Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

Chop Chop And Finishing Books Can Be Oh-So-Satisfying

Thousands of mourners filled the streets in Iraq after bombings in Karbala and Baghdad killed more than one hundred people.

Brewing companies from all over the world are eager to get a foothold in China's beer market.

A 67-year-old nun, Sister Cynthia Brinkman, is going to jail for trespassing during a protest.

I tried to cut off the tip of my right index finger at work today. I managed to make a fairly neat slice, too, so that it did not even bleed for several seconds after the first cut. It was only after the blade had sawed back through the wound that I noticed any discomfort and the first signs of blood. It was quite fascinating to look at before the blood began to flow. I held my finger up close to my face so that I could take in such details as the whitish, nearly clear appearance of the still partially attached tip and the fingerprint pattern on it seemed starker somehow. But then the blood began to flow, and I got all fainty feeling, especially when I decided that it would be a good idea to finish the job I had started and tear off the hangy bit. Now the end of my right index finger is encased in a carefully constructed band-aid cap, and I am quite happy. The offending tip had been giving me some trouble as of late, and I wanted rid of it. It had grown offensively long, which gave it a gangly and unappealing appearance. Also, it had taken to excessive pointing – pointing this way and that way, up and down, often not even choosing a specific target for its pointing. What really did it for me was how it was always getting caught in things like zippers and instant teller machines. Frankly, I am glad to be free of its extra length. I will have to be more careful when typing for a while, though, as the bandage is a bit bulky and my newly trimmed finger is having a difficult time finding its way about the keyboard, but I am sure that this will pass with practice.

Roy, of Siegfried and Roy fame, is finally back on his feet five months after he was mauled by one of their tigers.

People in the UK who take their daughters abroad for illegal circumcision will now face up to 14 years in prison for the offense.

Can I say this? I will say it. Orson Scott Card is an idiot. I won’t even go into it. He just is. Read this, and you’ll know why.

Okay, today, people are freaks of nature. Everyone I have talked to and everything I have read today seems to point this out. Today is We Are Freaks of Nature Day. This really became apparent when I read this article from the Irish Independent. Apparently, “secularism, the disappearance of the old taboos and the cult of self-sufficiency are killing our sense of sin.” Oh, no. What’ll I do now that I have had my sense of sin destroyed? I think I will go suck the marrow out of those babies bones I’ve got saved in the fridge.

When I read books, I usually have several going at once. It is a special talent my brain has in keeping everything neat and straight in my head. This is a habit that I have to break, though, because I often won’t finish the books I start. It takes much longer to read my way through five books at once, and then one will be misplaced (where did Corpse go anyway?), and then another will get buried under a pile of other books, and then one will lose my interest. So, this last weekend, you can probably imagine how excited I was to finish not one but two books: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach and Ironweed by William J. Kennedy. Stiff rocked. I didn’t find it as compelling as Corpse, but it made a fine replacement in Corpse’s absence. I was only occasionally irritated by her using the same word slightly differently more than once in the same sentence and imagined myself crossing things out in red pen. Get past the bits that needed closer editing, and you have yourself a truly fun read covering the many and varied uses of corpses. It is a must-read for any one of you who may be considering donating your body to science after your death. Ironweed is devastating, tragic, and horrific, and yet there is a bittersweet comedy and human will to survive that tempers the huge well of loss that surrounds the characters. Simply put, it is brilliant. I’ve been told that you shouldn’t run out to rent the 1980s movie version of the book starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep, though, as the characters were poorly caste. This makes me think that if they ever made a movie version of Stiff, it would also have to be on my must-avoid list. I don’t have the desire to see corpses being dropped from great heights or being smashed in vehicle tests or acting as practice dummies for plastic surgeons. Ick.

In South Africa, the total number of deaths due to AIDS rose 68% over six years from 272,000 in 1998 to 457,000 in 2003.

People get so stupid over diet. We have been led to fear fat, salt, sugar, cholesterol, and now it is carbohydrates, or carbs. It has honestly gone too far, though, when they start fucking with beer. Beer is good, carbohydrates and all, so please, leave the carbs where they’re supposed to be.

Bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus are becoming more and more resistant to penicillin-like drugs, sometimes with disastrous effects if the doctor does not know to use other kinds of medication.

McDonald’s has finally gotten hip to the evils of its pushing supersizing and promises to put an end to it by the end of the year.

Dr. Seuss would have been 100 years old on March 2nd if he wasn’t so dead. Celebrate the man with this little bio piece.

Groups in Vancouver have fought long and hard to set up a safe injection site for its intravenous drug users for many years. Now that they finally have a safe injection site, the United Nations is complaining that it encourages drug use and violates international law. I say, fuck international law then.

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The Rag's Not So Bad