gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I have a stomach bug. Didn't go to class today, probably not going tomorrow, feel like crap.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
If the scanners/pat-downs were actually capable of preventing a terrorist attack then we'd be having a very different discussion about this. Right-wingers in favor of the new screening procedures try to frame it that way, that we're irresponsibly favoring some abstract concept of "rights" over public safety. But we're not. Because the new screenings do not increase public safety, and the TSA is well aware of this. For example, they want to make pilots go through the scanners/pat-downs, which is ridiculous because if a pilot wanted to destroy a plane, they wouldn't have to bring anything on board, they'd just crash it. And there is lax screening of job applicants for baggage handlers, plane mechanics and TSA employees themselves. This is not about making us safer and the TSA knows it. This is all about appearances.

So we opponents of the new screenings are not coming down on the side of our own comfort at the expense of public safety. We're opposed to the government abusing its authority, and potentially harming people, for the sake of looking like they're doing something. This Huffington Post article about how the TSA works is illuminating and confirms some things I suspected: the TSA is in the difficult position of being responsible for preventing events that are inherently unpredictable. If someone gets by their security methods and blows up or crashes a plane - and there is no way to guarantee 100% that that can't happen - then the TSA will be the first to get blamed. This is an unfortunate reality. It would be nice if we could all collectively agree not to blame them for failing to do the impossible but this is America and whenever something goes wrong, the first thing we do is find a scapegoat (apart from the person who actually blew up the plane, whom we're not all that interested in for some reason, but that's a whole other blog post).

They respond to this difficult situation by, as the HuffPost article describes, operating in a perpetual state of crisis. That is not an effective way to run any organization. They desperately grasp for anything they think might help, without any justification for that method and often only after someone was caught by older methods that were already in place: the shoe bomber and people planning to bring liquid explosives onto planes for example. These people were prevented from getting explosives onto a plane BEFORE we had to take off our shoes and not bring liquids but these procedures are now required to prevent things that were prevented before without them.

The TSA's insistence on passengers (and flight crews) following whatever draconian rules they come up with, just because they said so, breeds an attitude of extreme authoritarianism. And this leads to the job attracting exactly the wrong type of people: those who enjoy abusing their authority and exerting control and dominance over people who are helpless to stop them. The only solution to this is careful hiring and rigorous training and the TSA does neither. The agency exists in a constant state of being overwhelmed and uses that as an excuse for not preventing its employees from abusing the people they're supposed to protect.

The point is not only that a lot of innocent people are being and will be harmed by these screenings, physically by the X-rays and mentally by having PTSD or other conditions triggered. The greater point is that the screenings come with A MUCH HIGHER COST THAN BENEFIT. THAT is why large numbers of people are finally resisting the TSA's abuse of authority (years after we should have started resisting...) Because the new screenings cross the line into doing more harm than good.

ETA: Here's another article, from The American Prospect, that says the TSA has not even conducted cost/benefit analysis before deciding to deploy the scanners.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
Sensitivity to social rejection and inflammatory responses to stress

Although I can see a downside to this information being widely disseminated; telling everyone "you can make someone physically sick by being mean to them!" might not have good outcomes, you know? But I hope stuff like this makes people in positions of authority more mindful of how important it is to stop bullying, at all levels - people can be bullies at work just like at school.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
Following on from my post here: http://gmonkey42.livejournal.com/620720.html
there's an article on Salon with more information about how Breast Cancer Awareness has replaced real feminism in the minds of a lot of people:
http://www.salon.com/mwt/2009/12/02/womens_health/index.html
It also makes the excellent point that needs to be made far more often, that HRT and radiation (like the X-rays used in mammograms!) can actually CAUSE breast cancer. People act like cost is the only factor against mammograms and it's not.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
After seeing a lot of negative reactions (like this post on Feministing Community) to the recent news that most people should start having mammograms at 50 rather than 40, I was just going to stay the hell out of it but here's a post by Amanda Marcotte that gives me hope.

Mammograms use x-rays! X-rays can cause mutations which in turn can cause cancer! The less exposure we have to x-rays the better. This finding that mammograms aren't a good idea for younger women is fantastic news! I hate how the pink ribbon brigade has convinced so many people that getting a mammogram is a feminist act. It's not.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]On SARS 2: Electric Boogaloo Swine Flu:

There are a few simple steps people should take every cold & flu season:

1. Wash your damn hands*

2. If you have a cold or flu, stay home for a few days instead of running around infecting everyone to prove what a great work ethic you have.

...I realize how soaked in privilege those statements are: a lot of people don't have access to clean water and are unable to take time off work. But there are plenty of people, like the people around me, who could take those steps and don't. And that bugs me.

Anyway, on the plus side, maybe this panic will get people (who are able to) to be more sensible about contagious disease. On the minus side, I can also see it leading to a huge upswing in the abuse of antibiotics, and going back to old, unsanitary habits as soon as the panic is over. Oh well.


* That hand sanitizer crap is only useful if you don't have access to running water or something to wipe your hands on. Plain water gets rid of more germs than Purell. Hand sanitizer is a last resort, not the miracle protection against disease that it's marketed as.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I'm back at home now.

I need to have dinner. The antibiotics make me a little queasy but I've been more active yesterday and today so I've been more hungry at least. What should I have for dinner? I should've gotten a burrito when I went out a little while ago to buy printer paper but I didn't think of it till I got home. It's hot and I don't want to go out again.

My mum came over because she'd actually picked me up back on Tuesday when I went to her place, so my car was still here. For lunch, we had Mother's Day grilled cheese from the Foster's Freeze that's right down the street. I love that place.

Need dinner! Dangit, we need to invent teleportation devices so one of you could send me a burrito. I think I have an enchilada meal in the freezer but I don't want to risk spicy stuff with my throat still scratchy (but I could hypothetically get a non-spicy burrito).

Argh, I'll just have to scrounge in the freezer.

OK, found an instant pasta dinner. Crisis averted.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I went to the doctor today because I was sure I have a sinus infection and I do. So I have two nasal sprays, an antibiotic, a decongestant pill and Vicodin. The doctor said take one Vicodin and if I'm not asleep from it in an hour then take a second one. Yeah, right. I've already taken both. My face does hurt a bit less than it did before but it still hurts. My mum's the same way, they have to give her a whole cocktail of anasthetics when she goes to the dentist for a filling or somthing. Painkillers don't work well on us.

I'm feeling better now that I have drugs n' stuff. They said if I'm not getting better by Monday then I need to come back. I really hope I'm better by then. I've been off work for more than a week now.

So plenty of tea, rest and controlled substances for me.

Also Wheel of Time. They should so totally make a movie out of that. Well, about three movies per book. They're pretty damn long.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
SOMEONE PLEASE JUST HIT ME OVER THE HEAD WITH A HAMMER!

My brother recommended sitting with my head over a pot of boiling water with a towel over my head to help clear my sinuses. I'm going to give that a try.

I hate this! Hate it!

...normal posts to resume whenever the crap this cold goes away. So, at this rate, that'll be sometime in August. 2007.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
In other words, I'm still sick. It's progressed from a standard cold to horribly sore throat and large, sculptural boogers. I couldn't eat solid food today, my throat hurt so much. I had two Ensure drinks, soup, mashed potatoes, flan and a ton of Gatorade. If it keeps up then I'll get that throat spray that numbs everything. Except I have to aim carefully with that or else it gets on my tongue too having a numb tongue is no fun.

I went into work for about an hour this morning. I haaaaate being sick because I get so bored. I felt great at work - mentally, anyway. Physically I felt like crap. I was tempted to stay but I thought I'd better get more rest or the cold would just linger for weeks.

I have run out of South Park episodes to watch.

I think I'd better just get some serious rest tomorrow. I need someone to stand here and smack me if I try to do laundry. I did put clean sheets on the bed because I desperately wanted clean sheets but the old ones are just on the floor and dammit they'll stay there until I'm over the cold. Or almost over it. Or I get too bored.

I took some stuff home to work on so I can continue with that on my laptop tomorrow. I can't even sit upright for too long before I feel like crap.

Urrrrrgh

May. 6th, 2006 10:55 am
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
My cold is still all crappy. I took the day off yesterday. I'm sitting around at home eating soup, granola bars and Gatorade and watching South Park.

But I want to go out! I hate being sick, I get so bored! I don't even have the energy to sit at the computer for very long.

Bah. Back to the couch.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I took DayQuil Friday and yesterday in order to go to work and then do the laundry and go shopping. Mistake. I felt horrible this morning. But at least going shopping yesterday meant I have soup and lotion-y tissues and nacho cheese Buggles. Well, I just ate the last of the Buggles. And I'm out of eggs and soymilk because I forgot to buy those. I get the day off Monday and I'm hoping I feel better so I can venture out but I don't know.

I was hoping I could visit my parents this weekend and my dad could cut my hair, to get rid of the accidental mullet, but I forgot he's away on a business trip till Thursday. Curses!

I've been curled up in bed with my laptop for a while. But now I need to pee. Think, Homer! Think think think! Aw, I'd better go.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I took a half pill of ambien and then some over-the-counter allergy medicine. I somethimes stare at the monitor without moving my head for too long and I get a little disoriented but this is more than usual. Dang. I'm usually careful about that sort of thing. It's supposed to be non-drowsy allergy medicine anyway. I'm just spacing out a little. Wooo. My head's all... heavy. ANd I can sort of wave it around slowly and it's weird. Don't worry, I'm going to sleep soon. At least I'll probably sleep through Snape's midnight yowlings this time. I guess she's in heat. She's about 6 months old and I was going to have her spayed but she has a little problem with her bladder and they'd like to see that cleared up before they do the surgery. So walkin around yowling it shall be for the next couple of weeks.

Assuming I haven't poisoned myself, see you tomorrow for the update on my action-packed, fun-filled weekendstravaganza! Here's a little preview:
...so they were ringing up the sandwich and the guy handed me the bag and I said "could I have a pickle, please?" and he gave me not one but TWO pickle slices...

guuuuh

Feb. 2nd, 2004 02:18 pm
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I got all four wisdom teeth extracted this morning. So I'm takin' it easy. Mum's here. I'm doing pretty well. I had some broth. I wasn't completely out for it, just groggy. That was weird. Like, I was conscious the whole time and when I'd open my eyes, I could see all the metal tools n junk; I just didn't care. You know?

I think I'll definitely be OK to go to work tommorrow. My supervisor was convinced I'd need days and days off and he was a little annoyed that I'd made the appointment for a Monday instead of Friday. I feel fine except the entire lower half of my face is still pretty numb. But I can move it, so no nerve damage. My jaw aches a little. I think that'll be the only problem I may have tomorrow and I can cope with going to w-0000000000000000000[ ahem. Cat on the keyboard. And now she's biting me. Anyway. I can cope with going to work if it's just an achy jaw.

I'm bored. And hungry. Maybe I'll have some soup. I think later we're going to get milkshakes or Jamba Juice or something. I'm supposed to stick to all liquids for today. Bah.

They let me keep the teeth. I'll put up a picture of them later. I think maybe I'll give them to Dr. McHenry, for his osteology class. They have to do stuff like that - look at teeth and determine the age, sex, stuff about the diet, etc. I think they get a lot of their teeth from the UCD teaching hospital. From, y'know, cadavers.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I've discovered [livejournal.com profile] animal_rights. There are some cool people on there but also some irritating dumb-asses. There was one discussion about how it's stupid to be a vegetarian because it's "natural" for people to eat meat. Yeah, it's also natural for us to kill each other, just like chimps do, but that's generally against the law and I don't hear too many people complaining about that. It really gets me when these anti-liberals come around trying to act like science is on their side. Yeah, everyone here who has a degree in biological anthropology and/or biochemistry raise their hand. Everyone who's currently EMPLOYED as a geneticist raise their hand. Didn't think so. I see all the same dirty tricks conservatives try to pull, like claiming science backs up their argument without citing any evidence, and trying to trick their readers by leaving out critical points and expecting their readers to be morons and not notice the omissions.

I know a few people who claim that they'd like to be vegetarian but they just won't get enough protein or iron or whatever. Not that they did any research, or spoke to a professional who knew what she/he was talking about. They just made that assumption because it's easier than making an effort to change their diet. Since I accuse conservatives of not backing up anything they say, here are two articles from WebMD about vegetarian diets: animal protein may increase risk of cancer and vegetarians have longer life expectancy.
(I know, my claim that vegetarians are healthier than meat eaters may seem ironic in light of my last post, but I'm healthier now than I was when I ate meat).
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I was planning to take Friday off, since I'd already worked THIRTY hours last week (I'm paid to work twenty) but Friday morning I woke up with a cold. So I would have had to take the day off anyway. I hate getting sick. For one thing, this is taking me twice as long as usual to type. It's like I've forgotten where the keys are. Snape was being really nice to me yesterday but I guess she senses that I'm getting a little better (my temperature's down to 100.7!) so today she's biting me again. I get sick too often. And at the worst times. My brown belt test is next week! I know my form but I should be doing more cardio. I'm hoping that if I just get plenty of rest, I'll be better by Monday. I have a healthier lifestyle than just about anyone I know: no meat, plenty of vegetables, beans, rice, I take vitamins just about every day, I get plenty of exercise, I don't smoke, I hardly drink, I get enough sleep. And I get sick more often than a lot of my friends. Doesn't make any freaking sense.

When I get sick, I get bored and I'm in a really crappy mood. And some stuff I set up at work Thursday didn't work and it was just the stupid capillary tube. So John changed the capillary and it worked fine. I had no way of knowing beforehand that it wouldn't work. So it wasn't my fault but it still bugs me that I spent days getting it all set up and then it didn't work the first time.

And why is it that when I'm sick, I have to go and turn on the TV and see Kylie Minogue shaking her perfect little ass and it just makes me feel ten times crappier than before? Doesn't help that my skin looks all crummy right now. I don't even know why. It just tends to happen when I'm sick, though I've been washing my face and everything as usual. I turn on the TV because I'm bored. Even reading makes me tired. I'm re-reading the Earthsea books. I left A Wizard of Earthsea and Tales from Earthsea at my parents' house and I'm already 2/3 through The Other Wind (having read them in order, skipping the first one). So I'll have to find something else to read soon. Maybe Wheel of Time will keep me occupied. I never even read Winter's Heart. By now, though, I should probably skim the others, so I know who's where. It was hard enough to keep track even when it was fresh in my mind. You practically have to make a freaking map with little pins in it.

Edit: ahh, but this thing I saw in [livejournal.com profile] mlyn's journal cheered me up: go to Google, type "miserable failure" and hit "I feel lucky." My throat is all the sorer from laughing but it was worth it.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I got Taco Hell for lunch. With nachos. Nachos rule. There are, actually, places to get good burritos around here but TH was close and I was in a hurry.

...Brian (grad student in the lab) just walked by and said "pretty good one-handed typing, there" - I'm eating my burrito. And I am, indeed, good at typing. I could've made some obscene joke but I didn't.

I lost 2 1/2 hours this morning to a meeting and listening to people's presentations. The presentations were cool but now I have all this crap to do. There's a lecture this afternoon that I would've liked to attend but that ain't happening. The PCR failed for, like, 1/3 of the individuals I was going to sequence. Meaning I'll probably have to dig up the blood and re-extract the DNA. I don't know if we even have blood for some of them. Grr. Monkey no likey.

But I feel better having eaten. I think I just get hypoglycemic, or something. I have to eat regularly or I get in a really crappy mood. Like yesterday, I didn't eat anything till noon and then even after I ate, I was all depressed. The whole frikkin day was shot. I didn't even bother to stay up and watch QAF. I have a new Snape theory but I'll have to re-read most of OotP to verify it. I could've done that yesterday! Arrg! And I'll have to take some time off work this week to stay home waiting for maintenance to fix my washing machine. And dishwasher and sink, which have had ongoing problems. So I was planning on doing extra today to make up for it. The way things are going, that was probably going to happen anyway.

But Heavenly opens this weekend (for snowboarding). I'm there, dude. Just for one night, because I can't take kitty!Snape with me and I don't want to leave her longer than that. My mum's coming with me. She doesn't snowboard or ski or anything but that means I don't have to drive! Even if I were going by myself, I'd have to borrow her car; mine won't make it up there. Maybe with snow chains but I'd rather not risk it.

Maybe you all can help me with the Snape theory: I need examples of Snape being outdoors in OotP. And I don't want anybody deducing from that what my theory is and trying to steal it! Or they'll incur the wrath of the pirate monkey! Yaaaar!
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I went to the doctor for my toe. I got some antibiotics, because it's infected. I'm sure you all wanted to hear about that. They probably won't have to cut it, if antibiotics and soaking fix it. I took the morning off work. So I'll go in on Friday, since I'm new and part-time and I don't think I have any sick leave yet.

Edit: Meme-thingy-whatever )
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I've been sick. So very, very sick. I haven't been getting enough rest. I caught whatever it is from my mom and it took her about two weeks to get over it. That sucks. So that's why I haven't been online lately. In case anyone was wondering.

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