Monday, September 24, 2007

Maybe It's Just Wishful Thinking...

but this opinion piece from Sunday's Washington Post is the second bit of hopeful reporting I've seen on Darfur in a month.


I know a couple of regular readers are nurses, and at least one is married to a doc. I got the following material from my friend Michel. If it's accurate, it seems like it warrants widespread dissemination. And if it's hooey, it's important to debunk, just as widely.

If you, or someone you love, can confirm it, I'd appreciate it. Or if they can advise that it's hokum, I'll know to take it down. I'd appreciate that too.

Snopes seems to confirm it, with the caveat that the last bit of advice, about tongue-sticking-out, is less useful than the first three.

Here goes:

STROKE: Remember The 1st Three Letters.. S.T.R.

RECOGNIZING A STROKE - Remember the '3' steps: STR.

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

A bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

S* Ask the individual to SMILE.
T* Ask the person to TALK to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE. (Coherently) (I.e. It is sunny out today.)
R* Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to stick out their tongue. If the tongue is crooked, if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911 immediately!!

Describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people, you can bet that at least one life will be saved.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Last to Die for a Mistake

Political prediction: If the American people make a hit out of the song Bruce Springsteen has rendered from John Kerry's 1971 testimony before the Senate on Viet Nam, the Dems win in '08.

For me, it's easily the most powerful thing he's written since American Skin (41 Shots) about Amadou Diallo.


Thanks to my cousin Debbie, in Buffalo, for passing this along.

At the bottom I've put a link to the Snopes entry that establishes that this is apocryphal, but it also says a few other things that are good for a further giggle.

The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington physics mid-term.

The answer by one student was so 'profound' that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well:

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell.

Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell, because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, 'It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,' and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct......leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being.

Which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting 'Oh my God.'


Snopes says this story is apocryphal, but also offers some interesting information about it here.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Brain Teaser

This is NOT a trick question. It is a very simple, easily solvable question asked a class of 2nd graders. See if you know the correct answer...


2nd grade children were asked the following question: "In which direction is the bus pictured below traveling?"

Look carefully at the picture. Do you know the answer? (No tricks... The only possible answers are "left" or "right.")

So, is it "left" or "right"????

Think about it.

Still don't know?

Okay, I'll tell you. The 2nd graders all answered "left."

When asked, "Why do you think the bus is traveling in the left direction?"

They answered: "Because you can't see the door."

Duh !

How do you feel now ???

I know -- me too !

(Thanks to my friend Michel for passing this along)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Shannah Tovah

Happy New Year to my friends who start celebrating it tonight.

To everybody else too. We can all use a happy, healthy, sweet next twelve months or so (lunar calendar vs. solar calendar makes these things a little inexact.)

Work remains toxic, but with the fun addition of my being completely behind schedule, through no fault of my own, as well.

I've had plenty of grist for the blog mill since last time I posted, but no time to do it and intermittent bouts of depression to keep me from it when I DO have the time.

Future posts will include a picture of Playtah's brick, video of Monkeyboy killing Trandoshans in the online game "Star Wars: Republic Commando", new pictures of Ted who is, no kidding, now larger than a tribble, and the new Springsteen album. (Yes, I've already heard it. No, I can't tell you how.)

Also, the project I alluded to here and here has progressed to the stage of a date for second interviews.

Yup, "interviews," as in plural.

They can't be devoting that much time and energy to this if they're not serious, so please keep those fingers crossed (with the usual caveats about typing or carrying boiling water.)

Finally, it is traditional at this time of year for Jews to ask forgiveness of anyone they have sinned against in the past year. Anything from hurtful speech on up. So please, my friends, I ask your forgiveness for anything I may have done that hurt you this past year. And please rest assured that you have my forgiveness for anything hurtful you may have done to me.

Tonight's liturgy says something like "For sins against G-d, G-d can grant atonement, but for sins against another person, you can only seek pardon from that other person."

(That's not a verbatim quote because I don't keep a copy of the High Holidays prayerbook handy, but it's pretty close.)

And, most of all, thank you for the gift of your friendship. It's been a real blessing since I started this blog.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Happy Taraday

Today, at eclectic spaghetti, which, by the way, looks great with the redesign, it's Survey Appreciation Day (Do a Poll or Survey Today).

(Which I can't link you to here because I'm at work and our spam filter characterizes her new address this way:

Access to websites dedicated to gambling, hate, criminal activity, hacking, and illegal drugs is denied.

As if.)

Anyway, as I was saying, over at eclectic spaghetti (did I mention it looks mah-velous), it's Survey Appreciation Day (Do a Poll or Survey Today).

I get this information via Alien's Planet.

THAT, I can link to.

I'm telling you folks, you can't make this stuff up.

Anyway, instead of actually doing a poll or survey, the theme reminded me of a joke. (And what doesn't?)

I'll post the answer as the first comment, to give you a shot at answering it for yourself before you click through.

Who was Alexander Graham Belski?

Saturday, September 1, 2007


RFB dances ballet for exercise, and for love of dancing. So she watched the special on PBS the other night, about Nureyev's early years, before he defected, and just after.

My tastes aren't quite as refined.

But both of us found this YouTube snippet laugh-out-loud funny.

I hope you do, too.