And this is a wrap for this year’s Blogathon! (#Blogathon)

It’s now 9AM EDT and not a moment too soon. I’ve somehow managed to claw my way through my third Blogathon and we managed to pick up a few more sponsors during the night. All told we raised $268.63 for the Humane Society of Huron Valley and I’d like to thank each and every one of you who made a pledge. The ‘thon as a whole racked up over $41,000 for charity this year, That’s not too shabby.

Hopefully you will find the vast majority of the entries I made during the night entertaining, informative, or both. I tried to maintain a decent amount of content worth reading versus throw away posts where I gibbered incoherently.

Special thanks to ***Dave, Last Hussar, JethricOne, Craig, and all the other folks who I’m too tired to remember at the moment that took the time to chat with me either on the live video feed or via Twitter. You guys helped me get through the night and gave me lots of great pointers to entry ideas. Now my time is up and I can go lay down and catch some much needed rest.

See you guys in a few hours.

Yet another Bishop accused of covering up for pedophile priests.  (#Blogathon)

I am too tired to muster the usual outrage over what is becoming an all too-familiar story so I’ll let it speak for itself:

Bishop remained silent about 25 abusive priests – Chicago Sun Times

The former No. 2 official of the Catholic church in Chicago admitted that he knew 25 priests broke the law by sexually abusing children but did not report them, according to depositions made public Tuesday.

Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Raymond E. Goedert’s statements show “the lengths they went to to protect their reputation and the priest at the peril of the child,” said attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents men who have sued the archdiocese over alleged childhood molestation.

“I knew the civil law considered it a crime,” Goedert said in the deposition. “But I’m not a civil lawyer. I think we just relied on—a lot on our—we knew it was wrong, what was done. And we used our common sense and prudence with the help of people—expert in the field to assist us in resolving these cases.”

Goedert, the past president of the national Canon Law (Catholic Church law) Society, said families of the victims were not seeking to get the police involved and have the priests criminally charged—they simply wanted to prevent any other children from being victimized. So while now the church calls police when it learns of credible allegations of abuse, in those days—the ‘70s and mid-80s—it did not.

“I simply would not talk about it to anyone except those who had a right to know because of their position in the diocese,” Goedert said.

OK, I can still manage a little indignation here. Once again we have a Catholic Bishop telling us that he considers the reputation of the church and its clergy more important than the welfare of a child being molested. He covered these allegations up for 25 fucking years because he considered the wellbeing of the children in his church to be less important than the church’s image. This man should be charged with multiple counts of aiding and abetting for each child he allowed to be molested. What he allowed to take place for 25 years is quite simply inexcusable.

It’s now 8:25AM. (#Blogathon)

And the sun is well over the horizon here in Michigan. I have officially run out of sources of topics for things to blog about. My brain is barely functional as it is. ***Dave and I engaged in a nonsense IM exchange in a sad attempt to keep each other awake and amused about 45 minutes ago.

But it looks like it’s going to be a rather nice day. One that I’ll spend most of it sleeping. Then when I finally wake the wife and I will go to the local IHOP for breakfast/dinner because it seems appropriate.

Possible blindness cure with stem cell contact lenses? (#Blogathon)

Scientists have developed a potential breakthrough that may cure blindness in some people:

Of the three patients, two were legally blind but can now read the big letters on an eye chart, while the third, who could previously read the top few rows of the chart, is now able to pass the vision test for a driver’s license. The research team isn’t getting over excited, still remaining unsure as to whether the correction will remain stable, but the fact that the three test patients have been enjoying restored sight for the last 18 months is definitely encouraging. The simplicity and low cost of the technique also means that it could be carried out in poorer countries.

How cool is that? That’s very cool!

Octomom lands a reality TV contract for her kids. (#Blogathon)

Yes that paragon of maturity and stable thinking known as the “Octomom” has signed an agreement to make her 14 children stars of a reality TV show in Europe:

Film crews will not follow Suleman and her children 24 hours a day, but will document certain milestones, such as birthdays and special events, her lawyer said earlier.

The court documents say Suleman’s children, who are up to eight years old, will collectively earn $125,000 for 36 days of shooting in the first year of production, $75,000 for 21 days in the second year, and $50,000 for 14 days in the third year.

The contract specifies that 15% of the income will be placed in a trust fund that the children will only be able access at age 18, as required by California law.

Well if the kids are getting 15% of it in a trust then that’s not as bad as I thought it would be. Still it’s gotta be hard enough to be part of a big family as it is without your crazy mother putting you on TV.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel… (#Blogathon)

… oh, wait, that’s actually the sun coming up. It’s about 22 mins before 7AM here in Michigan and, had this been a weekday, I’d normally would have been an hour into my daily routine. Melvin, the Official SEB Cat, is taunting me laying curled up next to my thigh and snoring as loud as he possibly can. Considering how many of my weekend sleep-ins are disrupted by his early demand for food I’m somewhat tempted to shake him awake.

But I don’t because I spoil my kitty and he returns my love with an equal amount of total apathy on his part. But he’s a cat so that’s only to be expected.

For now I will try to ignore the siren call wafting through the air from my comfy bed which is confused and saddened by the lack of my presence in its warm embrace. It is not like me to forsake it’s love for so long and my absence is frightening the poor thing. Just five more entries to go and I can take the time to chase the leprechauns back into their cereal boxes where they belong.

Scientist claims artificial brain is just 10 years away. (#Blogathon)

The folks at the Blue Brain Project have been hard at work developing artificial brains – they’ve already simulated a rat brain – and they believe they can have a working human brain replica in about 10 years or so:

Around two billion people are thought to suffer some kind of brain impairment, he said.

“It is not impossible to build a human brain and we can do it in 10 years,” he said.

“And if we do succeed, we will send a hologram to TED to talk.”

That works for me. In another 10 years I could probably use an artificial brain. Especially if I keep doing these Blogathons.

No, really. I’m still awake! (#Blogathon)

And I can prove it:


Click to embiggen!

See? Wide awake. No problem. I could do this for days.

Yeah, I’m starting to get low on things to blog about. (#Blogathon)

And the fatigue is definitely starting to set in. I know this because I am doing something I am normally loathe to do. I am watching the SciFi Channel (I refuse to use the “new” spelling). Worse, I’m watching one of their really bad original horror movies. A haunted ship movie called The Triangle featuring a killer cruise ship that turned evil after crossing into the Bermuda Triangle or some similar line of nonsense. It’s bad. Staggeringly bad. It has Luke Perry (who’s the dude being influenced by the ship) and Dan Cortese (who’s playing the attractive hero) along with a handful of other actors I don’t recognize that are there to drive up the body count. I doubt there’s a single haunted ship cliche they’ve missed. The overacting is so thick you could cut it with a dull whiffle bat. The effects are non-existent and the dialogue is laughable.

So why am I watching it? Well it’s kind of like seeing a bad car accident you can’t look away from. Then there’s the fact that almost every other channel is airing infomercials at this time of night. Combined with the fact that I’m tired. It all adds up to a stunning inability to disengage myself from the crap that is unfolding before my eyes.

Oh look, the hero just killed the ship with a flare gun in a totally improbable and stupid fashion. And the boat sank instantly. Wow.

And to think I only have four more hours to go. 

Swearing appears to lower perceptions of pain. (#Blogathon)

This is another news item that’s been out for awhile and I’ve been meaning to mention it because it deals with a topic near and dear to me: Swearing. For the longest time it was assumed that swearing was a maladaptive response that increased the perception of pain. Then a couple of researchers decided to put that assumption to the test and it appears that the opposite may actually be true:

They recruited 67 undergraduates, and asked to make two short lists of words – one containing five words they might use after hitting themselves on the thumb with a hammer, the other containing five words they might use to describe a table. The participants submerged one of their hands into room temperature water for three minutes, to provide a standardized starting point, then transferred it to a container of cold water and instructed to keep it submerged for as long as they could. In one condition, they were told to repeat the first swear word they had included in their list; in another, they repeated one of the words describing a table.

The researchers measured how long the participants kept their hands submerged in cold water, and asked them to rate the amount of pain they felt. Their heart rates were also recorded after they had submerged their hands in room temperature water as well as after the submersion in cold water. Contrary to their hypothesis, they found that swearing actually reduced the amount of pain felt. The participants kept their hands submerged in the cold water for longer, and also reported experiencing less pain, when they repeated a swear word than when they repeated a word describing a table. Swearing was also associated with increased heart rate.

Granted a good portion of my swearing has nothing to do with being in pain, it’s just one of the few vices I have, but it’s good to know that when I let loose with a stream of invective after stubbing my toe that it’s actually helping me out.