October 16th, 2008

#1307: Oil's getting cheaper again

It's at a 13-month low, in fact.

Yesterday I filled the Jeep with gas that cost sixty cents less than the gas I bought three weeks ago. Gas isn't really "cheap" except by comparison, but after paying a dollar more per gallon for gas this summer, $3.13 per gallon seems cheap.

I'm wondering how much farther it'll fall.

But it you talk down the economy enough, it goes down. Reporters think and hope that a poor economy helps Barak Hussein Obama win the election in November, and I fail to see how it can hurt his prospects; the bailout appears to have hurt more than it helped matters, and the economy is currently coughing up a bucket of dicks--with the attendant effects on consumer spending.

We're looking at a less-happy retail season than we had last year. (But if Barak Hussein Obama wins the election ballot box stuffing contest, expect the press to effuse over "record-setting holiday sales".)

* * *

Bill Clinton, oral sex is still sex and you didn't do anyone any favors--except yourself--by pretending it isn't.

Still, the fact that people can get cancer from a virus (HPV) may be indicative of how cancer occurs. What we know about microbiology is dwarfed by what there is to know, and we don't look for virii which don't cause obvious symptoms.

Trying to find a viral component to, say, lung cancer would be like looking for a needle in the yearly world output of hay--we don't even know what such a virus would look like, let alone be able to begin to quantify how it functions, because the first symptom an infected person shows is lung cancer. When was the virus contracted? How long has it been incubating? How was it transmitted?

Worse, cancer is a complex disease; even if it were true that it could be traced to a single cause (which it cannot) the disease's effects on the human body can't be treated simply. Treating cancer isn't like treating an infection; you can't give the patient a dose of penicillin and send him home. The effected tissues show up as "normal" to the body's immune system--that's part of the problem!

The fact that we can trace certain cancers to HPV is interesting, though. Even more interesting is the fact that we can vaccinate against it. Maybe that's a model for the future, which would be cool.

* * *

I love Ann Coulter:
In 1988, George H.W. Bush beat Michael Dukakis by a whopping 53.4 percent to 45.6 percent. A New York Times/CBS News Poll on Oct. 5 had Bush leading the Greek homunculus by a statistically insignificant 2 points....
"The Greek homunculus"! Damn is that funny.

* * *

I actually managed to continue the rewrite I started in 2003 of a novel that I wish to try to get published. I think I've roughly doubled the page count, though in the process of doing so I blew up the formatting stuff that generated the table of contents for me. Dang it--but I'm not entirely sure the table of contents is really necessary when you don't use named chapters, anyway. But it's nice to have the thing auto-generate chapter numbers.

As a bonus the rewrite is looking pretty good, too; it's adding the detail I wanted to add, and it's drawing the initial part of the story out a bit longer. Hooray for more and better character development!

* * *

Holy crap: it's been four weeks since I watched any anime on my playlist. How'd I manage that, and not have any withdrawal symptoms?

#1308: A brief letter to my own brain.

Dear brain:

Okay, that song, "Not Man Big" on the Kansas album Somewhere to Elsewhere--it's a good song, it really is.

But not when you play it over and over and over again, nonstop.

And, heck, even that would be fine if you'd just play the whole song...but when it's just the freaking chorus it gets old really, REALLY FAST. I mean, "faster than that dude who broke the sound barrier in that jet car" fast. Okay? Like "Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction" fast. Get me?

And that last example is particularly apt, because when you've heard:
Not man big, some construction
Not man true, it's a bigger thing than you could ever do
Not man said, some production
Not man made, from the east to the west, it's a million miles between
some fifty thousand times, time seems to slow down to a crawl.

Seriously, dude--you are making me hate this song. Okay? So please stop it. Lay off the damn thing. Play something else.

I mean, there are two gigabytes of music on my MP3 player, which doesn't even represent ten percent of all the music I own--it's not like I don't have variety. There's jazz fusion, classical, anime music, other '70s rock bands, new age, '80s pop, techno, ambient, and swing in my collection, and I know you know enough of those songs to play something else.

Otherwise it's going to drive me nuts, and if that happens, you know what comes next? Major drugs, electroshock therapy, and the possibility of a lobotomy--we've seen One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I don't think either of us want that, do we?

I didn't think so.