Saturday, February 28, 2009

In my mailbox...


Detecting Pancreatic Cancer Before It Begins was the subject line of a recent e-mail I received.

I was a subscriber to Newsmax magazine at one time and one of the 'benefits' is a seemingly endless stream of 'infomercial' e-mails from them. Along with financial and medical news, you get links to various products sold through the magazine. Certainly something you can 'opt out of' (I believe) if you like. But harmless enough and easy enough to delete as they are received.

This one caught my eye though. 'Detecting cancer before it begins'.

Huh..?? Would that not be like knowing the next card dealt at the blackjack table ...before it is dealt..?? Or knowing the tomorrow's Dow Jones Average closing number

I know what they mean. Reading the accompanying article in e-mail confirms my thought.

The new technology information they are sharing is about 'partial-wave spectroscopy', a method for looking for subtle changes in the intracellular, the "nanoarchitecture", of a cell. Changes in the 'order' of components inside the cell could be early indicators of possible cancerous processes beginning. These changes might be visible some time before visible microscopy or other methods would indicate the possible presence of cancer.

Image source: xmatt via flickr dot com

So yeah, the thought and the intent of the message are well founded; just poorly expressed by an attention-seeking subject line.

Not like that is the first time that has ever been tried..!!


Friday, February 27, 2009

Sadness redoubled...


My previous post spoke to my worst fears for an online 'friend' and her son.

Unfortunately, my worst fears were confirmed and I learned shortly afterward that her son had indeed succumbed to his illness.

I would encourage any who care to do so to check the Dr. Smak link blogrolled at my page.

Reading a few or many of the previous posts at her blog will afford you an intimate glimpse into the heart of this mother and her son and family. Her courage in sharing his ...their story has not gone unnoticed by many.

I am sure the message of strength and love and family evident in her posts and in her readers' comments will echo across the lives of many friends and readers.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I am so sad...


It has been a long time since I felt compelled to post, since I really had something personal and of import to me to share.

I have been reading a fellow blogger here at blogger dot com for some months now. Not because her blog is fun or informational. But perhaps more because I found great value in her blogging the experience of her son dying of cancer.

Yes ... it sounds weird to say that think that one might find value in the great sorrow of another. But I really do ...did.

Over the months I have been following her she has spoken of both the joys and sorrows of such a diagnosis. She speaks so lovingly of her son intimately of her own reactions to the whole 'thing', the whole situation. She speaks so strongly and from the heart about her own doubts about today, tomorrow, the future. She speaks so strongly of the unknown and fears and unanswerable questions we all would have in a similar situation.

In my many years online I have never found a blog that spoke so freely and intimately of matters of great importance to the human condition. She was always one of my first stops when I hit the web. I never failed to find inspiration or value in her posts.

Today I found her blog blocked, available only to 'invited readers'.

Perhaps her son has finally passed and this is a reaction to that. Perhaps the comments on her blog have become too challenging to read. Perhaps the growing attention I have seen her blog draw over the last few months, perhaps she is drawing back from that. Perhaps she has lost her ability to continue to tell her story coherently and clearly.

I am literally at the verge of tears thinking of the worst that might have happened, at the pall of grief that might be hanging over her and her family as I write this.

At the same time I am almost embarrassed to think that my being able to see her blog (such a minor concern...!!) should be of any importance now.

It seems silly to worry about a name on a computer screen. But we all come to know, to value, to cherish the names, the words, the thoughts we see every day online. We become drawn into their lives intractably, knowing that we can pull back at any time while they continue to meet daunting challenges and tasks.

Anyway . . .to my friend and her son fervent hopes and prayers that things are going as well as they possibly can for you and yours. My thoughts mean nothing in the here and now. But I humbly and hopefully offer them regardless.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

' Say what..?!? ' Number 2


I have previously talked about 'unique phrases' I have found online. My September 2008 post listed just a few.

Since then I have been trying to note and 'save' others that I have found.

What defines a 'unique phrase'..?? Well, it has to be at least two words. A one word phrase makes no sense, right..?? These unique phrases also have to be made up of real words, though I will stretch the definition for a word or phrase that still would be recognizable for most readers.

With more and more bloggers every day . . .I am sure more and more unique phrases will continue to be created and shared across the web

So again, as I stated in my earlier post two word 'unique' phrases earn a gold medal, three words a silver, and four word unique phrases draw a bronze medal.

See, that is all kinda cool. Come along with me. Lets see what shiny baubles we have found this time.

Unique phrases I have crafted or discovered:

One result found for "steeped in heartaches"
The writer is describing a young Otis Redding and the sound of his youthful voice: And he sounded very experienced, steeped in heartaches despite that young age. A beautiful phrase to my ears.

Three results found for "bring the grump"
From a personal e-mail exchange. I had noted that I was already 'bothered' by the actions of a third party and thus probably 'brought a grumpy disposition' to the next stupid thing they had said/did. The uses Google found seem to refer to particular individuals or characters rather than an attitude. So a unique thought with several thinly-related web uses.

Two results found for "Seussian season"
One by a writer on Epinions dot com, a consumer reviews site. Commenting on reading a Dr. Seuss book, the writer said: "In fact, you could say it was the beginning of a long Seussian season at our house." when her daughter fell "hook, line and sinker" in love with the book. Another beautiful, unique phrase.

One result found for "ghetto days of dial-up"
A thought by Alison Stewart, Click Chick at while describing her cell phone connection to the Internet while using GPRS (say what..?!?). A truly unique 'ghetto' phrase.

Anyway, just the latest update on my little web reading-n-writing obsession. Looking forward to sharing more once again on down the road.

Hey, if you have any examples of your own please share them in a comment..!!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

A heart for my valentines...


I knew that if I looked long enough I would find something to share with my readers for Valentine's Day.

Little did I know that, once again, it would APOD coming to the rescue.

I offer you a 'heart' ... seemingly as big as all creation...

Image from Astronomy Picture of the Day, Valentine's Day, February 14, 2009.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Hopelessly addicted...


OK. I might as well admit it. I am hopelessly addicted to the images created by this young lady/blogger.

And now she has posted a video featuring many of her images set to music.

Ah ... to be young and talented...

Previous posts re: Acroline ... ...qui aime gribouiller...


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Treasure is fun..!!


I think every kid who has ever read Treasure Island or Robinson Crusoe has dreamed of one day sailing the high seas, plundering ships, taking treasure, and never going to bed until they wanted to...

Then we grow up and find our spot in the grown-up world. Which usually does not involve sailing, plundering, and other pirate-y stuff.

But even today we can be taken back to those days by news of old shipwrecks newly discovered and gold coins and storms at sea and brave men long gone.

I first learned of Odyssey Marine Exploration several years ago when they made the news for discovering the sunken wreck/remains of the SS Republic off the coast of Georgia. Bound for New Orleans from New York, she carried 80 passengers and crewmembers and a large supply of goods and money to help aid the rebuilding South after the American Civil War. After sinking in a storm in October 1865, the shipwreck was lost for over a century.

The site of the shipwreck was found in 2003, confirmed by discovery of the ship's bell and an archeological excavation of the site began late that year.

Since then the company has discovered several other shipwrecks around the world and at widely varying times in history.

Recently, the Odyssey company reported their discovery of the wreck of the HMS Victory which sank during a storm in the English Channel in 1744. She is reported to have carried nearly 4 tons of gold and other period artifacts.

Gawd, who can not begin to dream of sailing the high seas and treasure and adventure of grand scale when hearing stories like this..??

Anyway, check out the Odyssey Marine Exploration for tons of more information. Make sure you have your imagination turned on and your wanderlust tuned in.