February 19th, 2013


[links] Link salad can't be wounded because it's got no heart

Fore-Edge Painting — Art guru James Gurney documents the intersection between bibliophllia and art.

The Bank Where Doctors Can Stash Your GenomeA new company offers a “gene vault” for doctors who want to add genomics to patient care.

City Workers Paint Handicap Space Around Car, Then Tow It — I once got a parking ticket under similar circumstances. The space was legal when I parked in it.

Appendix Evolved Over 30 Times, May Perform Useful Function, Researchers Say — Perhaps it even evolved continuously?

Has Dark Matter Finally Been Found? Big News Coming Soon

Cosmos may be 'inherently unstable'

Climate change can be tracked through “urine layers”Some rock hyrax colonies have been peeing in the same place for 55,000 years. I've been on dates like that.

Growing Up Evangelical at the End of the World — This kind of cruel insanity is one of the reasons I'm both an atheist and a liberal-progressive. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Persecutions and History doubt that anyone seriously defends or teaches the idea that there was a constant, universal Roman policy of persecution that never let up, and anyone who does teach such a thing knows virtually nothing about the history of the church or the Roman Empire. Clearly Larison doesn't know any Evangelical Christianists, for whom the persecution stories are an important, self-valorizing touchstone.

Minimum Wage: Beggaring Workers does not Help Employment — All my life, every time the minimum wage has become a political topic, Republicans have gone into jobs hysteria. They've rarely if ever been right, but this fact creates no accountability for each new round of anti-minimum wage jobs hysteria. I understand why a political party that explicitly privileges ideology over reality can get away with this, but I have never understood why the allegedly liberal media doesn't call them out on the serial lie, loudly and consistently.

Can the GOP be saved from its obsession with the 1950s?

QotD?: Who were you watching?

Writing time yesterday: 0.25 hours (WRPA, otherwise took the day off)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 233.8
Number of FEMA troops on my block covering up high crimes and misdemeanors in Benghazi: 0
Currently reading: Mort by Terry Pratchett


[cancer] Meanwhile, back at the gene ranch

From the department of free range expression comes news that I've signed up with 23andme.com. This is a genetic testing service which provides you with some health and ancestry information (including the always-popular Neanderthal percentage!), for a mere $99. In my case, I'm getting the service for free, because I fall into a class of cancer patients that 23andMe and Genentech are interested in studying. They're trading me the assay for access to my data.

Why am I doing this? Well, in a fairly obvious sense this is redundant to the much more thorough genomic testing effort currently underway to analyze my tumor tissue. That testing effort will provide a baseline of healthy genome, which is a substantial superset of what 23andme will be measuring. But 23andMe will give me some analysis that the medical sequencing won't. For example, the ancestry mapping. This is fun and interesting, and, hey, it's free. I don't get a lot of benefits from having cancer, I may as well enjoy this one.

At any rate, the spit sample kit arrived yesterday.



Sometime in the next day or two I'll find the time to actually do the deed, then get it back in the mail. This is a fun, low-pressure bit of genomics for me, and hey, it's also for SCIENCE! I'll let you know what they tell me.

In the mean time, for a mere $99 (or a horrible case of late stage cancer), why not try it for yourself?

Photos © 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.


[books|repost] Kalimpura reading March 8th, 2013

Health permitting, I'll be reading from KalimpuraPowell's | BN ] on Friday, March 8th, at the Powell's Cedar Hills location. This will be my one and only formal public event for the book due to my continued battle with cancer.

As is usual, I'll have an open dinner from 5 pm to 6:30 pm, at McMenamins Cedar Hills, at the north end of the same retail complex Powell's is in. If you're planning to come to the dinner, please do let me know in comments or via email so I can include you in the headcount.

Due to chemotherapy, I've cancelled all my other convention and workshop appearances through this summer (at least), so if you want to see me on the hoof and Hawaiian clad, this is your only chance. Due to the reduced chemotherapy prescription I'm embarking on, this will be the first of a small series of public events and appearances I'll be doing this spring, and into the summer if my health holds up. Hope to see you there.