February 17th, 2007

Chantal

In the News

Astronaut: Astronaut Lisa Nowack has pled not guilty to charges of kidnapping and attempted murder, stating that she "only wanted to talk" to Air Force captain Colleen Shipman, the woman she attacked with pepper spray after driving 900 miltes just to have a conversation.

Uh-huh. Sorry, lady. You don't drive that distance, wearing Depends, with a four-inch knife, a mallet, and rubber hose in your duffel bag, unless you intend to do a little more than just talk. Now, I could be persuaded that maybe you thought better of any extremely violent actions by the time you arrived, but I have a hard time believing that you departed for Florida with no intention to cause Shipman any bodily harm.

One thing that really pisses me off, aside from what I believe to be either outright dishonesty or at best self-delusion, is this--How in the world could a person throw away her career as an astronaut for such a stupid reason?

I don't believe she drove to Orlando without thinking of the consequences. She's a captain in the Navy as well as an astronaut. In both of those careers, you are taught to think of the consequences, because lives other than yours usually depend on the decisions you make. She has to have known that she was kissing her career in both the Navy and NASA good-bye by doing this.

When I was a kid, I would have scrubbed floors to work at NASA. I knew I could never be an astronaut, but man, if I could have, I'd have gone for it, to walk in space. and this woman just punts that all away. Inconceivable.

Celebrities: Britney Spears has apparently shaved her head and gone into rehab. *rolls eyes* That's probably the best place for her, though. I hope she gets whatever help she needs. I have a friend who cut off all her hair once after a fight with her boyfriend, and I was pretty scared for her. It's sort of a way to commit suicide without committing suicide--at least, that's how I regarded it.

Anna Nicole Smith still has not been buried, presumably because of some kind of legal nonsense between her family and this fellow she was shacked up with in the Bahamas.

This kind of thing is really disgraceful. Have they buried James Brown yet, I wonder, or is he still unburied, too? Talk about an incentive to plan your funeral. Relatives wrangling over the money is tacky beyond words, and all it does is show the world how greedy they are.

On a similar note, all these men claiming to be the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby should be ashamed of themselves. What in the world kind of life is that child likely to have? Are they all going to suddenly drop her like a hot potato if they find out that they're not the father? Is anyone going to love that child just for herself? What an awful life to come into. I hope she will overcome that and find real happiness somehow. she's just a baby; she didn't ask to be born into all this nonsense.

Ms. Smith's will makes things even more complicated and makes me wonder if any of these would-be fathers have a leg to stand on. Smith named her boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, as the executor of her will and specifically only left her estate to her son Daniel, who is now dead:

"I have intentionally omitted to provide for my spouse and other heirs, including future spouses and children and other descendants now living and those hereafter born or adopted,"


I gather from this that the disposition of the Marshall fortune will be fought over in court for years. *shakes head*

Blindness Treatment: Doctors are developing a method of treating retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration by the implantation of electrodes into the retina, in conjunction with use of special eyeglasses and some sort of remote control device. The electrodes stimulate the retina and allow the patient to see real-time images of his surroundings. Currently, the procedure would cost about $30,000, and I believe it's being tested on six patients.

This would be a Godsend to people with macular degeneration, who apparently number about 10% of the population over age 55. I see a scarily large proportion of them in my line of work. This disease destroys a person's central vision, so they can only use the periphery of their eyes to see, and they must have writing magnified before they can read.

My question is, once this becomes a well-tested and proven procedure, will Medicare cover it? That's an awful lot of elderly people needing the treatment, and even Medicare, which is the US' primary insurance provider for the elderly, can only afford so much. It's ironic that, though the elderly are usually the population most in need of extensive medical care, Medicare is not the best possible insurance, and as it is the insurance provider for all of the elderly, it is bound to be overburdened.

Consider this an incentive to set up your own medical care savings account without delay.

And lastly, because I am a silly person: Happy Birthday, sp_sethgraves, ravenclaw_auror, and Healer Aerden.
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Chantal

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