Posts tagged with "health" - Faerye Net 2010-10-02T20:43:31+00:00 Felicity Shoulders A genealogy of sneezes 2010-10-02T20:43:31+00:00 2010-10-02T20:45:05+00:00 <p>I&#8217;ve been thinking about sneezing lately. Mostly because I&#8217;ve been sneezing so much today I can barely finish a sentence. Either our landlords&#8217; bamboo only flowers every seven years and gives me seven years&#8217; worth of pollen allergies, or crawling out of my comfortable hobbit hole to attend social functions has given me a cold.</p> <p>Anyhow, this sneezing has made me reflect. I myself have what I jokingly term the Atomic Sneeze (best restrained with ruby quartz face masks, &agrave; la <a href="" target="links">Cyclops</a>). It is extremely loud, and my poor sensitive-eared companion <a href="" target="links">Ryan</a> complains bitterly about it. (He kept covering his ears when we watched TV tonight, and eventually I saw him building acoustic barriers out of sweatshirt.) I keep telling him it could be even worse, and my sister&#8217;s sneeze is proof. Of course, since she isn&#8217;t allergic to everything on Earth except water and mold, few witnesses can back me up on this. My paternal grandfather&#8217;s sneeze was even more prodigious than my sister&#8217;s and mine, and my usual joke is that if he sneezed like that while he was in the Army, his comrades probably hit the deck.</p> <p>Of course, it could be <strong>even</strong> worse: on my maternal side, my relatives seem to sneeze in consistent numbers. My grandma sneezes in the same pattern every time &#8212; I think it&#8217;s five sneezes? Of course, they&#8217;re such cute little noises that they&#8217;re quieter than a cat sneezing. Other family members appear to sneeze in threes, et cetera. I think Ryan should just be glad the two traits haven&#8217;t been mixed, because even a double-barrel of this noise could destroy our block, and five at a time would doom the entire city. Or at least give me whiplash.</p> Shaking hands is illogical 2009-10-22T22:58:41+00:00 2009-10-22T23:14:15+00:00 <p>I&#8217;m going to the <a href="" target="links">World Fantasy Convention</a> in San Jose this month. I&#8217;m excited. My mom isn&#8217;t though, because she&#8217;s worried about her offspring traveling and picking up <a href="" target="links">the dread H1N1</a>. While I try to allay her influenza fears as much as I can in general, I can see her point here. One of the main things you do at conventions is meet people. And here in America, when we meet, we mostwise shake hands.</p> <p>I&#8217;ve seen some people try to sidestep the handshake this year, but it&#8217;s difficult. You have to explain why you don&#8217;t want to shake, and some people take it personally. You&#8217;re basically deleting a major social ritual that communicates goodwill. It&#8217;s in the fabric of our culture, and it&#8217;s hard to rip out.</p> <p>That&#8217;s where my idea comes in.</p> <center><img src="" width="413" height="413" alt="a hand performing the Vulcan salute" title="Live Long and Prosper this Flu Season" /></center> <p>You see, at science fiction conventions, people share far more than a single culture. Even if you hate <em>Star Trek</em>, if you&#8217;re at a sci-fi con, you&#8217;re going to understand the gesture and its meaning. It fills the void left by handshaking. It doesn&#8217;t insult the recipient &#8212; most of us would love to live long and prosper &#8212; and hey, if you&#8217;re worried someone will think you&#8217;re a geek, you&#8217;re in the wrong place.</p> <p>I&#8217;d love to go to World Fantasy and Orycon this year and see people keeping their hands germ-free and their greetings classic and cordial, so if you think this is a good idea, please pass it along!</p> <p>Here are some tools you can use:</p> <p>Images (as seen above, all .png format)</p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="images">Small image</a> (207 pixels square, 19K)</li> <li><a href="" target="images">Medium-sized image</a> (413 pixels square, 50K)</li> <li><a href="" target="images">Large image</a> (825 pixels square, 146K)</li> </ul> <p>Flyers (.pdf format, image plus &#8220;Shaking hands is illogical.&#8221;)</p> <ul> <li><a href="/media/flusalute1sheet.pdf">One 8.5&quot; x 11&quot; flyer</a></li> <li><a href="/media/flusalute2sheet.pdf">Two flyers on one 8.5&quot; x 11&quot; sheet</a></li> </ul> <p><font size=1>Feel free to use these images and flyers under <a href="" target="links">Creative Commons Noncommercial-Share Alike</a>. Please link back here if you post derivative works online. (If you make a pin, flyer, or other offline derivative work, you don&#8217;t have to mess it up with my info. I&#8217;ll live!) Thanks to my dad for his photograph, and his hand.</font></p> <p>Live long and prosper this flu season!</p> The Return of Wanda? 2004-10-11T09:32:54+00:00 2010-10-03T16:44:07+00:00 <p>My recent silence, good readers, has been a result of my recent struggle with a bad cold. The symptoms wax and wane in a most confusing manner, as does, seemingly, the effectiveness of Tylenol Cold, and this morning I awoke husky and low-voiced.</p><p> It is not, as yet, a truly disturbing transformation. I am, at worst, an alto. (No offense to altos!) However, the shape of <a href="" target="links">Wanda</a> floats in the offing, inspiring me with dread, like unto Marley&#8217;s Ghost in the Muppet Christmas Carol&#8230;</p> Fear me! For I am the Voice of Wanda! 2004-05-07T12:56:26+00:00 2010-10-03T16:42:59+00:00 <p>I&#8217;m getting over my wee bug. The fever was gone in the morning Wednesday&#8230;the sore throat faded Wednesday night, and was largely replaced with some coughs and what I call The Muppet Voice of Doom! It is a reedy tenor with a distinct croaking quality. I feel, when I speak, that I am Kermit the Frog&#8217;s funky cousin Wanda, from the wrong side of the swamp. I envision a mottled frog-muppet with mis-matched gigantic earrings and a moth-eaten colorful hat. She carries a large carpet bag and gives out foul-tasting cough drops to children, pretending they&#8217;re sweets. Then she laughs at the faces they make.</p><p>The voice is improving as time goes on &#8212; I&#8217;m back at work today, despite the voice and the occasional cough. But heed my words and fear me, people, for I am the Voice of Wanda!</p>