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July 2007

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And the mummy went searching through the museum groaning “Who has my big toe?” Ok, ok, I’m done with the bad campfire story now. Just thought I’d share some historical news, since I do love history.

An artificial big toe attached to the foot of an Egyptian mummy could be the world’s oldest prosthetic body part, British researchers said on Friday.

The fake toe, which is made of wood and leather and is currently on display at the Cairo Museum in Egypt, dates from between 1 000 and 600 BC.

Researchers at Manchester University in northwest England hope to prove it was used to help someone who had lost their original big toe to walk.

If they do, it could mean that prosthetic body parts were in use up to 700 years earlier than was previously thought.

The oldest known prosthesis is a bronze Roman leg dating from about 300 BC which was kept at the Royal College of Surgeons in London but was destroyed during a German bombing raid in the Second World War.

A second false big toe, which is on display at the British Museum, will also be tested by scientists in Manchester.

“If either one is functional, it may be interesting to manufacture it with modern materials and trial it for use on people with missing toes,” said Jacky Finch, a researcher working on the study.

She added that the Cairo toe is the most likely to have been a prosthesis, because it shows signs of wear and is attached to a “well-healed” amputation site.

The London toe, by contrast, does not bend and is therefore more likely to have been cosmetic, she said. Source

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This quote was on my iGoogle today:

Television is the first truly democratic culture – the first culture available to everybody and entirely governed by what the people want. The most terrifying thing is what people do want. – Clive Barnes

Oh so very true. Especially with all the crap on TV these days; Dancing With the Stars, anything starring David Caruso, American Idol, any game show or “reality” program really.

Yes, you read that right. “Women Targeted by the Abortion Industry.” At work today I was downloading a Catholic podcast for a client. Looking at the list of podcasts, I saw this title and it made me think. There’s an abortion industry? This is news to me. Hell, I didn’t even know there was an industry. Is abortion a multi-billion dollar worldwide conglomerate now? Like, is there a place where people head to work each day manufacturing medical equipment, then market said equipment to women? Are there posters on buses and in airports that read “Have you had your abortion today?” or “Two scoops never felt so good!” Now, I don’t read Cosmo or watch Oprah, but this so called industry must be advertising there, since women are the primary demographic for those two outlets. Does the abortion industry sponsor golfers in the LPGA, Danica Patrick in NASCAR, the WNBA?

There is no “abortion industry.” There aren’t people sitting around in board meetings plotting on how to get abortions up so their profits rise. They aren’t marketing abortions to women. I don’t even know how people can believe this garbage. Next thing you’re gonna tell me is that the Catholic religion is the one true religion and that Catholic sex abuse is just the porn industry targeting priests. Give me a break.

Most Americans see President George W. Bush as too inflexible on the war in Iraq and prefer that the Democratic-run Congress have the final word on when to withdraw U.S. forces, a Washington Post/ABC News poll showed on Monday.

I guess when you fuck up for this long people start to lose faith in you, huh? Too bad BushCo doesn’t care about what the American people think and still do whatever they want.

Nearly 80 percent of those polled said Bush is not willing enough to change policies over the unpopular war that has taken a huge toll on his approval ratings, the Post reported.

The poll was conducted last week, after Senate Democrats failed to advance a plan that would force Bush to withdraw U.S. combat troops from Iraq by April 2008.

More than six in 10 Americans — 62 percent — said Congress should have the final say on when to pull out U.S. forces, compared with 31 percent who said the decision should rest with Bush, the poll showed.

Not surprising. Again, this doesn’t matter to BushCo. They think they are above the law. Hell, Cheney doesn’t even think he belongs in any branch. One minute he’s claiming Executive Privilege on his documents and transcripts, and the next minute saying he’s part of the Legislative Branch. Don’t you love how they mold the government to whatever scandal they are facing this week?

The percentage of Americans seeing Bush as too rigid on Iraq has climbed 12 percentage points since December, the Post said.

Probably because people are finally seeing BushCo have no plan on getting out of Iraq. Remember that sign, Mission Accomplished? If this is accomplished, then I’d hate to see what failure is. (source)

Vision MMy old Dell Digital Jukebox (from like 5 or 6 years ago) finally drove me insane enough that I shelled out a few bucks and got a new MP3 player. I wanted something that was around the same hard drive size as my Dell (20 gb) because I wanted to be able to play not only music, but video files. Mark wrote about his new Vision:M so this is one that I wanted to check out. I did research for a week or two on different players, reading reviews on New Egg, CNET, and at Circuit City. The general consensus of the Vision:M was that it was a great player. Not only did it play MP3’s but it also played video (in several formats), had an FM tuner, and displayed pictures. It just so happened Circuit City had the player on sale, so I left work and picked it up last week. the audio quality from the player is excellent, but tell me, why doesn’t any electronics maker have an equalizer setting for hip-hop or rap? I’ve never come across one that has (except maybe Sony). The 2.5 inch display is very bright and colorful. I loaded The Boondock Saints, The Fifth Element, and the first season of Psych onto the player. The video quality on the player was excellent. Files that were compressed to 700mb looked awesome on the small screen, though I know if I played them on a tv, I would see a huge loss of quality. Luckily, on a screen that’s 2.5 inches, you don’t notice it at all.

The controls took some getting used to, as it has a touch pad that goes vertical instead of the more familiar wheel of the iPod. It didn’t take me long though, as my digital DJ also had a vertical wheel, though it wasn’t touch and I’m still getting used to the sensitivity of the touch pad. One thing I don’t like about the design is the volume is controlled via the players operating system and not a button on the player itself. Not that big of a deal, but I don’t like unlocking my player to turn up and down the volume when I need to. In case you are wondering, if the player is locked, the screen goes off which allows for longer playtime. With the player unlocked, the screen stays lit, although dimmer than if the player was active.

The software that came with the player is very intuitive and easy to use. I did notice that on my Vista Ultimate pc it seemed to max out my dual core processor. On the XP professional dual core pc at work, I didn’t notice it doing this. What’s great about this player is that it is very easy to NOT use the software. Dragging files into the audio or video folders on the drive using Windows Explorer is as easy as moving files to another hard drive. So, I don’t even need to use the software that comes with it (unless I want to make a playlist).

Overall, it is an excellent player, supports more video formats than the iPod, doesn’t have to use iTunes, and is much cheaper than an the iPod. It is well worth the money and I’m very happy thus far with my purchase.