Ozymandias Improved

Last month, I decided that improving Shelley's poem Ozymandias needed to be on my time-travel to-do list.

Today, I saw something about the site xtranormal, which lets you create little animated movies with whatever script you'd like.  It's fairly easy to use, even if you have practically no video or animation experience.  Inspiration, or possibly migraine aura, struck and so I decided to make a short movie with the improved version of the line in question.

I can't quite get him to say "bitches" the way I'd like, but hey, for 15 minutes of effort, not bad.


When Progress Isn't Progress

Online petition - Stop the Dams in Sudan!

The two seasons I dug in Sudan were as part of the salvage campaign before the new Merowe Dam at the 4th Cataract was completed and the reservoir it formed filled, flooding the area.

We got to see first hand what that meant for the people who lived in the area.  They were resettled in places not of their own choosing, on land unfamiliar to them, and in areas unsuitable to farming as they were accustomed.

It is unlikely any of them will ever see any great benefit from the dam itself.  The hydroelectric power it produces is intended primarily for Egypt and the money earned from that will go to the dictator in power in Khartoum.

In response to attempts to negotiate different terms of resettlement or a different time-line for construction and flooding, people were killed by state police.  Flooding was begun ahead of schedule, narrowly avoiding harm to those who remained in the area.

The new dams proposed will not be different.  They will not be a source of benefit for the people they displace.  They will be a way to enrich a dictatorial, genocidal regime headed by Bashir.  They are a way for foreign interests to endear themselves further to Bashir and his cronies for their own enrichment and access to oil and mineral wealth. They will also provide a convenient opportunity to displace the remainder of the Nubian ethnic group who managed to hang on to their tradition territory and way of life even in the face of the Aswan Dam built in the 1960s and the ongoing campaign and bias against them in Sudan and Egypt. 

Candidly, no one in power is likely to give a damn if you read the petition or sign it.  But I think as fellow human beings, we at least owe the people likely to be displaced a moment of thought and sympathy.  And maybe a small hope that things might change. 

It will be people like this kid.  And places like that run-down goat pen.  And while you might say that being placed in brand new constructed villages will make things better for them, remember that they don't get a choice.  They don't get input into how the villages are arranged or where they're placed.  And if they try to complain or negotiate, they're as likely to be shot or beaten to death as they are given a fair hearing.


amigurumi t-rex

amigurumi t-rex
Originally uploaded by perlinavichinga
Some of you are aware of my standard advice for coping with anger, irritation, fear, or boredom: Pretend to be a R-Rex! There is no way you won't feel better by holding your elbows close to your body to make little T-Rex arms while stomping around sayng "RAWR!!!!"
(Note: Not advised in public places unless you like having psych evals)

Deep Sea Diver

Deep Sea Diver
Originally uploaded by MrFoxyy
May die of the cute.

Harry Potter Trunk of Spells AKA 8 million kinds of awesome

Via GeekCrafts
Harry Potter Trunk of Spells: "

Harry Potter Trunk of SpellsOh, man, do I love these One Tiny Thing swaps on Craftster. Yes, yes, I’ve posted many times how much I love tiny things, but I’m going to say it again. I LOVE tiny things. And the One Tiny Harry Potter Thing swaps seem to yield the awesome-est tiny things of all. This trunk of spells by Craftster user technogoddess is just amazing. Look at all those itty bitty bottles and viles and spellbooks and even a teeny tiny bubbling cauldron! I’m in love!


Click through to the Craftster post for more photos and details. Super nifty.

Paramecium Microbe Embroidery Hoop Art

Awesome! Go check them out!

The Trouble with Tribbles

Fun-fur CAN be useful - just look at this fabulous tribble.


Mummies: CT scans of Egyptian mummies show atherosclerosis - Los Angeles Times

A mummy in the British Museum.Image via WikipediaMummies: CT scans of Egyptian mummies show atherosclerosis - Los Angeles Times

I have the pestilence (cold) from hell at the moment, but this article was really interesting and I wanted to share it.

If you hadn't already guessed, I tend not to have a lot of patience for people who overly romanticize "non-Western" cultures (and often the concept of non-Western extends into the past to mean anything prior to the Industrial Revolution).
Therefore, this article about artherosclerosis, which is typically characterized as a disease of modern life, being found in Egyptian mummies is particularly interesting. One does have to wonder how much the results were determined by the relatively higher social status of the people being mummified and their greater access to diets that may have been less healthy.

It's interesting, though, the number of people who seem to think that if we could just transport some of the basics of modern hygiene and medicine into the pre-Industrial past that it would be a veritable utopia.

Not sure if this is making much sense as I'm loopy from the cold and stuff to kill the symptoms.

Anyway, ancient heart disease. Interesting.


Oreo Report Card of the Day - EE

hell houndImage by shoveling_ferret via Flickr
Slavering hell-hound of badness
For "Exceeds Expectations."  In badness.

We just went for our evening walk.  Oreo, because he is a punkass, likes to do his pooping on the triangle of grass by the curb at intersections, especially near busier streets because, I dunno, watching traffic helps or something.
Ordinarily, this isn't too much trouble for me, but today was special.  We just bought some of the doggy poop bags that come in rolls because we no longer shop frequently in places that give out plastic shopping bags that are easily converted to poop bags. 

Today was the first day I had tried using them.

So, there I am, dog leash held tightly in one hand, cane sort of balanced against my body, trying to get the freakin' bag to open so I can pick up poop.
And then a bus drives by.

Apparently, Oreo's entire family was killed by ninja buses or something because damn does that little dog go bug nuts when he sees and hears a bus.  He makes an exception for buses that have stopped, though, especially if the doors are open at which point he tries to get on the bus.  Sigh.

So, trying to keep balance, keep dog from running into street, balance cane, and get stupid plastic baggy open.

Then 3 kids wander by all "oh, he's so cute!"  And Oreo, attention whore that he is, is all like "I must greet my adoring fans!" And starts yanking in the other direction. 

And right behind the kids is their dad.  With a Basset Hound.

Oreo immeadiately goes from "aren't I the cutest, specialist, most pwecious doggy ever?" to "ZOMG I will KILL YOU!!!!!!  Growly-barky-snarl!"

Still can't get the bag open.

Dude with Basset Hound is like "is he friendly?"  I stopped fiddling with the bag and damn near let my can fall over staring at him for a minute before I managed to get out "um, not so much."

So, perfectly nice Basset Hound and family go away.  Oreo continues barking and lunging in all directions because I dunno why.

I finally get the bag open and pick up his poop and throw it out. 

He was actually fairly well behaved for the rest of his walk, but I think that's because he realized what a little shit he'd been.  He's now snuggled on my lap.  Only because I wanted a lap warmer, though. 


My birthday was on Wednesday. There was loot.

The Oreos are already gone.  I have to find something to attach the "Beware of Attack Ferret" sign to.  And I'm fiddling around trying to figure out a way to send only some of my news from Google Reader to my Kindle.