Tuesday, February 26, 2008

top 10 -- most painful bites according to victims

I was just on Fark to see if there's anythigns interesting and strange going on lately. I ran across an article about the most painful bites.

So here is a list of the top 10 most painful bites...according to victims.

The Gila Moster, which ecologist for the USGS Cecil Schwalbe says, "My finger was on fire, the wave of fire moved slowly up my body. Within five minutes I turned pasty green and went into shock. … I had pain in my kidneys, blood in my urine. … All of my sphincters in my body were trying to relax. It was on my finger for two minutes and it bit me five times — every bite went right to the bone."

Next, the Black Widow Spider. In one case where a man was bitten he said "It hurts too much to breathe." And after that he just stopped. That really shows how painful it must be if, it hurts so much that you are willing to just give up the ghost.

Now, the Stonefish. An anonymous victim described the experience. "I got spiked on the finger by a stonefish in Australia … never mind a bee sting. … Imagine having each knuckle, then the wrist, elbow and shoulder being hit in turn with a sledgehammer over the course of about an hour. Then about an hour later imagine taking a real kicking to both kidneys for about 45 minutes so that you couldn't stand or straighten up. I was late 20s, pretty fit physically and this was the tiniest of nicks. Got sensation back in my finger after a few days but had recurrent kidney pains periodically for several years afterwards."

The Tarantula Hawk Wasp. Like most wasps and bee's these don't go out of their way to sting people. But, "When that one when it hits you, it almost feels like you've been hit by a lightning bolt," said Schmidt. "You'll be screaming and writhing in agony. … It feels like every gland in your body is purged of all its hormones, you'll feel absolutely drained from the experience."

And now, the Spitting Cobra. The Spitting Cobra's vemon doesn't actualy sting until it gets into your eyes. Van Wallach knows what that's like, "It is excruciating. "The only way I could relieve it was to pour milk into my eye about every 15 minutes. I was blind for about four to six hours."

Scorpions! Dr. Leslie Boyer, who is medical director of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center says it will, "send shooting sensations up your arm. You just give it a tap and you're screaming in pain. Just that one little spot hurts like heck, it radiates up to your arm pit with this throbbing pain — but there's nothing to see."

They say that Stingrays killed Steve Irwin, but I actually went swimming with them at sealive park. Regardless, they made it onto the list. Jon Hoech, director of husbandry operations at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Said that "It's extremely painful, like getting punctured with an eight-penny nail. Also, it's like a cat scratch, it can carry a lot of bacteria."

Rattlesnakes and their relatives are next. Kelly Zamudio of Cornell University says, "It feels like burning, like you're being branded, but the brand never lifts." The only thing that I have to say to that is, if it hurts so much why do we brand animals? It's just cruel.

Next up, the Box Jellyfish. There is no quote on the pain level, but it is apparently nothing compaired to our next contender, the Bullet Ant.

The Bullet Ant scores highest on the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, which was devised by entimologist Jason Schmidt. His description of the pain (just to note, my favorite description of them all) is that it is, "Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a three-inch rusty nail in your heel."

Now all I have to say it...ouch.
To read more about the creatures and about why their bites sting so much, there is a link above.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

stalkers and delegates

Just a few minutes ago I was reading the 360° blog, trying to catch up on all the Anderson's Views. He blogged yesterday and I just found it entertaining so I thought that I'd post it up here before I go off on some other topic. It was somewhat about a conversation he had with Conan O'Brien the night before about how all the Anderson stalkers can talk to him during the live blogging during his show.

"As most of you know, there is a big difference between being a fan, or a regular viewer and being a stalker. What’s the difference? Well if you have to ask yourself that question, that’s probably not a good sign. But here’s a handy guide in case you are…well…confused.

1. If you’ve been contacted by authorities and asked not to attempt to contact me further… but you still do, there’s a good chance you’ve crossed the line.
2. If you’ve attempted to gain entry to my apartment under false pretenses, and can’t imagine why that might be inappropriate, that’s another red flag.
3. If you believe I am secretly communicating to you online, or with the clothes I wear, or by telepathy through your radiator, that’s a problem as well.
4. If you have read the last three items and laughed, or said, “wow, that’s weird” you are not a stalker.
5. If you have read items 1-3 and notice they apply to you, but then tell yourself they actually don’t apply to you. Well, that’s not good. "

I love his sense of humor, and boy do I feel bad if some of those things actually happened to him!

So now onto what I really wanted to write about. I am really not a fan of spliting up delegates within states. I like the way that the Republican's have it in some states, winner takes all. Last night I was watching Jon Stewart on Larry KIng Live and he was saying how they're essentially just giving delegates to people for no reason. His example was something like, oh you only got one percent of the votes, here have a delegate. He's got a point there. I thought that how delegates were distributed depended on how each individual district voted. Well in Hawaii, Obama won every district by a landslide as he did for the entire state and he only ended up with 14 of Hawaii's 20 delegates. It makes no sense to me, but then again what do I know.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

caucus -- hawaii

So, last night was the Hawaii caucus. I thought about writing about it last night, but by writing today I now know what the results are.

(by like 3 to 1)
Which makes me happy since I voted for him. So now he's got a 10 state win streak! Anyways, I wasn't standing in line as long as I thought. In fact I showed up at 6:45 (voting started at 7) and I ended up getting out of there by 8:15. In all honesty, I was prepared to be there for hours, long into the night. To make the wait even better volunteers were passing out food. So, way more people showed up than was intended. That was apparent to all of us waiting in line when they ran out of forms to register for the Democratic Party of Hawaii and had to run over to Kinko's to copy more. It was also apparent because they ran out of ballots and we just had to write our choice on a piece of paper and dump it in with all the other "ballots." Even though it wasn't as organized as I thought it would be, I'm still very glad that I went.
I don't think that anyone else in my imediate family has been to a caucus. Partly I'm glad because the person I voted for won the state, but also because I feel like I did my duty as a citizen and that feels good. Even though this was a caucus and I didn't have to stand in a booth to vote it was a good experience. I'm not sure when I'll get to vote in a booth, which I would like to do at some point since I think I'll be in Oregon next fall so I'll have to vote absentee, but I guess that doesn't much matter.
Maybe it's just me, but I had a lot of fun.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

rape -- drc

I know that I've written about rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo before, but it's something that I feel is very important. Plus, I have to give a speech on it in my Speech class so I might as well start researching.

Looking through the CIA World Factbook I found that the Congolese have a Total Fertility Rate of 6.37/ children per woman which means that their poplution will not be in decline for a while. (Thanks to my Geography class I know know what a lot of this stuff actually means!) According to my Geography teacher the rate that equates to neither an increase of decrease is 2.1. That is because 2 children are needed to replace their parents and the .1 for children that die in infancy.

Now back on topic. In a 2006 interview with CNN, Dr. Dennis Mukwege Mukengere states that "some of them have knives and other sharp objects inserted in them after they've been raped, while others have pistols shoved into their vaginas and the triggers pulled back." I remember hearingabout that on the 60 minutes report. I don't remember what exactly I wrote on the last blog I posted on this topic, but in many reports, it is said that Congo's own soldiers are the ones who are raped thousands of women a year.

In another interview that came out in Ms. Magazine,Dr. Mukwege says that, "[T]o see so many raped, that shocks me, but what shocks me more is the way they are raped.”

A lot of the cases make me think of the old Discovery Channel show, I Shouldn't Be Alive. With everything that these women go through, they are often left thinking that they'd much rather be dead than continue getting raped. Even afterwards, some women wish they and their child was dead. Each time they see their child brings all the memories back.

Many of the rape victims and even those who work with them to help them move on with their lives say that rape is a powerful weapon, it can often be more powerful than guns and bullets. Women may be killed, but they are tortured and left with the memories for the rest of their life. On top of that, virginity is a prized possesion.
photo from npr.org

Now, onto the medical facilites in Congo. Often the medical centers are makeshift and they usually have only one doctor, in the whole facility. The center's are funded by the governments, but that isn't enough to get by. They rarely recieve supplies, but the women need a lot more than things like band-aids. According to the article in Ms. Magazine, a typical visit costs 70 cents.

In 2003, there were about 1.1 million people in the DRC that had HIV. With an estimated 20-30% of rape victims contracting HIV that number is sure to rise.

I think I've mentioned this before, but I've always been one to think more about the ethical treatment of animals over other things, but since I read Dispatches From the Edge things have been different. I don't feel this strongly about everything, but something about this is different. I really want to do something about this, I think that's why I'm doing a speech on it, even if no one is interested. I would really like to start an organization or something to help these women rather than just donate to some company that I'm not sure where exactly the money is going.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

politics -- register to vote!! oh and happy valentines'

Happy Valentine's Day, what some psychologist's call the most depressing day of the year. What happened to Blue Monday? I guess people have different most depressing days of the year. I'm sure for many today was horrible, a terrible reminder of being single and for others a reminder of how it feels to be in love. Personally, I didn't think being single today was all that bad, but perhaps that's because I've been inside my Grandma's house all day and have just been studying and waching TV. The worst thing so far was my ex calling to say 'Happy What Would Have Been Our Anniversary!' As lovely as that was to hear, it didn't bring me down. Maybe I'm just looking foreward to that date with Cooper and Colbert tonight. Something is terribly wrong with me.

Well I haven't written anything in a while and I'll be writing for a bit to catch up on all that I failed to write. I feel like writing about politics right now so that's what we're recapping.
-Super Tuesday, Obama came out with more wins but when calculated Clinton had more total delegates.
-Sat. February 9, Obama wins Louisiana, Washington and Nebraska. Clinton has 1,095 delegates to Obama's 1,070.
-Sun. Febraury 10, Obama wins Maine.
-Tues, February 12, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. all go to Obama and he finally has more delegates that Clinton, 1,212 to 1,191 respectively.
-There were all the republican races too, McCain is still waaaaaaay ahead.

Will Obama's win streak continue?

I would like to add that I hope all of my friends who are Democrats will go out and vote at the Hawaii Caucus next Tuesday, February 19. Well, I don't actually know of any of my friends, other than myself who are registered to vote, but at te very least register even though it's too late for the Caucus.