7 years agoAlsace
Subsidizing fertilizer instead of converting to cash crops as suggested by the west and the UN, has drastically decreased famine in the African country of Malawi.
This isn't the first time that I've read an article suggesting that western ideas, including aid to Africa (for famine or for HIV/AIDS) is only exacerbating the situation. Being that I don't know, and don't really have the time to go into these things, it makes me wonder: Are we deliberately torpedoing the African continent just to exploit it? It's not exactly a new idea, as it's been made sexy by movies like "Blood Diamond," but I'm just pondering. Are our people just wrong? Or is Malawi just benefiting from a few lucky breaks? Would the Malawi model work across Africa as a whole?
Post edited 12/01/07 8:31PM
9 years agoAlsace
You can't hate on The Byrds. Seriously. Being that I've spent too much of today studying and will rinse and repeat first thing tomorrow morning, I'm a little bit punchy and irritable.
Good news is, I bought a desk to help me study. The Rubbermaid table wasn't doing the trick. I've actually developed a technique I like, and I needed an L-shaped desk. Now I have one, it's nice.
I've been drinking a lot of tea today, sparing the coffee. Last time I drank my coffee I got the jitters so I won't be risking any more lost time due to that.
I haven't left the house at all today. Human contact is fleeting at best, and exists only when I go out to talk to my roommate or take phone calls from my favorite person.
If this seems like it's from the frayed ends of sanity, it probably is. Don't worry, I'll be back soon, once I've recuperated a bit. It's been a rough week.
Meantime, watch this, it made me laugh.
Oh yeah, and it's Veteran's Day. Instead of just saluting a vet because of his title, think of one vet in particular who has actually touched your life in some way that isn't under the banner of "protecting your freedom." Safeguarding our country is important, but I think it's just as important that we learn to look at our soldiers as humans who exist outside their uniforms. A man should never be defined in such a narrow context.
9 years agoAlsace
I haven't updated in a while. The work's been overbearing. I finally learned to grow some motivation, but it was not in the best way possible. The school's working overtime to crush my soul, and I've finally just decided to let them win. It suits my end, in this way, to let them win for now. If I kept doing what I was doing, I'd never make it as a doctor.
Right now my roommates are bitching about one of our friends. Girls are terrible to one another. I'm fairly certain at this point in my life that they must do it about me, as well. Fact of nature, perchance? No avoiding it. This is why I'm distinctly private around the people here. They're not like family really. In any case, no big deal.
I went home last weekend. It was so worth it. The bizarre island weather has destroyed any notion of fall for the trees, but it is not like that upstate. The air had that magic fall smell, and the colors were amazing. Once you adapt to it up there, you overlook the natural beauty. Coming back is always amazing. The sheer volume of flora is awesome.
Last week it got really rainy here, which doesn't really present too many problems usually. Except that they built my
castleschool in a swamp. I don't know who thought it was a good idea to put the basement below the water table... or put a pond outside. Or put the pumps just barely above the water level.
Summation: Basically, when the rain came down (what I would consider to be an average rain upstate), it overloaded the rebuilt culvert, sinking it and then taking the pump down with it. The lack of effective pump caused all the runoff from the pond (which is above the lecture hall, altitudinally speaking), to drain directly into the lecture halls. Then it poured down into the basement, ruining a copy machine and a lot of gym equipment.
There are water lines at three feet in our lecture hall. Seats were still wet days later and it smelled like my dog if you threw him in the Hudson River and then pulled him out, covered him in milk and then threw him in a dumpster to dry off. We had class in there. Then the next day there was a sign up saying it was a respiratory hazard.
My lungs already knew that.
To make matters worse, there was an electrical system fire two days after, forcing school to close that day. Somehow, I'm supposed to be working. And the study rooms are closing they can build.
Life gets really interesting all at once.
(I know I never post here, so hi.)
I'd always wondered how it was that Consumer Reports were so biased. I'd heart id, and over years started to see that it didn't really matter what kind of steaming pile of crap Japan threw on American soil, it would always be preferred over steaming piles of American craps.
The only time I every really noticed was when I was comparing cars in a class and I found that any American vehicle could rate higher than the import on 8/10 different categories and the important would still be chosen. Never made much sense until I read this.
Doesn't really make much sense to me. They were just passing Totoyas off based on past reliability, and then waiting for more specific evals of American models. Ridiculous bias and way too unscientific to be considered valid.
Glad to see they're changing their methods and giving Toyota a further workthrough. And it's also nice to see that Ford isn't serving the same huge piles of crap anymore. Competition is good.
Post edited 10/19/07 11:58AM
9 years agoAlsace
Time I look like an idiot: When showing off my room and having to explain my desk is a Rubbermaid outdoor table.
Time I look like a genius: When I spill soda all over the desk and all I have to do is take harsh cleaner to it to make it perfect.
Time I look like an idiot: Waiting until yesterday to preorder new Radiohead album
Time I look like a genius: Paying exactly 10 dollars for the record, with 10 tracks, released on 10/10.
Time I look like an idiot: When it's thundering and lightning and I'm posting this journal
Time I look like a genius: When I stop doing this idiot/genius thing
Anyway, the new Radiohead album sounds pretty good on my first listen. Love the "Nude" version of "Big Ideas (Don't Get Any)." I'll be listening to it for a while I reckon. I really like this band, regardless of how much people might find them amazing or revolutionary or fellate all of their music despite the varying tonal qualities and styles contained in every album (To explain: I really don't think it's possible to look at Radiohead's discography and rate everything at 10, but people do it). I liked Hail to the Thief just after it came out, and listened to it religiously for a month but found that it doesn't have the same kind of long term replayability as OK Computer. There's something about those songs that is really immortal to me, be it the mishmashed epic "Paranoid Android," or the mellow "No Surprises." Don't even get me started on the triad of songs that end that album. My take on Karma Police is diluted by its overwhelming popularity. Anyway I'm getting away from this new record, "IN RAINBOWS." There's actually a lot to listen to. Many layers in every song, the album seems less frenetic than their last effort and all the better for it. While "In Rainbows" doesn't appear to break any new tonal ground for the band or push them in any new unexplored direction, it definitely has a place in the Radiohead canon.
Anyway, go say hi to Lizzie and wish her good luck after her tonsillectomy. Everything appears to have gone well with it thusfar, but well-wishes always help the recovery process. I actually had the pleasure of meeting Liz and she's definitely pretty awesome.
PS: Go worship lilsace. He's powerful.
9 years agoAlsace
So I touched down in San Diego and had no clue what was coming. First off it was an adventure just getting there, including stuffing too many people into a car. Then the same for the taxi to the dank hotel we stayed in the first night. T'was not the best of all places, I'll say that much.
I drank a lot. I ate a lot of garbage food. The weather was perfect and La Jolla was a pleasant excursion. So was Coronado Island. We saw seals and I got soaked in the Pacific, necessitating a new pair of boxers and shorts.
At some point we hit up a meet and greet with our staff and old dean, who is Diana Ross's sister. She's a pretty awesome speaker, and we'd seen her the night before giving a presentation. It was interactive and at one point she asked the crowd what doctors and politicians owe the population as a whole. Some idiot responded "Doctors owe their patients a little bit and politicians owe the population everything." She followed that with, "I'm not trying to call you out, and we're all friends here, but that's rhetoric."
It was by far the most appropriate use of "rhetoric" I've ever seen in real life, and at the meet and greet, many of my friends were big fans of her but afraid to talk to her. So on my way out I walked over and said, "I just want to tell you that at the talk last night, you calling that kid out on rhetoric was the highlight for me." (For the record, this is true. I'm sick and tired of listening to people talk and say nothing. If you have an opinion, say it, but don't try to sound smart if you don't have an opinion) I got a huge response. She laughed, smiled, we talked a little and I made my escape. I didn't really think too much of it, but my friends were like, "That is... the greatest thing ever. She loves you."
My chronology is all way off. I got very little sleep. Today I learned what it's like to not know the difference between being asleep and being awake. And on top of it I picked up some sort of virus or something. Hopefully I can kill it in a day. I was completely dysfunctional in class, and when I got home I napped for like 7 hours or something. Pounding headache. Worst ever. I popped some excedrine and again was amazed at how miraculous that stuff is. Of OTC analgesics, it's my favorite.
When I get around to it, I'll be posting pictures. I have to get them from other people since I tended to forget my camera.
AOA Convention FTW. That was a riot.
Also, it wasn't all drinking and screwing around. I walked the expo floor and picked up a shit-ton of free stuff. My favorite presentation regarded treatment of subarachnoid bleeds (aneurysms), using platinum coils.
American lovechild of Hugh Laurie and Hugh Grant.
Fan fiction is only marginally better than slash, but that's like comparing Pol Pot to Hitler, respectively.
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