Friday, April 26, 2013

We All Know Not To Use Cotton Swabs To Clean Or Dry Our Ears. AHH!

This is the first line of the commercial for a product called "WaxVac". Perhaps you've seen it. It plays a lot on Current TV, the Al Gore channel that was recently sold to Al Jazeera. That being the case, I assume Stephanie Miller's time on the channel is limited. Although her radio program is still on the television for now.

And apparently they watch the commercials too, as one day they mentioned this one. They said they liked it, and mentioned the fact that they also yell along with the actors who were pretending they hurt their eardrums with cotton swabs, same as me. Every time this commercial airs, I also yell "AHH!" or "OWW!" at the appropriate time.

So it is a memorable commercial, but I have not, nor do I have plans to, buy the item (it is a device that uses vacuum technology to remove wax, water, or other debris from your ear canal. It looks like a small hot glue gun).

Not that I think I'll receive any answers, as nobody reads this blog... but have you, dear reader (let's pretend for now that you exist) seen the Wax Vac commercial and had a similar response? Have you (my imaginary reader) seen it and not yelled at the appropriate time?

I look forward to your responses, yea or nay in regards to the yelling of "ahh!" or "oww!" (not really, as there won't be any responses... or I'll be EXTREMELY shocked if there are any, at least).

PPP #25

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Stealing John Goodman's Time Machine

I was part of a small band of teenagers being held captive by the Conservative John Goodman. In order to escape his clutches, I decided to activate the time machine. I was on board the time machine, which happened to be a submarine. It did not occur to John Goodman that we would use the time machine to escape, as the hatch was open, and there was a strong possibility that activating the time machine while the hatch was open would kill us. But I decided to risk it.

I began filling out the paperwork, and decided to check the box to enable physical travel as well. I wrote in that we would travel from a dock somewhere on the east coast of the United States (somewhere in New England) to the Californian coast. In time we would go forward 10 years, from 1990 to 2000.

The Dungeon Master then told me that in 10 years John Goodman would die. I was concerned that his being distraught over losing the time machine would cause his death - and considered not going forward so far if that was the case. But the Dungeon Master told me that whatever we did he was going to die anyway.

Strange, that I was concerned about the life of someone who was holding us captive, but I liked John Goodman, or the actual John Goodman, at least. This was some other John Goodman. The real John Goodman is a Liberal who is still alive in the year 2013. This John Goodman, while also an actor, was not Liberal but Conservative. The alternate John Goodman was also an actor. Fact is, we were on the set of a movie that involved the submarine, although nobody but John Goodman and us teens he was holding captive knew the submarine was actually a time machine.

In the dream I was not me. One clue is that I am not a teenager. Another clue was that I was a fake Conservative named *redacted*. I do not know who, or how many other teens there were. This is the sum total of the dream I remembered upon waking. After using the facilities I decided to type it out right away so as to not forget. It does not make much sense, as my dreams usually do not, but there it is.

PPP #24

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Surviving Fictional Limb Amputation

This is yet another post that concerns AMC's post-apocalyptic zombie series, "The Walking Dead". In this post I shall discuss the story line concerning the amputation of one of the character's legs after being bitten by a "walker", which was done in order to prevent his being infected, getting sick, dying, and coming back as one of the dead.

The following excerpt from the April 24th airing of MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show (in which she discusses the aftermath of the Boston bombing) points out a reason why this story line might not be that realistic...

Rachel Maddow: Doctors and nurses, on their days off, started flooding into work as soon as they heard the first reports. Many of them have been in operating rooms ever since. Operating, in some cases, on the same patients two or three times. Amputations, for one, are not one operation deals. They are complicated multi-part surgeries as the doctors have been willing to explain to us...

Amputation isn't a simple as presented in TWD. The character Hershel is bitten in the ankle by a Walker (zombie). What happens next, according to precedent established by the writers, is that the bitten person develops a fever and then (eventually) dies. Then they rise from the dead as an unthinking thing that is technically dead, but somewhat alive. And all they want to do is eat the living. Other food (such as canned hams) is rejected.

If you follow this series you know that everyone is already infected. The scientist at the CDC told Rick that. But being bitten infects the bitten individual more seriously and that causes death... I guess (I'm still not clear on that specific detail). I guess the virus is present in lesser quantities in living persons, and kept at bay by their living-ness. But being bitten delivers a massive quantity of the virus, and that leads to death.

Which is why Rick cut off Hershel's leg after he was bitten - to prevent the massive dose of the virus from spreading from the bite throughout Hershel's bloodstream and killing him. How Rick amputated the leg was with an ax, which I think would have killed Hershel (even if it did prevent the spread of the virus). Shock, blood loss, and infection would certainly finish him off, as amputation involves surgically removing the limb and then covering the stump with skin flaps or skin grafts. None of this was done in the removal of Hershel's leg, so his surviving was probably highly unlikely.

This was a deviation from the "graphic novel" (which I have not read). I did read about the graphic novel though, and it says another character (one that is not present in the series) was the one who had his leg amputated. This character survived the amputation, but his wound later became infected and he died from the infection (a normal infection. I'm not referring to the zombie virus). But Hershel (the guy who's leg was amputated on the series) lived and has now recovered completely.

According to Wikipedia, a surgical amputation is accomplished via the following method...

The first step is ligating the supplying artery and vein, to prevent hemorrhage (bleeding). The muscles are transected, and finally the bone is sawed through with an oscillating saw. Sharp and rough edges of the bone(s) are filed down, skin and muscle flaps are then transposed over the stump, occasionally with the insertion of elements to attach a prosthesis.

What occurred on TWD was a "traumatic amputation", which is the "the partial or total avulsion of a part of a body during a serious accident, like traffic, labor, or combat". Wikipedia says this kind of amputation "creates the immediate danger of death from blood loss".

Wikipedia also notes that, "due to technological advances in prosthetics, many amputees live active lives with little restriction", but our heroes (TWD characters) do not have access to these technologic advances. Hershel currently gets around by hopping and using crutches, and for that reason I thought he was going to die before the season ended. I thought a zombie would get him or one of the Governor's men would shoot him. But he is still alive at the end of season three, and will be present at the beginning of season four.

Or I expect him to be. I suppose that they could say he died in between, as I've heard there is going to be a time jump when the new season starts (same as when season three began - several months elapsed between the season two finale and the first episode of season three). Hershel will die eventually I'm sure; and not from old age. This isn't a show where nothing bad can happen to any of the primary characters.

I read on TWD blog that the series creator can even envision killing off the primary character (Rick Grimes). IMO he was lying in order to create some tension. It makes it more exciting for the audience if they aren't convinced that certain characters are safe (can't be killed)... but killing off Rick? I'd be very surprised if that happened.

PPP #23, TWD #4.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Resurrection of Damnation

Another post that concerns AMC's post-apocalyptic zombie series, "The Walking Dead"; the final episode of season 3 specifically. This post will contain spoilers, so don't read any further if you don't want it spoiled (not that anyone will read this. This blog has no readers at all as far as I know).

OK, now that I've viewed the episode, I've got to say it did not go down as I thought it might. I wouldn't have had any preconceived notions going in - since I have never read the graphic novel the show is based on - except for the fact that I've read ABOUT it. There is a wiki on the internet that I spent some time reading a while ago, and yesterday before the episode aired I read a number of the character history pages on Wikipedia.

Andrea is still alive in the comic (or "graphic novel"). She one of the longest lived characters, in fact. But, as you know if you watched the episode, she died. All the other people I surmised might perish - they all do get killed when the Governor attacks the prison in the comic (except for Glenn). According to what I read, the prison residents get their asses handed to them when the Woodbury army busts in. Hershel dies, Lori dies (she did not die earlier in childbirth as on the TV show) and Judith dies. Others might have died too, but I'm not familiar with the comic at all, so don't know.

Looks like what happened on the TV show is the opposite of what happened in the comic. In the comic Rick's group ended up being driven out of the prison, but on the TV show they are still there at the end of the episode. Not only that, but they go to Woodbury and bring all the weak old people back to the prison. Which means there will be a lot of characters available to die next season. That is what happened when the prisoners were introduced - it wasn't long before they were all dead.

On another topic, a commercial for the upcoming movie "World War Z" starring Brad Pitt aired during the episode. I was looking forward to this movie, but now I'm not so sure. The trailer made it clear that this flick features FAST zombies, like in the 28 days (and weeks) movies. Which probably means these zombies aren't really zombies but people infected with a disease. I don't care for the living persons infected with a disease like rabies zombie (they called it "mad human disease" in Zombieland). These are not real zombies. Zombies are undead.

That doesn't mean I'm no longer looking forward to "World War Z" though. If "zombieism as a disease" is the route they go it could still be good, but I definitely am thinking "maybe not" now. I just looked it up, and regarding the novel the film is based on, Wikipedia says, "The zombies... are undead humans reanimated by an incurable virus. ... Although zombies do not tire and are as strong as the humans that they infect, they are slow-moving and incapable of planning or cooperation in their attacks".

But the zombies shown in the trailer were moving VERY quickly, so clearly they changed that. The Wikipedia page for the movie says, " ...the production suffered some setbacks. In June 2012, the film's release date was pushed back and the crew returned to Budapest for seven weeks of additional shooting. Damon Lindelof was hired to rewrite the third act, but did not have the time to finish the script and Drew Goddard was hired to rewrite it".

Rewrites and reshoots could indicate the movie sucks and they're trying desperately to salvage it. Let's hope that isn't the case. Finally, back to the season 3 finale of TWD - why is Carl totally disregarding what his mother told him right before she died? She told him he was not to let the world as it is now change him - and he totally has! I thought he was wracked with guilt over her death and would thus try hard and honor her final request. Now he's engaging in precautionary murder?

PPP #22, TWD #3.