Thursday, August 28, 2014

The End of Allergies

Let's get down to the nitty gritty, practical. No, not whether or not Taylor Swift's new "Shake It Off" outtakes proves she hates running, but how to raise children or yourself, for that matter.

The strangest, most dramatic change in human health (other than the virtual elimination of diseases such as small pox, polio, measles, diphtheria) is the meteoric rise in allergies. How does thousands of years of evolution break down in 10 years? I talked with a parent recently who said that all school parties have been eliminated because so many kids have life threatening food allergies. No more cupcakes, or anything, on Valentine's Day, or any holiday. Food allergies have increased about 50% in children since 1997—50%! How did this happen?

I have changed my thinking, as I often do, as to the principle causes of this phenomenon. But currently I am leaning more and more toward the "End of Eternity" theme as written by Isaac Asimov. I'll summarize it this way, by concentrating on the safety of humanity, humanity was being destroyed. This article, entitled A Gut Microbe That Stops Food Allergies is a study (yes, another one) that lends some evidence that bad things have to happen to us in order to make us stronger. Safety through antibiotics use or through restrictive (parental) fears may be detrimental to children (or ourselves).

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Roman History Buffs Rejoice!

This is one of the cooler things I have com across on the interwebs:

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Poetry Sunday: "Poetry is the supreme fiction"

As some of you know, for approaching two years I have been writing a poem. Yes, one poem. Among the many things I have learned is that indeed, “Poetry is the supreme fiction.” Here are some parts of poems…no they are the entire poems, but appear as scraps. They were all written by the same talented person. Whether the talent is reflected in the poetry, I leave up to the reader.

“While questing once in noble wood of grey Medieval pine 
I came upon a tomb rain-slick’d, rubbed-cool ethereal;
It’s inscription long vanished. Yet still within its melancholy fissures”

“The painter’s brush touched the inchoate face by ends of nimble bristles
And with their blush of first color, rendered her lifeless cheek living.”

“E’en the most gifted bard’s rhyme can only sing
But to the lack of her and all she isn’t!
His tongue doth. .  .”

(Then there’s a poem, but we might want to start on the soup since it’s 46 stanzas.)
“A moist, black ash dampens the filth of dung-dark rat’s nest
And mingles with the thick scent of wood rot
While the lark song of a guttersnipe. . .”

(How’s our darling Agatha?)
“Twas first light when I saw her face upon the heath,
And hence did I return day-by-day, entranced,
Tho’ vinegar did brine my heart, never. . .”
(Very good. I’m going to stop you there because the alarm has sounded, but remember where 
we left off because I insist you finish later.)

“Tis oft’-remarked, no single, falling-flake does any other
In its pure and perfect form. . .”

“‘If this do be me end, farewell!’ cried the wounded piper-boy,
Whilst the muskets cracked and yeomen roared ‘Hurrah!’
And the ramparts fell.
‘Methinks me breathes me last, me fears¡’ said he
(Holy shit! You got him! Well done, Zero!)

“Whence came these two radiant, celestial brothers,
United, for an instant, as they crossed the stratosphere of our starry window?
One from the East and one from the West.”
(Very good.

Don’t flirt with her.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Government, Corporate Personhood, and the Web

The idea of corporate personhood and that government represents persons, has led to some strange behavior. One great byproduct of "all knowledge is on the Web" is that people, whether corporations or not, may, through extraordinary efforts in organizing data, be exposed to meaningful information.

Here is a browser plug-in that has the potential for stirring the pot.
(Of course, not much has happened with my last post on potential policy changing software.)