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Some California milk has been found to be (exceedingly mildly) radioactive.  Glowing milkshakes, here we come!

(or maybe we'll just have cows with glowing eyes.)


(Disclaimer: Glowing eyes not actually a result of radioactivity, sorry.)

Japan

Mar. 12th, 2011 10:24 pm
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I can only begin to imagine what it's like near the failing nuclear reactors in Japan right now.

They've evacuated.  Some. 

In a country that's just been hit by a tremendous earthquake, it must be difficult to travel any real distance due to destruction of roads, harbors, etc. 

So you're just kind of, well, stuck.  Way-too-damn-close to a failing nuclear reactor. 

You're supposed to stay inside, cover your nose and mouth with a damp cloth for protection.  Which might do some good.  Maybe.

Pray for those in Japan.  I can only begin to imagine how terrified they must be.

*sigh*

Sep. 8th, 2010 02:14 pm
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From the shouldn't-it-be-obvious? department:

"Why the planned Koran burning causes outrage and alarm" headline for a Christian Science Monitor article coming up in Google News.
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We have a Nexus One!  It seems to work fine; I just called it on my phone.  It also does net surfing, etc in pretty much the way you would expect.  And it has a GPS/directions map built right in - no need to spend extra for TomTom or anything like that.  I will download something along the lines of ElJay (a free LiveJournal client app) sometime vaguely soon.
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The Bay Area had two little quakes (in the 3.somethings) Thursday and Friday this past week.  (That's yesterday and the day before.)  I didn't feel either of them.  That's normal - I usually don't.  Earlier today, there was a rather stronger one - 6.5 - up north off the coast.

Hmm.  Probably just releasing tension along the faults, but...

We have two large-ish but slightly old plastic things of water, and a bunch of cans of beans.  Think I'll get new water things, and maybe check the batteries in the flashlights.  And hope that not too much gets broken if The Big One hits.

Aw, dangit!

Jun. 3rd, 2009 08:26 am
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Our city had a special election yesterday on the question of whether to raise property taxes to help pay for K-8 schools.   While there were more yes votes than no votes, we didn't quite get the 66% we needed to pass the measure.

Drat and foo.

amethyst73: (Default)
It's been an incredible few days, ne?

Sunday was MLKJr Sunday for the Episcopal Church.  It's the one Sunday of the year when we drag out Gospel or Gospel-inspired hymns for every slot in the service (this year we even pulled out some Gospel service music).  Now, I've sung "Lift Every Voice and Sing" and "We Shall Overcome" many many times in my life.  But this weekend, because of the fact that we were preparing to inaugurate an African-American as President for the first time ever, the music felt especially appropriate, and everyone really got into it - to the point of moved-to-tears for some church members.

I didn't cry then.  When I was driving home from church, though, I caught the opening pieces of the celebratory concert.  After reflecting that the soloist for the national anthem could have benefited by rehearsing with the orchestra at least one more time than he apparently did prior to performance, an orchestra played Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man (youtube link).  You've probably heard it; it's a marvelous fanfare of horns and drums that gets played for e.g. the Olympics and such.  I think the conductor must have exhorted the drum and gong/cymbal players to really whack their respective percussion instruments for the inaugural concert performance.  That was when I cried.

Today is a day of such hope and celebration for so many people.  I rejoice with them.  With us.  And I hope and pray that all of us - not just Americans, but the entire world - can in fact manage to work together to try to solve the host of difficulties that we face, and that we have both the patience to give ideas a chance to work, and the intelligence to recognize that some implemented ideas aren't going to work after all and to rethink them.  Perhaps hardest of all, I hope we have the wisdom needed in deciding when to be patient and when to change course.

I can hardly imagine a more difficult position to be in than that of President of the United States.  Mr. President, I wish you the best of luck - and the best of wisdom. 
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I just received a commemorative invitation to the presidential inauguration.  It's kind of pretty, looking a little like a wedding invitation, and all printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper/paperboard.

Here's my question.  Did I get one because I sent Obama a donation during his campaign, or is everyone getting one of these?
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For the portion of my friendslist who haven't seen this already, there's been some kerfuffle about LJ firing its American coding staff and concerns that this signifies imminent collapse.  [livejournal.com profile] bryant  (friend of a friend) put together a useful post with links and instructions on how to back up your LiveJournal entries and comments.  Since I've got a good 2 years worth of stuff on here, I figure backing up is a good plan anyway; I used ljdump, which generates XML files of the entries and the comments.  It would take some reconstructing to put it all back the way it was, but presumably one could do it.  The most important thing for me is saving all that text!

Yikes!

Aug. 24th, 2008 07:47 pm
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Yow!  Three people were (as far as I know) randomly shot this morning out on El Camino, about half a mile from our house, between us and [profile] nezumiko .  Non-fatal, but nonetheless, this was literally a little too close to home.  News story is here.

Meanwhile, note to self: 50-ml conical tubes are not compatible with the fixed-angle Sorvall rotor in my new lab.  I think I might actually have known that some time ago; I guess I've been reminded now.

(Anyone know why Firefox 3.0 insists on trying to break URLs if I put them in via Rich Text?  It's really kind of annoying.  The little 'edit URL' box reappears when I add tags or try to post or do anything in the box below the entry area, and insists on putting a 'javascript void' error where the html tag ought to be.)
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It's been coming on for the last few weeks, but yes, finally Barack Obama has the delegates required to clinch the Democratic nomination for President.  I'm glad; he was the candidate I voted for (in no small part due to encouragement from [personal profile] orichalcum and [profile] cerebralpaladin).  And Hilary Clinton kept going for longer than she ought to have; I have found some of her recent actions and stances irritating at best.

That said, I do now honestly think that the best thing for the party would be a realization of the so-called 'dream ticket', with Obama in the Presidential slot and Clinton as Veep.  From what I heard on the news in the last day or so (particularly regarding the protests outside the decisionmaking regarding the Michigan and Florida delegates), there are portions of the Democratic party that have become kind of frighteningly polarized over this issue.  I believe that having both candidates on the ticket would be the fastest, surest way to excite and energize those who were/are strong Clinton supporters who may feel disappointed - or even robbed - by the Michigan-Florida delegate decision. 

That's my hope, anyway.  I think Obama is both smart enough as a gameplayer (re [personal profile] orichalcum's post) and gracious enough as a human being to extend her the offer.  We'll see what the next few weeks bring!
amethyst73: (Default)
Seen on Google News:

"Vitamin D Lowers Risk of Death"

'Scuse me, but, erhm,  everybody dies.  It's one of those 100% things.

Good stuff

Aug. 1st, 2007 10:41 am
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We watched our copy of the (TV-screen-size) Lion, Witch and Wardrobe last week.  I was enamored enough of it that I went and ordered a cheap copy ($20 including shipping) of the extended edition with three discs of supplementary material on Amazon.  Early happy birthday to me!

I have just pre-ordered the 'Dragon Fossil' shirt from [profile] pandemonium_bks.  It will be purple.  Purple is good.  More early happy birthday, though I'll actually pick it up my birthday week.

We had a great time this past Saturday with [personal profile] orichalcum and her family up in San Franciso.  It was, somewhat astonishingly, sunny and reasonably warm weather up in the Embarcadero. 

The huz and I started reading HP Deathly Hallows aloud last night.  We finished chapter 1.

The huz is unexpectedly on vacation for a week before starting his new job next week.  He'd originally expected to start in September after finishing up the project with his current employer.  But on Monday, said current employer decided to cancel the project.  You know, the one that was only a month away from shipping, and that everyone in the group has devoted the last year and a half to completing?  Yeah, that one.  But he gets a week of unexpected (and paid-for) vacation, so that's a good thing.

I practiced singing for the first time in a week yesterday morning (I'm finally basically all better).  Tazz really liked it - he was meowing and purring, and got up on the table and made as if he wanted to jump up on my shoulders. 

I got to spend close to two hours with Zelda yesterday morning after practicing.  I hadn't intended to spend anything close to that much time on it!  I had a great time, even if I haven't yet found Ooccoo in the desert dungeon.
amethyst73: (mii)
... you're standing in a mostly-empty parking lot at night.  You see a moth fluttering about in the light of a streetlight, and your first thought is, "Ooo!  I wonder if it's a dark insect, or maybe a golden bug!"


In other news, the US government is rolling back clean water protections.  I am disgusted and frightened by this action, enough so that I'm thinking of looking up the email addresses of my various representatives before the League of Conservation Voters bugs me about it.

....Hmmm.  I'm getting an idea for an advertisement about this issue.  Wonder if any of these environmental organizations would be interested?
amethyst73: (Default)

It turns out that I know someone who works at Virginia Tech.  One of the regular Librivox readers is a professor there.  He's been heard from and is okay, fortunately.

I was naturally horrified and sickened by the shootings yesterday at the school.  I felt like my emotions covered the whole ground from, "How could someone take it into their mind to do such a thing?" to sorrow and sympathy for the victims and their families. 

But underneath it all was an unconscious undercurrent of 'it's not me, it's not anybody I know' - which meant that my emotional involvement was at a kind of abstract level. 

It's not that I was in denial that this horrible thing had happened, or anything like that.  It's just that now all of a sudden it means something different. 

Someone I know - not well, admittedly, but someone I know - could have died.

I would bet that, in general, there are fewer degrees of separation between each of us and any event (good or bad) than we know at the time.

And even if I am personally widely separated from an event, I hope that I can still find that spark of personal connection by my common humanity with the people who are involved.

Go huz!

Apr. 6th, 2007 09:14 pm
amethyst73: (mii)
One of the huz's projects for several years now has been working on an open-source 3D modeling and animation studio, Art of Illusion.  It's been in the 100 most active projects at SourceForge for a while, and SourceForge is recognizing this by declaring it the Project of the Month!
amethyst73: (Default)

It's not quite that straightforward, of course.  And this is not going to be the clever, jubilant entry I'd originally planned on because lack-o-sleep is starting to seriously catch up.  But here's what happened.
amethyst73: (Default)

Public:

- Molly Ivins passed from this world.  She will be missed.

- Ditto Giancarlo Menotti, composer of Amahl and the Night Visitors and other stuff.

- Release date for Harry Potter Book 7 has been announced: July 21, 2007, one week after the planned release of the film of Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix (being released on our wedding anniversary - how cool is that?).  Mid-to-late-July is going to have serious worldwide Pottermania.

Private:

- Poor [profile] nezumiko got bit by a rat and her hand is all infected now.  I visited her in the Urgent Care facility of a local  hospital and helped her to be not insanely bored for about an hour.

- I'm an aunt again!  My brother's wife gave birth to their second child this morning, a son named Andrew.  Now Xander will have someone to play with.  :)

- Fry's will have a certain console for sale when they open tomorrow AM at 8.  How early will I be there?  We'll see...
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So, you remember the post last weekend about how we'd decided that we would get a Wii and all. 

After poking around online vs brick-n-mortar Costco, we found that no, in fact you couldn't just drive to your local Costco and get a Philips 23-inch LCD HDTV; Costco.com and the real-live stores tend to not carry overlapping inventory.  So we ordered the TV online, and got told it would take 2-3 weeks to arrive.  Fine.

The TV, rather astonishingly, showed up in two days.  It works, at least to the extent that we can turn it on and see non-reception, fairly low-def snow on it.  No, we don't have any receiver, and the thing doesn't have one built in.  No, we don't plan to acquire reception anytime, not even to see [profile] antoniusrex on Survivor.  Sorry.

However, the presence of the TV on our living room floor did get me to make a few phone calls around to the local sellers of Nintendo products, as pointed to on Nintendo's site. 

Result #1: None of the department-type stores (Target, Circuit City, Best Buy etc) would admit to knowing when they would get a shipment in.  Only our local EB Games and GameSpot would specifically say, "Yes, we'll have some on Sunday."

Result #2: If total non-techie Amethyst is calling gaming stores to ask about Wii console availability, you can bet that several hundred people in the greater area are doing the same thing.  The huz stood in line at both places. (One store said they opened at 11, the other at noon.  The one who said noon was mistaken - they opened at 11 too!)  I joined him in line at the second place... the first place having had 15 units, and the huz being twenty-somethingth in line.  The second place had 18 units, and, well, we were something well over 18th in line there.

Not surprising.  But I did pick up the useful piece of information that if some stores admit to having units in on a certain day, the chances are good that all the other local merchants will have theirs on the same day.  We heard from another gent in line that Best Buy, Fry's, Target, etc had all had units when they opened that morning - long gone by 11:45 or so, of course. 

Happily, both the huz and I are in the middle of other games.  He's playing Final Fantasy 7 (I get to watch over his shoulder for the interesting bits, and not have to wade through the random battles!), and I'm well into the second disk of Xenogears.  (No, not Xenosaga. Xenogears.  For the PS1.)  Of course, at the moment, it's mostly like watching a movie with the occasional bit of gameplay - [personal profile] hoshikage did warn me about that.  I think her hypothesis that they hit a really serious deadline oh, about a third of the way through coding the game is right.  Maybe more like a quarter - there's a really insanely high ratio of plot to gameplay through the second disk.

I'll be calling around later this week... seeing if I can find out when the next area delivery is.  Wish me luck!
amethyst73: (Default)
Whoa. I know someone who's going to be a player on Survivor: Fiji.

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