May 3rd, 2013


[links] Link salad watches the moon ride the sky of a morning

Walk The Fire: a shared-world SF anthology series — An interesting Kickstarter.

Willie Nelson's Audition Tape for "The Hobbit" — Hahahahah.

The ultimate cancer taboo: Sometimes it kills you We keep talking about battles, warriors, miracles and hope. Meanwhile, those with metastatic cancers are ignored. That would be me.

In Germany, a U.S. beer invasion — This seems improbable.

The World’s Largest Rubber Duck Arrives in Hong Kong — Wow! Hahah. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

The Data Made Me Do ItThe next frontier for big data is the individual.

5 Ways to Make Google Glass Better — Number 6, make it possible to use them with prescription lenses.

High-tech camera acts like a bug's eye

Space Ape Parody Shows Why Aquatic Ape Theory Is All Wet — (Via David Goldman.)

Religious Knowledge QuizYou answered 14 out of 15 questions correctly for a score of 93%. Which puts me in the 99% percentile. Not bad for an atheist. I also note that when this survey was done with the general public on an outbound basis, atheists came in second only to Jews in their knowledge, well ahead of a number of different identified Christian groups, though the Mormons were a close third. This is parallel to the science quiz I recently posted. (I missed the First Great Awakening question.)

Man shot and killed at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport, authorities say — Thank god for the NRA and the Republican party, or the shooter wouldn't have had the right to exercise his theoretical defense of essential liberties in such a fashion. Where would we be as a society without our guns?

Even Counting Votes too Scientific for North Carolina — Typical conservatives. They cannot win on their ideas, so they cheat. Egregiously, in this case. (Via [info]corwynofamber.)

QotD?: Would you go to the moon if you could?

Writing time yesterday: 1.75 hours (WRPA editing work on METAtropolis: Green Space, plus audiobook prep)
Hours slept: 8.75 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (foot hurts)
Weight: n/a (away from home)
Number of FEMA troops on my block digging for fossils in the yards of God-fearing Republicans: 0
Currently reading: The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett


[cancer|events] Giving a talk on cancer and genomics at Illumina

Yesterday, thanks to the good offices of Waterloo Production and Gaslight Gathering, I visited Illumina to give my talk about the patient-oriented view of cancer and genomics. I was accompanied by [info]the_child, Lisa Costello and K— from Gaslight Gathering. Waterloo Productions filmed the event.

The lobby of Illumina
The lobby of Illumina

This was an intimidating audience for me. I'm a pretty well-informed layman, but I am definitely a layman. I have a B.A. Plan II from the University of Texas at Austin, which is loosely speaking a humanities degree. I have no graduate education. I haven't darkened the door of science classroom since about 1984. With these credentials, I was talking to an audience of people who work every day on genomics, on whole genome sequencing and bioinformatics. Doctors, scientists, lab techs, marketers, administrators: a whole gamut of people from the world's leading provider of gene sequencing equipment and services. I knew going in I had to be on my toes to maintain credibility and give them useful value for the hour of time each busy member of my audience was going to invest in me.

Jay talking at Illumina (c) 2013 Waterloo Productions
Jay talking at Illumina © 2013 Waterloo Productions

About 60-80 people attended the talk, by my rough guess. No one walked out in the middle, which to my long experience in public speaking and business presentations definitely represents a win. They were a tough but receptive house with some good questions. (My favorite was one about whether Illumina should be engaged in patient education or provider education, along with a related question about how to go about those efforts.) I learned some interesting thing from the questions and comments, and I think I reached a number of people with the patient perspective on the work they do.

I call it an afternoon well-spent. I daresay the Illumina folks do as well. When Waterloo Productions has the video of the talk edited, I think we'll publish and promote it. At some point in the near future, I'll also find a way to publish the slideware.

In addition, I'm trying to line up to do this talk to other audiences, both biomedical and general interest. If you know of any group who would like to hear more, please put me in touch.

Photos © 2013 Waterloo Productions and Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Waterloo Productions' photography is reproduced with permission, all rights reserved.

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.


[conventions] Arriving at Gaslight Gathering

Yesterday, [info]the_child, Lisa Costello and I flew to San Diego to attend Gaslight Gathering, where I am Guest of Honor this weekend. We were graciously met at the airport, then ferried out to Illumina for me to give a talk on cancer and genomics, then brought to the convention hotel and released into the wild for the evening.

I am meeting this morning with Gaslight Gathering's guest liaison to go over my schedule for the weekend. Specifically the auction on Sunday is going to be an interesting challenge. They have put it together as a benefit for me, and some of the donations have been impressive and humbling. I'll say more about this when the time comes. I'll be around all weekend, so if you're at the convention I should be easy to find.

My philosophy about being a GoH is that my time belongs to the convention. Even so, there will be a little extracurricular visiting while I'm here. Tomorrow morning, my friends from the League of S.T.E.A.M. are coming down from Los Angeles to have breakfast with me. Sunday evening I'm having dinner with @gregvaneekhout. Monday I'm mostly chilling until I fly back to Portland that afternoon. So if you're in the San Diego area and want to connect, let me know. We can probably work something out.

Meanwhile, I plan to have a heck of a lot of fun here. I know they have some surprises in store for me, but I do not know what those are. (Because they wouldn't be surprises then, would they?) More to come...