bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Just so you all know: Vital Statistics when dealing with abortion: 2 statistics are often reported in ways that can be easily translated into percentages. One is the number of abortions performed divided by the number of women who are resident in the area-- fairly low: in 2006, 16.1 per 1000 women, i.e. 1.6% percent of the female population of the US between 15-44 had an abortion. That makes a useless statistic for politics, of course.

However, the most common statistics, the abortion ratio is
"number of abortions per 1,000 live births" -- that is, the number of abortions divided by the number of live births, times 1000.

What's wrong with this picture? It's usually reported in the news as "X percent of pregnancies" and the number seems to be the RATIO divided by 1000. Do the math.

Yup. By definition, the total number of *pregnancies* is going to be significantly larger than the number of live births-- it has to include live births, abortions, AND miscarriage. So, for instance, the 2009 abortion ratio for NYC would be 44%, as reported on the news, but when you correctly calculate what percentage of pregnancies in NYC end in abortions, it's 38%. (BTW, the number of miscarriages in NYC is also twice that of any other part of the state...)

In 2006, the CDC numbered 846,181 abortions in the US. I can't find a statistic for total pregnancies from the CDC, only teen pregnancies (and remember, the rate of teen pregnancies has *not* been 'skyrocketing' in recent years: CDC says "The US teen birth rate fell by more than one-third from 1991 through 2005, but then increased by 5 percent over two consecutive years. Data for 2008 and 2009, however, indicate that the long-term downward trend has resumed.")
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Apparently Yale finally agreed to give back the Machu Picchu artifacts:
http://www.npr.org/2010/12/15/132083890/yale-returns-machu-picchu-artifacts-to-peru

And of course Yale's museum doesn't want anyone to get the idea that this is anything other than accommodating Peruvian patriotism, because they might have to give something else back. It only took HOW many decades? All I can see in it is a long-term "MINE MINE MINE!" fit on the part of the Peabody and Yale scholars. Where were these people's mothers? Heck, where were the lawyer's mothers?!

I admit being the oldest in my family makes me possibly overestimate the importance of drilling the concept of "NOT YOURS. STILL NOT YOURS." into children at a young age, along with "No, the fact that you have it now does NOT make it yours!" but c'mon.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
if rather long.
A Precise and Accurate History of Monday, Eleven Years Later
http://www.yuletidetreasure.org/archive/8/aprecise.html
(_Good Omens_ fanfic)
bunnyjadwiga: (brain loose dwj)
This looks clear and promising
(review from AMSER):

A General Guide to Writing Scientific Research Reports
This reference provides instructions on how to write scientific reports. Topics include why we write reports, the basic format (introduction, methods and materials, results, and discussion, or 'IMRaD'), how to state a hypothesis, how to set up tables, graphs and figures, and how to write a discussion. There are also links to additional information, including a sample report, and a list of books on scientific writing.
http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/lab_report_complete.html

Survived.

Nov. 15th, 2010 01:00 pm
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
There was a medieval feast.
My friends, staff and shul are amazing, amazing people and I cannot live without their help.
Katherine de Staverton was a kick-ass speaker and everyone was very enthused about feeling they learned something.

Everyone loved the food.

Everyone loved the event.

We made some money for the shul! (Not as much as I wanted, but hey...)

We got great press:
http://www.northjersey.com/news/bergen/108085664_An_exotic_menu_celebrates_an_era_of_religious_peace.html

Previous press:
http://www.jstandard.com/content/item/maywoods_temple_beth_israel_plans_medieval_feast/15495

Nobody but me is apparently broken. I will not ever do cooking except in new-ish crocs, my period shoes with insoles, or sneakers EVER again. I feel, in the words of Douglas Adams, like a military academy, parts of me keep on passing out.

Our Synagogue President and Cantor washed about a million dishes. I couldn't even get in there to help, most of the time. Juliana van Altenfeld cooked up a storm, and so did our Synagogue President (I think I'm so exhausted from trying to keep up with her!). Evan helped with EVERYTHING and was moral support for me too! Alys washed and washed and washed dishes and equipment. Miss B. and Miss A. from the shul did serving, as did Sarah, but Sarah was my co-cook too. Juergen was a wonderful husband-beast and wrangled toddler for days on end so we could make this happen.

HURRAY!
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
http://www.rtbi-online.org/feast.htm

Note that if you kindly volunteered to help, there will be NO CHARGE for the food (though you might end up eating in the back room!

Yeah, it's pricey, though in line with the regular fundraiser costs in our area of North Jersey. I guarantee attendees will get value for their money, and take home some doggie bags. :)

Brighid ni Charain who translated de Nola's Libro de Coch in the Florilegium has been asked to come and plans to be there to speak.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
In a world where most people have a invisible, unsensible 'fairy', which gives good luck in a particular thing, not all fairies are created equal; and some can be downright difficult. Our heroine, attending a high school for sports stars, finds her parking fairy especially difficult to live with, and so she's taking steps-- by never riding in cars or other transport, she hopes to starve away her fairy. The unintended consequences of her plan tangle her up with a fairy expert, a girl with a boy-crazy fairy, and some difficult choices.

This is a fun, funny, teenage angst novel with magic-like elements, which is why our 11-year-old picked it up and enjoyed it. While there's some moral in here (our heroine finds out first hand why having a boy-crazy fairy isn't a good thing, and why the owner of such a fairy has social troubles, not to mention that her big, famous hometown might be just a *little* parochial), there's no heavy-handedness here. This is a fun read, and at least to me, reads true to teen thought processes. Adults may be concerned about some remarkably stupid choices of some of the characters, but again, that's true to life too-- even if it merits a family discussion among the readers.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Someone I read complained about how unliberated the concept of this manga series was: a young girl wants to find the 'prince' who saved her life and cook him the best dessert in the world. I was intrigued, especially when I looked into it an discovered that the heroine also wants to be a world-class pastry chef like her parents.

All the females in our house plowed happily through all 10 cream-puff volumes of this series. The plot is frothy and with the usually girl manga elements-- which guy will she chose? How can she get along with the mean girls? How can she (and other characters) balance family, personal, and friend ties? What will she do with her life? On the other hand, there are serious touches (someone dies, for instance), and the heroine makes (good) life choices and uses food to bring folks together. MeMe Roth would disapprove of Kitchen Princess' comfort food focus, but her desire to teach others is a plus in my book.

Graphically presented recipes for the main dish in each episode appear at the end of the books. Dessert making isn't my thing, but I did like the presentation.

I don't feel the need to own this series, but it did get me started reading manga, and I thoroughly enjoyed these. And no, I didn't feel it was particularly unliberated, except in the usually tween-fluff way.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Will Manley, in booklist, Jan 1&15, 2010:

"It’s been blissful. For about the last 10 years, the number of “libraries are dead” articles appearing in professional journals has greatly diminished. But now that we are in the middle of the Great Recession, the gloom-and-doom articles are back. There is a big irony here. While more and more commentators have proclaimed the death of—take your pick—libraries, books, or reading, the number of patrons using libraries has been on the rise.
Is there another profession in the world that is as self-abusive as librarianship? Do other professionals beat themselves up as much as librarians? Do plumbers hold conferences about the future of plumbing? Do janitors fret about the development of robotic vacuum cleaners? Do taxi drivers whine that light-rail lines will put them out of business? Why are librarians so pessimistic when their libraries have never been more popular with the public?"

http://www.booklistonline.com/ProductInfo.aspx?pid=3946011
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
This is a tricky one.
Sarah and I are doing a medieval-Spanish-Jewish themed feast as a fundraiser for our synagogue.
For various reasons, we're doing it on Sunday November 14.
This is in Maywood NJ.
All the cooking has to be done in the Synagogue kitchen because we keep dairy kosher for the synagogue. We'll be pre-cooking Saturday night and cooking Sunday.
If any of my friends list can help out, I would really appreciate it-- and would feed you for free, of course!

The feast menu is:

A Medieval Spanish Feast

Take a trip back to the time of the Convivencia between Jews, Muslims and Christians in Iberia.
This served dinner will include a wide variety of pareve and milcheg dishes known in Castile and Catalonia, including typical Jewish cooking of the time.

50 seats available. $40/person for adults*, $10/under 13, free for children under 5.
*Remember, this is a fundraiser.

Drinks:
Lemon syrup drink
Clarea de agua
Plain Water
Wine by donation

First Service
Bread (Challah; made in-shul if possible)
Figs in the French style (stewed in wine)
Soft cheese
Dressed sallat of green herbs
Carrots carved into sticks
Olives
Vermillioned eggs (cooked with onionskin)
Mustard sauce with red grapes
Cumin Sauce

Second Service
Salmon in Casserole: salmon, bitter orange juice, pine nuts, mint, marjoram, almonds, saffron
Chickpeas with onion and honey
Spinach de Nola
Rice
Noodles with cheese for the kids (Potaje de Fideos)

Third Service
Food for angels (sweet ricotta cheese)
Quince Paste
Pizzelles (Wafer Cookies)
Grapes/Fruit as available.

*snort*

Aug. 31st, 2010 01:24 pm
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Reading "The Pastons and their England" makes someone's comment yesterday about 'bucolic peace' in period even funnier.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
I forgot to mention-- at Pennsic I picked up a copy of John Harvey's Mediaeval Gardens. At 20% off $200, it was a steal, really. I now own the two standard *must-have* texts for medieval gardening-- this one and Frank Crisp's Medieval Gardens. Yay!
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Karin Margarita Frei, Ina Vanden Berghe, Robert Frei, Ulla Mannering, Henriette Lyngstrom, "Removal of natural organic dyes from wool-implications for ancient textile provenance studies," Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 37, Issue 9, September 2010, Pages 2136-2145, ISSN 0305-4403, DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2010.02.012.
(http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WH8-4YH4R61-3/2/4a75969b69c21e553abce4e4cf47e593)
Keywords: Ancient textiles; Organic dyestuff; Strontium isotopes; Wool; Provenance

Abstract

Ancient wool textiles recovered from archaeological sites are in many cases originally dyed with natural organic dyestuffs from vegetable sources. These include among others woad (Isatis tinctoria L.), weld (Reseda luteola L.), and madder (Rubia tinctorum L.). These dyestuffs could be a threat to the use of the strontium isotopic system as a tracer for provenance studies of ancient wool, because they could potentially contaminate the signature of the textile's raw material. We present a novel method which allows for efficient removal of organic dyestuffs in wool prior to strontium isotopic analysis. Our method is based on an oxidative release of the dyestuff constituents by ammonium peroxodisulfate [(NH4)2S2O8] solution, combined with hydrofluoric acid (HF) that has shown to effectively remove/dissolve adhering dust micro-particles. Our multi-analytical results show that such a pretreatment is capable of removing >98% of the originally present organic dyestuffs without significantly destroying the wool structure. The strontium isotopic ratios of the residual wool fraction after the application of the pretreatment are sensitive to the origin and, therefore, can be used as tracers for the provenance of the raw material. We propose to apply this method to ancient wool textiles in which positive identification of organic dyestuff constituents by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) was made.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
My officemate just came across this recipe:

4 cups rubbing alcohol
4 teaspoons glycerine

Mix.

book diss

May. 5th, 2010 09:01 pm
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Quirky Kids: Understanding and Helping Your Child Who Doesn't Fit In- When to Worry and When Not to Worry

I picked this up hoping for some insights into a bright, sociable girl who, approaching adolescence, is suddenly struggling with fitting in and social skills.
Unfortunately for me, "quirky" here is really a way of saying "possibly hovering at the edge of the autism spectrum". I didn't finish it, but it could very well be useful for those working with kids displaying such tendencies.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Still Life with Chickens: Starting Over in a House by the Sea,
Catherine Goldhammer


I love slice of life memoirs, and after our recent move and house work, there was something about reading someone else's moving story that appealed. Goldhammer did not disappoint, though in a slight, quiet and cozy way. After a congenial divorce from her daughter's father, Goldhammer needs to sell the overlarge, expensive house in a town more upper class than she's comfortable with, and find an affordable, livable alternative that she and her daughter can accept. To bribe her daughter through the transition, Goldhammer agreed to starting a small backyard chicken flock. The resulting tribulations of moving from one, long-time residence, into a house-that-needs work, fixing the house, getting along with the new neighbors, and trying to stay afloat in life resonated with me, even if I didn't have the kind of financial backstop Goldhammer did. The terrors of chick-sitting, the perils of remodelling and of building chicken tractors, and a legal struggle with a nearby absentee landlord made for good storytelling. Excellent for the golden hours of an early summer evening.

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