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Hi everyone,

I made a private post with some memories of our friend Kyle Mesnard (1981-2006), and skamdar said,

Maybe we should all get together somehow sometime and tell each other all of our memories of Kyle as a tribute. That's kind of what we did for my friend... and it proved to be a good way of coping with the pain.

I said in return,

...or, since we are so far apart geometrically, one of us could make a post that asks for memories of kyle to be left as comments, and we could leave our virtual flowers and hugs, our fond recollections, and other pieces of our hearts there.

Here is that post.
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I just finished watching "The Legend of Suriyothai" and I liked it quite a lot.

I could have done without all the decaps and people poking, but in general the violence is not gratuituous.

I didn't know much about the film, except that it was "epic" and epic is certainly is, in the non-modern sense, with lineage and intrigue across both bloodlines and borders.

Plus, the elephants with red-black (how fashionable) war paint were kind of cute. And they had mounted cannons too, haha ^_^.

"Directed by a prince and financed by a queen," eh? Executive director Francis Ford Coppola. Hmm.

It does seem to start out slowly, although I wouldn't characterize it as a "narrative mess" as did one Amazon reviewer.

I'm struggling a little to try to express how a Western audience would see the film differently compared to someone who grew up with at least one foot (or big toe) in the API world. Americans would probably be tempted to compare this film to Braveheart, but to me this film seemed less, well, theatrically American choreographed, in its action and its protagonists, who show heroism through honorable sacrifice rather than through wars of independence and individualist (p2p) revenge.

Battle painted Elephants and token white riflemen with funny hats -- you know you want to see this movie :)

Current Mood: amused amused

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Elliptical thought of the day:

I want a knife. I want the kind of knife you see on TV, the one that turns whole peanuts into peanut butter.

(These are the kind of things I think of when I do cardio in the morning.)

Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

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Bun In The Oven


I took a CPR slash first-aid class at work today. Here is some of what I learned:

Stay back when you arrive at an accident scene, the instructor told us, and assess the situation. Better not to just run in and try to save people right away.

Protect yourself, he told us next. He recommended a "personal protection kit" -- gloves, mouth and eye guard, and a mouthguard for resuscitation.

After that, stay calm, and pay attention to the ABCs -- airway, breathing, circulation. After taking care of those, then you can check for bleeding and then shock.

We paired up then and practiced putting each other into the recovery position, which avoids airway blockage and the dangers of unconscious vomiting. To do this, from a person's supine right side, prop up their left knee, place their left hand on their forehand, and raise their right hand above their head. Roll the patient towards you, almost facing towards the ground.

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed instructor. In other words, this entry is for my reference only -- o_o. If you really want to learn this, you should really take a class. There will be four times in your life that you will be in a situation that asks for CPR. Will you be ready?

Procedures for International CPRCollapse )

After practicing CPR on a dummy on the floor, we took another break, and learned more about first aid techniques. Diabetics, sucking chest wounds, seizures and strokes. Don't go beyond your level of training, don't give medicine unless you have that M and D in your degree.

Random notes:

- For nosebleeds, hold the nose and lean forward for five minutes.
- Pay attention to heat loss through the ground. If you only have one blanket, better put it below someone, if outside, rather than on top of them.
- A space blanket is useful in reflecting back a patient's own moisture and body heat.
- Learn where the pressure points are on your upper arms and between your thighs and core. You'll feel your heart beating on these major arteries. Apply pressure here in case of arterial bleeding.
- An asthma attack is one of the cases when you need to call for help before you know a patient's state. After a patient uses their inhaler twice and waits a minute for each go, call 911 if their condition does not improve. You may not have the time to wait.
- Learn and use the recovery position to avoid blocked airways and reduce the danger of vomiting. Our instructor seemed to think that they should teach this to every college student.
- Symptoms of cardiac arrest may not be chest-based angina. Someone may have back pain, for example.

Disclaimer II: These are just my notes from memory and are probably "wrong" in parts. Take care, and be healthy.
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Wow, there are two Asian-American anchors on the local news (the dude filling in). Haven't seen that before...

The other day, walking to an Italian place downtown with coworkers, I also saw a big arexchi-looking face, on a grandly flat McDonalds billboard. Whoever he was, I think he had a slightly fuzzy chin.

Write Till You Drop by Annie Dillard.

A well-known writer got collared by a university student who asked, ''Do you think I could be a writer?''

''Well,'' the writer said, ''I don't know. . . . Do you like sentences?''

The writer could see the student's amazement. Sentences? Do I like sentences? I am 20 years old and do I like sentences? If he had liked sentences, of course, he could begin, like a joyful painter I knew. I asked him how he came to be a painter. He said, ''I liked the smell of the paint.''

Hmm, I like sentences, yes I do. I also like words and shiny glossy things that spin and fly.

I bought Gladwell's Blink and a graphic collection Flight, from guess where online. I had read the first chapter at the U bookstore, liked it, and figured that I might be able to get the book (hedging bets on super saver shipping) and read it before Gladwell comes to talk here next week.
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LJ -> SF. Maybe it won't be so bad?

dr. seuss qotd:

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
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word: proprioception

phrase: delmore effect

movie review: nowhere to fly

blog: johnc

link: 10x10
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Surfing across the pages of LJ friends of LJ friends, I came across this article: "How 'Iris Chang' Became a Verb- A Eulogy."

I started reading it, confused.

I remember that Iris came to campus my frosh year, but I didn't go to see her talk for one reason or another.

I remember my interest in journalism, something I didn't explore at all in college.

I haven't read The Rape of Nanking.

After reading the article, I searched online for Iris Chang.

Where are you? Are you still alive?

Iris had no news. On the bottom screen I now see "Iris Chang - Schedule 2004", linking to a vacuous page of "more".

Searching more and more, I found the same article, this time on

The editor's note, bold and sitting catercorner to 2004/11/30/iris_chang/story.jpg -- a not unattractive portrait of Iris wearing black and red, with floral prints -- was the following message:

On Nov. 9, author Iris Chang shot herself to death while parked along a rural road south of Los Gatos, Calif. She was 36 years old.
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To Nintendo
by Ishle Yi Park

Before you, life was unbearable –
a flat screen and ping pong ball.
But oh, you sleek grey box,
you already wrapped present!

We sat in front of you, awed
as if you were the first red sunrise.

We burned a horseshoe
of permanent round circles into the rug
with our asses - a communion
of Afghani, Puerto Rican, Korean kids

trying to unpeel the secrets of a mustached
plumber who swallowed mushrooms,
zapped dumb-eyed turtles, warped
to other zones through green maintenance pipes.

We slept to your lullabies, the digitized
soundtrack of our childhood.

Outside, a world of mothers chastising
in accents thick as static. Blocks of white boys
bored and violent, ready to snap gum,
spit, snap us in half with splintered

Louisville Sluggers. Inside – Zelda
and goblins and magic wing-ed fairies.
Enemies you could throw a pot at,
stab twice, and they’d implode and disappear.

10 years later, we’re split
and scattered, half college drop-outs,
Soju drunk, stumbling,
and I recall how we once fought

to keep alive, counting our hearts,
freezing time to gulp Coke, taking turns
to save each other, anything, anything!
To beat them at their game.

Back then, we never gave up,
never walked away –

if the light wouldn’t bling on,
we’d check the plug, blow into the cartridge,
clean out the dust, bang that sucker on any flat surface –

give a small push, close the door, and pray.

Current Mood: melancholy melancholy
Current Music: Cat Power - I Don't Blame You

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"Bedeviled" by Roy Rivenburg (latimes reg. required :-/)
One of the Catch-22s of temptation is that successfully deflecting one enticement can undermine resistance to others.

That's because willpower fades after each use, researchers say. [Experiment details about eating radishes instead of cookies and then performing a tedious task for as long as possible.]


But even against long odds, temptation can be tamed, experts say. The tricks of the trade include "urge surfing," writing with your opposite hand and practicing holding your breath.


Perhaps the oddest-sounding temptation remedy comes from Baumeister, the Florida psych professor. He claims that any kind of self-discipline — holding your breath, fasting, writing like a southpaw if you're right-handed — can strengthen willpower.

Don't laugh, says Willard. It's really just a modern spin on ancient wisdom. "The old spiritual masters understood that if you're good at fasting, you're probably good at overcoming other desires. The human will works very much like a muscle…. If you train yourself not to do something" in one arena, it spills over.
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Martin Seligman on Eudaemonia, The Good Life.

The third form of happiness, which is meaning, is again knowing what your highest strengths are and deploying those in the service of something you believe is larger than you are. There's no shortcut to that. That's what life is about.
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Advice from a book: spend 10% of your time on problems and 90% of it on solutions. (Yep, all too easy to just ruminate.)

Figuring out that I could get into the English bldg on a weekend through the lab (had to pick up some papers), I saw this cartoon on the 2nd floor. A couple stood in front of a door, looking at the floormat. Litotes:

"Not Unwelcome"

Quote of the day:

"A good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan executed at some indefinite point in the future." -- General Patton


Sometimes I wonder if I am like tofu. I taste like what I marinate in.

Intellectual tofu, to be specific. today announced RSS feeds of A.Word.A.Day, a service I've subscribed to for eight or nine years now.
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Oh man, my eyes are zorched. I guess in the worst case I can nose up to the CRT and type that way, sans spectacles.

(Update: actually I'm not using those definitions. Oops. I guess I just like this usage.)

I learned last week that I can eat using chopsticks. With my left (non-dominant, presumably) hand. It's not quite as fast or as efficacious, overall, but I can do it reasonably.

I used to practice taking notes with my left hand, in case I injured my right hand, but as it turned out, when I fell that Fall day, I fractured/broke part of my left hand instead.

Today I tried approximating a cup (we were cupless) with a paper plate. The obvious thing to do was to emulate a snowcone, bisecting into semicircles first. This has no singularity (does not leak), affords easy drinking (smoothly deforms the lip into a spout), but can not be placed down easily.

The other idea was to consider the equilateral triangle circumscribed by a concentric ring of radius r/2+\epsilon, and fold along each extended line segment, producing a flat bottom. This worked, after folding the wing sides to prevent leakage, but did not as easily afford easy drinking.
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I dedicate this <blockquote> to dwchang and his mom:

"Fear" by Lydia Davis.

Nearly every morning, a certain woman in our community comes running out of her house with her face white and her overcoat flapping wildly. She cries out, "Emergency, emergency," and one of us runs to her and holds her until her fears are calmed. We know she is making it up; nothing has really happened to her. But we understand, because there is hardly one of us who has not been moved at some time to do just what she has done, and every time, it has taken all our strength, and even the strength of our friends and families too, to quiet us.
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