Aemon Stark

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About Aemon Stark

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    Land of Wind and Rain
  • Birthday August 2

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    A Song of Ice and Fire, of course, math, science, medicine, philosophy, history (especially ancient and medieval!)... and, more fun, movies, books, writing, enjoying fine ales, running, swimming, photography, and many other electrifying things

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  1. Picture no. 8 shows the southwest corner of Yonge & Finch, including a Korean restaurant (NakWon) I once went all the time along with the former Crazy Wings right at the corner. My best friend lived across Yonge less than a block away. I don't even know what to say.
  2. It's pretty hard to imagine anyone really caring *that* much about things from decades ago, even though I do think pop culture things like movies and TV and games have more longevity now than they once did (which is to say very select items since there's a vast amount of stuff that has been rightly forgotten). All this reminds me of Star Trek TOS fans arguing with fans of TNG or DS9 about minor (and irrelevant) inconsistencies or changes. Of course, these were taken as heresy against a sacred text, and evidence of the irredeemable apostasy of DS9. The movie wasn't quite on the nose with that attitude, but certainly brought it to town when Director Krennik was deemed to be a "poseur" of pop culture knowledge. I mean, I love Back to the Future too, but I'm not in love with all pop culture from when I was a little kid, let alone to the extent that I get most of Seth MacFarlane's 80s sitcom references. I don't have any interest in reading this book, but from the movie alone it's fairly clear that the "nostalgia as guiding ideology" aspect doesn't sit well with me.
  3. Not exactly a simple question! The time for training piece is not very different overall, but in many countries all postsecondary education is highly (or even wholly) subsidized. There's also a lot of variation in US training. Health outcomes, of course, are driven mostly by public health initiatives and social determinants. But the US is also a country where the main public health authority is banned from researching gun violence, so things are a good deal more disorganized and fucked up then even the surface suggests. The evidence that does exist is very low quality and subject to a lot of selection bias. To take the examples of nurse practitioners in a lot of settings, they work fewer hours, see fewer patients, make $100-150k with full benefits, and don't provide call coverage or after-hours care. We're starting to see some more physician assistants in Canada, but all they have is an abbreviated med school training without any residency. Classic example of people that "don't know what they don't know". In any case, nurses do a lot more procedures now that once were the purview of physicians only (e.g. IVs, bloodwork, etc.). Those are pretty simple, though. The issue is that a lot of assessments and plans look simple but are underpinned by a whole lot more.
  4. "Europe" has a lot of variations in medical education. Generally speaking the initial medical school +/- undergraduate degree stage there is shorter, but postgraduate training, whether called residency or housemanship or whatever tends to be longer. Credentialing foreign-trained physicians is challenging given substantial variations in what happens throughout the world. I would say the US has generally gone too far in giving "mid-levels" responsibility at the expense of quality (and sometimes cost effective) care.
  5. Well things like Bortezimib (for myeloma) or Rituximab (for various lymphomas, vasculitis, various other immune diseases) were developed by industry. Cancer research facilities are not lacking for industry connections either. "Nonprofits" often assist in raising money for research and other aspects of care but drug design and research is big business because it's expensive and (yes) risky too. Uh, thanks I guess... The problem with health care delivery trending in the more corporate/for-profit direction is the shift in power toward MBA types don't know much of anything about front-line work.
  6. Yeah. Sorry if I seemed to be nitpicking. The thing about Gleevec is that it's at this point an "old" drug that has been superseded by "better" BCR-ABL inhibitors. The problems with drug company profits vs prices arise from poor and/or insufficient regulation, since at some point they become rent seekers that "innovate" only insofar as they have a marginally different drug than the nearest competition. The device industry if anything has less robust regulation than pharma. Not to say that devices aren't safe (some aren't!), but the evidence underlying their use is often a lot poorer and even more industry-driven. But you're not going to get non-profits to manufacture anesthetic machines or endoscopes. The reason we need regulation is not because "profits" in themselves are problematic, but the market imperfections and failures in health care more broadly create such intractable problems of information and "demand".
  7. Well, ether had long been isolated before it was ever used as an anesthetic. But that doesn't mean that volatiles like halothane on down were generic to start. And who do you think makes those anesthetic machines? There is a vast number of companies involved in cancer treatment; even aside from usual cytotoxic chemotherapy, there are ever more "targeted" receptor therapies. Lots of curative therapies exist for various maligancies. Most myeloma patients, for example, died within about 2 years of diagnosis. Now survival is often more in the range of 15-20 years. That's just one example. Yes, for many things there are ongoing adjuvant therapies that continue for a long time to maintain sustained remission, but there are lots of cancer cures via some combination of chemo, surgery, radiation, and now "targeted" therapies. Perhaps. Drugs like Harvoni have revolutionized hepatitis C treatment in the last few years, rendering it an effectively curable infection and no longer a chronic disease. CML hasn't generally been a death sentence at diagnosis, but did progress inexorably without treatment. It has always had curative therapy available - stem cell transplant. Unfortunately that carries a lot of risks in itself. You're not going to get benign treatments for severe systemic diseases.
  8. Season 2 has a lot more than just "tolerable" episodes. Many episodes tend a bit more to do "slow burn world-building", but the opening three-parter with Bajor on the brink of civil war was strong, "Necessary Evil" (Odo film noir with depictions of Terok Nor) was great, as were "Whispers" (O'Brien's a replicant?), "Blood Oath" (TOS Klingon reunion), "The Maquis" two-parter, "The Wire" (Garak's first big episode), and "Crossover" (the first, best and most "serious" Mirror Universe episode). What's more, while Discovery is all over the place in terms of its character arcs and big picture storytelling, DS9 manages to be consistent, continuity without serialization, and slowly setting the stage for the emergence of the Dominion at the end of Season 2.
  9. Saw it in IMAX 3D on Tuesday. It was enjoyable, but I felt it was heading down a dark path early on when that first race scene made me think of the pod race. Not good. But it improved and held my interest. The references ended up being a fair bit subtler than I expected too. I liked Alan Silvestri's numerous callbacks to his Back to the Future scores. All the same, I don't really get why anyone in 2045 would remember anything about Atari...
  10. Now the NYT is into it:
  11. Rob was another lying asshole who occasionally exhibited a sort of "charisma" (not for me) that some know-nothing idiots came to appreciate. And I don't care about how some of them were immigrants or working people or whatever. He was an asshole who I wouldn't have trusted to watch my cat for a weekend let alone, say, solve minor low-level neighbourhood issues (not that he ever did). I don't much mind "speaking ill of the dead" either - he was a liar and a bad person, an awful mayor, and an even worse father. What kind of dad of young children goes around all night pissing outside at gas stations, getting wasted at civic events, and hanging out with gang-bangers and drug dealers while smoking some crack with them? His legacy is one of worsened transit dysfunction, the mediocrity that is John Tory, and of course the now-candidacy of his more polished and even more awful brother (to say nothing of his do-nothing hack nephew who's done nothing of consequence in life to inherit a safe council seat). And I don't even live in Ontario let alone TO.
  12. After the experience with the endless impenetrable Klingon subtitles in Discovery, I'm quite glad to stick with accented English. Of course, perhaps by an amazing coincidence, Wakandan and English are exactly the same...
  13. I'm listening to a Doug Ford interview and it's just so painful. He's a "grade A" asshole who needs to be called on his BS. He actually starts questioning the interviewer as if she was a political opponent.
  14. Can't say I did either - though to be fair I was 12 or 13 when I originally saw the movie. And that's another knock for Ridley Scott's awful Robin Hood.