Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sporadic Posting

Sorry I haven't been posting so much. My mother had a stroke. She's doing well, but I'm in Philadelphia helping out now. Posting may be a bit sporadic, but I have a few good stories I want to share with you when I have some down time.

Here is some information on stroke from the American Heart Association:
Stroke Warning Signs

If you notice one or more of these signs, don't wait. Stroke is a medical emergency. Call 9-1-1 or your emergency medical services. Get to a hospital right away!

The American Stroke Association wants you to learn the warning signs of stroke:

* Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
* Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
* Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
* Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
* Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

Be prepared for an emergency.

* Keep a list of emergency rescue service numbers next to the telephone and in your pocket, wallet or purse.
* Find out which area hospitals are primary stroke centers that have 24-hour emergency stroke care.
* Know (in advance) which hospital or medical facility is nearest your home or office.

Take action in an emergency.

* Not all the warning signs occur in every stroke. Don't ignore signs of stroke, even if they go away!
* Check the time. When did the first warning sign or symptom start? You'll be asked this important question later.
* If you have one or more stroke symptoms that last more than a few minutes, don't delay! Immediately call 9-1-1 or the emergency medical service (EMS) number so an ambulance (ideally with advanced life support) can quickly be sent for you.
* If you're with someone who may be having stroke symptoms, immediately call 9-1-1 or the EMS. Expect the person to protest — denial is common. Don't take "no" for an answer. Insist on taking prompt action.

For stroke information, call the American Stroke Association at 1-888-4-STROKE

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ten Year Old Tells Us "Why I Love My 3-D Printer"

10 year old Schulyer St. Leger tells Ignite Phoenix how he made his own 3D printer using open source software.

Besides brains this kid blew away with his presentation skills and poise. Way to go Schuyler, you are an inspiration to Geeky Kids everywhere!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Golden Girls Valentines. You're Welcome.

Here's your lol for the day.  Golden Girls Valentine's Day cards.  Because nothing says I love you like Bea Arthur.  Who are you going to give them to?  (Super-Sister has one coming her way).

Super-Dad and I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day, but I may need to give him a Sophia Valentine.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Face Behind Tiny Vader Revealed

Okay, I was wrong. I was comvinced Tiny Vader was a she.  I saw the pink room and the baby doll, and no sister in sight and proclaimed "Tiny Darth Vader is a GIRL!".  But alas, I was wrong.  Tiny Vader is played by the adorable and talented (how did he emote so much in a full costume?) 6 year old Max. 

In this clip from the Today show Vader uses the force before unmasking:

Of note: Like the "real" Darth Vader, Max depends on technology to keep him healthy - he has a pacemaker.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Everyone Else, Give Up. Tiny Vader wins.

This has been floating around the internet for a few days, but in case you haven't seen it, here is Volkswagen's Superbowl commercial.  

This utterly charming commercial made us laugh.  The kid in the costume is able to express so much. The very end, when tiny Vader jerks around surprisedly is hilarious. I doubt we'll see anything better than this on Sunday.

Seattle Area Geeks: Lego Build for Children's Hospital

This is sooooo cool!  A Seattle-area kid named Ethan is hosting a Lego Build fundraiser for Children's Hospital this Saturday.  For a $20 donation each participant gets a 100 piece Lego set and the opportunity to build for prizes!  The most creatvie entries (as judged by a Boeing Engineer!) get prizes. 

Lego Build for
Seattle Children's Hospital

Date: February 5, 2011
Time: 10am - 11:30am
Doors open at 9:30 am for registration
Entry fee: $20
Location: (map)
Christ the King School gymnasium
415 N 117th St, Seattle, WA 98133
Open to ages: 5 - adult
(age groups to be judged separately)
5-8 yrs, 9-12 yrs, 13-16 yrs, 17-adult
Prizes awarded to the winners of each age group category. All participants walk away with a lego kit!

You can get more information (including Ethan's inspiration for organizing the fundraiser) here.

I think every fundraiser I hold from now on will be a Lego build.  What a fantastic idea, Ethan!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Oh my, my eye!

During my annual eye exam last week my eye doctor, who is normally very calm and reserved, excitedly told me about the "new technology" the office had acquired. It was an Optomap machine that takes a wide angle picture of the back of your eye.  He was talking about this thing like it was a shiny new toy that he got for Christmas.  I've never seen the guy crack a smile, let alone act giddy.  I was ready to dismiss this as an upsell ($37 not covered by insurance) until he told me my pupils wouldn't have to be dilated if I went the Optomap route.  SOLD!

They looked at me a little odd when I told them I'd like a copy of the picture, but today it showed up in my inbox. left eye!

The doctor said I had cute eyelashes.

It looks a bit like something NASA took, doesn't it? The bright dot in the middle is the optic nerve.  The dark side to the right of the nerve is where the eye  processes light, it's dark because it dense with blood vessels.  The dark spot to the left is a choroidal nevus, which is fancy talk for  "a freckle". The pictures revealed that I  have some retinal stretching, which is normal for someone who is extremely nearsighted.  Other than that, my eyes are perfectly healthy!  Yay!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day: A Love Letter.

Growing up in Pennsylvania (Even though my Philadelphia suburb is no where near Gobbler's Knob) I've always had a warm spot in my heart for the wacky little "holiday" of Groundhog Day. I even had a stuffed groundhog at one point.

I remember being 14 and going to the movie theater to see "Groundhog Day".  I had no idea what it was about, my sister and I were just bored and the title appealed to me.  I LOVED it.  It was just the combination of comedy and sci-fi that I loved.  Afterward, I remember my sister telling my mother that it was weird.  I agreed with her, but to me this wasn't a dismissive statement.  I wanted to talk about it. The critics had loved it, but it hadn't done so well in the teenage girl demographic. None of my friends had seen it, I had no one to discuss it with.

I found a kindred spirit in Super-Dad, he loved the movie as much as I had.  We spent one of our early dates watching the movie and talking about it.  How long had Phil repeated that day?  Why did it happen?  What was the magic moment that changed it for him?

About a month ago we played the movie for Nate.  He thought it was great.  At ten years old he guessed that Phil had spent "a few years" in his Groundhog Day stasis.  

How long do you think Phil repeated that day?  He learned french, became a piano virtuoso, planned the perfect crime, tried a bunch of different ways to commit suicide and essentially earned a medical degree.  Our best guess is hundreds and hundreds of years.

Happy Groundhog Day!

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