December 23, 2011

North Korea sells people to labor in Russian Siberia

look lab christmas 2011

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

October 17, 2011

on medicare

much has been written about the failures of the current US healthcare system, with recent critiques amplified by its enormous financial cost.

the separation between the scale of these dollar amounts and the needs of individual people makes it difficult to escape ideology when discussing what and how to reform. and most people simply do not have the time or resources to investigate this issue fully. but we should.

if you care to do anything, do these 2 things:

1) look over the top 50 services, procedures and items billed to medicare. regardless of the particular ideology that's permeated your thinking, you will be surprised.

2) read jane gross' opinion about how medicare fails the elderly. this is what awaits you and your parents in the current system. 

October 16, 2011

occupy wall street: e pluribus unum?

the major media and popular consciousness are finally registering the occupy wall street movement.

i am proud that the founding (dis)organizers of the phenomenon chose to maintain an organic voice with no specific references to constituencies or policies.

this has prompted some critical responses, but i believe that the decentralized approach has a fundamental strength in allowing it to spread and generalize to a more effective majority. the threshold for transforming the currently marginalized phenomenon to a plural one remains to be defined. the critique offered by the movement, however, is neither marginal nor plural.

just look at the summaries of real lives on a few particularly jarring ones have been buzzfed. even those instinctively opposed to the movement are actually a part of it.

the challenge for all now is how to make e pluribus unum.

October 09, 2011

olog's most read posts

though the apparent pageviews should be normalized for age, this list of "most read" posts must mean something:

October 01, 2011

conversations with asher

asher: can we have some music?
me: sure
asher: i want oscar
me: we don't have the oscar cd here, how about peter and the wolf?
asher: well, that's good...very good, peter and the wolf is so much fun!

August 28, 2011

miscellaneously sourced sunday dinner

  • boston harbor: mackerel sashimi
  • trader joe's: pan-fried pork gyoza
  • stop&shop: broiled skirt steak
  • nina: home-made plum galette

July 19, 2011

freshly caught blue fin tuna: let me count the ways i am loving you!

  1. crispy fried skin with sea salt (just for me)
  2. tuna belly with ponzu and nama shoyu (sashimi o-toro)
  3. tuna tartare with hazelnut mayonnaise (o. g.)
  4. pan fried tuna steak marinated in soy sauce and manischewitz wine with sesame oil, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, and chilis (east meets west)

June 28, 2011

Aleksandar Hemon's Aquarium, and why pediatric oncologists do what they do

as a pediatric oncologist, i've grieved with many parents about the death of their children. with experience, my ability to help them-- through the practice of medicine to guide treatment, scientific research to find new therapies, and shared humanity when the right prescription is unknown-- is becoming better.

for parents, however, the loss of child remains a singularly terrible experience in life. becoming a parent has made me a better pediatrician, but my appreciation of the experience of grieving parents, as it is for most physicians, remains more of sympathy than empathy.

now, aleksandar hemon provides us with a most articulate and moving account of childhood cancer, published in a recent issue of the new yorker as "the aquarium: a child's isolating illness." it is currently behind a paywall, but if there is ever a story that is worth paying for and a story for which the new yorker should lift its paywall, this is the one. it is a must read for all physicians and parents.

i thank him for sharing his experience, which is as much a human story as it is a testament to why the desire to heal remains a powerful motivation for all physicians, pediatric oncologists among them.

April 29, 2011

on scientific publishing

Hidde Plough writes an incisive critique of the current system of publishing in "top" scientific journals, emphatically entitled "End the wasteful tyranny of reviewer experiments." The agreement on its deficiencies among scientists, myself included, is unanimous.

I think that we should go beyond this critique, and move scientific publishing towards
the PLoS ONE model-- with publication based on technical validity only-- but that would deprive for-profit publishing companies and academic hierarchies from using publication in "top" journals as business instruments and measures of scientific productivity/fundamental contributions, respectively.

The whole goal of "top" (read, general interest) journals of providing a general interest forum to the readership is obsolete. Today, electronic papers can be tagged, annotated, and searched regardless where in the library stacks their bound volumes may be located. Physicists have been doing this for years at with some of the most important work being deposited there years before peer review.

But for now, as Hidde concludes, editors and reviewers should resume their true responsibilities, and "revisit the experiment."

April 14, 2011

Soldiers: Transcripts of Fighting, Killing and Dying

Nazi War Crimes as Described by German Soldiers
Newly published conversations between German prisoners of war, secretly recorded by the Allies, reveal horrifying details of violence against civilians, rape and genocide. Here, Wehrmacht soldiers pose with a Russian girl.

In World War II, 18 million men, or more than 40 percent of the male population of the German Reich, served with Germany's military, the Wehrmacht, and the Waffen-SS.
War is War is War.

March 15, 2011

2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

current dose intensity at the fukushima nuclear power plant is reported to be 0.4 Sv/hour.

this is the worst nuclear disaster in human history-- above chernobyl and three mile island-- after the bombing of hiroshima and nagasaki.

February 25, 2011

on neo-feudalism in russia

just one quote is sufficient to illustrate how right on and plainly awesome this piece about neo-feudalismn russia is: "political problems are solved as if they were commercial ones, and commercial ones as if they were political."