Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Done So Far...

: finished the last test for this term in my 'General Med' class; this means I'm 1/3 of the way through the course (it lasts my whole classroom year). This happens to have been a test on the endocrine system.

[ shamelessly hotlinked image of adrenal glands ]

Tuesday: took a test in Statistics.

[ shamelessly hotlinked image of a scatter-plot graph ]

Given my thoroughly awesome Stats class in post-bac, I was not surprised to do well on this one. We actually got the tests back today, the day following the exam. Shocking!

Today, we took one on our Clinical Lab class. Various questions about blood-bank procedures, certain potential blood test results and what they mean, and poop. More than a couple questions on poop.

[ shamelessly hotlinked image of a Hemocult card ]

Currently, I'm studying up for tomorrow's final final, the test on EKG.

[ shamelessly hotlinked image of an EKG printout ]

Oh my god, I'm almost through this crazy-ass term!

Next up: a couple days of this...

[ shamelessly hotlinked image of the Seattle skyline ]

...and, after we return from the break, we start getting into this...

[ shamelessly hotlinked image of a duder in a white coat doing a physical exam ]

Friday, October 26, 2007

The hatches, they must be battened

Finals Week is coming. Prepare for stressy weirdness.

It was a good term though; I'll do a recap when I have a minute to breathe.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I haz playsholdr text

Check this out:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Praesent blandit. Nam volutpat rutrum nulla. Mauris accumsan. Duis posuere. Proin semper est. Etiam rhoncus purus non ipsum. Cras sapien quam, imperdiet luctus, volutpat et, placerat vitae, lectus. Can you spot the content? Vestibulum non enim. Fusce tortor. Nullam venenatis vestibulum arcu. This is really kind of fun. Vivamus nibh turpis, viverra vel, pharetra sed, tincidunt id, libero. Cras lorem odio, vehicula vitae, dignissim et, ultrices sed, enim. Duis sed nunc sed massa sollicitudin euismod.

Maecenas eleifend pulvinar nisi. Proin ut nisi eget pede fermentum tempus. Nullam eu mi. Quisque bibendum facilisis tellus. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Nam eros. Morbi vehicula. Praesent aliquet massa at libero. Integer placerat fringilla diam. Nulla nulla tortor, venenatis id, faucibus euismod, tincidunt nec, massa. Sed fringilla mi id nunc. Maecenas a enim. Cras ultrices.

My Web design (and probably a good chunk of my academic writing, and now this blog) will never be quite the same again!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Weird feeling

I'm probably nuts, but to me, that the voice in the new Chevron commercials, the one talking about the power of geothermal energy and how cool it is that an oil company can be "part of the solution," sounds a lot like the voice of REM frontman Michael Stipe.

I can't find anything on the Web about it, and that makes me feel like the person in the first 15 minutes of an old monster movie. There's info about the campaign, PR releases and whatnot, but nothing mentioning who the spokesman is.

It's probably not Stipe -- in the normal course, they only mention the voice actor if it's somebody really famous... and if it's somebody famous, they mention it. But wow, just listen to 'Belong,' and try not to hear the same voice on the commercial.

Which all begs a few questions, some of which contradict one another: one, how good must this geothermal program be, to get Stipe on board? Two, how Gen-X must the advertising people be, to know that some of us would respond to a voice that sounds like Stipe's? Three, how far have Stipe's prospects fallen, if it turns out he's signed up to shill for an oil company? Four, I wonder if a singer can sue if a commercial entity intentionally imitates his speaking voice?

EDIT to add: I like what Tim is sayin' in the comments, about it being Campbell Scott. And lo and behold, the info becomes available when I search using Scott's name.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Trivia Payoff

I read a really cool blog in which a practicing MD reviews episodes of House and evaluates not only the soap opera aspects but also the medicine, giving letter-grade scores in several categories. It's a ton of fun; Scott (the blogger) and I are both totally over the "no way would these people be doing all these tests themselves" stage, so that pleases me. And since he actually knows what he's talking about, where I tend to have a vague sense of an intuition, I can actually learn something every now and then. Definitely worth a look.

But since baseball was on this week, and there was no new House, Scott is doing the second-annual "guess the disease" game. Commenters to the blog are asked to provide a list of ten things that House and his team will either consider and reject, test for, or eventually wind up diagnosing a patient with. There's a scale of points awarded for canny predictions, depending on which of those categories the malady winds up in. Presumably, somehow someone will be keeping score.

For posterity, and because I like big words, here's my list of conditions I think the writers of House will bring out this season:

1. Blood Transfusion Reaction

2. Arrythmia brought on by energy drink/sports drink

3. Neurogenic Vertigo

4. SLE (Lupus)

5. Teratoma

6. Periodic Paralysis/ “Channelopathy”

7. Polyarteritis Nodosa

8. Polymyalgia Rheumatica

9. Hemolytic Disease of the Newborn

10. Chronic Beryllium Disease

Yes, I had to look a couple of them up. Several came to me from various case studies and other edumacational activities. One or two I found when I searched for obscure, weird stuff.

Medicine is a great field if you like random bits of trivia. For example, I've been hearing all about Virchow's Triad, and I just happened to come across a story about this Virchow character today. He seems to have been a funny guy on top of being a genius; as a liberal member of Germany's Reichstag in the 1880's, he so annoyed Otto Von Bismarck that Bismarck challenged him to a duel once. According to author Sherwin Newland, Virchow subverted the duel entirely by choosing as the weapon... wait for it... scalpels.

Today's theme would be smart-arse doctors, then.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Why I Love Mashups

What happens when a pair of crazy geniuses remix the entirety of Sgt. Pepper's with bits of other Beatles songs, plus Stones, Gary Glitter, Bowie, the Selecter, and god knows what else?

Brilliance, that's what. ccc and Ill Chemist have done this, for some reason. It's called Cracked Pepper. And it's very very cool. I love living in the 21st century.

I'm linking "Hawaii 64," a mix of 'When I'm 64' with Brian Wilson's 'Blue Hawaii' and the Beach Boys' 'Cool, Cool Water,' so Jon hears some of this beautiful insanity.

The complete ingredients list is here, and if you want to listen to more, this would be the link for that.

My favorite track so far? Probably "Struttin' Rita," which combines only three ingredients and freshens them up to the point where things that were always there become new in a whole new way, if you dig.

In a parallel universe, I'm so totally a DJ.

EDIT: Yeah, the links no longer work. Maybe it's a Brigadoon thing, and they only work sometimes.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Current favorite classmate catch-phrase

Someone from my class is fond of saying,

"I know, right?"

I don't know why, exactly, but with the right timing, this just slays me. It's funny, without calling undue attention. It skates over the surface without impeding the rhythm of the humor. It's verbiage that draws the others into the joke, while at the same time reflecting what was just said in a distorted mirror. But aside from MacLuhan-style comedy theory, it's just funny.

In other news, %$#@! the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Monday, October 01, 2007

...not that my fantasies have anything to do with football...

This is fun: I'm kicking ass in my fantasy football league this year.

Well, I'm not winning or anything, but this turns out to be the year my faith in Randy Moss pays off. The points are racking up, I'm presently 4th of 14, and I'm on the way to the top.

In school news, I'm continuing to pass my tests. Later this week, I'll suit up in the little white coat and start talking to real patients for practice, and talking to practice patients for real. We're already getting little clinical-scenario questions that, essentially, end with Dennis Hopper taunting, "...what would you do?"

I've killed only a couple of hypothetical patients. So far.