Monthly Archives: September 2011

Stroke Victim Not Evacuated from South Pole Research Station: Your Help Needed

A friend of mine send me this:

This was my letter to Raytheon and the National Science Foundation

To whom it may concern.

I am writing on behalf of my mother, Renee-Nicole Douceur. I am trying to figure out by what standard you consider a stroke a non-emergency. Almost a month ago I received a phone call from my mother informing me that she had a stroke the week before. As I am sure you can imagine, my heart dropped and my emo…tions kicked in because I was unable to be by my mother’s side during this scary time. I know that she has put in almost 3 years of dedication for Raytheon and National Science Foundation in Antarctica because she loves what she does, even though it meant being away from her family. I also understand how difficult it is to fly in Antarctica during the winter months so emergency evacuations should be kept at a minimum, but are still possible for emergencies.

Again, I am trying to figure out how a stroke victim, who is being told by doctors on site as well as in the US to be evacuated as soon as possible, is not considered an emergency. I am sure that if it were your family member, you would have great concern and frustration as I have at the total lack of humanity being shown by both your companies for a woman who put her service and faith into you. Think about it, if your mother, or daughter, or son or father were to have a stroke, and were refused the best medical care for over a month (and by the time she would get it, if she has to wait for your company to deem her important enough to fly home, it would be almost 2 months) how would you feel? Angry? Disgusted? Wouldn’t you think that the company that your family member works for would place any concern on human life? How would you feel if by the time your family member returns home at the big corporation’s say so months later, your family member had
permenant damage that could have been avoided if they were treated like any other normal human being would have been treated? Strokes are harmful, the brain is a delicate organ yet it controls who we are. Even the smallest of injuries are life changers. But as long as it doesn’t happen to you or your families, it’s ok right?

Well this is not ok with me. My mother is a fighter and I hope that by the time she leaves Antarctica she will still be strong enough to overcome this stroke. I am getting married in a few months and if my mother is in any way debilitated because Raytheon and the National Science Foundation dragged their feet because they obviously don’t care about human life as long as money is involved I will be utterly crushed. Money is not worth human life. It’s not. Even in this economy without your family, without your health, without humanity, we have nothing. When you go home to your families tonight, please pray that they never work for a company who treats their life as meaningless. My mother means something to me. If you refuse to help then I pray to God your family will always be healthy because no one should ever have to deal with the total lack of empathy your companies show. Please look inside yourself and fly her out ASAP to give her the best possible
chance of full recovery with no lasting effects.

The White House, my Senator and newstation WMUR will be hearing from me. I’m sure they would be interested in hearing a story about how yet again big business kills people and doesn’t care.

Sydney Raines

This is a web site related to Renee’s stroke and efforts to get her out.


Meanwhile at the X Blog ….

I want you to know that certain blogging and conversations are going on at the X Blog. For instance, we are speaking of The Things That Shall Not Be Named here and here. A little Dawkins, a little Watson. Go joint the fun.

Life, Death, Teenagers and Guns. A sad story but an important topic.

And a bunch of other fun stuff.

Today was a Huxley Day so my blogs are quiet but there are some interesting thing going on, including something biggish on climate change and the EPA. Also, again on the subject of The X Blog, big things are brewing over at Two things, actually. One is a fund raiser we’ll start in a couple of days, and the other is probably a secret so I better not mention it but it is spectacular. Hint: We will have to redesign the part of the side bar where we list all the bloggers on

I’ve said too much already, haven’t I?

Which Gun Owner is Responsible for Kevin Jervey Hudgens’ Death?

Kevin killed himself playing Russian Roulette with what I must assume he thought was an empty gun. The gun was not empty, but even if it was he should not have been playing Russian Roulette with it. Bottom line: A handgun was in the hands of a person who should not have had access to it. Someone owns that gun and needs to take responsibility for it.

Continue reading Which Gun Owner is Responsible for Kevin Jervey Hudgens’ Death?

Misuse of Twitter as a Tool

People will get mad at me, disown me, hate me, and perhaps even tweet me if they think that I’m suggesting for a moment that anyone should ever not do whatever comes to mind when using any social media. Of course I don’t think that. If you have a twitter account, a facebook page, whatever, just do whatever you want and if someone identifies that there were negative consequences to your actions, tell them to STFU.

(Below the fold, what I really think. If the above paragraph made sense to you, please don’t go below the fold.)

Continue reading Misuse of Twitter as a Tool

No Soap, Radio!

Don’t miss these two upcoming events:

Sketpically Speaking: Changing Planet
This week, we’re looking at the medical effects of global climate change. We’re joined by Dan Ferber and Paul Epstein, to talk about their book Changing Planet, Changing Health: How The Climate Crisis Threatens our Health, and What We Can Do About It. And on the podcast, Josh Rosenau, of the National Center for Science Education, joins us to compare the denial tactics of advocates against climate change and evolution.

We record live with Dan Ferber and Paul Epstein on Sunday, October 2 at 6 pm MT. The podcast will be available to download at 9 pm MT on Friday, October 7

And somewhere near you, Richard Dawkins will be hawkin his book.

“I think I might be a bisexual, what do I do now?”

This is one of the most commonly asked questions on the internet (judging by it’s position in various search engine listings). The answer of course, is, “be bisexual, then.” But a related question that I used to hear more often a few years back but less so these days is this one: “Is everyone basically bisexual?”

My friend Carol would say that all the time. Her husband would look right at me and say “She’s wrong. Just so you know.” Made me laugh.

Anyway, the question is now both asked and answered in an excellent post by fellow blogger Greta Christina. Go here and have a look.

Personally, I think most people are sexual, and then individuals are filtered, and they are filtered to varying degrees and there are times when the filters can change. Somehow, depending on cultural and often linguistic factors, those filters get translated into categories. Did you know that in some cultures a man who has sex with other men as a “top” is considered straight, perhaps even very straight?

Anyway, Greta has what might be a slightly different take, but thoughtful and well informed. Go have a look.