Hello Cruel World
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
A few interesting things, including reflections on some unpleasant numbers

How to Write an Epic Poem

Related eHows:
Write a Short Story http://www.ehow.com/how_3337_write-short-story.html
Write a Sonnet http://www.ehow.com/how_3335_write-sonnet.html
Write a Haiku http://www.ehow.com/how_3336_write-haiku.html
Find a Literary Agent
Write a Limerick http://www.ehow.com/how_3332_write-limerick.html

Another Friday cat-blogger - see also
http://www.flickr.com/photos/49756365@N00/4193674/ (Marble eyes - cat photo)
see also
http://www.flickr.com/photos/plebon/4149980/ for another cat photo from a
contact of mine.

Readers Digest building garden waterproofing - the home page

Collection of links to arty blogs (much in French)
www.fotocompany.com (the other kind of arty pictures ... )
( some pretty flowers at http://www.arcticzoo.com/archives/2004_01.html
along with some other links, thoughts & stuff that it find mildly
interesting )

Some observations from an absorbing discussion thread at Whatever, John
Scalzi's blog.
The state that has the lowest incidence of divorce in the US is
Massachusetts, which as we all know is so flamingly liberal that they even
let the gay people get married, to other gay people, even

I call myself a recovering catholic. Being a recovering catholic is like
being a recovering alcohilic; If you're an alcoholic, you're always an
alcoholic, you're just in recovery; the same thing goes for being catholic.

Getting a Sense of Proportion
(A very dangerous thing, according to Douglas Adams, see HHGG2 )

You are here (Solar System)
This is a work in progress... 1 pixel = ~1,000 km; images are to scale with
each other (This page does not display properly in Safari and Opera; they do
not support super-wide tables or images, apparently.)
1 pixel = ~1,000 km; planet sizes are approx. to scale

A PhotoShop tutorial on processing a very popular image from topleftpixel.

And the unpleasant bit, not an unexpected set of stories, but good to see
that some people are picking them up.
Monday, February 21 was "Presidents' Day" holiday in the USA. This may be
looking at the effect of the current president. Some extracts. (NB these
are US casualties, we're not looking at Iraqi civilians, etc, here.) The
site has links to different sources.

"It's difficult to estimate what the total number is," says John Pike,
director of a research group called GlobalSecurity.org which publishes an
informed estimate that goes well beyond what the Pentagon has released.

"You have to say that the total number of casualties due to wounds, injury,
disease would have to be somewhere in the ballpark of over 20, maybe
30,000," says Pike... [In November 2004]

Information about the number of US casualties in Iraq is available
on a web site of the Pentagon or known as the "War Hub" at www.pentagon.gov.
This information covers only those who are officially US citizens enlisted
with different military services.

Hired security contractors, or mercenaries, and recruits who are not
citizens who enlisted to obtain a "green card," are not counted or
mentioned. A large number of the green card recruits are from Mexico and
Central America. There are no organizations to look after their rights or
help them once they're in Iraq. Most of them are buried in Iraq when killed
... It is estimated that as many as 40% of the US troops serving in Iraq are
green card recruits.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- A soldier who served in Iraq apparently hung
himself with a bedsheet last week at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, but
the Pentagon did not count that death two days later when it announced "a
very small increase" in the suicide rate from Operation Iraqi Freedom ...
The Pentagon said it is not counting suicides among troops who killed
themselves after they left Iraq ...

Thirty-six journalists - and 18 media support workers - have been
killed since the beginning of hostilities in Iraq in March 2003, according
to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

At least nine have died as a result of American fire, said Ann
Cooper, executive director of the CPJ ... [including] Mazen Dana, a
43-year-old Palestinian [who] was described by Reuters as one of its finest
cameramen ... According to [various] sources, Dana's family, when
interviewed after the murder, had stated to investigators that Dana was
murdered because he was shooting video footage of mass graves of US soldiers
--- i.e., soldiers killed who were not counted in the official Pentagon
casualty figures --- for a television documentary on the subject for

Which makes an interesting companion to The Onion.
The Soapbox By James W. Henley
"I support the occupation but I don't support our troops"


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 / . Lives in Australia/New South Wales/Sydney, speaks English. Eye color is hazel. I am what my mother calls unique. My interests are photography, reading, natural history/land use, town planning, sustainability.

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Australia, New South Wales, Sydney, English, photography, reading, natural history, land use, town planning, sustainability.