July 22, 2004

Aid Workers Retrain Man Raised as Chicken

You'd expect this to be a funny story. It isn't:

Sunjit Kumar was locked in a chicken coop for several years as a young boy, after his parents died and he was handed over to his grandfather.

He had little contact with humans during that time and picked up the habits of the birds.

Kumar escaped from the chicken coop and was taken to a local hospital. But the staff did not know how to treat him, so they confined him. He spent 20 years there, often tied to his bed.

Via James Bow

Posted by jeffreyb at 10:38 PM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2004

The A-word


At eight weeks gestation, this foetus is able to kick and straighten his legs, turn them round and move his arms up and down.

The picture above is from an amazing BBC photoset illustrating the use of new computer-assisted 3-D ultrasound techniques. It has an accompanying article, and sets the stage nicely for thispiece in the New York Times, which is... I don't know what to say. Let's let Miss Amy Richards speak for herself:

On the subway, Peter asked, ''Shouldn't we consider having triplets?'' And I had this adverse reaction: ''This is why they say it's the woman's choice, because you think I could just carry triplets. That's easy for you to say, but I'd have to give up my life.'' Not only would I have to be on bed rest at 20 weeks, I wouldn't be able to fly after 15. I was already at eight weeks. When I found out about the triplets, I felt like: It's not the back of a pickup at 16, but now I'm going to have to move to Staten Island. I'll never leave my house because I'll have to care for these children. I'll have to start shopping only at Costco and buying big jars of mayonnaise.

So she aborts two of her children. No big jars of mayonnaise for her.

Or for them.

This story has spread pretty far around the right-leaning side of the blogosphere, appalling all of them. Including the pro-choice ones. I've searched about on the left hand side, but not found any references. My tentative guess is that it is a combination of two seperate issues:

a. If people to whom you listen are all talking about something, you'll do the same.

b. Pro-choice folks on the right-leaning side are generally more ambivalent to the procedure -- witness Michele of A Small Victory here or here, and further left, Bill of INDC Journal here. Perhaps it is familiarity with the pro-life arguments, respect for the folks making them, actually knowing pro-life people, or just some emotional chasm with the left.

I suppose there's a deeper point to this somewhere, but I'm a bit too sad for Amy Richards and her children to delve into it.

Posted by jeffreyb at 11:47 PM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2004

Happy Independence Day!

The thunderstorms that rolled through the area pretty much wiped out Vienna's 4th of July festival. And so, taking the lives of many other travellers in my hands, I drove myself down to Clifton. Whereas Vienna always desperately tries to be a small town, Clifton actually is one. Families had built floats and had a parade, there was a flag-raising ceremony followed by us all singing patriotic songs, and so on. It was a lot of fun, and Clifton is a very good-looking town; I'll have to make a trip down again.

As usual, the Vienna fireworks were great. I don't know why anyone bothers going into DC and watching fireworks from goodness knows how far away. I've actually been hit by falling cinders from the Vienna fireworks, which gives you an idea of how close you can get.

Posted by jeffreyb at 12:26 AM | Comments (0)