Linkmania -- understanding other perspectives

I know that most of my Linkmanias are pretty throwaway...this one has considerably more substance and is probably worth your time to look through.

Same-sex marriage:
  • Much of the way the two sides on the same-sex marriage issue seem to be talking past each other comes down to different concepts of what marriage fundamentally is and what its purpose is. I may not agree with those on the other side of the debate, but after reading this article, I understand the basis of both my position and theirs better than I ever had before.

    The near-Ground-Zero mosque:
  • Ignoring the all the issues concerning how close it is and what else is close and whether there's already a mosque that's nearby, much of the "heat" on this issue comes from different senses of what's morally important. This article, originally published elsewhere and subsequently removed(?), lays out the conflict.

    The danger of the single story:
  • A Nigerian author giving a pretty compelling TED Talk on the danger of reducing any person, thing, or situation to a single story.
  • opaque

    It's the little things...

    So I just took a multivitamin. A perfectly ordinary Costco-brand Centrum-clone multivitamin. Thing is, it's the first time I've been able to do that in a year or so. Something about going in this morning and getting the stricture in my esophagus stretched to 15mm. (It was 7mm until last month's exploratory endoscopy; getting the endoscope past it involved stretching it to 10mm.) And if I can swallow pills now, then I can swallow boluses of fibrous meats. Beef and pork are once again things I can eat in more than microscopic quantities (and thus in less than geologic time). I'm kinda psyched about this.

    I'm less psyched about the news that the doctor found (and removed) some polyps from my esophagus and stomach. Gee...polyps at both ends of my digestive system and an immediate-family history of colon cancer. Guess I know what I'm looking forward to at some point.... But that's then. Right now...right now, I can eat. And not throw up at Really Inopportune moments. I can work with this.

    Quick update

    To update my possibly-cryptic post from yesterday: Went in Friday for an endoscopy and a colonoscopy. Endoscopy found that, yes, my mid-esophagus is rather constricted. In fact, they opened it up a bit just getting the endoscope through. Current theory is that it's allergy-related...no idea yet whether it's a food allergy or a pollen-type allergy.

    Colonoscopy found two polyps, removed 'em both. Glad they're gone; it made going through the prep worth it. It does mean I have to do it again in five years (rather than 10), though.

    Monday night's likely-food-poisoning-induced vomiting wrenched something in my back; the frequent standup-sitdown of the pre-procedure bowel purge aggravated the hell out of it. Result was last night I found myself on the couch and unable to move without spiking my pain levels beyond what I could fight through. We got through that, and today went to urgent care. At this moment, I'm on vicodin and flexeril (and am thus drowsy, which is why I'm not doing the Long Entry), and a bit of Voltaren gel (frustratingly, because the polyp sites need to heal, I can't take any internal NSAIDs for 10 days). It's kinda cool to be able to stand up without significant pain. Still going to take it easy this weekend; I *need* to be ready to work Monday.

    Linkmania: People

    People are scary...
  • There's dedication to your craft, and then there's contracting tropical diseases from the water hole you immersed yourself in for hours at a time, every day, over a period of weeks so you could get some Fucking Amazing Pictures.

  • "In Denmark, Mukhtar the bus driver had a birthday. He worked that day. His regular passengers had an idea"... (Watch to the end.)

    ...and sometimes, just very odd
  • Sir Ian of Bel Air
  • opaque

    How To Train Your Dragon

  • It's sitting at 98% on the Tomato-Meter.

  • It is that good. Really excellent animation, tight writing, wonderful characters, and top-notch voice acting. Toy Story 3 is going to have to be as good as its predecessors to contend for the animated Oscar this year.

  • Go see it. Unless doing so messes with you in some fashion, go see it in 3-D. The cinematography was done with 3-D in mind, rather than being an afterthought.