Miscellany-Real Estate on the Moon?, Goose Mystery Solved; Comments-the New Apprentice Randal-Did He Make the Right Decision?

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Visions of Our Medical Futures?
Imagine, clothes that monitor our health!

Below is a description of a new sports bra that monitors the heartbeat. While this is handy for athletes, runners and such, the possibilities amaze.

People with heart problems wear a shirt or blouse made from the same material and voila, the heart’s activities are always monitored. Hook up via satellite to medical professionals and the doctors are warned of an impending heart attack.

How about pants that monitor kidney activity? Or underwear that measures the body’s fat content? Wire up that bra to measure breathing activity.

Someday hospitals will exist only for the most critically ill or for emergencies. All other medical activity will be monitored by our own clothes!

A new sports bra that counts heartbeats is causing a Christmas stir. The bra, introduced this week, is based on an electronic interaction between a textile and its wearer. A special conductive fabric in the chest band, when it's wet, picks up the heart's electrical pulse and radios it to a digital readout wristwatch via a tiny transmitter in the bra. Such "smart fabrics" are poised to impact many fields. "The applications are limitless," said Spyros Photopoulos, an analyst at Venture Development Corp., a technology market-research firm in Natick, Mass. According to Photopoulos, hundreds of companies, foreign and domestic, are chasing the potential of miniaturized electronics that people can wear.

A medical application for a smart shirt that monitors heart rate and respiration continuously with the help of sensors and wiring woven into its spandex already has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The shirt, made by VivoMetrics of Ventura, Calif., currently is used mainly to unobtrusively monitor patients with a respiratory disturbance called sleep apnea.

A future variant worn by chronically ill patients at home could extend their lives by enabling doctors to better monitor their health and to intervene faster when trouble arises. Robert Litan, a public policy economist, estimated earlier this month that monitoring 4 million chronically ill Medicare patients better at home also could save $30 billion a year in reduced hospitalization, emergency room and doctor costs.

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Many researchers expect the deep-pocketed Pentagon to back the development of smart fabrics, much as it did for computers and the Internet. The Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which the Army launched in 2002 with $50 million, is the biggest visible step in that direction. It's developing battlefield garb that would be woven with miniaturized electronics that would report a soldier's location and vital signs to commanders and medics.

Fast, "point of need" medical treatment is the vision. Sensors in the uniform would detect fractures, uncontrolled bleeding or the soldier's collapse, helping medics to treat first those who need help the most. In the more distant future, the sensors could trigger the battle garb's synthetic polymers, substances that alter their molecular shape when magnetized, heated, shocked or impacted. The polymers' new forms would stiffen, tighten or pulse the fabric to provide the injured soldier with a splint, tourniquet or cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Such capacities could be available in smart fabrics "within a couple of decades," according to MIT professor Ned Thomas, the head of the nanotechnologies institute and of MIT's materials science and engineering department. That may seem far away, but it's faster than the evolution of the modern computer from the first miniaturized transistor in the 1950s, said professor Mahmoud El-Sherif, a researcher in flexible electronics who's on leave from Drexel University in Philadelphia.


Calling All Writers…Name Your Book to be a Bestseller

The title of one of my books is “Everything You Need to Know About Being a Woman Can Be Learned in the Garden”. I fussed about this title for ages but the publisher thought it a great title. While it’s hardly a bestseller, it has sold the most of MY books.

If you’re thinking of writing a novel soon, check out the following and give the book a chance before you write a word. Give it the title most likely to carry it to the highest heights then write that smashing prose.

Susan MacTavish Best
Best Public Relations

Computer Model Based On 50-Year Study Names
Agatha Christie's "Sleeping Murder" as "The Perfect Title"

December 15, 2005 ;Raleigh, NC-- "Sleeping Murder", the title of the last published novel by Agatha Christie, is "the perfect title" for a bestselling novel, according to a computer model designed by statisticians who analyzed the titles of fiction bestsellers published over the last 50 years.

John le Carr ;, however, is the novelist most consistently able to produce titles with the right attributes for bestseller success ; ahead of bigger sellers like JK Rowling and Dan Brown.

Such are the findings of a study commissioned by (, a website that lets anyone publish their own book. The study analyzed the titles of every novel to have topped the hardback fiction section of the New York Times Bestseller List during the last half-century ; from 1955 to 2004 ; and then compared them with the titles of a control group of less successful novels by the same authors.

"One of the hardest things about writing a novel is finding a good title", says Bob Young, CEO of "And we wanted to help Lulu writers improve their chances." Indeed, you can test the bestseller chances of your own title at

Two of the study's most interesting findings were that:

; Figurative or abstract titles, such as "Sleeping Murder", or "Presumed Innocent", produce more top-sellers than literal ones, such as "The Da Vinci Code".
; The length of a title does not affect its sales prospects ; contrary to publishing industry wisdom, which decrees that bestseller titles should be short.

Dr Atai Winkler, the statistician who led the research, used the data gathered from some 700 titles to develop a computer model able to predict the chances that any given title would produce a No. 1 bestseller. Sleeping Murder, published just after Agatha Christie's death in 1976, was the only title to achieve the highest available score of 0.83, indicating an 83% probability of producing a top bestseller.

The only title to achieve the lowest available score of 0.09% was "Cause of Death" by Patricia Cornwell. Yet, several of Cornwell's other titles achieved high scores, whereas authors like Joseph Heller ("Catch 22") and James Michener ("Alaska", "Poland". "Texas") created consistently poor-scoring titles

After analyzing 11 different title attributes, researchers concluded that just three were "key differentiators" and that a strong title should have the following features:

; It's figurative rather than literal
; The first word is a pronoun, a verb, an exclamation or a greeting.
; The grammar pattern is either possessive case with noun, or adjective and noun, or The _ of _.

The Harry Potter titles all score well for having the right grammar pattern but badly for being literal rather than figurative, netting a 0.51 score. "The Da Vinci Code", another literal title, scores a mere 0.36.

The writer with the highest career average score is John le Carr ;. His titles boast a 0.62 average over 19 books, of which seven have been top bestsellers .

"Our model correctly predicted whether or not a book was a bestseller for nearly 70% of the titles studied", comments Dr Winkler. "This is 40% better than random guess-work. Given the nature of the data, this is surprisingly good.

"Even so", he adds, "my advice would be to combine use of the Lulu title-scorer with using your own instincts."

ABOUT LULU.COM: Lulu, the world's fastest-growing source of print-on-demand books, lets you publish your own book, eBooks, calendars, images, music and videos at no advance cost… having first chosen your own title. It was founded by Bob Young, previously co-founder of software firm, Red Hat.

You can test the bestseller chances of your own title at Lulu Titlescorer


Writers…While I Have Your Attention

Not much time but not much need for a bunch of words. Check it out if you’ve got a story waiting to be written.

* Call for Submissions ~’s Fiction Contest, THE place for authors & publishers to share work with engaged audiences, announces its first short fiction competition.

Entries of 3000 words or less are due by 1/15/06. The winner receives a cash prize. The winning story will be reviewed by a Houghton Mifflin Sr. Editor & featured on & VoidMagazine. Details at


Update on the Goose
In a recent Miscellany post I waxed on about a strange resin goose that appeared at the end of my driveway shortly before Christmas.

One of the problems with having a Blog is that anyone can read it. Because the story of the resin goose is not as magical as I made it sound. To clarify, husband and I discovered a decorative yard goose at the end of our driveway the Saturday before Christmas. A block of wood had been placed firmly on the goose’s resin “feet” which we took to mean that the unknown giver wanted us to understand it was meant to stay there. The goose was placed prominently by our mailbox in a manner that also indicated it was for us.

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It was early morning shortly after Christmas and the doorbell rang. It was our next door neighbor, indeed a neighbor who I thought might be the giver of the handsome goose. My yard is full of these resin animals so we might seem like people who would like such a gift.

“This is our goose,” the neighbor said. “Somebody took our yard geese and scattered them throughout the neighborhood. I didn’t want to just come up and take it without letting you know.”

And here I thought Santa Claus was bestowing some Christmas magic upon us.

What’s odder than hell is the fact that these “kids”, as alleged by the neighbor, didn’t outright steal his garden décor. Instead the items stolen were placed in the yards of OTHER homeowners. A Robin Hood type of garden décor distribution is what I’m saying here.

What’s also odd is that I have a yard full of resin animals and no one touched a one of them. Whoever played this prank took only THIS neighbor’s garden décor to give as gifts to other neighbors.

I hope these neighbors don’t read my Blog but it must be said. These people are the nastiest people and have been nasty since the first day of our move.

I’ll give an example. Before we’d even moved in husband and I noticed the people across the street were having a yard sale. Our sweet neighbors went out and put up big orange street cones across the front of their yard in order to keep cars from parking in front of their house. Not that the street belongs to them or anything but there you have it.

In my dog walking days I chanced to speak to many people in this rather small community and ALL of them mentioned these people and how really ugly they are. Myself doesn’t want to give them the time of day as nasty people tend to cloud a beautiful world.

So if these sweet people next door to me read my Blog, and they might, hey…maybe someone’s trying to tell you something.

An Acre of the Moon For Sale has the market on busting urban myths., however, claims to specialize in Internet scams. Which includes, possibly, the sale of property on the moon.

Now it’s possible one can buy an acre of moon land as one can, officially, purchase an actual star.

Oh, and don’t forget to reserve that domain name! How does Patfish.Moon sound?

Internet ScamBusters Q&A

Question: Are the lunar plots being sold a legal deal or is it just another scam on the Internet? Can you really buy land on the moon?

Answer: First, let us explain the "opportunity" to subscribers who have never heard about the sale of land on the moon.

A company called Lunar Embassy, which describes itself as "the founders and leaders of the extraterrestrial real estate market," claims to have been in the business of selling Lunar Property for over 25 years to over 3.4 million customers. There are other companies selling land on the moon as well, but it seems that Lunar Embassy is the first and biggest.

According to the Lunar Embassy website, you can buy one acre of "prime real estate" on the moon -- with great Earth views -- for just $19.95.

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Lunar Embassy has also created "The Century Club" for "1000 lucky participants" who get 1777.58 acres of celestial land and other "benefits" for a mere $1000 US dollars.

Chinese authorities have shut down this scheme in China on charges of "profiteering and lunacy." (We doubt this pun was intended.)

Lunar Embassy is also selling extraterrestrial domains: For example, you can reserve your .ln, .le, .moon or .mars name now. ;-)

So, is this for real or a scam? According to the Lunar Embassy website, their legal basis for ownership is that "one can become the legal owner of an extraterrestrial body, if you are the first one who claimed it, and that is the Lunar Embassy."

So, we'll let you decide for yourself if this is real or a


More Miscellany posts HERE
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On “Intriguing” New Crimes


Comments: I'm not sure "intriguing" is the best word for true stories about children being murdered or murdering their parents. These are real people, and I'm sure there are relatives and friends grieving today for these Yuletide slayings.

That said, I'll postulate a guess to the first question, what sort of evil may like in the kid? Maybe dad would've beaten the crap out of him over the grades? Some dads, especially if they drink, can be pretty brutal. Or maybe the kid went off/on anti depressants recently.

I'd re-word the introduction if this is a series. If it were me, I'd choose something sensational, but not one that diminishes the horror of these crimes.

Ed: Perhaps I’ll use the word “sensational”


In a True Crime Snit

The following commenter, in a snide manner totally unnecessary, complains about my post (made in 2004!) on the strange death of Jonathan Luna.

In the original post I link to all of my sources regarding this strange incident. None of those sources, AT THAT TIME, revealed anything about defensive wounds of blood on a toll ticket. The commenter says Luna had an easy tag but frankly I’m not sure easy tags were even available at that time.

Now perhaps the commenter is correct with those assertions but note that no links are provided proving those assertions. If there’s been new clues learned about the crime since December of 2004 then how could they be included in a post made on that date?

In the interest of fair and balanced I’ll provide the comment but don’t necessarily believe a word of it. If the commenter would be willing to send me an email with links to this new information I’d be happy to do a new post.

The Mystery of Jonathan Luna HERE

I found your comments about Jonathan Luna disrespectful and your information misleading. You didn't event bother to invest the time on all the true facts of the case. 1. Mr. Luna was not in danger of losing his job nor did he hire an attorney. 2.There were defensive wounds and bruises to other parts of his body that revealed he had been beaten. 3. There was evidence that supported someone else was in the car with him, because there was blood found on a toll ticket, which he wouldn't have used because he had an easy tag. 4. The pool of blood was not find in the back seat floor board, but on the passenger's side. 5. The case is being handled on an even higher level under an independent investigation. Maybe next time you will show more respect and focus more on facts and not fiction! What if it was your love one? would you want some unfair, dishonest,insensitive judgement passed about them?
Posted by Anonymous to The Kaitlyn Mae Book Blog at 12/30/2005 08:27:17 PM


The Apprentice and Randal

In this year’s Apprentice, the winner was Randal. In an unusual twist for this series, The Donald offered to make BOTH of the finalists an Apprentice, but only if Randal approved.

He did not so his primary contender, Rebecca, did not make the cut.

Lots of comments on this below.

Original Post HERE

11:05 PMIt came as absolutely no surprise to me that Randal won. Like he said, Rebecca writes about business, Randal runs businesses. And, clearly, he's quite successful at it.

Compare their records as project managers. Compare who was always drafted. Who was let go as a weak link?

I just wouldn't believe Rebecca, with her lack of business experience, as a credible executive. Randal is totally believeable as an executive. And he actually is one.

I also thought that he did the right thing by not recommending that Rebecca also be hired when Trump suggested that she could also be hired. Both candidates are excellent but there can only be one hired, just like in real life.
11:51 PMHow about Randal dissing Rebecca? The Donald gave Randal the choice of allowing him to also hire Rebecca, and Randal said no.

"It's called 'The Apprentice,' not 'The Apprenti," he said.


Although Randal has the better resume, I think Rebecca would have been the better choice. I don't see Randal as being a great future leader of the Trump Organization. I think Rebecca had that potential.

Oh well.
12:57 AMI think Rebecca was the better choice. And i dont think she would have dissed Randal like Randal did to her by not allowing the Trumpster to make her an apprentise too.
What should have happened is that after Randal said no to allowing Rebecca to become an apprentise with him, The Donald should have said ok ,well sinse you feel that way Randal..then Your fired...and Rebecca is the new apprentise...
Donald if you could only go back
03:25 AMThe Finale was a huge disappointment. Both candidates should have been hired. I won't watch another season of The Apprentice.
09:03 AMI agree with pb. But if Trump did that Al Sharpton and the NAACP would have been marching in front of Trump Tower this morning.
09:18 AMAlla was the best choice but reminded Trump of Ivana. Rebecca was the next best female choice and Randal represented the most politically correct choice especially considering who Trump has already hired in previous shows.

Yes, I know Randal has practical business experience starting and running consulting businesses. Consultants do little more (what do they make, what do they produce, what real value do they add????) than tell a company what it already knows. They prepare a slick looking Power Point presentation, print up some glossy handouts, collect a check and they're gone. Much different than than a real manufacturing company, construction firm or retail business. A consulting business has some of the lowest barriers to entry. A nice "business" to start for someone with 5 academic degrees.
11:41 AMI was pulling for Rebecca, but I came away thinking that Randall was the right choice, and that Randall was right in saying it was a one-person job interview. It would have lessened Randall's achievement if he had hired both. It's a one-winner game
02:15 PMI have to say, I thought that it was pretty low what randal did to Rebecca at the end of the show.

He was already chosen as the Apprentice, to keep her from the opportunity of working for Mr. Trump for no real reason, was unbelievable.

The title is The Apprentice, and he was chosen as The Apprentice, but if he didn't keep her from the job because of any risk of his standing, the only other reason was because of his ego.

I like randal, I wanted him to win, I just lossed all respect for him when he made that last poor judgement call.
02:46 PMHello people.....what's the problem. This is a show about competition. Randal if you recall won every time he was a project manager and let's not forget he won the last, what's the problem. Why can't you just accept the fact that Randal was the better of the two. Besides, if Donald Trump really wanted to hire Rebecca, why didn't he make that decision to do so. Randal won,fair and square, and it was the Donald that picked him, so all of those who make a omment about the NAACP marching in front of Trump Tower if it had been the other way around, I say get over it.
02:50 PMYou are all fired for being boring and lame.
03:29 PMRandal did the right thing in not agreeing to have co-apprentices; after a 13-week challenge, it was unfair of Trump to suggest changing the rules arbitrarily while Randal should have been getting the same spotlight attention the previous 3 winners got.

I woulda told trump "hell no!" on hiring Rebecca, too. Fair is fair, and Randal made a better business decision than Trump would've; had Rebecca been hired, it would have diluted the integrity of the show big-time for next season.
04:11 PMDamn right.
12:05 PMBlack men usually stand behind "brothers" and "sisters." Had Rebecca been African-American, I have no doubt that Randal would have encouraged Trump to hire her as well. Instead, Randal indulged his considerable racism and revealed himself to be so incredibly and foolishly selfish.
01:10 PMThere is no double-winner in Survivor, so why should there be in The Apprentice? Can you name a reality show where there is the option to have two winners?
02:23 AMRandal made the right call. Trump was wrong to put him on the spot. EVERYONE in the competition made it clear that they were there to be the ONE chosen. As well, it was not a draw. Randal WON (he played the game better and had a far superior eductional and professional record)- though I will concede that he is not as pleasing to the eye as Rebecca. He did not tell Trump not to hire Rebecca. He said that on the night, there should be only one winner - and he was the clear winner. Business is business (which is the theme of show)and Rebecca's inclusion would have detracted from his victory. Randall made the right business decision by fully claiming what he had EARNED.

YOU ran a marathon and were the first to cross the line after a grueling race. Be it a slim margin of victory or a large one, how would you feel if the rules were arbitrarily changed to get your approval of the second-place finisher receiving an equal gold medal. Now imagine that marathon lasting your whole life. Competition is inherently discriminatory but the rules should be fair and consistent. Every metric showed that the man from Jersey (Randal) was superior to the lady from Minnesota (Rebecca) albeit some myopic viewers refuse to acknowledge this fact. Let me innumerate.
1) Randal was, by far, better educated
2) Randal was, by far, better experienced
3) Randal had a flawless record and more than equally contributed to Rebecca's only win
4) Randal actually produced charity for a CHARITY EVENT. This should not be overlooked - if this challenge had taken place 3 weeks earlier would there have been any question to Rebecca's firing. Donald might have fired her whole team all over again for good measure.
4) Randal had a hostile charity delegate that eventually was, herself, won over by his heart, professionalism and equanimity.
5) Randal also stood up for a weak candidate (Markus)- he voted for his exemption the first week and verbally supported him in another boardroom debriefing (Lamborghini challenge) -the only one to do so.
6) Randal's altruism was showcased when he was determined to assist Rebecca to her sole and only win. He said this in unequivocal terms.
7) He earned the love and support of virtually all of the candidates early on in the series. He maintained this support and admiration throughout a competitive environment. This alone speaks volumes of his value and charisma.
8) Randal was prescient. "I cannot see why you would not pick me to be your sole and only apprentice" he said early-on during the finale. This was meant to relay his strong belief in his win. (This was most likely why Donald deferred to him at the end of the show).

These points are incontestable and provide ample proof of his triumph. Accolades (a lesser win) must be extended to Rebecca but not at the expense of a triumph (greater victory).

As to Randal's response to Donald's inappropriately timed query -which effectively diminished the win while the victor had yet to set his arms down from a well won victory salute. The question should have never been asked in the first place.

Do I believe they were both qualified. Yes. Do you believe they were equally qualified.... see above.
03:47 PMTo the tune of Kanye West's "Golddigger":

One whole year, one whole year

I know a goddamn prick who got Trump for one whole year

He went to school, got some jewel, played the rules, acted cool

Then when all the lights hit he became a fucking tool

You saw him on TV, big as hell finale

Chance to be nice, said "You get no fucking salary."

He was supposed to be Mr. GQ man, with the money

Now he ain't got no fan, with the money

That fake don't need a new tan, with the money

Maybe he'll get run over by a van, with the money

Then be dicked by Jan the plump tran, with the money

Die of poison from bad oat bran, with the money

If you ain't down with these traitor phonies, holla we hate Randal.


It's something that hardcore fans need, yeah we spit the truth

Cause when he leaves you Trump, make sure he worse than Bluth

One whole year, 12 months time

To make his life a living hell and not even pay him no dime


[He screwed the world]
Now I ain't saying Randal bad leader[Won't take the fall]
Just a motherfucking bottomfeeder[He screwed the world]
Now I ain't saying Randal bad leader [Won't take the fall]
Just a motherfucking bottomfeeder
[He needs to leave]
Get out, tool, go ahead get out
[He needs to leave]
Get out, tool, go ahead get out
[He needs to leave]
Get out, tool, go ahead get out
[He needs to leave]
Get out, tool, go ahead get out
05:20 PMFor heaven's sake! By what factual basis is Rebecca equal or nearly equal to Randal in management ability or competence? Those of you who think that Rebecca is on the same level as Randal either have very low standards or didn't watch all 13 episodes.

Rebecca lost every task in which she was PM, except the one where she was in a 2-person team with Randal and he was instrumental in helping her to win that task. Not to mention that the last task was about raising money for the charity and not only did Rebecca not raise ANY money, but at the event her charity got one measly sign and an envelope in the gift bag! That's it. Randal's sponsor told him not to ask the bigwigs for money too but he ignored them. Also, her team once traded her because she was a weak player. ------- If you can ignore all those facts and still look at someone with such a terrible performance record and say they are equal to someone like Randal who was UNDEFEATED as PM, then it's clear you are full of crap.

Then you say that "Randal would have lost nothing by hiring Rebecca." Give me a break - he would have lost his self-respect. Since no other apprentice winner was asked that question, it was inappropriate to ask Randal, especially for such an inferior opponent. Also, Randal wasn't hired as VP of Trump's Personnel Department. If Trump still thought Rebecca was pretty enough to hire despite her losing record, then he was free to hire her after the show. It was inappropriate for him to raise the matter when he did.

The only reason Rebecca was in the finale was because Trump went on a firing rampage this season and fired all of Randal's real competition. She made it to the final 2 by sheer luck, not ability.
05:35 PMGood point about what would have happened if, weeks earlier, they had the competition to raise money for charity and one team raised no money. Trump would have fired the PM and very likely others on the team, if not the entire team.

The week that Trump fired four people at once, he brought some drama to the show, but he also made it easier on the remaining contestants.
10:06 PMI watched a program tonight on the 28th of December, it was sitcome called Everyone loves Raymond, I saw Randall on it. I did not think you used actors on your program???


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