28 September 2007

Some examples of Cockney rhyming slang

Cockney rhyming slang - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
'plates' means 'feet' ('plates of meat')
'brown' means dead ('brown bread')
'titfer' means hat ('tit for tat')

23 September 2007

Some Useful Tidbits on Asthma

The Harvard Medical School Guide To Taking Control Of Asthma

by Christopher H. Fanta (Author), Lynda M. Cristiano (Author), Kenan Haver (Author)

Leukotriene Inhibitors

[From link above:]
"Molecular biology promises to provide drugs that will control our immunologic and biochemical reactions. Several pharmaceutical companies are now producing leukotriene receptor blockers - the first of the new line of agents being developed to control the inflammatory response in asthma. The first agents coming to market in Canada are zafirlukast (Accolate) and montelukast (Singulair). Both act by blocking the most potent of the leukotrienes, L4. Asthma is felt to be due to allergens triggering an inflammatory response. .... Leukotrienes were found to be the active factor in the old SRSA (slow releasing substance of anaphylaxis) first described in 1938. They are 1000x more potent in inducing bronchospasm than histamine. They are part of the lipoxygenase pathway that is also involved in prostoglandin production. These pathways are also used in allergic rhinitis. At the moment, leukotrienes are hoped to be the appendix of the immune system - of no good use, but known to cause problems....."

Beta Blockers & Asthma

[From link above:]
"What is a beta-blocker? A beta-blocker is a medicine used to treat high blood pressure and heart problems. Some beta-blockers are atenolol (brand name: Tenormin), metoprolol (brand names: Lopressor, Toprol XL) and propranolol (brand name: Inderal). A beta-blocker blocks the harmful effects of stress hormones on your heart. This medicine also slows your heart rate. Beta-blockers can also be used to prevent migraine headaches in people who get them frequently. Can I take a beta-blocker if I have asthma or chronic lung disease? Beta-blockers are generally not used in people with asthma. A beta-blocker can cause asthma attacks.... "


[From link above:]
"Beta-agonists are bronchodilator medicines that open airways by relaxing the muscles around the airways that tighten during an asthma attack....
Beta-agonists come in many different forms. Some common beta-agonist medicines are: albuterol, Alupent, Brethine, metaproteronol, Metaprel, Proventil, Salbutamol, terbutaline, Ventolin. "

The concept of "Pre-treatment" with beta-agonist

Preventing Respiratory Viruses

[From Harvard Med. Guide above:]
"Most viruses are spread from oral or nasal secretions onto surfaces, are picked up by hand contact, and are then spread from your hands to your nose and mouth. So wash your hands frequently..."


Eosinophils: mischief-makers in asthma

[From link above:]
"Whatever are eosinophils?

Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell (corpuscle) and take up the red dye eosin when blood is examined under a microscope by the commonest method.

They accumulate wherever allergic reactions like those in asthma take place. Their natural role is to defend us against parasites. In fact allergies such as asthma are probably a malfunction of our protective mechanism against parasites...."

21 September 2007


Interesting acronym: AOI = achievements, objectives, issues

10 September 2007

Triathlons I've done

Swim .5 miles/Bike 13 miles/Run 3 miles
Saturday Sept 8, 2007 | Surf Club - Madison, CT
Part of running route
Cache: C:\...\pers\misc\exercise\Sept07-triathlon\madtri07.txt + related

SEPTEMBER 26, 2004
1/2 Mile Swim, 14 Mile Bike, 3.1 Mile Run
Cache: D:\...\y10.unzip\pers-pics\pers\clip\jones-beach-triathalon

AUGUST 19, 2001
1K Swim - 15K Bike - 5K Run
Cache: file:///D:/.../y6-021014-closed/y6/bikemaps/tobay-times/tri01m.txt

Modesto, CA ; 13 October 1996
Pool swim, Bike, Run
Can't find any more details

07 September 2007

let. to ed. re. "Mom's Genes or Dad's? Map Can Tell" -- Washington Post

Here's a letter to the Washington Post that was published:
Regarding the Sept. 4 front-page article "Mom's Genes or Dad's? Map Can Tell," about the unraveling of the Venter "diploid" genome: The article noted that sequencing an individual's DNA provides a wealth of information not only about that person but also about his or her relations. But it did not mention that sequencing also provides information about all of an individual's unborn descendants. Thus, when an individual's genome sequence is publicly released, consent implicitly is being given for these unborn descendants without their approval.
Fifty years from now, our understanding of genomic information will undoubtedly be more sophisticated than it is today. In the future, from a bit of sequence, it might be possible to glean a tremendous amount about such things as the diseases or behavioral anomalies that might befall someone. What might these unborn descendants have to say about the release of such highly personal information?
It is worth underscoring that when information is publicly released, it gets widely distributed (via the Internet and other means); any such decision made today will have far-reaching and irreversible consequences.

Citation of the Letter
DNA Rights and Wrongs
Friday, September 7, 2007; A20
New Haven, Conn.

Citation of Article Letter Responds to
Mom's Genes or Dad's? Map Can Tell.
One Man's DNA Shows We're Less Alike Than We Thought
By Rick Weiss
Tuesday, September 4, 2007; Page A01
Scientists have for the first time determined the order of virtually every letter of DNA code in an individual, offering an unprecedented readout of the separate genetic contributions made by that person's mother and father....

Other Articles that this Letter Potentially Responds to
June 12, 2007
The Discoverer's DNA
When scientists talk about sequencing the human genome, they have been talking
so far about creating a composite picture drawn from the gene sequences of many
people. That has now changed for good. Recently, the director of the Human
Genome Sequencing Center at the Baylor College of Medicine gave James D. Watson
— who with Francis Crick discovered the structure of the DNA molecule — two DVDs
that contained the complete sequence of Mr. Watson's DNA.....

June 3, 2007
6 Billion Bits of Data About Me, Me, Me!
JAMES D. WATSON, who helped crack the DNA code half a century ago, last week
became the first person handed the full text of his own DNA on a small computer
disk. But he won't be the last.
Soon enough, scientists say, we will all be able to decipher our own genomes —
the six billion letters of genetic code containing the complete inventory of the
traits we inherited from our parents — for as little as $1,000.
Just what we will do with the essence of who we are once we bottle it, however,
is likely to be as much a social experiment as a scientific one....

June 1, 2007
Genome of DNA Discoverer Is Deciphered
The full genome of James D. Watson, who jointly discovered the structure of DNA
in 1953, has been deciphered, marking what some scientists believe is the
gateway to an impending era of personalized genomic medicine.
A copy of his genome, recorded on two DVDs, was presented to Dr. Watson
yesterday in a ceremony in Houston by Richard A. Gibbs, director of the Human
Genome Sequencing Center at the Baylor College of Medicine, and by Jonathan M.
Rothberg, founder of the company 454 Life Sciences.
"I am thrilled to see my genome," Dr. Watson said....

05 September 2007

let. to ed. re. "Logged In and Sharing Gossip, er, Intelligence" -- NY Times

To the Editor:

I was very impressed by the recent article in the week in review about
how the intelligence community could use collective knowledge in the
form of wikis and blogs to help combat potential threats. While I
think this idea is great, I was surprised that the article did not
mention the public episode a few years ago where it was suggested that
the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) establish a
Policy Analysis Market to help predict terrorist threats. In the
framework of the article, the DARPA proposal appears to be quite
prescient. Given the clear incentive of profit, efficient markets are
an even better idea for harnessing collective intelligence than wikis
and blogs. However, this proposal was strongly criticized in the
press, which led to the resignation of DARPA head John Poindexter.

Mark Gerstein

Above is an unpublished letter in response to:
September 2, 2007
Logged In and Sharing Gossip, er, Intelligence
Week in Review

AMERICA’S spies, like America’s teenagers, are secretive, talk in code and get
in trouble if they’re not watched closely. It’s hard to imagine spies logging on
and exchanging “whuddups” with strangers, though. They’re just not wired that
way. If networking is lifeblood to the teenager, it’s viewed with deep suspicion
by the spy.....

04 September 2007

Cycling along the Hudson

Cycling through Palisades Park to Nyack, with a long lunch at famous Runcible Spoon.
Route taken on Google Maps
(kmz colored by elevation, note tough climb at end of park when one joins highway)
Associated useful links.
Summary: ~51.2 miles cycling (7.3 beyond that shown in KML)

Walking in StormKing sculpture park then cycling from there through Newburgh, over Hudson on I84 bridge, and into Beacon and then back.
Route taken on Google Maps
(kmz colored by speed)
Associated useful links.
Summary: ~23.1 miles cycling and 3 miles walking

Cycling along Old Croton Aqueduct Trail, which is dirt. Trip aborted by rain in northern portion.
Route taken on Google Maps
Associated useful links.
Summary: ~18.5 miles