Random notes: January 10, 2012.

This NYT story pushes several hot buttons for me. First of all, there’s the whole 1925 diphtheria story, which I vividly remember reading about as a kid. (I wish, though, I could remember the title of the book.)

Secondly, there’s the whole survival/preparedness angle. What do you do when it is 39 below zero, you’re out of heating oil, and they won’t be able to make a delivery for another three months?

Mr. Evans said Nome could resort to flying in fuel through hundreds of small shipments but that shipping costs alone would be more than $3 per gallon. Fuel here already approaches $6. Conservation can only go so far.

(I wonder if they could use KC-130 tankers to fly in fuel, if it came to that.)

Finally, there’s the whole Coast Guard icebreaker situation. There’s apparently only one purpose-built Arctic icebreaker, the Healy, and that’s a medium-duty icebreaker that’s having difficulties clearing a path. The Coast Guard’s two heavy icebreakers aren’t available; one has gone into retirement, and the other is under repair for at least the next two years. I seem to recall reading about the icebreaker gap somewhere prior to this, but I can’t recall where.

On a hotter (in more ways than one) note, by way of Overlawyered, we learn of the lawyers gone wild of Vero Beach, Florida. The inciting incident in this case appears to be the conduct of Ronald Rider, who apparently offered former clients money to write letters to the judge asking for leniency. Rider also apparently got the judge rather upset by refusing to release $35,000 being held in trust for his former clients.

But the real reason I’m linking this story comes towards the bottom, where the activities of Mr. Rider’s “very high maintenance” wife Wendy are outlined.

Her stage name in the modeling business is “Muscle Barbie” and her 80-photo portfolio on the Model Mayhem website is revealing. Pictures which pop up from a Google search for “Wendy Rider” show Rider nude, topless, near-nude or – at best – clad in tiny bikini bathing suits or skimpy lingerie. Her nipples and other body parts show prominent piercings.

(I apologize. My failure to link to the Google search results is due to the fact that I am writing this on my lunch break at work.)

(Edited to add: Now that I am back at home, on my own network, I can safely link to the Google image search results for “Wendy Rider”. I would like to note, for the record, that I link to these only in the spirit of journalistic inquiry and a healthy respect for the facts, not out of any prurient interest in Ms. Rider or her assets.)

(I did go over to the Mix Masta B website to see if I could find the calender. It looks like it has been replaced by the 2012 one, of course, which does not feature Ms. Rider. (ETA: Here you go.) Also, I do not recommend going over to the Mix Masta B website if you are prone to seizures or break out in a rash when looking at MySpace pages. I do, however, appreciate Mr. B’s support for law enforcement.)

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