Friday, March 4, 2011

Death, Lord Wiki, Vaccines, and Singing

1. Had a dream that was probably inspired by the Euthanasia/gay marriage article I read yesterday.   I'm dying, and attending an event for my death.   Instead of having a funeral AFTER death, loved ones gather for the actual dying part.  It's not a particularly somber event. It seems like a typical rite of passage thing.  One of my friends is a dwarf.  At one point, I notice that my feet are filthy. I go to clean them.  As I clean them, I ask my friend If we weren't a dying person and dwarf, do you think we'd end up being ladies who sit around gossiping all the time?  I then say that I'd rather us be a dying person and a dwarf.  

I think the dream had the message that death isn't the worst thing.  I'm definitely pro-euthanasia.    This morning I thought of Harry Potter, and realized that it has euthanasia in it.  I don't think I ever thought of it in that way before.

I wouldn't support killing people with minor problems; and I wouldn't support killing someone without their consent (outside some extreme exceptions).   But I don't see any problem with a doctor helping a sick person avoid suffering.  Like gay marriage I don't think people should HAVE to choose death over suffering. And I don't think doctors should be required to participate. I just don't think there should be a law against it.

2. Read what Lord Wiki has to say about euthanasia in Australia.  He says that although it is illegal, people are rarely prosecuted for doing it. That's good.  

3. Laughed out loud at this post my friend wrote about Andrew's LOL post.  It reminds me of the WTF in Modern Family.  Why the face?  

4. Learned we are going to the lake house today.  That should be fun.  Tim and Jack might go fishing.  While they do that, I can practice my singing with the microphones.

5. Started reading Moral Hazard by Kate Jennings, which is about Alzheimers.  It's fairly good so far.   

6. Excited to get my architecture book, but it will probably take a few weeks to get here.

7. Enjoyed listening to "Where the Wild Roses Grow" on Pandora.  I don't love all of Nick Cave's stuff, but I do like this song.  For those of you haven't heard the song, here's the video.  You might like it.   

8. Heard another lovely Nick Cave song on Pandora; "What Must Be Done."  It was instrumental.    It's part of the score for the movie The Assassination of Jesse James.  Here's a video of the song.  I think it's a beautiful.

9. Read article that says Lord Wiki pretended Tony Windsor had been assassinated.  SHAME on Lord Wiki for lying, and shame on him for having such violent thoughts!  

Lord Wiki is no longer saying that Windsor is dead, but he's also not admitting his mistake. I think he's trying to pretend that it never happened.  How typical!

10. Looked at Tony Windsor's website.   He has a SLIGHT resemblance to Craig T. Nelson....at least in the picture on his site.  He's the Federal Member of Parliament for New England (NSW).   He's not Labor, Green, or Liberal.  He's an independent.

11. Tried to figure out why people are wishing for Tony Windsor's death.  I read this article.  It looks like people are mad about his support of the carbon tax. I find it pitiful that people can't manage to disagree without violence and threats.  Do you hear that, Lord Wiki. Shame on you!

12. Saw that there's new controversy regarding vaccines.  This article says that getting the seasonal flu vaccine might make people more susceptible to getting the H1N1 flu.  Yikes!  Peter Collignon, An infectious disease expert from Australia National University, says that it seems people getting the seasonal flu vaccine had double the rate of H1N1.  He also says, Some interesting data has become available which suggests that if you get immunised with the seasonal vaccine, you get less broad protection than if you get a natural infection.

What about the vaccine that is supposed protect you from both flus? We got that this year. In 2009 we got the seasonal flu vaccine.  Jack got sick soon afterward.  We didn't get him tested for H1N1, but some of his symptoms matched.  Actually, I think Tim and I got sick also.  This year we've been fine.   KNOCK ON WOOD.  I know it's just anecdotal evidence, but still. I think it's worth mentioning.

I'd love to send this article to certain people (won't mention names) who are so zealous with their pro-vaccine stance.  Although knowing them, they'd just dismiss it with a you can't trust everything you've read on the internet.  And that's true; not just about the Internet though. But why do people eagerly cite science when it agrees with them, but dismiss it when it goes against their dogmatic beliefs?  

13. Decided that Peter Collignon is a brave man. Well, if you consider what happened with Andrew Wakefield.

14. Don't know if I like my singing voice when singing "Scar".  But I am pleased with my lyric-learning progress when it comes to that song.

15. Felt paranoia regarding something in Nikki Gemmell's Love Song. Sorry to be vague, but it would be a spoiler.

16. Noticed that I keep singing with a southern accent.  Maybe I should start doing country music.

17. Listened to Missy Higgins sing Scar.  She is SO cute.

18. Listened to this cover of Scar done by tapedelay3535.   I think it's pretty good.  And she's cute too.  I wish I knew how to play an instrument.  All I have is my voice, and I'm not even sure if that's okay.  I've gotten a little bit of encouragement from others, but not much.  I'm worried the few who say they like my singing were just trying to be nice, and that in reality I sound like Gloria in Modern Family.

I'd rather LOOK like Gloria in Modern Family.   

19. Heard Olivia Newton John singing "Hopelessly Devoted to You" at the frozen yogurt store.  I had heard the song a few hours earlier.  I don't know if it's that much of a coincidence, because the first time I heard it, it was on my Olivia Newton-John Pandora station.  

20. Disappointed to find there is no internet at the lake house, so I am having to write on text edit.   I shall cut and paste later.

21. At the lake house, I exercised while listening to iTunes DJ mix.  I heard two songs that I associate with our plane rides over to Australia.  They played almost in a row; I think just one song between them.  The first one was Your Belief by Shawn Hlookoff and Blake Neely.  The second was Mamma Mia, from the movie.  I was hating the plane ride to Hawaii. I couldn't sleep, and I was lonely and bored. Then I realized they were playing Mamma Mia on the movie screen.

22. Got the internet to work a little bit, which is good. Now I have the lyrics to "Scar". I know only the first verse. 

23. Practiced singing "Scar" on Garage Band.  It was funny, because I forgot I had it on, and kept it running for awhile, after I had finished singing. Oops.

24. Listened to me singing "Scar". I am not very impressed.

25. Tried singing another song "Don't Let Us Get Sick"  I couldn't manage it, because I started to cry.  Because of this video, I now associate the song with Snape and Lily.  

26. Managed to sing "Don't Let Us Get Sick" without crying.  I'm very proud of myself.

27. After about five tries, managed to record a copy of "Don't Let us Get Sick" that I sort of like. If you have time, please watch it. That will give me some joy.  I know some of you feel weird/awkward watching me sing. If it makes you feel better, you can't see me in the video.  You can only hear me.    All you'll see is pretty flowers.

28. Loved this message on the Gay Marriage Rights in Australia's Facebook Page  To all the 78ers who marched in 1978 at the first ever Mardi Gras, we say thank you for making our relationship legal and for begining the campaign to make us equal. Your bravery 33 years, today not only liberated tens of thousands of us but was the starting point of massive cultural revolution that we are all proud to be fighting for today. We salute you 78ers and again we say thanks.  

29.  Read article that says some South Australian government schools are doing better than elite independent schools.  It could happen.  As I said before, money doesn't buy anything.  But I don't think we can say one school is better than the other when the only measurement we're using is standardized tests.    

I like this comment from a parent.  Lets face it no matter what this site says it really doesn't make much difference. Sure I can sit here and look at results that show private and independent schools in similar areas do slightly better than public schools (I just compared Thomas More to Salisbury High) but what it comes down to is personal choice, parental values and the personal abilities of each child. These results show the all over picture, they do not dictate what any individual child will achieve. Ultimately as parents all we want for our children is success and happiness in life, academic ability and success is just a small part of that. The rest is nothing to do with the school system, its up to us and our kids.

You can send your child to a school where the average NAPLAN test is very high; but that doesn't mean your child is going to get a high score on the test.  I don't want to discount test scores completely.  I think they're evil only when used as the sole assessment of a child.  If used with other assessment tools, I think they can help us get a picture of a child's progress.

I really don't see the value in using them to judge a school.  What if one school happens to have children who are better at NAPLAN? Maybe it's not about the brilliant teachers or the school's budget. Maybe the kids are just naturally smart. Maybe they don't have many slower children bringing the averages down.

30. Thought about how much I love my friends; and wished for them to be having a safe, happy, healthy, and fun weekend.