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be it resolved that

at our annual new year's eve get together last night, we played a game. there were two hats on the table. everyone wrote down the most horrible thing that happened in 2016 and placed it in one hat. in the second hat, they placed a note naming something that could happen in 2017 that could offset it (or at least numb the pain). at midnight, we read them all out, drawing first from the 2016 hat and then from the 2017 hat. the random pairings were good for a chuckle, however, something strange happened and the hat with the horrible things of 2016 had one extra note in it, for which there was no 2017 antidote. this was it:



there is no antidote for apathy. you have to cut it off and get rid of it entirely. resolve not to be apathetic in 2017. 

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a case for homicide?

last week a seven-year-old child died of dehydration and exhaustion at a facility run by the u.s. department of homeland security. the child was in government custody for seven hours before she died but no one seems to have checked on her or offered any assistance to her until she had a seizure and was admitted to hospital with a fever of nearly 106 degrees. it's not clear whether she was given water, food or a medical exam, which is standard for people turning themselves in at the border and throwing themselves on the mercy of the dhs.

death by dehydration [or the toxic shock caused by it] takes about three days for an average adult. for a child, especially one who had been walking in the heat for long periods of time, it can happen much faster. the preliminary report on her death indicates that she had not eaten in about a day. that will be confirmed by the final report [which is not due for a few weeks] but it's important that we understand that the government assertion th…

speaking ill of the dead

the passing of george h. w. bush last week has occasioned a lot of discussion about legacy and decorum. this usually attends the passing of influential people, politicians in particular, and the argument is something like this:

position one :: a person who influenced our lives and our world has passed and out of respect we should remember the good and remarkable things that he [less often she, at least for now] accomplished. now is not the time to revisit controversies.

position two :: not everyone is hitler, but that doesn't make them saints, either. a person has died and while we don't want to cause undue pain to their family, they had a long, healthy life and that is more than can be said for many of the people touched by their influence. however sympathetic they may have looked later in life, we need to say that the things that they did we horrible.

personally, i have some sympathy for both positions when it comes to a figure like bush41. given my political leanings, it…

making faces :: journal of the plague week [with pat mcgrath]

i've been lax about posting before but this time i have a very good excuse: i've had the plague. well, maybe not the plague. close enough to the plague! this started on the 21st of november. i can say that with certainty because the very first symptom was a small cold sore on my chin. since i tend to track what makeup i wear, i can see that the sore appeared on the 21st, whereas before my skin was happy and clear, my body blissfully unaware of what was about to happen to it.

the plague began with a cough and muscle aches that were very nearly crippling. the aching subsided after a couple of days but the cough got worse and worse, keeping me up at night even when medicated and ripping my throat up something fierce. then the pain came back, centred on my head. and there was fatigue that i haven't experienced in years. walking to the bathroom was enough to exhaust me to the point where i needed a nap. which is awkward when you have to summon the energy to walk back...

the sy…