Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for July 21st, 2008

Health Insurance Companies

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Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2008 at 6:10 pm

Oldest New Testament Bible going online

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David Graham notes:

More than 1,600 years after it was written in Greek, one of the oldest copies of the Bible will become globally accessible online for the first time this week.

From Thursday, sections of the Codex Sinaiticus, which contains the oldest complete New Testament, will be available on the Internet, said the University of Leipzig, one of the four curators of the ancient text worldwide.

High resolution images of the Gospel of Mark, several Old Testament books, and notes on the work made over centuries will appear on http://www.codex-sinaiticus.net as a first step towards publishing the entire manuscript online by next July.

Ulrich Johannes Schneider, director of Leipzig University Library, which holds part of the manuscript, said the publication of the Codex online would allow anyone to study a work of “fundamental” importance to Christians.

“A manuscript is going onto the net which is like nothing else online to date,” Schneider said. “It’s also an enrichment of the virtual world — and a bit of a change from YouTube.”

Selected translations will be available in English and German for those not conversant in ancient Greek, he added.

Dating from around 350, the document is believed by experts to be the oldest known copy of the Bible, along with the Codex Vaticanus, another ancient version of the Bible, Schneider said.

More at the link.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2008 at 4:46 pm

Posted in Books

For the gardeners

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I just got a good link from Marsha, a reader once removed (she receives posts of interest from her son, who is the reader). It’s for you gardeners: Artistic Gardens. I of course immediately checked for Shiso seeds, and there they are, both red shiso and green shiso, in the herb seeds.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2008 at 2:15 pm

Posted in Daily life

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Healthmap

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Pretty cool: Healthmap. Here’s the explanation:

The Internet can help public health officials monitor disease outbreaks in distant countries, according to a team of researchers from Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston, Government Health IT reports.

Two years ago, the researchers developed an automated, real-time Web-based system, called HealthMap, that collects data on disease outbreaks through listserves, disease reporting networks and online media outlets, and then filters, integrates and classifies those data. A mapping feature displays emerging and ongoing disease outbreaks on a global map.

John Brownstein, lead researcher and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, said the system aims to provide public health and medical personnel with real-time situational awareness of outbreaks.

The site is administered by Children’s Hospitals and is available to the public at no cost. Frequent visitors to the Web site include officials at the World Health Organization, CDC, local health departments and traveling medical clinics, as well as international travelers.

The HealthMap researchers recently detailed the performance of the system and ongoing challenges in a July article of the National Library of Medicine’s Public Library of Science Journal (Hayes, Government Health IT, 7/21).

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2008 at 12:20 pm

Why cranberry juice is good for you

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Interesting to learn the mechanism:

For generations, people have consumed cranberry juice, convinced of its power to ward off urinary tract infections, though the exact mechanism of its action has not been well understood. A new study by researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) reveals that the juice changes the thermodynamic properties of bacteria in the urinary tract, creating an energy barrier that prevents the microorganisms from getting close enough to latch onto cells and initiate an infection. The study, published in the journal Colloids and Surfaces: B, was conducted by Terri Camesano, associate professor of chemical engineering at WPI, and a team of graduate students, including PhD candidate Yatao Liu. They exposed two varieties of E. coli bacteria, one with hair-like projections known as fimbriae and one without, to different concentrations of cranberry juice. Fimbriae are present on a number of virulent bacteria, including those that cause urinary tract infections, and are believed to be used by bacteria to form strong bonds with cells.

For the fimbriaed bacteria, they found that even at low concentrations, cranberry juice altered two properties that serve as indicators of the ability of bacteria to attach to cells. The first factor is called Gibbs free energy of attachment, which is a measure of the amount of energy that must be expended before a bacterium can attach to a cell. Without cranberry juice, this value was a negative number, indicating that energy would be released and attachment was highly likely. With cranberry juice the number was positive and it grew steadily as the concentration of juice increased, making attachment to urinary tract cells increasingly unlikely.

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Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2008 at 12:13 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Health, Science

Make your own paneer

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Homemade Paneer
Homemade Paneer

Good post at The Kitchn [sic] on making your paneer cheese. It sounds quite easy and I’m picking up a half gallon of milk today to make a batch. Also note at the bottom the link to the recipe for crème fraîche.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2008 at 12:05 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

Migraines

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Good Scientific American article on migraines by David W. Dodick and J. Jay Gargus. It begins:

  • Migraine is more than a headache: it is intensely painful and has distinct phases.
  • The disorder used to be considered a vascular one, but recent research reveals it to be neurological, related to a wave of nerve cell activity that sweeps across the brain.
  • The root of migraine may reside in brain stem malfunctioning.
  • Although debate swirls about the precise cause of migraine, discoveries are already permitting the development of new treatments

For the more than 300 million people who suffer migraines, the excruciating, pulsating pain that characterizes these debilitating headaches needs no description. For those who do not, the closest analogous experience might be severe altitude sickness: nausea, acute sensitivity to light, and searing, bed-confining headache. “That no one dies of migraine seems, to someone deep into an attack, an ambiguous blessing,” wrote Joan Didion in the 1979 essay “In Bed” from her collection The White Album.

Historical records suggest the condition has been with us for at least 7,000 years, yet it continues to be one of the most misunderstood, poorly recognized and inadequately treated medical disorders. Indeed, many people seek no medical care for their agonies, most likely believing that doctors can do little to help or will be downright skeptical and hostile toward them. Didion wrote “In Bed” almost three decades ago, but some physicians remain as dismissive today as they were then: “For I had no brain tumor, no eyestrain, no high blood pressure, nothing wrong with me at all: I simply had migraine headaches, and migraine headaches were, as everyone who did not have them knew, imaginary.”

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2008 at 11:58 am

Posted in Daily life, Medical, Science

More proof of global warming

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Via Climate Progress.

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more about "More proof of global warming", posted with vodpod

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2008 at 11:53 am

Posted in Daily life

Evolution of sub-optimal solutions

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Interesting indeed:

“Survival of the fittest” is the catch phrase of evolution by natural selection. While natural selection favors the most fit organisms around, evolutionary biologists have long wondered whether this leads to the best possible organisms in the long run.

A team of researchers at The University of Texas at Austin, led by Drs. Matthew Cowperthwaite and Lauren Ancel Meyers, has developed a new theory, which suggests that life may not always be optimal.

Genetic mutations create the raw material that natural selection acts upon. The short-term fate of a mutation is often quite clear. Mutations that make organisms more fit tend to persist through generations, while harmful mutations tend to die off with the organisms that possess them. The long-term consequences of mutations, however, are not well understood by evolutionary biologists. The researchers have shown that what may be good in the short run, may hinder evolution in the long run.

The team developed computer models of RNA molecules evolving by mutation and natural selection. RNA molecules, which are very similar to DNA, play key roles in essential life processes and serve as the genetic material for some of our deadliest viruses, including influenza and HIV.

Their computer models show …

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Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2008 at 11:37 am

Posted in Science

Tagged with

Saving Web pages for later reading

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MakeUseOf reviews four free programs/addins to save Web pages for later reading. Very useful.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2008 at 11:33 am

Posted in Daily life, Software

Cannabis and MS

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Encouraging. For a long time the DEA would permit no studies.

The CUPID (Cannabinoid Use in Progressive Inflammatory brain Disease) study at the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth has reached an important milestone with the news that the full cohort of 493 people with multiple sclerosis (MS) has been recruited to the study. CUPID is a clinical trial which will evaluate whether tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of many compounds found in the in the cannabis plant (and the main active ingredient) is able to slow the progression of MS.

This is an important study for people with MS because current treatments either target the immune system in the early stages of MS, or are aimed at easing specific symptoms such as muscle spasms or bladder problems. At present there is no treatment which slows progression of the disease.

The CUPID trial follows an earlier study – Cannabinoids and Multiple Sclerosis (CAMS) – which suggested a link between THC and the slowing of MS. The CAMS trial saw participants take THC for a year – the CUPID trial will last for longer and aims to assess the effect of THC on progressive MS.

It has taken two years to recruit the 493 participants who will each take part in the trial for three years, and in some cases three and a half years. After data cleaning and analysis the results should be available by spring/early summer 2012.

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Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2008 at 11:31 am

Free tools for planning a wedding

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If someone you know or you yourself are planning a wedding, take a look at the free tools offered at MyWedding.com. Via this post at Download Squad.

UPDATE: Actually the post at the link is just a categorized list of advertisements. I went looking for better tools and found these.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2008 at 11:28 am

Posted in Daily life

McCain campaign uses Bush campaign tactics

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Interesting video, especially the question at the end:

More here.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2008 at 10:26 am

McCain talks about the Pakistan-Iraq border…

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More of his expert foreign policy knowledge. Read the full, painful report here. How does one explain this continuing series of weird and wrong statements?

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2008 at 10:14 am

Posted in Election, GOP

Best ever overshoes?

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If you live in a cold and snowy place, overshoes (like coats) become something worth careful investigation and evaluation. Living in Monterey, I no longer need overshoes, but I was impressed by this Cool Tools review of the NEOS overshoes.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2008 at 10:07 am

Posted in Daily life

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Hi-tech knife

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Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2008 at 9:48 am

Posted in Daily life

Torture: Bush Administration definition worthless

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More accurately, the Bush Administration’s refusal to say what it considers “torture” to be. Reuters:

Britain should no longer rely on assurances by the United States that it does not torture terrorism suspects, an influential parliamentary committee said in a report released Sunday.

Britain had previously taken those assurances at face value, but after the C.I.A. acknowledged using waterboarding techniques on three detainees, Britain should change its stance, according to the report, by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons.

The foreign secretary, David Miliband, told Parliament in April that the technique, in which suspects are tied down and water is poured over their hooded faces to simulate drowning, amounted to torture.

“Given the clear differences in definition, the U.K. can no longer rely on U.S. assurances that it does not use torture, and we recommend that the government does not rely on such assurances in the future,” the report said.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2008 at 9:43 am

Posted in Bush Administration, GOP, Government

Tagged with

Louis Armstrong and Danny Kaye

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Pointed out by Constant Reader Mel:

And another:

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2008 at 9:31 am

Posted in Jazz, Music, Video

More productivity blogs

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Dustin Wax compiled a long list of productivity blogs (see this post). Then his readers suggested 15 more that he hadn’t mentioned. At that link you can also read his comments on why such a long list.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2008 at 9:24 am

Posted in Daily life

Tagged with

Fearlessly stop processes in Task Manager

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I know that you Mac people never have to do this, but sometimes in Windows things start to run slowly because some process is hogging all the cycles. You can bring up Task Manager and see which process and kill it, but quite a few processes have opaque names, so you can’t be sure whether killing a given process will crash the computer. Help is at hand. See this MakeUseOf post for a free piece of information-ware, as it were, that will explain any process for which you want information.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2008 at 9:17 am

Posted in Daily life, Software

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