Friday, July 15, 2011

Study seeks #veterans with concussions or brain injuries #p2 #tlot

Pass The Word ... Do You Know A Recent Veteran With A Concussion Or Brain Injury ?

"The Saint Louis University Advanced Neurosurgical Innovation Center (SANIC) is currently conducting research to determine whether the brains of persons with and without traumatic brain injury differ in a meaningful way when viewed with state-of-the-art brain imaging.

The study will involve two days of participation, which will include neurocognitive tests (tests of brain function), brain imaging, and a neurological evaluation. Participants will be paid $300 ($150/day) for their time and will receive copies of their brain imaging at no cost.
You may be eligible to participate in this study as a subject with brain injury if:
  • You have suffered a concussion or traumatic brain injury
  • Your injury occurred after January 1, 2002
  • You are a male at least 18 years of age
The hope is that the results of this study will help confirm the diagnosis of concussions and mild brain injuries and validate tools for the diagnosis and treatment of concussions and brain injuries. The research is sponsored by a grant from the Department of Defense.
If you are interested in participating, please call (314) 977-8560.
For more information, visit the TBI study website."

See Also:
I might also support female veterans who otherwise qualify to contact the study and ask to participate. Most likely they will at first refuse, but the scientists have to be put on notice that women are worth studying too!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Duck And Cover and Webpowered Interactivity

Mallard Fillmore basically calling himself stupid...
Comics are no longer a one-way medium; reader reaction can be just as much fun as a comic itself. A good example of this is the blog Duck And Cover, which comments on one of the worst "comic" strips of all time, Mallard Fillmore. The problem I have with MF is not its conservative orientation; Prickley City, for example, is just as consistently wrongheaded politically, but at least it tries to maintain an internal logic and occasional criticizes its political heroes when they do something especially doltish. Above all, PC seems to think that being funny is more important than being political, at least part of the time; that's the difference between a comic with which I generally disagree but enjoy anyway, and Soviet-style Party Line art which noone can really like. (And when you think about it,  much of comics are about things that we don't wouldn't approve of in real life: space mercenaries, parties of adventurers tramping the countryside slaying weaker monsters, talking animals laying traps for one another. Let's not think too deeply about this!)
In contrast, MF is just a lazy strip, written to provide a conservative/corporatist point of view, consisting usually of drawings of a duck watching a TV that is saying something absurd, or of the duck pretending to read the paper about something else absurd. Sometimes the comic branches out into pictures of dinosaurs or cavemen or a person who looks stupid saying something that is stupid. Whatever the punchline may be, it is almost always "Liberlz sukk har har!" There is no attempt at plot, character or graphical creativity; it's as if a Soviet Commissar ordered Ziggy to say something every day hatin' on the capitalist running dogs (disturbingly, neither Ziggy nor MF wear pants, but at least Ziggy keeps his legs together when flashing the 4th wall.)

Today, Duck and Cover's host made an observation that led me to create the image above: yesterday's "Mallard Fillmore" directly contradicted today's. Yesterday, MF was reading something from a paper that said watching TV made kids stupid; today's had MF's protagonist watching TV (...and not just any TV, but something involving nosehair.) Inspired by this observation, I combined the text of one and the graphic of the other into the scene of duckish self-loathing above, which basically epitomizes the MF philosophy.
I support the right of MF's owner to be stupid and contradictory. It's a free country and everyone should have their chance to show what they're made of. And I support "Duck and Cover" in its quest to point out stupidity and contradictions. What a great country! What a great internet!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Buy Nothing Wrapped In Plastic Week: A Change The World Wednesday Challenge (#ctww)

Bubble Stuff
A Plastic Challenge?

This week's Change the World Wednesday Challenge is going to take some preparation to succeed with:
"This week refuse to buy anything which is, or which comes in, plastic. Instead, opt for Eco-friendly items and packaging ... or do without."
This is an interesting challenge. On the face of it, it seems simple but I honestly have no idea how many things I buy typically come wrapped in plastic. Off the top of my head, yogurt would seem to be the biggest challenge, and that puzzles me; ice cream works well in coated cardboard, so why not yogurt? I'll have to check around and se what I can learn.
I'm accustomed to blogging about these challenges after I have accomplished them, but this one I'm writing about now because I need a little help in accomplishing it!
Saturday, at the Mercer Island Thrift Store, someone donated about a dozen bottles of bubble stuff. This came on a good day, because the town festival was going on, and families were coming in and out of the store: a good time to sell bubble stuff! I put a minimal price on each cap, because they weren't going to sell for very much and it was better to get them out the door for whatever revenue we could get (oddly enough, an hour later, several of them had lost their price tags and one had gained an $8 tag. It may be that someone was switching tags, but this is unlikely to work; the cashiers know that not much sells at that price.)
In the context of this challenge, the question is: how do secondhand goods fit in? Is the environmental impact of the plastic already paid for by the first purchaser, or is that rank rationalization?
I don't have a ready answer.

The Poe Paradox: Genius Satire or Mere Ignorance?

Poe's Law states:
"Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing."
Poe's Paradox follows from this:
"In any fundamentalist group where Poe's Law applies, a paradox exists where any new person (or idea) sufficiently fundamentalist to be accepted by the group, is likely to be so ridiculous that they risk being rejected as a parodist (or parody)."
This is kind of funny when grown-ups are involved, but the children in this video at least have the excuse of being innocent about it. Or are they being satirical?