30 July 2014

Happenings at Home

An old picture of a little girl.
We're back into some sort of summer routine now.  Emperor is back at the community center taking lessons on "how to swim and not die." 

Elf is curled up with Minecraft in the basement and Patrick is doing some sort of game on his computer.  Since G moved out last October, they've shared a room in the basement and just sort of sit near each other and do their own thing.  G is doing very well, by the way.  He visited us last weekend and played foam swordfights with some of the children in the backyard.

Woodjie and Rose are upstairs right now playing "educational games" on the kindle.  I can trust them both with my (password locked so they can't buy anything or watch racy movies) kindle because Rose?  Is going through a tattle-tale phase.  I'm gonna use that to my advantage.  Woodjie alone with the kindle would mean "Pokemon movies" with the Pokemon app non-stop.  (He loves that!)

Rose and Emperor have been going to little chess tournaments nearby.  A game or two a week.  Between that and the Kansas Open a bit ago, Emperor is finally crawling out of a slump.

About it.  How's your summer going?

26 July 2014

What Kind of Asian Are You?

22 July 2014

A Message from #TeamIsaiah

Isaiah Rider is a child from Kansas City who is being held in Luries Children's Hospital in Chicago against his mother's wishes.  Like the Justina Pelletier story, in this case, the mom asked for a medical opinion and the hospital decided it was going to run the show instead of her.   Foster children like Isaiah are being used for medical experiments without their family's consent.  The following is copy/pasted from the Team Isaiah facebook page and is used with permission.  This story needs to get much more coverage:

Isaiah wants to be home Aug. 27 for his birthday!
 Medical experiments conducted on vulnerable people, people who are unable to give consent or people who have been misled, are always wrong. It is also wrong when there is reason to believe that the person undergoing the experiment faces serious risks as a result. If you put the two together you have something we used to call a crime. In fact, we prosecuted the Nazis for this behavior.

But it turns out that we have been using children in foster care as if they were medical lab rats in some states.

Some states such as Tennessee and Wisconsin simply don’t allow for foster children to be used in medical studies. California requires a court order. Other states allow foster children to be involved in medical studies but under varying criteria, the children are supposed to have independent advocates to protect their interests.

MSNBC reports that for the past two decades the government conducted experiments involving drugs for AIDS on foster children but without the legal protections they should have had.

“The practice ensured that foster children — mostly poor or minority — received care from world-class researchers at government expense, slowing their rate of death and extending their lives. But it also exposed a vulnerable population to the risks of medical research and drugs that were known to have serious side effects in adults and for which the safety for children was unknown.” (my emphasis)

The results of these experiments ranged from minor adverse side effects to “a disturbing higher rate of death among children who took higher doses of the drug.”

Most of these experiments were conducted in the 1990’s in seven states: Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Colorado and Texas.

So what happened? The simplest way to put it is the rules were broken.

In Illinois, researchers signed documents promising to provide the affected children with advocates, but it never happened. Not for a single one of the 200 children in the study.

Less than a third of the children in New York City were provided with an advocate, despite the city’s policy requiring it. The same thing happened to the children studied at Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.

Of course, one can point to the fact that state agencies gave consent for these children to be placed in the studies.

20 July 2014

Chess Camp!

Emperor has just returned from the Anatoly Karpov International School of Chess, where he's attended camp with GM Var Akobian.  He had such a great time.
The camp is held in Lindsborg, Kansas, which was settled by Swedes.  Want to see police and fire signs in Swedish?  Your town.  It's also populated with lots of horses like this.  They're called "Dala Horses."
The town is called "Little Sweden" and there are Swedish craft shops, Swedish restaurants, and the local high school team is called... The Swedes. 
Emperor really wants to move here.  If I have to leave the big city, I want a house like this one.

07 July 2014

New Hairdo Happening... Soon.

I've been after Emperor for a WHILE about letting me cut his hair.  He'll twist it so that it looks all burnt up and tangled after a time.  Finally, when I mentioned haircuts today?  He said he'd be willing to get one soon.  And the reason is... he got his finger caught in the twists, so... he just cut it out.  Right next to the scalp. 

Sure hope he likes the buzz cut look because we're not stylin' it like Friar Tuck.

05 July 2014

Ghost Selfie!

A  Romanian woman swears her grandmother took a selfie from hell.  Or something. 

I don't know how she got a hold of an iPhone, but apparently if you don't give tons of money to the church on behalf of the dead each year?  They are in biiiiig trouble and can't make it to heaven.

Grandma had to have a snake wrapped around her neck in the afterworld. I have to say, although she just looked like a normal kerchief-wearing old lady in real life, she rocks the selfie look now that she's dead.  I guess she was "punished" by being forced to look like a heavy death metal rock star waif, which actually is a pretty kewl look if you ask me.  I mean compared to the kerchief and wrinkles thing.

Anyway.  Somehow the grand-daughter got this picture on her telephone while she was cooking doughnuts, which is spiritually significant.  Fortune-tellers and pastors in that local area say you need to bring doughnuts to the cemetary every day for a while so your loved ones can go to heaven.  Or something.  I'm not really clear on my theology. 

Wanna see pics?  Here you go.

03 July 2014

Little Free Library!

My friend painted this Little Free Library box in Vigo County, Indiana.  It will travel with the United Way's Mobile Market, providing low-cost fruits and vegetables to residents at each stop.  Little Free Libraries are a great idea... you take a book and leave a book. 

02 July 2014

How Can a Black Person Be a Republican?

I mean, it's impossible, right?  She must hate her own kind.  She must be secretly white.  She must deserve the racist vandalism... she is a sell-out, she's the GOP token black sheep pimping out their anti-LGBTQRSZXW and racist agenda, and so on.  I had no idea that political parties are chosen for each of us at birth based on our race, religion, and socioeconomic status.  Thankfully, random commenters on the internetz have clued me in. 

I know zero about this lady, but think as little about her detractors as I did about the ones who didn't vote for Obama ONLY because of his race. I also love the comments about how our "floppy eared potus and his ghetto wife have embarrassed this country." 

Ahhh... politics in 2014.  I'm so glad we're discussing the issues like mature adults.

01 July 2014

Muffin Tin Madness!

Ohhh you knew that I couldn't just buy a muffin TIN.  I bought Polish pottery!  Woodjie picked out this Christmas pattern on the computer.  We are using them to separate foods and make trying new little bites of things exciting!

Rose picked out a pattern that cost nearly a million dollars!  (Or close to it.)  It has to weigh at least five pounds, I swear.  When the children were done with everything in the cups, I put ice cream in one of the remaining spots.  Yum!

Emperor was jealous of all the picture-taking and said, "Take a picture of me guzzling all the applesauce!"  Ok, then.  Do you use muffin tins for your meals?  There are super-creative ideas all over the internet, but here's one to get you started. 

Woodjie's Roller Dance Routine!

Only a few people were selected to perform their routines at a recent club fundraiser.  I went to upload this video and was pretty shocked...