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Showing posts from July, 2015

Julie wrote a fanfic I like

I told Julie about a premise I read online and she wrote it out.  Take a look on her blog, here:

www.ialbatross.com

Me and my best friend both got haircuts

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He's looking pretty fly.


Stem cells: this post gets weird at the end

A friend recently asked me whether stem cells could be grafted into a brain to repair damage from a stroke.  I didn't know the answer, so I went looking for it.

This reminded me of an episode of South Park from a long time ago.  In it, Cartman lobbies for the use of stem cells in order to save Kenny's life, only to reveal that all he wanted all along was to use them to clone a Shakey's Pizzaria.

The reason I bring this up is because it harkens back to the first layman explanation of stem cells I ever heard back in 2001.  The explanation given was that stem cells turn into whatever they're around.  For many, this is still the extent of what is known.

If this is true, stroke treatments make a lot of sense.  To my knowledge, there are no real treatments for a stroke.  A whole bunch of brain cells die and you lose the function of whatever they were needed for.  Sometimes you can go through rehab to find new ways to rely on other parts of the brain, but the damaged part of …

Justice was served

I got a ticket for running a red light on my bike.  There was a break in traffic and I zipped across.  A guy who I drove in front of honked.  I didn't make him slow down at all, but I still regretted crossing.  Then, on the other side, I locked eyes with a cop who'd been waiting at the light.

I biked on swiftly and hoped that they wouldn't consider it worth turning around.  They did.  They pounced like cheetahs.

I don't know how much it will cost.  I feel ridiculous getting a traffic ticket on a god-damned bike.  Apparently I'll need to appear in court?  For some reason?  I'm done kvetching though.  No point in blaming anyone or anything but myself.

As infuriating as this is, it occurs to me that somewhere out there is a driver who honked at a biker for crossing the street without waiting for a light, and then saw him promptly get caught.  I hope it made your day, buddy.

The Consequences of Breaking Rules

Earlier this week, Julie was called into her boss's office.  There she was met by her boss, as well as her boss's boss.  The head of the department.  They were investigating an incident that had happened the week prior involving an injured bird.

I was familiar with the event.  Julie told me the week prior that she'd been summoned by two vet techs who were in a panic.  They'd been trimming a bird's beak and it had struggled, and they'd cut off too much beak.  The bird was bleeding heavily and the two vet techs were both completely new and had totally lost their composure.

Julie explained to her superiors that they'd asked for her assistance, which she gave.  Together, they'd sedated the bird.  They'd cleaned it off and wrapped it in a towel for warmth.  They applied a coagulant to its beak to stymie the bleeding and placed it in a safe and assuring environment to heal without it agitating itself.  She'd then sent out a calm and reassuring email …

Check out Mike Lee on Talk Nerdy, episode 67

I'd like to give a quick plug to a colleague, Mike Lee, who appeared on the podcast Talk Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria in episode 67 last week.  In it, Cara asks Mike to explain what we might expect life to look like on other worlds and how diving to the bottom of the ocean on Earth informs those predictions.  Mike is a graduate student at USC and a collaborator, and he speaks very well.  Follow the link and have a listen.

In related news, NASA has approved the Europa Clipper mission to proceed.  Europa is a moon of Jupiter which has been considered by many to be the most likely home to extraterrestrial life in our solar system.  This reputation was built on the results of a flyby by the Galileo spacecraft two decades ago which provided evidence of a gigantic ocean beneath the surface of the moon.  Finally, a dedicated mission will provide us with new information on which to improve our predictions.  You can find more info at the links below:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_Clip…