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Thursday, August 14, 2003  

People are saying

  • Gazing upon Nefertiti's face
  • Forensic scientists have reconstructed the face of Queen Nefertiti of Egypt and she looks like. . . me!

    Damian Schofield of Nottingham University and Martin Evison of Sheffield University, both in the United Kingdom, reconstructed the face of this bronze-skinned beauty from a 3,400-year-old unidentified skull discovered in 1898 and forgotten for nearly 100 years. They applied their forensic expertise in examining digital X-rays of skulls, the same science used to identify unknown murder victims.

    Neither scientist was given any indication of whose face they were reconstructing before they started.

    Schofield and Evison generated this image by first making a 3-D computer grid of the woman's skull. They then placed a series of markers on that grid to indicate where tissue should be added. The next stage involved adding facial muscles. In the final step, a graphic designer added skin texture, eyes, lips, head, a crown and jewelry like that Nefertiti has been shown wearing.

    This development will not please bigots and/or those who want to whiten the mixed-race culture of ancient Egypt. But, I don't find it surprising that Nefertiti was not an early version of Cameron Diaz at all.

    Of course it can't be said with certainty the skull the bust is based on is Nefertiti's. However, the evidence is reasonably convincing.

    Just call me 'Nef.'

  • Wounded and not Pfc. Lynch

    Bryan LaVigne, over at The Mad Prophet, offers insight into the fate of the average soldier injured in Iraq. Some family members are posting information about the wounded to anti-war.com.

    My son-in-law is in Ward 57 at Walter Reed. Lost his right leg to an RPG attack--the press is ignoring the number of injuries--especially amputees.

    Except for the Washington Post article they want to forget it. When I asked at Walter Reed why in my son-in-law's attack near Kirkuk on July 9 did the Army Public Affairs officer say no one was seriously hurt--I was told it would not be good for the President. My son-in-law was then in very serious condition in a field hospital in Kirkuk flown shortly later to Germany in very serious condition. Yet the public announcement was "no one seriously injured."

    The other story is how the guys and gals in Ward 57 are being treated. Outside of Jessica Lynch. The nurses have to scramble and snag wound vacuums that work--some of them don't--canisters for the vacuums are in short supply. The nurses, most of them, try very hard. So does the infections doctor--a great guy. But the ortho surgeons--well, basically it is--do what is quick, get it over, get them out--so they have room for the next one...

    Coming from a family full of veterans, I have heard some harrowing tales about treatment in military hospitals and by the Veterans Administration. Class seems to influence how the wounded are treated, with the elite (or newsworthy) receiving excellent care and the average soldier being assigned to the medical equivalent of steerage. I also recall the troubling anedotes in Ron Kovic's Born on the Fourth of July and Louis Puller's Fortunate Son. It sounds as if things haven't changed much.

  • Help for Wintel people
  • I wouldn't want folks to think I discriminate against Windows users, despite the 'Mac' appellation. So, courtesy of Blah 3, I am passing this information on as a public service to 90 percent of computer users. Here is how to avoid the msblast.exe worm.

    1. *Start Task Manager. Click the process tab. Look for a program
    called msblast.exe. If you see it - kill the process. *

    2. *Go to *Microsoft's Windows Update*
    and install all the critacal
    updates. It is extremely important that you do this. If you do not
    install these updates - you will get invected!!!! *

    3. *If you can't connect to Microsoft - here's part of a self fix.
    Select RUN and type in regedit. Walk through the tree looking for
    this key: *


    *Which will contain - "windows auto update"="msblast.exe" - DELETE
    THIS KEY!*

    4. *Don't wait till you're already infected to fix this. You need to
    deal with this before it happens if you are not infected already.
    Until you apply these patches - your computer is vulnerable to all
    kinds of attacks. *

    5. *Tell all your friends who are running Windows to do the same -
    spread the word!*

    Alternatively, you could unload that Dell on eBay and buy a shiny new Macintosh. You would then be safe from viruses more than 90 percent of the time.

    8:26 AM