December 2008
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Day December 11, 2008

Mozart’s Requiem

Piano Tuner’s Tool Chest

This incredible tool box for repairs of pianos has been created and perfected in the course of 30 years by Henry Studley. Arpinteiro C and bricklayer who worked for Smith Organ Co. and then to Poole Piano Company of Quincy, Massachusetts.

Using various types of wood, amazing systems of pulleys and beautifully, he managed to make a real work-of-art that contains over 300 tools. When closed, and hung on a wall, is approximately 39 inches by 20 inches with a depth 9 inches and opens when you become 40 inches by 40 inches. It is made of mahogany, rosewood, walnut, ebony and mother of pearl, materials that were probably taken from Poole Piano as scrap.

(via Hang Fire Books)

Open For Questions

Questions for Obama posed on a Digg-Like fashion on Change.gov.

(via delicious.com/revgeorge)

Quote of the Day

Stolen from Shakesville:

“In Illinois, as is true in American politics generally, there are two views of politics. There’s a view of politics that says you go in this for sacrifice and public service, and then there’s a view of politics that says that this is a business, and you’re wheeling and dealing, and what’s in it for me? … There are extraordinary traditions of public service coming out of Illinois, even after Abraham Lincoln. … But what you also have, I think, are habits and a culture that thinks of politics as a—as a means of self-aggrandizement. That’s exactly what has to change.”—President-Elect Barack Obama, during a press conference this morning.

Suicide On TV Condemned in Britain

From Yahoo News!

Britain’s obsession with reality television reached new heights — or depths — Wednesday night with the broadcast of the assisted suicide of the 59-year-old terminally ill American at a Swiss clinic.

Showing the final moment of death had long been a final taboo, even for no-holds-barred British TV, where sex and violence are common, and the broadcast unleashed debate on an issue that strongly divides public opinion.

Photographs of Ewert’s final moments dominated Britain’s newspaper front pages Wednesday — “SUICIDE TV” screamed one tabloid — and prompted a debate in Parliament, where Prime Minister Gordon Brown was quizzed about the propriety of the decision to air the program.

Before he died, Ewert said taking his own life would mean less suffering for himself and his family.

“If I go through with it, I die as I must at some point,” he says in the documentary, which chronicles his 2006 decision to take his own life after being diagnosed with degenerative motor neuron disease.

“If I don’t go through with it, my choice is essentially to suffer, and to inflict suffering on my family, and then die.”

Care Not Killing, an anti-euthanasia group aligned with the Catholic Church and other religious organizations in Britain, denounced the broadcast as “a cynical attempt to boost television ratings” and persuade Parliament to legalize assisted suicide.

I cannot understand this monstrous thinking by the Catholic church and other religious organizations that there is something wrong with a person suffering from a terminal illness who wants to be free of pain by ending their life. If there’s ever a reason to hate organized religion, their horribly mistaken belief that there is dignity in human suffering and that every second of life should be cherished as a disease such as cancer eats away at your flesh as loved ones watch in agonizing helplessness is enough of a reason for me to fight against archaic superstitious thinking.

To force somebody to live in excruciating pain when all hope is lost is a cruelness that can only be found in the same people who gleefully believe that those who differ with them on spiritual matters will burn in a pit of fire for eternity.

The Saddest Thing I Own

Reminds me a bit of Post Secret:

The saddest thing I carry is my boyfriend and best friends death.
I knew that he was cheating on me with her, and at first I was angry, but then i was told that they had both died in the hospital after getting hit by a drunk driver. At first i felt a disbelief wash over me, and I felt the irony of the situation. 5 weeks and 3 days later I was told I was pregnant.
I have no idea what to do or where to turn.
This is the saddest thing I bear.

40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes

(via Incidental Thinking)

Bailout Watch

An interactive graphic displaying how much has been spent on federal rescue packages.

Since the economic-stimulus package in February, the federal government has offered more than a dozen multibillion-dollar rescue packages for a variety of industries and people endangered by the financial chaos and the recession. The magnitude of even one of these mega-bailouts is hard enough to grasp—see the “Explainer’s” take on the meaning of $700 billion—and combined they represent trillions of dollars in federal commitments. The following Slate / The Big Money visualization attempts to put the magnitude of these rescue packages in perspective.

OMG Kittens!

I’ll have a double dose of insulin please.

Question of the Day

Who was the best teacher you ever had?

Update:

I’m bumping this to the top for the following reasons:
(1) There are a ton of great responses that are worth a read for those who haven’t read them already. Thanks to everyone who responded. We hear so often about the bad teachers out there that it’s great to see that some teachers have really been a big influence.

(2) I’m swamped with work today and I’m in a meeting for the next hour or so. And by meeting I mean lunch.


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