Saturday, April 18, 2015

stories below the fold

 Eilmer the Flying Monk

Though he broke both legs, Eilmer the flying monk of Malmesbury is reputed to have exceeded a furlong (40 rods) in his experimental flight of 1010 AD, inspired by the legend of Daedalus — father of Icarus; artist, craftsman, and Leonardo from the age of Homer. 

Malaria is becoming resistant to the best drugs in Africa.

this is Falciparum Malaria, the bad one. Not mentioned in the article: a lot of the resistance is because counterfeit/substandard drugs are sold so the germ becomes resistant (a problem first noticed in SEAsia).

Something to remember the next time you are told about evil Pharma that wants to sell their own medicine instead of cheap generics to the poor. (Although the Chinese/Indian crooks also sell look alikes to get around that problem).

and forget Ebola: Malaria is a big killer:

The World Health Organization estimates more than half a million people die from malaria every year, mostly children under five. Plasmodium falciparum is the most deadly form of the malaria parasite.

related item: Will a French Vaccine help stop the Dengue epidemic?

of course, spraying the fetid water in the open air sewers might help lower the rate locally...but the election isn't until next year so I guess the funds are being diverted into someone's pocket better used for the poor.


Deaf Activists protest during hearing about cochlear implants.

the problem? There is a very close ASL community, and those who opt out are seen as enemies. A deaf parent with deaf kids is okay with it. If the kid hears, he might leave their community. Walker Percy's daughter was taught lip reading and notes to learn language and did well, but because of this he was unwelcome, even though competent lip reading is too difficult for many who are born deaf, which is why the emphasis was on ASL.

yes, teach deaf babies ASL but let them get cochlear implants as soon as possible.

But the real problem is the elderly: Lolo was profoundly deaf the last 2 years he lived (due to streptomycin induced nerve deafness...he took the antibiotic for TB as a student). It caused him to become socially isolated.

Hearing aids helped, but distorted the sound and he rarely used them.

Cochlear implants also distort sound, so may not be able to be used in the elderly until they get more sophisticated. This is why few elderly deaf will get the technology...if they make a better implant, it could cause a huge increase in Medicare spending.

and yes, they implant them here, but the cost, 25 thousand dollars, is a bit expensive for the poor...


would you attend a gay wedding? The newest "gotcha" question in the media.

well, my take is similar to the Pope's: that there is a lot of gender confusion out there that will destroy society. 

as a scientist, I worry when courts push gender neutral laws based on the newest academic fad, and ignore rules worked out by experience based on biology and a million years of evolution...making laws based on utopian ideas rather than reality distorts society and in the long run doesn't work.

And for catholics, attending a gay wedding is sort of at the level of attending the wedding of a divorced person who reweds outside the church: pre Vatican II it was a no no, but now we sort of shrug and go to show them we love them, since the marriage is sort of the lesser of two evils, and love is more important than rules.

So I always encouraged my gay relatives/patients to get into a stable civil partnership, but that doesn't mean that I don't see a lot of distortion of the idea of marriage and other bad fruits from this becoming legal by court fiat. I predict this will be used to demonize/marginalize folks who actually follow the rules.


From StrategyPage: a billion dollars were sent to Gaza, but no homes have been rebuilt because the money is being used to fix military facilities and dig tunnels for smuggling goods and terrorists.

Ah, but the PC will blame Israel for these homeless people.

and Egypt's OFW in Libya are leaving...they do most of the farming and dirty work there.


BoingBoing is getting snotty:

By Gemma Correll.
my comment: This is about the elites, not the working class kids or the poor. But like the 1960's, the elites think everyone agrees with them.

which is why I wish Hillary would actually talk about hard facts and solutions and not platitudes.

The next big thing that will be the elite's crusade: Killing one's inconvenient relatives assisted suicide as a human right.

hint: Don't have a living will, have a health care proxy. That way your loved one, not some snotty doctor or bureaucrat who thinks you are subhuman and need to die don't need that expensive "futile" treatment...your relative/friend can decide what is helpful and what is extraordinary, expensive, and futile.

why the push? Well, most middle class people have living wills or proxies, but the poor, especially minorities, refuse...

I supported Lolo's decision not to get chemo (that does not lengthen one's life if you have many medical problems) and to die at home. But when he had chest pain last year, he did go to the hospital, since a heart attack is something that can be treated (it turned out to be arthritis). However, I should note he was mentally competent until the last week of his life...

Catholic ethics don't insist on extraordinary treatment and do allow pain medicine even if it results in shorter life. This last is now being spun that doctors always overdosed dying patients so why not let them kill them. Uh, it's not. You are treating the pain so the patient can die in peace...and they don't always die: I've had several "terminal" patients who required huge doses of pain medicine who recovered from their acute infections and lived for weeks or months after their medical problems, including pain, were properly treated.

I am not criticizing chemo per se: I arranged Joy's sister to get experimental cancer therapy when I knew conventional chemo didn't work very well and cost a fortune. Alas, the new immune type therapy didn't work...slowed the cancer but didn't shrink it.


Beware the Vikings:
the Norse Telemark Bttn logo 
they are now helping the Kurds...and their shoulder patch logo is similar to that of Punisher...

is similar to Marvel's the Punisher, although theUKMail article says it is supposed to have been banned for not being PC...
as for the Telemark part: LINK

And the really important news of the day:

HANS SOLO IS BACK (and he's really old)...

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