I took doxycycline for a month, the standard treatment supported by insurance. A neuro-ophthalmologist thought the double vision was most likely a congenital "lazy eye" for which I could finally no longer compensate, and new glasses with prism correction helped a lot. A neurologist diagnosed a pinched nerve in the neck (radiculopathy) as the cause of daily episodes of radiating pain and tingling in one arm; another MRI verified small arthtritic growths on the vertebrae. I saw a physical therapist for exercises to strengthen and stabilize the neck, and the acute episodes stopped, leaving a mild tendonitis around the shoulder.
The brain fog... continued unchanged. Mild, annoying rather than disturbing or disabling, but... unchanged. Imagine that you stayed awake for three days straight, and last night got a solid eight or nine hours of sleep; today you're much better, but you know you're not all the way back. That's how it feels.
As a science and medical writer, then a writer for pharmaceutical launches and symposia, I'd been peripherally aware of Lyme's emergence since the mid-1970s. Cure Unknown, a 2008 book by my former OMNI colleague Pamela Weintraub, had made me aware that some patients' symptoms are devastating, as they were for her and her family. Many patients were misdiagnosed for years:
- because it was a little-known diseaae at first, shading into (equally ill-defined) chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, etc...
- because antibody tests were and still are fallible, missing some infections that are later proved in culture
- because the symptoms of Lyme (and sometimes coinfections from the same tick bites) are all over the lot in type, severity and timing
- and because there's no definitive "it's cured!" end point: as noted above, once infected the antibody test results for the classic Lyme spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, are the same whether it's still thriving in your blood and tissues or was eliminated years ago. Longer, more aggressive antibiotic treatment does help in some cases, but not all.
Not surprisingly, there's a long-smoldering grudge match between aggrieved patients -- some of whom were told "it's all in your mind" by ill-informed / skeptical / frustrated doctors -- and medical associations, insurers, et al.
I'm not saying that assumption is wrong. But I'm not comfortable with it, either, because of the other assumptions that go with it. It implies that the qualitative content of political messages doesn't matter -- that voters' choices are driven by how many messages from Candidate X they see and hear,, not by fewer but more cogent, persuasive messages from Candidate Y. It implies that campaign advertising outweighs following and reflecting on the the news... talking politics with friends... comparing what the candidates say in this ad with what they say in other ads or to other audiences, and what they've said and done in the past.
lt implies passive, stupid voters. And to the extent that your crtitique of money in politics takes that for granted, your democracy has worse problems than Charles and David Koch.
- Current Mood: geeky
Anyway, this addresses the Paris killings better than I could:
We are having a series of loud, impassioned, righteous conversations about questions like “Should people murder?” and “Should we have the right to publish cartoons?” We’re debating, in other words, dead moral questions, and for the same reason we always do: because that debate allows us to ignore the ones that might lead us to a different place than the celebration of our own liberal righteousness.
It was stuffy and pedantic, but we loved it -- nobody talked about anything else at school all the next day -- because it was just SO COOL, like a million-domino run.
There have been several re-makes along the way, and now Pepsi has its turn:
OK, I know full well this is cane-waving, get-off-my-lawn, better-back-in-the-day geezer ranting... but the new one feels as if Pepsi's agency doesn't trust it to go viral just because it's cool and fun to watch and much more polished. No, it gets music, and a version 2.0 mirrored recap in Pepsi colors, and that social-media-friendly vibe from the "bookend" sequences of energetic young people setting it up and celebrating afterward (Occupy the Nucleus! Kickstart Fission!) I know they want to earn their money, but this feels like they're pre-emptively having my response for me.
I'm through grumbling now. Carry on.
Now, of course, I want more detailed graphs that break out the direction of translation. A-and one on movies and TV, with and without subtitles.
While taking a course in English as a second language in Temple's M.Ed program, I learned more about the English First Foundation and other organizations that are in a perpetual lather about All Those Immigrants Who Want Bilingual Accommodation And Will Bury Our Culture in Icky Foreignness Because They're Too Lazy to Learn the Way My Great-Great-Grandparents Did.
It's a classic moral panic, impervious to the evidence that (1) immigrants to the US today learn English faster than their predecessors, and (2) the poor beleaguered English language -- Mandarin and Hindi notwithstanding -- continues its 200-year roll as, global, uhh, lingua franca.
Civis romanus sum and SPQR too, beyotches!
In 1968, Jefferson Airplane (with Wyndham's permission) recast the story in "Crown of Creation." Midway through, singer Grace Slick delivers those lines, with "rise" changed to "minds," in her best oracle/priestess tone -- and whoa, did it go down well with us new-consciousness youth, now aka smug Boomers.
Beresford's The Hampdenshire Wonder, Olaf Stapledon's Odd John, Van Vogt's Slan, Dune, enduring SF and comix tropes all the way up through the next X-Men: we do love to turbocharge adolescent "Get out of the way, Gramps!" into historical inevitability. Back it up with Marx or Darwin, hot romanticism or cool technocracy: the old order passeth, and there is nothing new under the sun.
- Current Mood:Rueful
The late Sidney Coleman. Alan Guth and Andrei Linde, fathers of inflationary cosmology, at the Shelter Island II physics conference in 1983. My brother and I videotaped it, and I interviewed participants, for the American Institute of Physics archives.
The idea was only about three years old then; it's taken another 31 years to get the first really compelling observational evidence. These theorists would be the first to acknowledge the work of many others in (1) teasing testable predictions from the theory, and (2) setting up observations (in Antarctica, with an infrared sensor far colder than the landscape) to test one of those predictions.
Some answers are well worth waiting for.
- Current Location:Langhorne, PA
- Current Mood: jubilant
- Current Music:Jason Molina
I grew up without much knowledge of my ancestry beyond my father's parents in Maine and my mother's from Texas and Illinois. Once in my teens, I went to New Brunswick with my paternal grandmother; her parents had come from Canada to Maine about 1890, so she had cousins around Newcastle, NB. I'm still hazy about whether they were my second -> Nth cousins or cousins once ->Nth removed, but I did learn that that Williston lineage traced back to a Loyalist who had gone to Canada in the 1780s rather than remain in the newly independent US.
On the other side, I learned (also hazily) that my mother's mother's parents had taken part in the Oklahoma land rush around 1889 -- either as Boomers who entered the territory then, or as Sooners who had sneaked in earlier. And my second great-grandmother was native American (Cherokee and/or Choctaw) -- a source of some embarrassment to my grandmother, but of positive interest to us in the 1960s and after.
That was about it until ten years ago, when my parents died. My brother and I did some preliminary digging with Family Tree Maker software. We found a long chain of Davises, already established by some Mormon researcher, that took the line back to arrival in Massachusetts from England in the early 17th century, and let it slide until another burst of activity recently. Online genealogical work has become much more productive in the interval, as the software and the Ancestry.com website now work together to trawl for possible connections between your tree and those published by other users. So we've filled in quite a few more lines, and can summarize to date:
1) Among nearly 300 ancestral names, nobody you've ever heard of. Maybe solid citizens, to judge from length and concentrations of residence, but so far not one who made it into history books. (OK, sure, I'm probably descended from some king or other, but past a few centuries back so is everyone else.)
2) Aside from that Canadian loop and the native American "blood," almost all arrived relatively early and (going by names) were WASPs or WASPish. There's not much sign of the big 19th- and early 20th-century waves of immigration: Irish, German, Italian, central/eastern European. Most we've identified were here by the 18th century or before.They also tended to move slowly, staying several generations in each place. By the time of the Civil War the Crane (maternal) side had reached a line from Texas to Illinois, and stopped there.
3) On current trends, this part of the clan isn't going to take over the world any time soon. My sons grew up with just two first cousins, as did I; my parents had one or two each. If we had family reunions, they'd be tiny.
- Current Location:Langhorne, PA
- Current Mood: nostalgic
Q: How did Gene Wilder come to play the Waco Kid in Blazing Saddles?
A: Wilder had been the #2 choice in casting. He was hastily called in on the second day of filming to replace ...wait for it... Gig Young, who'd been having DTs on the set on the first day.
(A Western movie binge? Nah: after seeing the 2007 3:10 to Yuma I ordered the 1957 version to refresh my memory, heard Frankie Laine sing its title theme, went to the Web to verify that he'd done numerous other songs for Westerns including Blazing Saddles, followed another link for the latter, and bingo. See how much you can learn when you no longer trust your memory?)