Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Adult Stem Cell Breakthrough Ignored - NewsMax.com: Inside Cover Story

"Adult Stem Cell Breakthrough Ignored
Scientists at Australia's Griffith University have engineered a breakthrough in the field of adult stem cell research that's so significant, say experts, that it could render the debate over embryonic stem cell research moot.

The results of the four-year research project showed that olfactory stem cells can be turned into heart cells, brain cells, nerve cells - indeed, almost any kind of cell in the body - without the problems of rejection or tumors forming, a common side effect with embryonic stem cells.

The poorly funded Griffith University team – which conducted its research with a mere $200,000 in grants – appears to have found a direct and non-controversial alternative to the use of stem cells derived from leftover embryos created during fertility treatment, reported the Australian newspaper.
"Our experiments have shown adult stem cells isolated from the olfactory mucosa have the ability to develop into many different cell types if they are given the right chemical or cellular environment," research team leader Alan Mackay-Sim told the paper.

Mackay-Sim's team of scientists managed to grow nerve cells, glial cells, liver cells, heart cells and muscle cells from cells harvested from the human nose.

The breakthrough, first announced two months ago, has been largely ignored by the U.S. media, which has focused on embryonic stem cell research as the only option to cure debilitating ailments like Hodgkin's, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.

As a result of the lopsided press coverage, California voters passed a $6 billion referendum to fund embryonic stem cell research last November, with similar programs proposed around the U.S. - though embryonic stem cell research has yet to show any significant medical progress.

In Australia, however, the medical community is excited over Mackay-Sim's adult stem cell breakthrough."

I wonder when the main stream media will cover this story. Maybe if it was an American study it get some notice? Probably not, the media prefer to advocate death.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Which Classic Story Role Do You Play?

You Are The Key Character
"It's what I was meant to do."

You are the true enigma. No one knows much about you, you do not understand much of yourself, and your life seems to carry no purpose. Yet regardless of everything around you - everyone knows that you are here for some reason, even if no one yet knows what that is. Things seem to simply fall into place for you. Almost as though some force is working either through you, for you, or around you. No matter your troubles, ou have been sent here to unlock something. This is your destiny.

Which Classic Story Role Do You Play?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, May 27, 2005

The Biography of a Bad Statistic - FactCheck.org


Politicians from Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to Howard Dean have recently contended that abortions have increased since George W. Bush took office in 2001.
This claim is false. It's based on an an opinion piece that used data from only 16 states. A study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute of 43 states found that abortions have actually decreased. Update, May 26: The author of the original claim now concedes that the Guttmacher study is 'significantly better' than his own."

Thursday, May 26, 2005

More Tests for Dad

Dad had another MRI today to try and determine ehat caused the swelling in his brain two weeks ago. He will talk to his oncologist tomorrow morning for the results. I'm praying it isn't cancer but I'm afraid it will be. Hopefully the results will be definitive. Not knowing is harder that bad news.

The Darwinian vs. God Contest

One day a group of Darwinian scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one Darwinian to go and tell Him that they were done with Him.

The Darwinian walked up to God and said, "God, we've decided that we no longer need you. We're to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don't you just go on and get lost.

"God listened very patiently and kindly to the man. After the Darwinian was done talking, God said, "Very well, how about this? Let's say we have a man-making contest." To which the Darwinian happily agreed.

God added, "Now, we're going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam.

"The Darwinian said, "Sure, no problem," and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.

God looked at him and said, "No, no, no. You go get your own dirt!"

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Atheist in Trouble

An atheist was spending a quiet day fishing when suddenly his boat was attacked by the Loch Ness monster. In one easy flip, the beast tossed him and his boat high into the air. Then it opened its mouth to swallow both.

As the man sailed head over heels, he cried out, "Oh, my God! Help me!"

At once, the ferocious attack scene froze in place, and as the atheist hung in mid-air, a booming voice came down from the clouds, "I thought you didn't believe in Me!"

"Come on God, give me a break!!" the man pleaded. "Two minutes ago I didn't believe in the Loch Ness monster either!"

The Mule, the Monkey & The Man

God created the mule, and told him, "You are mule. You will work constantly from dusk to dawn, carrying heavy loads on your back. You will eat grass and lack intelligence. You will live for 50 years."

The mule answered, "To live like this for 50 years is too much. Please, give me no more than 20."

And it was so.

Then God created the dog, and told him, "You are dog. You will hold vigilance over the dwellings of Man, to whom you will be his greatest companion. You will eat his table scraps and live for 25 years."

The dog responded, "Lord, to live 25 years as a dog like that is too much. Please, no more than 10 years."

And it was so.

God then created the monkey, and told him, "You are monkey. You shall swing from tree to tree, acting like an idiot. You will be funny, and you shall live for 20 years."

The monkey responded, "Lord, to live 20 years as the clown of the world is too much. Please, Lord, give me no than 10 years."

And it was so.

Finally, God created Man and told him, "You are Man, the only rational being that walks the earth. You will use your intelligence to have mastery over the creatures of the world. You will dominate the earth and live for 20 years."

The man responded, "Lord, to be Man for only 20 years is too little. Please, Lord; give me the 20 years the mule refused, the 15 years the dog refused, and the 10 years the monkey rejected."

And so God made Man to live 20 years as a man, then marry and live 20 years like a mule working and carrying heavy loads on his back. Then, he is to have children and live 15 years as a dog, guarding his house and eating the leftovers after they empty the pantry; then, in his old age, to live 10 years as a monkey, acting like an idiot to amuse his grandchildren.

And it is so ...

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Home At Last!

Dad came home from the hospital this afternoon! Everyday he is getting better. He is still wobbly so the hospital sent him home with a walker with wheels on the front. Hopefully the more he walks the less he will need it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

On The Rollercoaster

Last night one of Dad's doctors told us that he definitely did not have a stroke. Apparently all of his problems were caused by swelling in his brain. They did a CT scan and MRI on Saturday and another MRI yesterday and they are not showing a tumor in the brain either, so right now the doctors don't know what caused the swelling. The plan right now is to let the swelling go down and do another MRI in two weeks. This sounds so much like what we were told when Mom had her aneurysm, her test weren't clear and they waited ten days to do a second CT scan to see how many aneurysms she had and where they were. Yesterday the doctors were planning in doing a lumbar puncture but today decided against it. I never heard why they aren't going to do. I'm guessing it's because the risks don't outweigh the benefits. The radiation doctor said there are three reasons for this swelling: cancer, infection, or something else they haven't found yet. He said it probably isn't an infection so it has to be something else. I think they are all expecting it to be cancer. Dad was first diagnosed with colon cancer in 2000.

The radiation doctor told Dad that if there is a tumor they will use radiation to kill it because it will probably be cancer. Right now I am clinging to the hope that there is no tumor but if there is it is very small. I just hope I am not setting myself up for a big disappointment.

Every day he seems to be less confused than the previous day. He still seem to be slow in understanding things. He'll comment on something he saw five minutes ago like he just saw it. I assume that will improve with time as the swelling decreases. As always I leave it in God's hands, He can deal with so much better than I can.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Does Your English Cut the Mustard?

Your English Skills:

Grammar: 100%

Vocabulary: 100%

Punctuation: 80%

Spelling: 80%

Mr. Oxenrider, my high school Grammar teacher, would be so proud!

How Liberal / Conservative Are You?

Your Political Profile

Overall: 95% Conservative, 5% Liberal

Social Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Ethics: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Saturday, May 14, 2005

What A Crappy Day

Dad is in the hospital today after suffering a stroke. The hospital was supposed to call us to let us know what room he was in and tell what was going on with him. They never did call. Mom ended up calling the hospital to find out his room number. We never did hear from a doctor. I'm hoping we hear something tomorrow. All we know right now is that there is no paralysis. Both arms and leg seem to be working. His left hand is weaker though but that seems to be the extent of the damage right now. Right now there is more we not know that do know. I have a very good feeling that he is going to be okay. When we went to the hospital to see him tonight he was very sleepy. He seem to be aware of where he was and who we were. I think a good nights sleep will help his cognitive functions. It's all in God's hands now.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Storms Push Streams, Rivers To Near Flood Stage

More Storms Expected Over Southeast Iowa

POSTED: 9:16 am CDT May 13, 2005
UPDATED: 3:27 pm CDT May 13, 2005

DES MOINES, Iowa -- This week's storms are filling up rivers and creeks across Iowa, pushing some to near flood stage.

It's not over yet, but drier weather is on the way. More thunderstorms are possible again Friday, especially over southeast Iowa. However, a flash flood watch issued for much of the southern half of Iowa has now been canceled.

Some of the rivers being watched include the east and west forks of the Des Moines River in northern Iowa, the Raccoon River in central Iowa, and the Iowa River and the North Skunk River in eastern Iowa. The rain has set a daily record in Des Moines.

The forecast calls for scattered showers and thunderstorms Friday. Dry conditions are is expected Saturday night and into the beginning of the next week.

River and Stream Elevations

The Raccoon River at Fleur Drive is forecasted to crest at 15.6 at 1 a.m. on May 14. The river elevation is currently at 14.52 ft. at Fleur Drive.
The Lower Des Moines River at SE 6th is forecasted to crest at 24.90 ft. on May 15 at 1 a.m. Current elevation is 24.31 ft.
The Upper Des Moines River at Second Avenue is forecasted to crest at 20.0 ft. on May 15 at 7 p.m. Current elevation is 18.01 ft.
Four-Mile Creek crested at 13.15 ft. at 4:15 p.m. Friday. Current elevation is 11.96 ft.
Walnut Creek crested at 12.34 ft. at 11:30 p.m. on May 12. Current elevation is 9.39 ft.

Road Closures:

George Flagg Pkwy. from Park Ave. to SW 30th

SW 30th St. from George Flagg Pkwy. to Bell Avenue

Jefferson from E. 38th to Williams

Mattern from E. 38th to E. 39th Court

E. 37th from Easton to Arthur Avenue

Four-Mile Drive from Jefferson to Williams

Williams St./E. 42nd from Jefferson to Dubuque

Source: City of Des Moines Public Works Department

If it keeps raining like this we may see some flooding. If we get a couple dry days it probably won't flood.

Two Hindu Puns

Two Hindu swamis were in conversation.

One said to the other, "How did you like my latest book, 'The Art of Levitation'?"

His companion replied, "It kept me up all night."


A Hindu devotee asked God, represented by the multi-armed Lord Narayana, this question. "My dear Lord," he said. "I understand that you have innumerable inconceivable potencies. But out of all of them the energy of light seems to be the most amazing. Light pervades the spiritual world, it illuminates the material universes, and life is impossible without it." He continued, "I would like to know how you make it work."

"Oh, that's easy," was the reply. "Many hands make light work."

Thursday, May 12, 2005

A Good Day

Today at work I had three batches that I had keyed come back from QA with no errors! That gives me four perfect batches in total so far in less than two weeks. With new keyers, which I am, all batches are QAed for 2 to 4 weeks or longer as need.

More Good News

Dad had another appointment with his oncologist on Tuesday. It had been four weeks since his last appointment. This time his doctor told him he was going to let him go six weeks before his next appointment.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Come, Thou Fount

Words: Ro­bert Ro­bin­son, 1758
Music: John Wy­eth, 1813.

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer; Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.

This is one of my favorite hymns. My favorites are the old ones.

Happy Mother's Day

Today was a pretty good day. My sister and nieces came up today for a barbecue and my mom and sister didn't get in an argument! My sister and nieces usually play canasta when we get together like today. My sister won this time. First time in quite a while. I came in second and my niece was last, my other niece didn't play this time. I don't remember the last time I won a game. I won a couple of hands today though. Last time I never won a single hand.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Another Family Member Passes

We just got a phone call to let us know that my younger sister's mother-in-law, Jean, passed away last night. She had been doing poorly for the last several years and was ill for the last couple of months. She is going to be cremated and buried without any services or memorials. She didn't even want her twin sister found and notified. Jean had two sons, the elder, Jeff, is my sister's husband. He is in the Army and stationed at West Point, New York. He wanted to come home a couple of weeks ago but was sent to Washington instead. At this point I don't know if they are going to come home now. Jean's younger son, Jim, lives here in Des Moines. His wife is upset that they have had to deal with Jean's illness and now death by themselves. They don't stop to think that up until maybe 5 years ago Jeff was the only one helping Jean. Jim was too busy doing his own thing to help with anything for Jean, even when Jeff asked for help. As far as I'm concerned they have no right to complain about anything.

One Week On The Job

Today marks the end of the first week on my new job. I am doing data entry for Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield medical claim forms. It is not the most interesting work I've done but right now it is a challenge to get the data entered into the system correctly. Right now every batch I do it is checked for accuracy and correctness and today I had my first error-free batch! I think I am learning pretty quickly. I try not to make the same mistake twice and I think, so far at least, I haven't. Yesterday there wasn't enough work for everyone so we were given the option of going home early or staying and training in another area. I chose to stay because I left early on Wednesday because I had an appointment to give blood an 1 pm and needed the hours. I trained in the "verification of employment" area for Wells Fargo mortgages. The job requires phone work. Yecch!! I hate talking on the phone! I don't think I will do that again, unless the job is changed so there are no phone calls involved.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Choose Life License Tag Home Page ..

The profits from these tags go to support crisis pregnancy centers. They are not available in Iowa yet. If we get enough requests for them and more pro-life legislators and a pro-life governor we might get them.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

More Gardening

Yesterday Dad and I planted more of the garden. We spread grass cuttings from last year all over the garden still to be planted and tilled it up. We planted three rows of green beans, two of one kind and one row of a different kind. The garden is normally planted in rows running north and south. The last several years the sweet corn is planted in four years and the middle two rows fall over after a thunderstorm or wind storm. This years I suggested planting the corn running east/west hoping that it wouldn't fall over after a storm. We planted six rows this year because they are shorter than if they were north/south rows. We'll see what happens after the usual storms in June.