Ben Getting Shorn
Home haircuts are what I grew up with and I was mildly surprised when I first learned that people went to a barber and actually paid good money to lose their locks. Ben here is getting a trim while reading Jules Verne’s “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” on Will’s iPod Touch.
In a small cottage like ours it is wonderful that we’re able to have all our music, classic games like Monopoly and many books in digital form on the computer instead of having to stick the physical media in the disk drive, phonograph or victrola to enjoy it.
Technology certainly has changed since the early days of portable music like player pianos. iTunes and eMusic.com downloads have no loss of experience. The same would be for movies if we had those although our internet connection is too slow for serious streaming. We can now get YouTube which uses a limited bandwidth.
With books I had wondered if I would miss the feeling of handling paper, the smell, the crack of the spine as the book breaks and the pages fall out, but I don’t. A great many books are now available free out of copyright from Project Guttenberg and other sources including within many Apps. Amazon and others are bringing new books out in digital formats although I’ve not tried that yet. We also have a few audio books including the Harry Potter series which have gotten some serious listening. Still, I keep buying physical books and expect to for a while, adding to my approximately 5,000 volumes. And no, we don’t have room for more than a few in the tiny cottage, there’s the rub.
Someone had asked what my engineering references were for designing the cottage, greenhouse, our Big Project and other things. I have a bookcases full, most of which are now in boxes as we don’t have the room for them. What I find myself referencing the most now a days is simply the Internet. I can find spanning tables, formulas and materials specifications across the web. Much of it is university or military research. One of the nice things about our government is they do publish a lot of data. All hail the Army Corp of Engineers. A lot of interest research came out of war preparations.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the iPod Touch of regulations and other government documents which widely available in PDF form. For that task, closely related to our Big Project, I find that GoodReader is an excellent tool for viewing PDFs, JPGs, text and other files.
The digital future is fun. The world is at our finger tips. I don’t rely on technology (e.g., we just had a lightning storm so we were unplugged) but it definitely expands our options while it is there. For people like us who live way out from going the long distance into town to the library is a major production and even then the library is small and limited. Having access to things over the internet is a blessing, one I wish I had when I was a child. I’m glad we have the connection here at the end of the line.
Speaking of staying at home, I was on the phone with a bank official yesterday. She told me that half her staff was out sick and that there had been very few customers in that week. She suspect that the lull had to due with people getting hit by the flu. In the newspaper we read that 20% of students at the local school were out sick with the flu. With President Obama declaring it a National Emergency it is a good time to stay home.
I interviewed some local pigs about the flu and they were quite concerned. They said, and I quote, “There need to be severe travel restrictions and quarantines on these humans because they are running all over the countryside and even around the world spreading this possibly deadly disease.”
Dr. Archimedes PhG, a leading authority on human zoonosis, went on to say, “As a boar I am very concerned that humans might spread this disease to pigs. It could be disastrous if our piglets came down with this new human Hiney Flu which we technically refer to as H1N1/A. While it used to be that the disease was contained to the human population it has now been shown that irresponsible domestic humans can spread it to pig and turkey people. We need to take drastic measures.”
Several pigs wanted to know why the One World Government had insisted on stopping testing for H1N1/A in patients. Government officials said that it didn’t matter since the treatment would be the same either way but the chickens and geese questioned how could people know if they should get the vaccine after they’ve had the flu if they didn’t know if it was seasonal flu or Hiney Flu. The ass pointed out that this uncertainty will stretch the limited supply of Hiney vaccine driving up demand and prices.
The CDC is reporting that there are 1,000 laboratory confirmed H1N1 deaths in the USA since April of 2009 but WHO reports that the worldwide deaths are at 4,999. Some pigs including statistician Petra Pig questioned the WHO’s reported figures pointing out, “This is one of many highly suspicious numbers in news reports and government press releases. I mean think about it, if there are 1,000 deaths in the USA which has 5% of the world population and a reasonably good health care system then worldwide there should be 20,000 to 90,000 deaths. It isn’t just the precision of a number like 4,999 which exceeds the accuracy of the sampling that makes me worry. What makes my ears twitch is the fact that it just doesn’t fit statistical curves. I think someone may be fudging numbers. This raises the spector of FUD. The question is why and who benefits?”
When asked about possible profiteering related to the Hiney Flu Dr. Archimedes was cagey saying that there would be an investigation as to wheither certain parties in the government are pushing the vaccination program for private reasons of greed. He said that it was hard to believe that those in power would create artificial shortages and mandatory government vaccination programs that would benefit a few corporate interests and possibly kill some citizens. “As always we must balance the benefits and risks. Everything is a gamble and there will be some winners and some losers.”
I asked if Dr. Archimedes if he was suggesting depopulation would be necessary as proposed by the GAO and USDA? He assured me that things were not that far along, yet. He went on to say that “Nobody is suggesting we should depopulate the humans but a quarantine is definitely in order.” He did mention that if depopulation beca
me necessary there would be some form of token compensation which has already been budgeted.
The consensus among the pigs interviewed was to avoid kissing strange people, wash your feet and stay out of large gatherings of humans. Face masks were also recommended. Anyone feeling sick should politely cough into their elbow and kiss their hiney good-bye.
This is virtual-reporter WJ signing off from WXSMF-TV.
Outdoors: 54째F/42째F 2″ Rain heavy at times, some lightning & thunder
Tiny Cottage: 66째F/57째F
Disclaimer: I am not a reporter and I don’t play one on TV. I own no stock in any pharmaceutical companies, TV stations, politicians and what stock I had in our government is shot to heck and spent during the bailouts. All my stock is out grazing on my other asset. However, I can do the math at least as well as a pig. It leaves me wondering time and again.