Of course, let's frame a tragedy where 6 children drowned in a river in Louisiana on race instead of lack of swimming knowledge and parental ignorance.  I'm not sure where to "place the blame" on this one. Is it still that bad in LA where black families have no access to swimming lessons and public pools?  (I guess I wouldn't be entirely surprised)

And here's an ABC News clip featuring the tragedy and explaining how 3 times the number of black children drown than white children, and briefly goes into the possible reasons why. The teens who drowned should be considered heros, considering they went into that water trying to save their sibling/friend.
Plastic garbage layers the ocean's surface. Isn't this absolutely disgusting? Check out the article.
And in a continuation of the news about Shepart Fairey, the artist who used Mannie Garcia's photograph as the inspiration for his painting of Barak Obama that got wide distribution, he is suing AP *back*. "The lawsuit was brought on Fairey's behalf by the Stanford Law School's Fair Use Project and a San Francisco-based law firm."

AP, on the other hand, says it doesn't want any appropriation of its photographer's work. They want to protect the photographers. And of course, like a good little new bureau, they'll fork the money they win in court over to an AP family fund, for the families of AP reporters who are injured or killed while working for AP.

Historically, photographers have always been pooh-poohed by the regular art establishment, because (at least in the beginning) painters and sculptors looked at photography simply as a method of recording facts. This is the way a chair looked. This was the dead body of Lincoln. That was the way I set the still life up two years ago. That sort of thing.

I think what AP is really riled about is, unlike other campaigns, it wasn't a photograph that became the icon of the newest president. And the photographer's rights, of course. What they SHOULD be doing, is plastering the original image everywhere they can.

Here's the original photograph:


And here's the poster!

A woman's right to have as many babies as she wants only goes as far her right not to endanger the children that result from the desire to have a collection of children, and the ability to create the type of support she'll need to raise huge numbers of children.

Personally, I'm not so sure Ms. Suleman, the woman who now has 14 children under age 8 will have the ability to care for so many children by herself. Her mother is not going to become her de facto babysitter any longer; her father is exiting the country for work to help support her (when he should be working for his own retirement)...and she believes that she's going to have the time to earn a Masters degree along the way! There's a reality disconnect going on in her head.

Think about it. How long are they? And how long are they in actuality?

Whatever you think, you're probably wrong. Check this out.

gategrrl: (Black Shiva)
That's southern California to folks who don't live in this area.  I just heard about this latest one. It's unclear, but police think the husband in this case killed his family . But it's possible his wife, who had also lost her job from Kaiser Permenente, did the deed before he got home from wherever he was. They had five children all under the age of 8-two sets of twins. The bottom of the article lists the other family murder/suicides that have happened.

It's horrible, and it takes me back to the original (in quotes, there) case of John List and others. Check out the Crime Library. There are a fair number of these ultra controlling, strange men (and I assume women, but who suspects women when they murder their families, eh?).

Anyhow, these people: there were PLENTY of places to turn. And Kaiser? So not talking about Kaiser at the moment.

Here's the link, and here's what I'm puzzling out.

The doctor who ran the study admitted that their was an inherent bias in the study, since you can't have a control group of mothers who don't bf and a control group of those who do (ethics, you see). Apparently the neglect isn't kept from happening if someone else feeds the baby with breastmilk. See, it *has* it *must* come from the mother and directly from her breast for neglect to be short-circuited.

I think there are assumptions being made here in the background.

A) that babies fed any other way aren't cared for as much as children who are breastfed
B) that mothers who give their babies formula, or who must use other methods of feeding their infants, even with expressed breast milk, are more likely to neglect their infants and children; this includes women who must work in order to support their families
C) and that other source-feeders of infants (fathers, grandparents, other caregivers) aren't going to make that connection with the infant that a breastfeeing mommy would

Have I covered everything here?

My bias? I tried bfing my first born, but had difficulties (thanks to bad advice given to me by male doctors and clueless nurses and a spasming back I needed medication for). For my second child, I managed to bf him for almost two years. And I homebirthed the second one in order to circumvent the clueless advice and indifferent treatment I got in the hospital. So, yes, I'm one of those women who agree with the doctor who ran that study that yes, it IS important and is *wonderful* for the baby and the mom to have that bfing connection. However. It's not necessary, and it's not all mom.

I think women who breastfeed in Western cultures (including Australia, where this study was conducted) are predisposed to want to go that extra mile for their babies and more likely to be, I don't know, crunchy granola types. Or not. Or they are simply smarter and of a higher economic class that is less likely to get child protective services and police called on them. Poorer women don't have the same choices as the middle class ones, and are more likely to have neighbors notice neglectful behavior and are more likely to have the authorities called on them. I don't think this factor was taken into account.

I'm not so sure that one (neglect) has to do with the other (not breastfeeding).

From 2005:
A News of the Weird Classic (July 2005)

Willie Windsor, 54, of Phoenix has for several years lived as a full-time baby, wearing frilly dresses, diapers and bonnets, sucking on a pacifier, eating Gerber cuisine and habitually clutching a rag doll, in a home filled with oversized baby furniture. According to a long Phoenix New Times profile in June, the diaper is not just a prop. Windsor said he worked hard to learn to become incontinent, even chaining the commode shut to avoid temptation, and the reporter admitted feeling "disconcert(ed)" that Windsor might be relieving himself at the very moment he was describing his un-toilet training. Apparently, Windsor's brother, ex-wife, girlfriend and a neighbor tolerate his lifestyle (though no girlfriend has yet been willing to change his diapers). Windsor is a semi-retired singer-actor and said he's been celibate for nine years. [Phoenix New Times, 6-9-05]

I've heard of this fetish, but this takes it to a whole new level. Perhaps this is the story that inspired that CSI episode way back when? And OMG. Dudes. The big baby has a girlfriend?

And you don't want to be driving when you're doing these two things:

Poor at Multitasking: In Britain's Manchester Crown Court in December, Imran Hussain, 32, was sentenced to eight years in prison for his DUI-related crash that killed two people in August. (Hussain was also masturbating at the time.) [BBC News, 12-8-08]

Louise Light, 21, was not hurt when she crashed into guideposts in Woodstock, Ontario, in November, but she did get milk all over her because she was eating cereal from a bowl while driving. [Canadian Press, 11-21-08]

Eating cereal? Masturbating? While driving??? People. Use those brain cells, especially when you're driving a vehicle that can kill people!

This takes animal-loving beyond what PETA advises, I think:

In February in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, Phillip Buble's father was convicted of attempting to murder Phillip, 44, by smacking him in the head with a crowbar because Phillip would not cease public displays of affection with Lady, a mixed-breed dog to whom Phillip considers himself married "in the eyes of God." The next month, Phillip gave a 30-minute presentation to a state legislative committee urging that it not pass a pending anti-bestiality bill (though Phillip describes himself personally as a "zoophile" and not a bestialist). Lady had to wait for him in the car because dogs are not allowed in the chamber. In April, Phillip was fined $50 for having an unlicensed dog (not Lady; it was apparently a side dog). [Bangor Daily News, 3-27-01, 4-27-01]

Thanks to uExpress' News of the Weird
You are vindicated for all those cups of joe you inflict upon yourself everyday. A Finnish/Swedish study (aren't they awesome, these inventive Finns and Swedes?) has discovered   "... that coffee drinkers at midlife had lower risk for dementia and AD later in life compared to those drinking no or only little coffee. The lowest risk (65% decreased) was found among moderate coffee drinkers (drinking 3-5 cups of coffee/day). Adjustments for various confounders did not change the results. Tea drinking was relatively uncommon and was not associated with dementia/AD."

Read the article and prove to your unjittered coworkers and friends that yes, overcaffienating IS the thing to do, in order to preserve those sets of neurons that keep you thinking.

I only wonder how many people were in the study.

Folks, don't read this article before you've eaten and had your coffee, 'kay? Because reading about how a certain medical doctor was using the human fat liposuctioned from his patients (with their knowledge?) is, although not totally gross, since it was a "green" use of the left-overs, is not exactly before-breakfast material.

Anyhoo, wonderful Discovery article. Enjoy. With lunch. Or not.

(and the testimonial link on the article page is one big fat...er...be prepared to see his patients posing with the doc while holding up their bags of lipoed fat. That's right. They hold up the bags of fat suctioned off their bodies. Yeck)

   This is the offender. It LOOKS like little tiny myriads of itty bitty cinnamon rolls but they're NOT. They are little     cardboard circles lightly dusted with pseudo cinnamon and fake sugar. You can't even call it *lightly dusted*.

About the best thing you can say about these nuggets is, if you have a cavity, the hard crunchiness will find it for you. It will find that toothy weakness and collapse it with the density of its tiny bun self. Gums need toughening up? Go for the mini-bun cinni-bun!

If you want to feel like you're cheating on your breakfast by not eating a super sugary fattastic Cinnabon bun, go no further. Your taste buds won't thank you. Your ears won't thank you (crunchies galore). And your dog will turn up his nose at it.

Go buy some mini Wheats or bran flakes, baby.

Nebraska changes law on abandonment of children of all ages

Nebraska state lawmakers on Friday overhauled a law that allowed people to abandon their children of any age legally at hospitals, a senator's office confirmed. 
A new law put the age limit for the so-called safe haven law at 30 days (one month) for a newborn, according to the office of Senator Arnie Stuthman.

The change came in a special session called by Governor Dave Heineman in a 43-5 vote.

The prior safe haven law approved in July was meant to apply to infants but ended up -- because there was no age specified -- allowing parents to abandon many children including teens as old as 17 at area hospitals.

Legislators passed the new bill stating: "no person should be prosecuted for any crime based solely upon the act of leaving a child 30 days old or younger in the custody of an employee on duty at an hospital licensed by the state of Nebraska," an aide to Stuthman said.

Embarrassed by the magnitude of the problem after 34 children -- mostly anonymous -- were handed over to the state, the governor called earlier this month for the state legislature to revise the law and specify an age limit.

On one day in September, 11 children, aged between one and 17 and some from the same family, were abandoned at a Nebraska hospital.

© 2008 AFP


34 children dropped off at in Nebraska. That's amazing. I'd heard (though haven't confirmed) that some of those parents/guardians drove in from out of state to let the state of Nebraska deal with their children, instead of going through child services in their own states.
There's a British study saying that babies in forward facing buggies (strollers to us Yanks).

Here's what the article starts out with: Having infants facing their parent gives them positive reassurance and reduces mental stress, said the study by researchers at Dundee University in Scotland, believed to be the first of its kind.  [snippage]

....The findings were based on studying nearly 3,000 parent-infant pairs, including an experiment where babies were pushed for a mile, half the time facing their parent, and half the time facing away.

Okay now, more for parents to feel guilty about.  I don't see an age range mentioned, but I guess the babies here would be between 3 and 18 months of age? Now, I know I had both of my kids in their strollers facing forward because, well, there aren't any backward facing strollers available here in the US (at least not that I could find that were affordable). I don't think they're damaged in the least. And I haven't heard them complaining about their forward facing strollers! If anything, the little snippets love forward facing thrill rides like roller coasters.

I think this is a problem only if you have a tense baby to begin with, or one with separation anxiety. It's commons sense that babies like to hear their parent's voice, and see their mommies faces. But honest. It won't kill the poor little bebes to be deprived for the length of a walk to face forward!

Mammoth gene nearing completion--well, the mapping of it, anyhow.

I wonder how soon it will be until we have mammoths walking the earth again, a la Jurassic Park?

LA TIMES article released today: Jason Mamoa (Ronan Dex) attacked in Hollywood and has facial surgery to repair glass damage to his face. 140 stitches were used during his reconstructive surgery.

Thought the Atlantis fans on my flist would want to know.

This is from a forum I frequent, and I'm pasting in the first part of the post.

There's a mysterious fifteen cent charge on my checking account from Friday. Googling to try to make heads or tails of it revealed that a LOT of people have been hit with similar charges recently.

It showed up this way on my statement:
GFDL 800-764-0847 TXUS GFDL

More info here:

This tiny charge is hitting MANY people with accounts with all sorts of banks. It's a common way to test an account, and once tested, it's possible for the thief to go back in and steal whatever's in the account.

I've checked my own bank via the online system, and it hasn't shown up (yet), but I'll be checking back every day to make sure I know if/when it does show up. Most banks will put the account and bank card on hold and send the account holder a new card. Please spread this around--this isn't a false alert.

I spoke briefly with one of the owners of the house that caught fire yesterday. I had the impression that the fire had avoided most of the house (except the roof) but apparently their insurance companies are telling them the place is a loss. They're getting some,but not all, of the money they need to rebuild. The fire swooshed down their chimney and scorched the *inside* their house wrecking it completely. I hadn't realized it was that bad. Should have figured it out. The roof has holes galore in it, smoke billowed out of the ac unit (you can see that in this picture).

I'm glad the insurance companies aren't giving them a hard time. It totally was NOT their fault at all.

Yesterday there was a fire across the street from our house.  It started when some careless workers shingling a roof used one too many extension cords and lit a tree on fire. ALL the other trees in the line caught fire in a matter of minutes, and spread to the house next door. There were at least two BOOMS! as the fire hit something flammable.

  We could feel the heat from the fire from our driveway. It was that hot. Then it spread to the neighbor's roof, and smoke started billowing out of their air conditioner unit on the top of their house.

About 10 to 15 minutes later, about 12 ladders and other Fire Dept trucks, and some police cars AND a couple of helicopters (news) surrounded the area.

  There were several trucks in either direction and on the other side of the block.

Tons of smoke. The fire trucks didn't leave until a few hours later. A reporter and a cameraman from Fox News interviewed the Chief. They also interviewed our neighbor, who stood across from his house as it burned, staring. One of his daughters was crying, mostly for her drawings that were still in the house (which turned out to be okay-her room wasn't destroyed) and also for the cats that were outside.

I guess the story didn't make it onto Fox. We didn't see it that night.

And today, two firetrucks passed through our neighborhood twice, to make sure there weren't any smoldering chunks anywhere.

Although we couldn't smell the smoke yesterday, we sure could smell it today.



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