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Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Saved the computer disk.

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Today's lunch:

Curry & rice
Fruit salad
Milk
Ivory-coloured fish patty with corn kernels exposed

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Found an interesting blog by an Arab American comedian: Give Peace a Chance ... or I'll beat the crap outta ya. Or, Take my wives, please.

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The weird lady was not at school today.

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Read some good stories today: about a cunning African rabbit , a girl who escapes her lecherous suitor, and a Russian frog princess .

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Also found some Chinese games from circa 1901. Look out for the boys�Esnake skinning game.

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Finally an attack �Ea pipsqueak of defiance! - on the recent spate of anti-woman gibberish: Garance Franke-Ruta (thank you, my dear) takes on Sylvia Ann Hewlett. Like most people recently, we've all been depressed by the recent news that work outside the home is bad for a woman. But it turns out that that is not the case but another piece of propaganda by the "pro-family" American right. (Hewlett is a board member of the Institute for American Values, a name that hardly hides its true intentions.) You can do anything with statistics. You can even ignore them if they don't fit into your ideology. Franke-Ruta points out that Hewlett ignores the fact that doctor-lawyer men are 4% more likely to be childless than their female counterparts. Franke-Ruta again points out, "Fertility, after all, is not an absolute property but a capacity that exists within couples and that varies in an individual depending on his or her partner. Hewlett's book focuses entirely on female fertility, but nearly half of infertility problems fall on the male side of the equation.�E

At the point, I want to interject my own grumbling. Hewlett's irresponsible writing is just another outgrowth from the American right hell-bent on forcing all women on their backs or, after the first goal is achieved, back into the kitchen. Barefoot, presumably. And, here's where I grumble even farther and make the wild generalization that these people and their running dog, the crochet-clacking economist Mrs. Hewlett, are a pack of Nazis. Or should I just call them a festering of neo-eugenists. So you think that selective breeding proponents withdrew after 1945? Here they are.


Attacking abortion is not enough. Bright, white women still aren't having enough babies to appease these morons. The American right, which alternatively attacks unwed mothers as immoral and yet promotes �families,�Eshould be delighted that these high-achieving women are doing the morally correct thing by waiting for their prince charming instead of heaving bastards into the world. But their goal is not in creating moral mothers. They want to reduce scummy mothers, white trash and their ilk, and increase, in their stead, quotas of intelligent Aryan types.

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But back to Franke-Ruta, she couldn't have worded it better when she reported that: "Female and male attorneys alike...suffer from an adversarial conversational style, perfectionism, hyper-developed reasoning skills, difficulty with emotions and hyper-intellectualism.�E


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On a jollier note, Paul Martin's Counting Sheep asserts everything I ever thought about sleep. We need at least 10 hours of it. Why, Einstein even notched it up to eleven hours in prediction of the next day's heavy thinking. The only mystery that this book can't answer, is what do foetuses, who do nothing but dream, dream about? (Month-old foetuses dream for about 24 hours each day!)



Martin's summary is that we need dreams for our mental state and for our memory. Otherwise we hallucinate or become paranoid. As for the theories of the yucky Jung and abhorrent Freud; for obvious reasons these two quacks don't deserve mention. According to Dr. David Maurice we need REM sleep to moisturize our eyes.



With three new babies in my life (Aedan, Priscilla and Ayumu), I wonder what experiences they have that they must dream about. Here's something: the foetus dreams for up to 15 hours during the last trimester when doubling of cortical grey matter density (Faraday, 1972), rapid maturity, and preparation for independent survival occurs (Crick & Mitchinson,1984 in Mallon, 1989).�E


So were Aeden, Priscilla and Ayumu preparing for "independent survival,"cramming before being expelled from their comfortable surroundings? Were they test-driving their brains? The author suggests that the mother's heartbeat or bumps provide dream material. Children develop their abilities to dream much as they do with their drawings or walking. They begin by bumping into everything or grasping pencils with hardly the finesse you would expect of a well-evoluted primate. Nor do they begin by dreaming in narrative or with characters. If dreams are generally nasty, what sorts of terrors would they dream about? Mommy eating Indian curry? Mommy propping a book on her belly? Mommy's heart racing? Mommy's argument with daddy?

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As a byproduct of my search I found out that lagophthalmos (sleeping with the eyes open) is also possible.



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