Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Yet Another Health Update

There are certain phrases that one should never hear in one's lifetime. Among those are, "I need to put this anasthetic in your penis. It's going to burn."

The good news is that I got my stent out. A stent, for those fortunate enough to have never needed one, is a plasic tube that's inserted up into ones kidneys through the urethra and bladder. It's function is to dilate the ureter so as to make it easier for large stones to pass.

It's also as uncomfortable as hell. I've had mine in for six weeks now and I don't regret getting it out, regardless of how painful and undignified the process was.

That's the good news. The bad news is that they only managed to reduce the size of the stone to about 6 milimeters. At this point, they're going to wait ten days in hopes that it will descend far enough for them to insert catheter so that they can hit it with a laser.

I must confess, as much as I'm not looking forward to that, it will be pretty darned cool to be one of the few people who have ever had a laser fired inside of them. I should charge admission.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Alien World

Found this little CGI demo on Google Video. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

51 Stars

Have you ever wondered what the flag might look like if we were to add an additional state? One of the proposals is a circular arrangement as depicted below. An alternative version has rows of nine stars interleaved with rows of 8 stars.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Unstructured Fun: Egg Scupltures

I think that there is something very cool about ephimeral art. One of the most unsuall I've encountered are these pictures of some sculptures (or, perhaps, horizonal murals) made out of eggs.

Check it out.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Recovery Update

Well, I went through a second round of lithotripsy and am happy to report that there were no post-operative complications aside from the expected sensation of feeling bruised and battered (as in the way that tempura must feel).

Two days later, with a little help from my friends (and some percocet), I'm feeling much better than I have been.

There won't be many blog updates for awhile. I'll be leaving for a week-long vacation this Friday. I also have a birthday coming up on the 14th, although I think that I'll hold off the celebrations until I get back.

Hopefully by April I'll be feeling much better. Better enough that, with luck, I'll be able to start putting more time into this little blog. In the meanwhile, I want to wish everyone well as well as thanking everyone for the well wishings you've given to me.

Take care.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Unstructured Origami

I love origami. Here's some of the best examples of the art that I've seen.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Well, here's the latest update on my life:

I went to see the doctor for a follow-up. Although all the stones in the left kidney have been successfully evacuated (says the captain of the Titanic), the big stone in the right kidney is still there, so I'm going to have to go through another round of lithotripsy. Given that, in addition to this, the Dish that supposed to be installed today was, once again, delayed, and that a game I bought for the sake of relaxation isn't compatible with my computer, and that my toothbrush broke in half while I was brushing my teeth, there's only one logical course of action: I really need to find out which gypsy I managed to piss off so badly and offer her my profoundest apologies for whatever I did to her.

While we're on the subjecting of pissing, I have been put on medications that have the interesting effect of turning my urine a neat tidy-bowl shade of blue. This is a nice change of pace from the fluorescent orange shade that my previous medications gave me. It also reveals unto me my life's purpose, which is to piss the rainbow. Indeed, I want to go beyond the visible spectrum. First I'll work my way through the infrared and ultraviolet, then into the deeper realms of microwave and radio until, finally, I'm able to produce a pure stream of gamma and x-rays.

Once I reach that point I will, of course, be a superhero. Suggestions for a name and a logo are welcome.

Take care and wish me luck. Clearly I've had a dearth of it this year and could use whatever spare luck you might have hanging around.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Offsite essay: Married Dolphins: The Next Right-Wing Bogeyman

One of the more common arguments against the idea of allowing homosexuals to marry is a slippery slope argument that institutionalizing gay marriage will invariably lead down a path where the terminus is that anybody will be allowed to marry anything.

I've thought about writing my own essay on the subject (and I might, yet), but, in all honesty, the very topic depresses the hell out of me. The justice of allowing gays to marry seems so obvious and manifest that it frustrates me to see how unreasonably far otherwise rational people will go to defend their exclusion from that institution.

My good friend, Rob Berry, has taken up that challenge. The essay itself is an exploration of a recent case where a UK citizen "married" a dolphin that she's in love with, and Rob's (accurate) prediction that anti-gay groups would declare this case to be a "proof" of the slipper-slope (never mind that such outré "marriages" have been going on for a long time... but I digress).

As good as the essay is (and it is good!), the real fun is to be found in the comments section where Rob gets into an extended debate with a conservative blogger by the name of ScottG is who very much against the notion. Rob is steady and unwaveringly rational in the face of ScottG's increasingly desperate attempts to claim (among other things) that gay marriage is part of some organized agenda to destroy American values (in spite of the fact that he can't seem to produce a single quote to that effect), that gay marriage accords with the Communist agenda (based, apparently, on a single author with dubious credentials), that the ACLU is a Communist front (which is purely ridiculous), that every society that's embraced homosexuality immediately decayed (which would be a surprise to the Greeks), and that, finally, he hate's the gays because God says so and that's that (and what of us that don't believe in his god or agree with his conception of what his god wants).

Rob's ability to remain cool and civil while, never the less, being relentlessly rational is quite impressive. I doubt that I could have gone as long as he has without eventually just calling my opponent a narrow-minded idiot and ending the discussion then and there. Fortunately, I'm not the guy in the trenches this time.

Take a look. It's well worth reading.

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