January 18th, 2013


[links] Link salad wonders how long the week can last

The Acts of Whimsy cancer fundraiser and the Lakeside Kickstarter for the documentary about me, [info]the_child, and cancer are still live. Both have made goal, but additional support is always welcome. Please check them out if you have not done so yet. Note that the next unlock goal at $44,000 is [info]the_child's video, "How to Write Like My Dad".

Jay Lake on the Whole Genome Sequencing project — Me, expelling the nature and purpose of the tumor sequencing the Acts of Whimsy fundraiser is paying for. (Courtesy of Waterloo Productions.)

Behold: the stupid face I will make in the 3D scanner — Cory Doctorow does the 'snide fish' for his Act of Whimsy, per the diktat of John Scalzi's readership.

My Act of Whimsy for @jay_lake — Barndie Tarvin is hilarious.

Web Hunt for DNA Sequences Leaves Privacy CompromisedThe genetic data posted online seemed perfectly anonymous — strings of billions of DNA letters from more than 1,000 people. But all it took was some clever sleuthing on the Web for a genetics researcher to identify five people he randomly selected from the study group. Not only that, he found their entire families, even though the relatives had no part in the study — identifying nearly 50 people.

Leprosy spreads by reprogramming nerve cells into migratory stem cellsThe surprising modus operandi of a neglected tropical disease could lead to new stem cell therapies.

One to beam up: NASA uses a laser to send Mona Lisa to the moon — Because SCIENCE!!!

Mysterious Tiny Rooms by Marc Giai-Miniet — Something between a dollhouse and a Cornell box. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Lutheran Insulter — Go be insulted by Martin Luther in his own words! Heh heh. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Powder-actuated tool — Wow. Weird stuff. Brings a whole new meaning to the term "nail gun". (Via Daily Idiom, Annotated.)

Notre Dame’s real dead womanManti Te'o's bizarre soap opera moves the school's president to tears, while Lizzy Seeberg's suicide is ignored. A story which further cements my profound loathing for Big Sports and all it represents.

Conspiracy Theories: 25% of Americans Are "Truthers"Generally, the more people know about current events, the less likely they are to believe in conspiracy theories – but not among Republicans, where more knowledge leads to greater belief in political conspiracies. (Via [info]shsilver.)

Illinois GOP chair: ‘True conservative position’ favors same sex marriage — Huh. Another rare conservative who finally understands morality and justice. Good for him. And this, speaking of newfound morality and justice: Have Evangelicals stepped out of the marriage battle? (Both links via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

How To Debate — A gun rights advocate decries the tactics of the gun culture in the current national debate. As it happens, it's pretty clear to my view that this blogger's viewpoint is composed of the same willful ignorance of both the facts on the ground and the moral issues as most gun rights advocates, but their discussion of how we should and should not be talking about strikes me as very constructive. (Via [info]rekre8.)

In Wake of Newtown, It's Time for America to Meet the NRAThis week, America has been taken aback by the National Rifle Association's ad politicizing President Obama's daughters. With this latest episode, it's become patently obvious that unhinged attacks are the NRA leadership's calling card. Yep, this. Which is of course of a piece with the general tone and content of conservative rhetoric these past years, so it shouldn't be the least bit surprising.

?otD: Friday much?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (stress)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 224.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing disability rights: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks


[personal|tech] Etaoin shrdlu

Here's a photo of my MacBook Air keyboard after 13 months of use:

Keyboard Damage

You'll note the leftmost keys in etaoin shrdlu are almost destroyed. This is the longest I've had a keyboard last in years.

I'm a two-fingered typist, with some thumb assist. I do about 65 words per minute (corrected) when I'm in full flow. Clearly I strike harder with my left index finger than with my right. Also, I use my left index finger point down, so the nail almost always hits the keyboard, while I use my right index finger pad down, so the nail almost never hits the keyboard. I strike more keys with my right as well, as my left finger travel usually stops at either RFV or TGB.

What does this mean? Other than a trip to the Apple Store for a replacement keyboard, heck if I know. At least the MacBook Air has a sturdier keyboard that my old white MacBook, which needed replacement two or three times a year. But then, I type somewhere between one and two millions words per year on my keyboards, depending on how sick I am and how much I write, which would seem to be near the high end of the design duty cycle, based on how quickly I kill them.

Do you kill keyboards? How often?

Photo © 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


[cancer] Field notes from cancerland, pay day edition

(Well, it's pay day in my world, anyway.)

Fundraiser Update

A few comments on the Acts of Whimsy cancer fundraiser.

First, the fundraiser is ongoing, with some cool unlocks in the modest stretch goals ahead.

Second, if you missed it elsewhere, see this video of me explaining the genetic testing the fundraiser is for. I'm kind of proud of that, as it was done in one take with no script or rehearsal.

Third, I met with a tax accountant yesterday who confirmed that the funds raised are not taxable under either Federal or Oregon law, but also confirmed I would likely face some significant reporting and accountability requirements in order to demonstrate the source of the funds. They were very helpful in describing how I could best meet those requirements. I am now armed with information for my spring, 2014 tax filing for tax year 2013. They were also incredibly gracious and declined to bill me for their time, given the nature of the inquiry.

Much like every other aspect of this fundraiser, I encounter amazing generosity everywhere I go.

Surgery and Chemo

I'm not obsessing about the forthcoming surgery, but it remains on my mind. Any surgery, especially any major surgery, is a drastic event. There are significant if unlikely risks of various adverse outcomes. Still, surgery is fundamentally acute, unlike the chronic nature of chemotherapy. I'll be doing prep on Monday, including going on a liquid diet and enjoying a bracing colon cleanse. Plus lots of showering with the special magic surgery soap.

I expect to be out of the hospital around Friday or Saturday of next week, with a week of intensive recovery at home, and a number of weeks of continuing mild recovery after that.

I'm feeling more daunted by the resumption of chemo, truth be told. We won't know my forthcoming regimen until after the surgery, when my surgical oncologist and the surgical pathologist have clarified whether Ashcroft is a fourth tumor, a scanning artifact, or something else. If Ashcroft is real (the most likely outcome), I'll go off the FOLFOX but remain on Vectibix. Which would be a lot less physically disruptive to me, but also not exactly a Good Thing. If Ashcroft washes out, I'll remain on the existing FOLFOX/Vectibix regimen through late April, depending on my exact start date.


Yesterday, I received a care package from [info]garyomaha and [info]elusivem. Those boys are some kind of fun and funny. I will be posting photos, probably Sunday or Monday, of the contents, which may have settled during shipping and handling. (Much like myself.)

Also yesterday, after visiting the tax accountant I visited my rather manic hair stylist. This was the result:

New hairstyle for Jay

And yes, there are arrows on both sides of my head. Sidehawks, if you will. I wanted to give the OR team a giggle next Tuesday.

Photo © 2013 Waterloo Productions, all rights reserved. Reproduced with permission.