September 23rd, 2013

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[links] Link salad realizes that science requires our physical union

[info]the_child makes art from my words — Media are: 1910 Remington typewriter, tissue paper, cooking oil, flame, and dirt. Wow.

11 nouns that only have a plural form — (Via the hilarious Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Do women and men prefer different colors? — Taupe.

Water cribs in Chicago — Weird. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Microfluidic Platform Gives Clear Look at a Crucial Step in Cancer Metastasis — (Thanks to Bruce Taylor.)

Phil and Penny Knight to OHSU: $500 million is yours for cancer research if you can match it — This is my treating hospital.

Forget premiums: A peer-to-peer network will cover you — Hmmm. (Via Ellen Eades.)

A Capella Science - Bohemian Gravity! — Oh, wow. This is both hilarious and very cool. On several levels.

The life and death of Buran, the USSR shuttle built on faulty assumptionsAfter concluding the US Shuttle was a weapons platform, the USSR wanted its own. This is a weird, almost melancholy article.

Seeking Vital Signs in a Lifetime Warranty — Huh.

Radical Self-Respect — Another one of those posts from Feminist Mormon Housewives that makes me sigh. Why should it have to be radical to recognize that you yourself are a human being with needs and desires? The cognitive dissonance that faith brings to some people would be intolerable to me.

The Evangelical Orphan Boom — Given the way American Evangelicals deliberately miseducate their children, and stunt their intellectual growth, I have trouble seeing any of this as a good thing, even before the Christianist abuses documented in this article are taken into account.

Creationism and Religious Freedom — An interesting essay, but I will continue to insist by way of response that religious freedom does not require willful ignorance. Rather, that is a social and political choice made by conservative American Christians, which causes lasting harm to their children, and to everyone else's when one sect imposes its values on public education. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Cantaloupe vs. al-Qaeda: What's More Dangerous?We have more to fear from contaminated cantaloupe than from al-Qaeda, yet the United States spends $75 billion per year spread across 15 intelligence agencies in a scattershot attempt to prevent terrorism, illegally spying on its own citizens in the process. By comparison, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is struggling to secure $1.1 billion in the 2014 federal budget for its food inspection program, while tougher food processing and inspection regulations passed in 2011 are held up by agribusiness lobbying in Congress. (Via David Goldman.)

Honoring Navy Yard Victims, Obama Asks: ‘Do We Care Enough’ to Change? — Clearly not. As a society, we have decided emphatically that the deaths of 30,000 other people every year is a small price to pay for the personal illusion of safety clung to by gun owners. Anyone who joins the NRA or votes Republican is stating this in no uncertain terms with their dollars and their support.

Bruce Schneier: NSA Spying Is Making Us Less SafeThe security researcher Bruce Schneier, who is now helping the Guardian newspaper review Snowden documents, suggests that more revelations are on the way.

?otD: Iron Sky much?




9/23/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 243.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block violating religious freedom by treating LGBTQ people like human beings: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[photos] A weekend at the coast

Lisa Costello and I got back from the Oregon coast last night. We visited Indian Beach, Seaside, the wreck of the Peter Iredale, and the Astoria Column. Plus we saw elk. (Which was very odd, because that was the second time in a week I'd seen an elk in almost the same place, when visiting with Lezli Robyn last weekend.)

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Photos © 2013, Lisa Costello and Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

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

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[cancer] Living in the two-month box

So the CT scan came and went. My next scan will be about October 8th. Every eight weeks, I will get rescanned. We will look to see if the Regorafenib continues to stave off my terminal decline. Until the day we look and see that it has failed.

Then I will finish the dying process. Pending the possibility of a study drug buying me a bit more life.

It's a weird kind of limbo. I live in a two-month box. Every two months, I get to find out if I climb into another box, or if I'm starting the slide into death. My oncologist cautiously opines that because I'm responding so well to the Regorafenib, I may have a number of those two-month boxes ahead of me.

But still, it's a wall of death every time.

And like so much about terminal cancer, this makes me feel crazy.

I can't really plan very far ahead. I can't really look to what will happen next, beyond the two-month box. Everything I want to do has to fit into these eight-week cycles. Hope is toxic, and the future is all too certain. We lost this war last spring, but the battles go on.

The irony is I could be here having these same conversations with myself in 2015. Or just as possible, I could be gasping out my final good-byes early next spring. We don't know. I don't know.

It's just a box. The one I live in. I have measured out my life with CT scans; I know the voices dying with a dying fall.

God, this is a long, slow fall to oblivion.