Andrea Harner
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April 30, 2009

Feet so swollen I may not be able to identify them as mine in a line-up.
Jyangara Ramen. Craving it. SO BADLY.

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* Photo from summer 2007: Drool warning.

Ramen shop at 6 am in Shibuya. I love this picture. Partying until morning then eating noodles - those were the days!!!

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April 23, 2009

This is precisely why I've always been a fan of underwire bras/Bullet bounces off US woman's bra

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A US woman had a lucky escape when a burglar's bullet bounced off the metal underwire in her bra.

Police in the city of Detroit said one of three intruders fired a shot when the woman looked out of her window and saw them raiding the house next door.

The bullet smashed the window and hit her, but instead of causing serious injury - or worse - it was deflected off the wiring in her bra.

The unnamed 57-year-old woman was taken to hospital and released the same day.

"It did slow the bullet down," said a police spokesman. "She sustained injuries but they're not life-threatening."

Continue reading...

* Thanks for the link, Zee Myers!!!

April 14, 2009

A Tree Grows in Lung

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April 13, 2009

One flippered sea turtle gets help!

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Allison, a rescued green sea turtle who has only one flipper, swims with the aid of a fin attached with neoprene, on April 8. Without the attached fin, Allison can only swim in circles. Sea Turtle Inc., a not-for-profit in South Padre Island, Texas, helped outfit the turtle with a black neoprene suit, with a carbon-fiber dorsal fin on the back, that allows her to swim with other turtles. Researchers think the five-year-old turtle lost a flipper in a shark attack, The Associated Press reports. (Eric Gay/AP Photo )

* Thanks to Irene Kim for the link!

April 9, 2009

Arizona: Fake Student Sentenced. What a stand-up guy.
A youthful-looking sex offender who posed as a 12-year-old boy to enroll in several Arizona schools was sentenced to more than 70 years in prison. The man, Neil H. Rodreick II, 31, pleaded guilty last year to seven criminal charges. Most involved child pornography, but two stemmed from the charade he pulled off for two years. Mr. Rodreick attended schools in Payson, Prescott Valley and Surprise starting in 2005. The authorities said he shaved and wore makeup to help him appear younger, convincing teachers, students and administrators that he was a boy named Casey. He was caught in January 2007 after spending a day in the seventh grade at a Chino Valley school when school officials became suspicious because his birth certificate and other documents looked forged. They had initially thought they might be dealing with a child who had been abducted.

* via NY Times print edition!

My friend from high school Tosan Omabegho's work is published in Science and NY Times! Don't ask me to explain the work but I am proud of Toaster OnABagel!!

Experiment Shows Molecules Can Walk, but Can They Dance? By Henry Fountain

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In efforts to create motors and other machines on the scale of molecules — machines that can act as tiny assembly lines to make novel compounds — the devices have to walk before they can run. And when it comes to walking, molecular machines have to be able to do so on their own, in the proper direction. Most molecular walkers need some help, in the form of chemicals to keep them going, and they tend to wander.

Researchers at New York University and Harvard have created a two-legged walker, made from a strand of DNA, that solves both of those problems — it walks on its own in one direction along a track, also made of DNA strands.

Nadrian C. Seeman, a professor at N.Y.U. and the author, with Tosan Omabegho and Ruojie Sha, of a paper in Science describing the work, said one key to their walker’s autonomy is that binding the forward part of the DNA strand — the leading “leg” — to the track releases a chemical that catalyzes the release of the trailing “leg,” which then dangles forward and binds with the track again. This synchronized two-step process, which covers about fifty-billionths of a meter, should be repeatable for any length of track, Dr. Seeman said.

The idea behind making walkers, he added, is to emulate motor proteins like kinesin, which carry large molecules around a cell. Walkers would carry a similar molecular “cargo” down the track that would react with other molecules at various points. The final product, at the end of the track, would depend on what those other molecules were.

Conceptually, Dr. Seeman said, it’s not all that different from a car assembly line, where the initial components travel along a track and other components are added on along the way. A walker would be a chemical assembly line, he said, “making things that haven’t been made before.”

China Rights Activist Beaten in Cemetery By Sharon LaFraniere, NY Times
BEIJING — Last Saturday was tomb-sweeping day, when the Chinese traditionally honor the dead. Sun Wenguang, a 75-year-old retired professor, was one of many to visit the cemetery.

Apparently, though, he chose the wrong death to commemorate. He came to remember Zhao Ziyang, a former prime minister and Communist Party general secretary who lost his party position and his freedom after sympathizing with student-led, pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Mr. Zhao, who died in 2005, is a martyr to some democracy advocates.

As Mr. Sun entered the cemetery in Jinan, a city about 230 miles south of Beijing, he said, four or five men attacked him and beat him severely. He is now in a Jinan hospital with three broken ribs and injuries to his spine, head, back, arms and legs, according to China Human Rights Defenders, a Hong Kong-based group. The group said the attack on Mr. Sun was part of a concerted effort by the Chinese government to head off any efforts to memorialize the deaths of hundreds of Tiananmen Square protesters on June 4, the 20th anniversary of the government’s crackdown.

“Chinese authorities are staging a campaign of terror to intimidate and suppress expressions of commemoration for the 1989 Tiananmen massacre,” the group said in a statement. The attack on Mr. Sun “is part of the overall campaign,” it said.

Public security officials in Jinan referred calls about the attack to the propaganda office of the city’s Communist Party. No one answered phone calls to that office on Tuesday night.

Mr. Sun said he had previously visited the cemetery on Qingming Day to honor Mr. Zhao’s death without serious incident. But this year, he said, he announced his forthcoming visit on the Internet.

“It is important for China to restore the memory of its history,” Mr. Sun said in a telephone interview from his hospital bed. “Zhao Ziyang is such an important person in Chinese history, and students today have no idea who he is. That is outrageous.”

As he left the teacher’s dormitory at Shandong University, he said, a public security officer and about 20 plainclothes officers tried to stop him. “They said, ‘Don’t go there today. So many people are going there. It is dangerous,’ ” he said.

When he got into a taxi, a car followed him, he said. He said he had started down a cemetery path, carrying a banner that read “Condolences for the heroes who died for freedom,” when four or five men jumped him from behind.

He said the attackers lifted him off the ground, threw him into a deep ditch, and kicked and beat him for more than 10 minutes. Other people came to the edge of the ditch, he said, “but nobody tried to help.” Finally, a uniformed officer showed up and called an ambulance, he said.

In the four days he has been in the hospital, the police have not shown up to investigate, he said.

“I still feel very weak. And I think probably my days are numbered. But I don’t feel regret. I am 75 years old and I would be very happy to sacrifice my life for my ideals,” he said.

Mr. Sun has a long history of activism. He was imprisoned for seven years in the 1970s for criticizing Mao and his successor, Hua Guofeng, and was among the first to sign Charter 08, a manifesto issued in December that calls for democratic reforms.

Still, he said: “I didn’t expect this. I was not trying to organize any group of people. It was just a personal visit to a cemetery. In order to fight for democracy, we need to make personal efforts.”

* via NY Times print edition!!!.

April 7, 2009

Radiologist Adds a Human Touch: Photos By Dina Kraft, NY Times

THIS IS ONE OF THOSE ARTICLES THAT MAKE YOU GO, OF COURSE! DUH! WHY WASN'T THIS ALWAYS THE PROTOCOL? I AM A BIG DR. TURNER FAN.

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When Dr. Yehonatan N. Turner began his residency in radiology, he was frustrated that the CT scans he analyzed revealed nothing about the patients behind them — only their internal organs. So to make things personal, he imagined each patient was his father.

But then he had a better idea: attach a photograph of the actual patient to each file.

“I was looking for a way to make each case feel unique and less abstract,” said Dr. Turner, 36, now a third-year resident at Shaare Zedek Medical Center here. “I thought having a photo of the patient would help me relate in a deeper way.”

Dr. Turner’s hunch turned into an unusual medical study. Its preliminary findings, presented in Chicago last December at a conference of the Radiological Society of North America, suggested that when a digital photograph was attached to a patient’s file, radiologists provided longer, more meticulous reports. And they said they felt more connected to the patients, whom they seldom meet face to face.

In the digital age, adding a photo to a file is a simple procedure, and the study’s authors say they hope it becomes a standard procedure — not just for radiologists but also for pathologists and other doctors who rarely have contact with patients.

Radiologists spend most of their working hours in darkened rooms with large, high-resolution computer screens where they read and analyze dozens of scans and X-rays each day.

The process can feel mechanical and detached. But Dr. Jonathan Halevy, the director of Shaare Zedek, says that “when there is a picture, your attitude and approach changes — the human aspect is inserted.”

Important clues to patients’ conditions can sometimes be seen in their faces. Clicking through photos of patients who participated in the study, Dr. Turner pointed to an older man with a bruiselike hematoma around the eyes — a possible sign of brain injury. Paleness or jaundice might indicate various kinds of organ problems.

In the initial study, a group of Shaare Zedek radiologists rotated through three groupings, reviewing more than 300 files of patients who had agreed to have their pictures taken.

In the first group, radiologists received a photo of the patient along with the file; after three months they reviewed the same file, this time without the picture. In the second group, they interpreted the patient’s file without a photo, and three months later were presented with the same file, this time with a photo. A control group interpreted scans without photos.

The researchers found that the radiologists’ reports were significantly more thorough in all cases when a photograph was attached to a patient’s scan. Reports were longer, more recommendations made, summaries usually included and more incidental findings recorded.

In a questionnaire that was also part of the study, the radiologists said that the photos helped them relate better to the patients and that they themselves felt “more like physicians.”

Continue reading...

April 6, 2009

I miss Japan: Parade envy

Kawasaki parade.

No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency: I wish I still had HBO!!!

You may recall that I am a huge fan of Alexander McCall Smith's novels! Does anyone know if and where I can catch this show online?

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Brain Researchers Open Door to Editing Memory By Benedict Carey, NY Times

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Suppose scientists could erase certain memories by tinkering with a single substance in the brain. Could make you forget a chronic fear, a traumatic loss, even a bad habit.

Researchers in Brooklyn have recently accomplished comparable feats, with a single dose of an experimental drug delivered to areas of the brain critical for holding specific types of memory, like emotional associations, spatial knowledge or motor skills.

The drug blocks the activity of a substance that the brain apparently needs to retain much of its learned information. And if enhanced, the substance could help ward off dementias and other memory problems.

So far, the research has been done only on animals. But scientists say this memory system is likely to work almost identically in people.

The discovery of such an apparently critical memory molecule, and its many potential uses, are part of the buzz surrounding a field that, in just the past few years, has made the seemingly impossible suddenly probable: neuroscience, the study of the brain.

“If this molecule is as important as it appears to be, you can see the possible implications,” said Dr. Todd C. Sacktor, a 52-year-old neuroscientist who leads the team at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center, in Brooklyn, which demonstrated its effect on memory. “For trauma. For addiction, which is a learned behavior. Ultimately for improving memory and learning.”

Continue reading...

April 4, 2009

Border Collie puppy. GOD HELP ME.

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April 2, 2009

Deep Green Living on HuffingtonPost! Greening My House: Power Strips, White Light Lamps, Compost Jars, and Logs Made of Coffee Grounds

Check out Arianna's write-up about her house and office getting greenified by my friend Susan Short's company Deep Green Living!! We can all live a little greener - you know it's true! Now turn off that light you're not using and feel better about yourself :-)

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Best car service in Brooklyn???

Fast, plenty of cars and not a rip-off is preferred. Thanks!!

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