Monday, March 4, 2019

March 4th Links

  • The volcanic Hawaiian Islands are among Earth's most prominent mountains when measured from their bases on the ocean floor. The summit of Mauna Kea on the island of Hawai'i rises 10,000 meters, 1,100 meters taller than Mount Everest's height above sea level. Its sprawling neighbor, Mauna Loa, ranks as one of the most massive single mountains on Earth. Yet with 60 percent of their total height hidden beneath the Pacific, most people do not comprehend the size of Hawai'i's mountains. This paper discusses the Seafloor Map of Hawai'i, a new map that attempts to remedy this misperception. It depicts the Hawaiian Islands in their entirety from seafloor to summit with consistent detail throughout. [link]
  • Think about it: peptic and duodenal ulcer were fairly common, and so were effective antibiotics, starting in the mid-40s. Every internist in the world – every surgeon – every GP was accidentally curing ulcers – not just one or twice, but again and again. For decades. Almost none of them noticed it, even though it was happening over and over, right in front of their eyes. Those who did notice were ignored until the mid-80s, when Robin Warren and Barry Marshall finally made the discovery stick. Even then, it took something like 10 years for antibiotic treatment of ulcers to become common, even though it was cheap and effective. Or perhaps because it was cheap and effective. This illustrates an important point: doctors are lousy scientists, lousy researchers. They're memorizers, not puzzle solvers. Considering that Western medicine was an ineffective pseudoscience – actually, closer to a malignant pseudoscience – for its first two thousand years, we shouldn't be surprised. Since we're looking for low-hanging fruit, this is good news. It means that the great discoveries in medicine are probably not mined out. From our point of view, past incompetence predicts future progress. The worse, the better! [West Hunter]
  • This period of clinical and scientific revolution was followed by a massive expansion in research funding. But over recent decades, the rate of major clinical breakthroughs has probably declined, even as claims for the importance of medical research have grown more exaggerated. Perhaps the major deficiency of current therapy is the lack of significant progress in treating common solid cancers such as brain, lung, bowel, prostate, ovary and breast, which together make up the main cause of mortality in developed countries. Available therapies typically offer only modest or marginal benefit, detectable only in very large clinical trials, and usually at the cost of severe side-effects. In psychiatry, the major classes of useful drugs all date from before 1965, except for the selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which (like the neuroleptics and the tricyclic anti-depressants) were synthesized in the early 1970s by chemically modifying a 1940s anti-histamine (chlorpheniramine/Piriton). In other words, the developmental strategy underpinning SSRIs was not new. The phenomenon of a declining frequency of breakthroughs seems common to many medical specialties. Furthermore, the output of effective new drugs for serious diseases, such as novel classes of antibiotics, seems to be drying up. [link]
  • Black's in Lockhart. Pork ribs. Brisket (moist and smoky). Sausage jalapeƱo and cheese. A bit mushy (maybe because it was made fresh and we're used to supermarket sausage made months earlier?). Mac and cheese (bland, but John's new favorite) beef ribs (better than Kreuz). Cole slaw (wet). Green beans (bright green and not mushy). Sweet potato pudding. Pecan pie looks like Iron Works: pecans on top of sugar gel. Did not try. Manager, Anthony Hamilton, came out to chat, welcome, us and insist that we try beef ribs (he returned with a sample and they were awesome, much more tender than at Kreuz). Best decor. Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. Overall rating: Superb. [Phil G]
  • The Swiss cartographers were, and still are, unrivaled in their ability to give mountains and cliff faces the illusion of three dimensions with a technique known as hachuring, which involves drawing short, precise lines in the direction of the slope. According to Washburn, it would sometimes take them "more than a day of intense labor to produce a few square centimeters of cliffs." To date, cartographers have been unable to top the handiwork of the Swiss. [Outside]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My old pastor used to say; ‘If its not for sale, it shouldn’t be on display”. All the women dressed modestly in his church. That was back in the 80s.