Saturday, February 25, 2006

I know that people are probably sick of seeing this by now

YouTube - Autistic basketball player creates mayhem at game

And I've seen some comments by people on message boards that say things like "So's not like he's blind or has no legs or anything...he's just autistic."

To those people I would just say that this is an incredible achievement by any stretch of the imagination, but especially for an autistic person. Jason McElwain had to not only understand the rules of the game, but recognize and react to the actions of his teammates (something beyond the reach of a lot of autistic people), coordinate his own physical response to the game, ignore the chaos going on around him (an incredible percentage of autistic people are extremely sensitive to their sensory surroundings, and noise and chaos are usually devastating to them), and then PUT ALL OF THAT together to have such an amazing result on the court.

I have two autistic children that I love dearly, and I'm very familiar with the ins and outs of autism. Seeing stories and videos like this not only give me hope and encouragement, but fill me with joy when I hear the excitement in his and his father's voices. I know exactly how his father felt when he saw this, as I feel the same way when I hear my son put two words together or hear that he didn't wet the bed last night, or when he gives me a kiss with no prompting, or when I see my daughter get herself ready for school and then come home and tell me all about it.

Jason deserves all of the praise and attention that he's receiving, and I hope that Jason's parents don't mind if I share a bit in the happiness and pride that they are feeling right now, because it's so wonderful for those of us who struggle with autism every day to see something joyful in it. And big kudos to his coach for supporting him through the years, and allowing him to play.

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The World Population will hit 6.5 billion today

Wired News

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South Park does the Dead Parrot Sketch


(link goes straight to video)

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I love spending time here

The Wisdom Project, the Open Source Think Tank

Not only because it's so rare to find a civil online forum where people treat each other like grownups, but because I think that a lot of the questions that they are addressing are so important.

A good article about what they're trying to accomplish can be found here.

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I want this SO badly

Virtual Air Guitar

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A bit late for a New Year's retrospective

but there are some interesting things on the list.

BBC NEWS | Magazine | 100 things we didn't know this time last year

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This guy seriously loves fish

MonsterFishKeepers - Building My 50,000 Gallon Monster Mega Tank

But how great would it be to have that kind of aquarium in your house?

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Friday, February 24, 2006

If you're not doing anything this weekend

Murderball (2005)

Give this movie a try. It's stunning- one of the best documentaries that I've ever seen. Quadriplegic rugby wasn't something that I even knew existed, but damn, these guys ARE hardcore.

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Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

My new favourite artist (thanks for introducing me to him, Mark!)

Definitely worth a listen.

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Absolutely memerizing

The Dumpster: A Visualization of Romantic Breakups for 2005

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There are worse ways to choose movies to watch

ROTTEN TOMATOES: 7th Annual Golden Tomato Awards

I'm always amazed (I'm easily impressed) at how useful I find rottentomatoes ...there aren't too many cases where I've seen a movie that's well-reviewed there that I didn't like. It's also a great way to find out about some indie/foreign flicks that you might not have heard least living in buttfark nowhere you might not have heard of them. I'm not a huge movie buff and rarely watch TV, so I never know what's playing unless it's huge.

Definitely hits my top 10 useful sites list.

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What better way to start off the day than with devil children?

Plan59 > Gallery of Demonic Tots and Deeply Disturbing Cuisine

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

There aren't words strong enough for people who will do this to their dogs

From an article in PingMag

Yes, short-haired dogs need coats and booties in winter. I doubt if they need kimonos and wedding dresses. Let them be DOGS, people!

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And the old, but still good

haiku error messages

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100 Words or Les Nessman

Very neat writing site

Even if you're not a writer, this site is fun to read. Write 100 words on a theme, or post something about Les Nessman. It's great practice if you're a writer, just interesting and fun for readers.

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Boursin Cheese

The best cheese ever

Or at least, the cheese that I could eat 3 meals a day and never get sick of :-)

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Breaking up is hard to do

I sent this to a friend tonight- she finally dumped
someone who had caused her a great deal of pain
for a very long time, and it's one of my favourite
"break-up" messages in a twisted way. Life will
only get better for you IS worth it!
Life's too short to put up with crap for too long.

ALL credit for writing it goes to ZE, who has one
of the best sites around. Lots of fun things to do
there, and quite a bit of intelligent writing as well.
Definitely check it out.

The Brighter Sides of Breaking Up By Ze

Dieting is easier when you don’t have an appetite.
Even though you’ve become massively in debt
from gifts you bought your ex, at least your newfound
addiction to cigarettes has left you with bad breath.
Since on average you fall in love every 9 years,
you’ll only be 40 when it happens again.
You get to do a huge spring-cleaning regardless
of the season since half your stuff is now in the
“memorabilia” category.
You get to experience what its like to be a depressed,
tormented artist… just without the motivation or talent.
Crying at movies no longer makes you feel stupid, since
it’s the only place where its okay to do it in public.
You can appreciate the nuanced subtlety in the lyrics
to Richard Marx’s “I’ll be waiting right here for you”.
You finally get to learn how to delete a number in your
cell phone address book.
The fact that your cell phone now has 148 empty slots,
gives you a new urgency in reconnecting with lost friends.
You get to experience a deep warm connection when
the guy at Starbucks says "Have a nice day!" and smiles.
You can do empirical studies on whether alcohol is
actually a depressant.
You find yourself answering the question “How are you today?”
honestly and at great length.
You get to finally reconnect with your pet.
You begin to wonder whether pets think in sentences
and whether the words” i love you “ ever crossed their minds.
You get to look forward to dates where you catch someone
else up on how many siblings you have as well as all the
other mundane facts of your life.
You get to hone your marketing skills by attempting
to sell “beauty on the inside” in noisy bars.
You can try to convince your parents that they owe
you money considering how much they saved since
you aren’t going to have a wedding.
Boggle is easier to win when you play by yourself.
You can remember old times by revisiting the
single-serving coffee maker your mom bought you
during college.
You get to rely on that killer instinct you used to
have when choosing an outfit for a night out.

Watching your friends children have temper tantrums
no longer has the same ominous implications and
returns to just being plain funny.

P.S. Don't'll all be okay...I promise.

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Our plans for the day

My daughter's home with pink eye today, so it looks like it's gross science morning around here. So far one of the cats has gotten his nose in it, and Kirsten squeals every time she touches it (she's 10). It's going to be a very long day!

But at least she's found out what a molecule is!

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And people wonder why I'm such a great Mom

Mister Crunchy's Parenting Bingo

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Freaky/beautiful praying mantis pictures

Kleptography - Don Ellis - Gallery - Moments in Mantisland

They totally creep me out, but my daughter brings them home every chance she gets. The whole wise alien bizarre look just gives me the heebie-jeebies. Absolutely gorgeous pictures though!

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If you're a history geek

you can't do much better than

World History : HyperHistory

It's worth it for the maps alone, but the timelines also give you a great idea of what was going on all over the world at the same time...politics, wars, people, science,'s a great resource. And it's actually WORLD history- not just Euro based. Nice to even see some African stuff in there.

(There an interesting bit on the history of cosmology in the Science section...I'm a science dunce, and it helped!)

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Absolutely stunning picture

Astronomy Picture of the Day

I love this site, and this is one of their better pics, I think.

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

If you're a weather geek

This looks like a pretty cool little program. Hopefully someday they'll come out with a Canadian version.

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Final Choice

Final Choice

Articles and information about the Right to Die movement.

I'm not even sure why the right to die is questionable...I've heard all of the arguments against it, and there are few that make sense to me. I've been involved with enough people who are dying to know that sometimes the kindest thing that you can do is to allow people the choice to end their own suffering. I don't buy the slippery slope argument that all of a sudden doctors are going to be offing people right, left and centre. I have seen a few arguments that cite cases where hospitals in the U.S. decided to turn off life support for indigent patients, but for me that's more an indictment of the medicine for profit model than having much to do with the right to die question.

I think that I value life as highly as anyone else does, but there comes a point when people should be able to make the decision to exit when they want to. I certainly hope that if I get into a position where I have no quality of life that my doctors and family will honour my living will, and help me along (with no fear of prosecution), if I'm unable to do it for myself.

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Girls...learn what it's like to be a guy


(courtesy of one of my 10 year olds)

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Online documentaries

FRONTLINE: watch online | PBS

Too many great ones to count...all free, and watchable online.

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Arcosanti : Project

Arcosanti : Project

One of the most fascinating places I've ever read about or seen on TV. This type of experimental "urban laboratory" offers so much to everyone in terms of trying to create sustainable communities.

Well worth checking out if you're at all interested in community planning- there are numerous documentaries about it if you can ever catch them.

I'd probably try to go in a second if my kids didn't need so many services :-)

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