So, huzzah. My right shoulder has improved to the point that I could actually reach to the top of my head to wash my hair. Woo. Granted, there was a point between A and B where the nerves still went bonkers, but once past that, things worked. I can pretty well run a mouse now. Woo.

On the one hand, there is a good, rational case to be made for not freaking out, for not panicking, for maintaining a rational outlook. On the other hand, there is a good case to be made for caution. But Ebola seems to make people ignore both of these. And it seems to be making people *stupid.* For example:

Thomas Duncan*knew* he had been in contact with Ebola, yet thought it’d be a good idea to fly halfway across the planet.

Nurse Amber Vinson, who worked with known Ebola victim Thomas Duncan, decided to hop *two* jetliners and fly across the country.

A worker at the same hospital who “may have” handled Ebola samples thought it’d be a good idea to hop on board a *cruise* *ship* and has now been quarantined in the Caribbean.

It’s almost as if one of the symptoms of Ebola is an unaccountable urge to travel and spread the virus.

But at least now President Obama has selected an “Ebola Czar” to deal with the issue. Who? One “Ron Klain,” someone not immediately familiar. So who is this guy? What are his medical credentials? Well, fortunately he has a Wikipedia page:

Ronald A. “Ron” Klain is an American lawyer and political operative best known for serving as Chief of Staff to two Vice Presidents – Al Gore (1995–1999) and Joseph Biden (2009–2011).[1][2] He is an influential Democratic Party insider. Earlier in his career, he was a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Byron White during the Court’s 1987 and 1988 Terms and worked on Capitol Hill, where he was Chief Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination. He was portrayed by Kevin Spacey in the HBO film Recount depicting the tumult of the 2000 presidential election.

multifinger

 

South Carolina Prosecutors Say Stand Your Ground Doesn’t Apply To Victims Of Domestic Violence

No commentary necessary.

Well, crap. My plans, developed yesterday after my car died and got left at the shop, was that I’d spend this weekend working on CAD drafting and modeling. But a small issue has arisen what stomped on those plans.

Starting a few weeks ago, I developed a recurring pain in my right shoulder. Some days it was there, some days not. At it’s worst, it would prevent me from raising the arm very far, but that mostly inconvenienced thing like raising items over my head. Didn’t interfere with the computer or driving. Yesterday it was fine.

This morning I awoke to agony. I have been unable to raise the arm at all, except for straight out to the side (which is not terribly useful for most common applications). The right hand and elbow function, but the shoulder? It hurts hanging straight down; it screams in any other position. The end result is that I can position this little netbook so I can type and post my gibberish, but proper manipulation of a mouse has proved impossible so far, stymieing my plans to get some damned work done.

Like as not, tomorrow (Sunday) my shoulder will be more or less fine. But it’s also possible that the pain will be worse, and then there’s Monday when I still won’t have my car.

A few years back I had tennis elbow; this feels much like that, except on a grander scale. Choking down as much aspirin and ibuprofin as I feel comfortable with has not noticeably knocked down the pain, nor slathering on stuff like Ben Gay or Voltaren. The tennis elbow took more than a year to fade away, but there was one treatment that resulted in pretty substantial pain reduction: jamming a big-ass needle into the joint and pumping it full of steroids. If the same sort of issue is the problem here… I shudder to imagine what sort of icepick of a hypodermic would be called for. Bleah.

No, I’m not referring to Wicca or the Druids, but to something much worse.

Reports of Witchcraft-Related Child Abuse On the Rise in London

As if importing Ebola from Africa wasn’t bad enough, the West seems to be importing the dumbest of belief systems: anything bad is due to demonic possession, and the proper response is to abuse the hell out of kids.

Brilliant. Put these Christian jackholes together with the Muslim kiddie diddlers of Rotherham and you’ll have a temptingly-nukable target.

So, I was driving home from Logan (about 30 miles and one shallow mountain pass) when I heard an odd, intermittent  slipping or grinding sound. It got progressively worse, so I decided to pull into the repair place in Tremonton (about 7 miles from home). As it was only a half hour from closing, they briefly looked at it and declared that most likely it was due to some belt slipping, not a problem, bring it back Monday. About half a block out of the parking lot, the radio couldn’t decide if it wanted to stay on, every light on the dashboard lit up and the power steering decided to go on vacation. I managed to horse it back to the repair place, where the explanation now transitioned to “sounds like your alternator’s screwed up.” They still couldn’t get to it until Monday, but they wanted to pull it into the shop… but putting the key in the ignition and turning it resulted in little more than a brief “uhhh” from the engine compartment then… nada. So, we pushed it in and I got a ride home.

Yaaaaaaaaay.

Well, if your car *has* to die, I guess ten feet from the repair shop’s entrance is the place to have it happen.

Why the hell do people refuse to think things through and continue to allow the tyranny of public artists and their Archimedian solar death ray machines?

City pulls sculpture after visitor’s jacket singed by reflected rays

Yet another piece of “sculpture” causing damage via focused sunlight. Feh.

You know, though, I’ve long wondered why we haven’t seen this sort of thing weaponized. Not militarily, as such as the weapons are too big and the damage potential too small for actual military use, but by protestors. Imagine if a quarter of all the sign-waving yahoos at the next Occupy rally had their placards made not out of cardboard, but out of 1/16″ mirror plexiglass, with a sheet of paper taped over it. Or even just foamcore with a reflective sheet of mylar. With enough sunlight and enough solar hippies working in concert, all manor of havoc could ensue.

In 1972 the Holland America cruise ship S.S. Statendam set sail for a spot off the coast of Florida where the passengers got to watch the launch of Apollo 17. Also held on board was the 4th Conference on Planetology and Space Mission Planning. This conference, as described at http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=6879 , was a complete disaster. It was a sad, sad tale of lost opportunities and odd choices. It has also largely faded from memory.

I have a photocopy of the brochure selling the cruise and conference, and have scanned it in as a PDF. The quality is not spectacular, but it’s nevertheless an interesting bit of aerospace history. I’ve posted the PDF for $5 APR Patreon patrons over HYAR.

D.C., Maryland hospitals evaluating two patients who have Ebola-like symptoms

Either It Has Begun and It Will End In Fire, or we’re just beginning on the up-slope towards Peak Panic. Either way, the cold and flu season should prove incredibly entertaining this winter. I fully expect that surgical masks and latex gloves will be all the rage in fashion, and there’ll be a run on bleach.

As the topic on Fark.com so succinctly put it…

If you watched NBC News tonight and thought “Why the hell is Dr. Nancy Snyderman in the Liberian village where that guy caught ebola?”, you weren’t paranoid, because her cameraman just tested positive for ebola

Or just the less interesting ABC headline…

Doctors ‘Optimistic’ About Prognosis for American Journalist With Ebola, Family Says

“Hey, let’s go film an Ebola outbreak.”

The proper response is… “Nope.”

GIFSec.com

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