Archive for February, 2005

Paranoia at the help screen, can we trust spellcheck

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005

THEE spell check on my computer
Tells WON if a word is an AIR,
I’m SEW glad TWO have this convenience
We FILL BETTOR because it is THEIR.
WEE RING ARE hands when we’re worried
ARE spelling may KNOT BEE WRITE,
Webster WOOD TERN INN his grave
TOO NO WEE OUR KNOT SEW bright.
SEAMS the old-fashioned dictionary
Showed AWL the words clear and clean.
SEW what WOOD WEE DUE without it
TWO SEA if words say what WEE mean?

More to the guts than meets the eye

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005

I couldn’t believe it! There are 31 muscles in the posterior abdominal
wall. Abdomen is the proper term for stomach – where dirty fighters
hit first, well maybe second if the victim is a male. That’s right:
thirty-one muscles in the outer muscular system of the human body that
affect the stomach and digestive system. I caught that little (well,
huge really) statistic while browsing through an impressive book of
anatomical charts in my doctor’s office where I waited to believe the
doctor was on his way to fulfilling his obligatory visit defining the
results of a recent upper endoscopy that viewed my ulcers, or lack thereof.

Thirty-one! External muscles that I rarely exercise! No wonder I have
a roll of fat from my breasts to my thighs. These are muscles I could
control – not the peristaltic muscles that move food from the mouth
to the anus working internally with automatic regularity transferring
vitamins and minerals from food I ingest to the blood (vascular) system
that delivers them to the entire body. WOW! The stomach cuddles next
to the heart and liver protected by the ribs, and the large intestine
goes across the front just below the belly button, an area where gas
causes discomfort blamed on the stomach, but the small intestine is
nestled, all 20 foot of it, scrunched up like so many soiled gym clothes
in a laundry bag, which I try to keep in mind when I stretch.

(Note the preceding sentence contains 75 words. I am taking lessons
from Simon Winchester, author of Krakatoa, The Day the World Exploded,
who has readable sentences of up to 240 words, although his most common
sentences contain 40 and often less – like: Thunder!)

I’m easily impressed with the human body. Every morning upon waking
I’m impressed. The body is so complex it was no wonder that in 1802
some cleric came out with the ultimate explanation: Natural Theology
– or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity Collected
From the Appearances of Nature
which was quoted for centuries
(and still is) to prove that everything began with a god’s intelligent
design, not the natural evolution that is evident through the modern
sciences of physics, chemistry, geology, paleontology, and anthropology.
The human body has been under study since Homo sapiens
began as a species thousands, maybe millions, of years ago.

Study and progress of understanding the human body parts had a setback
when laws were enacted discouraging grave robbing, and subsequent dissecting
of corpses or unclaimed bodies of undertakers, only to be revitalized
with the plea from universities and hospitals for bodies given for science
by economically minded persons seeking to evade expenses of burial,
therefore willing their corpses to their favorite institution, where
an overload of bodies eventually led to the lucrative sale of body parts
to whomever desired them – and could and would pay exorbitant prices
(in our monetary system entrepreneurs seek to fill every niche in much
the same way as the biologically fittest fill every niche in the natural
world.)

Ahhhhhhh but I digress. Back to my 31 exterior stomach muscles. Actually
many of those are not in back as posterior implies but in the front
of my body where I could easily exercise them and keep fit, although
I’m kind of fond of the roll of fat, thought of as love handles, that
rides upon my hips even as it prevents me from comfortably putting on
my socks (sometimes I go without) or tying my shoes. Oh Bother! as Winnie
the Pooh would say. At least some fellow walked long enough in nature
to get stuck with burrs that encouraged him to invent Velcro so I can
snap a strap and fasten my shoes without the prolonged effort of bending
over, which in itself would strengthen those fat encrusted muscles that
stress the vascular system (heart) and respiratory system (lungs).

So simple, yet so difficult. Shoulders back. Stomach in. Stretch up.
Situp. Body press. Jump up. Bend down. Jumping jacks. Walk. Bicycle.
Ohhhhh just writing those words makes me weak. Now relax and study the
charts on which a pharmaceutical tycoon spent hundreds of thousands
of dollars to help physicians explain why they should prescribe drugs
to trick the body into doing stuff the body was evolved to do for itself
if the brain chooses to encourage restraint when the hands are confronted
with all things edible. Lots of luck if you succumb to food advertisements
in magazines, newspapers, television.

Study the charts. Lovely renderings. Skilled drawings. Great future
for airbrush artists trained in graphic arts in many community colleges
near medical centers all over the country. What a way to relax!

I really can relax because 60 days of a prescribed drug cured my ulcers
and I eased my way off the drug and now I am totally drug free! No miracle
from God, just common sense that my brain was programmed by my ancestors
to use as much as I possibly could. I expect common sense to kick in
concerning my love handles – considering I have no love with which to
practise on – but the idea of wearing a dress size 14 is most welcome.