Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

May 30, 2010

Some news

Filed under: fitter/happier,news of the day,Uncategorized — lexifab @ 10:42 am

As I may have intimated elsewhere, Fi and I will be having another baby somewhere around the middle of November. Since we’ve pretty much blabbed that already to anyone who’s asked (or anyone that’s happened to lay eyes on Fi in the past few weeks*) it’s probably time I got it out here as well. Apologies if you think we’ve been keeping you in the dark. It’s just that we’ve had a pretty bad record in the past with respect to pregnancies, so we wanted to stay schtum until we were more confident that everything was going to plan.

So there you are. That’s my explanation for why I’ve been kind of uptight about all the colds going on around this house, and my surliness with respect to matters medical. Suddenly it’s actually all relevant again.

I’m feeling much less nervous this time around, though I suppose the nerves might ramp up when we’re doing a fair bit of travelling for weddings in September and October. I am, however, getting a growing sense of dread around the nine or ten months of really, really bad sleep that we had with the Joey (Joey#1?). I’m not keen to go through that again, so hopefully we can put what little we’ve learned about sleep management to better use this time around.

Anyway, that’s the current affairs report. Hooray!

* During that time she’s gone from “Gosh, she almost looks pregnant but I won’t say anything just in case she smacks me” to “When are you due?”

May 26, 2010

Grumpy

Filed under: fitter/happier — lexifab @ 12:47 pm

Today’s high Grumpiness Index blogging, by the way, will be brought to you by my wracking cough and horrible face-crushing pressure exerted by inflamed sinuses. I can’t sleep, and medical science can’t do much for me apart from keep me supplied with paracetamol-based pain relief, so all I can do is sit here at be annoyed by fraud and quackery.

Things that make me angry, number 211 in a nigh-infinite series

Filed under: news of the day,things to get mad about — lexifab @ 12:43 pm

People who ruin lives for selfish reasons, and moreover, people who use privileged positions to ruin lives on a scale far beyond what most selfish, self-aggrandising liars can achieve. Andrew Wakefield (with the help of woeful journalism) basically conned a substantial proportion of a generation of parents into believing that there are links between MMR vaccination for childhood diseases (measles, mumps and rubella) and autism. Every person who believes that and fails to vaccinate their child has made a decision to put my child at risk as well as their own.

Yeah, that makes me angry. Not at the parents, per se, but at a culture that is so fucking helplessly lazy that it would rather allow controllable diseases to kill and permanently maim its children than read above the lowest common denominator level of trashy tabloid newspapers.I mean, fuck me, one of the *very best* ways to get an autistic kid (or one with other mental or growth-retardant conditions, as well as liver, kidney and heart defects) is for the mother to catch rubella while she’s pregnant.

Here’s the full story by the (actual, fact-checking) journalist who discredited Wakefield’s findings (albeit probably too late for the thousands if not millions of kids who went unvaccinated due to his ‘work’).

After a very long medical misconduct trial in the UK found againstĀ  Wakefield, he was at last struck off the medical register this week. Again, alas, too late – he’s unrepentantly and lucratively spinning the same line of dangerous bullshit in the United States now.

May 25, 2010

Irradiated for Science!

Filed under: fitter/happier — lexifab @ 11:27 am

I’m being experimented on by Real Scientists. I knew putting my real name on the electoral roll would eventually pay dividends! (Still no fracking jury duty though, which I’m actually kind of annoyed about).

I’ve just started ten days of participation in a nationwide study into Vitamin D levels. Mostly it involves wearing a pedometer and some sort of light-sensitive thing on my wrist, and recording what I’ve been wearing. I did an interview yesterday that mostly focused on how much and what sorts of milk and cheese I eat. My height and weight were recorded (one disappointingly low, the other disappointingly high, neither a surprise). The extraction of blood comes into it at some point. Well, look, to be honest it’s all a bit boring at the details level. But it’s for Science! So that’s cool.

Man, this thing on my wrist is itchy, though.

May 19, 2010

Fiction offerings

Filed under: administraviata — lexifab @ 5:53 pm

I haven’t had much to say for the past couple of weeks, so to make up for it here’s a completely rough, unedited fictional thing that I have no particular plans for. Comments, analysis and sequels are welcome. I may do more of this, just for something to write until an actual project suggests itself.

Window

Filed under: fictionchunk,wordsmithery — lexifab @ 5:40 pm

“What did he just say?”

The wind whips at our ankles, an ineffectual grab that doesn’t threaten to drag us through the beaten stone arch and into the freezing air beyond. I gulp away a bout of vertigo, unsympathetic at frustrating some imagined air devil’s frustrated malevolence. This day is already abundant with malice.

“He said ‘You cannot do this, I am the prince’.” Shaking fingers cupped around an enervated flame, I attempt to light one of the lieutenant’s pungent cigarettes but it won’t take. My phanstasmic adversary wins this round.

My companion looks dismayed. “He was the Prince? We pushed the Prince out of the window?”

“Apparently so.” He seems more upset about the content of our victim’s character than his own. “I’ve never defenestrated royalty before.” It’s a good word. Defenestrated. The lieutenant taught it to me, just before his most recent misfortune. He was a very learned man, for all that he strove to disguise it with his simple country manner. I miss his guidance. Would he have brought us to this, the murder of noblemen? In my memories he is a better man than that. With a grimace I defenestrate his last smoke.

“I was told only that he was an enemy of the state. I was told I would be rewarded for my loyalty.”

His fear begins to annoy me. I wonder at him, I wonder that he so values this quality of loyalty. The creases in his face betray the conflict his heart has declared on his habit of obedience. Until this moment, he must have thought himself as loyal to the throne as to his masters. I picture his staunch declarations for the monarchy. Does some wall in his home feature a stately portrait, or some mantlepiece a severe yet admirable bronze bust? So many of my countrymen satisfy themselves with axiomatic pronouncements of simple faith in God and King. How unlucky are those few who by circumstance or fate are forced to defend their allegiances with bloody deeds rather than words of little cost? Unluckier still is he who discovers too late that the institutional pillars of his world are not so mutually interested as he supposed.

It is far better to have a flexible response to the world’s demands for your faith, or your service, or your word. A pragmatist will escape the traps laid for men of certainty and conviction.

“You certainly won’t be rewarded for your careful planning and research.”

May 2, 2010

A quick note for Herr exClam

Filed under: things to get mad about — lexifab @ 10:43 pm

A slightly pyrrhic outcome, but a win nonetheless in Peter Watts’ trial. Certainly much better than his trial might have gone, given the circumstances that led to it.

Interesting stuff about the futurewebz, by Stross

Filed under: the interweb she provides — lexifab @ 1:47 pm

I follow Charles Stross’ blog mostly for news about when his next book might be coming out (The Fuller Memorandum, the new Laundry novel, is only a couple of months away, by the way) but recently he’s had a lot of interesting stuff to say about the business of writing and publishing and how new media are going to affect them. Interesting stuff, which you should go and read.

But his very latest blog concerns the near-future apocalyptic shakeup of the personal computing market, and it’s a fascinating. (There’s some more good analysis and some thoughtful disagreement in the comments too – though of course there are also the ravings of a number of gibbering nutweasels as well).

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