Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

You can't empathise until you get there

It's nice to know that Danish embassies are not the only thing set on fire...?

Yesterday evening, I managed to injure my back in a spectacularly stupid way. Initially it was feeling alright, but as is usually the case with these things, it got much worse after a few hours, at which point I left my friends' place to go home and lie down. Of course, it is not pleasant now either. I was hoping my cats would give me their weird cat-backrubs, but they were not interested. Oh well -- I guess this'll get better over the next few days. The weekend was fairly successful as a decompression time for how messy last week was. It wasn't as good as it could've been, but overall a success.

I have my first subject this week for my new fMRI experiment. This is exciting, especially given that I'm learning how to arrange for the CMU shuttle to take me to BIRC rather than driving. It helps that I recruited someone I know directly from KGB -- it's always nice to scan people I know, because I have a pretty good idea if they're going to be scan-suitable, and because it's much more pleasant to interact with a friend than to try to make conversation with a pretty-much-complete stranger (although there are some random subjects I see in most of my studies because those folk love to do experiments).

I've been reading a bit about white tea and rooibos tisane and their supposed health benefits. I am somewhat concerned about corruption in the FDA -- like many government offices they represent an unfortunate comprimise between business interests and actual concern for the welfare of the masses. The FDA's research suggests that any benefits may be mild or nonexistant -- I am uncertain if this is because the supposed benefits of tea are illusory crap (like a lot of new-age nonsense), because not enough research has been done, or because preventative medicine normally gets the short stick at the FDA at the behest of pharmaceuticals. Of course, all this is an academic issue -- I drink tea because I like the tastes of the teas I drink, and I put enough sugar in it that it probably counteracts a lot of the net benefit anyhow, if there is any. Still, I am concerned over continued religious and business interference in science. On environmental issues, I am tempted to return to old habits. It probably does not help that I am reading Carl Hiaasen's Sick Puppy, a rather good book that's in a small genre that is to cyberpunk what deep ecology is to technoshamanism. It's not at all realistic, but it is a fun book, and I might need to hunt down other books by the same author when I'm done.

I discovered an amusing fact on Wikipedia the other day -- all the old signs that say "Ye Olde Tavern" and similar are not meant to be pronounced "Yee ..". The use of "Y" in that case is meant to replace a letter that stopped being used in English around the type the printing press was making it big, and that letter made the sound "Th". Read more here.

Correction: link was meant to be to here.

I am amused to find that the Sokal Hoax has competition in Europe, of sorts.

I am attempting to open new doors.

Tags: wikipedia

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