Don’t Speculate. Vaccinate!

Once again, we’re seeing outbreaks of measles across Europe. How is that even possible in this day and age? Because some people still think it’s a bad idea to vaccinate.

Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease. It’s airborne, and spreads easily through the coughs and sneezes of infected people. Nine out of ten people who are not immune, and share living space with an infected person will catch it. And measles is a pretty shitty disease to catch. Initial symptoms typically include a high fever, often greater than 40 °C (104 °F), cough, a runny nose, and inflamed eyes. After a few days, a red rash will usually start in the face, and then spread to the rest of the body. In about 30% of the cases, you’ll see complications like diarrhea, blindness, inflammation of the brain, and pneumonia.

in 2014, a whooping 73,000 people died from measles. But that’s a massive decreased when compared to earlier years. In 1980, a staggering 2.6 million people died of it. What caused this impressive decline in the number of deaths? Global vaccination programs. As a result of these programs, the disease was practically eliminated from the Americas, and most of Europe, by 2016.

But now the number of registered outbreaks increases across Europe. Why? Because people are idiots.

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March One-liners.

It’s March 1, and time for some new one-liners. This time, it’s a nice mix of one-liners that should make you think and laugh.

  • “Of those who say nothing, few are silent.” — Thomas Neil
  • “A wise man talks because he has something to say; a fool talks because he has to say something.” — Plato
  • “Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.” — Nikita Khrushchev
  • “I’d rather be vaguely right than precisely wrong.” — John Maynard Keynes
  • Be a voice, not an echo.
  • “A problem well stated is a problem half solved.” — Charles Kettering
  • Throwing acid is wrong, in some people’s eyes.
  • The first time I got a universal remote control I thought to myself, “this changes everything”.
  • I recently decided to sell my vacuum cleaner as all it was doing was gathering dust.
  • Don’t you hate it when someone answers their own questions? I do.
  • “My name is Fin, which means it’s very hard for me to end emails without sounding pretentious.” — Fin Taylor
  • I, for one, like Roman numerals.
  • Retirement is wonderful. It’s doing nothing without worrying about getting caught.
  • Sometimes we expect more from others because we would be willing to do that much more for them.

The Amateur’s Guide to Joyful Writing.

I’m not a professional writer. But I’ve got some experience with it. After all, I wrote an A+ essay back in junior high, which pretty much makes me an expert on the subject in internet terms. So here is my guide to joyful writing.

This guide is not primarily about joyful writing in the sense that your readers will enjoy themselves. It’s more about how you, as the writer, can enjoy what you’re doing. I’ve kept this site alive for 18-ish years now, and I’ve learned a few tricks along the way. The guide probably won’t make you a better writer, though, because in that field I’ve got little to teach.

But it doesn’t matter much that you suck at writing as long as you love doing it.

Everything I write these days is published on this site, which is powered by WordPress. So when it comes to the tools of the trade, WordPress will be the main focus. You should, however, be able to apply everything else in the guide to your writing, regardless of the tools you’re normally using.

So without further ado, here’s the guide everyone’s talking about:

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Birth Two Point Oh.

Are you ready for another personal story of a birth with Too Much Information written all over it? If not, you should bail out now. But if you are indeed ready, you’re more than welcome to continue reading.

Let’s turn back the clock to the middle of May last year. We’re closing in on the due date of our second born, Hedda. We’re also fast approaching the 3 year mark of the birth of her big sister, Vilde. Anniken was getting pretty nervous, not because of the upcoming birth, but because our second child might be born on the same date as the first. Sharing birthdays? What a nightmare! But thankfully, that faithful Sunday came and went.

Hedda had the common decency to wait a day, and Anniken didn’t go into labor until early Monday morning. Or at least it was labor-ish. The contractions were semi-regular, and not particularly intense. Still, we decided to head for the hospital to beat the morning rush hour traffic. It’s not uncommon that the second birth happens a lot faster than the first when it starts, and none of us were particularly happy about the thought of getting the baby on the freeway.

But as it turned out, you don’t simply beat rush hour traffic. It started way earlier than we thought. The scheduled one hour ride to the hospital took a little longer, but we were still only two people in the car when we got there. At the hospital, they did some routine checks, and we were given the all clear. Then followed hours upon hours of eating well, staying hydrated, and walking around the hospital. The contractions continued, but they didn’t become regular, neither in frequency nor length.

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“Storm Front” by Jim Butcher.

Writing a review of Storm Front 6 months after I finished the book is probably less than ideal. But this year I’m making an earnest effort to finish some of the 35+ post drafts I’ve got lying around. A half-finished review Jim Butcher’s urban fantasy novel is one of them.

The word “stormfront” isn’t something Joe Sixpack would normally associate with a book. When the word was used on the news last year, it was either because of really bad weather on the horizon, or when neo-Nazis plowed their cars through crowds of anti-fascists. But fantasy fans thankfully think of something a whole lot nicer when they hear the word. Storm Front is the name of the first book in the The Dresden Files, a series of urban fantasy/detective noir novels.

Storm Front is set in modern-day Chicago. The story’s protagonist, Harry Dresden, is a professional wizard who specialize in missing items, paranormal investigation, and consulting. But he doesn’t do love potions, or children’s parties. You have to draw the line somewhere, right? There are not many real wizards like Harry around. Still, business is slow, and he lives paycheck to paycheck.

Then a damsel in distress steps into his humble office. Monica Sells hires Harry to find her husband, and the scene is set for a fast paced adventure full of magic, spells, demons, faeries, drugs, vampires, love, and sex1.

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