The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Here's another one!

A funny looking guy, previously unheard of, who says he may run for President in 2012. He's Thaddeus McCotter, a Livonia, Michigan Pol, and has some fairly hard things to say about the Republican Party. Which will be a problem for him, since he's thinking of running as a Republican. Here's a quote: "Because of our inability to get our message and principles across, we do not appear to be a beneficial party for the country." Read more about him here.

Odds are thinning out fast for Georgetown

After Ann Arbor approved a summary plan for the Packard Square Georgetown Mall fix, I asked a local merchant what odds he'd give for it coming to fruition. His answer: zero, since the owner has no money. Apparently, he leveraged the damn place to the hilt, back in the pre-crash days.

Surprise, surprise, the owner went to the county (another entity with no money) for help, and "...several commissioners raised questions about whether the county should back a $1 million state loan." I bet they did.

The brief story in is here.

Blogger has lost its grip

2011 06 07: update
Well, all is not completely well. Blogger still behaves oddly, especially switching between preview and editing. Keep your eyes open, or you may lose typed text.

2011 05 31: update
As of this PM, the problem is apparently fixed. Amazing.

A vast number of people are hammering their help desk because of being locked out of posting, designing, etc. No info is forthcoming, but apparently they rolled out something really massively stupid about 48 hours ago.

I am able to post, I think (we'll see how this turns out) using Internet Explorer but not with FireFox. So if things slow down a bit here for a while, it's because of how much I despise using IE, not because I'm unable to hit carriage returns.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A couple of dishes ...

First, something I put together in sheer exuberance over the presence of actual fresh produce. Linda named it Shells and Morels, and along with fresh asparagus spears and squash blossoms, plus garlic, oregano, and basil in hot oil, that's what it is.

And then, of course, there's breakfast. Clockwise from the top, magnesium sulfate (in the bottle), tacrolimus, prednisone, actigall, ranitidine, acyclovir, voriconisole, metoprolol, and flucacin. And I didn't have room or inclination to include the various PRN (as needed) items or the topicals. I'd need a wider lens. Let me say it again, you really, really don't want to have an allogeneic stem cell transplant. Really.

But on the plus side, it does allow me to claim that I'm the only person I know of who has a traditional Doctor's knife as EDC and uses the spatula blade for its intended purpose, namely sorting pills. So it ain't all bad.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

NAGPRA: Threat or Menace?

2011 06 07 update: here's the form-mail response I got from Debbie Stabenow's office, missing the point by a mile and a half.  Tip: don't use one of the pre-canned "topics" that the "send mail to your congressperson" web pages provide.  It just helps them ignore the actual content.

Thank you . . .

 . . . for contacting me about the role of religion in politics.  I understand your views on this issue.  (Ed: no you don't.)

 Religion is certainly important to the history of our nation.  There is an undeniable relationship between religion and the foundation of our government. (Ed: there shouldn't be - says so in the constitution.) This connection is important not only to the preservation of civil rights, but also to the preservation of the rights of all faiths in America.  America's founders strongly believed that all Americans should be free to practice the religion of their choice without fear of persecution or intimidation from the government. (Ed: I doubt that strongly.)  I support the intent of our founders and believe we must always ensure tolerance and respect for all faiths. (Ed: I don't believe we have any such requirement, and consequently, you don't "understand my views.")


Thank you again for contacting my office.  Please feel free to contact me in the future whenever I can be of assistance to you and your family. (Ed: It was science, not my family I was intereceding for -- repealing NAGPRA and ruling atavistic interests out of research policies would be a big help."



Debbie Stabenow

United States Senator

I have written before about NAGPRA, the quaint piece of legislation that places atavism and ethnic politics ahead of science. Here's a great example of it in action. Write your congressperson today.

Here's what I sent to mine:
Message Subject: Time to repeal NAGPRA?
Message Text:
The Wired article at the link below is a great example of how the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) is out of control. Having started from an unacceptably close alignment of religion and government, it's now moving into the complex of financial arrangements between universities and their donors. It was ill-considered in the first place, and is now something we should not allow to continue. Please consider whether this act should not be drastically restricted in scope -- perhaps to place the burden of proof entirely on Native American groups as to whether any remains are actually ancestors -- or completely removed. This is not how you construct a multi-cultural society, any more than casino licenses are. Wired article: