Sunday, October 22, 2006

Picture for October 22, 2006.

Picture for October 22, 2006.
, originally uploaded by nazarian.

Here's a screenshot of an 'article' from For those who don't know, The Onion is a satirical magazine published in the US.

This article makes fun of two truly American phenomena. First, the Americans are obsessed with heroes. The heroes are everywhere in America. Somebody picked up a piece of trash on the street - a hero. A soldier signed up for service - a hero. Somebody has 20 cats - a hero. A dog barks and alerts the owner of a danger - a hero. The national and local TV news are filled with unsung heroes.

The second phenomenon is the large amount of paperwork that one has to fill out during a hospital or doctor's visit. The funny thing is that all this information is in your medical history and can be viewed easily by whoever needs that information. But no, you still have to fill out the paperwork. Fortunately, the American efficiency has made these forms quite easy to fill - obviously, they have done their market research to satisfy the lowest common denominator IQ level.

Here's the text of the article. Enjoy.

Hero Dog Fills Out Hospital Paperwork

October 20, 2006 Issue 42•43

BRACKNEY, PA—Ginger, a four-year-old golden retriever, saved the life of her owner Megan Walsh, 37, Monday by quickly and efficiently filling out Walsh’s copious emergency-room paperwork. “Without Ginger’s knowledge of my sister’s medical history, which includes multiple food allergies and penicillin intolerance, who knows what could have happened in there,” said Walsh’s brother Derek, who arrived late at the hospital but was relieved to learn that Ginger had “taken care of everything.” “She filled out the forms, and apparently was the only one who could locate Megan’s insurance card.” Ginger could not be reached for comment, as she was reportedly on hold with a Blue Cross-Blue Shield phone representative for 50 minutes.

Hero Dog Fills Out Hospital Paperwork

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Photo for October 18, 2006.

Photo for October 18, 2006., originally uploaded by nazarian.

The sad looking cat is Yuri (you can see his other pics in my photo stream). My wife likes when Yuri is clean - he likes it, too. He prefers to sit in a sink full of warm water but he dislikes getting soap on his fur.

He tolerates the shower for some time but when the soap starts getting in his eyes, he gets a sad look on his face and tries to escape.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Photo for October 16, 2006.

apple, originally uploaded by nazarian.

This apple had been sitting in our fruit basket for more than a month. I have no idea why it survived so well for so long: it's not a good sign when a food item lasts for a very long time. For example, the Twinkies are rumored to last for decades and taste as good (or as bad) as the fresh ones.

When taking this picture, I had to remember the old ways of taking a picture where I would set the focus manually based on the distance. My first camera was a cheap camera that you had to calculate the distance between me and the object and set the focus that way; the viewfinder was just a hole with a transparent plastic cover. The aperture and shutter speed were set intuitively as well.

The lesson learned was that even with the latest auto-focus technologies, it is sometimes the best to use manual means - the camera was having a hard time focusing on the glossy apple skin.

BTW, a week or so later I ate that apple and it was still good.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Picture for October 6, 2006.

specoperacia_gruzin, originally uploaded by nazarian.

Here is a snapshot of a Russian language news site article titled "Special operation 'Gruzin'". Gruzin is Russian for an ethnic Georgian. It is about the deportation of hundreds of ethnicly Georgians from Moscow to Tbilisi. It also mentions that some of the deportees were in Russia legally, meaning that their visas and residency registration papers were in order, menaing that there was no legal basis for their eviction.

I can't help but consider this ethnic cleansing. They have not yet started sending the Georgians to concentration camps (yet) but there are reports that certain right-wing groups and private citizens have started beating and sometimes murdering Georgians. This type of violence used to happen in Russia even before the recent escalation of the Russo-Georgian relations. The neo-nazi groups in Moscow and other cities of Russia would beat and sometimes kill people with dark complexion (basically, non-blondes) - dozens of people from Africa, the Caucasus (including Armenians) and Central Asia have been murdered during the recent years with near almost absolute impunity. At most, the Russian authorities have gently slapped the wrists of the perpetrators in the past.

It is a little sad that a nation, which lost millions of people in the hands of the German nazis, is doing the same.