April 13th, 2010

#2020: This is me not catching a break.

Yesterday? I coughed once. It was a dry tickle that woke me up; I coughed, drank a bit of Pepsi, and went back to sleep. I later woke up feeling pretty good, had some leftover mostaccoli, and did the old bloggerating.

I got up later and discovered I had a case of food poisoning or some 24-hour bug. First symptoms hit around 6 PM yesterday. Between midnight and now I managed about 4 hours of sleep.

Lay down. Almost go to sleep. Get up. Go to bathroom. Repeat.

..."Imodium"? Imodium is for #2; I had to urinate a lot last night because I was drinking lots of fluids; and I was drinking lots of fluids because I had the highest fever I've had in literal decades: I had three degrees of fever last night. I didn't have that much of a fever when I had appendicitis!

Tylenol took care of the fever, but there was nothing to be done about the kidneys--and so around five or so I was beginning to wonder if I'd died and gone to hell.

Imodium, in fact, made the problem worse. I took the usual 2 tabs right after the first blowdown, and it jammed my gut up solid. The fever started around 7-ish and peaked around midnight, and the cramping and bloating made me wonder if I'd perforated a diverticulum or something equally dire. At midnight I gave Mom instructions to wake me up at 3 AM so I could take my temperature, and to call an ambulance if I was unresponsive.

I was awake at 3, though. Despite my fatigue, I was getting out of bed every twenty minutes to go wee. I had some hard-boiled eggs and shut her alarm off before it woke her.

As it turns out, it's just a 24-hour bug after all, and my fevered brain was overreacting. The pain was caused by cramping (due to the Imodium) and the fever was caused by my gut having to retain poisonous stuff rather than blow it out. How do I know? Because I woke up around 11-ish this morning with no fever, desperately wanting a shower and food; and in fact I just finished eating half a footlong Subway Melt (left over from dinner last night).

I don't feel good but it sure ain't diverticulitis.

This makes yet another check mark in the "don't interrupt your body's defense mechanisms unless you absolutely have no other choice" column. I'm convinced the Imodium made this worse than it had to be.

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A vaccine is not a cure. Let's hearken back to Benjamin Franklin, writing Poor Richard's Almanac, which included all sorts of old aphorisms, including "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

A vaccine is prevention. If this treatment actually reduces or eliminates melanoma, it's a cure, not a vaccine.


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Michelle Malkin on Democrat tax theory.

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More scaremongering, this time over turning the lights on at night. Oh! If you get up to go wee at 2:42 in the morning, don't turn the light on for a few moments so you don't trip and fall over the cat, shattering your right arm and requiring a trip to the hospital and six months of physical therapy, because you might slightly increase your risk of cancer!

This is just as stupid as that story a few months ago talking about copper pipes causing heart disease. WTF, has the entire nation of England lost its ability to do science?

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The recession is not over. The article is couched in cautious terms, not actually saying it, but WTF, we know it's not over.

At least, I do.

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Yesterday afternoon I had to bury a possum.

I took some pictures of the tulips, since I've never seen the tulips bloom at the same time as the daffodils; and then ambled around the house, planning to take a nap afterwards. I got by the back of the garage and *sniff* blech--what the hell is....

Furry body behind the garage, on the bunged-up ladder, behind the rowboat.

...so I moved the ladder and the boat, got out a spade, dug a hole, and buried the poor thing.

Animal control had been out this way last week, but with the temperatures we've had I don't think the possum could have been dead for more than three or four days. No idea what killed it, and I wasn't going to try to figure it out when its gut was full of maggots.

Animal control traps and releases; they don't poison. My theory was that the thing got injured and then got away from them, crawled over behind the garage, and died. But wild animals die all the time for all sorts of reasons and it might have had nothing whatsoever to do with animal control.

At least it was a possum and not a cat.

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As for me, the gut is still bothering me and I'm still tired, so I'm going to hit the hay.

#2021: NEWS FLASH: SUVs can roll over if you drive like an idiot.

On the news just now was a story about a certain Lexus SUV which Consumer Reports has given a "don't buy" rating to, because it can roll over.


They showed a video clip--which was meant to be very scary--of said SUV going into a turn too fast, and the rear end kicked out, and then it went into a full four-wheel drift.

The news story then focussed on some Chicago area yuppie type who just bought this exact model. She wanted a safe vehicle to cart around her children. "I asked the salesman if this will roll over, and he said it wouldn't."

Here's some information for you, stupid bitch: ALL VEHICLES CAN ROLL OVER.

Bonus points were awarded, by the way, for the huge gas-guzzling tank of a truck with environmental license plates. Oh yeah, you're really eco-conscious, driving around the suburbs in a truck with a big V8 and which gets 18 MPG on the highway. Yeah.

This kind of thing drives me batshit insane, because ALL VEHICLES CAN ROLL OVER and SUVs--being trucks with higher centers of gravity than cars--are more likely to roll over. Yes, even if you have all kinds of fancy traction control and antilock brakes and anti-roll systems, ANY VEHICLE CAN ROLL OVER.

Toyota is suspending salea of the truck because of the Consumer Reports thing. It reminds me of the Suzuki Samurai fooraw back in the 1980s.

Back then Consumer Reports tested the stability of the Samurai and found it wanting. It was dangerous because it could roll over! They hung wheels on huge outriggers off the side of the thing (so it couldn't tip all the way over) and then put it through the one maneuver guaranteed to make it tip: the "avoidance" maneuver, where the driver swerved from one lane to another. The outriggers were perhaps four feet long; there were four of them and they all had wheels on the ends. With all that mass hanging that far out, you get it moving and the laws of physics take over. Figure 100 lbs per side and the leverage of having that mass sticking out four feet from the side of a light, narrow truck with a short wheelbase--the test was designed to make the thing roll over.

Suzuki's own tests used one outrigger per side and they didn't have this problem.

And since then I've seen videos of Samurais in maneuvers which Consumer Reports says would lead to a rollover, and no rollover occurred in those videos. Off-roading enthusiasts love the Samurai for its small size and easy modifiability. Not that it matters; the Consumer Reports story killed the Suzuki Samurai.

The Toyota problem occurs when a driver approaches a curve too fast and steps on the brake partway through the curve. It's called "trailing throttle oversteer" and it's normally the province of mid-engine cars. The truck oversteers and goes into a four-wheel drift. There is a relatively simple way to avoid this problem: obey the speed limit and pay attention to the advisory signs.

The advisory speed is posted on a little yellow rectangular sign below the sign warning you that there's a curve ahead. That's considered the maximum safe speed for the curve for the lowest common denominator; a sports car will be able to take the curve faster than that speed but a large truck will not. An SUV may or may not be able to safely negotiate the curve at the posted limit (rather than the advisory speed). Not all curves have an advisory speed posted, but if you're the kind of idiot who doesn't anticipate needing to go slower to take a curve in a vehicle with a high center of gravity, you're a moron who shouldn't be driving an SUV anyway.

The stupid woman in the news story could have bought just about anything to shlep her podlings around. She could probably have spent 1/3 the money on a nice new Chevy Malibu and gotten a nice car which would be just as safe as the SUV--if not safer, in her hands, because she's obviously a flaming idiot.

She's getting rid of the truck, and taking the monetary hit, because she's afraid of a rollover--when all she has to do to avoid a rollover is to put down the cell phone and drive the truck, pay attention to what she's doing, and drive at the speed limit. But that's too much for most people.

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Not to put too fine a point on it, ALL VEHICLES CAN ROLL OVER.

I saw a Corvette--a brand new 2003 Corvette--roll over. The guy driving it (at a Corvette club track day) oversteered and ran the back end into a wall, which flipped the car over, but it's still a rollover. A Corvette--generally speaking--has a low enough center of gravity that the car will slide long before it rolls, but under the right (wrong?) circumstances you can make one flip.

It's true for every car and truck on the road.

#2022: I must be getting better; everything is pissing me off (anime fan service version)

As usual I've been reading Steven Den Beste's site. There are some NSFW pictures linked in that post, so be warned.

I thought animators are supposed to have a good grasp of anatomy; yet the upskirt shot makes an error which is increasingly common among anime with fan service.

Click on the following link to look at this NSFW image of Haruhi Suzumiya:

NSFW pic of Haruhi Suzumiya.

If you take a look at her derriere, you see that the artist has drawn her pubic mound in the wrong spot. The posterior extent of it is right in her anus, which is not how a real girl is put together. There is a space called the perineum between the anus and the terminus of the cleft.

The image in Steven's post is the same way: the pubic mound extends too far back.

Now look at this NSFW image of the girls from K-on!

NSFW pic of K-on! girls.

The intent is to show camel toe; instead they look like someone shoved peaches into their bikinis.

These are professional images, yet they're fricking wrong, and instead of being sexy they end up being gross.

Speaking as a male anime fan with no love life, the efforts animators put into this stuff are not unappreciated--but is it too much to ask that they get the damn appearance correct?

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...in Japan, of course, the pr0n is censored. No, it doesn't make any sense to me, either, but if you live in Japan and can only (for whatever reason) get Japanese pr0n, you don't see any detail when it comes to genitals: it's mosaiced. They put an electronic filter mask over the body part in question to defrangulate the optical properties of the pixelation reglator circuitry, resulting in a suboptimal viewing experience due to a vastly reduced data rate.

This is by way of saying that perhaps the animators can't get the references they need to correctly draw the fan service parts--but cripes, haven't these guys heard of the Internet?

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I had something else I wanted to complain about, but I forgot what it was. I blame the panties.