Wednesday Reads: There goes the neighborhoodPosted: February 26, 2014
So, it is Wednesday? Really? I have lost track of time, spending most of the day and night listening to my daughter coughing her lungs out. It is so frustrating, after the doctor offices, hospital ERs and walk in clinics that we have sat in the past few days, well…week, I am over it! (So is she.) I just want her to get better.
As it goes now, I am on five hours sleep for the past 36 hours. I don’t even know what I am writing anymore. So take this post to heart and have a little mercy on the mama.
But for the post’s news links, I really do not know what is going on in the world. My dad mentioned something about cutting the military force down to WWII levels yesterday while we were coming back from the Girl’s doctors appointment. Is that true? I haven’t looked it up, yet. Hmmm, lets give the Google a twirl…Hagel’s Military Budget Cuts Will Start a Fight in the Republican Party
It was like a throwback to the world of Franklin Roosevelt, Charles Lindbergh and the fight over America’s entry into World War II. This week, the Pentagon leaked a preview of its 2015 Budget and it contains plans to reduce the size of the Army to its smallest number since 1940–about 440,000 troops, down from the current 522,000.
Everyone expected a decline. After all, we’re poised to leave Afghanistan. But the number–and passing the 1940 benchmark–was still startling. In his trademark restrained and respectful style, Dick Cheney used a Fox News Channel appearance to declare Barack Obama “would rather spend the money on Food Stamps” than on keeping America strong.
Typical Dick….ugh, Cheney.
Yes, The number of troops in a Hagel Defense budget would see the number of Army troops sink to pre-1940 levels, but America’s defense strength would still be overwhelming compared to the armed forces of the rest of the world.
There would be 11 aircraft carrier groups — far ahead of Russia and China which have one each and neither a match for ours. America’s old Cold War nuclear triad of bombers, submarines and missiles would remain intact. And some big new projects like the $400 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter would keep rolling off the assembly line, albeit at a slower clip.
The U.S. would still be the most formidable military in the world. The question is, by how much? And could it conduct two land wars simultaneously, as we did in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Besides, this is just a proposal. The budget process, even in times of comity, is a messy scrum of the defense industry, veterans, pols, and everyone else, since Pentagon spending touches so many aspects of American life.
In other news, do you remember Miles O’Brien? He was co-anchor with Soledad O’Brien CNN’s American Morning show from 2003 to 2007. (I always liked the two of them on the show…more than any of the other host, who I think are all shit.)
O’Brien, a 16-year-veteran of CNN, had recently finished shooting in the Philippines and was packing his belongings on February 12th when a heavy Pelican case fell on his forearm. Though it hurt, he “figured it would be okay without any medical intervention,” and didn’t seek medical attention for two days. On the 14th, however, his arm had swollen to the point where he asked for the hotel to refer him to a doctor.
Take a look at O’Brien’s blog post, the title is perfect: “Just a Flesh Wound” Miles O’Brien | Journalist
I wish I had a better story to tell you about why I am typing this with one hand (and some help from Dragon Dictate).
A shark attack would be interesting. An assassination attempt would be intriguing. Skydiving mishaps always make for good copy. An out-of-control quad copter that turns on its master would be entertaining (and would come complete with a grim, potentially viral, video).
No, the reason I am now one-handed is a little more prosaic than those scenarios.
All the more reason this next story as such, what is the word…damn I can’t think straight. Resonance? From BBC News – Virtual arm eases phantom limb pain
Doctors have devised a new way to treat amputees with phantom limb pain.
Using computer-generated augmented reality, the patient can see and move a virtual arm controlled by their stump.
Electric signals from the muscles in the amputated limb “talk” to the computer, allowing real-time movement.
Amputee Ture Johanson says his pain has reduced dramatically thanks to the new computer program, which he now uses regularly in his home.
He now has periods when he is free of pain and he is no longer woken at night by intense periods of pain.
Phantom limb pain
- Almost all people who have lost a limb have some sensation that it is still there
- A majority of amputees will also experience phantom limb pain – painful sensations associated with the missing limb
- The exact cause is unknown but it is thought that nerves in the severed limb continue to communicate with the brain, which interprets the mismatch as pain and discomfort
- It can manifest as an insatiable itch or a stabbing or niggling pain
Few more stories this morning:
For the cost of the Sochi Olympics, we could have gone to Mars 20 times.
Yeah, let that sink in.
From the, “this is fucking ridiculous” page: Minnesota nursing home defends rapist: 89-year-old victim was a ‘flirt’ | The Raw Story
And…for those dental floss freaks:‘Microbial Pompeii’ Found on 1,000-Year-Old Teeth From Germany – NBC News.com
A “microbial Pompeii” has been found on the teeth of 1,000-year-old human skeletons. Just as volcanic ash entombed the citizens of the ancient Roman city, dental plaque preserved bacteria and food particles on the teeth from a medieval cemetery in Germany.
“One thing that is clear about the population we studied is that they didn’t brush their teeth very often, if at all,” said study leader Christina Warinner, an anthropologist at the University of Zurich in Switzerland and the University of Oklahoma in Norman. The study was published Monday in Nature Genetics. [5 Surprising Ways to Banish Bad Breath]
Dental plaque is a dentist’s worst enemy, but it turns out to be a great time capsule for preserving the bacteria (or “microbiome”) and bits of food on the teeth of humans long after they die. Sticky material trapped particles of food and other debris, and over time, the calcium phosphate in saliva — the same mineral found in bones and teeth — caused the plaque to calcify into tartar, also known as calculus.
Ah, even when I did not realize it, I did manage to tie this all together.
I guess you noticed all the grave stones in the post this morning, there is a story behind this.
While spending so much time listening to the Bebe version of “Camile” or any other film where the star has a chronic cough…
I found myself lost in the world of pinterest.
Specifically, pictures of classic movie stars, where I happened upon an image of Yul Brynner.
I thought…damn, that is a lot of skin. But an artistic pose. So I Googled the image and what did I find?
Mmmm….it was a hell of a Yul.
I will tell you the next two links are NSFW!!!!
Yul Brynner began acting and modeling in his twenties and early in his career he was photographed nude by George Platt Lynes (1907-1955). These shots were taken in 1942. No comment necessary.
Okay. When Google pulled up the image, it also pulled up other George Platt Lynes photos. And that pulls up additional “similar” photos. That of course got me started on one or another thing and before I knew it there was Burt Lancaster. Now that was a beautiful man.
Well, check this out…Burt Lancaster Nudes! NSFW!
Eh…sort of ruins it. Yeah? Nothing like the artsy photos from Yul. In fact, I was so bush shocked:
That it got me on to another tangent, Famous Graves | Pinterest
Some of the graves are freaky, like Jules Vern crawling out of his own grave:
Others are touching, take Ann Bancroft:
other sentimental or thoughtful tombstones:
Wasn’t she beautiful?
Some are defined by who they knew in life:
Others are over done and tacky:
Classic and peaceful:
And still there are some that seem self-deprecating, look at Marlene Detrich’s tombstone:
After we have been asked over and over againfor the meaning of the inscription on Marleneístombstone (ÑHier steh ich an den Markenmeiner Tageì) we finally asked Maria Riva whatthe translation would be like: And here is heranswer:“Here I stand in the benchmark of my days.”(Literal)“I remain as/in the proof of my days.” (loose)What Dietrich liked was what she interpreted asits meaning:1. I am what I am.2. I remain the proof of me.
Then there are those with no tombstone at all…
Which brings me to this last story, of Thelma Todd and Harpo Marx
First this picture of the both of them, it just tickled me:
Now for Thelma Todd’s tragic story, you can read about it here: The Marx Brothers and Celebrity Death Mysteries
In the 1931 movie “Monkey Business”, Groucho Marx tells the vivacious Thelma Todd: “You’re a woman who’s been getting nothing but dirty breaks. Well, we can clean and tighten your brakes, but you’ll have to stay in the garage all night.” Just 5 years later, Todd was found dead in a garage. The cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning but the circumstances remain shrouded by conflicting stories, conspiracy theories and rumors.
Todd was cremated and, after her mother’s death, her remains were placed in her mother’s casket and buried in Bellevue Cemetery in her hometown of Lawrence, Massachusetts. In her will, she left her entire estate to her mother and one dollar to her ex-husband.
Specifically: Ashes allegedly sprinkled into the sand trap at the seventh hole of the Rancho Mirage golf course
I don’t want you to think it is all morbid, look at some of those tombstones and the epitaphs. I love going through old cemeteries.
When we lived in Connecticut, that was a special treat because there were some cemeteries that really went back hundreds of years and were so beautiful…and strange.
This one in Rhode Island:
Newport, RI 18th c gravestone for 2 babies & wife’s amputated arm: WAIT daughtr. of WILLIAM and DESIRE TRIPP died April 24th 1780 Aged 10 Mo. 10 days. Also WILLIAM their Son died March 17th 1784 Aged 22 Mo. Also his Wifes Arm Amputated Feby. 20th 1786.
As for today’s offering, my favorite is Rodney Dangerfield’s
Let’s end this post with another laugh and a smile.
Have a good day…and leave a link or two or three in the comments below!
BTW, did you catch the running theme?