340 meters per second

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

&mdash Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Stories that make me happy.

ROTFLMFAO (work-safe, unless blistering schadenfreude is verboten at your place of business.).

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Pacanukeha points us to a wonderfully creative fundraising effort: authors auctioning character's names in forthcoming novels & comic books in order to benefit the First Amendment Project. Neil Gaiman's site breaks it down for us and includes links to the eBay page with all the relevant info.

In a nutshell, the FAP is "a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and promoting freedom of information, expression, and petition" (from their site). As you can imagine, the recent chilling of press freedoms south of the border has taxed their resources. As a result, they found themselves in dire financial straits and a group of authors have banded together to help them out. People as diverse as Stephen King, Amy Tan, John Grisham, Lemony Snicket and Dorothy Allison have offered to name characters and places in their forthcoming works after auction winners.

You bid, and if you win you could be the first person to get chewed up by rabid zombies in King's next book; Neil Gaiman will put your name on a tombstone in an illustrated scene from his next children's book; many of the other authors offer up minor characters for the auction. All of the proceeds go to the First Amendment Project. The auction site is here (will launch in a new window).

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I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the concrete. It's so fuckin' heroic.
- George Carlin, Brain Droppings

It amazes me, the will of instinct.
- Nirvana, "Polly"

I read this story on the bus and for some reason, was really affected. Can't exactly put my finger on why, but it's something about instinct and inevitability. I haven't formulated any solid thoughts on it yet, but maybe I'll return to the subject in a future post. Anyway, here's the story:

Teenagers perform caesarean section on dead cat, save kitten

Alex Hutchinson - CanWest News Service

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Two teens improvised a caesarean section to rescue the kittens of a dead cat they stumbled across in a New Brunswick forest last week.

Monica Castonguay, 15, and her cousin, Kim Quimpere, 13, were walking in the woods near their homes in the town of St. Quentin when they saw the motionless cat, which belonged to their neighbour.

"Her eyes were all black, her mouth was wide open, and her tongue was blue," Castonguay recalled, speaking in French. "I said to my cousin: 'We should take her farther away, because she'll start rotting.'"

But when the girl touched the cat, she found it was still warm, and realized there might be time to save the kittens. Although neither had any previous experience, even of biology dissections, they decided drastic action was needed.

Quimpere ran home to get an old sweater, a knife and some cotton swabs while Castonguay tried to figure out how to approach the operation.

"I said to Kim, 'Should I cut her there?' But she didn't know any more than I did," Castonguay said.

"So I felt around, and figured: "OK, I'll try here."

It proved a good guess, and she found the placental sac with two kittens inside. After cutting the umbilical cords and rubbing the kittens' noses to clear the mucous, the young surgeons were rewarded with loud mewing.

Another cat that had recently had kittens was persuaded to adopt the orphans - and though one of them died later, the other seems to be flourishing.

Their feat drew exclamations of surprise - along with cautions of "don't try this at home" - from veterinarians.

Dan Rodgers of the Alta Vista Animal Hospital in Ottawa said a caesarean section "usually requires someone with a fair amount of experience, so these kids have done very well to have done that."


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