Archive for March 15th, 2011

Treadmill for children

| March 15, 2011 | Reply
Treadmill for children

The urge to start molding one’s trophy child starts earlier than I had thought.

A Manhattan woman has sued a $19,000-a-year preschool her daughter attended, arguing that the program failed to adequately prepare her daughter for the test required to enter New York City’s hypercompetitive private school system.

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Doctor removes his own appendix

| March 15, 2011 | Reply
Doctor removes his own appendix

It’s pretty amazing what one can do when one has no choices. This Atlantic article tells the story of a Soviet doctor who removed his own appendix in Antarctica in 1961.

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A Note From Japan, a Lesson in Humility

| March 15, 2011 | 6 Replies
A Note From Japan, a Lesson in Humility

In the aftermath of the record earthquake and tsunami, I received an email from one of my suppliers in Japan. MrTitanium gets his bulk chains from them because no one else makes them. I place a couple of orders a year, and know several of the staff by name.

I am impressed that their communications infrastructure is so hardy. This country had its infrastructure designed for such calamities.

The email in slightly fractured English advised me that one of their factories was flood damaged, and both are out of commission pending some repairs, and the grid and roads being rebuilt. Their warehouses are intact, but until the emergency passes they are unable to ship. Power is being rationed and is understandably intermittent, given the worst natural disaster to ever hit nuclear power plants.

Lack of food, water, roads, fuel, and such is a hardship for them. But they abashedly apologize for any inconvenience this may be causing me, and beg for our understanding.

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The Day of Mars

| March 15, 2011 | 2 Replies
The Day of Mars

Today (3/15/2011) is Mars’ day of the week and Mars’ day of the year. Tuesday is named for Teiwaz, the Germanic name for Mars. It’s ironically more obvious to anglophones in Romance languages such as French: Mardi. That is because the English name for the planet came from the Romans via the original western language of science, Latin. (Wiki Tuesday).

March is more obviously the month named for Mars. And the middle of the month, the Ides of March, is the traditional Roman day of the festival of Mars. The date gained new infamy when Caesar was assassinated on the day of the war god celebration.

But for current generations, Mars is more than just a dot in the sky, a harbinger of war. We have millions of pictures taken from its surface, and more from its orbit. We have taken and analyzed samples of its soil and air. We know more about Mars than any other place where man has not yet set foot. In fact, we know the surface of Mars better than we know the surface of the moon! We live in an age of miracles.

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