Monday, March 27, 2006

Another week down, a few to go...

Another week of the semester down. Good.

I'm quite ready for this one to be over. Both classes sounded great in theory, but neither one is really a good fit. My Materials class sounded perfect- teaching ways to help people become involved in their own healthcare. Instead, it's been lots of money spent on projects I'll never use again, and time spent learning procedures I'll never need after I leave.

My other class... well, how do I explain it?

MST3K followers may be surprised to hear that I've found out what TV's Frank did after the satellite escaped- he is currently living as a woman, and teaching my Health Issues class!


The class is weird, just like the prof.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Spring, spring at last!

It's cold.

About 25 degrees outside, which coincidentally happens to be the MPH rating of the wind. Cold, windy, but I don't care.

Soon, the new buds will start poking their way out of the tree branches, and the grass will get that light, soft green of a new year. Soon, the holly bushes will pick up the soft new leaves that just whisper to be touched, the siren call of leaves that would draw blood for now soft and inviting.

It's nearing that time of year when all seems new and clean, when the sunrises are shot through with gold and salmon pink, when the skies are blue and the birds are fuzzy. Soon, the wild Studentus americanus will be able to shed its winter coat, growing a new, cooler summer one. The wind will grow warm and peaceful, and the rains soft and soothing.

It's that time of year. Spring, the Beltaine tides, the rebirth and reawakening of the world. It's a new beginning, and I love every minute.

Monday, March 20, 2006

We are stardust, we are golden...

Bainwen's post on her Theology Blog got me thinking. I figured, I know a different angle of attack, so maybe I can meld science and theology together. :-)


A marble in an ocean of darkness, a tiny blue-green dot going around an insignificant star, in a low-level solar system and a backwater galaxy. Yet, there is life. Why?

Water. The very liquid that carbon-based life comes from, made it to Earth about 2 billion years ago. Before that, the Earth was a searing-hot ball of molten iron, silicon and carbon, totally inhospitable to life in any form. Giant icy snowballs called comets smacked into the Earth like torpedoes into the sides of a great ship, and simultaneously cooled and shaped the Earth's crust to their will.

Cooling, the Earth made use of the greenhouse gases that had been building up since the beginning from volcanoes and such, and there was rain.

But, there is one other bit making it even strager. Amino acids. Looking at the fossil records, oceanic life shows up very quickly after the seas. Far, far too quickly for random chance to create them from the primordial soup.

Give them a starter. Give them a seed crystal known as an amino acid, and the rest can fall into place. The skies gave life on Earth a gift- a start point.

A different account...

01:001:001 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

01:001:002 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was
upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon
the face of the waters.

01:001:003 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

01:001:004 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the
light from the darkness.

01:001:005 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called
Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

01:001:006 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the
waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

01:001:007 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were
under the firmament from the waters which were above the
firmament: and it was so.

01:001:008 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the
morning were the second day.

01:001:009 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered
together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it
was so.

01:001:010 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together
of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

01:001:011 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb
yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his
kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

01:001:012 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed
after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in
itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

01:001:013 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

01:001:014 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the
heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for
signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

01:001:015 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to
give light upon the earth: and it was so.

01:001:016 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the
day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars

01:001:017 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light
upon the earth,

01:001:018 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the
light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

01:001:019 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

01:001:020 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving
creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth
in the open firmament of heaven.

01:001:021 And God created great whales, and every living creature that
moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their
kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that
it was good.

01:001:022 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and
fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the

01:001:023 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

01:001:024 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature
after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the
earth after his kind: and it was so.

01:001:025 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle
after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth
after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

01:001:026 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our
likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over
all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth
upon the earth.

Sound familiar?

Monday, March 13, 2006

All right, OU, let's play.

My application is off, signed and sealed, check included. Three letters from professors should be there, and a letter from a DO should be postmarked today. That gives me a few days to spare.

Now to wait for an interview... God, I want in this one.

Monday, March 06, 2006

I vant to drink your... fake blood?!? Bla?

Not long ago, I read a news report where trauma patients in Chicago and the surrounding areas were given fake blood. Well, not fake, really. Synthetic. A new form of synthetic blood, just approved by the FDA for testing in humans. Since trauma cases use lots of blood, it was decided to use this stuff, called Polyheme, as a stopgap in emergencies.

The ethics of this are shaky, to say the least.

There is the most obvious problem, of course. How can you use an experimental substance on someone without their consent?

Common ethical practice says no. People like to have their right to choose protected, and not giving an option takes away that right.

Of course, then it must be balanced against the potential good. Is it ethical to deny someone a right to assure them a chance of life? That's where it gets thorny.

Going further, we have the physician's duty to help. In effect, it states that when a patient is unable to decide for themselves, the physician can stand in as a surrogate decision maker, and act in what they consider the patient's best interest.

So what right to we deny? The patient's autonomy, or the physician's right and duty of care?

In this case, unfortunately, I have to break with my normal libertarian leanings, and side with the physician. Denying the patient's right to autonomy will also force the loss of their future rights by their death.

It's hard to decide. Polyheme is known to be quite safe, but where should the line be drawn? 10 heart attacks from Polyheme in heart patients, but how many is too many? I don't yet know.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Hmmm... I have an email...

4:53 AM? Who the heck would email me at that hour?

Ohio University's School of Osteopathic Medicine, that's who. They want a secondary, letters of recommendation and essay. Hence, today, I'm running around like Jesse Owens, talking to profs (got 3 letters going out, need only 2), writing my essay, and trying to line up a DO to use for my letter. Next week's spring break, if I need to, I can go anywhere for one.

Whew. Three irons in the fire, three lines in the water. Now to get a bite. :-)