I was travelling around on work, meeting with clients. I was in Newfoundland, and then I went to Iceland, and thence to Sweden. My hotel in Sweden was adorable—genuinely boho, a kind of Art Nouveau apartment building, with hanging silks and a proprietress who had a crystal ball. 

It was there that I became uncomfortably aware that I was being followed. Strange men appeared in the lobby. My clothes had been rifled in my room. The proprietress of my hotel was upset and gracious about it. She seemed to know who the culprits were, and apologised and changed my room to one for which there was no way to duplicate the key and promised me security. But as I was waiting in a hired car for my mom at the airport, they appeared again. I had no choice but to drive away, leaving the driver (who may have been one of Them) waiting at the airport. There ensued a high-speed car-chase, through the highways, overpasses, and back roads of Sweden. This was inconvenient, because I can't actually drive, so in addition to being terrified and annoyed by the people chasing me, moderately lost because I was in Sweden, and confused by how to operate a car, I was worried that the police would notice my erratic driving and pull me over, and then discover that I don't have a license, don't speak Swedish, and don't know how to drive.

Eventually I ditched the car, and took a bus back to my cute hotel, where the proprietress informed me that she'd put my mother in the room adjoining mine, and the rest of the guests on the third floor.

Further adventures inspired by Pushing Daisies, Steig Larsson, Naomi Klein, Cory Doctorow, Die Hard and others )
I recognize that health emergencies, surgery, and life-saving procedures are very sexy, engaging, and generally fascinating. Tales of citizens of the U.S. who cannot afford chemotherapy or surgery, or who get turned back from emergency rooms rightly set people's blood to boiling.

I wish, though, that discussions of health care, and in particular, socialized health care would pay some attention to the less glamorous, less dramatic advantages of providing health care to citizens: the health part:
  • Annual checkups and tests, so that you have a baseline from which to track changes to your body
  • The ability to visit a doctor and have an ailment diagnosed and treated before it becomes life-threatening and warrants a hospital stay
  • Hassle-free sexual health exams and counselling
  • Pre-natal and neo-natal treatment for moms and babies
  • Adequate follow-up from surgical procedures and emergencies
In a lifetime of living in a country with socialized medicine, I've visited the ER possibly a double handful of times (stitches when I was eight; a broken arm when I was 9 or 10; a few rounds of dangerous dehydration and distraught boyfriend when I got sick in university; stitches after a bike accident when I was 21; a large first-degree burn (with some second) when I was in my mid-20s). I've had minor surgery three times (to remove a chelazian from my eyelid when I was 7; to remove my tonsils when I was 11; and to marsupialize a cyst when I was in my mid-20s). I've never had any serious surgery or a stay in a hospital longer than one night. I'm a healthcare lightweight.

But I'm in the system! Boy, am I in the system! )
In addition to being freaky looking, weirdly cute, and sadly endangered by habitat destruction, tilapia, and carp, axolotls are just bloody weird.
Weird and fascinating axoltl floating in a tank. Larval salamander is salmon-pink, with reddish gills radiating out from its head, beady eyes, and a sort-of smiling expression.
They are neotenous (sexually mature larval) salamanders! They can be induced to metamorphose if you either inject them with iodine (though this may kill them), or gradually reduce the amount of water in their living environment (though this may kill them or make them very unhappy).

They consume food by sucking it directly into their stomachs! Their gills close up when they do this to prevent the gills getting clogged or something.

They regenerate lost body parts quickly and without scarring. They are, in fact, zombie resistant, as they can even regenerate parts of their brains. I mean, assuming that zombies, which tend to proliferate in densely populated areas can be bothered to get to the remote, high-altitude bodies of water surrounded by a risky, often inhospitable, terrestrial environment in which axolotls are found (in diminishing numbers) in the wild.

ETA: FUP agrees with me, only in a more profane way:

Just because you have a weird looking smiley face where a normal face should be doesn't mean I'm gonna ignore the fact that you can't even metamorphosize your crazy ass. EPIC EVOLUTIONARY FAIL, AXOLOTL.


zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)


RSS Atom
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags