Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hockey week 17

ME!!! :) I got this week - thanks to Finnish Rinne! (Maybe a pick for you there Bob?)

Here is the new stats after week 17. I got the "fifth from the bottom" place back :) (SM and Mr E man are tied for forth from the back)

Gerty and Modscientist came in close second and third; Cath, Lava, Ricardipus and Mr E man and Bob battled about the 20 points and more... and ScientistMother and Beth tied for last place.

Personally, I hope this is the turning point for my lovely Leafs since "Monstret" aka Gustravsson in the goal did an awesome week!!! Fingers crossed for SC play offs - and before that I'm aiming to pass Gerty (since the other four are way ahead). Look out Gerty! :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

I really shouldn't...

...continue on this political/religious discussion but sometimes my head hurts and this article in the Huffingtonpost is a "quick summary" about something that's been going on for a while in the state of TN. Not only making it illegal to talk about homosexuality (actually, it's making it legal only to talk about heterosexual relationships between one man and one woman) in the school class room, but drawing it a little further in regards to bullying and "punishment for bullying someone based on their sexual orientation" (that you can't mention).

The father of one of the teens* who killed himself last year was in the Tennessee Senate two days ago to give a speech that it might look like condoning beating up gay children in schools if they passed the legislation and that his son was bullied for being gay, then taking his own life.

As I said before, I can't vent at work but this makes me very upset and I haven't gotten it worked out in my head yet... the whole "it's against my beliefs that you can openly express being homosexual" and to turn that into "it's understandable that you [as a real heterosexual and true person] would feel attacked when people walk around openly homosexual in front of you, taunting your beliefs" and turning it into "therefore it is understandable you [as a real heterosexual and true person] feel the urge of name calling and/or beating them [the homosexuals/abominations]".

If you think I'm overexpressing, just take a look at the videos from the Senate floor when the bill was discussed. ther are some gems there. Like "there wouldn't be homosexuals around if we didn't make it ok to live the life style". Of course not. "they" wouldn't be open with it. "they" would hide it. But I'd be damned if I thought that meant "they don't exist".

Then of course, I might be completely wrong. And going to hell. And not understanding that Jesus did say "love others as you love yourself" - no disclaimers there. Just "others". HA. Deal with that, hypocrites.

*teens who comitted suicide, indicated that they were bullied and harassed based on their sexual orientation. The Congress in Texas, I think it was?, dealt with it slightly differently when a member stood up and read about how he as a teen had contemplated suicide since it was "obviuos that so many people viewed him as an abomination"...

Monday, January 23, 2012

"you are one of those scary people"

(Disclaimer: I have tried to keep away from more sensitive political and religious subjects on my blog for a long time. I like my venting about work, and my science and other happy and sad things I encounter in my life but this post is venting since I can not whisper even a word about it at work... and since lots of people I work with agree with the people debating in South Carolina this weekend and they have a tendency to talk loud at work about certain aspects of all these "woman issues" and "feminist liberal stuff like you like, right?" and "the obvious questions as Where you go to church" I felt today - when I'm stranded at home due to car failure I could venture out into venting land.... especially since I am thinking about placing money on that in 10 years time, there will be no abortions allowed in the US anymore. And I wonder if the morning after pill, which is not an abortion pill, would be legal even with a prescription and being over 21... I should see if Vegas has a line and what the odds are? If I'm going to be living in a country like that, I might as well have some money gained from it to facilitate my move....)

The quote would be what my professor in philosophy said to me after reading one answers of my first mid-term. I didn't understand what he meant at the time. I had argued in favour for legal abortion, as in saying that I would think it is ethical at a certain time in the pregnancy (i.e. before a specific week) since I would call that "within the uncertain time where the embryo/pregnancy/fetus might spontaneously abort" - also referred to as miscarriage). I added an argument that since it is believed that more than 25% of pregnancies would not go to term on their own, and the number is increasing the earlier you look statistically. 

His view (the professor), was that I as a science major with arguing this stand point based on the logic that the embryo didn't have a 100% survival rate without intervention - and that this murder was ok, was a slippery slope and not ethically sound if you argue the value of a person is the same as a value of another person. And that in this case, I would've argued that the fetus was a person, the woman was a person and therefore my argument failed in logic. (As a side note, he later made me argue in favour of the death penalty with the help of John Stuart Mill as part of my final exam. That's where I learned ho to argue a standpoint that I might not really agree with - although I might fail on explaining exactly how I deduct my reasoning and conclusion. Anyway, I made an A in that presentation by the way, in case anyone wonders. - not likely)

Anyway, this part of my life has come back to haunt me a little the last couple of months considering the "Personhood movement", i.e. The state of Mississippi voted on proposition 26 - "personhood for embryos", and maybe even more clearly when listening to the Republican debates where the arguments have been numerous in regards to banning abortion to all costs, even when the life of the mother is at stake^*.

It's hard. I'm not saying anything else. When do we get a soul? When are we considered human and people? Well, I don't know. I don't presume to know. I can only weigh fact against facts. And my feelings against feelings. And somewhere in there come to a conclusion that makes sense to me.

And the facts as I have seen them are as follow;
  • Women will look for abortions even if they are considered illegal.
  • Women in the old ages, when abortions were cause of death penalty and the helper too, still made them and died for it.
  • 25% or more of all pregnancies end in miscarriages before week 12.
  • Most woman seeking abortion in the US have one or more children already.
  • Birth control methods are not included in the "general" health care system, nor is it encouraged... 
  • Abstinence is encouraged.
  • The price of abortions go up for every week of the pregnancy (which was news to me, but when I did some investigation there is apparently several studies to show what this implicates for poorer women who need to save funds to get an abortion, only to realise that they don't have enough money since the procedure is more expensive the next week ... leading to later week abortions, with larger risks for everyone involved) 

Therefore, based on that - and the health of woman - I stated then (in my paper) and now -  I don't think banning abortion in the early times of pregnancies is i the interest of woman (or men) who are alive considering the fetus.

^* I guess my main problem has been that the argument - although they state they "consider the fetus and the woman to worth equal" - does point to that a full grown woman is less worth than a fetus who, to be honest, has a little to none chance of surviving outside the womb before week 20. And that this scenario might not at all that common, so the notion of bringing it as the main route of the debate is like talking about a very seldom happening but focus all the emotional and nonfactual debate on that specific occurrence. it's like talking about "late-month-abortions", which as far as I know looking at the statistics are in the few 0.02% of all abortions but take up lots more of the time and spread as the "image" of abortions.

And I'm not even going to go into the thoughts I have about it being 4 white men... of which at least one have experienced the situation with "the woman's life being in danger due to a pregnancy" ...

All these comments, instead of maybe referring to the maybe very uncomfortable fact that most abortions (in the US) are made by woman who already have at least one child. That countries with illegal abortions have a higher abortion rate than many countries with legal options. And this all even before mentioning that the address of "WHY woman choose abortion" since if you are really interested in decreasing the practice - wouldn't it make more sense to stop the unwanted pregnancies to even happen? I mean, if you really wanted to look into the problem?

I am not insensitive though, I understand that from a religious perspective the age of the embryo/fetus/child-to-be is irrelevant and therefore all of these practices are considered as vile. It's just that I sometimes get confused that the concern is so alive and loud for these unborn children, when the obvious fact of not caring about the same children when they are out and born are in my face everyday.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hockey update - 14 and 15!

Week 14 - brought the winner of Modscientist, closely followed by Lava... then in following order Cath, Mr E man (good job!), ScientistMother, Gerty, myself, Ricardipus and Beth and Bob brought up the rear. As a side note, Modscientist got about twice as much points as the last one.... Congrats Modscientist!

Week 15 - Modscientist does it again! This time Gerty and Bob fought for second place. Cath, Ricardipus, Mr E man, Beth, Lava, ScientistMother were all close together whereas I decided I wanted to struggle alone at the bottom ^^ (Clearly last with 6 points to the second to last place....)

Double congrats to Modscientist!

As for the overall points, as visually seen (sorry about still not getting Numbers to work as well as I should with that poor chart) the standing is as follows:
Modscientist (587), Cath (575), Lava (572), Ricardipus (564), ScientistMother (539), Gerty (528), chall (522), Bob (515), Mr E man (507), Beth (492)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

don't do it - or at least not "if you want me to still like you"

Please don't make up a number when writing something to an offical report.... as "it's efficacy is X -fold greater than compound C" and then send it Not if you are not SURE that it really is X fold greater.


Well you see, it might be obvious to some of us (hrm) but once you make a statement as such in writing, it is very hard to back peddle and still keep the trust from the official people in question.

And if someone else happens to be the responsible one to show that indeed it is X-fold greater.... although you do know that this will be very hard (if not impossible) to show. Well.... then you really have put them in a fairly rough spot.

(I'm pretty sure it's obvious that I am not the person stating "it's Xfold greater". However, I might be someone else in the little venting.... yeah... ^^)

Sunday, January 08, 2012

The old year is over - Happy New Year!

A little late, as one could think it would be with a fairly busy time between Jul (Christmas) and visiting friends and family... I guess a short re-cap of 2011 in words of myself and the blog posts I wrote... And a little thought and dream about what 2012 will bring.

January: The Editorial in BMJ tells it all (I'm referring to the autism-vaccine-Wakefield story)

FebruaryI found out a while back that the mother of one of my friends was released from the hospital since "there was nothing more they could do, the chemo didn't work"

MarchIt’s always interesting to me that I might be one of those patients.

April: "Predicting one's chances of developing a genetic condition, is like finding a penny in the ocean." To quote Dr Reed, the prodigy doctor in the TV series Criminal Minds.

MayI've been thinking a bit about reconciliation

JuneI think Lava will beat me in the last and final round.... (in regards to hockey and the Stanley Cup)

Julysunset during one of those lovely weekends away from the city.... :)

August: One of the major things I talked about during my mentoring session at The Big Conference (TBC) where they had asked me to participate in their mentoring program as a mentor* turned out to be small talk. 

September:  things that happen in vegas... ...stay in Vegas... maybe the same in other places? (aka "across the ocean in far-away-country") :)

OctoberI was the one who said the strange words a while back... "so, we're doing this study starting then and there. Oh, I guess there will be no Thanksgiving holiday then."

November: Imagine a weekday evening, "little Saturday", and you meet up with a friend for a drink

DecemberIt's that thing about secrets. You all of a sudden get them, from someone else - or you make something that you want to keep a secret - and then they tend to haunt you.

Looking at the entries I guess I need to write more about science and less about my "feelings"? It's been a little harder to do that considering that I'm now behind a slight wall of "industry science" but I'm sure I can write things about science in general and less "venting about the difficulties and challenges I meet at work", if I just focus a little more.

As for my dreams and hopes for 2012, I have a few. Mainly to continue getting in shape, last year I ended up about 30 pounds lighter than 15 months earlier, and I'm hoping this year to reach that famous "BMI is well within normal range for a woman your age" or as I like to think of it "run 10 km in less than 60 mins" and "fit into size 8/10 and feel comfortable in a bikini" (maybe not as great as a goal, but it's achievable for me). I will also try and get to work earlier in the day, and work out at least 1 morning a week. And continue to stay happy and content with life - since I've felt great in that department this fall with all the regular work outs, social time with friends, some social/community work and work achievements* (and some alone time of course).

All in all, I'll see where I end up but as for now - it's with good hope and energy I'm starting out with 2012! Happy New Year!

*I got a stunning review and a pay increase and some thoughts about future, which made me proud and happy. Now, I just have to see if it pans out as 'promised' or 'planned' in a few months... fingers crossed.