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Comment Advanced directives are a must (Score 4, Interesting) 646

My mother died last month. She was a physician who worked primarily with elderly patients in nursing homes so for her losing a patient was a regular occurrence. She had a bad bout of pneumonia and her lungs were not recovering, so I had to make the hard choice whether or not to put her on a ventilator in order to keep her alive. My justification was that the respirator would only be used for a short time in order to give her lungs a chance to heal and recover. When it became apparent that she was not recovering, I had to make the decision to remove it and allow her to die naturally (it took less than an hour).
My mom did not have an advanced directive specifying what kind of care she wished to receive if she were unable to choose for herself. This made my decisions very painful and difficult. I remembered the conversations I had with her about her caring for her own patients and how sometimes the families of her patients would request extreme measures at the end of life, and how this would contrast with borderline neglect during the patient's life.
My mom also was opposed to assisted suicide. That much I knew. She felt life was a gift that shouldn't be wasted or rejected.
In my mother's case, it was clear that if she were to survive she would need to be on the ventilator for an extended period of time, and enough time would pass that she would deteriorate physically due to being immobile in a hospital bed. Also, she was in the early stages of Parkinson's and it was almost a given that this violent shock to her system would result in an acceleration of its effects.
Knowing that if she did recover her quality of life would be greatly reduced, I made the tough choice to let her go. One advantage of this was that I was able to hold hand, stroke her hair, and sing to her as she died surrounded by family. She was 73. I encourage everyone regardless of age to set up an advance directive determining the level of care they wish to have. It wouldn't have prevented my situation, but it would have made it easier if I knew ahead of time what mom wanted.

Comment But the nose is undefined... (Score 4, Informative) 254

Sure, saying my rights end at the end of my nose etc. makes for a good soundbite but the problem is that especially with digital media you have large monied interests who get to define their own nasal boundaries. SOPA is a good example where the mere implication that someone is TOUCHING MY CORPORATE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY'S NOSE can have far reaching penalties without any actual proof that there was harm done.

Comment A good start... (Score 4, Insightful) 129

You know, what really needs to be done to keep military contractors from defrauding the government, and thereby the US taxpayer is to start prosecuting cases as treason rather than slap-on-the-wrist fines. Every dollar that these parasites siphon from the DoD is a dollar less defending the US from legitimate threats, or at least a dollar less that the American people should be taxed. In these times of tight budgets and the prospect of painful cuts to both civilian and military programs, we should pursue those who seek to cheat the US military and treat them no differently than we would someone who is providing material aid and comfort to those who wish to do us harm.
An organization that had no problems charging the Air Force for 'work' done by someone that they knew was simply an empty desk shows an absolute disregard for the taxpayers and the brave men and women in the military who serve to protect the US by putting themselves in harm's way. IMO this company got off easy when they should have faced the corporate death penalty.

Comment 350 degrees for 25 minutes, turning once (Score 1) 240

Um... is fast twitch muscle fiber more, uh, tender when cooked? I'm just asking... and how early will we know which children have more of it? Can these kids maybe have some kind of labeling system so that if some of them come near my cave or cross my bridge I'll be able to recognize them?
I'm really wondering if children gifted with more this kind of muscle fiber would be better stewed or roasted.
Thanks for taking the time to answer, I know that we trolls have a bit of a bad rep on the internet due to a certain subspecies. We're not all bad guys, some of us just want to catch and eat children, not ruin your enjoyment of message boards.

Comment Indigenous Rights (Score 2) 251

I am an indigenous aboriginal person and any grant of mineral rights should include compensation to my tribe (the "Humans") as the moon is our collective property and any use of it could potentially damage it and affect its prominent role in my culture. The moon features prominently in the traditions of my people from dances (the Moonwalk) to courting and romantic rituals (the honeymoon) and cuisine (cheese). I propose that any private commercial venture be submitted to approval by vote by a base majority of my tribe (7 billion+ members) and that revenues from any commercial venture be distributed equally to each member.

Comment Great medieval diagnosis (Score 5, Insightful) 247

Dementia is no one single illness or condition, it is a blanket term used for any condition that affects normal cognitive functions. The way the original statement was made was just as scientific as the blanket statements about 'hysteria' in women at the end of the 19th century. I'm surprised that someone who holds such an esteemed position in academia would apply such a crude label to a problem, real or otherwise. Perhaps the Baroness will recommend which of the four humors need to be drained in order to cure this dementia, or if trepanation is in order to relieve the heat from the brain.

On a related note, there is substantial evidence to support the high percentage of insanity amongst the noble houses of Europe due to centuries of inbreeding.

Comment Re:It's Also Pretty Damn Creepy (Score 2) 87

In most games, if the baddies 'get you' you end up having to load from a save point or restart a level. In Minecraft, the baddies don't simply threatten your on-screen avatar, they threatten to destroy things that you have built. When I think of the time, effort, and joy involved with creating a 1 to 1 model of Shakespeare's Globe theater in Minecraft, I'm pretty nervous about some green hissing bastard blowing it to hell.

Damn right I'm jumpy.

Comment Consolidation is Needed (Score 3, Interesting) 161

When nuclear weapons were new, each branch of the military tried to become the 'nuclear' arm by introducing new weapons systems and trying to impress politicos with how they should be the ones with the budget and prestige. We don't need multiple branches of cybersecurity forces, we need one branch that can handle it all. Time to dump the military romanticism of the 18th century that divides our military into earth/water/air/fire/heart and reorg. Hell, maybe we even need another side to the Pentagon for cyberwarfare.

Comment Shortsighted (Score 2, Interesting) 520

The creative class is failing because the middle class who would support them is shrinking. Instead of money going to thousands and thousands of small creative enterprises, it is going to only a few dozen large enterprises (i.e. the 'job creators').
Its not the creative class that's failing, its the middle class.

Comment Just Plane Stupid (Score 5, Insightful) 332

Bethesda's legal trolls are missing a major marketing opportunity here that would benefit both their organization and Mojang.
If they had accepted Notch's offer for a Quake match, then their marketing dept. could have spun it into a major event. See the example of Southwest Airlines vs. Stephens Aviation over the phrase "Just Plane Smart". The CEOs agreed to arm wrestle for it with the loser giving up their claim and donating $5000 to charity. The arm-wrestling event was publicized and tickets were sold, $15,000 was raised for charity, and both organizations benefited from positive media exposure.
Now Bethesda, regardless of outcome, is going to be viewed as a big douchebag beating up on a little guy.

Comment Not a gunsight laser... (Score 1) 404

The video mentioned several times that this laser is "too powerful to be used as a gun-sight". I'm not a shooter, so I honestly don't know why... Couldn't having a potentially eye-frying, laser-pointer-of-the-gods be a handy thing to attach to a tool that you intend to utilize for inflicting grievous bodily harm or death?

Comment Connection? (Score 0) 146

I am a fat man that is apparently repugnant to women. Despite this, many different women have commented on the quality of my shoulder-length hair.
Am I blessed with great hair because I am a fat little man?
I imagine that on Slashdot I can't be the only fat man with great hair who can't get a date...

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