Bill Moyers on Gun Violence, and the 2nd Amendment

Video courtesy of Crooks & Liars

Testing a permalink

What is a peramlink and why do I want to use it?

Katherine Tyrrell over at the always informative "Making a Mark," discusses it and shows one how.


Book Review: I feel bad about my neck, Nora Ephron

I have almost entirely given up buying fiction or even non-fiction so when Luci told me she had Nora Ephron's book I noodled her to death at her 4th of July gala to lend it to me.  And she did, and I finished it.

It is not a great book, but it is a must read book if you are a woman of a certain age.  Don't read it if you are under 50; don't read it if you are child-less; and certainly don't read it if you don't have an Ephron sensibility or a New York Woody Allen way of looking at the world as the world looks at you.

On page 105, Ephron says, and I quote, "I can't believe how real life never lets you down.  I can't understand why anyone would write fiction when what actually happens is so amazing."

One of two reasons it is annoying not owning a book is you can't (or won't) mark it up for quotations or passages that capture your attention.  Another reason is you have to avoid sleeping or eating with the book least you mess it up.

My poetry friend, Dottie, lent me a book last week and immediately after I read the two chapters I was interested in I wrapped it in cello to keep it clean until I return it.  She made a point of telling me not to read it with a messy attitude.   I didn't.

Wrinkled turkey neck (stock photo)
Back to the book with a ridiculous title, "I feel bad about my neck."

It is so good that while I didn't belly laugh, I chuckled often and nodded my head more times than usual in agreement, and thoroughly enjoyed it from page one to its conclusion.  Ephron writing, like Ephron movies are to be cherished for their down to earth quality, and simple, simple underlined, statements that resonate as brilliant long after you left the theatre or closed the book.

She takes the mundane and turns it into what her mother referred to "as copy."   She makes necks, strudel, death, wrinkles, buying shampoo or renting an apartment seem momentous and an adventure.

She'll be missed.


Science & Medicine: Diseases

Weeks ago I was lamenting how we, the people, are creating diseases, some well known like AIDS, and others yet named or identified.   This week Jim Robbins (the New York Times) lays it out clearly in his article, "The Ecology of Disease."

Malaria Life Cycle

HIV/AIDS life cycle

When I worked with colleagues on malaria, while others worked on T. cruzi, leprosy and later HIV, among others, we all looked at the same patterns.  We each elected to explore a different path, but in the end no path led any of us to a vaccine for any of the infectious diseases, not malaria, and not AIDS, not one parasite, or infectious disease, has a cure; none have a vaccine to eradicate it or even stem its tide.

Yes, we have drugs, but often these prove ineffective and occasionally, dangerous.

The eco-system is in now in peril, and that perilous journey is the path we, the people, are navigating.

Rain too much.
Rain too little.
Sudden change in plant life.
Introduction of a new nematode.
Disappearance of that mammal. 
Insufficient predators for deer.
No space for the bear, black or brown.

The list is endless.

We are not.


Rabbit Girl is searching for the right set of friends

And she may have found just the right crowd with the Maileg Rabbit families.   They come from Denmark, but Rabbit Girl has been able to communicate with them in Dutch (not the same, but similar enough to make good friendly sounds).