F*ck This! I Quit…Kind Of: On Poetry, Contests, and Opportunity Cost by Les Kay

The Sundress Blog

Last December, I received an urgent text from my father: CALL ME. My father, like most fathers, normally reserves the use of brief text messages in ALL CAPS for important news or emergencies. Since he’s retired now, well into his 70s, and his wife has been diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer—a cancer that should have been caught much earlier and should have been curable with simple resection—I assumed the worse, something health-related and horrific.

When I phoned, my father told me about an advertisement he’d seen for a poetry contest, a Christian poetry contest with a small fee and cash prizes. Instead of counting my inevitable winnings, I imagine my brow furrowed as if I’d just heard the compensation package for an adjunct teaching position. I thought immediately of Poetry.com and similar scams, suspecting that if I were to enter such a contest, the only plausible response would be solicitation…

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Frightful Films

The Honest Courtesan

Where there is no imagination there is no horror.  –  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Scary Movies” is the name of my one year ago today column, but it’s about the interaction between porn and escorting; I did do a short piece on vampire sex workers as part of October Miscellanea, but since I really love horror movies, I think we’re long overdue for a discussion of them.  Before we start I should mention that slasher flicks aren’t horror; yes, I know that video stores stock them with horror and movie companies often stamp “horror” on the boxes, but that’s about as valid an argument as “the sex offender registry is not a criminal penalty because it is housed in an administrative agency, not in a court office or in an agency charged with carrying out punishment.”  Slashers are actually more closely related to porn than horror…

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Why don’t mosquitoes spread Ebola?

Mosquito Research and Management

13717624625_cd5f3df570_zAuthorities are quick to remind the community that Ebola virus is spread by blood and bodily fluids so it is hardly surprising that many are asking, “can mosquitoes spread Ebola”?

The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the largest in history. As of mid-October, there have been approximately 9,000 cases and 4,500 deaths. The World Health Organisation warned that the infection rate could reach 5000 to 10000 new cases a week by the end of the year.

The virus is primarily transmitted from sick to healthy people by blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen). In addition, objects contaminated with the virus (including needles and syringes) and direct contact with infected animals also play a role. Given this knowledge, it is not an unreasonable question to ask if blood feeding mosquitoes could spread the virus from infected…

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