Kasia Beaver suffers from exercise-induced angioedema – or EIA. Which, to you and me, means that she is allergic to exercise. Poor woman, she has four baby Beavers and she’ll never run ’round with them. . .
I try to get acupuncture a couple of times of year, more if I am hurting. Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends at least one treatment with every season change. (Since college basketball season is almost over, and baseball about to begin, I am due.)
I started getting needled when I was fourteen and have enjoyed hundreds of treatments. I used to go to an elderly, Chinese man in Kearny Mesa, but had to stop utilizing his services. Not because of his treatment, which was excellent, but because his insistence on the strength of the Chinese military. I was sitting in my boxers, chatting with him about health (before my session) and he actually came out and said: Chinese military better now than American?
I had no good answer to him. I neither agreed, nor the opposite. I did not want to argue with a man about to pierce my body with needles.
I did find a new doctor, as I imagine the patients of Maurice Goeller have done:
A music teacher and unlicensed acupuncturist in Switzerland was charged on allegations of intentionally infecting 16 people with HIV between 2001 and 2005.
A five-judge panel at Bern-Mitelland regional court indicted Maurice Goeller, 53, who does not himself have HIV, on charges of spreading human disease and causing serious bodily harm.
The regional prosecutor’s office said in a statement that most of Goeller’s victims were recruited from among his music school students.
Prosecutors say he practiced as an acupuncturist without a license, allegedly using the job as a pretext to prick his clients with needles infected with AIDS.
Officials began investigating Goeller after a complaint in 2005 from student Thomas Kaiser, who was diagnosed as HIV positive and told medics he could only have been infected from Goeller’s injections.
Investigators ultimately uncovered 15 others with similar stories.
Goeller denies all wrongdoing, or even performing acupuncture.
Or even performing acupuncture? Good luck with that defense, Morry. Do take note that the UPI included a picture of an acupuncturist in Marine desert digis. Why, who knows?
At work, we were discussing parents, kids, and spouses who negatively affect their loved ones. My boss mentioned a behavior known as Münchausen syndrome by proxy:
Münchausen syndrome by proxy (MSbP or MBP) is a controversial term that is used to describe a behavior pattern in which a caregiver deliberately exaggerates, fabricates, and/or induces physical, psychological, behavioral, and/or mental health problems in those who are in their care. Within the United States, factitious disorder by proxy (FDP or FDbP) is the leading alternative of this term, while in the United Kingdom, it is known as fabricated or induced illness by carers (FII).
With deception at its core, this behavior is an elusive, potentially lethal, and frequently misunderstood form of child abuseor medical neglect that has been difficult to define, detect and confirm.
Wow, who needs enemies?
When I was getting my Navy physical to fly as aircrew, they gave us a color blindness test. I passed, but I know some folks struggled mightily. Not anymore: A scientist named Mark Changizi and his partner Tim Barber from 2AI Labs in Boston have created a pair of glasses that may provide a remedy for a certain type of color blindness – the inability to see reds and greens.
The story behind Connor Rabinowitz, Kellen Roberts, and Erin Roberts is almost too fairy-tale-ish to be believed. Three people, two siblings, one heart. . .
Major confession: Back in grade school, I was on the Math Team. And our mentor was an amazing lady who taught us both a love of all things mathematics and the reason behind why arithmetic works. She coached us not to look at math as concrete numbers, but as fluid measurements that have a beauty of their own, provided you followed a very stable set of rules. Once you had an absolute grasp on the algebraic and geometric principles, anything was fair game.
I learned the ability to work with small numbers and large numbers. She had us memorize squares and cubes. That two-squared is four. But what is 19-squared? (I forgot, but get out your calculator if you really want to know the answer.)
She opened up math in a special way to me. I did not truly appreciate it at the time, but I do now. I reaped her (and my) hard work for years to come. Our team even took fifth in a Southern Californian math contest. Although I was not the top guy in our club (that would be the kid who is a current chess Grandmaster), I worked to pull my weight.
On the math SAT, I ended up only missing 2 or 3 questions, mostly because all the math on that test involved the basic principles she had drilled into us. I almost felt like I was cheating. For years, I hummed through tests because I had a strong grasp of the basics.
Once I know someone is taking math now, I volunteer to help them. And I’ve lost count of the navy folks I’ve tutored. Truly it may be twenty or more. One mother at work invited me home for a meal and a tutoring session for her daughter. Who was floundering in college calc. My mantra: this never changes. Once you learn something math-wise, it will always be that way again.
So come yesterday, I had a meeting with several Phds and smart civilian folks on a program I am part of. We were discussing a geometric issue that involved several important factors: radio wave propagation, weather, nautical miles, etc. I did not think much of it, but I asked the guy at the computer to type arctan such-and-such into google. And we got the answer we needed.
One of the guys looked at me squinty-eyed and said: what did you do there again?
And I talked him through the five or so steps I used to solve the problem. The big trick was to divide the triangle in half, to get two right triangles. These 90 degree triangles have some very definite rules about them. In my head, I have several of them memorized. (The most common being the 3, 4, 5.)
It was a good way to earn a little respect for the uniform, that I am not a knuckle-dragging Sailor. Who thinks in abstract as well as naval terms. (Some civvies can be quite dismissive of us until you have proven yourself.)
One last point, I never was quite a nerd. It may have been a relief to be accepted by the nerdier folks, but somehow I never was. Now who complains about that? That the nerds won’t embrace him?
And let me end with this thought: that anything I achieved I owe to a great teacher. . .
I was pre-med for two difficult years in college. I finished most of the curriculum, including the doozies like Organic Chem and College Calculus, but my heart was not in it. And I ended up graduating with a Political Science degree. There are folks, fortunately, whose heart is in the medical field. Jack Andraka is still in high school and the kid genius just struck gold:
15-year-old Jack Andraka, it’s par for the course. The high school sophomore recently developed a revolutionary new test for early-stage pancreatic cancer. This, before he could legally drive a car.
This past December, Andraka won Intel’s prestigious Gordon E. Moore Award along with other top honors at the corporation’s annual Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest high school research and science competition. Jack Andraka created a simple dip-stick sensor to test for levels of mesothelin, which is a biomarker for early-stage pancreatic cancer that’s found in blood and urine. The method is similar to diabetic testing strips, utilizing just a pinprick of blood and costing all of three cents to make.
Three cents? I like this kid (genius.) Cancer is a scourge that needs elimination.
Did you see what Sir David Attenborough, the famed British naturalist and television presenter said: We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. Perhaps Sir David ought to talk to Keller Laros who was leading a group of divers in Hawaii when something truly remarkable happened.
It turns out that a reported plan to clone a Neanderthal baby was lost in translation.
Harvard geneticist George M. Church was quoted in the Daily Mail as looking for an “adventurous woman” to serve as a surrogate for a “cloned cave baby.” The shocking headline spread quickly across the media with no small amount of help from major news aggregators like the Drudge Report.
But the Boston Herald dug a little deeper into the story, joining a long list of news outlets that contacted Church for an explanation.
Church told the Herald Monday night that the Daily Mail article was based on an interview he gave to the German-language magazine Der Spiegel and poorly translated comments he made about the possibility of one day cloning a Neanderthal.
Lost in translation? That poor excuse still works?
Surely (Shirley) there is a lady amongst you all whose heart flutters ever so more at the sight of the below gentleman:
If so, please contact Professor George Church of Harvard Medical School. Also, free up nine months in your calendar. Forget about the pickles and ice-cream, it’s gonna be deer jerky and cranberries for you!
I had one boss in the Navy who was a bit on the volcanic side. You had to pick and choose your times to talk to him. Pick wrong ——> eruption.
Of course, he has got nothing on Russia’s Koryakski volcano on the eastern Kamchatka Peninsula. 170 tremors have been registered by sensitive seismic equipment near the volcano. Standby. . .
In two seemingly unrelated stories, bread meets space. As in peanut-butter-and-jelly favorite, Wonder Bread, has found a home:
Hostess has found a new home for most of its breads, including Wonder, Nature’s Pride and Merita.
The bankrupt company maker of Twinkies, Devil Dogs and other snack cakes said late Friday that it selected bids by rival bakery Flower Foods Inc. to buy the breads for $390 million. Flower Foods, based in Thomasville, Ga., is best known for Tastykakes but also makes breads including Nature’s Own and Cobblestone Mill.
And an all-star team has discovered a new planet called PH2 b:
Forty volunteers with the crowd-sourcing Planet Hunters project discovered the new planet candidates, which include 15 potentially habitable worlds and PH2 b, a Jupiter-size planet that the team confirmed to be in the habitable zone of its parent star.
There you go, PBJ and PH2 b. One deliciously tasty, one astronomically distant.
If you have a spare billion-and-a-half dollars lying around and you want to go to the moon, you may want to consider the Golden Spike Company. Dr. S. Alan Stern’s company has assembled a team of experts to make your dreams come true.
Rubber chicken or salisbury steak during your moon trip is extra though. Do bring some pocket change. And please, no liquids over four ounces. (If you thought the TSA was tough when you flew to Tacoma. . .)
Psychologist Alan Ingham ran an interesting experiment to determine the difference of effort between groups of people compared to that of individuals:
The truth, though, is we tend to put in less effort in a group because we know our efforts will be pooled. If you know you aren’t being judged as individuals, your instinct is to fade into the background.
To prove this, psychologist Alan Ingham had people put on a blindfold and grab hold of a rope. The rope was attached to a contraption that simulated the resistance of an opposing team.
The subjects were told other people were also holding the rope on their side, and he measured their effort.
Then, he told them they would be pulling alone, and again he measured their effort. They were alone both times, but when they thought they were in a group, they pulled on average 18 per cent less strenuously.
This phenomenon has been observed in every possible situation involving group effort. Communal farms always produce less than individually-owned farms.
Self-reliance versus collective effort, I’ll always take the first. Call me selfish, but even the military relies on judging individuals on personal effort. Did the private, seaman meet the job he was assigned? The mission requires everyone to be part of a team, but to accomplish the group goals, individual actions must triumph. Communalism or collectivism is a recipe for failure. The slackers can blend into the background and not worry about ramifications. As for the mediocre performers, there are no consequences to their lack of talent. In fact, very often they rise in leadership. Simply, they’ve avoided having to actually produce real results and they can focus on self-promotion with all their free time not working. Think any backwater, tinpot dictator. Do I need to name names?
For all you
nut code-crackers out there, an impenetrable shorthand used by 17th century religious dissident Roger Williams was finally cracked by a team of Brown University students.