Words of wisdom from Anderson Cooper.

4 05 2011

Normally we end our broadcast with our “RidicuList”, something to kind of make you smile before going to bed, but it didn’t seem appropriate this week. So tonight, just a personal thought as we end.

It’s understandable that in the hours with Osama bin Laden’s killing there would be so much talk about him, so much coverage. After nearly ten years of waiting, ten years of imagining where he was, what his life was like, wondering if he would strike again, it is a relief to know he’s gone. It’s like inhaling after holding one’s breath for a painfully long time. We all want to hear as much detail as we can, and that’s natural and understandable. Someday, however, in the not too distant future, I hope we no longer give bin Laden the satisfaction of ever speaking his name or even remembering him in our nightmares.

I keep thinking of him now, buried at sea, wrapped in a white cloth in a weighted bag, slid into the icy ocean. They say it was done according to Islamic tradition. That upset some people and I understand why.

But the message it sends is that we are a country that does not drag the bodies of our enemies through the streets. We do not behead them for the entertainment of others. We do not mutilate their corpses.

I think of his body sinking into the sea, disappearing into the dark depths of the ocean. This man who terrorized so many for so long has simply disappeared. The ocean is a very big place and in the end, Osama bin Laden was a very small man.

There will be no grave marker for him. No place for a fanatical follower to come and pay their twisted respect. He’s gone. We cannot, nor should we ever forget the horror that he unleashed, but as the months and years pass, I hope that his name is hardly ever uttered and I hope his picture disappears, as well.

As the years pass in the years ahead, I hope it’s not the wasted life of this mass murderer we remember. I hope instead we recall the lives of those we lost.

I hope we remember Leon Smith Jr., one of the brave New York City firefighters who rushed into the burning Twin Towers. Being a firefighter was his dream. His fellow firefighters told the “New York Times” he was known for fixing the cars of just about anyone in the firehouse, as well as the cars of their wives and girlfriends. Here’s a man making those repairs after coming off a 24-hour shirt. Leon was 48 years old and left three daughters behind.

I hope we remember Samantha Lightbourn-Allen, a budget analyst at the Pentagon. She was 36, a mother of 16 — of a 16-year-old son, a 12- year-old daughter, a born-again Christian. Friends say she spent all of her spare time with her kids and in her church. Samantha also left behind a twin sister.

And Craig Damian Lilore; he was just 30, working finance for Cantor- Fitzgerald high up in the north tower. The “Times” said he also had a law degree. Craig was a husband and a father to a newborn son, Joseph Craig. You see him there in the photo. Craig had recently bought a boat but had never had a chance to name it. His brother-in-law told the “Times” they’d given it a name and call it Craiger.

In the years ahead, I hope it is their names we speak, not bin Laden’s. I hope it’s how they lived their lives we remember in addition to how those lives ended. I hope we remember all that they did and all that they never lived to do. If you’d like to take a few moments tonight to learn more about those who died on 9/11, you can go to our Web site, AC360.com, where we have a list of remembrances. Good night.


My new favorite online web comic…Basic Instructions.

14 10 2008

I spent two whole evenings reading the archives of this smart comic. It makes me smile. Click on them if the print seems to small to go to the full-sized version.

Basic Instructions

Kansas State vs. North Texas, 8/30/2008

6 09 2008

We took in the Kansas State/North Texas season opener in Manhattan, Kansas last Saturday. It was a great time. These photos aren’t great, but are decent considering I took them from the 37th row.

Keithen Valentine….

QB Josh Freeman…

Lamark Brown with a touchdown catch…

Aubrey Quarles…

Josh Freeman again…

Brandon Banks…

QB handoff to Logan Dold…

And three of a touchdown run by Josh Freeman…

Mythbusters, My TV Obsession.

5 09 2008

I’m just a little bit (okay, a lot) obsessed with Mythbusters on Discovery…

What I’ve Been Learning, Part 2.

8 08 2008

So I mentioned I’m taking this sign language class. And I’m having a lot of issues with fingerspelling. I’m REALLY not very good at it-either doing it or reading it. I just flat suck.

And I stumbled onto this website a couple of days ago while looking for practicing ideas, and I really love it:

Dr. Bill Vickar’s American Sign Language (ASL) Fingerspelling Tool.

It’s really neat-it shows a hand fingerspelling a word-you can choose between words that are three, four, five or six letters long at a range of speeds, and you read it and enter what you think the word was and it tells you if you’re right.

If you have a hard time with fingerspelling, like I do, and have limited options for practicing, this is a GREAT tool!

A good article about ECT and a few thoughts.

7 08 2008

MSNBC has this article today that is an excellent look at electroconvulsive therapy and is a great introduction into the treatment for those who are not familiar with it:

“Shock Therapy Makes A Quiet Comeback”

It’s an excellent overview and a good place to start if you’re looking for information on ECT.

Something that hadn’t been mentioned to me previous to having treatments that is discussed in the article is the relapse rate. I wish it had been, because this is something I think I’m struggling with.

I’ve had nine or ten treatments, the last being a couple of months ago. In the last few weeks, I’ve felt the depression begin to creep up on me. Is this a normal time frame? I don’t know, but I thinkit’s probably not, based on discussions I’ve had with other ECT patients.

I probably will have what they call a “maintenance treatment” in about a month-honestly, I did something a little dumb and got my ears pierced before remembering you have to remove your earrings for the treatments, and I’ll probably wait until I’m in the clear with that before I have another treatment. Not, probably the smartest decision but it has given me an opportunity to really weigh the effects that the treatments have had on the depression.

Was it a miracle cure for me? In some ways, it was. I was beginning to have issues with impulse control in the darkest days before I started ECT, and that has been one area I can say has gotten significantly better with the treatments. While I occasionally still feel impulses to self-harm, they aren’t nearly as strong as or as persistent as they were. This, in itself, made getting treatments probably well worth the time.

But when it comes to the depression, I have a little trouble determining if it was the miracle cure my psychiatrist told me it was because I’m battling severe anxiety more now than I ever did. It tends to overshadow the depression.

However, other people can really tell the difference. I recently went back to the hospital for outpatient treatments, and the people who ran it said that I appeared, at least, to be in a MUCH different place than I was a year previous when I came in for the same classes and treatments. I don’t feel like I’m in a better place, but I trust them when they say it seems much easier, this year, to lift my spirits than it did a year ago at this time.

So it may not have been a super-cure. But it seems to have had benefits that made it worthwhile-and since I had absolutely no side-effects at all, it’s much easier to say that than if I’d had some memory loss or fuzzy-headedness.

If you’re looking into the treatments for yourself or a loved one, my first piece of advice would be to ask how high the current level of the electricity is, and compare it to other treatment locations in your area. I think the reason I suffered zero side effects was because my psychiatrist uses a lower “voltage” (or whatever the proper term is) than a lot of clinics.

I would also recommend you do research outside of the internet. See if you can talk to patients who’ve gone to your specific doctor for treatments. If you can’t, and the internet is your only source for research, remember how much the treatments have changed in the last years.

And feel free to ask me any questions you might have-I’d be happy to answer them as best I can.

Clinton Fireworks 2008.

5 07 2008

Just some of the fireworks from last evening in Clinton, Illinois…

To the people who do the fireworks. Please, next year, move away from this cell phone tower!