Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Monday, May 31, 2010

A Mixed Bag Monday

One paper down, one more to go. First one was on "CT Shielding Methods." That when imaging areas close to radiosensative organs (breasts, gonads, thyroid, and eyes) an in-plan bismuth shielding should be used. While the shielding can cause some image problems, the benefits on reducing dosage are well worth it. For example, a CT scan of the chest can expose the breasts to three times the radiation recommended for mammography. The second paper will be on "Hopeful Monsters" (a genetics and evolution paper in Nature). Hopeful monsters are the name given to large evolutionary steps made by organisms. For much of the time that evolution and genetics have been studied, "hopeful monsters" have been considered untenable (the changes are too far, too fast, and wouldn't be "optimal"). Slow and steady would win the race. However, new research is showing that small changes in certain genomes will create large morphic changes, and that these changes aren't necessarily a disadvantage. This is one of the "controversies" in evolution that the whackaloons like to talk about (without explaining what they are).

And if you need a writing prompt (as if you'd need a writing prompt) you could do much worse than this. I can't explain. Just go. Okay, maybe I could explain a little. See, with all the bruhaha over fanfic this past week (you missed it, didn't know), the Scalzi and Wheaton have combined into a single unholy force to actually increase the amount of fanfic and get you paid for it. Yes, paid for fanfic. But you must see and be guided. Come on, click it. The Bear Foot, Clown Shirt and Hotpant wearing Valkyrie Wheaton is worth it. Ignore the unicorn/kitten/pegasus beast he rides or wicked spear he holds pointing at the Orc/Goblin Scalzi, and the Mt. Doomish background. No, the clown shirt is enough. And all this silliness is to benefit the Lupus Alliance of America. The next person to cast aspersions on the Scalzi and his take on fanfic, writing community, and being an all around good sport, you get pointed to this and woo be unto you. Yes, and the doom that befalls you has befallen us all.

Next up is getting ahead in the reading for class. Right now I'm experiencing the same problem I had back when I was in college originally. Namely, when I read text books, I fall asleep. Just never was able to read the things. But now I have to as I am way out of my expertise. On the plus side, we have had three 10 point quizzes and I've racked up 33 points so far (1 bonus point on each quiz). Tomorrow is the first test, so we'll see how we do.

I've fortunately missed the rending of garments over the President not going to Arlington today. In recent history, only one President has gone to Arlington every year of their administration. That President was Bill Clinton. Ronald Reagan, the political saint of the conservative hordes, missed several years. While Arlington is the most notable national cemetery, there are plenty of them scattered across the union. Including Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery outside Chicago, where the President did go today. Even the cemetery in my local town has veterans. The cemetery up the road includes a Revolutionary War veteran's grave. It's just the latest chapter in how this President is being held to a different standard than presidents before him.

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