Monday 15 in 15...

This is a challenge from Erinn's blog, originally taken from another blog that she follows (Kate Hart)
The Rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors (poets included) who have always influenced you and will always stick with you. List the first 15 you can recall in no more than 15 minutes, and they don’t have to be listed in order of relevance to you.

Here's my 15 in 15, in no particular order.  These are authors to which I regularly return, to read new things or re-read old stories.  Even though it was hard to get the last few, I know there are many I'm forgetting.

  1. JRR Tolkein
  2. Laura Ingalls Wilder - the first book series that kept me up into all hours of the night
  3. Stephen King 
  4. John Steinbeck
  5. Lucille Clifton 
  6. Katherine Paterson - this is the first book I remember reading that made me cry
  7. Anne Lamott
  8. Edith Wharton - the first author that made me realize that the 'classics' are classics because they still apply years later.
  9. Terry Pratchett 
  10. Edgar Allan Poe
  11. Richard Bach
  12. Christopher Moore
  13. Mark Twain
  14. Shel Silverstein
  15. Jack London


H to the P...

Please enjoy the long weekend.  We'll return to scheduled programming on Monday.  In the mean time, thanks to The Rejectionist for sharing this vid.


If ninjas played multisport...

They might play cycleball.  What's that you say?  Yes, Ninjas ride bikes.  

Of course, they don't wear tube socks.  Or shortie bike shorts.  And you'd never be able to see them, which would make spectating difficult.  

So maybe not.

Heard of cycleball?  Me neither!  Watch this fun video and get more information here, courtesy of wired.com.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday Weeklies

Welcome to the first installment of Wednesday Weeklies, where I offer a few of the interesting happenings and links that I've stumbled upon during my trip through the internets.


HoCo blogger?  HoCo Blog reader?  Check out the next HoCo blogtail party at Pure Wine Cafe on Nov 30.  If you haven't been to PWC before, it's worth a check-out - it's a cute little wine bar (really, it's little) right off Main Street in Ellicott City.  I wasn't wild about the customer service on my first visit here, but I was with a group more or less overwhelmed the place... so I'll have to try it again.

Worried about tanking on turkey this year?  Check out the Howard County Striders' Thanksgiving Prediction 10K on Thursday.  Registration starts at 8:30a.  Cheap race, and a really nice run through my old stomping ground.  Hope the rain holds off!

Black Friday kicks off on Friday morning, with some Columbia Mall stores opening as early as 3:00am midnight.  The mall officially opens at 6:00am. Will I be there?  With my camera!  As part of a strategy to attract customers despite the lagging economy and lukewarm deals, giveaway bags will be distributed near Lord & Taylor and include chances to win an iPad, a flat screen TV, and more presents for me prizes.

If you can't wait that long to get in a fist fight over this year's version of Tickle Me Elmo, Arundel Mills Mall will be opening at midnight on Thursday (or 12:00am on Friday, whichever you prefer).

Still not in the holiday spirit?  Check out the Howard County Library's holiday music Coffeehouse on Dec 2.  Are you a musician yourself? Register in advance with Jean Salkeld at 410.313.7766. Remember Libraries are closed on Thursday and Friday of this week.

Don't forget about the Symphony of Lights, open now through Jan 2. (except for Dec 31)


Check out an interesting discussion on Sarah Says about the disparity between male and females blogging.  There's Part I and Part II.

I keep walking past Nazar market, and HowChow posts about them again.  You win, food-blogger-guy.  I will check it out when I go for my next Bon Fresco fix.

Is there an increase in crime in Howard County, or are stories just more visible in the local news network?  In light of recent violence - the brutal murder of a homeless woman and an assault on a Jessup jogger - take the chance to join in an honest discussion of crime in the area.

Congrats to Lisa Rossi of Columbia Patch/Domestic Wrecks on the birth of her baby boy (who was not named Sweatshirt)!

Milo goes to puppy school, much to Meathead and Grimace's relief.  Maybe Grimmy can get his GED.

Interesting mention on a Tale of Two Cities about airport screening - not what I expected.  News reports blown out of proportion?  System overwhelmed?  Will have to keep an eye on the news this weekend.

Check out a cool interview with Astronomer Andrew Rivkin on One Writer's Mind.

That's all for now on Wednesday Weeklies (Weekly?  It's the first one.  Hm.).

See you all for the Thanksgiving post tomorrow.  Travel safely!


It's not just about a novel, you know...

By week four, I really need to try to remember that.

I have just a couple pages left to go of Book One - I'm into the wrap-up scene, where my Main Character (MC) has just been rescued from the edge of apocalypse, and the convenient mentor figure is explaining why she was left all alone to combat the formidable antagonist. If my NaNovel were a movie, this is where I would be looking around for my purse and shrugging on my coat, which means this chapter will probably be cut in January.

Along with a lot of other things.

To be clear, I still like the story.  I'm glad that NaNoWriMo gave me a chance to get it out, and yet at this point, looking back (at all 300 pages).... I don't know.  I'm really dissatisfied. Despite the planning, I completely changed large elements of the world. My antagonist is creepy instead of insidious, my MC is too passive, and the mythology is all over the place.

Complicating things, there is a week left and I'm only in the mid-50,000 in terms of word count.  My goal was to write far more, and I'm participating in a word count challenge so I don't want to let down the team.

I've decided to start another story, and I've got four working ideas.  Yes, I started with two.  They keep cropping up - when I'm lying in bed half-awake, when I'm driving, while I was sitting in one of the long stretches of inaction that made up HP7.1.  Everywhere but the shower, actually.

Maybe that's where I'll find idea number 5.

But you know what, maybe that's the good thing about NaNoWriMo - a month spent thinking about writing and rolling around in my stories.

The goal was never a finished novel.  I'm not even sure the goal was a first draft.  My NaNo Book One is like an extended brainstorm.  Hopefully I can use it in January to do a meaningful rewrite.

As for the other ideas... here they are.
  1. Historical fiction surrounding prison life in the 1920s and the age of gangsters and molls - with Rapunzel/fairy tale elements.
  2. Prince Charming rescues the damsel, only to follow her into a life of crime - gangster story set within a fairy tale. (kind of the same story as #1, but very different setting)
  3. A detective must unravel an intricate mystery surrounding the death of a young researcher at a university.
  4. A private investigator's quest for a missing heirloom leads him into a world of Lovecraftian horror
I'm not sure which one I'm going to choose - they're all outlined - but tonight I'm going to start writing.  So hopefully it will be something that's fun, and that I can average about... oh... 10,000 words/day on.

So glad we're coming up on a holiday!


Week in Review: 11-21-10

Yeah.  I know.  It's the 22nd.  Better late than never?  :\  To be honest, I'm going to be glad when November is over.  Or at least, for a chance to sleep over the holiday weekend.

Here are some highlights from the last week:

Plans are in the works for a new Holiday Blog Segment: Holiday Coffee Deathmatch.  See the first face-off on Friday, November 28...

...which is also Black Friday.  Cindy, Bridget, and I typically get up (or stay up all night) and go shopping.  Last year, the deals at the Columbia Mall were lackluster, but the people watching was awesome.  This year, I think I'm going just for the pancakes.  We're looking for suggestions for a place to start.  

Arundel Mills opens at midnight (Friday morning), but hanging around outside that Best Buy will be slightly scary.

Matt and I caught the new Harry Potter movie with the Sixes on Sunday.  I know I read the book, but I apparently forgot most (ok, nearly all) of the details.  The effects were cool, but this stage of the story translated into long, drawn out periods of inaction on screen.  I felt 'Meh', though I'm looking forward to the finale.  I might have to go back and re-read the series...

...once I'm done Jessica Z. by Shawn Klomparens.  I'm enjoying the book so far, even though I'm going through it at a crawl.  Why so slow you ask?  Well, I have to ration my time because...

...NaNoWriMo is still going on.  I'm well over 50K and finishing my book.  I'm also realizing that January will not be editing.  It will be a rewrite.  There are lots of things I need to go back and add in, but I won't be doing it this week.  Instead.... 

I got the crazy fabulous idea to start another one and try to finish it in seven days.  Not just any book.  Per the twitter vote, I will be tackling crazy mashup of historical fiction and a fairy tale.

Is it possible to write historical fiction with approximately 6 hours of research behind it?  Because thats about how long I can spare to research the history of female incarceration in the US, the glam-gangster age of the 1930s, and Grimm's fairy tales. Anyone have suggestions for good resources?

Finally, the BBC released the new Doctor Who Christmas special trailer.  Yay!

That's all for now.  Tune in tomorrow for the Tuesday NaNoWriMo update.


What's an athlete?

I'll probably come back to this question later, but today I wanted to share a post my best friend made about her college swimming experience.

If you have ever wondered why anyone bothers to pursue sports, why someone would get up at ungodly hours of the morning or push her body repeatedly even through pain and tiredness... just take a few minutes to read Cindy's story.  

Thoughts from a swimmer: Back Where I Come From



Author's Log:

Week three of the expedition into Novel Territory.  So far, food supplies are holding out, although there have been some serious missteps.  No major technical crises to report, other than an increased rate of typos.  Backups made and accounted for.

But this, my friends, is where we must be most careful

We were warned by wiser writers, but would we listen?  No.  We were young and foolish.  We pranced through the beginning, ruined characters' lives, and giggled all the way through the first plot slalom.  And then we hit the middle.

The middle is a no-man's land, with long stretches of burning hot sand between plot points. If we're lucky, it means an uphill climb through rising tension.  If we're not (hint: I'm not) it means hours spent staring at the outline and saying... "WTH was I thinking?"

The pace is starting to pick back up.  One sentence at a time, fueled by caffeine and stubbornness, we will persevere.  Because as Neil Gaiman so helpfully said in his retweeted 2007 peptalk... "...no body else is going to write your novel for you."

But stay aware, my friends.  It's a jungle out there.


Things I learned this week: November 14

And now a sampling of things I learned this past week...

1.  Grimace (Pug) has very vivid dreams.  Sometimes I can hear him yelping and paddling from the next room.

2.  Wearing a bright green-yellow shirt while running makes it impossible to drop a sock.

3.  Bigotry can live in any zip code.

4.  So can tolerance.

5.  I get impatient at seminars when I realize no new information is forthcoming.

6.  Bon Fresco is awesome with a capital Awesome.

7.  Neglecting exercise in favor of sleeping or writing is not always a good idea.

8.  Starbucks gingerbread latte is nasty.  I used to have fond memories... no idea what happened.

9.  I <3 my Marine.  (Alright that's cheating.  I already knew that.)

10. If I find myself saying 'I have nothing to do'... I'm doing it wrong.

What did you learn (or remember) last week?


Friday Freedom!

We're headed off to enjoy the stunning weekend weather.  I thought I'd leave you all with some tunes to sing while I'm gone.

Check out this music video about NaNoWriMo.

And this one.  She plays a Ukulele.  Which rocks.

Hopefully I'll be past the 40K hurdle (and still without a nervous twitch) when we come back!  How will you be spending your weekend?


Personal revelation: hulk smash!

I am actually a pretty easy-going person.  I keep my hangups under wraps in the privacy of my own home, prefer rational discussion to livid debate, and understand that many people will not, in fact, agree with my values or point of view.

But occasionally... usually after reading a comments section on a website... I transform.  Like Bruce Banner to Hulk, with less Green and slightly more estrogen, I grip the keyboard, wave it around, and let out an unearthly, primal scream.

Alright, in reality, it's more like this.

XKCD #386


Happy birthday to you...

US Marine Corps.  You turn 235 today.

Thank you for everything that you do.

When the Internets attack: Redux

I'm not going to spend much time on this topic, but since I did devote a blog post to it, I wanted to deliver an update on the Cooks Source/plagiarism/copyright issue.

as of Nov 9, there has been an official release from Cooks Source describing the impact of the internet response and the changes that have been made since then.  They do not mention the unprofessional response that precipitated the .. er... storm.

I will make a series of posts sometime in the near future about internet publication and copyright, but I'll put those out when I have time to research them properly.

Anyway, I also came across Gaudio's update, and a blog-cap of recent events.  The blog-cap concludes...

  1. The snarky apology is likely from editor Griggs (based on the reasoning that the mag's FB page was still under the control of Cooks Source at the time it was made, and that the tone matches that of the previous email).
  2. The accusation of FB hacking is bogus.
  3. Cooks Source has apologized and supposedly offered compensation in the form of the donation Gaudio requested, and a Food Bank donation.
  4. Cooks Source's explanation of how this happened is unsatisfactory.

In the original post, I should have devoted some time to another side of internet mauling: cyber bullying.  Some of the responses I saw to this issue - particularly the bullying of small companies that advertise in the magazine - were completely out of line.  And it wasn't a simple case of too many people jumping on the bandwagon at once.  Fake/Troll accounts were made and used to issue inaccurate statements.  At least one Facebook user posted the contact information of advertisers and encouraged other users to actively harass/spam each company until they posted a public apology and retraction of their advertising on Facebook.

I looked for the discussion topic to quote some examples, but I think it was flagged for removal.  Which is good.

That particular Facebook user also boasted about enlisting the aid of his mom.  Apparently, they don't get along but regularly come together for the purpose of phoning for politics, etc.  Can we say issues?

I think the biggest tragedy/point of amazement is that this thing could have been avoided.  Even if the work was 'erroneously submitted', when Gaudio called them out, there was an appropriate response, and it was not made.

Even when the internet exploded, there was an appropriate response and it was not made.

One of the former advertisers, 2nd Street Baking Co (which jumped on twitter and FB to defend itself against the hate mail/calls), summed it up very well in a few tweets on Nov 8, quoted below.

@ I think it is the general sentiment that if Cooks Source had been apologetic and taken responsibility, this would already be over

@ but it is the apparent arrogance and lack of owning up to it that has enraged people further

I think Laura at 2nd Street Baking tweeted all that really needs to be said.  

The End.


NaNo... Why Mo?

The day dawned bright, clear, and cold as we, intrepid writers, began the second long week of the National Novel Month challenge to write an entire novel (or at least, 50,000 words) within the minute span of thirty days... and our word-count-fudging/abuse/violations-of-all-writing-decency has spilled over into other areas of life.  Like this blog.

53 words.  Booyah!  


Alright, it's day 9.  

I'm hoping to be at the other end of 25K by the time the write-in is finished this evening.  That's just over 5K, hopefully within the three and a half hours I have at Mad City Coffee.  This may be a record pace.

Caffeine is on my side.

So why would I do this to myself?

Last year, I wanted to do NaNo to prove I could do it.  The NaNovel also became something of an escape for me while I muddled through the realities of Life.  By the end, I was done. I wrote the ending, closed the document, and have not opened it since.

This year, I dove into NaNoWriMo with entirely different reasons for doing so.
  1. I needed to churn out an outline and draft for my story.  This novel has been banging around in my head for a few months now.  Don't worry, there's space and the walls are padded.  But still, while I pushed through my crazy-disorganized-other-novel, I was trying to not let this one die.  I patted the idea on the head, watered it from time to time, and promised that in November I would give it room to grow.
  2. I wanted to recover discipline in my writing.  In August and September, I was not writing every day.  Now (even on the red and yellow days) I'm still writing.  Ok, I'm working on other things besides NaNo.  Don't judge.  Keep reading the blog. (389 words)
  3. I learn a lot through NaNo.  The organizers of NaNo provide a lot of great tools to encourage you through the writing process.  These include peptalks from writers like Neil Gaiman, Aimee BenderKatherine Paterson, and Piers Anthony.  And this is just a few.  Many are archived here, and you can read them too!
  4. NaNoWriMo is fun.  That doesn't mean it's easy, painless, comfortable or fail-proof.  But the writing I'm doing now is fun.  I'm flying through pages, working my way through the outline (sorta), and churning out a few hundred words at a time is enjoyable.
  5. NaNoWriMo is social.  Writing is a solitary activity.  The write-ins focus on writing; however, they also give me a chance to meet new people - 175,000+ are participating around the world.  Even if we're that creepy-looking bunch hunched over laptops, not talking, in the corner of your favorite coffee spot.  I'm also following blogs/tweets from other Maryland NaNoers - not always about NaNo - and that's made the process more fun and social too.  I hope to keep many of these acquaintances post-November.
  6. NaNoWriMo is about proving I can do it.  I can churn out 50K in a draft so rough that it should come with a child safety warning.  This year, I have a feeling the final number will be higher.  The goal this year is to finish the story, no matter where that takes me.
How's it going?  Well, I'm still chugging along through the story, despite a few days of light or no writing (check the calendar in the side bar.  Those days in red shame me).  And I'm still interested in the story, particularly since I've long accepted that I'm writing long swaths of words that have no place in the story.  I write them anyway.

I've reached the middle, so I'm not entirely sure if the smooth sailing will continue.  But that's what the outline is for.

And a note on the outline...

This is the most detailed outline I've done for a work - chapters, scenes, etc.  The idea was to always know what I was going to write.  This has not always worked out.  Take the scene where my MC and her so-far-entirely-unlikeable-husband have an argument.  In my outline, they fight, he feels bad over what he says and tries to get over the problem, but ultimately fails.  In reality, it went something like this:

Kat (MC), shocked: “That’s crazy!”
Jason, still angry: “Is it?  Do you know for sure?”
ME: Good!  Good anger.  You've both crossed the line, though.  J, this is where you get likable so she has a reason to call you later.
K: “How can you even think that?”
J: “It’s your fault I have to.” He capped the bottle and set it on the island. “I can’t deal with this right now.  I’m going out.”
ME: Ok, now you.. wait... you're doing what?
K: “Jason, please—“
ME: Really, MC?  That's the best you can do?
J: “Just… don’t talk to me.  Don’t.” 
ME: And you.. you're being a douche. You just blamed your wife for your inability to have a child. Stop.
K: “Where are you going?”
J: “To a friend’s."
ME: WTF?  What friend?! 
J (talking over Mo): "I need some time to think about this.”  He turned his back on her and walked away, leaving his brief case on the floor.  
ME:  Really?  And what are you doing with a briefcase anyway?  Hey.  This is where you come back.  This chapter is only three pages long, it can't end here!  Come on...
K: A moment later she heard the front door of the apartment shut.  Silence closed in on all sides as she gave up trying not to cry.
ME: Stop that, there's no crying in NaNo! ...fine.  Have a Kleenex.

Hey.  I said it was a rough draft.  Don't blame me if your retinas are bleeding.

I'm armed with some tips on how to fuel through the next week of NaNo.  Hopefully everything will get better for my MC (ha.. haha... no.) and this story will get finished!

Thanks for reading!  Leave one in the comments section.

...1000 words!


Happy birthday to you...

CPR!  Yup, that's right, CPR turns 50 years old today.

Whoops.  I mean 38.  Again.

Seriously, though, on this day in 1960, the official guidelines for CPR were adopted by the American Heart Association.  I thought this was kind of cool, seeing as I've been teaching it for roughly ten years now and have seen the protocol change even in that short window of time.

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is an emergency intervention used to maintain the flow of oxygenated blood in a person (or patient, victim, etc) when the person's heart stops working effectively.  Typically this would be used when someone goes into cardiac arrest or encounters some other life-threatening situation that stops the heart. 

I was surprised to learn that the use of artificial breaths (ie, mouth-to-mouth) and chest compressions has been around for several hundred years.  As early as 1760, artificial breathing was touted by the Parisian Academy of Sciences as part of a protocol to revive drowning victims.  Successful use of the practice was seen years earlier, when Dr. William Tossach used mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to revive a miner.  Depending on the sources I found, dates for this varied wildly between 1732 and 1771, though the most commonly cited appears to be 1743.  Dr. Friedrich Maass utilized chest compressions to revive a teenager in 1892 (again, some variation in date based on source).  There is also evidence that different forms of resuscitation may have been used earlier in history.  Check out some of the earliest methods here and here.

So what did CPR in 1960 look like?  The major development in 1960 was the establishment of a protocol that used "closed-chest cardiac massage."  Basically, the protocol focused on pressing on the chest to circulate blood, which was oxygenated by the delivery of artifical breaths.  This use of chest compressions and breaths differed from the then-commonly-used Holger-Nielsen Technique that was utilized from 1911 through the 1950s.  

In recent times, the AHA has changed its CPR protocol, such as the ratio of compressions to breaths delivered in a minute.  In 2005, the AHA recommended the use of 'Hands-Only CPR' for bystander-intervention in an emergency.  Three years later, following the publication of its recommendation panel in a peer reviewed journal, the guideline was expanded. 

Basically, this revision eliminated the use of artificial breaths for the lay person, or bystander.  The change was thought to focus on three advantages (in no significant order):
1) Eliminating bystander hesitation to intervene (by removing a step that requires a barrier like a mask to be performed safely)
2) Focusing on the delivery of high-quality, rapid compressions at a rate of 100 per minute (think about the beat to 'Staying Alive') is used as a temporary intervention until EMS arrives
3) Making the protocol easier to learn, thus increasing the chances a person will receive CPR care. 

Subsequent studies have shown that Hands-Only CPR requires more effort on the part of the rescuer, but quality of CPR has improved.  Studies also showed that removing the artificial breaths did not change the outcome of survival or the flow of oxygenated blood in the subjects.  At present, no studies in human patients or animal models support the claim that reducing or eliminating breaths is harmful.

Although this idea seems counter-intuitive, it actually makes sense from a biology standpoint.  You may remember from basic biology that oxygen is carried by hemoglobin on red blood cells.  To describe a simplified loop, the red blood cells squeeze their way through capillaries in the lungs and pick up fresh oxygen.  They then tumble through the bloodstream via arteries until they reach a new capillary bed, this one in tissues. A second exchange happens, and the oxygen is delivered to the rest of the body.  The red blood cells then return through veins to the lungs, where they pick up more oxygen.  Check out a handy diagram here.  Venous blood doesn't have 'zero' oxygen, it just has oxygen present at a lower pressure than that of arterial blood.

Interestingly, delivery of 100% oxygen doesn't actually increase the amount of oxygen in a person's blood or tissues.  The advantage of 100% oxygen delivery is that it increases the amount of oxygen in the lungs.  When a person becomes unconscious and is unable to breathe, the amount of oxygen available to them is largely a function of the amount of oxygen in their lungs (ie, lung volume, and the amount of oxygen in small sacs called alveoli that help mediate gas exchange).  The air we breath is typically about 20% oxygen.  Increasing this percentage facilitates the exchange of oxygen to hemoglobin as the blood pumps through the lungs, but it doesn't significantly increase the amount of oxygen in the blood itself.  There are even situations when delivery of 100% oxygen (or hyperoxia) can be detrimental - email me if you want to discuss that and we can chat. It's a fascinating field of research.

So, intuitively, if the blood is pumping through the lungs as a result of hands-only CPR, it will pick up some oxygen as it passes through the alveoli and circulate it during the intervention (lungs have a residual volume unless they're collapsed).

Likely the biggest advantage of hands-only CPR is that it dramatically improves the odds that a person in cardiac arrest will receive CPR intervention.  The technique is easy to learn and reduces the need for a mask to mediate safe contact between rescuer and victim.  CPR alone actually has a low rate of success in reviving adults, and is meant to be a primary, temporary intervention until expert care is available.  The introduction of defibrillation confers significantly higher survival advantage than CPR alone, even when the shocks are delivered by non-healthcare professionals.

Current AHA CPR guidelines are summarized neatly here (or here in full, if you want to read a lot of journal articles).  Italics not mine.
"When an adult suddenly collapses, trained or untrained bystanders should—at a minimum—activate their community emergency medical response system (eg, call 911) and provide high-quality chest compressions by pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest, minimizing interruptions (Class I).

  • If a bystander is not trained in CPR, then the bystander should provide hands-only CPR (Class IIa). The rescuer should continue hands-only CPR until an automated external defibrillator arrives and is ready for use or EMS providers take over care of the victim. 
  • If a bystander was previously trained in CPR and is confident in his or her ability to provide rescue breaths with minimal interruptions in chest compressions, then the bystander should provide either conventional CPR using a 30:2 compression-to-ventilation ratio (Class IIa) or hands-only CPR (Class IIa). The rescuer should continue CPR until an automated external defibrillator arrives and is ready for use or EMS providers take over care of the victim. 
  • If the bystander was previously trained in CPR but is not confident in his or her ability to provide conventional CPR including high-quality chest compressions (ie, compressions of adequate rate and depth with minimal interruptions) with rescue breaths, then the bystander should give hands-only CPR (Class IIa). The rescuer should continue hands-only CPR until an automated external defibrillator arrives and is ready for use or EMS providers take over the care of the victim."
--directly quoted from Sayre, MR. et al. 

Check out an instructional video here.  There's also a video of the American Red Cross Science advisor's lukewarm assessment of hands-only CPR here.  (One specification he mentions is that full CPR is more effective in children.  In the interests of keeping this post to a reasonable length, I've chosen to focus on adults.)

I am interested to see if the recommendations will change for primary responders such as lifeguards or even EMS, to further accommodate Hands-Only CPR.  In my effort to look at primary sources, I noticed that many of the studies I read used animal models instead of humans.  This is necessary for controlled conditions and physiology, but the differences between real human patients (huge amount of variables) and identical animals (minimized variables) does leave some questions as to the benefits of ventilation in cardiac arrest.  

However, at the most basic level the take away of the AHA's recent change is that early intervention can increase a person's chance of survival in case of emergency.  

So, awesome readers, to celebrate CPR's birthday, get out there and find a class in your community.  Help ensure this skill continues to save lives!

Have a comment about the history of CPR, current guidelines, or any of the science I've mentioned above?  Leave one!


Things I learned this weekend (and maybe some other weekends mixed in)...

November is one of the best times of the year for camping... provided it's
a) in a camper, with a toasty ceramic heater.
b) sunny, which shows off the beautiful fall foliage.
c) accompanied by a cool propane heater and a blazing campfire.

Fresh S'mores are awesome no matter how old I am.

New cars manufactured after 2006 are required to have some sort of tire pressure monitoring system that notifies the driver when there's a problem.

It is possible for boxed wine to taste vastly superior to wine in a bottle.  Silver Birch Savignon Blanc was really, really pleasant to drink.

I can make almost anything with a grill, a slow-cooker, and/or an electric skillet.  Hey.  I said almost.

Jack London was a great American writer.  He is so much more than White Fang, which to be honest I didn't really enjoy that much when we read it in school.

Without distractions, I can write thousands of words in a day.

When most days involve running from place to place, focusing on a hundred different things, it's hard to get in time with the people you love.  I get a whole weekend with Matt when we go camping, and that's very special.


When the Internets attack!

Last week had an amazing (to me) incident in which IronMan killed its debut IronMan Access program following a volatile response from the triathlete community.  Social media (twitter, FB, forums, etc) played a large role in this process.

Today... repeat.

This story is summarized so well elsewhere that I'll be brief.  Cooks Source, a small Massachusetts-based food magazine, took an article from a blogger named Monica Gaudio, 'edited it' and published it along with her name.  There was no request to use the article, and the article is present in the original publication (Godecookery) and on Monica's domain, and is copyrighted.  Gaudio found her work on the web and emailed the magazine to find out what happened.  

She asked for an apology on facebook (the facebook fanpage is essentially the magazine's web site) and in print in Cooks Source, and for a donation ($130/$.10/word of the original article) to the Columbia School of Journalism.  She received the following reply, supposedly from Editor Judith Griggs (Bolded emphasis mine):
"Yes Monica, I have been doing this for 3 decades, having been an editor at The Voice, Housitonic Home and Connecticut Woman Magazine. I do know about copyright laws. It was "my bad" indeed, and, as the magazine is put together in long sessions, tired eyes and minds somethings forget to do these things.But honestly Monica, the web is considered "public domain" and you should be happy we just didn't "lift" your whole article and put someone else's name on it! It happens a lot, clearly more than you are aware of, especially on college campuses, and the workplace. If you took offence and are unhappy, I am sorry, but you as a professional should know that the article we used written by you was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than was originally. Now it will work well for your portfolio. For that reason, I have a bit of a difficult time with your requests for monetary gain, albeit for such a fine (and very wealthy!) institution. We put some time into rewrites, you should compensate me! I never charge young writers for advice or rewriting poorly written pieces, and have many who write for me... ALWAYS for free!"

Thus, the Internets storm commenced.  I first saw this on twitter, but within an hour it had exploded.  The Cooks Source site was not functioning at the time of this posting.  Their facebook fan page is now full of hate mail.  When you Google Cooks Source, most of the links that come up refer to this issue.  

There is even a pop-culture reference to the editor of Cooks Source.

No public statement has been made by Cooks Source at this time.

This brings up some really interesting issues regarding writing and the web.  It is clear that just because something is on the internet it is not public domain.  How do you think videos can be pulled from youtube? 

Also, how should periodicals (web or otherwise) interact with the blogging community?  Clearly not like this, although it's allegedly not the first time that Cooks Source has lifted work.

Who should be responsible for policing/enforcing the standards of journalism if an Editor is clearly incapable of doing the job?  Does the periodical's readership deserve to be informed?  Many people have suggested to Gaudio that she obtain an attorney.  Some of the other sources of Cooks Source's alleged misappropriations include NPR and Martha Stewart - will these entities respond?  Would they have been aware of the plagiarism if not for this incident?

Finally, what constitutes web plagiarism?  I'm not sure this question applies to the above episode, because I can't compare articles.  However, there is a thread on the Cooks Source Facebook page where previously posted articles (up for discussion before this SNAFU, I guess) are 'compared' with originals.  At least one does not seem all that similar to me - it more seems like the articles are similar in idea, with the Cooks Source broadened with more elaboration.   So that brings up the following case in point: would this blog post (doubtless similar to many many others - see the links), mostly the paraphrasing/summary, count as plagiarism?  

POST-SCRIPT EDIT:  In addition, several of the alleged duplications brought up on facebook and twitter are still credited to the original author (at least, the ones that I checked out).  Is it possible that Cooks Source is being condemned wrongly for some instances where the author may be aware/have been compensated for their work?  Is this OK?

You can see the original article here.  If anyone has a link to the Cooks Source article, I'd love to see it.

I find this a fascinating example of how social media can play a huge role in PR issues.  Wonder what will happen next.