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Linkdump for August 1st through September 1st

Sometime between August 1st and September 1st, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

  • The P-I error that changed Seattle history: "Occasionally, newspapers report factual errors. A well-intentioned interview subject gives bad information, a name is spelled wrong, a breaking news story is inadvertently peppered with grammatical errors. But no incorrect newspaper story has had a bigger impact on Seattle history than one published June 7, 1889."
  • 98.6 degrees is a normal body temperature, right? Not quite: “Forget everything you know about normal body temperature and fever, starting with 98.6. That’s an antiquated number based on a flawed study from 1868 (yes, 150 years ago). The facts about fever are a lot more complicated.”
  • The “I Am Steve Rogers” Joke in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Is the Definitive Captain America Moment: That’s who Captain America is, a man who listens to and believes in people when they tell him who they are. That’s a lesson we all should take away from that moment.
  • The Bullshit Web: “An honest web is one in which the overwhelming majority of the code and assets downloaded to a user’s computer are used in a page’s visual presentation, with nearly all the remainder used to define the semantic structure and associated metadata on the page. Bullshit — in the form of CPU-sucking surveillance, unnecessarily-interruptive elements, and behaviours that nobody responsible for a website would themselves find appealing as a visitor — is unwelcome and intolerable.”
  • Ignorant Hysteria Over 3D Printed Guns Leads To Courts Ignoring The First Amendment: "…in the last few days the hysteria [over 3D-printed guns] has returned… and much of it is misleading and wrong, and while most people probably want to talk about the 2nd Amendment implications of all of this, it's the 1st Amendment implications that are a bigger deal." Interesting. I'm not at all comfortable with wide availability of 3D-printed guns, but this analysis of the issues is worth reading.

This Far, No Further

I do my best to be open-minded about just about everything, and accepting of outlooks and beliefs other than mine. I may not understand why someone might believe the things they do (republicans, for instance)…but if that’s what they believe, that’s what they believe.

A few months ago, I hit the first time when I decided to “un-friend” a Facebook contact (the ultimate arbiter of relationships in today’s world) because of their beliefs. I could deal with this person being a gun nut, I could deal with them being an uncomfortably far-right Republican. What I couldn’t deal with was when they outed themselves as a Birther. At that point, it was obvious to me that there was simply no way I was ever going to connect to this person on any rational level. If someone’s at a point where they can take that level of over-the-top racism-poorly-disguised-as-conspiracy-theories seriously, then they’re not at a point where I can even pretend to be able to relate to them. So, off the friend list they went.

Just this week, I found a second, similar line, when I discovered that another contact was a vaccine denier. This I find even more offensive than the Birther nonsense. Birthers are crazy and probably racist, but at least their paranoid fantasies aren’t likely to hurt anyone. Anti-vaccine people, though…that can be harmful, and not just to the person, but to others, as they could potentially end up helping to spread an otherwise preventable disease. The “research” that the anti-vaccine crowd relies on has been debunked so thoroughly that it’s mind-boggling to me that anyone can continue to try to believe it, and when you factor in the very real chance that by not vaccinating themselves or their children, they could spread diseases that we at one point came very close to having essentially eradicated…. Enough is enough, and off they went.

This kind of thing doesn’t happen terribly often. I don’t mind disagreeing with people, I don’t mind people disagreeing with me, and in the right circumstances, calm, rational discussions of disagreements can be quite good. However, the line has to be drawn somewhere, and I’ve now found two places where I’m quite comfortable drawing that line.

Silliness: Medical Notes

An e-mail from Mom. Normally I don’t pass these kinds of things on (via e-mail or the web), especially when they’re [already posted on Snopes][1] (this one is listed as ‘Undetermined’), but this one had both Prairie and I in stitches (no pun intended) as we read through it. Lots of good arguments for the importance of clarity in writing in here!

[1]: http://www.snopes.com/humor/lists/doctors.asp “Snopes.com: Chart Toppers”

**A selection of choice writings taken from medical (and nursing!) notes!**

* By the time he was admitted, his rapid heart had stopped and he was feeling better.
* Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.
* On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it had completely disappeared.
* She has had no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.
* The patient has been depressed ever since she began seeing me in 1983.
* I will be happy to go into her GI system, she seems ready and anxious.
* Patient was released to outpatient department without dressing.
* I have suggested that he loosen his pants before standing, and then, when he stands with the help of his wife, they should fall to the floor.
* The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.
* Discharge status: Alive but without permission.
* The patient will need disposition, and therefore we will get Dr. Ward to dispose of him.
* Healthy-appearing, decrepit 69 year old male, mentally alert but forgetful.
* The patient refused an autopsy.
* The patient has no past history of suicides.
* The patient expired on the floor uneventfully.
* Patient has left his white blood cells at another hospital.
* Patient was becoming more demented with urinary frequency.
* The patient’s past medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days.
* She slipped on the ice and apparently her legs went in separate directions in early December.
* The patient experienced sudden onset of severe shortness of breath with a picture of acute pulmonary edema at home while having sex which gradually deteriorated in the emergency room.
* The patient left the hospital feeling much better except for her original complaints.
* The patient is disabled with a wife from Portsmouth
* Uterus remains in place resting comfortably (after prolapse repair)
* Diagnosis: Claus-trophobia
* Comes to ED complaining of vaginal breathing.
* Patient arrived by avalanche
* Odor of alcohol on breast
* Patient stable all morning, in asystole
* Road Traffic Accident, back seat driver
* The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.
* The baby was delivered, the cord clamped and cut, and handed to the pediatrician, who breathed and cried immediately.
* Exam of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.
* The skin was moist and dry.
* Rectal exam revealed a normal size thyroid.
* The patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.
* She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life until 1989 when she got a divorce.
* Between you and me, we ought to be able to get this lady pregnant.
* The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of gas and crashed.
* I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.
* The patient was prepped and raped in the usual manner.
* Examination reveals a well-developed male laying in bed with his family in no distress.
* Patient was alert and unresponsive.
* When she fainted, her eyes rolled around the room.
* The patient lives at home with his mother, father, and pet turtle, who is presently enrolled in day care three times a week.
* Bleeding started in the rectal area and continued all the way to Los Angeles.
* Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.
* She is numb from her toes down.
* Exam of genitalia was completely negative except for the right foot.
* While in the emergency room, she was examined, x-rated and sent home.
* The patient was to have a bowel resection. However, he took a job as a stockbroker instead.
* The patient suffers from occasional, constant, infrequent headaches.
* Coming from Detroit, this man has no children.