Thursday, October 23, 2008

Art and Personality

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Conscientious, Fulfilled, and Spiritual

20 Renaissance, 14 Islamic, 11 Ukiyo-e, -23 Cubist, -27 Abstract and 2 Impressionist!

The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life. Beginning in Italy, and spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence affected literature, philosopy, religion, art, politics, science, and all other aspects of intellectual enquiry. Renaissance artists looked at the human aspect of life in their art. They did not reject religion but tended to look at it in it's purest form to create visions they thought depicted the ideals of religion. Painters of this time had their own style and created works based on morality, religion, and human nature. Many of the paintings depicted what they believed to be the corrupt nature of man.

People that like Renaissance paintings like things that are more challenging. They tend to have a high emotional stability. They also tend to be more concientious then average. They have a basic understanding of human nature and therefore are not easily surprised by anything that people may do. They enjoy life and enjoy living. They are very aware of their own mortality but do not dwell on the end but what they are doing in the present. They enjoy learning, but may tend to be a bit more closed minded to new ideas as they feel that the viewpoint they have has been well researched and considered. These people are more old fashioned and not quite as progressive. They enjoy the finer things in life like comfort, a good meal, and homelife. They tend to be more spiritual or religious by nature. They are open to new aesthetic experiences.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Blog Suborned

I stopped following a blog today.

The owner of the blog, a literary agent, started to use the blog to express political opinions. Now, there is nothing wrong with expressing those types of opinions. But it would be better to start a new blog for that purpose than to use your pre-existing blog about being an agent. That's rather underhanded, in my opinion.

And even though the agent had previously been on my list of those to consider querying, I now have doubts. Does it matter that she sounds like a good match? Does it matter that I seem to write the sort of fiction she seems to like? Can I trust her, given her dishonesty in regards to her own blog?

Even if I had agreed with her political viewpoint, which I don't, I would have stopped following her blog. I simply don't like politics. I don't want to hear about it. On election day, I will go to the poll and make my own choice irregardless of what anyone else on earth thinks about the candidates or issues.

So by using a blog as a vehicle for political preaching, this agent not only offended me, she may have gotten herself removed from my consideration as an agent. I know, she doesn't care. Neither do I.

Rant complete.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Musings about MRSA

A friend recently asked me (yet again) about the "MRSA thing" and what can he do to prevent it?

Okay. MRSA has been around, and known about, since the 1970s at least. It stands for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. It is a variant of the normal Staph A that every one of us already has on our bacteria-laden human bodies. What makes MRSA special is that R. Resistant. Bacteria gain resistance by several methods.

1. Antibiotics. In the good ol' days, patients could pressure their docs to write antibiotic prescriptions for viral issues like the common cold. Placebo effect, to be sure, for the cold. But the bacteria, they learn.

2. Antibiotics. Again. Patient is sick, takes antibiotics, feels better, stops taking antibiotics even though full prescribed course is not done. Patient may think 'I'll save these for later, in case I get sick again.' Uh-huh. By not finishing the antibiotics, some bacteria are left alive and kickin'... or actually, dividin', and they learned a lot about surviving that particular antibiotic. And what they know, so do their neighbors and offspring.

3. Bacterial communication. Okay, I know, it's strange to think that a bacterium, a simple single-celled organism, can talk. But it does. At least, it talks to other bacteria. They swap DNA frequently. We shake hands when we meet, and bacteria rub their membranes together and trade DNA snippets in lieu of discussing the weather. As a result, your new resistant friend set up from #2 doesn't keep the resistance a secret.

4. Darwin. Darn that man, it's all his fault. Whether you agree with him or not, life does adapt, evolve, and change. And with bacteria that change can be rapid. If they weren't microscopic, I'd have said visible. E. coli, for example, can divide every 20 minutes. This is exponential growth. 1, 2, 4, 8, 16... and so on until the bacteria run out of nutrients. The only growth curve in all of nature that can match the bacterial curve is ours. We are also reporducing exponentially. (I wonder if we'll die off when the nutrients are all consumed?) But because of that rapid growth, adaptation can occur at a high rate. Like all life, it appears to be imbued with a will to live. So the bacteria can learn resistance from natural selection processes as well.

But there's good news. Really. Because of #4, resistant bacteria do not reproduce as well as non-resistant strains. So take all of the antibiotic prescribed, even if you feel better. Invest in hand sanitizer. And eat that activa yogurt to re-establish the good bacteria before another resistant strain sets up. Resistant strains can't compete with the normal strains in a non-antibiotic laden system. And yes, that's why antibiotics cause diarrhea. They're not very specific about which bacteria they kill.

Furthermore, the bacteria is cultured out and then resistance-sensitivity tests are run on your personal infecting bacteria. The antibiotics you are given are specific to that strain of bacteria.

I laughed a lot when the media fastened onto MRSA like it was the next pandemic. MRSA is small potatoes in the hospital setting these days.
It's community acquired.
It's been around for decades.

Vancomycin kills it.

What the media failed miserably at noticing was the bacterium that scares even the ICU staff.
That would be VRSA.
Vancomycin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus.
MRSA has a new family member.
Be afraid.