** Past 'Skeleton Action Figures" and sources can be found on my flickr.com page. Credit where credit is due.
50 New Things
This year I'm going to try to do at least 50 things I've never done before (I did not come up with this idea...but they say imitation is the highest form of flattery ;-). If you have ideas, feel free to make suggestions. I'll document them on the list below, with links if possible.
36. Played craps and roulette for the first time at a casino.
35. Visited the world's largest bead store (Shipwreck Beads).
34. Drove over a floating bridge
33. Flew in a helicopter!!
32. Visited Mount St. Helen's - wanted to see this for the past 30 yrs
Matzel is back home, sans a body part. He seems to be doing well, and has attracted the attention of his curious brothers. For a few days, he'll be enclosed in a large dog cage to keep him from moving around too much, because his incision is literally the length of his trunk. I was surprised at the size, until I saw what they took out.
The pictures below are of Matzel in his new abode, and Lemur keeping him company. Wiley was laying on my lap.
As I was paying for his operation, one of the techs came out - a woman who has been working with him for years - and said that she thinks he lost at least 2 pounds (the equivalent of about 30 lbs for humans) just in the size of the colon. Then whispered: "you want to see it??" I had to promise I wouldn't pass out (as if) and lord o' mighty, it was impressive. I guess when you consider the xrays, it's not so surprising. After a initial "holy shit", I said, "this is totally blog-worthy, will I seem really odd if I ask for a picture." She said yes I would, but go for it. So I did.
Sadly, it was hard to photograph. They removed a good 7-8 inches of colon. This thing literally looked like some kind of parasitic alien from a sci-fi movie. Indeed, adding to the geekiness of taking a picture, my first thought was "oh my God, it's a goa'uld!!!" (alien evil doers from Stargate SG-1, for the uniformed ;-) The pictures below don't do it justice.
Here's the original xray, followed by two views of the dead alien/colon:
1. Facebook is about finding people you've lost track of. 2. We're no longer bitter about high school. 3. We never get drunk at parties and get photographed holding beer bottles in suggestive positions. 4. Facebook isn't just a social network; it's a business network. 5. We're lazy. 6. We're old enough that pictures from grade school or summer camp look nothing like us. 7. We have children. 8. We're too old to remember e-mail addresses. 9. We don't understand Twitter. 10. We're not cool, and we don't care.
Jim was selected as a Fellow of the AAAS. If you want to send him a note of congratulations, here's his email address --
Here is the press announcement (I've only included the Anthropology section):
AAAS Members Elected as Fellows
In November, the AAAS Council elected 486 members as Fellows of AAAS. These individuals will be recognized for their contributions to science and technology at the Fellows Forum to be held on 14 February 2009 during the AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago. The new Fellows will receive a certificate and a blue and gold rosette as a symbol of their distinguished accomplishments. Presented by section affiliation, they are:
Section on Anthropology
* Susan C. Anton, New York University * Claude Bouchard, Louisiana State University * Daniel E. Brown, University of Hawaii * Marian Dagosto, Northwestern University * Robert G. Elston, University of Nevada * Carol R. Ember, Yale University * Charles F. Hildebolt, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology * Stephen A. Kowalewski, University of Georgia * Steven R. Leigh, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign * Jeffrey K. McKee, Ohio State University * James J. McKenna, University of Notre Dame * J. Michael Plavcan, University of Arkansas * Matthew J. Ravosa, University of Missouri * Audrey Smedley, Virginia Commonwealth University * David G. Smith, University of California, Davis
I feel I must quibble with the wording of the report tho' -- since I don't think "believe in" applies to a time-tested set of scientific evidence in the same way that 'belief' in creationism does. And to harp further, it is only "belief" (dare I add "blind"...) that works for creationism, because any degree of critical thought shows the innumerable flaws in the idea...beginning with the presence of two Creation stories in the Bible, the lack of agreement between those two stories, the fact that time periods are described as days before there was a Sun, and so on, and so on, and so on. (I know, I know -- my trip to the Creation Museum clearly did not take hold).
As I become older and increasingly intolerant, I'm starting to think that they (the big They, you know, Them) should make everyone of voting age take at least 1 biology course (taught by an actual biologist) and one course on Biblical Exegesis - not for the theological component, but so they learn how to read ancient texts for what they are!! Only after receiving an "A" in each are you allowed to cast a vote.
Harsh, I know, but COME ON?!! Less than 4 in 10??!!!!
I recently found a few fun bone-related goodies. The first is a toggle for necklaces. In the past I always included a small metal skull bead at the end of any necklace I gave as a gift. From here on out, I might be using these bone clasps from Absolute Crystal.com.
Turns out there's a bunch of skull n' bone stuff on Overstock.com. Including this bedspread. I mean really -- pink AND skulls, does it get any better?? Sadly, sold out. I also found these cute flats - alas, they only come in size 6. Who wears size 6??
Today's Israeli elections make me nervous. There's a new ultra-right wing nationalist group - called "Israel Our Homeland" Party - who believe no Arabs can be trusted and make no bones about saying so - including Arab Israeli's. They are so extreme, they make Bebe Netanyahu look like a reasonable choice. Which he's not. Sadly, it seems quite likely that Bebe will win, and the ultra-nationalists will get a big showing in the Knesset.
Iran better be paying particular attention (which also scares me, since their president is a few chickpeas short of a falafel). Syria can't be resting easy either I would think.
Just about the time Jimmy Carter says we can have peace in the region (I've 'captured' the book, but have not yet read it), along come these elections. I'm worried.
Poor little Maz. A few days ago I took him to the vet because I noticed he wasn't lifting his tail when he went to the bathroom and was afraid the arthritis in his hips was getting worse. The images below show quite a different problem!!
Matzel has suffered from something called megacolon for years. He's on medicine for it. However, because he's had several rounds of being impacted, the nerves in the region are deadened.
This time around, he wasn't really acting sick (indeed, quite the opposite at times, playing with his 'brothers' rather rambunctiously only a few nights ago). The vets and I audibly inhaled when we saw the xrays below.
He had 5 enemas, and meds to clean him out. Today he's back to his usual sweet pink-nosed self. Tomorrow he goes in to get his fluids checked, and Monday he will have a subtotal colectomy. Apparently for about 6 weeks he'll have to get used to the sensation of eating and going to the bathroom very soon thereafter. The end of the intestine expands a bit after awhile, and he'll eventually get back to going about 2-3 times a day.
He'll have to be enclosed in a small area until that happens. Yesterday I bought a big dog cage, so he can at least be around me and the other cats while he recoups.
Poor little guy. Prepare to cringe, here's a side and top view of just how impacted he was. Yes, what you're looking at is all poop!!
What an utterly reprehensible human being. Seventeen days after Obama takes office, and Cheney is back on the stage spewing his vitriol (with a few bold faced lies tossed in for good measure -- "61" detainees returning to terrorism for example).
Here is the Politico interview. I'll likewise post Olbermann's eloquent (non-rant) statement on the matter, and Jon Stewart's spot-on comedic take, once they become available.
Here's a pretty amusing story (compliments of Mike H.) for all you Star Trek fans. Apparently a man robbed stores with a Klingon bat'leth. I made the "action figure" to the right to illustrate both the bat'leth and a Klingon skull.