Finger Jerky, Perhaps?

You know after you remove a Band-Aid that’s gotten soaking wet: That white, wrinkly, squishy look that your skin gets where it’s been covered up? They need a really good name for that.

Wash Your Hands

It’s gonna get dirty out there.

We have a bleak window of maybe 10 years, where we are going to have to use the antibiotics we have very wisely, but also grapple with the reality that we have nothing to treat these infections with.

Ill

Taking my first sick day in months… can’t remember the last time, actually. It’s amazing how being ill can totally derail all your plans, make everything suddenly take a back seat to your recovery, and delay everything you have going on. And at the same it can be liberating: No one expects you to get anything done when you can barely get out of bed.

Planes, Trains, and Vaporettos

Just back from 8 glorious days in Italy… jet lagged like nobody’s business, but replete

Thinking about all the forms of travel required to get from here to Florence, around Tuscany, to Venice, back to Florence, and back to San Francisco. Looks a bit like this (not including copious amounts of time spent on foot):

taxi, plane, bus, plane, taxi, taxi, car (rental), car (friend), car (rental), taxi, train, boat(s), train, taxi, plane, taxi

All that’s missing is the rickshaw!

Sometimes Sleeping Is Hard

Had insane dreams last night. People (even some dead ones) from the distant past playing major roles. Espionage and hitmen after me, holed up in a hotel room. My kids were overgrown to 5’6″ tall (but still 4-7 years old).

Things got so weird I was woken up and told that I was having a crazy dream, then went back to sleep.

But that was part of the dream, too.

The hitman/hotel story continued where it left off.

Still not sure if I’m up.

Like Getting Hit in the Face

“I can’t stand to see a woman bleed from the mouth. It reminds me of that country and western music, which I cannot abide.”

– one genius line of many from In the Loop

Darkness Imprisoning Me

Hey, I’ve seen this movie.

A man thought by doctors to be in a vegetative state for 23 years was actually conscious the whole time, it was revealed last night.

Be Mad

It’s healthy!

An Australian psychology expert who has been studying emotions has found being grumpy makes us think more clearly.

In contrast to those annoying happy types, miserable people are better at decision-making and less gullible, his experiments showed.

While cheerfulness fosters creativity, gloominess breeds attentiveness and careful thinking, Professor Joe Forgas told Australian Science Magazine.

(For all wondering, the comments on this piece are related to this post.)

BPA: We’re All Screwed

Society laughs at your fears about the BPA-laden plastic water bottle.

“When people talk about polycarbonate bottles, they talk about nanogram quantities of BPA [leaching out],” Warner observes. “The average cash register receipt that’s out there and uses the BPA technology will have 60 to 100 milligrams of free BPA.” By free, he explains, it’s not bound into a polymer, like the BPA in polycarbonates. It’s just the individual molecules loose and ready for uptake.

As such, he argues, when it comes to BPA in the urban environment, “the biggest exposures, in my opinion, will be these cash register receipts.” Once on the fingers, BPA can be transferred to foods. And keep in mind, he adds, some hormones — like estrogen in certain birth-control formulations — are delivered through the skin by controlled-release patches. So, he argues, estrogen mimics like BPA might similarly enter the skin.

In Other News, Ukranian Cash is Known as the Hryvnia

Note to self/world: If you drop money into a toilet, let it go.

The emergency workers removed tiles, drilled the toilet out of concrete floor and cut the outlet pipe, but the man’s arm remained trapped in the chute. Hydraulic shears and a plumber’s torch were finally used to cut the man free.

On Fava Beans, Chianti

I’m getting so tired of this ridiculous Steve Jobs liver transplant story. The increasingly tiresome Jim Goldman “confirms” what was widely suspected: Jobs went to Tennessee so he could get a liver transplant. Yeah, we got it.

But now comes the backlash: Did Jobs jump the transplant line so he could get a liver before a more worthy candidate? Says Goldman:

However, two sources at Apple told me tonight that both Jobs and the hospital were facing increased criticism that Jobs used his wealth and status to secure the donated liver. The Wall Street Journal, which broke this story, raised the issue in its Friday evening coverage that there might be a perception that Jobs state-shopped, looking for the shortest wait-list for a liver transplant.

Now I have no special love for Apple or Jobs, but — Jesus! — the man was clearly dying, and you’re going to try and fault him for using every ounce of his influence to try to get a liver as soon as possible, even if that means begging for an organ in every state? Hell, I’m surprised he didn’t go out of the country for the procedure, though perhaps that would have drawn too much attention to the matter — or perhaps Tennessee just turned out to have a short enough wait.

Seriously, Jim. Maybe he pulled some strings and even greased some palms so he wouldn’t croak. If you had all the money in the world, wouldn’t you?

Don’t Trust Nobody

The Rosenhan experiment:

For the purposes of the study, eight “pseudopatients” (associates of Rosenhan selected to be a group of varied and healthy individuals) attempted to gain admission to psychiatric hospitals. During psychiatric assessment they claimed to be hearing voices that were often unclear, but which seemed to pronounce the words “hollow”, “empty”, and “thud.” No other psychiatric symptoms were claimed, and apart from giving false names and employment details, further biographical details were truthfully reported. If admitted, the pseudopatients were asked to “act normally,” report that they felt fine and no longer heard voices.

All were admitted, staying for up to 52 days.

Shudder.