I think we just survived the worst two weeks of May, ever: it had been raining for so long, that everybody and their cats were either longing for sun or snow. It’s bad when you get hit with a lot of snow, but rain? Come… on. It may then also not surprise you that the NOAA is suggesting that this year is going to be a busy hurricane season:
It said that three to six of the forecast hurricanes are expected to be major, meaning a minimum Category 3 hurricane with wind speeds of at least 178 kilometres an hour.
The actual link to NOAA is right here. Thanks to the CBC for providing actual external links in a side column.
This Saturday (the 21st), it’s going to be Judgement Day. According to Family Radio, the Rapture will start at 6PM ET (NYT link). I don’t know what to think of that. Actually, I know what to think of this: It’s amazing that it takes a lot more scientists to formulate a Theory (peer-reviewed at that) and it only takes one guy, Harold Camping, to accurately pinpoint the day and time of the apocalypse. Since nothing will happen, Saturday, I’m curious what the excuse will be. Tip: blame 64-bit computing.
Last but not least, I found this on Metafilter (link): “Arc of Life and Love”, about love, life and cancer. The video is, well, heart-rendering. Keep your Kleenex handy.
The Rapture, the best on Reddit:
Update: The Day after at Metafilter
The last weeks were absurd so to say: first of all, my wife suffered from a (sort of) ear-infection which made her feel out of balance. This was also the week where we were exposed to the lows of the New Brunswick health care system. At one time, in Nova Scotia, I paid my dad’s medical bill with a debit card and I thought that was absurd.
Earlier this week was also the wedding anniversary and if I understand correctly, we passed the ‘seven year itch’, going for nine. I remember reading statistics from Stats Canada that said that marriages that lasted at least 7 years were marriages that least likely would end with break-up. I wonder if that statistic came with a bell-curve. Actually, everything is explained in bell-curves.
Today would have also been the birthday of my mom: I was thinking the other day how grief has slowly been replaced with cynicism. For some people this cynicism may unintentionally come over hard and hurtful. Cancer, in a way, is a cynical disease.
This week, the New England Journal of Medicine reported about a small success in the fight against (skin) cancer: An Oregon man diagnosed with skin cancer, was injected with a couple of billion of cloned T-cells of his own and saw his cancer go into complete remission.
Via Slashdot (thread), it appears the old adagio holds true: Bad boys get all the girls. I also hear that thrill-seeking male humans have a shorter lifespan, or, eventually shut themselves out of the mating process because of a lack of other useful skills needed in societies driven by the sciences. This is old news: your mom (and dad) warned you to stay clear from people like these. Also: what about bad girls?
The best part is last: CNN has a whole bunch of sections dedicated to ‘busy moms and parenting’. The one article that attracted my eye was the one about mothers with twins, which reads as a proof that humans have lost the ability to provide and care for twins. Hey: In general, twins can perfectly take care of themselves, particularly when they’ve figured out how to communicate with each other.
According to the Dutch online news site Nu.NL, Flemish kids (as in “Dutch-speaking Belgians”1) are the worst bullies in Europe (Dutch language-alert). The original article (at the Belgian paper ‘De Morgen’) quotes a survey done by the British Council. Unfortunately, I’m unable to find the actual (English) survey on that site, so you have to believe my amazing Dutch translation skills:
Fifty-five percent of (Flemish) teenagers between the age of 12 and 18, say that physical appearance, like height, weight and clothing are the main reasons for bullying other kids.
Via the BBC, I read that a research suggests that vitamin E can increase the risk of lung cancer: unsurprisingly, the results of the research suggest that the risk increases with smoking (original article).
If you’ve followed the (technology) news the last couple of days, you’ve probably read that Microsoft unveiled Windows Server 2008, which now comes with a minimalist installation (Windows Core Server) for admins who wish to assign specific roles to their Windows server: no GUI, just the plain command-line [Slashdot thread]. There’s also an interesting article at (Microsoft infamous Open source portal) Port 25, titled ‘How Open Source has influenced Windows Server 2008′. More XML settings files, more modularization and well, more Unix-like stuff. Personally, I can’t wait for Microsoft to adopt and embrace the best-ever editor, vi (or rather Vim).
1 The term “Dutch-speaking Belgians” refers to an extraterrestrial race called the ‘Flemish’ who in and or around 1800 landed close to the city borders of Brussels and started their own country which we now know as ‘Belgium’.
Earlier this week, the most story was the one about that lawyer with that extreme form of TB. I think it’s sufficient to just link to Google: most likely you’ve already read about how the CDC (initially) and US border services failed to stop him from traveling. There’s a small posting about this on the WHO website (Or “Stop TB” initiative of the same organization or check here for the current status report on TB).
Next week, the Canadian Cancer society is organizing a Relay for Life in several towns and cities. There will be a Relay For Life (what is it?) event in Truro too, which is going to be held at the AgriTech park, Bible Hill (June 8th).
Alfons linked to a PDF that contains the musical score of Ives’ ‘The Unanswered Question’. I can’t link to it right from here (I get a dreaded message saying something about “This is the second IMSLP image server”) but it should be around the previous hyperlink. That said, I’ve not seen the IMSLP site before, so if you’re into transcribing music with (for example) your SonicCell… think of me. (And before you click that SonicCell link: no: I don’t get paid for that. I just have good memories when I think of Roland soundcards)
I was following the grilling of Gonzales and was particularly stunned by the reaction of Sen. Schumer (video 1, video 2) upon hearing some of Gonzales questions. Disbelief (metafilter thread).
And then, for no particular reason, I decided to look up Google Trends for ‘cancer’ and noticed that there was no spectacular increase of searches for that particular word. Both my (our) parents died of cancer and yet, there is no cure for this disease (note: photos might be heart-rendering). Well, maybe there, is but then I read:
(the) Antisoma’s chief executive, said he was “very confident this would be a blockbuster product with the potential for strong sales”
Maybe I just picked out the wrong quote. Yeah, yeah, yeah.