Friday, December 31, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust

When I sew, I like to listen to podcasts and my two favorites are Radiolab and This American Life.  Recently on the podcast from Radiolab titled Stayin' Alive, they told about a CPR class and the magic tempo of chest compressions that will keep a person alive.  If the person doing the compressions is too slow, not enough pressure is generated to circulate the blood around the body. If the chest compressions are done too fast, then the heart doesn't have time to fill back up. The magic tempo is 100 beats per minute and it's a real challenge to get people to keep that tempo.

A physician in Hawaii took advantage of the fact that if you ask people to remember a song, they remember the song at the correct tempo.  So he searched for a song that would assist people to get that perfect tempo.  The song? Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees. (Click the link for some bonafide Disco music.) Perfect for someone trying to do a good turn on another.  Apparently CPR classes all over the globe are using this tune to keep that tempo.

However, the producer on Radiolab came up with another song that, according to her, "has a much simpler and a more direct downbeat."  It's Queen's Another One Bites the Dust.  A perfect tune for a New Year's Eve post.

So, I leave you with a video rendition of Another One Bites the Dust, complete with a rockin' out lead singer in white tennies and a horned baseball cap. (Were we really that geeky?  Don't answer that.) 

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I found this on Boing Boing: "Genrocks's "Filmography 2010" remixes 270 of this year's big budget movies into one giant video -- six minutes of thematically linked, brilliantly edited loveliness."

It makes me want to go and spend my vacation time renting videos. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing Day

Sunset, Kingman Arizona--December 2010
We began the Christmas season, really, in Kingman Arizona (although Dave did get up our Christmas lights on Thanksgiving weekend).  But it was in Kingman that I photographed this "pink rainbow," as my grandson Riley called it, and felt that loving hand of peace gently set down in my life--that familiar feeling of good will toward all men that seems to surround me the best at Christmas time.

Today in church, Kristie mentioned that for her it had been the "most hurried" Christmas she could remember in a long time.  "Rushing in, rushing out," was what another friend said in agreement.  And I thought it was only me that felt that this year was compressed--not enough time to even put up a tree, let alone find the time to schlepp down to Target and purchase it.

I rather prefer those Christmas seasons where the anticipation is long and languid and I can wallow in carols, making caramels and writing cards (another thing that was jettisoned this year).  This was not one of those years, and apparently not just for me.

To completely up-end my sense of order, today's lesson was on gratitude--a Thanksgiving topic.  It was the other bookend to the lesson I had given on Thanksgiving weekend about (yes) gratitude.  I guess it's a good theme to tackle post-Christmas, but I think I would have preferred one more in keeping with the season of Christmas, since the whirring rush of days has left me disoriented and a bit out of sorts.

What's the antidote for this feeling?  In Britain, they have Boxing Day--a day to box up and deliver goods to the poor and the needy--perhaps a way to extend that peace on earth, goodwill to all sort of experience.  My Boxing Day was spent clearing the counter of extraneous detritus, and packing up my past semester's courses and moving them downstairs to the bench, preparatory to finding a place for them in my (new-to-me) file drawers outside.  Boxing up, moving out, cleaning and clearing up.  My daughter already has her decorations down, eager to clear up the clutter and put away the mess.

What I need, really, is another night where I can glimpse a pink rainbow, enjoy the crisp air and have time to chat with a loved one, a young boy who, at four years old, was more than eager to hop down off the hood of my car and jump right back into the ring to go at it again.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Grades In.

I submitted my grades last night, so I feel a little like Emilee and Megan in this picture, recently posted by their mother Kim on her Facebook page.

We hosted a party for Dave's faculty last night, and it was really successful (we were kicking them out two hours past the end time).  We're happy, but tired. Now on to the Christmas festivities!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy Dance--re-edited

Editors Note: This is a better, and more fitting, Happy Dance

This is to celebrate the completion of:
  • research paper grading
  • developmental English paper grading
  • final exam written
  • final exam key written

This is to bemoan that I still have:
  • a whole set of essays for one class to grade
  • those final exams (which they're taking tomorrow).

Hopefully more Happy Dance later.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Peri-Partum Cardiomyopathy Hits the News

Today on the Washington Post, they have a story about a young woman who gave birth to her first child and then passed away some days later from peri-partum cardiomyopathy.  When talking to Barbara this morning, she tipped me off to it, and I just read it.  It's told in "Facebook" epistolary style--a series of running entries that the Post has edited down.

While Barbara's condition is not as severe at this point, it is the same disease, and can vary and fluctuate at whim.  We're glad the meds have stabilized Barbara's health.  We always think about the events  of her diagnosis at this time of year, as that's when it first began.

Last week I was sifting through some old emails, and found emails about this experience from my family and friends.  Thanks for all your concern and care and love.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Christmas Star Quilt

I put the Christmas Star Quilt on the bed.  Read all about it *here.*
It's the Merry Christmas Season!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Cleaning Up for the Holidays

How to clean your house for the holidays:

Meet Jeff.  Meet Billy.

They come with this truck.

Legs not included with dryer.

No messy fingerprints to wipe down, or spills to deal with.

Yes.  This is the best way to clean your fridge for the holidays.  Buy a new one.
This is a corollary to "Merry Christmas! Your gift's in the kitchen.  And the laundry room."
When the dryer sounded like it was entertaining stampeding elephants, and the fridge's front started rusting out around the dispenser (bad design, apparently--it was all over the internet), and California is offering a rebate and so's the City--it's time to go down and visit our friends at Taylor's, and see what's what.  Due to the rebates, we could replace the Stampeding Elephants the same time we replaced the Rusty Front, as long as I chose the right dryer.  That means: no matching set.  I'll survive, since I try to spend as little time as possible in the laundry room.