Thursday, March 29, 2007

assorted thoughts

first off, i found these (research paper and NPR article from this morning) very interesting in regard to my prior discussion with a Restless Legs Syndrome sufferer. I do wish her the best, but the paper in particular includes the mot juste that I was searching for in regard to her rare, debilitating condition. "disease mongering."

PLoS Medicine

NPR Health


I think creationism is arrogance--the belief that human beings are somehow special, or special-er than every other species on the whole planet in the whole universe. "God made the whole of the heavens and the earth, and then he made us to live in it and worship him." That's the most narcissistic statement i've ever heard. Today on my ride home Terry Gross was interviewing Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project, writer of The Language of God, and a practicing Evangelical. I about threw up when he said

"it was all his plan, he just carried it out, using the tools of evolution. . . . god had the intention of creating life--this wonderful diversity of life that we see all around us on this planet--and ourselves, special creatures with whom he could have fellowship, in whom he would imbue the soul, the knowledge of good and evil, and the ability to practice free will."

Way to adapt truth to fanciful egotism. You work in a field in which you have the facts of life shoved into your face daily--there's no getting around it by hiding in the church--but rather than accept the fact that we are just one species of many on one of many planets in many galaxies in possibly many pan-dimensional universes and That's It, you'd prefer to crawl back into the recesses of your selfish imagination and try to Justify It To Your Ego somehow.


I'm really getting tired of excessive safety features. Like the auto-slide door on minivans (people carriers). You push a button in the door and it closes itself in a controlled manner. Sounds like a good idea--fewer crushed fingers and tearful eyes--until you sit through its opening/closing procedure a few times. The thing takes about half an hour to slide across. You coulda been to the grocery store and back by the time the damn door closed. It also takes a lot of battery power, Breaks if you try to close it manually, and get this--they don't actually have enough power to get over the holding lever. Yep--that's the whole reason children's arms get thrown out in the first place. Slowly sliding a door closed Never gets it to actually click closed. I know a number of dads who've perfected the technique of leaving the door wide open, getting all the kids in their seat belts, and then driving a few feet only to slam on the brakes, causing the door to likewise slam. Not only does it delight the stickier members of the family, but its one of a very small number of ways to successfully close those doors.

this also pertains to the manufacture of shoddy products that are loaded with safety features which fail to take into consideration the most likely course of events--that being the product Breaking.


I just finished Mary Wollstonecraft's Mary, a delightful, short narrative on how one woman's life starts out bad, gets worse, all her friends and family die in her arms, and she spends the rest of her life alone. I've since embarked upon The Wrongs of Woman, and i've gotten a whole four pages in without anyone coughing up blood!


An ad searching for egg donors recently caught my eye. I nearly started the preliminary forms, but then was reminded of my family history of alcoholism, depression, cancer, blood disorders, arthritis, pulmonary disorders, poor vision, patella disorders, back pain, and oddly-shaped fingernails. I think I'll keep my shoddy DNA to myself.


Before the invention of toilet paper, I'd imagine your average person was a lot better at botany.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I was facing the window from a restaurant on Telegraph and Durant for a fat half hour today and it pleased me to notice that in that time I was passed by representatives of at least thirty different countries and cultures, as represented in their appearance, dialect, dress, and public behavior, all cohabiting my little town peacefully. I also noticed that tapered jeans are back "in." Dios mio.

I thought I was witnessing the end of band rehearsal when I saw a bunch of soft-sided clarinet cases walk down the street. Then I realized they were leaving the Computer Sciences building.

The Pillowman is done and gone. All that remains is the glistening patch of crystallized red gel that seeped through to the deck downstage right. Tomorrow that'll be gone too when we further dismember the stage to start loading in The Blue Door, which is low and raked. Someone, ignorant of Pillowman's seat-gripping end, saw the drippy mess and said "Eugh! It looks like someone died there." to which it was very easy to reply, "Someone did. Six nights a week for two months. You try not leaving a mess." But then it occurred to me that I never actually stated it was the same person each time.

Monday, March 19, 2007

home economics

It just occurred to me that middle school Home Ec taught me nothing about household budgeting. Why the name?

When I walk down the street, I often wonder what passers-by think of when they give me the once-over. I bet its not "there's a girl who folds her underwear."

My intern project, which was to create a 22' high x 6' wide bookcase that appeared to have no visible means of support (just rows of floating books) was canceled due to a miscommunication between the director and the designer. I kinda wish they'd told me before I hacked into those Bibles.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Murphy's scene shop

If you want a cable to slide, it will catch. If you want it to catch, it will slide. Same goes for hoses, casters, keys, and soft goods.

If you cut all your lumber perfectly, it will warp. If you miss a cut it will always be too short. If it does neither, the piece will be cut from the show. so there.

Routers have the most suicidal power cables of any hand tool. Every five seconds they dive in front of the spinning bit, just begging to be torn in two.

You will only find raised nail heads and staples by kneeling...on them.

Homosote will never be square.

If it fits together in the shop, it will find a way not to onstage.

The faster you try to go, the more screws will have malformed heads.

The moment you find yourself proud of what you've made, you'll manage to hurt yourself on it.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


The other day i saw a television advertisement for a new medication targeted at people with "Restless Leg Syndrome"--folks who wiggle so much in bed that they have a hard time sleeping.

Um. Wow. Screw searching for treatments for legitimate diseases, lets patent and sell a drug for folks who don't get enough exercise during the day so they have pent-up energy at night. I have a funny feeling pharmaceutical companies have taken to inventing medical conditions so they can invent treatments for them. Restless legs? Take a walk. Go out, buy a dog, buy a leash, and walk it.

Now I recognize that profits are falling for one of the bigger drug companies after a cholesterol-lowering medication, made available to the public, turned out to have some nasty side effects that got it recalled. It came as a biting hit as they were really counting on the patent revenue from this drug (i think its called Lipitor?) to keep them afloat for the next few years. So i can only assume, now that this product has generated a loss, that they're going to be promoting their less-interesting drugs a bit more vehemently to make up for it. Unfortunately, an unwanted side-effect of this marketing campaign is that they make themselves look like dorks.

And i can only hope that this RLS drug occurred completely by accident. I envision a tired chemist mixing, pouring, looking cross-eyed at a sheet of ingredients, filling an eye dropper with a cloudy pink solution and feeding it to one of his twitchier lab rats through the grating on a sterile aluminium cage. After a few minutes the rodent falls asleep and he checks his vitals, takes some blood, pokes and/or prods the animal and records "day 312: Mopsy's tumor is no smaller, but interestingly, though his resting vitals are all normal, he's less wiggly in his sleep."

If anyone actually funded a project to develop a drug to reduce nighttime twitchy-ness...i think the entire medical community should hang its collective head in shame. That's a waste of money, time, resources, and above all, intellect. I would be so embarrassed to go through twenty years of schooling and get four PhDs, only to get a job heading that product team.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


The conscious choice to ignore or refuse truth. see Faith.