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Agriculture, skepticism, politics

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-01-09

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  • New post: Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-01-02 http://traff.as/qj #
  • Just lost 1.5 TB of files to a computer crash. Ok, @mozy, let's see how good you are. #
  • Whoever thought video was a good way to present how-to documentation should be shot dead. #
  • Looking for a light, 7" Android tablet – which is the best upcoming product? #
  • Right and wrong is only trumped by correct and incorrect. #
  • ROFL // “@dailykos: Republicans discover Constitution a living document http://bit.ly/gPFEQj” #
  • Why the Mac App Store Sucks [Downloads] http://j.mp/hBv0rw #
  • Texas creationist McLeroy spins the educational disaster he created http://j.mp/e2XfH5 #
  • Wkly #lastfm artists: Tom Merritt, Becky Worley, Sarah Lane, Jason Howell (2), Wilco (1) & Ted Leo and The Pharmacists (1) http://bit.ly/9 #
  • Home is where the media center is. #
  • In Wichita less than a day and it already feels more like home than Manhattan ever did. #
  • @bpiflier Not sure – still trying to figure out why. #
  • I just ousted Garrett J. as the mayor of Kobe on @foursquare! http://4sq.com/cdTwLv #
  • I wish I were one-tenth as affable as my mother. #
  • Hey, Michigan. Yellow == cheap. Find a color that doesn't make you look like the Food 4 Less team. #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-01-02

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We’re moving to Wichita

| Posted on in life
Official seal of City of Wichita
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Last week, I wrote a post announcing that we had found a place in Pratt and would soon be moving there. It seems I spoke too soon.

Diane’s had a counter-offer from her existing employer that is much more attractive for a number of reasons, and so she’ll be keeping her job and operating out of her company’s Wichita office. Rather than Diane driving over 80 miles each way every day, we asked our new landlords in Pratt if they’d be willing to terminate our lease, which they graciously offered to do.

It’s funny how plans can change so dramatically so rapidly. I’m disappointed to be a little farther from Sharon and my friends in Pratt, but this situation will be much better for Diane and me in the long run.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-12-26

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Now an official resident of Pratt, Kansas

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Our new place in Pratt

It’s done. Diane and I have signed a lease for a duplex in Pratt. We spent yesterday looking for places and, after inspecting several places, finally found one we liked. It has significantly more space than our current duplex in Manhattan, and will end up being much more functional.

We’ll start moving in after next week.

Tron

| Posted on in life
Tron (film)
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Last night we watched The Diplomat. It wasn’t a bad movie, but there wasn’t exactly a payoff. The Blu-ray was divided into two parts, and it was only once we got it back to the house that we realized it was a British TV production. I thought the movie was over once the first part was over, and it was disappointing to have to watch the second half.

Lucas, Christopher and I watched Tron: Legacy today at the theater. None of us had seen the original. I can say that it was much better than what I expected, having heard very disparaging things about it. Olivia Wilde‘s performance was a pleasant surprise. The value was in the effects, certainly, as the plot wasn’t exactly compelling.

Since we were entertained and intrigued by the sequel, we watched the original Tron this evening. That movie was silly, though would have been an enjoyable watch when I was in junior high.

I’m scheduled to start recording tomorrow with Andy. Looking forward to it.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-12-19

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Ancient and Oriental medicine

| Posted on in science, skepticism, technology
Hippocrates: a conventionalized image in a Rom...
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While it seems like an oxymoron, the concept of ancient medicine has always been a moneymaker for con artists and bamboozlers. I have no idea why, but for some reason, many of the more gullible among us can be convinced that older remedies are somehow more valid than modern medicine. A very similar con is labeling alternative treatments as Oriental, implying that they know something in Asia that we don’t in the rest of the world. While I’m sure there is cutting-edge medical research happening in Asia, I’m guessing the little house on the corner with the Oriental medicine sign doesn’t subscribe to many peer-reviewed scientific journals.

There are a couple of points that can be made to quickly dissuade you from running to your local alternative treatment shop for a walletectomy.

Ancient medicine was brutal. Bloodletting. Blistering. Amputation. Plastering. Purging. There are a ton of examples of past practices that we know now to be more harmful than helpful. Not all ancient treatments are harmful. There are also a ton of practices discovered long ago that do much more good than bad. These beneficial treatments are used regularly by practitioners of modern medicine.

Treatments that show promise are absorbed into modern medicine. While I’m sure they know many things in Asia and in the past that we may not, the nature of modern medicine is one of sharing. Findings are published and reviewed by others. Any treatment that shows promise  is studied in depth so that we know how and why it works and to what degree it works. If the practices of ancient or foreign alt-med purveyors were in any way sound or their positive results were repeatable, those practices would become valid, go-to solutions for modern doctors. The very fact that these treatments aren’t used by modern medical professionals means that these alt-med remedies either don’t work or are actually harmful. Secrets are hard to keep, and you’re crazy if you think your local alt-med shop has a treatment that hasn’t been tried or reviewed and dismissed by modern medicine.

Science is a great thing. It rewards good ideas and makes them better. It punishes bad ideas by naturally discrediting them. When applied to medicine, science helps doctors use the good ideas to make us better and healthier. It doesn’t care how old those good ideas are – if they work and they’re appropriate, they’re accepted. If ideas don’t work or aren’t appropriate, they’re relegated to the realm of alternative medicine.

Killdeer

| Posted on in farming, life
Craig Poe got his deer
Craig got his deer

It was a hunting weekend with my in-laws Ed, Craig and Dave Poe. Up Saturday and Sunday at 5:30, we spent the better part of both days driving from one pasture to another.

I was fairly amazed at the amount of deer on our property. For the last 30 years, I’ve been looking out for them, making sure to swerve as best I could. I’d never actually looked for them before.

Craig got his first buck on Saturday night.

Diane and I spent some time in Pratt on our way home Sunday driving around looking at houses. There are a ton of houses on the market in Pratt, but very few available to rent. The move is closing in, and we haven’t made a ton of progress finding a place. It could get interesting.