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Comment: Re:No difference (Score 1) 105

by bjs555 (#47719017) Attached to: Do Readers Absorb Less On Kindles Than On Paper? Not Necessarily

Actually for reading books knowing where you are does help line up the story. (beginning middle or end)

I think that's true. If so, maybe a small progress bar along the top of an e-reader continuously showing where you are in the book could be helpful. I don't know if any e-readers offer such a feature.

Comment: Expanding confusion (Score 1) 225

by bjs555 (#47642747) Attached to: Do Dark Matter and Dark Energy Cast Doubt On the Big Bang?

Cosmology is a very interesting subject. I enjoy reading about it but many of the ideas confuse me (that's easy to do). The explanations of cosmic expansion in most non-mathematical books usually point out that the expansion isn't like an explosion in space but that it's an expansion of space itself. If that's true then wouldn't anything used to measure the expansion be affected by the expansion as well? If I use a magically accurate ruler to measure the width of a sheet of paper and both the paper and the ruler are expanding, how would I know that the width has changed? Wouldn't the expansion of both the paper and the ruler cancel each other out?

I've tried to find an answer online and some explanations that I've seen say that expansion only applies to non-gravitationally interacting bodies I guess that means galaxies and galaxy clusters that are very far apart. But isn't gravity universal? Does it make senses to talk of bodies that are gravitationally isolated? Perhaps the explanations are talking about bodies that are only very weakly influenced by the mass of other bodies. Does the strength of local gravitational attraction tend to overcome the strength of cosmic expansion thereby reducing the expansion to a small and negligible number?

I'd sure appreciate some help about how to understand this.


Comment: Re:NIMBY at its finest (Score 2) 409

Whether the goal is patient treatment or research it seems risky to bring an infected individual into a hospital setting in a populated area. It might be argued that sending a team of doctors/researchers to Liberia would be a burden on the them. But perhaps the patient could be housed in an offshore hospital ship. Apparently the patient is wealthy or his case is interesting enough to justify spending funds on him. If he could stay in a ship 25 miles or so offshore wouldn't that provide some protection and also convenience for the doctors/researchers?

Comment: Re:I doubt it's overdiagnosed. (Score 1) 59

by bjs555 (#47537401) Attached to: Metamason: Revolutionizing CPAP Masks With 3D Scanning and 3D Printing

You're probably correct in your diagnosis of a congestion problem in your nose or throat. No one knows you better than yourself. Maybe you have a deviated septum or larger than normal tonsils or uvula. There might be a surgical solution. If you can you breathe better through your mouth maybe you could try pinching your nose closed at night with something like the clips swimmers use and see if that changes things.

Speaking of finding true causes, let me tell you about a somewhat humorous diagnostic problem that I had recently. I bought a small house about 6 months ago. After I moved in, I started hearing thumping sounds that seemed to be coming from inside the walls. The sounds were especially loud at night and it went on for hours. It was hard to localize the sound; it seemed to be coming from everywhere, not from any spot in particular but it was very regular. I thought it might be plumbing noises like water hammer or heating pipe expansion. I shook every pipe in the house hoping to stop the noise or at least hear some change but couldn't find any pipe that seemed to be the noise source. The sound was so regular that I thought it might be a fan with a bent blade or a motor with a bad bearing but the sound continued even after I turned off all electricity to the house so I had to rule out that source.

After a couple of months I came to think that the sounds were due to thermal expansion and contraction of the house framing and considered calling in a structural engineer to see if there was a solution to that. I asked a couple of friends if they could hear the noise when it was loud to me but they said they didn't hear anything and that my hearing was probably abnormally sensitive. I decided to try recording the sound so I could turn up the volume and demonstrate it to a structural engineer. To my surprise I, couldn't record the sound even when it seemed especially loud to me.

Then one day I was scratching my wrist and noticed that the sound was exactly in time with my pulse. My heart occasionally skips a beat and the sound I was hearing stopped for one thump exactly when my heart stopped for one beat. I tried that test about 50 times and that convinced me that the sound wasn't coming from the outside but from within myself. The fact that nobody else could hear it and that I couldn't record it also pointed to that conclusion.

It turns out that I have a somewhat unusual form of tinnitus caused by turbulent blood flow in the carotid artery that excites my ear drum and mimics thumping sounds from the outside. I'm in my sixties and the tinnitus came on with advancing age. I would swear that the sounds are external but they aren't. I suppose our brains are so used to processing signals from our ear drums as coming from the outside that it's impossible to perceive the signals otherwise. It's comforting to know where the sounds are coming from even if there isn't much I can do about it. From this experience, I can see how some people think houses are haunted. At least I know I didn't buy a haunted house.

Comment: Re:I doubt it's overdiagnosed. (Score 1) 59

Sorry to hear of your problem but congratulations on the convincing diagnosis using equipment you built yourself. Perhaps you could try some of the non-CPAP machine apnea reduction methods like the dental appliance (I don't think an inexpensive off-the-shelf model could do much damage short term) and, using the same diagnosis equipment, see if you wake up less frequently.

Comment: Overdiagnosed? (Score 1) 59

I'm sure there are serious cases of sleep apnea but it seems to be over-diagnosed lately. Mild cases used to be called snoring but now doctors and the highly profitable sleep clinics (some owned by doctors, others by hospitals) seem to be identifying snoring as moderate apnea and are recommending CPAP masks for it. Perhaps it would be better to try other apnea reduction methods first. I've read that back sleepers should try side sleeping for better nighttime breathing. And there are also pillows that lift the nape of the neck to keep the airway open at night. I'm wary of the dental appliances that do a similar thing since they might cause dental alignment problems when used long term. I suppose the insurance companies will sort it out eventually. It's amusing to watch the doctors vs. insurance companies battles unless you're someone who is affected. Regarding apnea, does anyone know where to get data on the percentage of people visiting sleep clinics who are diagnosed with it?

Note that there is a chart presented in the video accompanying the article that says people with moderate to severe apnea are as likely or more likely to die than those who smoke 20+ cigarettes a day but the units on the x-axis aren't labeled. 5 what? 10 what? Am I misreading something?

Comment: Video record of violation (Score 1) 229

by bjs555 (#47487203) Attached to: Chicago Red Light Cameras Issue Thousands of Bogus Tickets

I live in NJ. Aside from that problem, I have a friend who was recently auto ticketed for running a red light. When he received the ticket in the mail he was notified of a website where he could see a video of the traffic violation. We looked at the video and it was clear that he went through the red light. That seems like a fairer way to issue automatic tickets. If it's clear in the video that you didn't do what you're accused of then it would be worth fighting the ticket. Of course, videos can be faked but perhaps someone can think of a way to make sure that doesn't happen. In my friends case, I doubt that the video was faked.

Comment: Music vs Thinking (Score 1) 333

It seems to me that the popularity of music may have something to do with the the need to replace thinking during times of low sensory stimulation. I'm not a great thinker but I'd rather try than to have a constant stream of tunes running through my head. "Do-di-do-di-do-di-dooty-do". It's almost painful.

Comment: Re:Anybody know the plate# for each scotus? (Score 1) 461

by bjs555 (#46823553) Attached to: Supreme Court OKs Stop and Search Based On Anonymous 911 Tips

It goes far beyond caller ID. They know your GPS location and they know your phone.

I think cell phones are required to allow 911 calls even if the associated account doesn't have any call time left. At least a Tracfone that I had worked that way. I wonder how may millions of old discarded cell phones are around that might be used to make 911 calls tied to previous owners. That's not anonymous but it sure does point to the wrong owner.

Many people are unenthusiastic about their work.