Is it safe to use the pattern that arises from the planets I know for the ones I don't? That would be:
- Mercury - Mercurial
- Venus - Venusian
- Terra - Terran
- Mars - Martian
- Jupiter - Jovian
- Saturn - Saturnian?
- Uranus - Uranian?
- Neptune - Neptunian?
The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that "What's the meaning of life?" is precisely the same question as "What's the meaning of fire?".
Utah County Republicans defeated a resolution opposing well-heeled groups that a delegate claims are pushing a satanic plan to encourage illegitimate births and illegal immigration
Don Larsen, a Springville delegate, offered the resolution, titled "Resolution opposing the Hate America anti-Christian Open Borders cabal," warning delegates that an "invisible government" comprised of left-wing foundations was pumping money into the Democratic Party to push for looser immigration laws and anti-family legislation.
"Satan's ultimate goal is to destroy the family," Larsen said, "and these people are playing a leading part in it."
Larsen's resolution contained quotes from the New Testament on the battle between good and evil. The copy of the resolution handed to delegates stated it "fulfills scriptural prophecies about our times."
"We are not going to be the majority party if we keep pushing the Latinos out," Wright said.
But Cameron Sevy, a Provo delegate, said the GOP shouldn't be ashamed to say that America is a Christian nation
Turns out legislators can be nuttier than slashdot tinfoil hatters.
Yeah, so I've got another Freak. I liked his taste in music and his sports commentary, so I followed his journals. Apparently my questions about his politics are just annoying, though, and he doesn't want dissenters to answer his taunts. He foed me, and then responded to me. I can't really respect that, so I dropped him as a friend. Guess I'll live without his perspective.
Persons who were born in or who lived in certain countries in Western Africa, or who have had close contact with persons who were born in or who lived in certain West African countries are not eligible to donate. This requirement is related to concerns about HIV Group O. Learn more about HIV Group O, and the specific African countries where it is found.
And here's the specific bit about HIV:
- were born in, or lived in, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea,Gabon, Niger, or Nigeria, since 1977.
- since 1977, received a blood transfusion or medical treatment with a blood product in any of these countries, or
- had sex with anyone who, since 1977, was born in or lived in any of these countries. Learn more about HIV Group O, and the specific African countries where it is found.
(And yes, in that last section, it offers a link to learn more about HIV Group O that just links right back to itself. Helpful.)
First note: my wife is from the DCR, not a country simply called Congo - but the worker at the donation drive did not think there was a difference. A call to the Red Cross has not yielded any further enlightenment about whether they intended to exclude both the Republic of the Congo (which is colloquially called the Congo) and the confusingly similar Democratic Republic of the Congo (used to be called Zaire, but now just muddies the waters, nomenclature-wise). It seems likely that they mean to exclude both, but I would like to know. Either way, they really should spell out the full country names in their guidelines - bits are cheap on the internet, and it would have saved me a trip.
More disturbing to me is the fact that they are restricting donors based on first or second-hand exposure, but that still only matters if you know. First-hand, most people would know if they lived in one of the restricted countries. Second-hand, what if my wife had not told me she lived in one of them? If we were in a casual relationship, I may or may not have heard about her childhood in the DCR. She has no accent, so I would have no reason to assume that she had lived anywhere but the USA without further information. Furthermore, what if I had an intimate relationship with someone else after? They could know all about me, and I still may never have told them that my wife had lived in the DCR. If they were then screened at a donor drive, they would be let through. Risky business.
The biggest question is, why does it matter? Doesn't the Red Cross test all the blood that they collect at drives anyhow? They certainly screen for a lot of things - why not HIV Group O? Well, it turns out that (and you can read about this near the end of the eligibility guidelines) that HIV screening tests do not always catch Group O.
There is a rare form of HIV called Type O that is found in western Africa. The available tests for HIV do not always detect the Type O strain. This means that blood programs must take special precautions to keep this virus out of the blood supply by not taking blood donations from those who have been where the virus is found.
A side note - they don't even test for malaria, they handle that entirely by screening questions, which also seems a bit risky to me.
Recently (December of 2008) a combination test has been approved by the FDA:
The new FDA-approved test detects nucleic acid from HIV-2 and from HIV-1 Group O.
... In addition to HIV-2 and HIV-1 Group O, the MPX test simultaneously detects nucleic acid from the most common form of HIV, HIV-1 Group M, as well as the Hepatitis C Virus and the Hepatitis B Virus.
Up until this point, they only had an 80% success rate identifying Group O in samples. As I noted earlier, I have not heard back from the Red Cross, but I'd like to think I could go test myself for Group O and then be cleared to donate. We'll see. In the meantime, my trepidation about blood transfusions has gone up quite a bit, and I don't think I'll feel completely comfortable with the situation until they start testing all donations for Group O. The web site says:
It is possible that the tests used to screen donated blood may someday be improved so that they detect Type O HIV. If so, these donation restrictions may be removed.
Obviously, it'll take a while to put a new blood test in place, so 1 month after approval by the FDA, they haven't rolled it out everywhere. Even so, it seems like HIV is a damaging enough disease that testing for even rare strains should be rolled out across the US as aggressively as possible. If they ever do call me back, I'm definitely asking them what their timeline is on implementing Group O testing across the board.
You can now follow me on Twitter - search for my username's initialism, and you'll find me. Not that I have much to say, but if you've followed me for all these 285 slashdot journals, maybe you're looking for more from me, but in a pithier format. Twitter is there; or, uh, here.
The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Those who buy into false dichotomies, and those who don't.
The frustrating reality is that nothing, positive or negative, can be inferred from silence.
This applies to job searches, religion, debates, and many other situations.
I often think back on past situations - interactions - and consider what I learned from them. Their effect, in hindsight. I tend not to be a worried person, or regretful, but I do have moments of regret. The most poignant moments are those that can not be "done over". If I can't call up the person I was talking to - if I can't affect what I've done, I get a little pang: sadness, remorse, most often the echo of undeliverable gratitude.
Some of those situations are what you'd expect. I used to be at odds with one of my grandpas about religion and general world viewpoints. Obviously, I've been through a change, and feel like I could have learned a lot from him. Even before my recent release from dogmatism, I mourned the lost opportunities to get to know what my grandpa cared about, what drove him. But now, I most feel the pang of the fact that I can never say "Thanks" for all the insights he was able to impart, even when I was busy deflecting them.
Some of them are a little more odd - a few years back I traveled next to a man who was 30 years my senior on a 4 hour plane trip. We got to talking about a lot of things, but it all revolved around the question of what life is about. He was right about a lot of things, and I fought him on many of them - I wish I could somehow, even anonymously, send him a thanks for what he told me. I want him to experience the validation he deserves for spending some time and emotional energy on an ungrateful (now, I was polite, just not willing to listen) youngster.
I have a couple of thoughts, which may seem offensive, but I don't mean to be. These are just thoughts that have distilled out of my consideration of many different books, essays, talks, discussions, and debates. I'm hoping that it won't be offensive - as a matter of fact, I am sure that many of you on slashdot who disagree with me about whether or not there is a deity will actually agree with me about one or both of these points, though your final thoughts may be different.
No one has found a rational reason to believe in any deity.
There is no deity who is apparent.
Explanations for the above claims:
If there were a rational reason to believe in any deity, it surely would have been brought out in one of the debates against atheists, or in one of the many books and essays I've read about "why believe?", but it has not. I can not guaruntee that there is not a rational reason out there, undiscovered, but it seems unlikely. If one were to be found, I would be very excited to hear it, but for now, rationality must go out the window to believe.
If a deity were apparent (in the mystery of creation, or some such), there would be no major conflict about whether or not there is a deity among serious thinkers, and the attributes of said deity would not be so debated among the different religions.
If there is a deity, it must be a non-rational, unapparent deity. I know a few people who beleive in a deity that doesn't, by definition, try to tread into one of those areas, but most theists do tread there.
The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters - Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes
It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous. -- Robert Benchley