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Saturday, March 27, 2004

Yeah, but what about scabs?

Leslie found this delightful little item on Ananova. I took it to Dr. Larry, my personal physician for the past 30 years, and he plans to make numerous copies for distribution throughout the Western Pennsylvania medical community.

But Les perhaps best summed it up with her comment:

"Eew! Just eeeeeew:"

Top doc backs picking your nose and eating it

Picking your nose and eating it is one of the best ways to stay healthy, according to a top Austrian doctor.

Innsbruck-based lung specialist Prof Dr Friedrich Bischinger said people who pick their noses with their fingers were healthy, happier and probably better in tune with their bodies.

He says society should adopt a new approach to nose-picking and encourage children to take it up.

Dr Bischinger said: "With the finger you can get to places you just can't reach with a handkerchief, keeping your nose far cleaner.

"And eating the dry remains of what you pull out is a great way of strengthening the body's immune system.

"Medically it makes great sense and is a perfectly natural thing to do. In terms of the immune system the nose is a filter in which a great deal of bacteria are collected, and when this mixture arrives in the intestines it works just like a medicine.

"Modern medicine is constantly trying to do the same thing through far more complicated methods, people who pick their nose and eat it get a natural boost to their immune system for free."

He pointed out that children happily pick their noses, yet by the time they have become adults they have stopped under pressure from a society that has branded it disgusting and anti social.

He said: "I would recommend a new approach where children are encouraged to pick their nose. It is a completely natural response and medically a good idea as well."

And he pointed out that if anyone was really worried about what their neighbour was thinking, they could still enjoy picking their nose in private if they still wanted to get the benefits it offered.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Always look on the bright side of counter-programming...

By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Coming back soon to a theater near you- a controversial film about a Jewish guy from Nazareth who is worshiped as the Messiah and crucified by the Romans.

No, it's not Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ." It's Monty Python's "Life of Brian."

Inspired by the runaway success- and public furor- over Gibson's portrayal of the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus, the creators behind the 1979 biblical satire about an anti-Roman activist who spends his life being mistaken for a prophet are planning a 25th anniversary re-release next month.

"Life of Brian" will open at the end of April in Los Angeles and New York before expanding to other cities across the country, Rainbow Film Company president Henry Jaglom, whose distribution arm is reissuing the film, said on Tuesday.

Jaglom, a writer-director whose partner, John Goldstone, produced the original film, said trailers for the comedy would appear in theaters starting on Good Friday.

"We decided this is an important time to re-release this film, to provide some counter-programing to 'The Passion,"' Jaglom told Reuters. "I intend it, hopefully, to serve as an antidote to all the hysteria about Mel's movie."

He said marketing for the re-release would play off Gibson's film by adapting such taglines as "Mel or Monty" and "The Passion or the Python"- "we want to give people a choice."

The members of the Monty Python comedy troupe- John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and the late Graham Chapman (who played Brian)- all shared writing credits on the film and won back theatrical rights to it several years ago. Jaglom said the surviving members "all agreed this was a good time" to re-release the film and would help promote it.

Owing to a heavy turnout by Christian moviegoers and weeks of intense media attention, Gibson's film opened to blockbuster success on Feb. 25- Ash Wednesday. "The Passion" has gone on to generate nearly $300 million in North American ticket sales alone, becoming the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time.

"Life of Brian," stirred an uproar all its own 25 years ago, with some Christians condemning the film as blasphemous. The film only got made when former Beatle George Harrison stepped in to finance the picture after EMI Films withdrew from the project, fearing that it was too controversial.

The movie focused on the fictional Brian of Nazareth, a Jew who is born in the manger next-door to Jesus and grows up to join an anti-Roman separatist group called the Judean People's Front but ends up being mistaken for the Messiah. The film's creators have said it was meant as a spoof on Bible films and intolerance rather than Christianity.

But that distinction was lost on some who were offended by the irreverent flavor of the film, including a scene in which several crucifixion victims sing and whistle the tune "Look On the Bright Side of Life" while hanging on crosses.

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Thought for the day

In terms of quality of work, experience is an advantage. But when the whole culture changes its value system, as ours has been doing, you can evolve in a way that's appropriate for your age and still wind up as an artifact.
-Paul Simon (the songwriter)

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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Headline of the week

Thanks to Tom Heald on the World News Now mailing list for this gem.

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Left coasted and sugar coated...

And too much work to do, as well. So, here's a brief summary:

The eyes go first, then the ability to work on reduced sleep. I tried to eliminate the sleep deficit accumulated from being awake for 22 hours, thanks to the ride on the San Diego redeye and going into the office on Friday. No luck. As a result, the trip from Chicago to Pittsburgh last Saturday included:

Waking up two hours late;

Falling asleep on the Red Line and almost missing the Washington Street transfer to the Blue Line;

Walking the length of Terminal 1 at O'Hare to use an electronic check-in machine, in the process missing about two dozen of the devices immediately adjacent to the escalator I used to get to the ticket counter;

Realizing I didn't have my driver's license in my wallet. Did I leave it at the apartment or drop it somewhere in San Diego last week? Fortunately, I had my passport with me;

Setting off the security magnetometer for the first time in four years, which rattled me, since I'm really obsessive/compulsive about removing any offending metal from my person before reaching the checkpoint;

Standing in line at McDonald's and suddenly realizing my backpack seemed rather light... because I left my laptop computer in a plastic bin at the security check-in;

Almost freaking out when the nice TSA supervisor told me no one had turned in a laptop. Fortunately, he noted he hadn't remembered seeing me earlier, and suggested I check the other check-in position, where I had really entered.

By this time, I was finally alert and had no more short-term memory loss episodes, making the flight from Chicago to Pittsburgh uneventful (if you don't count the thunderstorm we outran on final approach).

That's the left coasted part. The sugar coated business deals with my obsession to obtain all four Lion King Bendin' Friends, contained within specially-marked boxes of Kellogg's Smacks (formerly Sugar Smacks) cereal.

I've been gorging on this crud until my teeth ache, in a vain attempt to, as the box taunts, "Collect all 4!" In Chicago, despite buying four boxes in four different markets, I obtained four identical Simbas. Back here in Pittsburgh, I bought two more boxes, and got two Nalas. The Nala figure is almost identical to the Simba figure, except it doesn't have the tufts of molded plastic hair Simba does. You could use the pair for a before-and-after action figure Minoxidil ad.

My granddaughter loves them, but my daughter notes that they're now scattered across her living room floor and, from a distance, look like emaciated rats.

Tough. I'm not gonna let some box packer in Battle Creek, Michigan get the better of me. I'm not giving up until I get Pumbaa and Timon, even if it means my daughter's home will be stuffed from floor to ceiling with rat-like Simbas and Nalas.

And then I'm going to pray that Kellogg's starts stuffing their boxes with free dental care certificates instead of molded plastic crap.

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The e-mail address is now something other than saga. used to be until December, 2007 when the domain name broker Trout Zimmer made an offer I couldn't refuse. Giving up and adopting created a significant problem, however. I had acquired the domain name in 1993, and had since that time used as my sole e-mail address. How to let people know that was no longer but rather which is longer than and more letters to type than and somehow less aesthetically pleasing than but actually just as functional as I sent e-mails from the address to just about everybody I knew who had used in the past decade and a half but noticed that some people just didn't seem to get the word about the change. So it occurred to me that if I were generate some literate, valid text in which was repeated numerous times and posted it on a bunch of different pages- say, a blog indexed by Google- that someone looking for would notice this paragraph repeated in hundreds of locations, would read it, and figure out that no longer is the they thought it was. That's the theory, anyway. Ok, I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here...


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