Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gossip

Gossip is so boring. I don't think these is a less interesting anything to have to listen to. Maybe listening to a lecture on the profits and losses of a private bank in Sudan might be less intersting, but highly doubt it.

Why are women so uninteresting almost all the time...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What doesn't kill you...

This just released in the Journal of Experimental Medicine people who were infected with the H1N1 Swine flu last year have had a great immune response. Of the 60 million people who fell ill and survived the team examined a small group and found that their bodies produced a broad range of highly effective highly reactive antibodies. These antibodies seem to be more effective than this year's vaccine and go on to provide immunity against the spanish flu and H5N1 bird flu...

The human body freaking rocks.

The research released by this team suggests that the human body has, given the time and exposure to antigens, has produced a significantly more effective set of defences and antibodies that any of the teams of scientists around the world making the various flu vaccines.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Would you go to the moon?

I have been thinking about space travel quite a lot recently. Space travel as well as categorical thinking. You see, if you ask people would they pay to go to the moon, most people would say no. Categorically. For a number of very good reasons. Like for example, going to the moon seems to be extraoridnarily dangerous. Most of us don't consider the view worth the risk that we won't return. Or that we will get some kind of illness from the sun rays or this sort of thing. The latter fear probably being completely unfounded. But we don't know. And lack of information is as good a reason as any to be afraid of something.

To which I say, okay, if it were safe, and your return to earth (should you wish to return) garunteed, and there were no serious health implications aside from th muscle atrophy or what ever it is that makes you have to be put in a wheel chair when you get back to earth...would you pay to go to the moon. Still most people would say no. The reason being, going to the moon seems to be extraordinarily expensive. People say, if I had enough money to go to the moon, I would go everywhere on earth first. And build a huge house, with swimming pools and discos and have lots of friends who come and see me.

To which I say, okay, well what if you could go to the moon for $20,000... This is about the cost of a university education. What if it were less. Only $5,000. or $2,000. Or how about you have the billions of dollars, you have been all over earth, done everything from fasting in the tibetian mountains to million dollar shopping sprees in Qatar to sitting at the 0 yardline at the Super Bowl...taken dinner with Angelina Jolie and Nelson Mandela...how about then...

Usually people stop and start to think now. Start to say...well maybe then...but.

But usually the answer is still almost always a categorical no. Moon = a place i don't want to go.

But here is the thing. If someone on TV went to moon and found some little animal or something that was very adorable or breathes fire or something. I bet then you would want to go.

I think the main reason people don't want to go to the moon, is the belief that it isn't very interesting. It is like going to Siberia or the middle of the Sahara. Very hot or cold. Lots of rocks and sand. Maybe a beautiful sunset or something. But I guess the fact that the sun only sets once a month and once it does you are in complete darkness is a bit unsettling.

The moon is a place for doing science experiments, like proving Gallileo was write, or playing golf (which in my opinion is the least interesting sport in the universe)...not much of a tourist destination. So I guess I understand why most people don't want to go. I mean, would you?

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Thank you, we're leaving

This is the name of a campaign being run by the doctors union in the Czech Republic. The campaign, like all union campaigns are for better wages. Understandably so. In the Czech doctors, even when working overtime, can expect to gross about $2000US a month. While this is enough to support a pay check to pay check style life with a tiny bit of savings (if you dont play, travel or buy toys) this is but a pittance compared to the costs of education, responsibility and regulations that doctors must procure.

So the campaign, were doctors across the country, and en masse, are handing in their letters of resignation. On March 1st of this year, Czech Republic will find itself suddenly squeezed for doctors. Unless the government does something about the salary of doctors.

While it seems like a very effective way to get the government to listen up, isn't this kind of hostage taking some what contrary to a doctor's calling in life? The "Thank you, we're leaving" campaign is basically taking patients as hostages in a fight against the government. This is an ugly and dangerous precedent.

Although it seems that the government is not to concerned with the pirate doctors threat I wonder how relations can be repaired and these honourable men and women who help save, maintain and improve the quality of life for some many individuals can find the recompense they deserve.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I don't have arms to hug my wife

I saw a crow fall out of a tree this morning. I was not so startled, but momentarily worried, the young bird might need help. But it's mother soon appeared at its side to show it the way back to the nest.

Perhaps, it hadn't fallen, but flown in a plumetting sort of way. But, I was struck by a thought watching the mother, or well I assumed it was the mother not the father, I don't know if crows do the gender equity thing when it comes to rearing children. (Let's assume it was the mother).

She has no arms to pick up her child. She has not the strength to carry it back to their home. She can only suggest the path and hope her child follows. It was lovely to watch, as the moterh showed remarkable patience and prudence jumping from branch to branch, never going further than 2 or 3m leading the young crow higher and higher until they could reach their home in one of the parks evergreen trees.

It made me reflect on my own taching experiences, and on the need to lead and guide, to suggest and show, but not to do for my students what they must learn for themselves. It was a beautiful moment.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Japanese politics

I don't understand why Japan can't just have an unpopular person in power. I mean dudes, there hasn't been a real head of state in years, turnover of political leaders has been faster then the changing runway fashion. It takes time to establish leadership, to enact changes, to create change. Things cannot and do not happen overnight, unless you live in a dictatorship. It is the price you pay for individual freedom; some things take a little longer.

after 8 months, Mr Hatoyama is calling it quits. LAME!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Is happy to be an intellectual

I miss school. I miss being surrounded by debate, discussion and people with opinions I can understand. It is sometimes very hard not being fluent in Japanese. I am finding myself in a cycle of self pacification to try and cope with this raging desire to engage more intellectual content.

Don't miss read me. I am not claiming the people, my friends here, lack depth. Quite the opposite, it is I who lack the lingual skills to engage them on an intellectual level.

Sigh.