Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Sunday, 2022.07.03
A certain amount of opposition is a help, not a hindrance. Kites rise against the wind, not with it.

2004.05.04

Psycho Shower Scene II

This makes me laugh: What grows on show curtains.

“We were looking for the possibility that there would be pathogenic microbes (bacteria) living on the shower curtain biofilm, and they could be aerosolized and breathed in and cause problems for immune-compromised individuals,” says San Diego State University biology professor Scott Kelley.

Like, you’re gonna be surprised by this finding? Unless you live in a completely stainless steel house with an “autoclave” feature, the microbes will be found. Living like a slob has it’s requisite company, after all. Still, even the most anal retentive bag-o-biology carries around a host of nasty critters – it’s part of life. Personal hygiene is important, but the bugs are part of living on this planet. It’s like cancer, we all get it – maybe even multiple times. Most of the time the cancerous cell is too unstable to survive or our immune system successfully identifies the errant cells and clears the buggers out, wack-a-mole style, before they take hold. But that’s only most of the time.

Then, University of Colorado professor Norman Pace chimes in with…

“We were asking, when you take a shower, who are you taking a shower with? Who are you rubbing into wounds and what are you breathing?”

Setting aside for the moment the creepy feeling I get thinking about a researcher wanting to know who people take showers with and their open wounds, what’s with all the fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD)? Does Dr. Pace have a book in the works? Perhaps a super cleaning solution endorsement?

“That which does not kill me makes me stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

2003.02.14

Farewells and Tributes

Said goodbye to my Grandmother this week, Lucile D. B. Engel. At 95, she finished her work here last Friday morning and set sail for the after-life. I made the drive from Denver to Sioux Falls for the funeral. While I had seen bunches of people die in the various nursing homes I’ve worked in and seen people die in hospitals, TV ER style, surrounded by a tornado of disposable medical supplies and everybody shouting (where’s the peace in that?), this was the first member of my family I’d ever seen where the light had left. And Grandma has a tremendous light. She suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with legendary grace and humor. (more…)

2002.01.25

Marketing 101 for Medical Students and Researchers

Word Chefs have a long tradition of serving palatable word salads to the masses for as long as there have been words. Governments do it (maimed and murdered civilians are described as “collateral damage”). Corporations do it (people aren’t fired, they’re “downsized”). Caveat Emptor. Riiiiiight. More like Cave Canem. Particularly when this type of spin is applied to all things medical. Centuries of voodoo, witchcraft, hocus-pocus and colossal arrogance have endeavored to pound the idea of “Trust your doctor – ALWAYS, OR ELSE!” into the collective psyche. So such spin carries quite a bit of danger for us average Jane’s and Joe’s.

Case in point. There’s a tornado of recent controversy over the efficacy of mammograms in breast cancer diagnosis. Seven large studies of mammography have been called into question as being “seriously flawed” and according to a New York Times article by Gina Kolata, “An independent panel of experts [the PDQ screening and prevention editorial board] said there is insufficient evidence that mammograms can prevent breast cancer deaths.” Previously, this same group had said “the evidence showed mammograms, starting at age 40, prevented breast cancer deaths.” Emphasis added.1 (more…)

2001.09.12

From The More-Tears-Than-The-Oceans-Can-Hold Department

Does one really have to fret
About enlightenment?
No matter what road I travel,
I’m going home.
– Shinsho
Tear

2000.04.11

An open letter to KUSA TV in Denver and the Board of Directors for the Komen Foundation.

This letter was originally written last fall. My wife’s health over the holidays prevented me from tracking down all the contacts to whom I wished to send this letter. Her health is much improved at the moment. She is off oxygen although her energy level is considerably diminished. I apologize for the delay and hope that my comments may still be of value.

November 22, 1999

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am writing this letter in the hope of initiating a positive change in the way breast cancer survivors are treated during Denver’s Race for the Cure event. I have shared this letter with organizations and people not directly involved with the Komen Foundation’s Race for the Cure in the hope that my experiences will assist them in avoiding some of the unfortunate trends I’ve observed with the Race for the Cure event in Denver. (more…)


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