Stuff from November, 2009

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on November, 2009.


On our honeymoon, I trapped a moment in my mind when I was standing behind Mykala with my arms around her waist, on the beach in Hawaii, at sunset. And I said to myself then, “Never ever forget this moment; carry it with you as long as you live.” It’s nice to visit at times like this. Times when I just spelled “systemic” like this: “cystemic.” A little weary, but holding up still.


dooce just opened the community section of her website. Looks really cool! Her quote:


Is exactly what it feels like to get a website (no matter how small) live. Now then, back to studying.

Milwaukee Road

You know what? Stuff used to be cooler.

Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad train No. 4, the Pioneer Limited, passes near Deerfield, Illinois on June 22, 1946.

4 comments left

Meaning of Information Technology

I haven’t read an article in a long time with such a gigantic vocabulary. Lot of dictionary use on this one. It is still very understandable, though — so I submit to you The Meaning of Information Technology:


RTIs & Apples

The patent for Abacavir (ABC) (trade name Ziagen), a reverse transcriptase inhibitor (RTI) effective against some resistant strains of HIV, expires this December. Incidentally, a guest lecturer in microbiology came to us to speak about HIV. Here’s where it gets interesting:

Using public funds, researchers at the University of Minnesota analyzed primary literature and hypothesized a novel RTI. After testing revealed its efficacy, Abacavir was patented. GlaxoSmithKline then sold the drug as Ziagen… without proper rights to do so. Mark Yudof, president of the University in the late 90s (and a lawyer), decided to sue for royalties. Settlement: 400 million dollars. This is the largest intellectual property case in the U of M’s history.


1 comment left

Rejection IQ

Rejection massively reduces IQ:

Aggression scores increased in the rejected groups. But the IQ scores also immediately dropped by about 25 per cent, and their analytical reasoning scores dropped by 30 per cent.

“These are very big effects - the biggest I’ve got in 25 years of research,” says Baumeister. “This tells us a lot about human nature. People really seem designed to get along with others, and when you’re excluded, this has significant effects.”

2 comments left

Dr. Brent James Healthcare Reform

Remember the landmark Atul Gawande article about healthcare providers disregarding the costs of tests and procedures, leading to more medicine, not better medicine? This article takes that idea as a given, and offers some practical solutions, still in testing: If Health Care Is Going to Change, Dr. Brent James’s Ideas Will Change It:


Reaching higher

Dustin Curtis writes about improvement:

When I first started designing as a hobby, I hated everything I made. I knew it was terrible, and no matter how hard I tried, I could never make it good enough for myself. But I didn’t give up, and after a while something clicked. I started to sort of like my work. But I am still not satisfied; every day I reach higher, trying to grasp the level of awesomeness that I can feel but can’t recreate.



My wife Mykala is a woman who knows how to wear some sweatpants. As the owner of a veritable library of them (nearly the antithesis to my own wardrobe), Mykala reintroduced me to sweatpants through persuasion and sheer exposure.

In elementary school, I had these red sweatpants which I wore to school once. I’m sure no one said anything about my pants, but possessing the misplaced assumption that everyone was looking at me, ready to laugh, I was certain derisive snickers and outright insults were bound to rain down upon me. Mykala and I have a short-hand for this type of self-consciousnessness: I imagine a world where everyone has giant eyes — mercilessly following my every move. This (of course) is patently false now, as it was then. Even at my young age, I was unusually intent on details, and I think there was a small darn on one of the legs… as far as I can tell, all this freaked me out sufficiently to keep me out of sweatpants for about a decade afterwards. What a shame.


4 comments left

Battle Studies

I have high hopes for John Mayer’s Battle Studies. It comes out this Tuesday, November 17.

UK Weather

Very very strong winds and stormy weather in south England and Wales is news… of interest to me only because of this great picture by Steve Poole:


2 comments left


Dental school — also known as “debtor’s prison.”

5 comments left

Get Me Right

Get Me Right by Dashboard Confessional.

I tried the acoustic and… non-acoustic version. The latter rocked aggressively. Some viciously catchy countermelodies in the final chorus.

When Information Overwhelms Facts

SquareTrade, a company that sells warranties for consumer electronics and appliances, recently published a summary of the failure rates of notebooks/netbooks (n=30,000). This study was then disseminated by large technology websites: Jeff Smykil at Ars Technica, Electronista Staff, Vladislav Savov at Engadget, and Danny Allen at Gizmodo.


14 comments left