Archive for March, 2005

All I’ll Say About Schiavo

March 31, 2005

I haven’t said much about the Schiavo matter, because I strongly believe that it is none of our damn business. This cartoon pretty well sums up my thoughts and feelings on the politics involved in this.
Stephen Green, Timothy Sandefur, and, surprise of surprises, John Derbyshire, all approach the issue much like I would, so I point you to their thoughtful opinions on this, too.
Just as an aside, my wife and I both have wills and medical powers of attorney, which we prepared a couple of years ago. I plan to pull out the powers of attorney to make sure they still say what we want. I’m pretty sure they address specifically the issue of withholding extraordinary care, including feeding tubes and hydration. But we have also given each other a fair amount of discretion to try what is reasonable (like what Michael Schiavo did for about three years) while granting each other the final say to consent to discontinuing treatment.
If you plan to write an advance healthcare directive or power of attorney as a result of this mess, I would recommend the same approach. Be careful not to be too specific.(*) What I mean is that in addition to granting certain explicit instructions (for the most foreseeable situation), be sure to include a general blanket authority to the person you want to speak for you. If you are married, after the Schiavo case, you cannot count on your spouse presumptively having that power anymore. (Way to strengthen the institution of marriage, conservatives!) If you want your parents or kids or siblings to have input, say so. Having written it down, be sure to discuss it, too. If there is one good thing to come out of this mess, it’s that we are all talking about a topic we usually avoid. Take advantage of this moment to get your opinions expressed and memorialized.
(*)Usual caveat applies: I am an attorney, but not your attorney. You should discuss the terms of any legal documents (including without limitation advance healthcare directives or powers of attorney mentioned above) with a qualified lawyer of your own choosing before signing them. My general comments are intended to focus you on some issues that I myself have discussed that I think are relevant to planning.
That’s all I plan to say on this.
Update: She (what’s left of her) has passed away. May she rest in peace.

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Placeholder Post

March 30, 2005

I’ve been reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to my 8-year old for the past couple of months. Tonight we got to the part where I had to send him to bed or we would have been up all night finishing the thing. As it stands, I’ve been spending the last hour or so reading ahead to find out what happens. Plus, I’ve been starting to put together the outline of the Carnival of Recipes, getting it ready for this Friday. Keep the recipes coming to recipe.carnival(at)gmail(dot)com!
So this is it for original content tonight.
Minor Spoiler Alert — If you haven’t read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand or Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, you may want to skip the following.
(More in the extended entry).

Read the rest of this entry »

SF Initiation

March 29, 2005

John at SFSignal asks which book got you into science fiction.
I answer the question for me over at GNXP Science Fiction.

Carnival Coming Soon

March 29, 2005

I will be hosting the thirty-third Carnival of the Recipes this coming Friday, on April Fool’s Day. I’m flip-flopping among SciFi generically, Heinlein specifically, and April Fool’s Day as themes for the presentation.
If you have a recipe that you would like to see featured here, please submit it to Beth, the kind coordinator of the Carnival at recipe.carnival(at)gmail(dot)com.
Thanks!

SF Babes Weekly Poll (Andromeda)

March 29, 2005

A commenter on last week’s poll noted that I had been neglecting competitors from some of the (to me) more obscure SF series from the 1990s on. For this week’s poll, we’ll start to remedy that by pitting the ladies from Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda against one another.
Full disclosure: I haven’t seen a complete episode of this series, so I have to rely on hearsay for the following descriptions. I’ve gotten all images and descriptions featured here from the official site cited above (click on thumbnails for larger pics).
Lexa Doig portrays Andromeda Ascendant (aka “Rommie”), the AI of the starship of the same name:
LexaDoig.gif
Brandy Ledford plays Doyle, the ship’s loyal android (and she would have been a worthy addition to our earlier cyborg poll!)
BrandyLedford.gif
Lisa Ryder stars as Beka Valentine, commander of the salvage ship, Eureka Maru:
LisaRyder.gif
Laura Bertram portrays the semi-psionic alien Trance Gemini:
LauraBertram.gif
You can vote once a day in the poll, so have fun. And remember to check out previous winners in the Gallery.
Results (Posted 5 April 2005):
Andromeda Ascendant (Lexa Doig) 69 of 118 votes for 58% — WINNER!
Doyle (Brandy Ledford) 21 of 118 votes for 18%
Beka Valentine (Lisa Ryder) 10 of 118 votes for 8%
Trance Gemini (Laura Bertram) 18 of 118 votes for 15%

New Blog Review

March 28, 2005

Rocket Jones introduces us to some new bloggers today. Of the ones he linked, I particularly liked Pamela (an egoist babe) at Atlas Shrugged, Joe (a gay New Yorker living in the rural South) at aTypical Joe, and Hermitville (an infrequently-updated collection of short stories and monologues).
I’ve added them to my blogroll, and you should check them out. Also, be sure to check the Munuvian Showcase of New Blogs to discover other such new gems.

Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (Boeing 377 Stratocruiser)

March 27, 2005

This week’s serving of cheesecake features a bizarre-looking civilian transport/cargo aircraft the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, which was derived from a military transport, which itself was derived from the B-29 bomber of WWII:
377Prototype.jpg
In the 1960s, some of the 377s were modified to carry the third stage of the Saturn V moon rockets (the Saturn IVB) from its assembly plant in California to Florida. These variants were dubbed the Pregnant Guppy and the Super Guppy:
PregnantGuppy.jpg
SuperGuppy(Original).jpg
(Much information on these bizarre planes can be found at this great page. And according to this NASA page, Airbus manufactured a Super Guppy recently and traded it to NASA for transport of space station components!)

Operation Coffeecup Dictionary Entry

March 23, 2005

This is way cool. To me, at least.
Check out in the References whose site is cited as “Letter to participants, Reagan’s recordings.”
(I didn’t author the encyclopedia entry, by the way).

Vintage Erotica

March 23, 2005

Via Rocket Jones, a very cool site featuring some pictures of lovely young ladies from early in the twentieth century. Even if you aren’t interested in the pictures, you should check out the site layout — the music and interactive interface. If you’re not careful, you can even tear pages out of the photo album. As Ted says, this is a really well done site.
NSFW, but in a classy manner.

Prodigal Blogger Returneth

March 22, 2005

Vodkapundit Stephen Green has returned from Mexico. Yesterday, his first full day back blogging, he posted 35 entries. He kept up a similarly fast (if not quite as voluminous) pace today. Wow. Just wow.
Click over and scroll down. And be sure to check out the many lovely pictures he took on his vacation.
Welcome back, Steve.