Sunday, July 29, 2007

Friday, July 27, 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Let those with ears hear...

Insurance industry critics of Michael Moore's Sicko have complained that he used outdated cases from the "bad old days of HMOs" to document the healthcare outrages depicted in his movie. Well, here's a case that comes from today's headlines.

United Healthcare denied hearing aids to a girl who was born without ears. They denied the claims four different times. Then, after the media got involved (and with the publicity surrounding Sicko, no doubt), they've had a change of "heart."

Update: Girl Will Get Special Hearing Aid

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Show and tell

Tomcat's Mom just finished making these quilts - aren't they gorgeous?

The first one is a Baltimore Album quilt. It's pretty much her own design.

The second one is from a pattern, called Compass Rose (also known as Mariner's Compass).

She says they are "hand appliqued, hand quilted and pieced, and the reason quilters drink!"

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Lie by Lie

You've got to see this. It's a chronological compilation of events leading up to the Iraqi invasion, lie by lie.

Lie by Lie: The Mother Jones Iraq War Timeline

Saturday, July 14, 2007

That's "Captain Candace" to you

James T. Kirk

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

An impassioned commander with more respect for individuals than for authority, you have a no-holds-barred approach to life and its obstacles.

I don't believe in the no-win scenario.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

It's a meme

1. We HAVe to post these RUles beFORE we give you the facts.

2. PlAYers start with eight RANdom facts/HAbits about thEMSElves.

3. PEople who are tagGED need to write on their own blog about their eight things and post these RUles.

4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagGED and list their names.

Don’t forget to leave them a COmment telling them they’re tagGED, and to read your blog.

Here are eight random facts about me:

1. I like skim milk.

2. In addition to loving handbag porn, I have an earring fetish.

3. Ooh! Speaking of fetishes, I love to - um, nevermind *blush.

4. I have a terrible sense of direction. Hopeless, really.

5. Which is just as well, because I have driving phobias.

6. When I read Lizzy's answers to this meme, I realized that I also have GAD because I "awfulize." Oh man, give me a made-for-TV disaster movie, or a CNN Special on SARS, and I'm there, taking notes.

7. And indexing them. The notes. I'm very organized.

8. Sometimes. That's very puzzling to me. Sometimes I'm organized, other times ... a total slob. Huh. There's probably a named disorder for that, too.

Okay, I tag:


Sunday, July 08, 2007

What would he think today, I wonder

Robert Heinlein wrote this in 1952.

This I Believe
by Robert A. Heinlein

(author of Stranger in a Strange Land)

"I am not going to talk about religious beliefs but about matters so obvious that it has gone out of style to mention them. I believe in my neighbors. I know their faults, and I know that their virtues far outweigh their faults.

"Take Father Michael down our road a piece. I'm not of his creed, but I know that goodness and charity and lovingkindness shine in his daily actions. I believe in Father Mike. If I'm in trouble, I'll go to him."

"My next-door neighbor is a veterinary doctor. Doc will get out of bed after a hard day to help a stray cat. No fee--no prospect of a fee--I believe in Doc.

"I believe in my townspeople. You can knock on any door in our town saying, `I'm hungry,' and you will be fed. Our town is no exception. I've found the same ready charity everywhere. But for the one who says, `To heck with you--I got mine,' there are a hundred, a thousand who will say, `Sure, pal, sit down.'

"I know that despite all warnings against hitchhikers I can step up to the highway, thumb for a ride and in a few minutes a car or a truck will stop and someone will say, `Climb in Mac--how far you going?'

"I believe in my fellow citizens. Our headlines are splashed with crime yet for every criminal there are 10,000 honest, decent, kindly men. If it were not so, no child would live to grow up. Business could not go on from day to day. Decency is not news. It is buried in the obituaries, but is a force stronger than crime. I believe in the patient gallantry of nurses and the tedious sacrifices of teachers. I believe in the unseen and unending fight against desperate odds that goes on quietly in almost every home in the land.

"I believe in the honest craft of workmen. Take a look around you. There never were enough bosses to check up on all that work. From Independence Hall to the Grand Coulee Dam, these things were built level and square by craftsmen who were honest in their bones.

"I believe that almost all politicians are honest . . . there are hundreds of politicians, low paid or not paid at all, doing their level best without thanks or glory to make our system work. If this were not true we would never have gotten past the 13 colonies.

"I believe in Rodger Young. You and I are free today because of endless unnamed heroes from Valley Forge to the Yalu River. I believe in--I am proud to belong to--the United States. Despite shortcomings from lynchings to bad faith in high places, our nation has had the most decent and kindly internal practices and foreign policies to be found anywhere in history.

"And finally, I believe in my whole race. Yellow, white, black, red, brown. In the honesty, courage, intelligence, durability, and goodness of the overwhelming majority of my brothers and sisters everywhere on this planet. I am proud to be a human being. I believe that we have come this far by the skin of our teeth. That we always make it just by the skin of our teeth, but that we will always make it. Survive. Endure. I believe that this hairless embryo with the aching, oversize brain case and the opposable thumb, this animal barely up from the apes will endure. Will endure longer than his home planet -- will spread out to the stars and beyond, carrying with him his honesty and his insatiable curiosity, his unlimited courage and his noble essential decency.

"This I believe with all my heart."

--Written by Robert A. Heinlein in 1952, for Edward R Murrow's This I Believe program. Virginia Heinlein chose to read it when she accepted NASA's Distinguished Public Service Medal on October 6, 1988, on Mr. Heinlein's behalf (a posthumous award).

Her reading received a standing ovation.

Friday, July 06, 2007

This shouldn't take very long...

This is another great Stumble find!

For the post that accompanies this picture, click this: Science Humor

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th

Number of Americans who believe Saddam-9/11 tie rises to 41 percent

A new Newsweek poll out this weekend exposed "gaps" in America's knowledge of history and current events.

Perhaps most alarmingly, 41% of Americans answered 'Yes' to the question "Do you think Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq was directly involved in planning, financing, or carrying out the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001?"

That total is actually up 5 points since September 2004.

Further, a majority of people couldn't identify Saudia Arabia as the country of origin of most of the 9/11 hijackers, even given the question in multiple choice format. 20% answered Iraq, while 14% believed the hijackers came from Iran.

A majority (52%) believe the US is losing the war against al Qaeda, however Newsweek disagrees. In the magazine's reporting of the poll, they made judgment that the US is in fact not "losing the fight against al-Qaeda or radical Islamic terrorism."

Closer to home, 89% of Americans are unable to name the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (John Roberts), though a majority of those polled were able to name Nancy Pelosi as the current Speaker of the House.

A large majority of people said they didn't know or didn't care who the winner of this year's American Idol competition was (or at least weren't willing to admit it).

The full results of the Newsweek poll are available here.

Monday, July 02, 2007


On your homeworld, do you say:

Let's meet for coffee,


Let's meet for a coffee.


Just wondering. Around here (in Texas) we don't say "a" coffee, but I read this in books and magazines and see it on the Internets, and wonder what part of the country uses this? Or is it unique to Texas to NOT use the "a" ?