Thursday, June 29, 2006

Go West, Dumb Man!

While working in the Periodicals collection last month, I came across an issue of The Journal of American History with this turn-of-the-century photo on the cover (the description below it comes from inside the issue):

"Elite tourists such as this well-dressed hunter journeyed to the Colorado mountains for primitive play. As tourists mimicked frontier work, they overlooked their dependence on the labor of the guides and other services workers who blurred into the background."

Now, at the risk of drawing any parallels between myself and this googly-eyed dork, I've been wanting to do something similar.

No, I don't fancy myself roughing it in the wilderness and shooting my own dinner, but I do yearn to see some of that Northwest scenery that is literally on the opposite side of the country from the region I know best. Pictures can't do it justice, of course, but they go along way to communicate what kind of environment awaits someone willing to make the trek. For instance: Crater Lake Lodge.

This was one of many getaways profiled in a PBS series called Great Lodges. I've looked through the accompanying book here at the library and, out of all of the locations, this one in Oregon seems the most breathtaking. Imagine sitting in one of those rockers and drinking your morning coffee.

As for Mrs. Mosley, I think she likes the idea, too. At the very least, the trip would give her more than enough material to put in her lovely photo blog.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

How to tell if you're a Bush Republican

The point has been made over and over again, but I'll say it anyway: It's idiotic when Bush stands up and says that terrorists hate us because of our freedom, and then slowly chip away all the freedoms we have.

It all comes down to something I realized long ago: Though Bush Republicans oppose Evolution being taught to their kids, all of them are strict Darwinists at heart. That is, they all are firm believers in "Survival of the Fittest". If Bush says that some new law or action that strips some more of our freedoms away will help protect us from terrorists, then they're all for it, no questions asked. In this sense, their mantra is more similar to "Survival of the Most Craven", but you get the point.

To clear up any confusion, I've set up a simple one-question test for anyone who wants to know if they are a Bush Republican:

"A burglar is in the house and is pointing a .22 pistol at you (Let's just say for this scenario that the United Nations has taken away all your guns just like the tinfoil hat people at the NRA warned you about). You have multiple objects around that you can pick up and possibly block a bullet. Choose one or more items that you would be willing to use in this fashion."

(A) A table
(B) A large, heavy book
(C) A pet
(D) A complete stranger
(E) A family member

If you chose most or all of the above choices, Congratulations! You are a Bush Republican!

(Note: This does not apply if choice (B) is a Bible. After all, even Bush Republicans have their standards.)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Stevie Wonder is a God

The title for the post over at Need Coffee was "Brought to you by the words 'Bad' and 'Ass'", and I can't really put it better than that. The only thing I can do is add a few more such as "Funktastic" and "Funkadelic".

Ladies and Gentleman, Stevie Friggin Wonder.

Friday, June 23, 2006

"He Who Mustn't Be Named"

(Sung to the tune "A Horse With No Name" by the band America)

On the first part of my journey
I was living a muggle life
There were dogs and cars and lamps and things
There were telephones that ring

The first man I met was a giant with fuzz
And a 'brolly that could cast spells
He guided me to this wizard school
And the air was full of more spells

I've been through a battle with He Who Mustn't Be Named
My young life just won't be the same
And at Hogwarts they all remember my name
cause Voldemort is the source of my pain
La La, La, La La La La, La La La, La La

After two years spent inside Hogwarts
I played Quidditch for Gryffindor

After four years spent inside Hogwarts
I saw the start of a wizard war

cause He Who Mustn't Be Named had come on back to stay
And my happier years were no more

You see I've been through a battle with He Who Mustn't Be Named
My young life just won't be the same
And at Hogwarts they all remember my name
cause Voldemort is the source of my pain
La La, La, La La La La, La La La, La La

After six years, everything had changed
And I looked back at my magic life
There were owls and brooms and wands and things
There were Every Flavor Beans

Now Hogwarts is a shadow with it's headmaster gone
And my seventh school year in doubt

So now I'm leaving Hermione and Ron
To go and kill that big, mean lout!

You see I've been through a battle with He Who Mustn't Be Named
My young life just won't be the same
And at Hogwarts they all remember my name
cause Voldemort is the source of my pain
La La, La, La La La La, La La La, La La


I was in Barnes & Noble last night and saw a display for a new Penguin Publishing series called "Great Ideas" (Sidenote: Actually, this series is already a year old, but this second group of titles is distinctly different from the first, which I'll go into). Basically these are all nonfiction classics that are already in the public domain and get printed by heaven known how many publishers every year. The difference here, though, is the packaging.

It's kind of hard to realistically present it through a picture, but the books are entirely unique. All the covers are printed only in black, white and blue with all the text and illustrations embossed. The physical books themselves are made of a rougher paper that brings to mind old fashioned publishing, which the cover design itself also conveys.

It's all just incredibly cool for a book nut like me. Truth be told, I didn't buy a copy last night, mainly because I couldn't decide which title to buy. There is an Art of War floating around with this design, so maybe I'll pick that up when I see it.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Chunk! Chunk!

Those of you who watch the original Law & Order series, which will be starting it's 17th season (!) next Fall, already know that A.D.A. Alexandra Borgia went and got herself killed last season. News came out last week that her replacement will be played by Alana De La Garza, formerly of CSI: Miami.

Fans of Law & Order will also know that the role of A.D.A. has experienced the highest turnover of all the starring roles in the series. Alana De La Garza will be the seventh person to play the role and, oddly enough, the fifth dark haired female.

I have nothing against dark haired females, you understand. It's just that they seem to blend together after awhile. Let's have a look at the five, shall we?

Jill Hennessy

Carey Lowell

Angie Harmon

Annie Parisse

Alana De La Garza

I mean, De La Garza is hot and all, but she also seriously looks like they spliced the DNA of the previous four in order come up with this new one. I think I saw this G.I. Joe episode twenty years ago.

So why are the creators using another one? Part of the explanation for this could be due to the juggernaut that is Sam Waterston. He has been the D.A. since season four and has played opposite every female A.D.A. in the series. And although the characters on the show are infamous for their minimum of backstory, it has been hinted that his character has a bad history with women. I haven't noticed that this has played out for much of anything in the course of the show, but maybe there are bigger things to come (ideally, during sweeps).

But I'm sick of it by now. Memo to Dick Wolfe: Shake things up a bit! Go back two of your more distinct A.D.A.'s and combine them into a new character:

Richard Brooks

Elisabeth Rohm

Put these two together and you get someone really interesting: A German/African lesbian with a high top fade!

Is Grace Jones available?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A Friendly Hurricane Season Reminder

Courtesy of the Sun Herald: Before ...

... and After

There's many more at the Sun Herald site.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Temptation ... Frustration ...

You know, I've been pretty darn good for the past couple of years it terms of not buying DVD's just because I have fond memories of them. But sometimes it's hard to resist.

Real hard.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

There's more to PBS than Big Bird, kids!

You know, I remember fondly watching Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser on Friday nights with my Dad, but my interest never went this far (Via Metafilter):

That being said, there's something about this story that makes it beyond cool.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Ten Commandments and Justice

David Plotz over on Slate has been doing a series for the past couple of months called Blogging the Bible. He started on Genesis and is doing a running commentary as he reads the Bible all the way through. His latest stop was the Ten Commandments, in which he had this to say:

"Please forgive me for the following sentence, which is, I realize, a point made by approximately 3.28 billion people before me: If you had to summarize morality into a few sentences, the Ten Commandments is about as good as you can do. The last six commandments - honor parents, don't murder, don't commit adultery, don't steal, don't bear false witness, don't covet - pretty much cover it."

"Speaking of those six commandments, here's something I would like explained, probably by readers who are more religious than I am. You could easily argue that all we need for daily life are those last six commandments. The first four, which concern man's relationship to God, aren't obviously necessary for a good world."

The most important point of all this is that those six can apply to the general populace. They are values we can all agree on. Some of these in a concrete sense in that there are actual laws against them (steal and murder) and others because they will always remain contrary to our moral being (false witness and adultery). Roy Moore isn't concerned about instilling general good values into people, but rather values that are marked with a Christian stamp, as if taboos against stealing and killing were the sole invention of Judea 2,000 years ago. Sorry, Roy. All the screaming at the top of your lungs aint gonna make it so.

A sidenote: Apparently Georgia Representative Lynn Westmoreland, who continues to support the placing of the Ten Commandments in the House of Representative and the Senate, was unable to name more than three (!) commandments when prompted to do so in an interview. Criminy! I can name more than that! Incidentally, the three he can name off the top of his head are from the choice six mentioned above.

Plotz went on to make these observations:

"What I am struck by is God visiting the guilt of the parents on the children. It's obvious why God would threaten it: There is no better way to discourage straying from the fold than instilling the fear that such straying will destroy your own children. Even so, this seems pretty unfair. I had always thought that we all get our own clean slate in Judaism, a life that we can make or ruin on our own. It's alarming to think that we may not, that God is holding our parents' sins against us."
Plotz has a short memory, apparently. It was only a month age that he read the ultimate example of "descendants being punished for what their forefathers did": Adam and Eve. Because these two ate of the fruit, all of their descendants (that would be the entire human race, folks) will be excluded from the Garden of Eden and fated to experience death instead of immortality. I'll steal a bit from one of my favorite movie quotes in terms of my thoughts on this one:

"There's many a man worse than me and some better, but I don't think race or country matters a damn. What matters Colonel ... is justice. Which is why I'm here. I'll be treated as I deserve. Not as my father deserved."
And let's not forget, ladies, that this little infraction also placed upon women the pains of childbirth, which begs the question: Do evangelical women who give birth ever ask to be knocked out or be given pain killers? If so, then isn't this more or less circumventing God's punishment? If I was the creator, then I would imagine this would piss me off a lot more than other things Christians get antsy about.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Brave (Via This Modern World):

"(Joseph)Wilson's most famous moment-the one that got him in the headlines around the world-came in late September 1990, after he had received a diplomatic note that threatened execution to anyone harboring foreigners. Since Wilson himself had put up about 60 Americans at the ambassador's residence and other places, he gave a press briefing during which he wore a noose he'd asked one of the embassy Marines to prepare that morning. "If the choice is to allow American citizens to be taken hostage or to be executed, I will bring my own f%#king rope," he said."
Not Brave:

White House counselor Dan Bartlett told reporters on the 11-hour flight to Baghdad from Andrews Air Force Base that Bush had planned the trip for months with a "very, very close circle" of about six White House staff members.

Administration officials went to extraordinary lengths to keep their plans secret, including issuing a false press statement Monday night saying the president would be having a press availability in the Rose Garden on Tuesday. White House communications director Nicolle Wallace said: "Nothing was done with the goal of duping anyone. . . . The purpose of the secrecy was security."

It never ceases to amaze me. Every time I see a story concerning a senior administration official visiting Iraq, there are conservative commentators in awe at such a "brave" act. If things are so friggin great in Iraq (or at least, according to Rep. Steve King, much safer than Washington D.C.) and Bush is so unashamedly brave, then make an announced visit, for crying out loud!

"Julia Stiles's Fame Audit"

This is why I read Fametracker everyday:
"Well, Kirsten Dunst's fame is proceeding apace, thanks to the Spider-Man franchise (and little else, alas). Kate Hudson is stuck making essentially one long, four-year romantic comedy titled How to Lose Alex and Emma and Raising Helen and You, Me and Dupree in 10 Days, co-starring Matthew McConaughey. Katie Holmes ... well, everyone knows what happened to Katie Holmes except, ironically, Katie Holmes."

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Mental retreat

Things have been busy and a bit stressful lately, work-wise. All of this is not being helped by Hurricane season coming into full swing. So, as a service to my sanity, I'm posting some visual stimulation in honor of my trip next month to North Carolina and the sublime pleasures of ... Pisgah ...

... Pisgah ...

... Pisgah ...

... Pisgahhhhh, that's better.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Future LEGO Crafts projects

I need to build one of these:

And maybe a pair of sunglasses while I'm at it.

My journey towards the geek side will then be complete.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Maladies of House

These days, I only watch two primetime shows: Lost and House. Most people have seen or at least know a little bit about Lost, but House is still relatively unknown, despite being a ratings success.

For those of you who don't watch, the show focuses on Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), a brilliant diagnostician who works at the Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital. The basic formula for each episode has him and staff being presented a patient with a bizarre combination of symptoms. They must figure out what the exact cause of the patient's ailments is before he or she dies from them.

Watching this show and listening to all the obscure (as well as common) ailments that emerge as the culprits, I wonder if their medical well will ever run dry. Probably not, but for the sake of my love of the show and my love of research, I've decided to do a complete episode listing with the responsible afflictions listed for each one. Enjoy!

(WARNING: As should be obvious, this list pretty much contains spoilers for every episode that has aired so far. Some of these have such obscure names that it won't matter if you know it or not. Others, like 2-13, is a dead giveaway for what the final twist is.)

Season One

1-1: Pilot - Tapeworm

1-2: Paternity - Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis

1-3: Occam's Razor - Colchicine Poisoning

1-4: Maternity - Echovirus 11

1-5: Damned If You Do - Copper Allergy (via IUD)

1-6: The Socratic Method - Wilson's Disease

1-7: Fidelity - African Sleeping Sickness

1-8: Poison - Pesticide Poisoning

1-9: DNR - Arterial Venous Malformation

1-10: Histories - Rabies

1-11: Detox - Acute Naphthalene Toxicity

1-12: Sports Medicine - Cadmium Poisoning

1-13: Cursed - Leprosy

1-14: Control - Bulimia

1-15: Mob Rules - Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency

1-16: Heavy - Cushing's Syndrome

1-17: Role Model - Common Variable Immunodeficiency

1-18: Babies & Bathwater - Small Cell Lung Cancer

1-19: Kids - Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

1-20: Love Hurts - Fulminating Osteomyelitis

1-21: Three Stories - (a) Flesh-eating "Strep" Bacteria, (b) Cancerous Tumor and (c) Aneurysm

1-22: The Honeymoon - Acute Intermittent Porphyria

Season Two

2-1: Acceptance - Pheochromocytoma

2-2: Autopsy - Blood Clot

2-3: Humpty Dumpty - Psittacosis

2-4: TB or Not TB - Pancreatic Tumor

2-5: Daddy's Boy - Radiation Sickness

2-6: Spin - Thymoma

2-7: Hunting - Echinococcosis

2-8: The Mistake - Hepatoma

2-9: Deception - Clostridium Perfringens

2-10: Failure to Communicate - Cerebral Malaria

2-11: Need to Know - Adenoma

2-12: Distractions - Serotonin Storm

2-13: Skin Deep - Testicular Cancer

2-14: Sex Kills - Gonorrhea

2-15: Clueless - Heavy Metal (Gold) Poisoning

2-16: Safe - Tick Paralysis

2-17: All In - Erdheim-Chester

2-18: Sleeping Dogs Lie - Bubonic Plague

2-19: House vs. God - Herpes Encephalitis

2-20 & 2-21: Euphoria - Naegleria

2-22: Forever - Celiac Disease

2-23: Who's Your Daddy? - Zygomycosis Fungus

2-24: No Reason - Inconclusive ... but that's OK. It was all a hallucination anyway!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Quick Movie Quiz

Which of the following scenarios is the most fantastical:

(a) Kate Beckinsale as a Vampire Warrior

(b) Kate Beckinsale as a Vampire Hunter

(c) Kate Beckinsale as Adam Sandler's wife

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Instant Dietary Karma

Well, three days into my new diet and the library holds a BIG party to commemorate our being open for six months. Here is what I ate:

Mozzarella cubes
Slices of red pepper, zucchini and broccoli
Three chicken tenders
Here is just some of what I avoided:

Assorted crackers
Spinach dip
Cheese dip
French Onion dip
Club sandwiches
Cheddar Cheese Chex Mix (which is what I brought. That stings.)
Tortilla chips
Potato chips
Sponge cake
Brownies (with and without nuts)
Several kinds of cheesecake
And a HUGE strawberry and vanilla cake topped with chocolate-covered strawberries about the size of friggin tennis balls.
I snagged one of the tennis balls, but I'm bringing it home for Mrs. Mosley. For all this, Fate should have me trip over Black Adder DVD set in the middle of the street tomorrow!

Forest Whitaker Quote of the Month: June 2006

Article 99 is a comedy/drama about a VA hospital that owes a lot to both Catch 22 and MASH. The most remarkable thing about it is the great ensemble they got together for this film. Look! There's the great John C. McGinley doing his "oddball doctor" routine nearly a decade before he hit it big with Scrubs! And there's Lea Thompson just before she did Caroline in the City and then dropped off the face of the earth! And Jeffrey Tambor! And John Mahoney! And ... well, you get the idea.

Also in the house is Keith David, our "Quote of the Month" subject for last year, and boy does he get some juicy dialogue to spout. It's a damn shame I hadn't seen this one earlier. It could have taken the slot that Agent Cody Banks (ugh) did.

Ah, but the Year of Keith has passed and the Year of Forest is in its stead. Here, Whitaker plays Dr. Handleman, one of the renegade doctors that bends the rules so that the Veterans in the hospital get the operations they really need. In an early scene, his colleague Dr. Sturgess (Ray Liota) spells out to an intern why they are doing a different procedure on a patient than what they are scheduled to receive. He then asks Forest's character to summarize this, and he does so with a succinct six-word answer:
Dr. Richard Sturgess - "Here's the problem. This patient needs open heart surgery. The administration of this hospital will only authorize a prostate procedure. Now what good is fixing his prostate if he has a heart attack every time he tries to use it? Right? Tell him, Sid. Tell him the rule."

Dr. Sid Handleman - "First the ventricles, then the testicles."