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Some astronauts report losing their fingernails on spacewalks because of bulky gloves that cut off circulation and chafe against their hands. To avoid this inconvenience, a couple astronauts have taken to ripping off their own fingernails before reaching orbit.


Fingernail trauma and other hand injuries are spacewalkers’ biggest complaint, she said. In a recent study of astronaut injuries, at least 22 reported lost fingernails, a phenomenon called fingernail delamination. It happens because of pressure on the fingertips, but researchers also think circulation cutoff could be to blame.
foxtongue: (Default)
I was reading when when the tiny, bright bird flew in through the window and attempted, I suppose, to drink from the bright colours of my hair. To my credit, though it nearly surprised me out of my skin, I did not give in to my initial impulse to swat whatever was thrashing, panicked, a few inches away from my head. Instead I froze. I froze, and very gently began to turn, hoping sincerely that it was not a mouse, while putting my hand up, the better to support the creature as it was lifted from the cushion, held only by the tangled net of my hair. Imagine my surprise as I gathered the mystery in the palm of my hand, still swaddled in threads of hair, only to discover a hummingbird!

It was a beautiful thing, vibrant, green and red and amazing. I was astonished. Not only by the random luck of it, but the pure shock of discovering hummingbirds can be so far north. To my mind, they are practically tropical, another reason to love California. To discover one here in Seattle, a block away from the I5, against the backdrop of a gray, middling day, was shocking. It looked like a creature escaped from a fairy story, too much like a living jewel for rain or brick buildings, yet there is was, bound in my hair, beak like a black pin, feathers gleaming, chest thrumming, a lucid dream in the palm of my hand.
foxtongue: (Default)
I just caught a freaking hummingbird in my hair!

It's been flying around in a panic since I got it untangled from my hair, so I put the cats in the washroom and put out a shallow cup of fruit juice. Not sure what else there is to do. I'd take a million photos if my camera wasn't out of batteries. Now what?

ps. I had no idea there were hummingbirds in Washington state. This is amazing and wonderful and strange.
foxtongue: (misery)
A Wisconsin district attorney is threatening teachers with criminal charges for teaching sex-ed and following state law:
A Wisconsin prosecutor is warning that teachers who teach the state's new sex education curriculum could be arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of children.

Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth told the Wisconsin State Journal that the state's sex education law, which was signed by Gov. Jim Doyle in February, is a "sick and shameful piece of legislation" that encourages illegal sex among minors. And he sent a letter to five school districts urging them to temporarily drop all sex education classes until the Legislature can repeal the law.

"Forcing our schools to instruct children on how to utilize contraceptives encourages our children to engage in sexual behavior, whether as a victim or an offender," Southworth wrote in the March 24 letter. "It is akin to teaching children about alcohol use, then instructing them on how to make mixed alcoholic drinks."
foxtongue: (feed me stories)
I just got the weirdest error message of my life. I just unplugged my computer and all of its components and moved my computer across the room to my new desk and attempted to turn it on after plugging everything back in. Instead of booting up, a pleasant woman's voice said SYSTEM FAILED DUE TO SYSTEM OVERCLOCKING. I replied, "buh?" and tried again, to the same result.

Please, internet, explain this to me! Talking computer? What the heck!
foxtongue: (have to be kidding)
A small thin child with a mullet just trespassed into our office to sell us sketchy boxes of chocolate. "Hello, I am part of a program to keep kids like me off the street. I am selling delicious boxes of scrumptious chocolates in an effort to raise money. Even buying one box of these delightful treats will help." His spiel was so practiced he sounded like a well oiled automaton. How many times a day must he say that? Why is he in our office? Who on earth told him to use the word scrumptious??

I did not buy a box, but the sales guy did, and now I have eaten one of the dubious choco-almonds. If I die frothing at the mouth, know that I loved you all.
foxtongue: (have to be kidding)
As a transit reader, I sit as far in the back as possible, where it's possible to wedge into a side seat, face forward, and slouch properly into my book right under the brightest lights, right in a corner where no one can bump me. She, as a maybe slightly crazy person, got on a couple of stops after I did, and proceeded to begin a monologue of utter, utter bile. A narrative thread thick with fucking pigs, wops the fucking lot of them or spics fucking spics and if he hadn't fucking said those fucking lies, shit, it serves them right, fucking niggers, fuckers, mother fucking shits.. It's not like it was even directed outward, her obvious hatred at the entire planet and every multi-celled organism on it, no. Oh no. She stood there, leaning brutishly over her over stuffed back-pack like it was a rebellious child she wanted to smack, talking only to herself. Hissing, whispering, barely above a disturbing murmur.

I tried to tune her out, and mostly succeeded, though there were a few moments when her volume reached out and clobbered my reading, usually with derogatory terms I had to search my memory for. (Like, okay, when she uses the word chink, she is obviously not referring to a plaster crack in a wall, but what the heck is a chug? Answer: I have no idea.) Every time the bus paused at a stop, my spirits lifted with a wild hope that when the doors opened, she would leave, and I would never see her again. More the fool me. Oh hope. Oh fallacy. Instead, she grew more violent with herself, more spirited. As my stop approached, I decided that I would brush past her as quickly as possible because I knew, I just knew that if she said anything even remotely hateful to my face, I'd slug her. It's not that I'm violent, but more that I wouldn't be able to help myself. I'm Canadian. I don't even like to witness littering.

The time came. I pulled the cord, the bell rang, the bus slowed. I stood, collecting myself as compactly as possible, and slid past her, touching her as little as possible. Unfortunately, given her disposition, she'd been crowding into my corner more and more, and by the time I got up, when I say I slid past her, it's more I squished past her, trying to get by. She turned, "Hey!" and I braced myself, telling myself to be nice, to leave my pointy things in my pocket, to not bunch my fist full of keys. "Ma'am," she said, (ma'am? really?), "I would appreciate if you would say excuse me in the future, as pushing past people is rude." Stunned, I replied, "Er, sorry, I didn't want to disturb you. Sorry." and exited with as much confused dignity as I could.

"Way to make a stand." I thought at the corner, watching the bus drive by, "Next time I should set myself on fire."
foxtongue: (Default)
Jeepers, I thought last night was unexpectedly exciting, what with successfully hooking Nicole up with Nick for the holidays, finally meeting Dominique's new little baby, SURVIVING NICK'S NEW VAN CATCHING FIRE, (no one was hurt. I pulled Nicole out and we put the fire out with snow), and admitting rather bashfully to someone that I wrote about our personal life on the interblags, but today's news sort of trumps it, so I'll just get it out of the way and talk about yesterday in the next post...

I've just been hired as a cameraperson for Chanukah on Ice.

"Skate to Chanukah music or watch and nosh latkes and doughnuts.
Monday, December 22, 2008, 6:00-7:30 pm.
West End Ice Rink, 1750 Haro Street (Between Denman & Bidwell).
Admission: By donation. Skates are free."

Which sounds, on the surface, like it's going to be a Yiddish Icecapades, people dressed as sparkling, spinning dreidel, singing songs and throwing glitter under a rainbow of lights, but apparently it's something a thousand times more hard-core bizarre. Something I would never have the wit or imagination to think up myself.

It's a Candle Lighting on an Menorah made of ice, a meter high and shaped like hockey sticks.

Did you get that? Shaped like hockey sticks.
foxtongue: (have to be kidding)
Last thing we need now is a great leader, by Penn Jillette

My voting station was in the gymnasium of one of Vancouver's oldest elementary schools, only a couple of blocks from my house. To get there, we had to walk through the thin strip of nameless industrial area that jackets the foot of Clark Drive, all auto-body shops and unidentifiable offices, where low rent prostitutes cluster on the corners at night. The way over was unremarkable, a short, pleasant walk of a couple of blocks, David and I discussing the Canadian women who fought for their right to vote back early in the 1900's. The way back, however, is worth a story.

We've already crossed Clark, we're not even a full block away from my house, when a speeding red "sportscar" hits the breaks next to us so hard the tires smoke, and the driver, a young, thin man of about twenty-eight yells intensely out the window at us, "GOTH IS GREAT! ROCK THE VAMPIRE REVOLUTION! I'M WITH YOU! FUCK EVERYTHING BUT BLACK! RAAAUUUGH!".

Now, David and I, dressed as we are in perfectly ordinary clothing, are baffled. We stop, look at each other, decide simultaneously that he's off his rocker, and look back at him.

"Excuse me," I say as he stopped shouting to take a breath, "but we're not even dressed a little like goths." Disgusted that I managed to get a word in edgewise, he replies, just as loudly, practically frothing, "FINE, FAGGOTS, WHATEVER." "Anyway," I say, "their band practice is a block up. You've got the wrong street."

He then growled at us, spat out the window, then drove off as fast as his car could actually go.


A few moments later, I turned to David, "Were we just goth-bashed?"
"I think so."
"Wow. What a freak."
foxtongue: (Default)

this highly entertaining pack of lies via Dragos, the mad.
foxtongue: (moi?)
Because I asked, the Vancouver Police Department are shutting down a lane of a major bridge for Zombiewalk. The power. It boggles
foxtongue: (have to be kidding)

The only death metal grindcore band with an avian vocalist.

Their MySpace features such songs as "Beak of Putrefaction", "God of Empty Nest", and "Feral Parot" (sic). For the record, the Congo African Grey parrot is named Waldo, and I really can't stop laughing. For extra points, they're from Victoria. Power to the locals! Weirdly, here's a really good interview with them.

found thanks to andrew.

Also, as a bonus, an equally fantastic headline: Dog-cloner denies she was Mormon sex kidnapper Joyce McKinney.


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April 2012

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