chronovore: (Default)
For the curious, yesterday's colonoscopy went just fine, I am apparently clean as any meat-based whistle.

cut for health-related TMI )
chronovore: (Default)
AFP: Five dead, eight missing in Japan mudslides: officials:
full text )
Side note: It's raining like the dickens here, but we're nowhere near all this craziness.

WPA:TNG

Oct. 20th, 2008 07:12 pm
chronovore: (Default)
Note to Next President: Modern-Day WPA Will Save the Economy | Autopia from Wired.com:
Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama have been all but silent when it comes to repairing America's failing infrastructure, and with all that's going on in the world right now, they might be forgiven for it. They shouldn't be. Investing heavily in our infrastructure is just the thing for reinvigorating our tanking economy.

The candidates can talk all they want about shoveling money into alternative fuels, electric cars and high-speed rail, but none of that will mean much if our roads, bridges and rails can't support them. The next president must commit to fixing our infrastructure. Such an investment will create jobs, strengthen our economy and make America more competitive.

"(Congress) should invest in the more than 3,000 ready-to-go highway projects that could be under contract within the next 30 to 90 days," says John Horsley, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. "Funding these ready to go projects offers Congress a tremendous opportunity to put Americans to work and help cash-strapped states repair and replace our crumbling infrastructure."

History shows us the time to act is now.
I'm bookmarking this for a later read-through, but I've seriously been wondering about the WPA as a solution for the past few weeks as the news about the economy continues to worsen. Looking at the bailout, it is at its core a means of turning private debt into a public burden. There has to be some way to have the government invest in America itself, not just hand money to the banks which has come directly from our taxes. Then again, I'm a closet socialist with strong capitalist leanings.
chronovore: (mouthy)
Reuters: North Korea said to be deploying missiles
VIENNA/SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea deployed more than 10 missiles on its west coast apparently for an imminent test launch, a South Korean newspaper said on Thursday, and Pyongyang halted U.N. monitoring of its nuclear complex.

The potentially destabilizing moves followed reports that the United States had offered to remove North Korea from its terrorism blacklist this month in an effort to keep a nuclear disarmament pact from falling apart.

It would be an unprecedented test if North Korea fired all 10 of the surface-to-ship and ship-to-ship missiles. Intelligence sources quoted by the Chosun Ilbo paper said they thought the North may launch five to seven of them.

North Korea has forbidden ships to sail in an area in the Yellow Sea until October 15 in preparation for the launch, an intelligence source told the paper.

A South Korean defense ministry official declined to comment on the report but said the government had no indication of unusual activity in the North. remainder of article at website
I really dislike Kim Jong Il; the little shit and his puffball hairdo seem really out of touch with reality. I mean, like CRAZY. He's either crazy, or wants to be perceived as crazy, which is in itself potentially worse than being crazy. If the world were a big neighborhood, USA would be the big, rich house with the loud jackass in charge of the local neighborhood association who always told everyone else how to keep their lawn straight, and when they needed to rake their leaves or repaint their porch -- but North Korea would be the lonely shack at the end of the block with the batshit guy who is rumored to have a shotgun, and may or may not have been killing the neighborhood pets.

Here, we really have something of a terrorist nation; a government which seeks to use fear as a means of being allowed to participate in the world theater, to shape other nations policies and plans.

They've test fired rockets toward Japan. Shit-howdy, wasn't The Bay of Pigs more or less about keeping a test firing from even being feasible?
chronovore: (mouthy)
Press Gaggle Via Conference Call with Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto on the Economy:
Q: I'm just trying to reconcile two points here. On the one hand, you said that there are a lot of members who rightly have questions and acknowledge that this is obviously a huge package, but on the other hand, you've emphasized several times that it's critical that it be done quickly this week and that it be done clean. You know, for lawmakers who are -- I guess I'm asking, isn't there something to be said for being careful beyond the urgency and the haste? Is there a concern here that maybe the administration is being heavy-handed?

MR. FRATTO: No, well, look, I think I would reconcile it this way: This is -- this was not a program that was conceived of or put together hastily. There was an enormous amount of analysis and debate and discussion before we came forward with this program. I think we have anticipated a lot of the questions that members of Congress would naturally have about taking this step, but we have had -- some of the policy staff have had months to think about what a program like this would be like and how it would work. Others have had at least weeks to think about it. Members of Congress have had days to think about it. And it's very, very complex and takes time to think through all of the implications of it and why some alternative ideas might not work as well as this one. [emphasis mine]
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] tsanders for this one.

Why the hell is this something that has been in the works for months, and only now being used as a means of generating fear and trying to hustle an inherently flawed bailout through to approval? Or did I just answer my own question?

I need to read up on the bailout. I think we're about to close the deal on something less stupid than was in the works previously.
chronovore: (OMFG)
The Straight Dope: Does Tylenol + alcohol = liver failure?:
The real problem with drugs like Tylenol is that the difference between a therapeutic (that is, medically effective) dose and a toxic one is surprisingly small. In adults the maximum safe dosage is four grams (eight 500-milligram tablets) over a 24-hour period. The toxic dose is a mere seven grams taken all at once.
Edit: removed the 2nd part of the article title, because we all know it's a trick question; socialist Canada cannot afford buildings. ;-P

evil!

Jul. 9th, 2008 06:15 pm
chronovore: (mouthy)
Wired News - AP News:
Seeking to play down the effects of global warming, Vice President Dick Cheney's office pushed to delete from congressional testimony references about the consequences of climate change on public health, a former senior EPA official claimed Tuesday.

The official, Jason K. Burnett, said the White House was concerned that the proposed testimony last October by the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention might make it tougher to avoid regulating greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.
Honestly, I would not be surprised if Dick Cheney tore off his own rubbery face at a press conference, and revealed himself to be one of those lizard people from that TV science fiction series, "V."
chronovore: (Default)
Starbucks closing 600 stores in the US:
Starbucks Corp. said Tuesday it will close 600 company-operated stores in the next year, up dramatically from its previous plan for 100 closures, a sign the coffee shop operator is still feeling the pain from the faltering U.S. economy. full article )
But will closing a mere 0.5% of the stores really help? I kid; I kid because I drink. Er, "love." "Like"? I'm more of a Peet's man, meself.
chronovore: (Default)

mutant leaves!, originally uploaded by chronovore.




crispy leaves are spreading, originally uploaded by chronovore.


The leaves are healthy looking in the middle, and crispy/dead on the edges. This is all over the tree as you can see in the background. Meanwhile, other leaves have come up much larger than is normal for this tree, so big and heavy that they're weighting down the branches. What the hell is this?

fear!

Jun. 4th, 2008 07:47 pm
chronovore: (mouthy)
US residents in military brigs? Govt says it's war - Yahoo! News:
WASHINGTON - If his cell were at Guantanamo Bay, the prisoner would be just one of hundreds of suspected terrorists detained offshore, where the U.S. says the Constitution does not apply.
ADVERTISEMENT

But Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri is a U.S. resident being held in a South Carolina military brig; he is the only enemy combatant held on U.S. soil. That makes his case very different.

Al-Marri's capture six years ago might be the Bush administration's biggest domestic counterterrorism success story. Authorities say he was an al-Qaida sleeper agent living in middle America, researching poisonous gasses and plotting a cyberattack.

To justify holding him, the government claimed a broad interpretation of the president's wartime powers... )
chronovore: (mouthy)
I'm all stoked about how much free stuff Google provides online, but this seems like something which is ripe for abuse:
Google Health now available for public use
Wouldn't it be great if you could get access to and manage all of your personal health information online? This would help you keep your doctors and family members up-to-date on important medical conditions and current medications. Well, after a successful pilot with the Cleveland Clinic, we've opened up Google Health to everyone in the U.S. It's easy to sign up, and free to use. All you need is a Google username and password. You can import your medical records and prescription history from our partners — well-known brands such as Walgreens, Longs Drugs and Quest Diagnostics.
http://www.google.com/health
chronovore: (OMFG)
Worst Place to Live in Japan: (warning: linked page is mildly NSFW)
The above is a screencap (note: not included to avoid hotlinking) from a TV program with a list entitled "statistics which show the reality of Osaka." The figures show that Osaka comes out tops (worst) out of all the cities in Japan in the following categories...

* Theft
* Car vandalism
* Murder and other violent crimes
* Number of homeless
* Death by Cancer
* Number of offices declining
* Unemployment rate (2nd worse)
* Bankruptcy rate (2nd worse)
* Number of primary schools that don't serve food
* National learning proficiency test
* Child abuse deaths
Even so, with all of that against it, it still feels a lot safer here than in the USA.
chronovore: (mouthy)
Experts Say MySpace Suicide Indictment Sets 'Scary' Legal Precedent:
In their eagerness to visit justice on a 49-year-old woman involved in the Megan Meier MySpace suicide tragedy, federal prosecutors in Los Angeles are resorting to a novel and dangerous interpretation of a decades-old computer crime law -- potentially making a felon out of anybody who violates the terms of service of any website, experts say.
chronovore: (OMFG)


I recall that there was a sequel to Near Dark, and it sucked.
There was a sequel to Fright Night, and it didn't suck.
And, no, these "suck" comments are not about teh vampirez subject matter.

PSA

Apr. 14th, 2008 06:17 pm
chronovore: (Default)
Due to some interesting concerns about LoudTwitter brought to my attention by [livejournal.com profile] nattotastic , I've deleted my LoudTwitter account. Rejoice, [livejournal.com profile] andrewv !
chronovore: (mouthy)
It's pretty common to hear tales on the news about how Japanese society is eroding, and how the youth of today are morally bankrupt compared to ten or twenty years ago. There was a story about a high school couple who got into a cab, forced the cab driver at knifepoint to drive to a secluded location, then killed him and took 5000 yen. Just a couple days ago an asshat with a knife decided he wanted "to kill 7 or 8 people" and went on a rampage in a train station and shopping mall. Despite this, it's been easy to convince myself that the problem is not as widespread as sensationalistic media would have us believe.

Yesterday my nephew was playing in a nearby park, only two blocks away from home. It's a wide field with a clear view from one side to the other; it sits directly behind the central police station for the city. He was playing with two friends who are our neighbors; just three boys, six- to seven-years-old, playing unattended by adults in a busy park filled with lots of locals.

At 3 p.m. my nephew went to get his bike, to leave early and get to a dentist appointment at our neighborhood doctor. His bike was next to a bunch of bushes. As he approached his bike, several people leapt out of the bush and grabbed him, put a towel in his mouth so he couldn't scream, and then proceeded to beat him. The kicked his stomach, and hit him with a baseball bat. When they were done, they told him that if he told anyone about the beating, they'd kill him.

He went home. He didn't say anything to his mom immediately, but ended up crying during his visit to the dentist. He told his mom what happened. His mom took him to the ER for x-rays and examination (nothing broken, no sexual violation, bruises should clear up in 5 days), and then to the police to report what had happened. My nephew was able to give a pretty good accounting of their appearance: 4 or 5 junior high school aged boys, with dyed blonde hair, and yellow and red piercings in their ears.

Apparently it takes 4 or 5 jr. high school boys to beat up one 7 year old. They'd better pray to god the police find them before anyone in my family does.

Huh?

Dec. 4th, 2007 05:26 pm
chronovore: (mouthy)
What the hell? LiveJournal was bought again?

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