Friday, June 1, 2007


TB-infected lawyer flies around the world.

He claims to be told that he was not a risk to anyone else. Honestly, I can believe that, with the doctor experiences I've had.

Personal tangent: I went to get my TB test, which is required in order to be admitted to stay in a dorm at college (but the meningitis vaccine isn't required...weird). I was told to wait 24-48 hours for a response, but that it was a pretty sure bet that if I had it, things would show up within a few hours. I was also told that I could call my results in, rather than having to make another appointment.

2 days later, my arm was totally fine. I had a teeeeeny dot where the needle had gone in, and the pen marks had washed off, but there was no change in the injection site, so I called it in. The nurse who answered the phone scoffed at me a bit when I said that there was no change in the injection site, alluding that I didn't know what I was talking about, but she seemed to be okay with taking my word for it until I vaguely mentioned that the pen marks had washed off the day before. Then she FLIPPED and told me I HAD to come in...presumably because she assumed that, since the pen marks weren't there, I wouldn't be able to tell whether or not my arm had swollen up or formed a rash. It must say "mentally retarded" on my chart. They pull this shit on me all the time.

I spent $77 (I didn't have insurance back then, either) to have her look at my arm and say, "Okay. You don't have TB." and send me out again.

Oh, and to have her bruise my arm with the blood pressure cuff. Again.

Anyway, you get two extremes when it comes to TB - the people who fuckin' freak when they hear any mention of it, and the people who treat it like it's no big deal. Obviously this man was exposed to people who didn't care and weren't interested in exploring things further until it was too late.

My favorite quote of the article: Thinking back on his decision to return to the United States on commercial jets, Speaker said, "In hindsight, maybe it wasn't the best decision."

Ya think, Einstein?


Kevorkian is free.

In the case of something like Lou Gehrig's disease, there's pretty much a guaranteed mortality, so deciding to die while you can still swallow (as a man in a video we watched in a moral issues class outlined) isn't anything that I see a problem with.

(As an aside, the video man's family held out hope that he would recover and ignored his wish to take horse tranquilizers/euthanasia drugs when he felt his throat control slipping, and he died of starvation after two days of refusing to eat and being left alone in a room - that ain't right.)

There are definitely some cases where it's questionable whether assisted suicide is the right decision, but if someone truly wants to die, they're going to find a way to do it, anyway, so why not let them go humanely? I wouldn't call it second-degree murder, especially if the person wanting to die has the presence of mind to have a legal document drawn up eliminating the physician/helper's responsibility for the whole thing.

If we're going to split hairs, we could put everyone who's ever sold a pack of cigarettes to jail.


Nessie spotted?

I have to admit, that's a pretty good video.

Biologically, though, there's pretty much no way a creature could survive for that many centuries (adding up to over 1000 years). If there's a possibility of this thing producing asexually (as some frogs and snakes are known to do), then I could buy that there has been more than one (because there being more than one down there at a time to produce sexually? no WAY they'd have been able to hide). But the chances are astronomical of this thing even existing in the first place, so adding those kinds of chances on top make this a highly unlikely story.

Then again, I have no ideas as to what that shape could be. And it does appear to be swimming in a very direct way (i.e. it's not a slightly submerged tree drifting around). And it's very large.

Who knows? I'd like to believe in Nessie, because that'd be really freakin' cool. I just treat it the same way I treat "God": until I see evidence either way, I'm not going to form a solid opinion (i.e. belief) about it.

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