1 in 4 Americans look for Jesus to return in 2007

Here's all you need to know to understand the contemporary United States: according to an Associated Press-AOL News poll, 25 percent of Americans anticipate that the second coming of Jesus Christ will occur in 2007.

this week's writing exercise

No Zelda's this week, so let's do a little writing exercise: freewrite on "animals are intermediaries between the physical and the spiritual"

animals are intermediaries between the physical and the spiritual, the remind us that we are naked apes, mammals, that any connection we have with the universe comes down to us through ancestors who were less sophisticated, more immediately connected to eating and fucking and trying not to get eaten, to the things we don't talk about in polite company

my old quotes collection

Every so often, I engage in a little net ego-surfing - type "Tom Swiss" into Google or Yahoo and see what comes up. I've found a few other notable people named Tom Swiss this way, but since I've been on the net much longer than they have, most references are to me, mostly from old USENET or mailing list posts.

Today I stumbled across an old version of my collection of quotations, must have posted it to USENET way back when. Share and enjoy.

post-gig journaling

Just finished my gig at Leadbetter's...generous tips and heavy drinking for the holidays made it a relatively profitable afternoon, my take on the bar was $19 and I made $29 in tips. Still, at $48 for four hours, $12 an hour, I'm really glad the day job pays a lot more than that.

Older guy, I'd guess 55, two stools down from me, here with a much younger woman (he's totally grey-haired, she I would guess at about my own age), his date or girlfriend. Wait, I see a ring - his wife? As I get older I take more pleasure in seeing people (both men and women) with significantly younger paramours. I suppose it makes me feel less guilty about been attracted to women ten or fifteen years younger than me...or five or ten years older...

easy holiday giving with JustGive.org

JustGive.org makes giving charitable contributions easy. You can cut down on your junk mail by giving anonymously; you can search for groups that do work relevant to your favorite causes; and you can do it all with one-stop-shopping convenience.

some heartburn drugs may raise risk of hip fractures

Reuters reports on a study showing that some anti-heartburn drugs ("proton pump inhibitors", which shut down stomach acid production) increase the risk of hip fractures in older adults, by up to 44 percent. The longer the use and the higher the dosage, the greater the risk. The drugs may reduce the body's ability to absorb calcium.

Xmas journaling

(transcribed from scribbled notes)

I do some of my best thinking on barstools, perhaps. Or maybe just the loudest...

Xmas, oddly a time for introspection. Scrooge and his spirits, George Baily and his angel...all of us reviewing Xmases past, thinking of Xmases future...where have I been? Where am I going?

If, as they say, Xmas is a time for children, then it brings more questions, about family destiny. Will I ever watch a son or daughter unwrap presents on an Xmas morning? Is that what I want?

If Xmas is a time for family, what sort of family do I want? What sort of family has accrued to me, family partly of blood, partly of spirit, over the years?

AP: 'Hibernating' man survives for 3 weeks

I am often amazed at what the human body can endure.

AP reports on a a man who survived three weeks in western Japan without food and water in near-freezing weather, by falling into a state similar to hibernation. (I've always thought hibernation would be a good way to spend the whole damn winter, after all the holiday parties are done of course.)

Mitsutaka Uchikoshi had almost no pulse, his organs had all but shut down and his body temperature was 71 degrees Fahrenheit when he was discovered on Rokko mountain in late October, said doctors who treated him at the nearby Kobe City General Hospital. He had been missing for 24 days.

a beautiful XKCD

Another lovely episode of the XKCD webcomic. Makes me a bit misty-eyed...

USA Today on Prosper.com and microcredit

I though Prosper was an interesting idea when I came across it a few months ago. In USA Today, Laura Vanderkam takes a look at it in the context of the larger microcredit movement:

Microcredit - small loans to people such as Miller who are neglected by traditional banks - is big news these days. Muhammad Yunus, founder of the microcredit Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, accepted the Nobel Peace Prize last week for his work developing the concept. But not all microcredit customers look like Grameen's (Bangladeshis borrowing $100 to buy a cow), and not all microcredit enterprises are charities like Grameen, either.

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