Friday, January 20, 2012

dothisnow make and sign your advanced directive

If you have not already completed you advanced healthcare directive, the procrastination and excuses have run out.  This is an online site where you answer the basic questions about your advanced directives.  At least take a look at the questions; they are well worth thinking about and talking over with family and friends. 

the future of video

where google is taking youtube -  "swinging for the fences" or "just sitting around and watching things happen" ?

what an amazing contrast between the cultures of "scarcity" vs "abundance"

"scarcity" = $$ because it's rare, pay $$ for it (copyrighted material)

"abundance" = give away the content because everything else around it (including advertising and related services) will generate the revenue.

aurora alert ! for Saturday night +

On the page today (was that a "smoke ring" at about 19:00+ ?):

INCOMING CME: Active sunspot 1401 erupted yesterday, Jan. 19th around 16:30 UT, producing an M3-class solar flare and a full-halo coronal mass ejection (CME). The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory recorded the cloud expanding almost directly toward Earth:

Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab say strong geomagnetic storms are possible when the cloud arrives this weekend. Their animated forecast trackpredicts an impact on Jan. 21st at 22:30 UT (+/- 7 hrs). Aurora alerts: text, voice.

The cloud is also heading for Mars, due to hit the Red Planet on Jan. 24th. NASA's Curiosity rover, en route to Mars now, is equipped to study solar storms and might be able to detect a change in the energetic particle environment when the CME passes by.

more images: from the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project of Atlanta, GA; from Theo Ramakers of Social Circle, GA; from Jim Haklar of Edison, New Jersey; from Zach, Annissa, and Annie of The G.W. Hinckley School in Hinckley, Maine

Sunday, January 15, 2012

groupthink revisited

Although I do like the independence of being in a one-person virtual office, it does get very isolating (read: lonely) without the water-cooler / coffee-break conversation.  So I try to get down to the coffee shop in the center of town in the morning some days of the week, and make an effort to set up lunch meet-ups with other virtual office workers in town.

I do recall that I do my best and most innovative work after the house has gone to bed and I have my late conversation with Ted Koppel and Nightline.  Fewer distractions are key to a concentrated effort,  which is a hopeless mission during the day, when emails and instant messages are arriving by the moment.

Even learning a new piece of music is best done alone, before joining with others (if playing with a group).

Death and ...

Many areas of medical ethics are Difficult, with a capital D. So many interests of different parties: the patient, the family (not all of whom are thinking the same way), the community, the physician or surgeon, the nurses, the institution, the insurance companies (for health insurance, life insurance, etc.). Everybody wants a say, and some have either louder or more influential voices. Every party will use every manipulation and leverage point available to them as well.

In this gator infested swamp of emotional and financial motivations, it seems clear, though, that there is one primary interest that has to be served above all others; that is the interest and clear minded decision of the individual patient.

So in our striving to support the interest of the patient, the single most important determination we have to make is this: “is it ethical?”. That simple question belies its complexity: is the action or inaction ethical? is the outcome ethical? is the impact on the patient, family, community, or other, ethical or unethical ?