You Can’t Get Blood from the Stoned

I gave blood for the first time yesterday, and several things occurred to me at the time and since. It seems odd to me that one can lose about half a litre of blood and not feel any pain during or after the process, simply from a biological standpoint. Surely it would be in any organism’s best interest to know about such matters. It also struck me, quite inignorably, that, though it is possible not to feel pain, I have had an aching left arm for most of the last day. Would practice help? No doubt it would help someone.

Aches aside, I’ve been acutely aware of my entire circulatory system for the last day, becoming aware of my pulse in various places and noticing changes in my heart rate at different times. This isn’t anything special; these effects are always there, I’ve just been very open to noticing them. My interest has worn off somewhat though, and I will not be becoming a haematologist any time soon.

As regards the title of this item, it seems they don’t want blood from drug users. Common sense of course. There is a questionaire for everyone and an interview for first-timers (as well as testing, naturally.) Most of what was asked was reasonable, regarding STIs and non-prescription drugs etc, but one question seemed unreasonably harsh. It concerned gay sex. Apparently this excludes you from ever giving blood again, even if protection is used, both parties are healthy and drug free, or if it was twenty or thirty years ago. While I’m never going to be part of this group, I do think an overly large group is being excluded. I’m all for caution, but this seems, as I said, way too harsh. Then again, I didn’t understand why I shouldn’t take a hot bath for 24 hours after the procedure either, so I obviously don’t know as much as they do. And please note that I mean any hot bath within the succeeding 24 hours rather than one lasting 24 hours. Though they would presumably not be advised either.

Ow!

My eyes hurt and my brain hurts. I have two owies. Fully aware that my own inspirational and compelling literature could distract my valued readers from the consumption and possible, though by no means certain, comprehension of This Is The Title Of This Story, Which Is Also Found Several Times In The Story Itself, I will cease most imperatively in favour of allowing you, the aforesaid reader, dear or otherwise, to focus your regard on the above mentioned piece. This is the last sentence of this post.

Daredevil

It may be worth noting that Daredevil is a steaming heap of dog unpleasantness, perhaps stinking up Spider-man’s respectable super-hero boots, or working its way into the grooves the Dark Knights Bat-boots. It is redeemed only by a promising trailer for X-2, which anyone who’s interested has already seen. Boo Marvel. Better luck next time.

Socialist Tits

Anyone who doesn’t enjoy a good rant may want to look away now. I’m somewhat irritated by many of the candidates for UCD‘s Students’ Union positions. They’re about as politically capable as ST:TOS. “I’m rich, so gimme gimme gimme. Oh, and war is bad, m’kay.” Which is about the extent of their campaign literature. Being in a university it is of course entirely reasonable to think that most people are against the re-introduction of third level fees. And some people may even have reasons that go beyond greed. There are no doubt many people here who would not be able to afford the fees. But let’s face it, most of us could. The issue is infinitely more complex than a simple “I haven’t paid for this before, so it should be free.” Grants are issued based on parents’ incomes, but there are potential students whose parents could afford to, but won’t, fund them through college. Not to mention the students *cough*FARMERS*cough* who get grants they don’t need. How many of the people marching in ‘No to Fees’ protests have heard of the New Era program? How many of them care? They’re all for lowering the barriers into education when it means more money left for their month in Portugal, but programs like New Era are dreadfully under-funded and confined to designated under-priviliged schools. I’d gladly pay fees if it meant such projects got country-wide support. Everyone I know could afford fees if an interest free grant was offered to students, with payment starting only after a sufficient income level is reached. This would have the added benefit of reducing students’ financial reliance on their parents. Join the Yes to Fees Campaign.

There’s another issue raised by at least one candidate, the War on Iraq. What in the bluest of blue hells has that got to do with the Students’ Union? Just another rich tit trying to satisfy a synthetic social concience while Daddy pays his way through Uni. It’s not a relevant issue, but since he brought it up… No War is an admirable ideal, but idealists would have had Hitler left alone. My granny tells of Neville Chamberlain returning from Germany to the same pickets of ‘No to War’, and telling his people that the Nazis meant trouble. He went against the will of the vocal peace-nics and, long story short, the English still speak English. President Hussein isn’t trust-worthy. He is dangerous. And no reasonable person can have any doubt that he possesses the weapons of which the UN insists there is no evidence.

VD

Just like the poor, VD will always be with us and like herpes, just when you think its gone for good, it rears its ugly head once more.

Everyone is talking about Valentine’s Day. Thankfully they all seem to be complaining about the pointless homogenised commercialism or reveling in post-modern irony. Good. That means no-one needs convincing, so my rant isn’t needed. I thought for a while that people were getting smarter, but now I reckon I’m just keeping better (virtual) company.

Wil‘s talking about Linux again. Though I’m currently in my ‘website’ geek-mode, rather than my ‘get a cool free (as in speech) OS running including GUI desktop rather than just command line on my old P133 geek-mode, this sort of talk can only remind me of my horrible Linux paradox. I can’t get any Linux distro to install on my old machine because the machine is too quirky and I don’t know enough about Linux to fix it. And I can’t learn much about Linux without using it. Plus I never remain in aforesaid latter geek-mode for long enough at a time.

Link Dump

Lack of time and inspiration results in the truest blogger tradition, the link dump:

  • Oscar Nominations are out today – It seems LOTR:TTT (6) is worthy of a best picture nomination, despite apparently not having any actors, writers or a director.
  • Anti-Valentines – I’m not just bitter, I hate all Pointless HolidaysTM. “Happy Friday”.
  • Mozilla 1.3β – ’bout damn time. Image resizing seems to be better than Microsoft’s attempts, spam filters debut, and there’s the launch of the machine learning autocomplete project, which I hadn’t heard of before and will be looking into.
  • Letters – A cool flash game. Cool if you’re really, really nerdy that is… Less than 100kb, so not too big for Dialup users.

Soylent Red is People

I posted a while back about my desire to find an appropriate name for my blog. I had considered "Eye on Rory" as a possibility, reflecting my religious affection for the Simpsons, but on an entirely unexplainable impulse I’ve changed my mind. You are now reading Soylent Red. I have to give due credit to Jay (who’s name would be a link if he had a web presence) for coming up with the name, which I am still filed under in his phone book. You may note that, as yet there is no indication of the name, either URL-wise or -wise. This is because of my stubborn assumption that it wont be long until the whole site is PHP-ed, so I can’t be bothered to change the current static pages.

The same reason can be applied to my very short blogroll. It would surely be longer than a list of four if additions required the editing of only a single file. So when the switch to dynamic pages is made the blogroll will lengthen bigtime. Starting with the addition of InkTank, home of the Angst Technologies comic. From the site:

Barry T. Smith started out life as a single celled organism. He eventually grew into a bipedal mammal, capable of the art of cartooning.

I’m nearly a year into his daily cartoon, and have about a year and a half more to catch up on. It’s going to be terrible when I’ve only got one new strip a day to read.

I Love It When a Plan Comes Together

I pity the fools that didn’t get to see Dirk Benedict on Tuesday. As part of LawSoc‘s 80s Day the Face acted as chairperson for a “debate” on the merits of the 80s as opposed to other decades. The debate lasted all of 10 minutes before the Lord of the Flies-like rabble got their demands met. There followed a near three hour long Q & A session. Many (most?) of the questions were about Dirk’s sexual experiences, despite his valiant attempts at every point to distinguish himself from his most famous character. Despite the sex questions and constant interruptions he had long enough in the three hours to tell a few anecdotes about the A-Team, particularly praise for Mr T and Dwight Schultz, though not much on George Peppard.

After Nancy Cartwright last week and Dirk Benedict this week, at this rate I’ll be driving a Delorean by March.

The Lack of Post™ on Tuesday wasn’t actually due to visiting celebrities though. The network was down again, denying me internet access. This pretty much sucked on a day when I was in here (UCD) longer than usual waiting for said celebrity to appear. So instead I went shopping. By chance I saw season two of Futurama and season two of Family Guy, both of which I’ve ordered from Amazon already, and to my delight they’re much more expensive in the real world, and they both have more episodes than their season one counterparts. Yay!

I bought two books, the names of neither of which I can remember. One is about mathematics and patterns in nature and was written by Ian Stewart, one of Terry Pratchett’s co-writers on the Science of Discworld books. (As an aside: When I went to look up his name I looked for the Science of Discworld on Amazon. My search term “science of discworld” didn’t find the book but going via a roundabout way found me The Science of Discworld II: The Globe. Listed as authors were Terry Pratchett, Terry Pratchett and Jack Cohen. A look at the picture of the jacket cover gave me Ian Stewart’s name. I can’t help but think this could have been easier.) The other book is an introduction to PHP, which contains easy and accurate instructions for setting up PHP, Apache and MySQL on my Windows machine at home. I already had the first two and probably could have figured out the third (I didn’t try), but I feel that this sort of direct instruction is still valuable even when some searching can find the information online.

I also bought the leather pants I’ve been promising myself for so long. Some people seem to find this amusing. (It should be noted that I’m refering to trousers, rather than underpants. This ambiguity is introduced by British and Irish people (and maybe others) who misuse the word ‘pants’.)

What OS are you?

According to BBSpot, via Aquarion, I’m Windows 95!

You look better than your older brother but your communication skills are still lacking. You start well but often zone out.

Going merely on the descriptions given for the various OSes/Personalities, I would say I’m one of the Linuxes, probably Debian or Slackware.

After an unpleasant experience on Friday, I’d like to offer my own summary for any Windows XPers (my OS at home, but only because it’s not technically my computer, it’s a family one): You are prone to forget your friends at random times when nothing of note has happened to you. You keep your old friend’s stuff, but wont let him have it back without much trickery, because you now think he’s a stranger. It’s just as well he never trusted you enough to keep his stuff locked away, otherwse he’d never get it back.