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26 February 2013

To infinity and beyond!

I feel like lately every time I deign to log in PE wants me to restyle my av. First one had sticky-up green hair, second was Swedish looking, this one is Black with green hair. Next one who knows - I can't keep putting it off.

25 February 2013

The Norwegian prison where inmates are treated like people

On Bastoy prison island in Norway, the prisoners, some of whom are murderers and rapists, live in conditions that critics brand 'cushy' and 'luxurious'. Yet it has by far the lowest reoffending rate in Europe

The first clue that things are done very differently on Bastoy prison island, which lies a couple of miles off the coast in the Oslo fjord, 46 miles south-east of Norway's capital, comes shortly after I board the prison ferry. I'm taken aback slightly when the ferry operative who welcomed me aboard just minutes earlier, and with whom I'm exchanging small talk about the weather, suddenly reveals he is a serving prisoner – doing 14 years for drug smuggling. He notes my surprise, smiles, and takes off a thick glove before offering me his hand. "I'm Petter," he says.
Before he transferred to Bastoy, Petter was in a high-security prison for nearly eight years. "Here, they give us trust and responsibility," he says. "They treat us like grownups." I haven't come here particularly to draw comparisons, but it's impossible not to consider how politicians and the popular media would react to a similar scenario in Britain.
There are big differences between the two countries, of course. Norway has a population of slightly less than five million, a 12th of the UK's. It has fewer than 4,000 prisoners; there are around 84,000 in the UK. But what really sets us apart is the Norwegian attitude towards prisoners. Four years ago I was invited into Skien maximum security prison, 20 miles north of Oslo. I had heard stories about Norway's liberal attitude. In fact, Skien is a concrete fortress as daunting as any prison I have ever experienced and houses some of the most serious law-breakers in the country. Recently it was the temporary residence of Anders Breivik, the man who massacred 77 people in July 2011.
Despite the seriousness of their crimes, however, I found that the loss of liberty was all the punishment they suffered. Cells had televisions, computers, integral showers and sanitation. Some prisoners were segregated for various reasons, but as the majority served their time – anything up to the 21-year maximum sentence (Norway has no death penalty or life sentence) – they were offered education, training and skill-building programmes. Instead of wings and landings they lived in small "pod" communities within the prison, limiting the spread of the corrosive criminal prison subculture that dominates traditionally designed prisons. The teacher explained that all prisons in Norway worked on the same principle, which he believed was the reason the country had, at less than 30%, the lowest reoffending figures in Europe and less than half the rate in the UK.

The Guardian, 

24 February 2013

I woke up thinking for some reason about Mildred's sculture stand which is on my balcony. Then I suddenly remembered I'd dreamt about her. It's more hazy now than when I remembered but she was lying down talking about something to me. Mildred was nearly 100 when she died; I used to visit her weekly then as things became worse for me it became less frequent, but she was always dear to me. An artist, she had many fascinating tales of life in Paris in the twenties, New York in the forties, Taxco in the fifties, as well as early Washington state teaching at a rural school, her family's restaurant on Hood Canal, and much more.

23 February 2013


21 February 2013


I need one of these.

20 February 2013


Inworldz now has inventory backup:

We are pleased to announce that you can now obtain an encrypted backup of your inventory from the InWorldz website. This file can be downloaded to your computer for safe keeping and archival purposes.

You will find this facility on the InWorldz website under Main Menu -> Inventory Backup.

This file can be stored on your home computer and then uploaded to support in the case of an accidental deletion or loss of inventory items or folders.

We recommend you take an inventory snapshots before doing large cleanups of your inventory or after completing large projects. Due to storage, bandwidth and compute constraints, backups are limited to taking one per avatar every 48 hours. We ask you back up sparingly, but often enough to be satisfied your most treasured objects are in your possession.

------Tranquillity Dexler


The crab from Glitch

The CraftyBot from Glitch.



Wow, I didn't realise the Unreal game platform is free for noncommercial and educational use!

19 February 2013


This cool illustration of Perelandra by James Lewicki was found on

Both Enj and I are reading the CS Lewis space trilogy.

And the yellow one is neat, too. Dunno who painted it.

18 February 2013


ZOMG OT was just here and she was very nice. This may work out.

17 February 2013

Ears - check
Trizzities - check
Intarwebz - check
Things are looking up!

ZOMG My left ear just unblocked with a loud pop. It'd been blocked for weeks.


Unpatentable Drugs and the Standards of Patentability

Harvard Law School

The role of the patent system in promoting pharmaceutical innovation is widely seen as a tremendous success story. This view overlooks a serious shortcoming in the drug patent system: the standards by which drugs are deemed unpatentable under the novelty and non-obviousness requirement bear little relationship to the social value of those drugs or the need for a patent to motivate their development. If the idea for a drug is not novel or is obvious, perhaps because it was disclosed in an earlier publication or made to look obvious by recent scientific advances, then it cannot be patented. Yet the mere idea for a drug alone is generally of little value to the public. Without clinical trials proving the drug's safety and efficacy, a prerequisite for FDA approval and acceptance by the medical community, it is unlikely to benefit the public. Given the immense investment needed to fund clinical trials on drugs, and the ability of generic manufacturers to rely on those tests to secure regulatory approval for their own products, pharmaceutical companies are rarely willing to develop a drug without patent protection. The novelty and non-obviousness requirements make no concession for the development costs of inventions, and thus withhold patents from drugs that are unlikely to reach the public without that protection. This gap in the patent system for drugs has created a pervasive problem in the pharmaceutical industry, causing firms to regularly screen through their drugs in R&D and discard ones with weak patent protection. The potential harm to the public from the loss of these drugs is likely significant. Congress can easily avoid this problem by ensuring that the successful completion of the FDA's rigorous clinical trial process is rewarded with a lengthy exclusivity period enforced by the FDA.


Oooh, yeah - trizzity just came on. There was a scheduled maintenance outage from 10pm to 7am but at 7 the trizz came back momentarily then poofed again, so it's been a colossal drag. My plan was to sit outside in the sun and read but there's no sun and opening the door merely reminded me how chilly the wind could be and how cold the house is. 

16 February 2013

KOMO sez:
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - A tank that holds radioactive liquids is leaking at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Friday, raising concerns about the integrity of other storage facilities at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
The U.S. Department of Energy said liquid levels are decreasing in one of 177 underground tanks at the nuclear reservation. Monitoring wells near the tank have not detected higher radiation levels, but Inslee said the leak could be in the range of 150 gallons to 300 gallons over the course of a year and creates a long-term threat that could impact groundwater or rivers.
"I am alarmed about this on many levels," Inslee said at a Friday afternoon news conference. "This raises concerns, not only about the existing leak ... but also concerning the integrity of the other single shell tanks of this age."
The tanks hold millions of gallons of a highly radioactive stew left from decades of plutonium production for nuclear weapons.
Inslee said the state was assured years ago that such problems had been dealt with and he warned that spending cuts - particularly due to a budget fight in Congress - would create further risks at Hanford. Inslee said the cleanup must be a priority for the federal government.
"We are willing to exercise our rights using the legal system at the appropriate time. That should be clear," Inslee said.
Inslee said the state has a good partner in Energy Secretary Steven Chu but that he's concerned about whether Congress is committed to clean up the highly contaminated site.
The tank in question contains about 447,000 gallons of sludge, a mixture of solids and liquids with a mud-like consistency. The tank, built in the 1940s, is known to have leaked in the past, but was stabilized in 1995 when all liquids that could be pumped out of it were removed.
Inslee said the tank is the first to have been documented to be losing liquids since all Hanford tanks were stabilized in 2005. His staff said the federal government is working to assess other tanks.
At the height of World War II, the federal government created Hanford in the remote sagebrush of eastern Washington as part of a hush-hush project to build the atomic bomb. The site ultimately produced plutonium for the world's first atomic blast and for one of two atomic bombs dropped on Japan, effectively ending the war.
Plutonium production continued there through the Cold War. Today, Hanford is the nation's most contaminated nuclear site. Cleanup will cost billions of dollars and last decades.
Central to that cleanup is the removal of millions of gallons of a highly toxic, radioactive stew - enough to fill dozens of Olympic-size swimming pools - from 177 aging, underground tanks. Over time, many of those tanks have leaked, threatening the groundwater and the neighboring Columbia River, the largest waterway in the Pacific Northwest.
Construction of a $12.3 billion plant to convert the waste to a safe, stable form is years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. Technical problems have slowed the project, and several workers have raised lawsuits in recent months, claiming they were retaliated against for raising concerns about the plant's design and safety.

15 February 2013


A million years ago when I first got diagnosed I was understandably agitated, and realised the agitation at that point was more destructive than the malady itself. I am always looking for things that are a help, especially techno-type stuffs, so I got an early mind machine, which was a huge help. It was about 1990 or 91and I don't remember how I heard about it but I had to go to Seattle and buy it from a woman named, I think, Jan Belknap.
It uses light and tone to influence brainwaves, and works very well. Recently Enj got one - mine is a creaky antique comparatively but they work about the same although her machine has more programs and a modern and updated setup. I bought new light specs for mine about ten years ago, and I use my ear buds instead of its decayed, old metal headset, but I haven't used it a lot recently because I get tangled up in its bajillion wires. Maybe I'll use it more now as there's not a lot else I can do.
Handy gadget.

13 February 2013


Project Entropia is ten ===:O I guess it was newish when I joined. Have to check my join date.

Entropia Universe Celebrates Ten Years!

On the 30th of January 2003, Project Entropia was officially released to the public. That release, also known as the PE ‘Gold’ release, marked the beginning of a long and eventful evolution to the greatly expanded and advanced Entropia Universe of today.


My sister as a wee child was obliged to learn some Longfellow, and I believe that was what I remember seeing at her school recital in England - many children reciting at once. Later she taught it to me (at that point in Canada), though I only remember a bit as it was 55 years ago. There's just something about Longfellow. Perhaps my early initiation into his rhythms causes me to like his verse.

A tiny bit:

Hiawatha’s Childhood

By the shores of Gitchee Gumee,
By the shining big-Sea-Water,
Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,
Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.
Dark behind it rose the forest,
Rose the black and gloomy pine-trees,
Rose the firs with cones upon them;
Bright before it beat the water,
Beat the clear and sunny water,
Beat the shining Big-Sea-Water.
   There the wrinkled old Nokomis
Nursed the little Hiawatha,
Rocked him in his linden cradle,
Bedded soft in moss and rushes,
Safely bound with reindeer sinews;
Stilled his fretful wail by saying,
“Hush! the Naked Bear will hear thee!”
Lulled him into slumber, singing,
“Ewa-yea! my little owlet!
Who is this, that lights the wigwam?
With his great eyes lights the wigwam?
Ewa-yea! my little owlet!”

I used to wonder what people who didn't know any poetry did in waiting rooms, but now people have the anti-poetry or perhaps anti-cogitation assister, their phone.

12 February 2013


Well, who knows - maybe this will be a good year.

I'm reading CS Lewis - the Space trilogy. Before this I read ASByatt - Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye, Cloud Atlas, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Might've missed one or two.

Watching Times and Winds, Viva Laljeria, The Doll, The Trap, Moonrise Kingdom, Toast, Sixty Six, and I forget what else.

I got Steven to get that Netflix movie out of the box and eventually I'll get it posted.

Tiff comes tomorrow and Frank comes Saturday. Michael came and did laundry on Sunday and I managed quite well although it was exhausting.

11 February 2013


10 February 2013


Tiny Speck released the Glitch assets.

09 February 2013


08 February 2013


I'm a water snake in Chinese horoscope, and Sunday is the start of a water snake year.
'According to the Chinese Five Element Astrology Calendar, 2013 is the Year of Water Snake. The color of Water in Five Elements system is related to Black. Therefore we can say 2013 is a Black Snake, Water Snake or Black Water Snake year.'

Was hoping to get my netflix dvd in so I could quit but I believe when I asked someobe to post it for me the other day she must've locked it inside the mailbox so in a month or so I'll get it back and have to beg someone to post it for me again. I don't like having to beg all the time. I think that's possibly the worst thing, having to beg beg beg for some tiny stupid thing.



No headache so far but it feels close by.

07 February 2013

Woke up w a headache that's been getting worse all day. Is agony. I am miserable.


The appt screwed up by the refering dr office (neuro) finally rolled around after four months. I'm condiderably worse than I was when referred but went to see if ANY even razor-thin improvement might be possible.
Con was kind enough to take me, which is no small thing. David's car is hard for me as the door sill is wide resulting in ~7 inches between the seat and the ground. Having my feet under my knees is difficult as I have no core strength to rise from that position so I'm even more of a dead weight than usual.
The appt was 10:45. I was with the dr until noon. It was all the usual neuro tests and the same questions as usual. She was empathetic and pleasant, but basically had nothing much to add other than giving me a chit to give to a home healthcare OT for an assessment. As I suspected it was more or less 'you are totally fucked.'
I'm exhausted today. I would like to have a vacation from the stress but fat chance.
I need to see Dr Herring but I can only manage one thing at a time. I shouldn't take ibuprofen but I am now just trying to get through the current ten minutes perpetually, so I do, a lot.

06 February 2013


05 February 2013


Pulp cover-maker

The Islamists came in, as they did in Afghanistan, with their own, severe interpretation of Islam, intent on rooting out what they saw as the veneration of idols instead of the pure worship of Allah. During their 10-month-rule, they eviscerated much of the identity of this storied city, starting with the mausoleums of their saints, which were reduced to rubble.

The turbaned fighters made women hide their faces and blotted out their images on billboards. They closed hair salons, banned makeup and forbade the music for which Mali is known.

Their final act before leaving was to go through the exhibition room in the institute, as well as the whitewashed laboratory used to restore the age-old parchments. They grabbed the books they found and burned them.

However, they didn't bother searching the old building, where an elderly man named Abba Alhadi has spent 40 of his 72 years on earth taking care of rare manuscripts. The illiterate old man, who walks with a cane and looks like a character from the Bible, was the perfect foil for the Islamists. They wrongly assumed that the city's European-educated elite would be the ones trying to save the manuscripts, he said.

So last August, Alhadi began stuffing the thousands of books into empty rice and millet sacks.

At night, he loaded the millet sacks onto the type of trolley used to cart boxes of vegetables to the market. He pushed them across town and piled them into a lorry and onto the backs of motorcycles, which drove them to the banks of the Niger River.




We Are the World

Oh HAHAHA! It was brought down by the fact that it used videogame footage as the burning U.S. city. That really is funny.

04 February 2013

The lead singer of the Troggs has died of old age.

I didn't know director Duncan Jones is David Bowie's son. I liked 'Moon' a lot.

02 February 2013

I just saw someone's tweet:
The murder rate in this part of town has fallen dramatically now that the osprey family has gone south.


01 February 2013


American soldiers' zippos from the Viet Nam war.

Jeepers, this sounds stupid.

You are receiving this e-mail because you may have been featured in a "Sponsored Story" on Facebook prior to December 3, 2012.
A federal court authorized this Notice. This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.
Why did I get this notice? This Notice relates to a proposed settlement ("Settlement") of a class action lawsuit ("Action") filed against Facebook relating to a particular Facebook feature called "Sponsored Stories." According to available records, you may be a "Class Member."
What is the Action about? The Action claims that Facebook unlawfully used the names, profile pictures, photographs, likenesses, and identities of Facebook users in the United States to advertise or sell products and services through Sponsored Stories without obtaining those users' consent. Facebook denies any wrongdoing and any liability whatsoever. No court or other entity has made any judgment or other determination of any liability.
What is a Sponsored Story? Sponsored Stories are a form of advertising that typically contains posts which appeared on about or from a Facebook user or entity that a business, organization, or individual has paid to promote so there is a better chance that the posts will be seen by the user or entity's chosen audience. Sponsored Stories may be displayed, for example, when a Facebook user interacts with the Facebook service (including sub-domains, international versions, widgets, plug-ins, platform applications or games, and mobile applications) in certain ways, such as by clicking on the Facebook "Like" button on a business's, organization's, or individual's Facebook page. Sponsored Stories typically include a display of a Facebook user's Facebook name (i.e., the name the user has associated with his or her Facebook account) and/or profile picture (if the user has uploaded one) with a statement describing the user's interaction with the Facebook service, such as "John Smith likes UNICEF," "John Smith played Farmville," or "John Smith shared a link."
What relief does the Settlement provide? Facebook will pay $20 million into a fund that can be used, in part, to pay claims of Class Members (including Minor Class Members) who appeared in a Sponsored Story. Each participating Class Member who submits a valid and timely claim form may be eligible to receive up to $10. The amount, if any, paid to each claimant depends upon the number of claims made and other factors detailed in the Settlement. No one knows in advance how much each claimant will receive, or whether any money will be paid directly to claimants. If the number of claims made renders it economically infeasible to pay money to persons who make a timely and valid claim, payment will be made to the not-for-profit organizations identified on the Settlement website at (if clicking on the link does not work, copy and paste the website address into a web browser). These organizations are involved in educational outreach that teaches adults and children how to use social media technologies safely, or are involved in research of social media, with a focus on critical thinking around advertising and commercialization, and particularly with protecting the interests of children.
In addition to monetary relief, Facebook will (a) revise its terms of service (known as the "Statement of Rights and Responsibilities" or "SRR") to more fully explain the instances in which users agree to the display of their names and profile pictures in connection with Sponsored Stories; (b) create an easily accessible mechanism that enables users to view, on a going-forward basis, the subset of their interactions and other content on Facebook that have been displayed in Sponsored Stories (if any); (c) develop settings that will allow users to prevent particular items or categories of content or information related to them from being displayed in future Sponsored Stories; (d) revise its SRR to confirm that minors represent that their parent or legal guardian consents to the use of the minor's name and profile picture in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content; (e) provide parents and legal guardians with additional information about how advertising works on Facebook in its Family Safety Center and provide parents and legal guardians with additional tools to control whether their children's names and profile pictures are displayed in connection with Sponsored Stories; and (f) add a control in minor users' profiles that enables each minor user to indicate that his or her parents are not Facebook users and, where a minor user indicates that his or her parents are not on Facebook, Facebook will make the minor ineligible to appear in Sponsored Stories until he or she reaches the age of 18, until the minor changes his or her setting to indicate that his or her parents are on Facebook, or until a confirmed parental relationship with the minor user is established.
SUBMIT A CLAIM FORM This is the only way to be eligible to receive a payment, if the Court orders payment to Class Members. Deadline: May 2, 2013
EXCLUDE YOURSELF This is the only option that allows you to retain the ability to file your own lawsuit about the legal claims in this case. Deadline: May 2, 2013
OBJECT Write to the Court about why you object to (i.e., don't like) the Settlement and think it shouldn't be approved. Deadline: May 2, 2013
The Court will hold a "Fairness Hearing" to consider the Settlement, the request for attorneys' fees and expenses of the lawyers who brought the Action ("Class Counsel"), and the class representatives' request for service awards for bringing the Action.

You may, but are not required to, speak at the Fairness Hearing about any Objection you filed. If you intend to speak at the Fairness Hearing, you must follow the procedures stated on the Settlement website to notify the Court and parties of your intent when you serve your Objection.
Hearing Date: June 28, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.
DO NOTHING You will not receive a payment, even if the Court orders payment to Class Members. You will also be giving up your right to bring your own lawsuit related to the claims in the Action. You may be eligible to receive the non-monetary benefits of the Settlement, if the Settlement is finally approved. No deadline
Your Class Member Number: 735193814
To Parents and Guardians of Children on Facebook: The Settlement also involves the claims of minors featured in Sponsored Stories on Facebook. Please see the Settlement website for more information.



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I want to ask for thoughts about improving the world -- what do people need? How can things be organised?