And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Linkee-poo has three passports, a couple of visas, doesn't even know it's real name

Save Trent's teeth fundraiser. While the description is a bit light on the consequences, losing you teeth (or actually having them rot away) is a life-threatening event. The tops of your back molar reach into your maxillary sinuses. Infection there (and because of that) can quickly spread to your ethmoid and sphenoid sinuses (all the sinuses are connected). And then it's a short trip through the thin back walls of those sinuses to your brain. Also, losing teeth means no tension on the maxillas or mandible. No tension (impact, force, whatever) leads the bone to atrophy. Again, infection, sinuses, back to the brain. That is a very serious thing. This is also why you want to follow your dentist's suggestions about your bite, it's why after getting work done on the top of your teeth is so damn interminable (because they need to make the bite correctly). (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Commander Chad Hatfield sings Space Oddity (with some lyric changes) while on the ISS.

The OED wants to know, have you seen this book? They're looking for a copy of the Meandering of Memory by Nightlark. (Pointed to by John)

How much can the body take. A NatGeo quiz piece about the limits (height, depth, temps, food and water) that the average human can withstand. Now, what I'd really like to see is an article on just how much physical punishment the body can take. Although I already know that's highly variable. Get hit with a fist in the right place and you'll die (typically exploits and already present vulnerability), and then Gabby Giffords and James Brady (and others) have lived with a bullet through the brain. (Grokked from matociquala)

The possible futures of the past. How our space age may have been different had Darrell Romick published a few months earlier than von Braun (which did shape our space age). (Grokked from

Using automated video processing technology to find colon cancer polyps. And interesting use of image recognition for processing huge amounts of video created by the new "camera pills" that have been developed. Also some insight into two different professions preferences and processes colliding. For computer science, generating "false positives" is a no-no and to be avoided even as the expense of missing a positive hit or two (it's a valid mind set given the history of computers and the thought that having 'bad data" might crash the system). But in medicine, we'd rather have a false positive show up (which can than be retested to eliminate that possibility) than to miss one positive hit (which equates to dead people). So the people developing the software err on the side of not having false positives, but then are only able to get correct hits on 80% of the polyps. What needs to happen here is to calibrate the software to get all of the positives in the queue at the expense of having a few false positives, which can then be weeded out by human observation (of course the alternative is if there are so many false positives that it's not much better than viewing the whole video, the project becomes pointless). So if you could winnow out at least half of the video, I think you've got something there. And if you could weed out 90% of the video, you've got a best seller. It's early on in the project (although video recognition software is becoming mature), so expect the rate to get better. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

On the use of credit reports in job screening. Want to know why companies do this? Because they can. It's the same thing with electronic resume screening (which doesn't work either). It's the result of "we've gotta do this faster/cheaper" and "conference room think". Again, the rise of the MBA strikes. For me, the good thing is that I have an excellent credit score (and I'm pretty sure that was a point with my current employer). But there for the Grace of Ghue goes us in the form of Mr. Carpenter. Also, see argument about "greatest healthcare system in the world." (Grokked from WannabeWriter06)

The problem with mythologizing history, like trying to say the Civil War was "The War of Northern Aggression" or "America was founded as a Christian nation", is that you raise a generation that believes your lies. We're not the only country that does this. But then the Japanese have a culture that believes in their own dominance and supremacy, like many Americans believe about their own country. And just like this Japanese politician saying that "comfort women" (ie. foreign women pressed into service as sexual slaves) were "necessary" and to be offered "kind words" when you drink the kool-aid, you end up doing stupid things. History is a harsh mistress, and she will cut you like a knife. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Speaking of history and politics, here's a new video from Newt Gingrich. Try not to hit your head against the desk too many times as he tries to figure out what to call a smart phone and then how he says that this will help us communicate better and be more interactive with government. For some reason I'm reminded of GHW Bush's amazement with UPC scanners at a bookstore checkout. While he has an academic point (if you go deep enough, but then the "horseless carriage" had also been called an "automobile" before it was called a "horseless carriage"), the same is true with what we call a "computer" (it's more than that), your digital phone (functions very differently than the phones I grew up with, back when super long cords were all the rage) and a host of other things that we all take for granted (hell, you still "dial" a phone, when was the last time you used a phone with an actual dial?) And just think about this, Newt held the second most powerful elected position in our government (Speaker of the House), and he wanted to be President (ran more than once) and try to control your shivers of horror. Newt, here's your sign. (Pointed to by John)

And in case you want an example closer to home, "'In my past experience when we got into these situations (talking about Benghazi) — especially after 9/11 — we were always there, locked and loaded, ready to go on 9/11,' (Dick) Cheney told Fox News Channel…" Wow, now that's revisionism. Also, hey, just a little nod toward the Truthers there. (Pointed to by Dan)

Watch as 32 out of synch metronomes come into synch without outside assistance. The title says "discordant", but that word doesn't mean what they think it means (in music). Still, order from chaos. Because SCIENCE! (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Cosmos is getting a remake nod. Okay, it's by Fox, but still it'll start Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Excuse me while I clean all this squee from my desk. (Pointed to by Dan)

Bang with friends. Although started as a way of getting past the playground taunting, I could see its tech being used for much more than which friend you'd like to sleep with. But, isn't that what conventions are for? Anyway, not sure how practical this is once you understand just how Facebook, Instagram and the rest make their money (hint: they sell your data and likes). (Pointed to by John)

"If you think that Congress has sort of been asleep (on gun control)… you are wrong… They have been doing a very good job of weakening the laws to make it easier for gun dealers to have the least amount of responsibility." For most "progressive" issues that's always the case. In this case, the gun lobby has been hard at work since the 80s to derail, scuttle, and make toothless any laws regarding guns. Case in point, the AFT director must be approved by the Senate (very rare for a non-cabinet level appointee) and they have conveniently not appointed someone for almost a decade now. But, "Pediatricians are puzzled that the statistics aren’t speaking for themselves." That's because there's no clear "government" statistics (because the NRA made sure there couldn't be) and because politics is no longer run on a rational level (see the satire of Stephen Colbert). And you know how conservatives were all "don't get between the doctor and the patient" recently? Well, yea, bullshit. "The NRA has sponsored legislation to stop pediatricians from asking parents about guns in the home…" (Grokked from Jay Lake)

The declassification engine. (Pointed to by Dan)

"More than half of common plant species and a third of animals could see a serious decline in their habitat range because of climate change." This isn't a "far future" prediction, this is within our lifetimes. And in case you think it's a bet alarmist, I'll remind you we are already seeing habit changes (moose and elk are moving farther north, brown recluse spiders are not "native" to NE Ohio, but we've have several bites in the past few years). And if we're not careful it could be a very major problem (besides the chaos effect of the rapid loss of biodiversity), some of those "common plant species" are what we eat. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Tweet of my heart: @Wolfrum: "Run the government like you'd run a business" is just mind-bogglingly stupid. it's like saying "Play baseball the way you play checkers"


Random Michelle K said...

Something else about good dental health.

Having bad teeth automatically reduces your ability to get a good better paying job or a promotion.

After all, no one wants their company fronted by a manager or even sales person with black and rotting teeth.

Which is of course a vicious circle, because without a good job, you can't afford dental work...

Steve Buchheit said...

Yep. And those are pretty good links. Thanks for sharing them.