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"Murphy was an optimist!"

Of Grasshoppers September 30, 2007 8:22 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Of Grasshoppers, Philosophy
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Student: Am I nothing but good intentions?
Master: You are nothing if you do not communicate your good intentions.

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Keep on swimming keep on swimming September 30, 2007 11:22 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Philosophy, Quote
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I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac. A little voice inside my head said, "Don’t look back. You can never look back."

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Everyone needs a talking rabbit on their desk September 29, 2007 10:11 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Communications, Daily Life, Technology
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I think perhaps I enjoy Phillip‘s Nabaztag a bit too much!

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BRAINS! Braaaainnns! September 29, 2007 9:54 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Announcements, Health, Of Interest, Science
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Since you do not have enough to worry about, I suppose you probably want to hear about the Zombie Amoeba. That’s right. There is an amoeba that wants to eat your brains! If I recall my science lessons correctly, an amoeba is a single celled organism. This simple thing is taking people down.

According to the CDC, the amoeba called Naegleria fowleri (nuh-GLEER-ee-uh FOWL’-erh-eye) killed 23 people in the United States, from 1995 to 2004. This year health officials noticed a spike with six cases — three in Florida, two in Texas and one in Arizona. The CDC knows of only several hundred cases worldwide since its discovery in Australia in the 1960s. [Source]

Where does it thrive? Heat and stagnant water. So as global warming worsens and people flock to the lakes to cool themselves, the Naegleria is going to eat their brains.

Though infections tend to be found in southern states, Naegleria lives almost everywhere in lakes, hot springs, even dirty swimming pools, grazing off algae and bacteria in the sediment. [Source]

How do you know your brain is being eaten? Basically you have the same symptoms as everything else.

People who are infected tend to complain of a stiff neck, headaches and fevers. In the later stages, they’ll show signs of brain damage such as hallucinations and behavioral changes… [Source]

And how does it eat your brain? Through your nose!

Beach said people become infected when they wade through shallow water and stir up the bottom. If someone allows water to shoot up the nose — say, by doing a somersault in chest-deep water — the amoeba can latch onto the olfactory nerve. … Beach said people become infected when they wade through shallow water and stir up the bottom. If someone allows water to shoot up the nose — say, by doing a somersault in chest-deep water — the amoeba can latch onto the olfactory nerve. … "Usually, from initial exposure it’s fatal within two weeks," [Source]

Can this be prevented?

"You’d have to have water going way up in your nose to begin with" to be infected … The easiest way to prevent infection … is to use nose clips when swimming or diving in fresh water. [Source]

Thanks to BoingBoing, my wife will never let the children near water again.

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Today’s linkbait September 28, 2007 1:35 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Blog, Daily Life, Music
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How to tell your friends have quit reading your blog. Ahem. And Knoxville’s Youngest Blogger (personally I think he had a better time than his post implies).

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It hurts to sleep in September 28, 2007 9:02 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Of Being Dad
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I failed to get up at 3:30am this morning. I allowed myself until 5:30am. I cannot believe the difference those 2 hours make! I feel like I’ve lost the day. Of course, I feel rested so I suppose that counts for something.

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I want to work for iRobot! September 28, 2007 8:02 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, House, Of Interest, Robotics, Technology
, 2comments

Since a child, I’ve had a fascination with lasers and robots. My path steered away from those. iRobot rocks! iRobot will bring us closer to the Jetsons much sooner than I could have hoped. They have now introduced the Looj gutter-cleaning robot! What a great reason to put guttering on the house!

Makezine explains that iRobot is also accepting applications to beta test their next robot which will have a web camera built into it allowing people on the Internet to control your robot and speak to you. It’s iRobot meets Nabaztag meets Childrenview meets Camstreams.


Making your vote count September 28, 2007 6:54 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Politics, Touchy Subjects
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This just turned my stomach! Democracy?! Wondering how crazy laws come into existence? The video explains how Texas legislatures play a game on the floor to allow a single person to vote 2, 3 4, or more times. I particularly like the one guy who stands up to vote for two other people only to have the guy in front of him take his vote.

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I had a blast at the Orchestra! September 27, 2007 11:57 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Blog, Daily Life, Family, Music, Noah, Of Being Dad, Of Interest, Publishing
, 5comments

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Let me tell you. Maestro Lucas Richman is cool! I mean he’s just fun to be around. Stand beside him and you just feel better. Hug him and you won’t need your Prozac for a year! Top all that off with an energy on the stage that is captivating to watch. (I did joke with him that I thought there were a couple of times he was just plain having fun and perhaps channeling Jack Black.) Today’s featured performer was Jeffrey Biegel. He’s a pleasure also. He has personally worked with two of my heroes, Pete Fountain and Jerry Louis! To be in the same room with such talent as Maestro Lucas Richman and Jeffrey Biegel is very humbling. To banter with them almost felt like a breach of social protocol but we did get to share some laughs.

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I have an official review of my evening at the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra to get from mind and paper to blog post but I think I am a bit too tired to be coherent tonight. If you don’t want to wait, in short, if you don’t make time to go see the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, you need to make the the time! I can come up with all sorts of reasons to not go-the kids, money, deadlines, blah blah (just excuses!)-, but honestly, what a great way to spend an evening! Details tomorrow (or maybe Saturday).

Bloggers I saw tonight included Frank Murphy (review), Lissa Kay (review), Rich Hailey, Doug and Faye McDaniel, Byron Chesney (his review), Tish, Craig Thomas and Noah Caldwell. Who did I miss? The bloggers had 50 tickets allocated!


Getting Cultured Tonight – How many ways? September 27, 2007 3:25 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Family, Music, Noah, Of Being Dad, Of Interest
, 3comments

Thanks in part to Frank Murphy, Noah and I will be participating in the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra‘s blogger’s night.

Afterwards, thanks to Barry, in response to Cathy, I may be further cultured or drugged or just working.

Noah is particularly interested because of his new found love of percussion. I really hope he gets to interact with some of the percussionists during the post-concert reception. Noah will certainly be the youngest blogger in the crowd but I assure you, he will blog about it! In the realm of "it don’t get smaller than Knoxville" Frank Murphy performs with Einstein Simplified. I was one of the founding members of Einstein Simplified and performed at Manhattan’s for 2 years before life got in the way.


Free Gas! September 27, 2007 11:13 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Philanthropy, Philosophy, Touchy Subjects
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I am big on doing the right thing. At the park Saturday night, someone left some trash on the ground. As I left, I took a moment to place their trash in the trash can. A small effort on my part. Yesterday we pulled into Weigel’s to get some gas. Cathy and I both noticed that the pump handle/hose had fallen off one of the pumps. I parked on the other side, got our gas going, then walked around to the other side and hung it up. As I turned to return to my side of the pump, it bleated out, "Please pay the cashier!"

Now I’m not typically naive but this one caught me off guard. I know people steal gas but it has never been in my face before. Frankly I never thought about the process. I stole gas once by accident. We went to Disney World in Dec 2000 and in north Georgia we stopped for gas. I thought my father-in-law paid; he thought I paid; About the Tennessee border we realize no one paid. We made a couple of phone calls and paid with a credit card over the phone. Of course, I fully expected a state trooper to pull us over before we ever hit the border! So I assume the process of stealing gas is to pump the gas, neatly put the hose away, and squeal tires as you make your escape. Apparently the real process is to pump gas, and not the lowest octane! This crook went medium grade. Only do half a tank. This crook pumped $24.95. 16 gallons right now runs about $35. And the important step! Do NOT return the hose/handle to the pump because that signals the cashier that you are done.

When I told the cashier about the drive-off. She looked up, shrugged, declared "looks like someone did drive off," then explained "it happens all day long." All day long! What kind of society is this?! I can appreciate desperation and bad luck but never could I imagine having to steal. I wonder if they steal because they are trying to get ahead, if they steal out of desperation, or if they steal for the thrill. It is amazing how many organizations exist to help people. CAC will help pay your electricity. Fish will bring you food. Churches will step up. There are many others but none really publicized. I wonder if these thieves feel out of resources and do not know where to turn, or are they just bad people? Maybe it is not enough to donate time and resources to these organizations. Perhaps we need to do a public service by informing the communities about these organizations.

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From the mouths of babes September 25, 2007 8:08 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Evan, Family, From the mouths of babes
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Dad: "Evan are you okay?"
Evan: "Hai"

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options September 25, 2007 3:43 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
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I could sit in the barn and be hot and uncomfortable with the flies. or i could sit on the porch and be hot and uncomfortable. or i could sit in the van for half an hour listening to the comedy channel and contributing to global warming while painfully typing a blog post over my cell phone. hmm.

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Warning to cat owners! September 25, 2007 10:52 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Cool Sites, Humor, Love, Of Interest, Pets, Philosophy
, 3comments

Keep your cats indoors at night if you are in Columbia SC! I’m sure we will see this announced on the Psychozilla Tribune soon. (Russ?) I have seen the photographic evidence! Columbia, SC has a cat vampire! Remember, vampires cannot enter your house unless you invite them in so as long as kitty stays indoors, they will be safe from Catdrakula. Oh the humanity!


How to untangle headphones September 25, 2007 10:43 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Humor, Pets, Philosophy
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This is for Jasper! Worksafe Video demonstration of untangling headphones.

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