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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 31,668

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Scotland Legalises Marriage Equality

Source: Buzzfeed

Scotland’s first same-sex marriages are set to take place later this year.

The Scottish parliament on Tuesday voted to pass the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill by a margin of 105-18, with the first unions to be conducted in the autumn.

“I believe this bill will have a hugely positive impact on our society and on the health and well-being of LGBT of people in our country,” MSP Jim Eadie said during the debate. “Scotland now has one of the most progressive equal marriage bills in the world. Allowing the option of gender-neutral marriage ceremonies will provide genuine equality for all, including transgender people.”

“This is a profound moment in our nation’s history,” he added.

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jimwaterson/scotland-legalises-marriage-equality

A New Virus Threatens Dogs: Circovirus

A New Virus Threatens Dogs: Circovirus

Canine patients were vomiting, experiencing bloody diarrhea, had high hematocrit values (a blood test), vasculitis (damage to blood vessels), fluid in the lungs, and profound weakness. Many died within days despite aggressive treatment. Other dogs survived after being severely ill. The Ohio state veterinary pathology lab couldn’t find a cause. August 2013 was turning into a deadly month for many unfortunate Ohio dogs. The tragedy was that no one knew why.

As the story spread on Facebook and Twitter, infectious disease expert veterinarians learned of the Ohio dogs and began to suspect a new type of virus might be to blame. The problem was, only one lab possessed the tools to diagnose the virus and it was in California. Veterinarians believed a relatively common type of virus found in pigs and birds known as Circovirus now posed a threat to dogs. An April 2013 paper published in the CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases described similar symptoms in a sick California dog. Sadly, the California dog died after being kenneled for three weeks and contracting the virus. Other comparable deaths were investigated and canine Circovirus identified. Could this new dog virus be killing the Ohio dogs?

The pool could use a bit more air

Apocryphal Blackbird story

BB: BBL requesting flight level 62000
Tower: If you think you can get that dinky little thing to 62000 you go right ahead
BB: BBL requesting to descend to 62000
Tower: oh, errr, BBL you are cleared to flight level 62000

Cue Pink Floyd/Roger Waters

Keep an eye on Scalia. He's been doing some interesting stuff

I think he's going to strike down DOMA, ignore Prop 8 and write both rulings

It's getting pretty bad when the US media starts paying attention (Rob Ford)


I've rather laid back a bit on the saga of Rob Ford, the one-man crime wave currently serving as mayor of Toronto because, frankly, I started two or three posts only to have them rendered completely obsolete because Bob was discovered snorting crack off a hooker's ass while sticking up a fruit stand. Or something. I mean, seriously, wow.


I live in Toronto. Usually this is a matter of the least possible interest. But last week our mayor, Rob Ford, who has allegedly been caught smoking crack, topped Obama on Google's narrative analytic charts. Think about that: A scandal-plagued president of the United States mattered less to the world than a mayor from Canada. That's insanity right there. But as New York magazine puts it, "in Toronto, shit is getting crazier by the day." The story is starting to resemble Elmore Leonard: Kickstarter campaigns leading to murder investigations, and childhood drug rings leading to the mayor's office. In Canada, stories like this don't happen. Literally this morning there was a scandal in Winnipeg about the mayor of that city spitting gum on the street. (He claimed it was lint but a dogged citizen found out the truth. And no I am not making that up.) Then there was the guy who fended off a cougar with his skateboard and felt bad about it. Those are your typical Canadian stories. Not mayors huffing rock.

News crews, disasters and rescues - Old lady reunited with lost dog

Here's the video.

It's been on innumerable websites, usually without comment. This thread (http://gawker.com/oklahoma-tornado-survivor-finds-missing-dog-during-live-509025167) is typical of one where the trolls get out of hand. Specifically, the news people are criticized for "not helping the lady".

If you actually watch the video and actually listen and look, here's what happens. For the first half of the video the old lady stands there being interviewed. The interviewer asks a lot of stupid questions. There's loose debris everywhere and a lot of wind. I was involved in cleanup for the Edmonton 1987 F4 tornado so I'm familiar with the situation.

About 1/2 way through, the interviewer interrupts herself and says "there's a dog". The cameraman loses the shot and focus and tries to find the dog, eventually succeeding. The old lady calls to the dog and the dog starts trying to work its way out of the wreckage. The old lady calls for help and starts moving crap out of the way. The interviewer comes over to help and they get the dog loose. It took moments.

I'm not seeing a problem here.

With that much crap around, I'm not sure I'd want a whole lot of people rushing up and dislodging stuff which could get caught by the wind or shift towards the dog.

The cameraman has a $30,000, heavy camera to deal with. There's no place to set it down. If he's using wireless back to the truck, it may be wired to a belt pack and it's going to take him awhile to get untangled from it all. If he did set it down, it might cause something to shift or somebody might trip over it. He's probably a heavy guy so I'm not sure if he's the best choice to go into the wreckage.

If there are other people behind the cameraman, then they have to go past him to get to it, dislodging wreckage or jostling him and adding to the weight in the surrounding area if they're not on stable ground. The old lady and the little news lady have matters in hand.

What's with all the griefing?

The Last Messiah

The Last Messiah

The following is a 1933 essay written by Peter Wessel Zapffe. It was originally written in Norwegian, though it was translated into English by Gisle R. Tangenes for the March/April 2004 issue (Issue 45) of Philosophy Now magazine


Cultural history, as well as observation of ourselves and others, allow the following answer: Most people learn to save themselves by artificially limiting the content of consciousness.


The human being saves itself and carries on. It performs, to extend a settled phrase, a more or less self-conscious repression of its damaging surplus of consciousness. This process is virtually constant during our waking and active hours, and is a requirement of social adaptability and of everything commonly referred to as healthy and normal living.

I propose that this, taken to extreme, is the core of the authoritarian mindset. They cannot deal with reality per se, so they scale it back to a pale imitation, then present this as "reality". While the black and white thinking (and other logical fallacies) work in their repressed world, they fail in the harsh reality of daylight. Lacking the tools to see this, authoritarians react to this dichotomy by lashing out, denial and increased insularity.

(On edit, adding a little more)

Anchoring might be characterised as a fixation of points within, or construction of walls around, the liquid fray of consciousness

Authoritarians anchor themselves to their little mantras, their urban myths, their simplistic take on religion - a theology not much more advanced than children's Bible stories.

The closer to main firmaments a certain carrying element is, the more perilous it is to touch. Here a direct protection is normally established by means of penal codes and threats of prosecution (inquisition, censorship, the Conservative approach to life).

Molly has been wimpering all night.

We're a dachshund household, one purepred black-and-tan, one foxy-doxy (fox terrier cross) and Molly who we rescued right out of a puppy mill so we're not 100% sure what she is, possibly doxy-Scotch/Yorkshire terrier. She was a breeder, had had a number of litters and the mill operator said take her or or she's toast tomorrow. She was one of four or five dogs we got out on that occasion and more earlier. We're trying to get the place shut down. The dogs are outdoors all the time, and stored in pens most of the time.

I was actually surprised when we got her home to introduce her to the pack that she fit right in. First thing she did was run into the kitchen and squat on a pee pad so she knew her house training. Pretty soon she was romping with the foxy-doxy (the other is too old and fragile). We did notice, however, that she does a lot of crying to the point where the hair around her eyes is constantly matted with crud. We had her checked and there's no infections.

She hates the night and cuddles up on the bed, but always at our feet. She lays there and occasionally shivers and barks at the slightest noise.

On Saturday, we took her for a grooming because it had reached the point she couldn't see. The other two had their nails clipped but she stayed on for the full treatment and we were told to come back at four. When I got there, she was just finishing up and seemed to be fine. She could see me through the window and just watched me quietly. The groomer said she was one of his better dogs for grooming, with no problems. That night, however, she started whimpering to the point where neither of us got any sleep. I noticed that she was shivering, so I took her with me and we camped out on the couch, with her under the blanket to keep her warm, even though she wasn't hot to the touch. She eventually settled down. Last night was even worse and even I couldn't calm her down although she eventually did by sleeping at my feet snuggled up next to the black-and-tan.

The vet recommended giving her children's Gravol hidden in a pill pocket and that seemed to help a bit on other occasions when we've had problems with her.

I'm wondering if she triggered on being in the crate at the dog groomers, which is strange because she likes being in the crate at home. She goes in there to get away from the other dogs if she wants some quiet time.

Any ideas?
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