March 2008 Archives
March 26, 2008
Debbie Shank lost a son to the Iraq War.
She almost lost her husband to prostate cancer.
She lost her mobility after a car accident left her with severe brain damage.
She lives in a nursing home, paid for by a trust funded by a legal settlement.
Or should I say lived?
It's not certain where Ms. Shank will live now that her former employer, Wal-Mart, wants to be reimbursed for the health care expenses the company accrued after the accident - a reimbursement that will leave Ms. Shank penniless.
Here's the way it works:
1. Shank has accident
2. Wal-Mart pays for health care
3. Shank sues company responsible for accident
4. Shank wins money
5. Wal-Mart wants its money back
6. Wal-Mart sues Shank
7. Wal-Mart wins
8. Shank loses everything (again)
It's shameful, sure - but do you really expect less from Wal-Mart, apart from their low, low prices?
The thing that astounds me, however, is that given the recent anniversary of Terri Schiavo's death, I've seen little to no coverage of Debbie Shank's story in the conservative press.
Remember the feverish intensity of the debate - the congressional and presidential showdown with Schiavo's family - the unequivocal assertion that people with severe brain damage deserve our love, care and unconditional support?
So far, these fearless, moral crusaders for Terri Schiavo have expressed no sympathy (or outrage) for Debbie Shank, a permanently disabled wife and traumatized mother of a dead solider:
Read More: CNN's Debbie Shank story.
March 25, 2008
...thanks to Kelly, I have you, too!
Beauty treatments: my Kenner Easy Curl photo gallery on Flickr.
March 24, 2008
A few months ago, I was thinking how utterly silly it would be for me to ask one of my friends to take pictures of me pumping gas, shopping at the grocery store, or getting my hair cut.
I thought a US Weekly inspired candid would give the blog a bit more bazazz.
Well, lo and behold, a New York photo studio has developed a fee-based paparazzo photo package [italics mine]:
MethodIzaz is a unique photography experience. Subjects are unaware of the exact moment they will be photographed and of the photographer's identity...
MethodIzaz will provide you with a portfolio of pictures representing the fleeting moments of an authentic lifestyle...They will also give you a new perspective on the everyday, letting you see yourself and your surroundings through the eyes of an artist.
And to think my attempt at Cindy Sherman 2.0 Satire is already a Perez Hiltoned Hustle.
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Lest we forget:
Street photography exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art 
March 21, 2008
The NCAA Wrestling Championships are in town for the next couple of days, which means that downtown is teeming with:
-- Aggressive (and extremely flexible) young men
-- Sleepin' single in a double bed middle-aged fathers
-- Authority figures with whistles
Draw your own conclusions.
March 20, 2008
March 19, 2008
March 18, 2008
I'm reading Edison's Eve: A Magical History of the Quest for Mechanical Life. It's an interesting historical glimpse into exploits of inventor Thomas Edison, among others. One of the more fascinating tidbits I just learned is that the yellow, flowering goldenrod is a naturally-occurring American source of rubber.
Naturally, we don't use it in the manufacturing process as this passage from American Heritage explains [bolding is mine].
Oddly enough, not only Edison, but Henry Ford, the Du Pont company, and Standard Oil of New Jersey, after 1925 had received information about the new German chemical process for converting coal or petroleum derivatives into synthetic rubber of the butadiene and sodium type, which was already perfected by the I. G. Farben Gesellschaft around that time. But large-scale operations were not to be carried out until a decade later, prior to World War II.Yay, federally-subsidized petroleum projects and colonial expansionism!
Edison also might have turned his eyes in this direction—which was to be the most profitable for systematic research but for the fact that the synthetic process was known to require an enormous investment in special chemical plants, which even our biggest rubber tire and chemical corporations refused to risk at that period.
In 1940 federal government subsidies alone would make synthetic rubber production feasible. In that year government scientists thoroughly explored the alternate possibilities of using organic materials available to us, such as Edison’s variety of goldenrod and guayule, but reached the conclusion that processing such plants would be more difficult and costly than making a synthetic, and would yield a product inferior to natural India rubber or the new synthetics.
March 16, 2008
March 14, 2008
Oh, how I miss Dynasty [Link]
March 13, 2008
March 11, 2008
Career motivated by "...romance, adventure, money, thirst for power..."
March 6, 2008
This article from 24/7 Wall Street predicts the imminent deaths of several well-known brand names, including:
I'm not sure why this story interests me and leaves me verklempt and a tad anxious, but it does.
It's not because I love purchasing items from catalogs, which I don't. Rather, it's that certainty of experience I expect when I spend my money on things I don't need.
For example, the way a Ben Franklin store smells of Silly Putty and starched muslin.
Or used to.
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March 3, 2008
A response to Prince Harry's foiled multimedia tour of duty
Marina Hyde (would the British pronounce that "Marine-r Hide"?) offers us this gem in Saturday's Guardian:
Harry, you're not normal, you're a prince. And this is war, not therapy. What the cringe-making Afghanistan stunt has shown us is that royal lives are still worth more than off-brand ones.How that warms my heart - the über bitchy British brrr.
On the one hand, it was nice to see Prince Harry in a British army uniform, as opposed to one of Hitler's. It's a little bit like Pokemon, really. I'm hoping he'll give us a highly collectible Hutu warrior snap soon. Gotta catch 'em all!
"William sent me a letter," Harry reveals in an interview, "saying how proud he reckons that she [Princess Diana] would be."
Reading this makes you realise that the whole thing is as much about the emotional neediness of millions of civilians as it is about his.
They need him to trot out the obligatory line about our much-missed queen of hearts [visit this website - Ed.]; he needs to defecate in a hole he's dug himself and josh about Terry Taliban to feel "normal".
You can't help feeling the arrangement tends toward the dysfunctional.
Can we please just get back to shooting anyone who gets near the oil pipeline?