotic

Link: The Would You Have Been a Nazi Test written by jason_bateman on Ok Cupid

  2:03 PM — Quiz of the Day!
You know you're a geek if you take a quiz that measures intelligence and you have to restrain yourself from noting down the errors. Thanks to [info] marquiswildbill for the entertaining link, though my results make me sad. :( :-P

Much More Scientific

You have:

The graph on the right represents your place in Intuition 2-Space. As you can see, you scored slightly below average on emotional intuition and above average on scientific intuition.Keep in mind that very few people score high on both! In effect, you can compare your two intuition scores with each other to learn what kind of intuition you're best at. Your scientific intuition is stronger than your emotional intuition.

Your Emotional Intuition score is a measure of how well you understand people, especially their unspoken needs and sympathies. A high score score usually indicates social grace and persuasiveness. A low score usually means you're good at Quake.

Your Scientific Intuition score tells you how in tune you are with the world around you; how well you understand your physical and intellectual environment. People with high scores here are apt to succeed in business and, of course, the sciences.

Try my other test!
The 3 Variable Funny Test
It rules.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 57% on Scientific
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 4% on Interpersonal

Link: The 2-Variable Intuition Test written by jason_bateman on Ok Cupid

  11:30 AM — Self-Serving
In science we're often reminding people to be critical of the funding source of a bit of research. For example, take a look at this article and the accompanying videos about the dangers of non-stick cookware and birds.

Done yet?

Ok now, to summarize and elaborate, all of the following are harmful to birds: overheated non-stick (Teflon®) pans, heated butter, hot wax (candles), aerosol and non-aerosol sprays, cigarette and other smoke, other pets, ceiling fans, boiling water, hot pans... How many of those have I already subjected Peeper to? I keep her wings clipped so she doesn't ever fly high enough to hit a ceiling fan. She's run through two pans while they were still on the stove. She did that entirely voluntarily. I'm still trying to eliminate the airborne stuff from the house - environmentalism too. I'm not going to give up the Teflon, but I know that if I overheat something the VERY first thing to do is get her out of the kitchen.

I totally freaked out when this happened once. I yanked the pot off the stove, ran into the bedroom w/ her, threw open all the bedroom windows (in the middle of winter), locked her in her cage and closed the bedroom door, and then opened all the other windows in the house and turned on all the fans. She was fine, didn't notice anything other than my panic as far as I could tell. So maybe I didn't need to worry, but better safe than sorry. Bird rescue organizations will not adopt birds out to households with non-stick pans.

Monday, October 03, 2005
  8:16 PM — Hi Dad!
He found this blog. I have no fucking clue how, but he found it. After reading a few pages of posts, he apparently figured out that it was slightly personal (but not entirely private as it IS out there on the web) and stopped reading and told me that he found it thru a simple Google search on my first and last names. I know that "Star Stories" still shows up under those as I only recently removed my name from on it, so it'll take a while to flush out of the Google cache, but Dad implied that he didn't go thru that page, but found this one directly. I'm really baffled as to how... But anyways, I do trust when he said he's taking it off his favorites and won't read it in the future - there's nothing here I really *hide* from them, just stuff I'm not comfortable talking about with them. Unlike how I really DO want to hide stuff on here from my job. Speaking of which, Dad's point of telling me was that he realized I probably didn't want this info out there for anyone to find. Which he was entirely correct about, so if anyone does a similar search and comes up with however in the world he got here, PLEASE let me know!

Quotes from the conversation with Dad:

And from Mom (she didn't actually see the site I believe, but Dad told her about the content of the entries he read):

  10:05 AM — Meme-time
From [info]meredithanne42

First job: For a regular pay? TAing Astro 107 as a sophmore.
First screen name: eightrack
First piercing/tattoo: ears, age 2?, though I rarely remember to wear earrings
First credit card: Citibank Mastercard. Limit's now over $10k.
First true love: What's the difference between "love" and "true love"?
First enemy: The bitch who fucking hit me on the head with a My Little Pony lunchbox just because I was trying to strangle her. In second grade.
First big trip: We went on many trips throughout my childhood, so I'll say my favorite: Emerald Isle, NC.
First concert: Metallica, Albany, NY, circa 2001.
First musician you remember hearing in your house: Only musicians I've ever had in my house were me and my friends.

Last big car ride: I think it counts if I drive across the state two to three times a month.
Last library book checked out: Probably Protostars and Planets IV
Last movie seen: Serenity, this weekend in Boston
Last food consumed: Reeses sticks
Last phone call: Received - parents. Outgoing - my voice mail. *checks* Huh, I'm wrong. T$ on both.
Last CD played: I had a tape of the BBC's original Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy on a few weeks ago.
Last annoyance: see rant
Last soda drank: Sierra Mist
Last ice cream eaten: vanilla creme, in the smoothie that started my recently conquered fruit-fly infestation.
Last time scolded: rather not say
Last website visited: BlogExplosion

I AM: a teacher
I WANT: 9 hours of sleep a night
I HAVE: a cockatiel
I WISH: to buy a house
I HATE: right now? my skin. usually not much.
I FEAR: that others think I don't/can't live up to my own high standards. I know that I'm not there yet, and I know it's going to take a while before I am, but I don't know that others know that I'm trying.
I HEAR: Peeper crunching pellets and half of them scattering all over the room for me to clean up later.
I WONDER: why. I wonder why, I wonder why I wonder. I wonder why I wonder why I wonder why I wonder.
I REGRET: every time I've felt like I needed someone else's approval
I LOVE: watching students learn to think
I ACHE: for massages more often
I ALWAYS: am online
I AM NOT: quiet, and I never will be.
I SING: in stairwells
I CRY: when in too much pain
I WRITE: to my senators
I WIN: Yay! I win too!
I CONFUSE: my students when I try to explain that falsifiability is not the same as falsification.
I NEED: dough
I SHOULD: work more efficiently, and clean the house

Yes or No
YOU KEEP A DIARY: I used to. someday perhaps I'll merge it into my blog.
YOU LIKE TO COOK: when not stressed
HAVE A CRUSH: does my bf count?
WANT TO GET MARRIED: probably. I like the romance, and the legal stability for my, my beloved's, and our potential children's futures.
GET MOTION SICKNESS: in large vehicles suspended in fluids with extremely low frequency (long wavelength) vibrations.
THINK YOURE A HEALTH FREAK: my health's freaky.
LIKE THUNDERSTORMS: as long as I'm indoors and warm
CURRENT HAIR COLOR: artificially blacker than it should be
EYE COLOR: dark brown
BIRTHPLACE: Manhasset, NY (Long Island)

COLOR: in what circumstance?
DAY: Saturday
MONTH: Halloween
SONG(S): ?
DRINK: currently, hot apple cider

CUDDLE OR MAKE OUT: naked cuddling! (but only when T$ initiates)
VANILLA OR CHOCOLATE: ice cream or sex?

In The Last 24 Hrs, Have You...
CRIED? nearly
HELPED SOMEONE? don't think so
BOUGHT SOMETHING? movie tickets
GOTTEN SICK? depends
SAID 'I love you'? yeap
WRITTEN A REAL LETTER: Friday, but I can't find the address yet.
HAD A SERIOUS TALK? yeah, but more ridiculuous ones
MISSED SOMEONE? he's hopefully in a plane to Ireland right now. Reminds me I should check the flight status... Yay, arrived!

Would You Ever:
1. Eat a bug? I'm sure I already have, multiple times.
2. Bungee jump? maybe
3. Kill someone? in self-defense, probably not. defending a loved one, yes.
4. Parachute from a plane? I'd rather hang glide
5. Walk on hot coals? Once someone figures out whether it's due to sweat being evaporated or the slow conduction of heat that you don't get your feet burned off.
6. Go out with someone for their looks? no. brains and money, all the way!
7. Be a vegetarian? Meatatarian, baby!
8. Wear plaid with stripes? Whyever not?
9. IM a stranger? Only if they IM me first, and then only until I confirm that I don't know them.
10. Sing Karaoke? I wish I got to do it more often.
11. Get drunk off your bum? I'm a very cheap drunk" I don't need any alcohol whatsoever to get all the buzz, and more than one drink kills it for me.
12. Run a red light? From a stand-still, no, unless it's a right on red when not allowed and I didn't see the sign. Keep going thru a yellow that turns red, of course, it's better than going through the windshield or skidding across the intersection in the rain.
13. Star in a porn video? What do I get out of it?
14. Dye your hair blue? Been there, done that, fades nasty. Purple and red are my faves.
15. Be on Survivor? I heard they were trying to recruit an astronomer family for "Trading Spouses" or something...
16. Wear makeup in public? Occasionally
17. Not wear makeup in public? Most of the time.
18. Cheat on a test? I'm the one they cheated off of!
19. Make someone cry? Not if I can help it.
20. Date someone more than 10 years older than you? You mean other than Jethereal? ;)

Sunday, October 02, 2005
  10:31 PM — Republican presidential candidate I could vote for
There's not many. In fact Guiliani probably comprises the whole set. I would certainly register Republican to vote for him in the primary over Romney.

  5:33 PM — Color Quiz

ColorQuiz.comzandperl took the free personality test!

"Seeks success, stimulation, and a life full of exp..."

Click here to read the rest of the results.

Thanks to [info]sammka for another useless survey. ;)

  4:01 PM — Eugenics, and the Slippery Slope
An HS discussion board I'm on recently got sidetracked into a discussion of eugenics. I provided the medium to get it started - I told my story of how I wasn't allowed to give blood b/c I was on antibiotics. A poster replied that since HS is "in the blood," it's not only wrong for us to risk spreading it by donating blood, but that we also shouldn't have children and subject them to the disease.

Just to clarify, HS isn't contagious, and though there may a hereditary component, it isn't yet medically confirmed. Certainly not the way things like diabetes have been confirmed to run in families. Obesity is another potential one, though I think it's socially "inherrited" as much as genetically.

There was a lot of rage at his comments, and it later turned out he'd been abused as a child, but it's an interesting thing to think about, where one draws the line, and it relates to the abortion issue and selective breeding.

Speaking of controvertial issues, there's a really good Wikipedia article on the logical argument of the slippery slope. The common version of this that we've been hearing a lot about in the media is gay marriage. According to the evangelicals, allowing gay marriage starts us down a slippery slope that will eventually lead to beastiality, pedophilia, and polygamy. I must say I see no connection whatsoever between beastiality and pedophilia, but there are potential connectiosn to polygamy. Dan Savage recently quoted in a column that homosexual marriage is being allowed to promote gender equality, while polygamy does the opposite:

"Traditional polygamy grows from exactly the opposite [of gender equality]," says Graff. "One man owns many wombs and grows lots of household labor. That is precisely the opposite of gender equality and of individual-based capitalism. It violates all our contemporary notions of fairness and democracy. Polygamy would mean heading backward into marriage's feudal history; same-sex marriage moves us forward into its equal and democratic future."

Which is a surprising viewpoint to me - while this may be what traditional polygamy was about, I am all for an enlightened polygamy (ala Heinlein). Is there a word that means legal marriage between three or more people of indeterminate gender? Polygamy refers to one husband, multiple wives, so that's not what I'm looking for. It also has such historical loading to it. Polyandry is the other way 'round: one wive and multiple husbands. Polyamory is closer in intent to what I want, with consentual multiple sexual/romantic partners and genders not specified, but the "amory" in the word implies love without the legal committments.

[info]rosefox points out that polygamy is the gender-neutral term, while polygyny means a man with many wives. It's unclear whether polygamy means multiple of both genders (ex: 2 women, 2 men), or an either-or term for polygyny/polyandry. Historically, polygamy is *usually* of the form polygyny. I'm also under the impression that it's historically multiple people married to ONE central person, rather than to each other in a group, though the wives in a polygynous relationship often have some relationship to each other as well.

  2:11 PM — Aftermath
Well, it didn't go too horribly. I was able to forget for maybe an hour at a time that I had this painful sore on my chest, and for longer that I didn't have a bra on. I wore a maroon sweater with matching scarf, so that the scarf tails covered my chest. I was also (conveniently) perpetually cold yesterday, so I kept my jacket on much of the time. One of T$'s friends asked me why I had my jacket on in the resturaunt, and I was able to answer honestly that I was cold ("It's a tit bit nipply out!"), though seeing as it was Jason T, I was tempted to reply "because I didn't want people to know that I'm not wearing a bra." It's the sorta bizzare self-defeating thing he'd say for a laugh.

The pain wasn't too bad since I kept popping a couple advils every few hours. Except for that point when a few of us were joking around on the train and T$ elbowed me in my chest. He meant it like mock-fighting which we do occasionally and some of those times irritates me anyway, and this would've been one of those times it irritated me. I cried out when he hit me, and turned away to blink off tears from the combined irritation at mock-fighting, pain like someone stapled my chest, emotional pain at his inadvertant betrayal (could you really expect anyone other than me to remember at any given moment where all my sores are?), and also catching my breath b/c his elbow included not only the cyst but my solar plexus. Man that sucked.

I popped another two advils before bed since it was still hurting, and then realized I'd already taken a couple just two hours before. Oops. I figured that's probably not so much that I should be having my stomach pumped, plus it was STILL hurting, I needed more not less painkillers, so I let T$ sleep and soon slept too. I slept in really late this morning though, perhaps b/c of the overdose, though it could also be that I'm catching whatever cold my students all have.

T$'s going to be in Ireland for just over a week. I'm going to miss him; I'm jealous; and I'm hurt at his flat out statement that I couldn't handle the rigors of hiking. He (like many guys) is better at being honest than tactful. And then he's not all that encouraging when I want to get him to do exercise-like things with me to get me in better shape. "It'd be a hassle to bring my bike to Worcester." (maybe true, but worth it) "But there's no where to hike near Worcester." (not true) "You don't need to carry that much water for a short game of frisbee." (I do know how much I need, and even if I were wrong better to over estimate than under) I may look healthy (I'm a skinny 125 lbs maximum), but I don't live a healthy lifestyle and if you look at my parents it's clear that I won't stay this way forever. I know that now (or sooner) is the time to turn around and start doing things right, but I have a hard time motivating myself to exercise, or eat (right or not), so I look to the man who loves me for encouragement. "I'm worn out from work this week, we'll hike another time." "Walking to the grocery store isn't nice because it's along a busy road."

Bleh. I'm going to go sleep or play video games or shower or something. I know T$'s going to read this sometime. Oh well, too bad. I needed to get various crap off my chest. No horrible HS reference intended there.

Saturday, October 01, 2005
  2:06 PM — Coming Out
I've been starting to "come out" to people about my disease HS (hidradenitis suppurativa). I've heard the term "hidden disease" or "hidden disability," and for some people it really is. It's not at the level for disability, but it is a burden at times, and I think the primary thing that makes me uncomfortable about telling people about it is that they won't take it seriously.

"What's the big deal? It's just pimples. Quit being a wimp." That's what I'm worried they're thinking, though they won't say it, and I wouldn't tell anyone who would. I even worry that my close friends and boyfriend think that.

It's not just pimples. I've been on antibiotics for three weeks now to try and prevent an outbreak. I was rejected from donating blood because of that. Thursday, at the end of a hard day, I discovered that one of my "normal" cysts was becoming inflamed. It's located in the middle of my chest, right at the level of my bra strap. Friday morning instead of taking my "maintenance" antibiotics, I took the "super killer" antibiotics. I'm almost out of those. I sufferred through Friday. Imagine if you tried to stick a thumb tack in your skin. As you first touch the skin, and then gently start to push it in, there comes a point, probably before you ever break the skin, where you just can't bring yourself to push it in any further. This cyst feels a little worse than that. The dermatologist's office was closed by the time I managed to call.

Today it's worse: I can't wear a bra, and I'm hanging out with my boyfriend's friends tonight. Man, I hope none of them read this; I should switch to LJ where I can friends-lock posts. No, the whole point is that I'm trying get over my insecurity about it and come out about it so my friends understand me more, and more people become aware of it, and eventually drug companies will be motivated to research treatments. It's an "orphan disease," meaning there's no good research on it because of the low incidence rate. Putting labels on HS makes me think it'll go away.

If you do read this, you're allowed to say something like "I hope your skin's feeling better" but no braless comments or I'll probably break down crying. Only Jethereal's allowed to make a crack like that.

  10:10 AM — Secret Surveillance Screw-ups
The FBI is allowed to wiretap your phone without you ever knowing, provided they get permission from a secret court. They can follow your library and grocery records, and they can read all your emails and count your fileshared mp3's. But to protect the innocent majority of us, there's that secret court looking out for you - even though there's no "defense" representing you either appointed by you (since you don't know) or appointed by the court. It's just a panel of secret judges who decided based solely upon the FBI's "prosecution." Oh, and they're allowed to and sometimes do fuck up and monitor random other people. But we don't know how often that happens -- it's a secret.


WARNING: This blog often contains disturbing stories of science and math as used in every day life.

If you are easily disturbed or a Luddite, surf on elsewhere.

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Location: New England, United States
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