November 28, 2007

Greenpeace is currently holding a contest to name humpback whales that travel along the Great Whale Trail. They've selected 30 names from submissions made by the public. And do you know what name is currently the overwhelming leader at 73% of the vote?

Mister Splashy Pants.


Yeah, I wish I could say I voted for one of the 29 other meaningful names. How awesome will it be to hear Greenpeace seriously reprimanding Japan on their whaling practices by imploring them to "please, think of Mister Splashy Pants"?

November 27, 2007

Isn't she beautiful? That little girl, named Lakshmi after the four-armed Indian goddess of wealth and beauty, is too adorable. She was born with a "parasitic conjoined twin" attached to her lower half which means she was the developed and surviving twin but had two extra arms and two extra legs on her own body. Born into a poverty-stricken rural family in India, she was worshiped as a reincarnation of the goddess Lakshmi she's named for but when too much attention came her way and circuses expressed interest in her, her parents kept her in hiding. They looked into getting her surgery but could not afford it until Dr. Sharan Patil and a team of 30 doctors at Sparsh Hospital in Bangalore donated their time and talent to help Lakshmi. That's a whole lot of trauma for a two year old! But you'd never know it by looking at her smile.

Those dedicated doctors recently completed a risky 40 hour surgery on Lakshmi to remove the extra limbs and realign her organs, spine, and pelvic region. They are happy report that the surgery was a marked success and little Lakshmi, now with only two arms and legs each, was recovering nicely earlier this month.

You can't always predict the cards life will deal you and I have to admire her parents, poor as they were, in protecting her from exploitation and raising, from all appearances, a perfectly happy baby despite her extra limbs. They weren't in it for anything other than her well-being. I also think it's beautiful that babies born with deformities in those regions are regarded as reincarnations of deities instead of dismissed as freaks.

There's a lesson in there somewhere but I won't point it out for fear of being too overt.

November 25, 2007

This, my friends, is a Kindle.

It's made by and it's like a book but it isn't. It's for all those people who would absolutely find time to read if only reading didn't involve all those pesky books.

Actually just today, as I was reading my book while barefoot on the roof in the sun, it occurred to me that the only way things could get any better would be if I were reading my book on a "revolutionary electronic-paper display" that could provide "a sharp, high-resolution" image "that looks and reads like real paper". I would probably read so much more frequently if I had a device whose screen could approximate the experience of reading words on real paper.

You can take the Kindle everywhere you can take a... book. And it only weighs a little less than a, you know, book. Also, there are no monthly wireless bills or service plans unlike... well, not unlike books. So. There you go then.

I hope somebody invents a holowaterbottle so I can virtually quench my thirst and handily carry around a stupidly expensive gadget instead of those pain-in-the-ass real bottles.

I feel 90. "Back in my day, sonny, we used to read books! We didn't have any of these fancy-assed gizmo do-dads that you kids have today. And we had to read our books while walking to school barefoot in the snow. Uphill. Through eel-infested waters."