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save me

amidst the agonisingly detailed and yet strangely uninformative coverage of this afternoon's airline crash in the hudson river, i've heard a refrain that never ceases to grate on my nerves.

repeatedly, the announcers on the news marveled at the "miracle" that the plane landed and that no one was killed. that this happened is no doubt remarkable, but to say it's a miracle is to denigrate the work of the pilot, co-pilot and crew who were actually responsible for the plane's landing and for getting the passengers out of the plane to be rescued. pilots are trained for this kind of thing, but landing a passenger plane on a narrow strip of water between two densely populated metropolises goes well beyond what any training program could cover.

if i wake up tomorrow and find out that the entire crew passed out before landing and that the plane guided itself by chance to the hudson, then, i will agree, that is something that could be deemed miraculous. because in that case, it would have happened without any attempt at intervention and direction. but as it stands, there was quite clearly a reason why events unfolded the way that they did, which does not require recourse to divine intervention.

to be fair, there has been plenty of praise given to the pilot, but why not leave it at that? he did something remarkable and deserves recognition. end transmission.


as long as you're here, why not read more?

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…