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Auto-immunity

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.25.17

Yesterday I overheard the following conversation, more-or-less:

Person A: You're here! I thought for sure you'd be out sick today.
Person B: Yes, I recover quick! Yesterday I felt like death. Went home, went straight to bed, woke up feeling great.
Person A: You must have a great immune system.
Person B: Yes, I do. It's the flip side to having auto-immune diseases. You have a really great immune system. Aside from my kidneys, I'm in great health.

It seems like Person B is an example of this.

I think I may be on the stronger-immune-system side of things - I don't seem to get sick much, but I do sometimes get eczema. (That's also tied to pregnancy, I think. Your immune system has to be suppressed to keep it from attacking the alien from within, and then maybe afterwards it comes roaring back?)


 

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Friday WTFuckery

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.24.17

I almost posted on immigration a couple times this week, because I thought these links were interesting: ICE raids in Austin were retaliatory against the local sheriff's new policy, Austin isn't cooperating with executive orders to detain nonviolent immigrants, and all of a sudden farmers are trying to use the guest-worker program in California. But I couldn't think of anything to say besides shaking my fist menacingly. Nothing that hasn't been said before, at least.

My feelings on the collusion with Russia is a whole up-is-down, left-is-right disorientation. I can't get past the fact that there was enough damning evidence to cause most politicians to resign in shame almost a year ago, and yet Trump has blown by umpteen unimaginably tall career-ending barriers since then. So yes, this week had probably ten shocking revelations, but somehow we're still patiently anticipating something before we can end our newspaper articles with a declarative conclusion. (I think that lefty writers are waiting for a piece of evidence that is so indisputable that it makes diehard Republicans fan themselves in shock without any help from Democrats, which is the same dumb dynamic as always - stop waiting for Republicans to respond to reality and get on with doing your job.)

Gorisch's frozen trucker ruling is super infuriating.


 

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Bleg - photo editor

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.24.17

Is anyone here skilled in graphic design and up for answering a few questions? Basically I want to know how difficult it would be for me to learn enough in free photoshop-style program (and which one to use) for a specific project.


 

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AHCA

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.22.17

Of course the Republicans are going to fall in line and vote for TrumpRyanTaxCutsCare. There's no suspense about this whatsoever.


 

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Religion Of Peace, Little Brother

Posted by Ogged
on 03.22.17

Hey, I'm not immune; this is great. I love how he just appears on the spot, a Jesus/Omar amalgam.


 

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According To Science

Posted by Ogged
on 03.22.17

Here's a little text to move the image down past the byline block. Provided free of charge.



 

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Sick on the internet

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.21.17

Who do you tell when you're sick?

[R]esearch shows that patients are most open with their family and current friends, least open with neighbors and childhood friends. Work colleagues rank in the middle. Multiple sclerosis, A.L.S. and epilepsy rank highest on conditions people disclose; fibromyalgia, mood disorders and H.I.V. rank lowest.
"With something like H.I.V., there are very clear issues about cultural reactions and risk of infection," he said. "But something like organ transplants are the opposite. If you need a kidney transplant, trust me, everyone will have to know. Finding a match is nearly impossible."

Makes sense. I've been fairly private about my experience, mostly because I don't want to discuss my breasts with people that I know IRL, and also because it didn't leave me on crutches or anything that visually stood out. I have not said anything to a general Facebook audience. Two or three people at work needed to know, and my close friends and family know, and that's about it IRL.

This matches my experience:

"The first thing people get on social media is emotional support," she said. "But it quickly shifts to medical information as the patients go onto specialized websites and become more expert in treatments, scientific trials and so on."
Most people are comfortable sharing their names in disease-specific forums, she said, even if those forums are on Facebook, where membership in such a group can be visible to their friends. The information in these discussions is so valuable that if you still prefer anonymity, you should join under a pseudonym.

J. Robot told me about the Facebook BRCA+ group. I'd been actively/lazily researching BRCA related matters for over a decade. But stuff that gets published officially is far less useful than having 100 patients pool what 100 different doctors have said. You can often quickly determine if there's a consensus or not, or if there's a trend between less-informed and more-informed doctors, or if the doctors are mostly bluffing and contradicting each other all over the place and confidently stating their opinion on something that's not actually clearly determined. The usefulness of the ad hoc tailor-made survey cannot be overstated, and I can't think of another avenue in which you could get it.

This has become my go-to (unsolicited) advice for people with a new medical condition: find the Facebook group.


 

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I Found It

Posted by Ogged
on 03.21.17

The old, great America. Some of you have probably heard this story, but it's amazing in every particular, and so many of those particulars seem impossible today.


 

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Mental Flotsam

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.20.17

You know the cliche about how when you read the Bible or Shakespeare*, you're shocked to realize how much of the detritus in your brain originated there? Recently I bought The Westing Game to have lying around the house, and so I re-read it for the first time in 25 years. Holy cow a lot of my brain tics arose from that book. Just little phrases - "Unaware of the near amputation, [the cleaning woman stared at the Westing House]" and murmuring "(branta canadensis)" - flit across my mind very often.

*

"You know, Turtle, you may be right about putting our money in the stock market. I remember the will said May God thy gold refine. That must be from the Bible." "Shakespeare," Turtle replied. All quotations were either from the Bible or Shakespeare.


 

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Guest Post - Casual Sexism

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.20.17

Nick S. writes: Story from two co-workers at a business in which they exclusively interact with customers over e-mail who decided to switch names.

Martin: We had a shared inbox with a drop-down menu where you would select your individual account and it would pop up with your signature when we were emailing back and forth with clients. I had been having some difficulties with a client. I'd dealt with difficult clients before, but this one was just really frustrating me. He was working in an industry that I knew fairly well and being dismissive of my comments. He would overexplain things to me that I already knew.

And then I realized: I had been signing all these outgoing emails as Nicole. I realized it was Nicole he was being rude to. For the sake of keeping a client happy, I said, "Hi, my name is Martin. I'm going to take over for Nicole."
Nicole: A man emailed me. He took the time to find my email address and wrote me this thing, saying Hey, I read your story. I've got a 12-year-old daughter and a wife in a male-dominated field. And my wife has been very upfront about the discrimination she faced, and I've been supportive of her the best that I can. And I've been supportive of my daughter as much as I can

The other day, my daughter comes home and she's been assigned to a group math project with two other little boys. The boys didn't understand the math involved, so my daughter was trying to explain it to them. She told me one of the boys would listen to her but the other one just wouldn't. He didn't want to listen, didn't believe anything she said, didn't want to take it from her.

She said, "Daddy, I think it's because I'm a girl. I think he doesn't want to listen to me because I'm a girl."

He said, "Oh, you can't assume it's that. You have to look at every other single possibility before you assume it's because you're a girl. You can't fall back on that as an excuse. You can't think of yourself as a victim or you'll never succeed in life."

Here's a dad trying to have a teachable moment. He's not trying to bully his daughter. He's not a CEO trying to bully someone out of the boardroom. This was a father trying to help his daughter understand the way the world works.

He wrote, "I read your story and I have come to the realization that my message was a very dangerous and ignorant one. It is my job to open my eyes and be more empathetic to the plight of others, especially in my own household. Thank you for helping me understand it in a way that I never understood it before."

Heebie's take: I know, I know. Boy do I know.


 

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Guest Post - "Sustainable"

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.19.17

Nick S. writes: The episode of "Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee" with John Oliver is both funny and oddly . . . satiating? I watched it last weekend. I had sat down at the computer planning to do something, I ended up watching that and, afterwards, I just turned off the computer and walked away. It felt like nothing that I had intended to do could follow that.

They have a surprising rapport, and I end up thinking that it has a surprising weight -- in that the theme ends up being the way in which their success is inextricably tied into personality traits which are objectively somewhat suspicious. It doesn't seem just like performative self-deprecation. There is some of that, but some of the moments feel real. When they arrive at the discussion of "sustainability" (which starts at 10:30 on the video) the conversation, and the tone of their laughter changes -- less inhibited.

Heebie's take: Might as well watch the video, right? It's a lazy Sunday morning.


 

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