Tuesday, March 31, 2009


A sad day for everyone.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

A double helping of WTF

I remember hearing rumors when I was in Iraq the first time about the water causing rashes and other serious problems for soldiers. It never happened to me or anyone I knew, and I discounted it (after all, how would such things happen, we have water treatment specialists...) Then there were rumors of a "deliberate ignorance" of toxic dust in a KBR facility which soldiers were exposed to. Hey look, the sand in Iraq, (well, dust really) is so fine it can cause all sorts of respiratory damage all on its own, and trust me, it's a bitch, I still have Iraqi dust on clothes from 2004...

Apparently there were some other issues with the subcontracting in 2004, which was killing soldiers rather than just giving them a bad break out. The worst part about this is that it is still going on! (And I was worried about the incoming fire... silly me). Well, that's okay, I say, I can always choose to go to Afghanistan. Oh, wait, they did it there, too.

This truly makes me sick. I say fuck the "you're all heroes" crap, but there's a saying in the Army: "You don't mess with a joe's pay, mail, or food." Anything else is fair game, but I really don't think "let him die in the shower because it's cheaper than actually inspecting the goddamn things" really follows... This wouldn't piss me off so bad, if it weren't for the fact that KBR just sits on multi-billion dollar contracts and says "not our fault."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Some new ratings on the WTF meter...

First, apparently in Colorado, you can set your water on fire.

Something seems... wrong there.

Second, apparently the Chinese are planning a musical version of Das Kapital. I guess it had the best storyline...? (Or is it the Chinese attempt at the Ring Cycle?)

Thursday, March 26, 2009


So, there's always revisions, but nothing major.

If there are any other doctors in the audience... while I was waiting to be called back into the room, I heard a conversation along the lines of "well, should we just tell him he's not going to get his Ph.D.?" Needless to say I got a little freaked out. When I was told I passed, my first thought was that they were talking about a different student (one had been mentioned earlier in the defense). My friend thinks they were deliberately fucking with me. Anyone else had this experience?

Oh... and what do I do now? This has been my life for nine years (with a couple trips to Iraq interspersed in between), I'm kind of at a loss.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Truth in Advertising (spoilers)

Okay, it was decent. Not great, but better than a lot of finales I've seen in my time. Certainly better than the Seinfeld finale, but not as good as the Newhart finale...

However, two points:

1) given that this was a series finale, advertising for two follow-on stories (not even really spinoffs, but more like sequels...), it's hardly a finale.

2) "All will be explained" - hardly. Okay, so Starbuck's not a Cylon (I never thought she was), what is she??? An angel? Maybe. But there was hardly enough explication, except for the "my job is done" BS line at the end. And if she was an angel, why wasn't she hanging out with Baltar and Caprica at the end? And what exactly was her body doing on Earth (1)? How did she get there? Was she always a reincarnation of the Starbuck corpse on Earth (1), and the Starbuck we knew grew up with the knowledge of how to get to Earth (1)? If so, then how did she know the way to Earth (2)? And if that were true, then who was the original Starbuck from Earth (1) (in a Viper, no less...)? If the Starbuck of Season 4 was the returned soul of Starbuck (season 3) after somehow getting to Earth (1) and crashing there, how did she know the way to Earth (2), since all the prophecy crap about her was her ability to get to Earth (1)?

And really, all the fuss about Hera, and in the end she's just Mitochondrial Eve? Cute tie-in, but obviously, since the humans can breed with the Cro-Magnon/Neanderthals wandering around, the importance of Hera is kind of insignificant.

Honestly, I think it would have ended better if they had landed on The Island and Roslin's cancer was miraculously healed... at the cost of one of her toes.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Not as bad as Greedo shooting first

but I was just watching Empire Strikes Back on Spike, and I noticed they changed the voice of Boba Fett, replacing the gravelly, generic "evil" voice from before with a distinctly Maori-accented voice.

George Lucas ret-cons yet again...


Apparently there was a riot at the casting for America's Next Top Model in New York City.

Authorities are not certain what started the fight.

Hmmm... maybe putting a bunch of vapid, self-centered, egotistical, shallow individuals in a room together causes some friction.

But seriously, I want to know how much hair-pulling there was...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What's with the serious side effects?

A couple weeks ago I saw an advertisement for an RA drug whose side effects included nausea, skin rash, and tuberculosis.

Then this morning, I see a commercial for Humira, which can also cause hepatitis. Only thing is, Humira is a drug for psoriasis!

Well, apparently Humira is simply a wonder drug, which can treat Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Crohn's Disease, and Ankylosing Spondylitis. (What the hell is Anyklosing Spondylitis???). Unfortunately, this wonder drug can cause:

Skin Rash
Lupus-like syndrome
Certain types of CANCER

Now, I know some people with RA, the risk might be worth it, that's a horrible disease. I know someone with Crohn's, and having gone through something similar, the risks might be worth it.

But psoriasis? I know its unsightly, and painful, but is it really worth the risk of TB, Hep, Lupus or Cancer? (not to mention the "skin rash" would be a very funny side effect to get...)

And finally, my favorite disclaimer from the website:

"These are not all the side effects with HUMIRA. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information."

Monday, March 9, 2009

If anyone has heard of this class...

Please let me know, or can get me a syllabus, or anything.

This is from a Guardian UK blog, and it just seems... neat:


06 Mar 09, 3:49pm

I missed the lecture in International Political Economy which was entirely (I kid you not, entirely) about the Wizard of Oz. I was pretty annoyed. There's not just the yellow brick road/gold standard thing in there, there's also (I think. Working off someone else's notes) the Wicked Witch of the West being expansionary western states, and the tin man is representative of industry, and the scarecrow being representative of the agricultural sector... it's kind of brilliant, and I actually want to watch the wizard of oz for the first time ever.

Listening to the Crazies

So, I listen to a lot of Talk Radio.

First - I am sick and sick of the conservative attacks on nationalized health care. Whatever problems there might be with the idea (and I'm sure there are, but I don't pay enough attention to get in to it), I don't think "taking away choices" is really that big of a problem. This is the drum that they beat over and over again (also, I love that the leader of this group was forced to resign over fraud). I hear commercial over commercial talking about how Obama is trying to take away the choices a patient and doctor can make, shadowy government officials will decide what procedures and medications a patient can use.

Sure, because that doesn't happen with health insurance... people besides the patient and doctor making choices about appropriate (affordable) programs of medication. Pre-certifications, pre-existing conditions, denied coverage, sure, that's much better and all about the patient and doctor making the choices.

And, WTF is up with Victoria Jackson? I can't tell if she's really as stupid as her airhead roles, or if her super conservative airhead is just an act...