Baby production

Not "how to make a baby", that's already done. This weekend I went to class to find out how to actually produce the baby. Like how you get it out.

It turns out that it's not really that big of a deal. Hard to believe, but women have been giving birth for over 100 years!

Here are some interesting facts:
Having the water break is the first sign of labor in only 10% of cases.
Typically, you don't call your doctor or come into the hospital until the contractions are 5 minutes apart and have been nice and steady like that for an hour.
They suggest taking a nap when labor starts so you're rested for the end.
For a first child, labor lasts 16 hours on average. But, the "labor" part of that is only about 1/3 of the time because of the duty cycle.
Epidurals are kind of scary and can make you really hurt yourself since you don't know what's going on.
The reason maternity wards used to be characterized by screaming was that they'd dope up the mothers with narcotics and morphine. The morphine in particular is an amnesiac and would tend to just turn people into animals. Then they'd take forceps and pull out the babies.

Oh yeah, they want you to bring your own robes and pillows just so you're a little extra bit comfy. However, nothing nice because things get "messy" and it'll all get thrown out in the end.

Oh, and on this week's "Dirty Jobs", Mike Rowe helped with a cesarian section on a cow. Not good.


Ex-prof sues students

From what little I know of the situation, Venkatesan is not as out-there as she seems in the article. That said, it's a pretty weird situation no matter how you spin it... and there is no way that the College will find against its students, that's for sure. Faculty members just don't rank that high on the priority ladder.


Mac beat PC!

I would assume to no great surprise of most of the blog's readership, the recent AAPL vs MSFT showdown (conducted by Popular Mechanics) had a decisive winner (hint: not the blue screen of death).  Several interesting details of the contest caught my eye, however.

The ease-of-use and subjective ratings for OSX and Vista were surprisingly similar; it was in the hardware performance categories that OSX destroyed Vista.  The Mac benchmarks for Vista (while running bootcamp) were slightly but consistently better than those of the PC-Vista benchmarks, but even if you subtract the Mac-PC hardware difference, Vista is, as we all know by now, and ugly beast.


Another funny thing - check out the reader comments at the bottom of the article.  The Coke vs Pepsi analogy was made, and it's an accurate one: the stereotypes still persist and Mac people make fun of PC people, and PC people make fun of Mac people.  I choose to use Mac products because they don't suck, but that doesn't mean I blindly follow whatever line Steve Jobs tries to sell me.  anyway, good times.


four inches of trash = felony

A london man was fined 225 quid and (more importantly) given a criminal record for having a rubbish bin (big wheeled trash can) full enough that the lid wouldn't quite shut.  Keeping in mind that things are only collected every two weeks, and... meh, can't be bothered to make a good post.  Read the whole nonsense yourself.


Last week Whitehaven magistrates convicted him in his absence of "over-filling the receptacle used to dispose of waste" - a criminal offence.



Religious intolerance

I find it really interesting when infighting in a religious group causes huge issues. Like the protestants versus the Catholics in Ireland. Really, the major tenets of your religion are the same, it's just minor details.

Now, there's a fight brewing between al-Qaida and Iran. Apparently, al-Qaida is mostly Sunni while Iran is Shiite. The Iranians, being the crazies that they are, have lately been trying to shift blame for 9/11 onto the Israelis. Of course, the whole thing must have been pulled off by Israel to make Arabs look bad. Plus, it really plays into the way Iran wants to view the world and how it wants to be THE powerbroker in the mideast.

Needless to say, al-Qaida is pretty proud of 9/11 so they're having to wage a PR war of "Hey, we're the ones who did 9/11! Don't listen to Iran!" It's really an odd situation.

I wonder what's next... a terrorist attack on Iran? Hmm, they might blame that on the Americans.


Weekly roundup

(1) a 5.4 earthquake in southern ill. wow.  In other news, a recent study reported that there is a 99% chance of a 6.7 quake in CA in the next 30 years.  Given Californian's laziness, this was met with derision instead of preparedness.  (For those unfamiliar with decade-math, a 6.7 is 20 times stronger than a 5.4.)

(2) racist cubbies - not cool. maybe they can blame the earthquake for disrupting their sense of right and wrong?

(3) Red Sox pitchers are cheaters!  clearly they have taken some weird potion to turn themselves into Mr. Stretch.