Monday, March 27, 2006

ETA:

er, the 1976 flu pandemic in the post below actually never came to fruition; it was predicted, but kinda fizzled.

my bad, i either misheard or was misinformed.

but still, ka-boom...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

yikes! media overload

so i've been hearing a lot about this "bird flu" possible soon-to-be pandemic and have been kind of flippant about my response to the hype. you know, "if it happens, it happens" and so forth. besides, i'm thirty, in arguably the best health i'll ever be in... then i read this.

for my lazier readers, here's the deal: H5N1, the avian flu that's freaking world health officials out, is very similar to H1N1, the flu that smacked the world around in 1918. the yearly seasonal flu that we're used to is brutal to the very old and very young, but conventional wisdom says that people of my age and health background should be cool. but, In 1918, the vast majority of the people who died were healthy young people, 20 to 40 years of age. And that was in large part because they had the strongest immune systems. the reason? because these strains of influenza don't kill due to inadequate immune responses; they are killer because the body fights so hard that the immune system kills us in the process of fighting the flu. people's lungs fill with fluid and they drown.

as a side note, and to assist in you not crapping your drawers, H1N1 had a mortality rate of about 5%. the bird to human H5N1 is working about a 50% mortality rate. if it does mutate into a (several?) human to human strain(s), the mortality rate will very likely drop. evolution in action, folks: the virus requires a living host to replicate and spread.

but still...

urban survival has been leaving me kind of on edge about it, too, but i take his stuff with a grain of salt. very smart and insightful, but a bit too alarmist for me to care too much--leaves me thinking that if it happens, i have no recourse so why bother worrying...

then i watched charlie rose. he had a panel on last night that concurred with the "if you're 20-40, you're screwed" crowd. here's my summary of some of that part of the show:

remember SARS? when that was the next big pandemic the asians quarantined SARS patients with AIDS patients. apparently, none of the AIDS patients contracted SARS. why? because SARS, like H1N1 and H5N1, kills with immuno-response, not on its own. so it pays to have a weakened immune system.

shit.

maybe if i start smoking again i can weaken my lungs enough to survive this pandemic...

by the way, ya'll, the bird flu may not be the pandemic, but something will be... apparently there've been 10 pandemics in the past 300 years (roughly one every 30 years), and i guess we're about due. apparently, according to one of rose's guests, the last pandemic was in 1976. i'll let you do the math.

eesh.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

that's more like it

also from "freewillastrology", but i'm to lazy to html another link. anyway, check it:

Leo...
Even if you don't literally take a journey to a distant place in the coming weeks, you will nevertheless be like a stranger in a strange land. I suggest that you adopt an attitude similar to that of an explorer. Here's a list of traveling instructions from Patrick Harpur, author of The Philosophers' Secret Fire: A History of the Imagination. "Don't believe everything you have been told, either for good or ill. Observe local customs; respect local gods. Talk less than you listen. Don't expect the inhabitants to speak your language; rather, try and speak theirs. Try to see as well as sightsee. Be polite but firm; take advice but do not be gullible. If in doubt, smile. Do not laugh at the natives, but do not be afraid to laugh. Do not be superior or aloof, but don't try to dress like a native. Don't join in the dancing unless you have learned the steps."

cool. i already do most of that. this is one of them diamond in the rough horoscopes that keep me coming back for more, even though they usually pertain to me about as much as estrogen supplements (which, to nip the smart-assery in the bud, pertains to me not at all).

Monday, March 20, 2006

huzzah!

what the hell is that supposed to mean:

from free will astrology

Leo (July 23-August 22)

What's the best way to defeat a dragon? Some fairy tales propose the use of brute force, while others suggest that the protection of a magical amulet is preferable. Still other myths say the optimum strategy is to use stealth to avoid the dragon completely, though that usually means living in constant fear of the beast. From what I can tell, Leo, your future happiness will be best served if you use none of the above, but instead employ one of the two little-known methods of dragon-taming: either ask it sly riddles to confuse it or else pacify it through the entertaining power of your songs and dances.

it's a riddle that's left me cornfused--please don't give me no songs and dances...

get on the bus, gus

This is part two to part one of who knows how many parts of whatever this is to be...

The loud diesel engine of the bus announces its arrival blocks ahead of time. It pulls up to the stop, creaking and rumbling, and the doors open allowing the cool air-conditioned air to combine with the hot air of the outside. Three steps up, the driver seems impatient. A baby is crying. I drop one quarter into the fare box.

Clink...

I look around and see that the bus is mostly full, and see a mother trying desperately to rock her crying baby to comfort. A man with a scrape on his forehead looks up from a seat at the front of the bus. I drop a second quarter into the fare box.

Clink-click/whirr...

The man with the scraped forhead proceeds to do a farmer's blow, snotting all over the floor next to me. The driver tells him to get the fuck off the bus. He grunts. I look around, sniff the putrid cool air, and give up, turn to leave. I save my last dollar and decide to walk to the river. I light another cigarette and start my walk. I'm interrupted by the snot-nosed scruffy man from the bus asking me for a smoke. I hand him one and realize that my last dollar is as good as spent: I'm going to need to get a pouch of rolling tobacco, and soon.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

I'm watching Blair Witch 2, and I couldn't be more disappointed...

but don't take my word for it. here's how it was panned by the professionals:

"A tedious experience."
--William Arnold, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER

"Like legislation and sausage-making Book of Shadows is not something you want to watch."
--Duane Dudek, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL

i couldn't agree more...

p.s. in an attempt to save face, i'm not actively watching it, nor would i be watching it if i had a better cable plan.

morality v immorality, by mencken

props to ish for inspiring me to investigate that h.l. mencken guy

mencken

Morality
The theory that every human act must either be right or wrong, and that 99% of them are wrong.

Immorality
The morality of those who are having a better time.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

musings...

comfort is such a powerful muse. allow me to demonstrate:





























um.




























see?

Friday, March 10, 2006

church fire ponderings

9 alabama churches were set ablaze by 3 college students who claim it started out as a prank. stupid, stupid, stupid!

i can't help but rant about this.

fire

look, i'm admittedly an atheist, and religion isn't my bag, but this isn't about religion. it's about respect and arrogant ignorance.

much like when the US bombs a mosque in falujah(sp), or sunnis bomb shiite mosques, setting fire to someone's house of worship is just plain wrong and disrespectful. i may disagree with someone's religion, but there's a line that will not be crossed--i may verbally assault your ideas, engage you in discussion or what have you, but you have every right to practice your religion, and your church is off-limits to my assaults. simply out of respect, not reverence.

hope those kids get what's coming to them. come to find out one was a pre-med student--like i needed another reason to doubt the intelligence of doctors...

k, just had to get that off my chest. more cool stuff to come.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

bus stop still life

It was the bus stop next to the strip club on Morrison. In my backpack was a bottle of whiskey from the government-run liquor store, in my nose was the exhaust being belched into the sky by the cars and trucks going this way and that. The sun was weighing heavily on my shoulders. I couldn't see without squinting. Last night's fun was dripping from my pores.

My car broke down in the parking lot where I was interviewing for a job. It got me there, but refused to take me anywhere else. The interview was less-than-stellar. Nothing like trying to sell yourself when you haven't had a good meal in weeks and the creditors are breathing down your neck. God, I hate looking for work.

McDonalds' wrappers and used condoms and cigarette butts litter the ground. The street is filthy; hasn't been a good rain in weeks. Occasionally the door to the strip club will open with a loud creak and then slam shut, allowing a draft of stale cigarette smoke to float out and co-mingle with the smells of the city. The breeze will eventually take it away. The sounds of flirtation on the clock hum in the background, ever present when there's a break in the traffic.

Bums and businessmen ebb and flow, like ripples from a rock thrown in the ocean.

A guy with a bushy mustache bums a cigarette from me. Says his name is Joe something. He just got into town on a bus ride from St. Louis. He's looking for his ex and their little girl.

A breeze picks up and pins a Big Mac wrapper to my leg. I kick it off and Joe continues.

"Last I heard they come up here. See, my ex, her granma lives here, and seems I don't have what it takes to hole on." He drags from his cig. "I just want another chance, you know?"

He smokes his cigarette to the butt while he looks out over the street. I join him. A cloud passes over the sun in the sky giving us a brief reprieve from the heat. A small gust of wind blows from my left to right.

"Well, thanks for the smoke, man."

I nod. As he takes his leave, I sit on the dirty bench, take the half-pint out of my backpack and pull heavily from it. The sensation gives me a shake, but I start to feel a little better.

The bus pulls up, I return my bottle to my bag and get on. I spend my last $1.50 to get to the river. I'm starting to hate this town...

Saturday, March 04, 2006

where I been

Friday, March 03, 2006

dream into french into german into english

thank you babelfish.

[I was riding] a bicycle with my friend Jason arranged (of non CO ouvrier Jasons) and a certain girl on... I think that she was there with Jason... Thus we put the length up on the sidewalk, if our way were blocked by slow a pair of older humans with sticks... Jason and the girl convey the rights, I make from the left side. The sidewalk by rock framed... We go setting it over and on our revolution away. We climb down approximately a quarter block, if the steering bars set themselves free my bicycle in of that my hands... That takes me one second, in order to be conscious that I cannot put a bicycle up without steering bars. It is to this point that I cannot in such a way put more my bicycle up without steering bars we turn again to the repair my bicycle. As we turn over... KUVO wakes me, hour, to begin the day...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Crocodile Balls has left the building

croc

It was a good three weeks of poker, booze and Americana, but we all knew the time would come, and it has... Safe travels Crocodile Balls! See you in the next one, have a good time.

... and a partridge in a pear tree

Who could this be referring to?

... two stolen elections, a secret energy task force, Enron and assorted other corporate scandals, massive tax cuts for the rich, the largest federal debts and trade deficits in world history, blowing up the ABM treaty, killing stem cell research, laughing off global warming, allowing 9-11 to happen, stonewalling its (and every other) investigation, failing to catch Osama bin Laden, the PATRIOT Act, still-unsolved anthrax attacks, launching a secret prison system, denying due process to both foreigners and Americans, engaging in torture, monitoring Americans' phone calls, e-mails, and faxes without a warrant, launching unprecedented foreign and domestic propaganda campaigns, blurring the line between church and state, trying to overthrow Hugo Chavez, using lies to launch an illegal invasion of Iraq, badly mishandling both the occupation of Iraq and the resulting insurgency, outing Valerie Wilson (and lying about it), grandstanding on Terri Schiavo, pushing through a miserable Medicare prescription drug law, privatizing public lands, trying to privatize Social Security, securing CAFTA, appointing two reactionaries to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Abramoff scandals, and botching Katrina's aftermath as well as its rebuilding...

excerpted from Geov Parrish