As further proof that we haven't progressed much, ethically, from the days when unsavory characters made midnight forays into graveyards to provide medical researchers with cadavers for dissection, I offer this macabre story of tissue removed from bodies entrusted to various mortuaries in New York City, without consent and without proper safety precautions. The tissues were then implanted, in the form of bone and skin grafts, in hundreds of unsuspecting patients across the country.

I'm beginning to suspect that "factory medicine" is as dangerous a practice as factory farming.
Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, January 28, 2006 at 8:02 am | Edit
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Category Health: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]

Because I have a friend who is an avid deer hunter, the New York Times article on chronic wasting disease caught my eye. CWD is the deer and elk equivalent of mad cow disease, and has spread so far to 11 states and two Canadian provinces.

The news is not all bad for hunters. Bruce Morrison, chairman of the National Chronic Wasting Disease Plan Implementation Team is himself a hunter and asserts, "I'm not worried." However, he also recommended that hunters in states where CWD has been found have their deer and elk meat frozen while the brain is tested, and warned that no part of an infected animal should be eaten.

Which is not good news for the rest of us. I fail to see a material difference between this warning and a call to increase greatly the testing of animals that end up in the meat departments of our grocery stores. We have not learned well from Great Britain's sad experience with mad cow disease, and need to stop burying our governmental heads in the sand. Japan's recent renewal of the ban on U.S. beef is not the most important reason for tightening the regulations, although it is the one grabbing the headlines.

Personally, I'm awaiting news from Symantec and McAfee that they will be implementing special protection measures for Gateway computers.
Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, January 27, 2006 at 7:43 am | Edit
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It was a bit frightening.

A few months ago we added a Maxtor OneTouch 200G external hard drive to our system, which excited me greatly because it made backing up my files much easier. Then one day last week we heard a sudden "pop!" and...nothing. No recognition of the drive by the computer, no light on the drive, no light on the power supply. The last was actually good news, as it gave us hope that it was the power supply that had given out, rather than the drive itself with all our data. (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 at 2:40 pm | Edit
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Category Computing: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]
For those of you who have given up on the long-broken links to Peter's Ponderings and Hannah's Happenings, I finally fixed them. Enjoy!
Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 at 9:30 am | Edit
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Category Computing: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]
You will notice a change in the form used for making comments. Thanks to an enterprising (among other adjectives) spammer, I've had to institute an anti-spam measure. When you want to add a comment, simply type in the authentication code you'll see in the form, then send your comment as usual. Thanks for your patience.
Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, January 24, 2006 at 4:11 pm | Edit
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Category Computing: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]
This Orlando Sentinel column by Leonore Waldrip needs a wider audience. So for the dozen or so of my non-robotic readers, here it is.
Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, January 21, 2006 at 10:59 am | Edit
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Category Random Musings: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]
Imagine: You are happily expecting the birth of your child, and when the thrilling moment approaches you check into your local hospital, a scenario common to most American mothers-to-be. You give birth to a healthy baby boy, but when you, yourself, are finally released from the hospital, it is more than three months later and you have lost your uterus, both arms, both legs and very nearly your life. (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, January 21, 2006 at 9:49 am | Edit
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Category Health: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]
Most of you will hear about this sooner or later—it was on the front page of the CNN website tonight, so no doubt it will be on the evening news. So yes, that's our Milwee Middle School at which a student brandished a pellet gun that had been modified to look like a 9mm handgun. There was a brief hostage situation; the school was "locked down"; and the student isolated and later shot by the SWAT team, after which the remaining students were sent home. The gun-wielding student, who was labelled "suicidal," is currently in the hospital on life support.

Here's a local version of the story:
Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, January 13, 2006 at 5:16 pm | Edit
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Category Everyday Life: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]
The Giver, by Lois Lowry (Dell Laurel-Leaf, New York, 1993)

I doubt I would have found The Giver had it not been required reading for two of my nephews. One read it as a class assignment in seventh grade; for the other it was read aloud in fifth grade. Intrigued, I borrowed the book from our library.

The Giver makes me wish I belonged to a literary discussion group. Without a doubt there is plenty here to discuss, and I can see why teachers might be eager to share this Newbery Award winner with their classes. I would love to talk about it in a group, to toss about various interpretations and implications. And yet, despite the "young adult" designation, despite the fact that the main character has not yet reached his teens, I question the value of such a book in the elementary or middle school curriculum. (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, January 7, 2006 at 11:09 am | Edit
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Category Reviews: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Education: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]
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