Things That Don't Suck
, Some Notes on The Stand
I recently reread The Stand for no particular reason other than I felt like it. I'm honestly not sure how many time[s] I've read it at this point, more than three, less than a half dozen (though I can clearly remember my first visit to that horrifyingly stripped bare world as I can remember the first reading of all the truly great King stories). It's not my favorite of King's work, but it is arguably his most richly and completely imagined. It truly is the American Lord of The Rings, with the concerns of England (Pastorialism vs. Industrialism, Germany's tendency to try and blow it up every thirty years or so) replaced by those of America (Religion, the omnipresent struggle between our liberal and libertarian ideals, our fear of and dependence on the military, racial and gender tension) and given harrowing size.
I'm happy to say that The Stand holds up well past the bounds of nostalgia and revisiting the world and these characters was as pleasurable as ever. But you can't step in the same river twice, even when you're revisiting a favorite book. Even if the river hasn't changed you have. This isn't meant as any kind of comprehensive essay on The Stand. Just a couple of things I noticed upon dipping my toes in the river this time.
[Spoiler alert: assume everything, from the link above to those below, contains SPOILERS.] [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome
on Aug 19, 2014 -
In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year
, NATO may lose in Afghanistan
, the UK gets a regime change
, China needs to chill
, India's factories will overtake its farms
, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum
, the stimulus will need an exit strategy
, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2"
, African football
will unite Korea
, conflict over natural resources will grow
, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled
, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable)
, technology will grow ever more ubiquitous
, we'll all charge our phones via USB
, MBAs will be uncool
, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest
, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world
. And so the Tens
The Economist: The World in 2010
. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Nov 14, 2009 -
Is H5N1 flu transitioning
to a human-to-human illness? Recent reports of familial clusters
suggest that it may be, though there are certainly other possible explanations, such as families living in environments contaminated by virus-laden bird feces. On the other hand, it would seem that epidemiologists are growing increasingly interested in the possibility that these clusters are indicative of human-to-human transmissions. Further, the virus may be inching towards being asymptomatic, which isn't as good as it sounds: if people can carry the virus and transmit it to others without showing symptoms, it will be very difficult to impossible to tell who is a vector and highly difficult to control any emerging epidemic.
posted by chakalakasp
on Dec 2, 2005 -
Bush Considers Military Role in Flu Fight
If the flu (say) breaks out in New Jersey, why not use the New Jersey National Guard. Just what is the guard for? Simply to be sent overseas for our bringing freedom to nations not having what we believe we have?
posted by Postroad
on Oct 4, 2005 -
Mystery respiratory outbreak in Toronto: 73 sick, 4 dead.
Yesterday the media quickly snapped up assurances
[video] that ruled out influenza or SARS. Said officials, "We can certainly reassure people that this is not SARS, um, there is no SARS in the world ... Can I give you a guarantee that it's not influenza, at this time not, in a few hours, probably ... as the day goes on the public health lab has more and more results."
A day has passed with no word on these tests. Affected areas are reportedly quarantined
, and some Internet communities are growing alarmed
over the contradictions at yesterday's press conference.
posted by rolypolyman
on Oct 2, 2005 -
Over the past month, people in Qinghai province, China
have been reporting that migratory birds in the mostly-rural region were dropping dead of an unknown disease, later diagnosed as a few hundred cases of "an isolated case"
[sic] of influenza strain H5N1
, a.k.a. bird flu
. Three weeks later, the Chinese government admitted
that actually about a thousand birds had died of bird flu
in the province. Now there are reports saying that at least 8,000 animals--not just birds--have died
from the flu, including not only breeds of fowl not previously known to be affected by the virus, but non-avian species, too.
Every national park and bird sanctuary in China has been closed for weeks
, since the first reports surfaced of an outbreak. But today, disturbing photos started appearing on Chinese language news websites, supposedly taken at the closed Qinghai Lake Nature Reserve
. They appear to show thousands of dead birds
(warning, disturbing images
- Engrish version via Babelfish here
) on the island in the middle of Qinghai Lake, China's largest saltwater lake and a rest-stop for migratory birds from all across southeast Asia. Nervous pandemic-watchers are debating
whether the photos are real or doctored, but compared to previous photos
of the once-lively
birding spot, something definitely seems to be wrong. [ much more inside >> ]
posted by Asparagirl
on Jun 5, 2005 -
Nature starts a weblog about the flu pandemic.
Now the virus is in coastal cities on both sides of South America. It hit Europe two weeks ago, ripping through Paris in just 11 days. In the French capital alone, there were 2.5 million cases and 50,000 dead. That's par for the course — infection rate 25% and mortality 2%, similar to the 1918 pandemic. Extrapolate these numbers, and we're going to have over 30 million dead worldwide. In poor and densely populated countries like India, it could be worse.
Where's next, I asked. Based on passenger data — which had to be prised from the airlines — one epidemiologist was willing to make a guess. "Within two weeks, there." He traced his finger from San Diego to Los Angeles, up to San Francisco. Within another three to four weeks, it'll be the turn of the conurbations along the eastern seaboard.
It's fiction but it might become reality soon.
posted by kika
on May 25, 2005 -
is an amazing intranasal gel that shortens the duration and reduces the severity of the common cold. I've had four colds so far this fall (I've got a toddler) and all of them disappeared within a day. Problem is, now reports are saying that if you get this stuff too far up your nose, you could lose your sense of smell.
posted by fungible
on Nov 9, 2004 -