Nicholas Dollak's Comments

The clothing style is also similar to the traditional dress of the Scythians, a group of nomadic tribes from the western area of Russia who occasionally interacted with Europeans as far south as Macedonia. Stravinsky and Nicholas Roehrich based the costumes in "The Rite of Spring" on these.
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Organ reversal, in which the organs still face forward but are a mirror-image of their usual arrangement, occurs in about 1 out of every 200 or 2,000 people, making it the "most common deformity." I had a casual conversation with a surgeon about it and asked what happens if a patient with this is rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. There's a procedure for this, basically consisting of all the attending physicians switching places - takes a couple of seconds.
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I understand the article was written with tongue firmly ensconced in cheek. But BJN brings up some very valid points, esp. regarding thermodynamics. If this battery exists, it may prove to be a very effective means of powering a pacemaker. The energy it produces would be minimal, and what goes into the pacemaker would be less than what went into the battery, but if it does its job with only the passing blood to power it, that's fine.

For a number of years I've toyed with the idea of a children's playground wired (safely, of course) to a storage battery. The movement of the equipment, and even the movement of the children's feet on certain surfaces could be converted to electrical energy, just like a windmill generator. For anyone who's wanted to "harness that energy" while watching kids at play...
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"Cat killer? Is this the face of a cat killer? Cat CHASER, maybe --- but hey, who isn't?"

caption to a "Far Side" comic, featuring a dog defendant and his dog attorney in a courtroom full of cats.
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I'd head this "accent" referred to as "Mid-Atlantic" before. I probably speak that way myself, although I never gave it that much thought. My parents grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and thus spoke with a Midwestern accent characteristic of that area (Not quite as "O"ey as the Minnesota accent, but pretty close). Fortunately, the Midwestern accents are generally very coherent. Growing up in New Jersey I quickly noticed that some people spoke so unintelligibly that it was nearly impossible for me to guess what they said. I also noticed that many of these people seemed isolated because of communication breakdowns, or were constantly bickering with others who spoke as sloppily as they did. I figured that it would be better for all of us if I made a point of enunciating clearly, taking care not to drop "r"s or move them to where they didn't belong ("idear" or "sherbert") or say the "a" sounds through the nose (always sounds whiney to me!).

On the up-side, I'm easy to understand. People from other countries enjoy talking with me, because they have an easier time understanding what I said than they do with most Americans. Occasionally I'm even asked if I've ever been on radio! On the down-side, I get a lot of teasing from people who feel insecure and have heavy regional accents (I remember wasting 5 minutes' class time trying to understand what I'd thought was a question from a student. It turned out he was saying "Say 'Deptford,'" [a nearby town], and it sounded like a half-mumbled "Sedeffert?" with the "question" sound at the end. He [and the kids who put him up to this] just wanted to hear me say "Deptford" so they could laugh at my pronunciation. After they'd had their laugh, I informed them they'd wasted 5 minutes, and any further questions should be submitted in writing and signed. Stupid questions would be answered with a detention.) I think most of the students at that school thought I was Canadian, British or Osama bin Laden. Sigh... (No, I don't look like bin Laden.)
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The whole Wal-Mart scene is deplorable. I've been in a Wal-Mart only twice in my life, and couldn't help but notice that a.) items were not organized in a way that made it possible to find anything on purpose, and b.) the items one could find were of average to poor quality, and were not anything that could not be found elsewhere for less, and with greater ease. Being on a limited budget, my purchases are restricted, and I would not waste my time or money shopping at Wal-Mart. And I hate to generalize, but the clientele there was buying up shopping-carts-ful of junk food and the like, with kids running out-of-control, lots of shouting across the store and profanity. I'm sorry, but I find that all very unpleasant. Also, I teach, and I've noticed a direct correlation between people who think Wal-Mart is cool and people who wind up in detention or getting suspended for severe behavioral problems. I was not at all surprised to read of the greeter who was trampled.
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Profile for Nicholas Dollak

  • Member Since 2012/08/04



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