It’s easy to decide that iodine deficiency plays some role in neurological diseases like ALS and Alzheimers. For over fifty years we’ve known that you’re much likelier to get one of these diseases if you spent your infancy in a region that’s deficient in iodine. Another example: exposure to the fungicide maneb dramatically increases the chances of getting a neurological disease from a toxin; maneb works by disrupting the use of iodine in animals. Our instincts shout that iodine must be involved; but we can’t say it out loud. Although iodine deficiency remains the number one cause of mental retardation in the world, we can’t prove it has a role in Alzheimer’s or ALS. No one has found a smoking gun. Continue reading →
A criminal races down the city street clutching the purse he’s just snatched from an elderly woman. A policeman chases after him. The policeman yells, “Stop! I’m a policeman! Stop! Really! I mean it! You stop right this minute!”
I read Wodehouse when I was a kid, and he cracked me up. This collection of letters cracked me up too, and that’s the one element other reviewers assume you know and forget to mention– this guy was funny, and his letters are also funny. Continue reading →
April snow, bittersweet like wedding tears,
Catches me every time.
Winter, a grizzled gray monkey,
Is a pest in the bananas;
Everyone’s glad to see him killed off.
But an April snow is that last monkey
We finally discover after a long
Day of exterminating
Clinging to the highest branch,
Staring at the knife with wide eyes,
A question on his forehead,
And we hesitate.
The snow floats fat and wet, like popcorn,
Or little white kittens,
Chasing the juicy gray fish to the ground.
Each feather tries to win the sidewalk,
But is washed away by warm minnows of spring.
Each drop washes off a bit of the man,
Exposing the wide-open monkey eyes.
“April Sleet and Monkey Eyes” by Kenn Amdahl. All rights reserved.
The conservative movement has a tough challenge. It says “Buses are the problem. Buses are evil. All buses should be driven off a cliff.” Then it turns around and says, “OK, folks, please elect me to be your bus driver.”
I had an interesting conversation on Facebook about single sex marriage. Because not everyone is my “friend,” I’ve edited it down and will paste it below. There were other comments, including some good ones, but I feel weird stealing other people’s writing (unless you need it to understand my response) so this is mostly my own: Continue reading →
Writers have always written about their lives. It’s what we do and how we process events around us. The only difference is that now we call it “blogging.” I’ve got boxes full of poems and little essays that no one has ever read. I just ran across some thoughts I scribbled on the back of used paper twenty years ago and threw into a box. It still made me sad. Here’s what I wrote back then: Continue reading →
I’ve about given up on Angelina Jolie playing any role in Jumper and the Bones: the Movie, mostly because there isn’t a role for someone of her age and glamour. But also because no one is threatening to make a movie of it yet. That’s disappointing to many of you, of course, but I haven’t given up on AJ’s family. For example, Brad could play Jim, the one-legged buddy who works at the thrift store and has a pretty heroic and unexpected role that I won’t give away in case you haven’t read the book. Or in the unlikely case that Brad hasn’t. Angelina’s father, Jon Voight, could play Officer Mike if he’d stop saying mean things about Obama. We would not want that vibe on the set. Continue reading →
From T. Jefferson to Madison, Hamilton et al
December 26, 1787
I’m still having trouble with the amendment the way you have it written. Granted, the “right to own rattlesnakes” seems harmless enough, and yes, throwing rattlesnakes at the British troops was key to overthrowing the King. History will never forget that. And yes, I can imagine a future government becoming so oppressive that we’d need to do it again. I’m the last guy who’d want to face a tyrannical government without his box of rattlesnakes. Plus there’s our tradition. We colonists have a long history of hunting with rattlesnakes as the British use falcons. Many of us love to collect snakes and find great satisfaction in cleaning them and launching them at targets. No one wants to limit our right to enjoy these simple country pleasures. Continue reading →