Tuesday, March 26, 2013

my confusion left me as fast as the vertigo came

This link will require you to agree to enter a blog with "adult" concepts and themes, but I promise you--this particular entry is completely safe for work. (You're on your own if you backspace to look through the blog itself.)

What you'll be seeing, however, is a collection of gravestones from Romani families in Donetsk, Ukraine. Unless we are Rom ourselves, or allied to the Rom in some way, all we likely understand about them in the Ukraine is how many were shot in mass graves during the Nazi occupation. And while that is important knowledge in itself, those mass graves, if they are marked at all at this point, will have at most a memorial tablet over the entire site.

Heads of families are very honored in Romani culture, however. They are frequently gifted, feted, and when they are dying--or dead, if death occurs suddenly--the call will go out for every relative to come to the bedside, and in general, this is exactly what happens. Money will be pooled to honor the fallen one, so--even if their lives were lived invisibly, for most of us--these etched stone portraits will remain.

While it is far, far beyond the reach of most of us, I remain comforted that there's at least one prosthetic limb studio who strives to move beyond standard replacement limbs that simply replace what's missing, and into actual prosthetics that not only suit the client's support needs, but their artistic, psychological and emotional needs, as well.

In other news, did you know that bumblebees see electrical fields? I know I didn't, and I'm utterly fascinated by the precision their reading of these electrical fields is. They can tell the difference between a high-pollen flower and a low-pollen one, or even whether another bee has already gathered the nectar and pollen from a flower. That's incredible.

In other science news, Duke University researchers have made an unprecedented discovery: by implanting a sensor chip near the tactile center of their brains, the brains of their test subjects gained the ability to 'touch' infrared light, and even to see it to a certain extent. If this technology proves out, it potentially could be implanted in the brains of the blind, so they will have an additional sense they can draw on to inform them of where they are.

And given another year, the FBI in the US will begin monitoring all all online chats. Well, I shouldn't say all, I doubt there are enough people in the world to monitor all chatrooms out there, but they will be targeting "suspicious" feeds. The problem is, for most of us (again), we won't know what's considered a "suspicious" feed, so we'll never know when we're being monitored.

Of course, this all goes back to online privacy in the first place--nothing posted online is private. If it is, then it hasn't been posted online.

And, if anyone needs a hovering mesh pig with inexplicable flatulence issues...there's one free on the Marketplace.

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