Monday, March 24, 2008

Movie Meme

OK, like anyone really reads my blog . . .

The rules:
1. Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie (or get them out of your capacious memory).
3. Post them on your blog for everyone to guess.
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
5. Looking them up is cheating, please don’t.

Here goes. One point if you guess the film, extra point if you know which character said it.

A. "I'm telling you this guy is protected from up on high by the Prince of Darkness."

ANSWER: The Usual Suspects, spoken by Sgt. Jeff Rabin (played by Dan Hedaya)

B. "It does not do to dwell on dreams, Harry, and forget to live." (from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's / Philosopher's Stone, spoken by Dumbledore -- 2 pts each to ME and
Vision Sister)

C. "It left us speechless, quite speechless I tell you, and we have not stopped talking of it since." ANSWER: Emma (the Gwyneth Paltrow version), spoken by Miss Bates (played by Sophie Thompson, who is Emma Thompson's sister)

D. "It would take a miracle to get you out of Casablanca, and the Germans have outlawed miracles." (from Casablanca, of course, 1 pt to
Vision Sister and Leann.) Spoken by Signor Ferrari (played by Sidney Greenstreet).

E. "I saw Mrs. Claypool first. Of course, her mother really saw her first but there's no point in bringing the Civil War into this."

ANSWER: A Night at the Opera, spoken by Otis P. Driftwood (played by Groucho Marx).

F. "I know the presidents' chief advisor, we were at MIT together. And, at this point in time, you really don't want to take advice from a man who got a C minus in astrophysics." ANSWER: Armageddon, spoken by Dr. Quincy (played by Jason Isaacs -- and you thought he only played Lucius Malfoy!)

G. "There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?" (from Love Actually, spoken by Karen, who was played my Emma Thompson -- 2 pts to
Vision Sister)

H. "Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English."

ANSWER: The Fifth Element, spoken by Korben Dallas (played by Bruce Willis)

I. "It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage." (from Raiders of the Lost Ark, spoken by Indiana Jones, who was played by Harrison Ford -- 2 pts to leann)

J. "Somewhere out there is a lady who I think will never be a nun." (from The Sound of Music, spoken by the countess -- 2 pts to leann)

OxyMoronic Ideas about Cancer and "Organic Food"

A lady I know was recently diagnosed with cancer. A bunch of people organized to bring food over to her house (to ease at least one burden on her family while she’s in treatment). Then I learned that, on the advice of her children who are “in the health professions” (as one person put it), this lady now prefers to eat only “organic” foods lest something she eats would encourage the cancer to grow.

Fact: All foods are organic.

Fact: Even foods that carry the “organic” label (a specific designation from the FDA about how the foods are grown) aren’t necessarily more healthful than other foods. (See

Fact: Even “organic” pesticides (those derived from plants rather than synthesized) can be dangerous to humans. (See Pesticide Information Profiles: Rotenone. June, 1996. Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices of Cornell University, Oregon State University, the University of Idaho, and the University of California at Davis and the Institute for Environmental Toxicology, Michigan State University.

I won’t be bringing food to this lady. I’m sorry for her condition, but I’ll provide non-food help from afar (i.e., the best I can do right now is pray for her) just because it seems foolish to provide help to someone who believes the hype about “organic” foods. I mean, really, if I bring over chicken stew do I have to provide proof that everything was grown/raised “organically” lest they throw it away?

Inasmuch as I understand that people are upset with the cancer diagnosis, a radical change in diet is not going to make the cancer go away. Even if their children are “in the health professions,” that doesn’t mean they’re immune from deception about “organic” foods.

While there are specific links between some genetic codes and certain types of cancer; and while there are specific causal relationships between certain behaviors and certain types of cancer, it remains true that we really don’t know why there is cancer: why it appears in some people and not in others, how it starts in the first place, and what really kills it. It’s frightening to have any kind of cancer as a diagnosis, even for something that is treatable.

I have a maternal aunt who had a radical mastectomy (about 20 years ago) because she had breast cancer. She and her sisters (including my mother) smoked like chimneys for years. Why didn’t any of them get lung cancer? Why did one of them get breast cancer but none of the others did? Guess what: All of them are alive and they’re in their 80s. My mother is the one who developed COPD (the only genetically linked disease among them – their mother had it, and their mother didn’t smoke) and emphysema. Aunt Helen had breast cancer. Aunt Mary has had a heart attack (and she wasn’t the only Type A personality among them) and fights psoriasis. None of these women have lived more than 100 miles from where they grew up; in fact, all of their life experiences were quite similar (the difference being that my mother had 10 children).

So, why did one person (we’ll call her T) develop ovarian cancer in her 30s when she had no risk factors for it?

Why did another person (we’ll call we W) develop several different kinds of cancer (the first round was breast cancer at age 60, the next 2 – other forms – about 25 years later) when there was no family history and she ate a healthy diet?

Another woman (we’ll call her K) developed breast cancer but was treated with chemo and has been cancer-free for 20+ years.

There’s a whole lot of why out there. There’s a whole lot that nobody knows.

But here’s the good news: We’re a lot better at being able to treat it than we were even 20 years ago.

But nobody gets better through fear-mongering and misguided notions about foods affecting cancer.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


This is the greatest math-for-non-math-people site I've ever seen. I understand a book of her stuff was to have come out this past February. I'm going to look for it now.

Test Message

OK, I'm trying out this this where I just email to my blog and it posts automatically.  If this works, I'll be a bit happier. /jb

Friday, March 21, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

Getting My Head Above Water

I've been well for about a week, but I've been so buried it's not funny. It'll be nice when I can cut back to only two jobs.

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Battle of the Crud

It hit me last night around 10:00 p.m. : The creeping crud, what's going around, or whatever else you want to call it. My husband has had a cold for about a week (probably a sinus infection, but he never goes to see a dr), people around me at my jobs have been succumbing to various respiratory illnesses, some viral and others bacterial.

For me, it's a sinus infection (confirmed: Not the latest influenza virus going around, according to my dr). I do not wait to see how long it will last. I go right for the drugs: Antibiotics, antihistamines, and cough suppressants. I don't mess with this stuff. I get the drugs, get better, then move on. Current favorites: DuraHist-D (an antihistamine), not recommended if you have hypertension (as I do) unless your dr deems it to be well under control (as mine does), Ceftin (antibiotic), and Delsym (cough suppressant, OTC).

Now, if only there were something that could just make me feel better instantly! I won't go into details, but the bottom line is that the drugs treat the symptoms and need a few days before getting the upper hand. The residual aches and other stuff just have to be lived through.

I don't enjoy being ill. I mean, if you're going to have a day off, why not have it when you're well?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

In like a Lion . . .

We have a saying hereabouts where I live. It is that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. It's a reference to the weather, meaning it's cold, windy, and wet at the beginning of the month, but it's generally warm and pleasant at the end of the month.

This year we seem to have the month coming in like a lamb. Yesterday was warm and sunny (about 60º F) , a thoroughly pleasant day to be outdoors and enjoying the promise of springtime. Today won't be quite so warm (maybe 47º F) and there is a 40% chance of light rain or snow by 9 pm. (My source: Weather Underground).

The last couple of weeks have been something like a stormy lion at our house. All of my jobs (the base, the stationery shop, my freelance work) have had me very busy and that means the house has looked as if a tornado went through it! Yesterday I was dyeing wool. (See the knitting blog for details.) Plus I did some writing on a freelance project, tidied up a bit in the kitchen (it was necessary to the dyeing project) and even did a little bit of reading.

Ed is struggling with a cold. He's felt OK for a few days here, but last night he was hit hard once again so this morning he's in bed.

In other news -- perhaps the nicest of all -- my friends M and J are engaged! M sprang it on me a week ago. This is something I'd hoped for since about 3 months after they met when it was clear to me that they were in love.(see the post I believe in Love) I'd hoped so hard that it became an obsession (I was living in their joy to avoid my own woes, but that's another story) and last August I just let it go. So, imagine the explosion of joy and surprise when she showed me her ring! All I could do was scream, "OHMYGOD!" several times. If Ed hadn't come through to offer congratulations, we'd probably still be standing in the entrance of my house with M extending her left hand and me shouting, "OHMYGOD!"

OK, here's the silliest part. M was coming over to dye yarn (long story). She'd called me on her cell phone because she was having trouble finding my house (another long story). When she arrived she said she'd been feeling rather distracted and she held out her left hand, palm down. I was (oh, I am embarrassed to admit this!) looking at her hand (how could I have missed it?) and checking for swelling or a possible rash that might prevent her from dyeing yarn! I offer it only as a testament to how thoroughly I had removed myself from my obsession with their engagement. :) Naw, I'm just so dense that light sometimes bends around me!