Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In the end

God's going to make everything right in the end.

In Case of Flu...

Here is our lab's emergency plan:


Due to the predicted threat of the H1N1 flu virus, the potentially deadly nature of the virus, and the heightened risk of contraction/spreading of the virus throughout the ____ lab, we have implemented the following plan to minimize our risk to the virus. This document includes brief background information about the virus, lab policy concerning illness, information about how to stay healthy, and information about the upcoming vaccine for the virus. 

To read more of the information concerning the H1N1 virus, please see the CDC website regarding H1N1 at  


According to the CDC, symptoms of the H1N1 include: 



-sore throat

-runny or stuffy nose

-body aches




More severe symptoms include: 



Why is the _____ lab at higher risk than normal? 

The CDC claims that young adults, who work/go to school in close proximity to one another are particularly susceptible to H1N1. In the ____ lab, we constantly work in close proximity to one another. Furthermore, we are constantly exposed to college students, who live, work and attend class in close proximity to one another. Those who live in dense urban settings, such as Chicago are also more susceptible to contracting H1N1, and a large portion of the students at the U of I are from Chicago. Finally, the high stress associated with our work could compromise our immune systems. 

What to do if you exhibit symptoms 

In order to protect others in lab from contracting the illness, if you exhibit ANY of these symptoms (including excessive coughing, runny nose, or congestion), you are required to go to the doctor (likely McKinley Health Center) as soon as possible. If you notice someone in lab exhibiting ANY of the above symptoms, you are required to ask them to please leave and to see a doctor. The sick person will not be allowed back at work until they have been cleared by a qualified physician and told that they do not have the H1N1 virus. If you are unable to get an immediate appointment, you should go home until you can get an appointment and be given a clean bill of health. If you go home due to illness, you are responsible for notifying Dr. ______, as well as anyone else in the lab with whom you may be working. 

The CDC recommends that those infected with H1N1 avoid contact with others until at least 24 hours after the symptoms go away. However, infected persons could be contagious for up to 7 days after the symptoms have been suppressed.  

Obviously, many conditions can have similar symptoms to H1N1, so, if your symptoms completely go away after a day or two, you should see the doctor again and come back to work approximately 24 hours after your symptoms subside if the doctor says you are o.k. If you have symptoms for 48 hours or more, or you develop any of the more severe symptoms at any time, e.x. (but not limited to) a high fever (>100°F, 37°C), vomiting, or diarrhea, you are required to see a doctor IMMEDIATELY and to be tested for the virus. 

If you are found to have the virus, you should not return to work until you are no longer contagious. 

What You Can Do to Stay Healthy, according to the CDC:

  • Stay informed. This website ( will be updated regularly as information becomes available.
  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  • Take everyday actions to stay healthy.
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
    • Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
  • Find healthy ways to deal with stress and anxiety.

Call 1-800-CDC-INFO for more information 

Vaccine information 

There is a vaccine that is scheduled to be available sometime this fall. Please keep in mind that the general flu vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine are different things. If you decide to get the vaccine, please make sure you receive the proper one. While anyone can receive the vaccine, the CDC recommends that those who specifically fit any of the following criteria be vaccinated against the virus:

  • Pregnant women because they are at higher risk of complications and can potentially provide protection to infants who cannot be vaccinated;
  • Household contacts and caregivers for children younger than 6 months of age because younger infants are at higher risk of influenza-related complications and cannot be vaccinated. Vaccination of those in close contact with infants less than 6 months old might help protect infants by "cocooning" them from the virus;
  • Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel because infections among healthcare workers have been reported and this can be a potential source of infection for vulnerable patients. Also, increased absenteeism in this population could reduce healthcare system capacity;
  • All people from 6 months through 24 years of age
    • Children from 6 months through 18 years of age because we have seen many cases of novel H1N1 influenza in children and they are in close contact with each other in school and day care settings, which increases the likelihood of disease spread, and
    • Young adults 19 through 24 years of age because we have seen many cases of novel H1N1 influenza in these healthy young adults and they often live, work, and study in close proximity, and they are a frequently mobile population; and,
  • Persons aged 25 through 64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza.

Information about where to go to get the vaccine will be released by the state government once the vaccine has become available.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Free Speech. But...

"This newspaper prides itself on being a member of the professional journalistic community. We value freedom of the press, speech and expression. But we acknowledge that in certain instances, such as the publishing of these offensive cartoons, there are issues that must be considered."

Sometimes it's important to know not only where ya going, but where ya been.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) sent me an email today, and I followed their link to find the free speech rating at my school. I'm curious! I mean, just this Sunday the women passing out free -- shall we say, unproductive materials -- at Quad Day were shouting out all sorts of stuff. Evidently they were enjoying their exercise of free speech.

The rating for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a red light. I looked through the news articles associated with UIUC. At first I was surprised at our rating, given the lack of recent stories from our campus. But then I found what's happened here in the past, that in 2006 two students editors were dismissed from the Daily Illini for running one of the Danish Mohammed cartoons and an accompanying editorial. (You can read more here). The two students were Opinions editor Chuck Prochaska and editor-in-chief Acton Gorton. Both were involved in the decision to publish the content. (This article is archived here).

Woah! I knew this was an institute of higher leaning (spelling intended), but I didn't THAT had happened!

WOW! Where's the memory of this? I have never heard any mention of this incident. I had no idea that it happened until reading about it today.

In an Orwellian strategy, within days of publishing the articles, the editor-in-chief Acton Gorton was sacked, the Daily Illini swabbed their website of the cartoons and their accompanying editorial, and they requested that Google clear information about the article. Acton had blogged about his experiences, but the newspaper rapidly enacted a no-blogging procedure for Daily Illini employees and wanted him to stop writing about anything done at work.

By the following Sunday, Steven Shoemaker, the executive director of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA, emphasis added), was weighing in on the situation. He cried shame at Chuck and Aston, characterized their words as an attack on the country that gave them free speech, and expressed his dhimmitude, referring to The Prophet with the words "peace be upon him." Mary Cory, the publisher and general manager of the Illini Media Co. announced Chuck and Aston's suspension within a week of the publication of the cartoon and editorial. Both comments were published on the misnomer-bearing Council on American-Islamic Relations website, along with a long, rambling, ten-point piece of work by the then-president of the Muslim Students Association. His statements range from denial ("there is no conceivable way a cartoon could prompt riots...") to further denial ("In fact, this is not an issue of free speech... to delusion ("Critical thinking is best aided by a proper education and is highly encouraged by Islam and Prophet Muhammad's example.") He even attempts to claim victimhood, instead of manfully acknowledging the crimes perpetrated by Muslims using the cartoons as an excuse. ("The key here is that journalists know that there is widespread misunderstanding about Islam, which leads to hate crimes and unfair policies directed towards Muslims.")

The cartoons and editorial were run on February 9, 2006. Acton was fired from his position at the Daily Illini on March 14. Despite the efforts of the Daily Illini board, some students did understand the seriousness of the actions against Acton Gorton, and the deep-seated injustice those actions were a symptom of. The day after Acton was fired, Josh Rohrscreib, another journalist at the paper and at the time the president of the Illinois Student Senate, handed in his resignation letter to the Daily Illini. In April 2006 the Illini Conservative Union held a funeral for free speech, protesting the treatment of Acton.

Closer to the actual incident, on February 20, 2006 Fox News interviewed both student editors, to get their account of what happened. At that point, they were suspended, but expressed hope that they'd get their jobs back. (Chuck was offered his job back, but decided to move on).

There is a golden lining in this story, however. Sure, the world is absurd, but at least FIRE recognized a free thinker when they saw him. Acton Gorton, a veteran of the 82nd Airborne, and the editor-in-chief of the Daily Illini up until the cartoon scandal, later became a FIRE intern. He tells his story here. Wow! Way to go, Acton!

The quote leading this blog is from the Daily Illini, February 13, 2006. I will call your attention to a single word: "But." It's short. It's convenient. But it's a prime example of doublespeak.

1) Quotes from Chuck and Acton are posted at You can also search the Daily Illini for articles by both editors.

2) Strangely, even now, when I google Acton Gorton's name,, a website that's presumably his, shows up, but when I load the page it's blank. What gives?

3) And in case you were under the delusion that this kind of irrational fear of offending Muslims only happened in the past, Yale University Press has decided to censor images of Mohammed in their upcoming publication The Cartoons that Shook the World. Message: we are your dhimmis: come and claim us. For anyone convinced that our dhimmitude will cause lasting peace, I have this to say. Remember Neville Chamberlain. The amount and distribution of our opponents' facial hair may have changed between then and now, but many elements of Nazi/Socialist and Islamic thought are indistinguishable. For one thing, both know the meaning of a white flag.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Add Fuzz Here

Sometimes adding the prefix "bio" or the prefix "med" is just the same as adding the prefix "fuzzy."  Not always, but sometimes.  Actually, I'll upgrade this: "many times"!

Here's a case to evaluate: my statistics textbook is called "Principles of Biostatistics."  Does this really mean "Principles of Fuzzystatitistics"?  Time will tell.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Death by...

Complement-mediated killing: change an "e" to an "i," and you've got an interesting concept

Sunday, August 16, 2009

If Variety Is the Spice of Life, Sameness Is Its Staple

"Now" is the time I'll live in. It sounds obvious, but I'm so tempted to try to live in the past or the future! Plus, I've decided today that instead of waiting for the "big moments" in my life, I'm going to enjoy all the "small" ones. (Note: the "Second Adam," "Life," and "Someone" I'm talking about here are all one and the same person, and that is Jesus Christ).

I don't know a Son of Adam who would bless me with a kiss. But I'll kiss the Second Adam and bless Him in my bliss.
I don't know if any child will ever be my own. But I'll enjoy the smile the child gives me as my own.
I don't know if I will ever be well-known. But I'll enjoy the laugh and love of those who know me well.
I don't know if I will own a million or a half. But I'll enjoy the million things God's given me today.
I don't know if I will ever save a person's life. But I'll enjoy the Life who gave me personhood.
I don't know if I will ever be someone. But I'll enjoy the Someone who was, is, and will be.

Golden Oldies

Today at the nursing home, I was horrified and I was amazed. Don't get me wrong. It wasn't as if I saw some terrible accident or saw someone come to Christ. No, that would be off-the-scale on horrifying and amazing. Nah. It was just the spirit of the place and the unclean feel that really got to me today. The spirit was one of confusion, dullness, and stupor. And the uncleanness only started with the drifting smells. It extended to the prevalence and prominence of the TV set.

It was enough to cause me to rethink the hours I've spent this summer glued to a TV screen. I asked a bright, chipper lady named Doris whether she had any hobbies. ("After all," I reasoned, "if anyone does, this lady does!"). But no. Her hobby was "watching the television set." And that's what my hobby has become. The more I watch TV, the less I even think about occupying my hands or head while I watch it. And it's got to stop.

At the nursing home, the TV is the great pasttime. We were literally pulling people away from the set to go watch TV. In a lot of ways, my time in the nursing home is a strange parody of my life. It always presents the question "Do I want to be like this when I'm this age?" If not, then I've got to change my trajectory. Here's the result! The excuses the residents give me as to why they can't come to church are so pitiful I'm embarrassed for them. But then, how do my excuses sound? "Uh, no, God, I can't read the Bible today, 'cause I'm tired." "Hannah, you're planning on watching a 1.5-hr. movie. And you're too busy to spend 10 minutes with me?" "God, you have a point. I'll do it after the movie." "When you fall over from exhaustion?" "Okay, God, I'll read if while I watch the movie." "Yeah, sure."

Escapism, in general, looks especially vapid now. When I asked one lady if she'd like to come to church, she announced in a resolute voice that she was deaf, and that she was going to go "far, far away from here." When I asked her where, she said she didn't remember, but her granddaughter had written it down and she could go and look it up. Another woman, in answer to the same question, shook her fist and told me she was "so mad she could just pop!" She had just gone to one end of the hallway and some guy had made her mad by telling her she should have gone the other way. So that's what she was doing now. She had to go find it. I didn't know what "it" was, but I told her that I sure hoped she could find it. She thanked me heartily, and the conversation was over.

If I could just learn from these women now, I would see that always wishing I was in another place or blaming my anger on other people aren't going to get me anywhere!

In contrast to these semi-weird happenings, there were the amazing moments. I had thought that most of the residents we wheeled into the Chapel were pretty out-of-it. But this was the first Sunday I got to help them turn the pages to the songs. And I learned that more than half the residents could find it with no help from me at all! Some were even helping others find the page! One one-legged resident who mostly mumbled suprised me the most by having her page open to the right song within 30 seconds of us announcing the number. Irene, who sat next to her, said simply "Oh, I found it for her."

One lady sat pretty listessly in her chair, with her book opened, but not turning pages. I flipped to the right page and tried to move her thumb to hold the page open, but no dice. I think she thought I wanted the book, so she eventually moved her hand away. I carefully moved her hand back, and when I felt her hand, I was so afraid I would damage it if i wasn't careful. It was the softest skin. But it felt so thin! It was warm, squishy, and absolutely relaxed. I had to give up, but when I got back to the piano, she caught my eye. I smiled at her, and she smiled back the most beautiful, peaceful smile. What a gift that was!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lincoln: Conservative or Conman?

What do you think about Abraham Lincoln? 

I know a lot of folks have been drawing parallels between Abe and Barack lately.  And I'm wondering what's up.  Should I resisting such a comparison because Abe was a conservative and Barack is not?  Or should I be lauding it because it puts Abe's socialistic tendencies in focus?

What did Abe believe?  I'm wondering now...  In 1862, in the middle of the Civil War, Lincoln wrote this to Horace Greeley:
"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all slaves I would do it..." 
Later in the same letter he adds:  "I have here stated my purpose according to my view of Official duty: and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free."

When I read this, I can't help but see this as I wish everyone everywhere was free, but why should I be the one to free them?

For this and other reasons I'm having a hard time seeing Lincoln as a conservative.  For one thing, during his own time Lincoln had many enemies, but one vocal fan was Karl Marx himself.  Marx congratulated Lincoln upon his re-election, saying, among other things,
"it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class, to lead his country through the matchless struggle for the rescue of an enchained race and the reconstruction of a social world." 
Last week I went to the Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, and they've set up an entire section just on Lincoln's "agricultural vision."  Lincoln founded the Department of Agriculture in 1862, and was quoted as saying "Now I've organized agriculture."  As the exhibit proudly demonstrated, Lincoln's original staff of nine has now blossomed out to 100,000 employees operating on a budget of $95.6 billion per year.  Heil Obama!

Lincoln fought ardently for a centralized bank long before he was president.  Under his watch this centralized bank was established, and issued greenbacks -- currency which was not backed by the gold standard.

After reading through Marx's goals as laid out in the Communist Manifesto (written in 1848), it's pretty sadly amazing to see that we have all of these in our country. 

Here are Marx's goals:

"1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

"2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

"3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

"4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

"5. Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

"6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.

"7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

"8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

"9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.

"10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc."

(From <>.)

Given Lincoln's penchant for "organizing agriculture" and centralizing banks, I wonder how many of Marx's goals Lincoln was excited about.  I also wonder how it was that as early as 1839 (before the Manifesto was written or translated) Lincoln was espousing some of the same causes that Marx did. 

Maybe to understand this I've got to dig into what influenced Marx.  Did he invent socialism, or did he, in a role akin to Darwin's, popularize it?  (Which raises a side question: how did Darwin succeed in this where others had failed?  Or had no one else tried to popularize it before he did?)  Here's my guess: both Marx and Lincoln were influenced by German philosophy.  Marx had the advantage of living in the Deutschland, but there were many German immigrants in the Midwest that could have influenced Lincoln during his formative years.  (As an aside, even someone known for her heartwarming stories for children -- Lousia May Alcott -- wrote about the influence of German philsophy near the time of the Civil War.  In Little Women, she writes of a boardinghouse philosophical discussion that sails over Jo's head.  All she can make out is that the men do not believe in God's existence.  Her head goes fuzzy, but Professor Bhaer (bless his heart!) joins the discussion as a bearded fury, defending God and speaking eloquently about his beliefs in Him.  It's possible that the discussion was about Hegel and his ideas.  If Miss Alcott had heard something of German philosophy, it's possible that others -- such as Abe -- had, too).

It's a puzzle.  Perhaps my approach has been lop-sided, but when I was at the Presidential Museum and I read Lincoln's quote about "preserving the Union" being his primary objective, it set me to thinking about Martin's class, and touched off the search that led to this post.  I know there's more to find out and understand, for sure!  When what a man says and what a man does disagree so violently, as in this case, I look at a man's actions to see what he truly believes.

Monday, August 10, 2009

From the Office of Senator Evan Bayh

    Well, I can't say that it's a personalized reply.  But it is a reply.  Sadly, Mr. Bayh shows that the question "is this constitutional" does not appear on his radar.  According to the Constitution, the federal government has no jurisdiction in health care.  So America's system is the costliest in the world?  The federal government has no say in this.  If Mr. Bayh is concerned about the cost of services in the U.S., let him put forward bills to reform or cut the programs the federal government already operates.  I would advise him, as a first step, to cut the unconstitutional programs.  This would decrease the federal budget by astronomical degrees.
     His voting record shows where he's at ideologically, and he provides no new information on this topic.  Instead, he pulls out several chestnuts about the uninsured (without explaining the diverse reasons that people go without health care or explaining the overactive litigation that drives up insurance prices for physicians and thus their patients), and Obama's bankrupt idea that computerizing health records will save money.  Personally, I think he deserves a reward for including the most buzzwords per unit area in his last paragraph.
    Somehow, I'm not reassured, even though he promises "I will keep your concerns in mind as the debate continues."  If he's going to continue down the path of serfdom, I would prefer that he forget what I wrote and carry on, instead of saying that he cares about what I wrote yet act exactly as I warned him not to.
    Particuarly pointed is the statement that "Our priority should be to fix the system as we know it, to ensure that there is access to good, quality health care for Americans." 
    Help us, O Lord, for the cure is worse than the disease.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>
Date: Mon, Aug 10, 2009 at 10:31 AM
Subject: From the Office of Senator Evan Bayh
To: ____________

Dear ____________:


Thank you for contacting me regarding health care reform.  I appreciate hearing your thoughts and understand your concerns.  

The rising cost of health care and the growing number of uninsured Americans has highlighted the critical need for health care reform.  Many individuals and families are unable to receive vital health services under the structure of the current system.  I receive letters from constituents on a wide range of health care issues, such as prescription drug affordability, tax credits for health care expenses, and coverage of college students.  Please know that I am aware of these challenges and committed to improving access to affordable health care and addressing the needs of those who are uninsured.  

Earlier this year, the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 was enacted to insure 11 million more children.  The legislation included pediatric quality provisions from the Children's Health Care Quality Act (S. 225) that I introduced to address the urgent need to resolve quality care issues widespread in children's health care practices and make publicly available information on the quality of health care provided to children.  I have fought successfully for the return of over $150 million in promised federal funds to Indiana to finance health insurance for lower-income Hoosier children.  Most recently, I voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was enacted on February 17, 2009.  Aimed at creating or saving 3.5 million good-paying jobs nationwide through 2010, the economic recovery package also provides Indiana with an estimated $1.4 billion in additional targeted federal matching funds to prevent Medicaid eligibility cuts and to maintain services.

The economy is an important issue to Americans, and we cannot address the economy without talking about health care.  A growing threat to our economy is the skyrocketing cost of health care.  The U.S. system is the world's costliest; the country spends some $2.4 trillion a year on health care.  An estimated 46 million people are uninsured, and many others lack adequate insurance.  Businesses also find themselves in a challenging position to continue to provide health care insurance for their employees.  Our priority should be to fix the system as we know it, to ensure that there is access to good, quality health care for Americans.   

While we are in the early stages of the debate on health care reform, there are many questions regarding the role of the private and public sector.  Due to increasing co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs, many are calling for insurance regulation.  Advances in health information technology are also being discussed, as electronic medical records could significantly reduce administrative costs.  However, there are serious privacy and security concerns.  Accountability measures such as patient notifications and patient control of personal health information must be explored in order to ensure adequate privacy protections.   


As the debate unfolds, I support fiscally sound reform built on our current health care system that aims to provide Americans with affordable health care.  Rest assured that I will keep your concerns in mind as the debate continues.  I will continue to do my best to achieve solvent, bipartisan solutions that provide high-quality, affordable healthcare to as many Americans as possible.


 Again, thank you for contacting me.  I hope the information I have provided has been helpful.  My website,, can provide additional details about my work in the Senate, including legislation and state projects.  You can also sign up for occasional email updates.  I value your input and hope you will continue to keep me informed of the issues that matter to you.


Office of Senator Evan Bayh
(202) 224-5623
Russell 131
Washington, D.C. 20510


So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Hello, Big Brother

Big Brother lives!

Resources on Rebutting Socialized Medicine

I came across some interesting resources today.

First off, there's a book by physician David Gratzer -- The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care.

Also, there's a collection of short films showing the limitations involved in a single-payer system:  These are available to watch online right now, and soon they'll be released on DVD.

Uninsured in America examines the conventional wisdom that 45 million Americans cannot get health insurance and consequently do not have access to health care. (2007) Run Time: 9:03

Two Women serves as a cautionary lesson about a politicized health care system where politicians and bureaucrats determine medical priorities. (2007) Run Time: 4:32

A Short Course in Brain Surgery highlights the plight of an Ontario man with a cancerous brain tumor who crossed the border to the U.S. to get the medical care that is rationed in his home country. (2006) Run Time: 5:36

The Lemon demonstrates how single-payer health care systems have a lot in common with the failed economic systems of Soviet-era eastern Europe. (2007) Run Time: 7:46

Have a great day!

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Open? Scratch That.

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." -- Plutarch.  (So it's not a question of having an open mind, but of having an ignited one.)