On The Cost of Becoming Interested in Fencing as an Adult

@garli : "This can't be my glove! It doesn't smell right!"

Posted on April 22, 2015 at 4:23 pm 0

On The Cost of Becoming Interested in Fencing as an Adult

@meatballsub : You can always borrow gear until you find out if you like the sport! Every fencer who's been in the sport for a while will have a crapload of old gear, and any decent school will lend you what you need to learn with. Of course, after a little while you'll want a mask that fits better, and a new glove of course because the one you're borrowing smells terrible and has a rip on the thumb, and if you're going to compete you'll want a lamé of your own and So It Begins. As far as the athleticism goes, it can be brutal since you're operating at your body's absolute maximum for a very short period of time (3 minutes for each interval, one to three intervals total depending on the type of bout). On the other hand, fencing is adaptable to all sorts of bodies because the three different weapons each call for different sorts of athleticism : the rule of thumb I've always heard is that fencing foil calls for a runner's build / training, epeé is best for the swimmer, and sabre is best for the boxer. So, you can start with what you're already built for (or not) and then train for a specific weapon if it interests you more.

Posted on April 22, 2015 at 3:55 pm 0

On The Cost of Becoming Interested in Fencing as an Adult

...the concentrated odor of sweat deeply ingrained into synthetic gear... Oh man, yes. It's impossible to ever get your gear completely clean, and that particular smell of old sweat that's settled into your mask's bib and lining ... well, if every sport has its distinctive odor, this is fencing's.

Posted on April 22, 2015 at 3:41 pm 0

On Gwyneth Paltrow GOOPs Up Food Stamps

@Miss_B : Agreed, particularly about the cooking oil! Like, are you going to ... steam everything? I'm right there with you with the salt / pepper / spices, too -- dollar store curry powder was my "make everything work" secret weapon when I was on the broke-ass rice-and-beans regimen.

Posted on April 15, 2015 at 3:41 pm 0

On Gwyneth Paltrow GOOPs Up Food Stamps

@boringbunny : Yeah, I'm actually pretty good with her choices. Nothing wrong with beans, rice, and eggs -- these are what I think of when I think "staple foods." With all those greens and onions, you can make a bunch of stuff. As far as the beans and rice go, this is also good planning -- buy your shelf-stable items in bulk (small bulk here, but you get the idea), so you have some left over next week and can afford to buy more kinds of things to spice them up (add some tinned fish to what she's got there = kedgeree!). I mean, I guess that's what she's going for -- I certainly couldn't finish all those black beans in a week. The brown rice, maybe. I love rice.

Posted on April 15, 2015 at 3:40 pm 0

On How the One Percent Gets Around

@Penelope Pine : Seconded! In some smaller private planes, the situation is even more intimate : the toilet is literally under one of the seats (just remove the cushion!) and there's a "privacy screen" you pull around the seat for a certain degree of, actually not all that much privacy. Here is an amusing story about the perils of this setup : http://jalopnik.com/this-is-the-most-embarrassing-plane-pooping-story-ever-1456846301

Posted on March 20, 2015 at 1:53 pm 0

On Who Pays Your Funeral Expenses If You Die in Debt

@Oneofthejanes : You're correct; sorry if I wasn't clear. Signing up for organ donation usually means that a whole-body medical donation won't happen if you had any transplantable organs at the time of death (after all, gross-anatomy cadaver dissections are meant to teach the whole body, and any missing bits are obviously not ideal). However, signing up for both organ donation and whole-body donation can cover all the bases and ensure that the most use is made of your body : in the case that you don't have any harvestable organs at time of death, your body could still be used for whole-body donation. Additionally, even if some of your organs are used for transplants, the remainder of your body is absolutely usable for research (joints for orthopedic labs, the brain for neuro research, basically everything for preserved teaching specimens, etc.).

Posted on March 7, 2015 at 10:47 am 0

On Who Pays Your Funeral Expenses If You Die in Debt

@BornSecular : I'll also follow up with this article, which has a nice personal perspective as well as lots of good information on how to go about donating your body to science, and what happens to it when you do : http://io9.com/i-donated-my-body-to-medicine-458382155

Posted on March 6, 2015 at 3:54 pm 0

On Who Pays Your Funeral Expenses If You Die in Debt

@BornSecular : Yes, science even loves your gnarly old-person body that has died of natural causes at a ripe old age! Standard anatomy texts (Gray's, Netter's, etc) show perfect 20-to-30-year-old bodies with minimal fat and no old traumas, but gross-anatomy cadaver dissections are performed on all kinds of imperfect people who died at all different ages, so students get a whole different perspective on what the human body (a specific human body) really looks like. In fact, old people are arguably even more interesting because you get to see how their body responded over their lifetime to the various indignities inflicted on it. If you want to get the most philanthropic mileage out of your body, sign up as an organ donor and make sure your next of kin know that you'd like your remains to be donated to science. That way, if (God forbid) you die an untimely death, all the harvestable bits of your body can be used to save other peoples' lives, and if you make it all the way to a natural death with a worn-out body, you'll be an integral part of multiple future doctors' educations.

Posted on March 6, 2015 at 3:47 pm 1

On Who Pays Your Funeral Expenses If You Die in Debt

@BornSecular : Science is always interested in your body! Even if you're not interested in becoming an organ donor, donating your entire corpse is a great way to support science and education to a degree that's literally impossible while you're alive. Two years ago, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ran an absolutely lovely set of four pieces following a first-year medical class through their first cadaver dissections. Here it is, if you're interested.

Posted on March 6, 2015 at 12:50 pm 0