What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Weekend Linkee-poo should have jumped out of that airplane after all

Elizabeth Bear on the "Howie" World Fantasy Award. In my own personal opinion, had I won (or will win) one, I would cherish it as the accomplishment it represents. But I agree with those who champion changing the award, except in one thing. I don't think it should be a bust of anyone. Everyone gets all knotted up when discussing whose bust it should be. As humans we are all flawed (to various degrees and extents - even Tolkien can be limiting to Northern European mythos and a disturbing racism streak as well - just look at the First Men and the Wild Men for an example), so anyone chosen for that honor would be found wanting in some manner. So we should remove that part from the equation.

"The only answer to all these questions is to keep writing and see. Keep trying to get better. Keep your eyes on your own paper." Your path is your own. (Grokked from Maureen Johnson)

You know how we think planets form around new stars accreting from the disk of material left over from the star's formation? Yea, it's all just been a theory. Until now. The first view of a new star (only a million years old, give or take) showing tracks through the accretion disk material. (Grokked from Dan)

Massachusetts heath insurers publish data on the cost of procedures. I basically applaud this move, but I have a concern. Many of the tests highlighted in the article fall into my sphere of knowledge (bone density, MRI, CT - aka CAT). Yes, there are great differences in pricing between institutions, but not all institutions are the same. They don't have either the same equipment, or the same skill levels of their practitioners, or even the various checks and balances. And the public doesn't have the information to make an informed decision. Take MRI for instance. Do you know the difference between a 1.5 Tesla magnet and a 5 Tesla magnet? Do you know that the 5T magnet will generate demonstrably better images, faster, and with finer detail? That might not mean much if you're looking for a torn meniscus, but it will make a great difference in the treatment of such, or if you have a cancer they're trying to identify (MRI grew out of MRS, which is a spectroscopy, which can tell us the composition of the cells within a certain voxel by their chemistry, which will aid in diagnosis). If it's a CT scan, are you on a 16 slice or 64 slice scanner? While a scan with a 16 slice device will be cheaper (because the machine should be fully depreciated), it'll be slower and you'll receive more radiation for a scan that doesn't have the detail as compared to the 64 slice. Also, operators make a huge difference. But, if we want to cut costs, I do approve of publication of the cost of the procedures. They just need to add a whole lot more information to the mix (and there needs to be a lot of public education). We won't even go into the "why are you taking a chest x-ray when it's my feet that are swollen and painful" discussions (hint: your feet may be swollen because of congestive heart failure).

The psychology of irrational fear. (Grokked from Janiece)

There's this psychiatrist on Fox News that apparently doesn't know the meaning of irony. So, having not interviewed the President, but able to make a diagnosis from his public statements he then can't comprehend how another psychiatrist can then diagnose him on just his public statements. Irony is dead, and they keep whipping its poor body into the dust.

So, to add to the new bag of tricks, such as the new tweet dog whistle of posting inflammatory material and then deleting it, we also have the correction at the end of an article that basically says, "Oppsie, sorry, wrong person." That the Beitbart site with an article on Obama's nominee for Attorney General who they claim was one of the Clinton's defense attorneys for Whitewater. Then at the bottom, "Correction: The Loretta Lynch identified earlier as the Whitewater attorney was, in fact, a different attorney." Ain't that grand. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

You know how we think planets form around new stars accreting from the disk of material left over from the star's formation? Yea, it's all just been a theory. Until now. The first view of a new star (only a million years old, give or take) showing tracks through the accretion disk material. (Grokked from Dan)

You'd think conservatives would be all over this. The For Profit colleges are suing the government over new rules about how many of their students are able to get employment and how much they make being tied to their ability to get Federal Financial Aid. I mean; frivolous lawsuits, people demanding government handouts, means testing, reduced government spending, looking at the problem from an ROI perspective - it hits all their main talking points. So, where do they stand? Oh, yea, the new regulation is just like the Nazi's invasion of Poland. Or at the very least, "Whatever they're for, I'm against it." Just some good ol' fashion political integrity right there.

Tweet of my heart: @splunge2000 Your restaurant can have a special called We Can Be Gyros, but just for one day.

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