Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Criminal Idiots Steal Radioactive Equipment in Mexico

New this week, apparently a couple of real class crooks stole a truck in Mexico. On this truck, packed in a crate, was highly radioactive medical equipment being transported to storage. This equipment was used in cancer therapies using  a synthetic material called Cobalt 60. Fearful thoughts spreading say that this could be used to make a dirty bomb that could kill a lot of people. Uh, no.

Let me just put your thoughts to rest on this.

1: No one's ever made a Cobalt bomb before. Sure, there are theories all over, but no one has ever pulled it off. In truth there are way easier ways to make a dirty bomb than with Cobalt 60. So, theories are all over, but no one has ever done it. You may wonder why not, well...

2: Too much work to get to it.  Look at the picture. See the casing? That's going be damn hard to open. It's got inches and layers of metal shielding including steel and lead that won't be a fast job to cut through. It certainly won't be a job for a couple guys in a back alley shed (yeah they might be smarter than that, but hang on to that thought). Even once they do, they have a whole new problem on their hands.

3: Too hot to handle. What good is a bomb if you're dead before you can even deliver it, or finish building it? Think about that for a second. There's a reason this stuff is totally shielded without so much as a window to peek at the thumb sized portion inside. That's because it's gamma radiation and that stuff goes through glass, plastic, and yeah, pretty much all shielding like it's not even there. Even with all the shielding already on it, it's still radioactive. But that's just it, look at how much shielding it takes just to let it sit there. Trying to build a bomb with it means that you have to handle it directly. Even with robot arms and a plastic container, you may as well be working with it NAKED. Yes, naked; because none of that stuff will  protect you at all. Even then...

4: Likely to fail: Reports on Cobalt 60 state that it would be "extremely difficult" to get it to disperse over a large area. It's just a very difficult to work with compound for anything except its radioactive properties as they stand. Again, there are theories on getting it to dissipate, but no one has managed to pull it off. No one has tried that can be found. There are simply no reports at all. You can say "cover up" if you want but what's the point in that? Haven't we used and tested way meaner stuff on our own soil before?  If this could do that kind of damage, I strongly doubt it could be covered up or would be. It would leave a helluva mess (if it could even be done).

5: They probably just wanted the truck. That's what's most likely. These guys probably don't know they are carrying their own untimely deaths in that truck. Once they do realize it, they'll probably just dump it. The truck had a crane on it and other machinery. They may have wanted it to sell for scrap. Who knows. And what supports this theory?

6: Not the first time this has happened. Actually there is a long list out there of losses and thefts of medical equipment. None of them involved a bomb. In these cases, the thieves had no idea what they were in for. In one case, it was sold as scrap and several people got sick and a couple died. In another case, Petco had to recall metal dog bowls that had been made from scrap containing Cobalt 60 and were giving off dangerous levels of radiation.

And before you get all smart and ask why people didn't die making the dog bowls... that was all made by machinery after smelting processes and machines don't get radiation poisoning. Further, going through all that without killing a whole city of people just goes to show that Cobalt 60 just doesn't work that way. Otherwise, there would be a whole smelting plant of dead workers out there and, nope, there isn't. Never happened. Not going to. Now let's just watch the news and see what happens to the idiots.

(image from World News NBC)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chris Cox Rox on Multiple Sclerosis and YOU can help!

I was just about to go and work on an art piece I have scheduled when I saw that an online friend needs a hand. This isn't just any online friend by the way. This is Chris Cox.

What? You want to know who that is? He's the lead singer of Mudd Farm, but that's not all. Oh, you think this is just some Youtube band going for glory? You're wrong there, buddy. He's done been there and back again. He's been rocking the stage since before 1993.

He was even on MTV!

So he's not some wannabe or just some ranter online. He's the real deal. And he's gotten the moral support of people every bit as real if not moreso...

Yeah, Dee Snyder as in Twisted Sister fame from the 80's. Don't tell me you don't know who that is! Oh fine;

If that's still not enough to convince you, check out his page where he has tons of supporters doing this:

Now that's moral support!

So what does Chris have to do with MS? Well, in 2006 he was diagnosed with this nerve eating disease. I know how he feels because I have it too. Since then, well, check THIS.

Chris wants to make a documentary about living with MS to educate others. He's currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise the needed funding. Now I just wish I had the capital to help him out like deserved, but I don't. So I'm doing this. You may further as why I'm kickin this blog article off the way I am. Well let me tell you about something else, something I stand against.

Seems like some people on Facebook still have twitchy spam fingers. Rather than drop someone from their page and just walk away, they have to call down the FB Police to have his freedom of speech messed with. So I'm posting this because I want you to see that Chris Cox is totally for real.

He could be doing a lot worse than something as positive as this. He's doing something right and I'm standing up for it right here and now. YOU can help. Tell people about his rocking Kickstarter campaign or toss a few bucks in yourself. You'll be supporting an education that really does ROCK.

Living with MS is no picnic and way too many people don't understand. They prove they're lack of understanding by telling us to go be mushroom people, sitting in the corner, sucking up our benefits; just to get out of their way. They prove this by then saying, "Hey you don't LOOK sick"! The misjudgment and stigma are hurtful and degrading. It's time for it to stop. Here's another tidbit for those of you who just want people like Chris and me to shut up; by today's statistics you have a whopping 50% chance of being just as disabled as me by my age. I'm 43 as I write this, so good luck to you.

And it's not just MS that we need to show some respect to, there's more that wind up leading to Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and then there's Autism, and way more. The numbers are growing, and it's time to start caring.

So rock with Chris Cox and be a hero. Help spread the word. It's not spam, it's a worthwhile project and way better than just sitting around waiting to die. What would you do? Never give up, people, never give up. Now come on and let's get the word around.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Why you should read Chessmen: Opening Moves

Hey, it's shameless self promotion time! But have no fear, I plan to make points of significant interest. So give me a chance here and have a good time.

It's a fair question. Why should you read Chessmen? You aren't interested in Chess anyway. Well, fortunately, it's not actually about chess. Click on the opening image to see what the back of the book has to say. Now I'll give you some supporting points on why you'll find this cast of heroes very interesting. The Chessmen are the Royal Guard of the planet, Chyssia. Imagine if Chess actually came from another planet and you'll immediately get the idea behind this amazing world. There are 8 members of the Chessmen (technically 9) and that brings us to our first point because:

In order for the most powerful member to appear, one of them has to die.  How's that for an opening point? And how does that work out? You'll have to read the book to know because telling would be a huge spoiler!

One of them could kill an entire planet. He's sealed in a containment suit of armor that can never be taken off; because he's a virus. Again, to see how that works out, you have to read it. I promise you he's one heck of a character. How does someone like that wind up being part of any Royal Guard?

Faith really can  move mountains.  One of them has a power you don't see in stories very much. It's the power of pure faith. You won't believe what he can do with it.

The comical doofus is one of the strongest members. You'll enjoy his amazing power and hilarious behavior.

The accused will earn your sympathy in spades. The member accused of actually killing the King, is permanently bonded to bladed gauntlets. He doesn't remember why he has them. For that matter, he's not even from Chyssia. He was found in the mountains with a severe head injury. Just what is his story?

A mystical falcon is in love with her partner. But how can such a creature pursue love with a humanoid?

It goes beyond just clearing their name. They discover that they have to save their entire solar system and the first book is only the beginning.

How can you read this?  Check out my author page and bookmark it   LINK

You can also keep up with all of the Galaxy Zento universe at my FACEBOOK page.

You can get it for Kindle cheap and paperback the same way. So I do hope you'll check out my universe and give Chessmen a read. I think you'll be glad you did.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Heroes of Cosplay causes online war

Heroes of Cosplay, the SyFy reality television series has caused an online war between the “stars” of the show and some cosplayers from the season finale. If you don’t know about the series, it follows a select group of people as they pursue contests in various conventions for the sake of their careers and reputations. 

Yes, they tell us that Cosplay is about having fun, but the producers don’t support that very much with how the show plays out. YaYa Han, a noted cosplayer and judge says the word “reputation” more than any other in her entire vocabulary. If we are to believe the commentary (even though she says it’s about having fun) every single thing she does is of utmost importance because of her reputation. Also, before I get too far:

Cosplayer: One who dresses up as iconic characters of various fantasy or science fiction genres (nutshell explanation, because there is lots more to it than that).

In the season finale, the cast goes to Planet Comicon in Kansas City, MO. In the second part of the finale, we get to see what looks like a group of “locals” making nasty comments to the members of CrabCat Industries and their partner Becky. But all is not as it appears and it has exploded into an online war that just makes everyone look bad.  Check out these two links (and those attached to them) for both sides of the story:

Now I’m going to use some quotes from Chloe (Sorry, Chloe) to hit a few highlights and make some points. Chloe’s response missed some essentials that I think bear pointing out. Let’s start with this:

What if I told you those judgmental Doctor Who cosplayers were plants? That Syfy told them they needed to cause drama with some of the cast so it would be a more interesting competition?
That’s not true, but you’d believe me, wouldn’t you? Because guess what, you want to demonize a dumb reality show.”

Aaand stop right there. While the following points of that paragraph are fine for showing that the cast were real people doing real things, this statement essentially calls us a bunch of idiots and haters.  Actually, and this may come as a surprise, you’d be shocked to find out just how many people watch reality shows and believe everything they see. Not because the want to “demonize” anything at all. It’s because people are people. Something that should have been remembered here. But alas, it doesn’t get better from there.

Syfy didn’t tell the Doctor Who girls they needed to cause drama. It happened all by itself because of three things:
1-People don’t like things like TV shows invading their small community (understandable).
2-People don’t like when the odds are stacked against them in a way that feels unfair (though the cast entirely made their own costumes and paid for almost everything). Either way, they won something.
3-Cosplayers tend to tear down their own kind when they feel threatened. All people do. Especially the cosplay community, though, as I’ve noticed A LOT on Tumblr during the airing of this show.”

I just plain don’t agree with this and you’ll see why as you read on.

The way it started was that someone from the audience identified my friends as “Syfy plants”.”

Ahh, but that’s not what really blew things up. You leave out the fact that the comment was dubbed and what we, the viewers, heard was: “Out of towners go home!” Something tells me you didn’t watch your own finale. Worse yet, they made it look like the Who Girls were the ones who said it, and you know they didn’t. These girls are somehow supposed to take it and shut up when they are directly accused of saying something they didn’t say. One of them admits she lost her temper, so it’s not like they are denying the skirmish even happened. But that’s okay, because, as you later say no one could make them sign a waiver (so it must have been all their fault).

Worse yet, dubbing that comment into something it wasn’t, made the whole convention look bad. I’m sure when they agreed to filming, they weren’t looking for the chance to make themselves look like hateful small town hicks. The fact that I haven’t seen a single member of the cast admonish this behavior is highly disappointing. So maybe you should be upset with your own producers, because they made you and them look bad as a result.

No one can make you sign a waiver. It was their choice to appear on the show.”

This totally dismisses the fact that the cast were not the only people to feel stressed out. It also suggests that the layman who is put on the spot by surprise should automatically have their eyes wide open going into this. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Let me tell you something:

It was totally unfair: Chloe points out how people get when they “feel” something is unfair, but wait, it totally was. Compare the facts. Take the cast who knew they had skits to perform and had more than a day to rehearse, with props and assistants, and stage hands, etc. Now take everyone else who got the information, not just on the spot, but for some it was minutes before going onstage. That’s like taking a heavyweight prize fighter and putting him in the ring with someone who’s never thrown a punch before. Sound like a fair fight to you? Sound fairly informed to you? It’s not. It was unexpected at a capacity that had to feel ridiculous to everyone else, who hasn’t been touring around on a reality show. For any member of the cast to dismiss the feelings of people who were wrongly taken completely by surprise on the details, is just poor form.

Don’t expect laymen to act like professionals: You’re right, no one can make you sign that waiver. But you dismiss the human factor of others again. You aren’t considering the fact that these girls spent a year of planning only to be surprised on site with “oh by the way, if you want to compete you have to do this.” So for them, on the spot with NO warning, they have to decide to either throw away a year of planning and work, or suck it up and go ahead. This also dismisses the fact that the cast has been doing this all year long, but these girls get it tossed in their faces at the last possible second. So you of the cast knew what you were in for… they had no clue at all.

To top it off, expect them to have no feelings: Ignore the fact that they were there for shoots and reshoots that the cast are used to and likely PAID FOR. Ignore the fact that they were every bit as exhausted as you were. Don’t tell me that they won 500 bucks and should suck it up because everyone there knows the whole thing went into about 5 hours of overtime (and what’s 500 divided by 11 again?). Overtime on a Sunday when things were supposed to close around 4pm. Overtime that could have even jeopardized someone’s job because they had a shift to go work. Overtime only expected by the cast.  Then label them as cruel and support a horde of negative comments about them online because they had feelings too.

I think you’re getting “cruel” confused with “just as tired and upset as you could ever be”.

The cast of the show knew what to expect 100% more than the Who Girls could dream of because of sheer lack of consideration and information. Now they get to be the villains, hated on by the internet and the cast is willing to support that. Not only is that not a fair fight, but it’s something else in words I don’t use here.

Friday, September 6, 2013

California school wants to pay to keep autistic child OUT

(Credit to photo: Sydney Lupkin, World News)

It never ceases to amaze me, the horrifying leaps that school systems will take to cover their own spotted rear ends. When they think it's just too much trouble for them to do their jobs and give someone their right to education as written in law. Well, today's story really takes the cake and takes a big steaming dump in the middle of it. Get the details here and I'll explain. Yes, that's a link to the news story!

Okay? Did you get it all? Now some of you, as you are sitting there are probably shaking your heads. There are a couple of things about this story that will cause that. However, they don't matter in the grand scheme of it all.

Like the fact that David Swanson is 21 and his time is about up for what the law allows. But the law is the law, people. If this is allowed to slide, who's kid will it happen to next? As it is, David has severe autism, diabetes, and is non-verbal. The law says he has a right to be there. And why is the system so worried?

They force fed him his own gagged up food.  Apparently this was to teach a child with severe disability some kind of twisted life lesson. I can think of a number of life lessons I would like to teach the lady that did that, but I risk really losing composure. This is grotesque and cruel. It's abuse, plain an simple. And so his mother, Heather Houston, did what any parent should do. She filed complaints. That didn't sit well with the uppity school system that could do no wrong. Of course it didn't.

They offered a settlement of $86,000 to basically go away. Let's face it. That's exactly what it is. It comes with stipulations that she drop all complaints and may not file complaint against them again. Yes, the said the money is to take him to a private school, but here's what makes this an exceptional smoking pile of bull:

The law says they have to do that anyway, stipulations not included. Think about that for a second. The law says, if the school finds they cannot provide FEPA that it falls on them to place the student in the alternative educational setting and pay for it. It is not supposed to be "throw money at the parent and kick them out the door (with a list of stupid demands)". Her complaints will more than net this for her without their worthless offer. Yes, I said worthless. It comes no where near what would be needed to pay for the costs of a private educational setting with all his needs met. And their stipulations are especially garbage because they are supposed to do this anyway. Leave it to some stuck on themselves group of educators to try and make what they're supposed to do by law sound like some big generous thing on their part.

Heather Houston does not want their money. Apparently this comes as a big surprise to some of the commentors on the link above. They still accuse her of it even after the article says she didn't want their money. What she wants is what her son has a legal right to. It's also what your child has a legal right to. Should a year's difference make it okay to treat your child like that? Do tell.

Hold them accountable. That's my message to Heather. Don't give up. Don't take their pitiful dodge attempt. Don't let them get away with it. The educational system needs major changes for things like this. For example, it's almost impossible to fire a teacher. That's the most ridiculous thing in any job field ever. I realize everyone needs job security; but if you force field a child his own coughed up chunks until he vomits, you should be out of a job and being prosecuted to boot.

Now Heather and the nurse, Annette Armstrong have chimed in on their position in the comments. I applaud them. Keep up the good work, ladies and God bless!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My own cosplay adventures and lessons learned

I've spent a considerable amount of time comparing opinions on Heroes of Cosplay. After watching the most recent episode where Monica (?) slams a fellow cosplayer saying "You're the last person I would ever want to cosplay with" (following that up with further degrading remarks); I realized just what a dark shadow this show casts on the cosplay and costuming community.

Now a bunch of you are going: "Wait a minute, Dave does cosplay?"  Yes, actually, I have. But let me tell you what Heroes of Cosplay taught me.  First, check this out:

That's a pic of my son when he was 2. He won the child's section of the GenCon Costume contest. He won because he was cute as cute could be and went on the stage rolling dice. We did it for fun. After watching Heroes of Cosplay, I realize we didn't even belong there. It has taught me that, if you enter these contests for fun, you are stepping on some elitist's toes. If you win the contest they way my kiddo did, you are slapping everyone else in the face.  You see, we didn't make that costume (and we told the judges that). We found it at a yard sale. Someone made it, but we had no idea who. That means our kiddo won over people who spent laboring  hours on their costumes, possibly just like the people on the show. Don't get me wrong. I'm damn proud of my kiddo's accomplishment with his power of cute and rolling those dice. He rocked. But we didn't make that costume. And again, don't get me wrong, no one mistreated us over it. The point is, the show causes me to reflect and realize that we must have been so out of place, or that's how they would have it look the way they are going.

"But, Dave, that's your kid cosplaying, not you."

Oh fine, here:

Hey, not bad for a firsts time doing it at a con. Later that night I did Zombie Joker and that turned out pretty wild.

 I always tried to make myself pull off a look as completely as possible (before this I did halloween stuff a lot, but can't find any of my old pics). I knew it would entertain. You know that's more the purpose of the full cosplay experience. You're supposed to enjoy yourself, share a talent and interest, and just have a really good time. There are a lot of very important sides of cosplay that the show doesn't bring. It's not about being superficial and shallow. It's not about bashing other peoples looks because you didn't place in a stupid contest where the bag was just a grand (yes I know what title means, but if you do your stuff well, your appearance says it all).

I would rather do the fun things, like charities and special events. No thanks on the contests. And I don't think that everyone who goes to contests is an elitist snob, but that show seems to want you to think so.At least where one or two of them is concerned. And I realize that I'm not trying to make a living at it. But if you are, and you can't handle it when you don't win a contest, maybe you shouldn't be there. Maybe that's not a good living for you. Seriously, if you are going to test minefields, you can't get all mad when you get blown up.

So, no contests for me. I like what you aren't getting to see. I like the heartwarming side with the freedom and acceptance. Oh, but I will say that Ya Ya Han does an awesome job of showing what craftsmanship means.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Autism: Dealing with Ignorant Comments

You all know what I mean by ignorant comments. It's the witty things people in public say without forethought regarding us or our children an autism. They typically do the same thing for people with disabilities too. It's a never ending headache that some special in-duh-viduals seem bent on delivering. Well, enough. No more Mr. Nice Guy. It's time to at least put a humorous spin on this migraine that is public ignorance. I've also considered that maybe it's not their fault. Maybe they're addicted to the taste of their own feet. Try this next time someone walks by and delivers a stupid comment. Imagine them having to bounce around on their buts because they have both legs in their throat up the knees.

Now for a few favorites from the public blather mouths.

1-"He (or you) looks normal to me."  I hate this one. Time to put this person in their place hard:

"Oh, where did you get your medical degree?"  Watching them bumble in response to that is funny every single time.

"And what did you think we'd look like?"  Again, funny every time.

"I left my hockey mask at home." Watch their eyes grow three sizes.

2- "Oh what's his special skill?"  Because we love having our children referred to like sideshow attractions.

"Knife throwing." Say this with a perfectly straight face regardless of your child's age and get set for a look of sheer terror.

"Putting up with other people's ignorance." To be said casually as if you knew the question was coming the whole time.

"Why, do you want to buy tickets?" If they say yes, charge them 50 bucks and say it's non-refundable.

3- "Maybe you should spank him."  Or some similar idiotic phrase.

"What? You want to spank my child?" Said loud enough for the rest of the public to hear. Then watch that idiot make tracks in a hurry.

"Maybe you should get a lobotomy." Hey one stupid suggestion deserves another.

"Thank you for your useless advice."  If they are even halfway listening, it should get their goat.

4- "Shouldn't be in public." Comments like this one are usually said from one idiot to the other about you or your child. Of course they seem to want you to hear them.

"Neither should you." If they can't handle what the public has to offer, they should stay home.

"It's rude to talk about people like that."  The old "call em out" routine has a pretty good track record of shutting people up.

"Wow, you're helpful." Because no, no they aren't. And this one makes a good comeback for several situations.

Now, you probably shouldn't actually be mean to these people and some just can't be taught anything. But it sure can relieve some stress to think of some snappy comebacks to try and kick start their poor addled brains. In any case, here's hoping you got a chuckle. Don't let public ignorance get you down.