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Comment: Re:Instilling values more important (Score 1) 698 698

I'm wasting mod points to agree here.

I have a bit of experience in this area. I live in a developing country and house cancer patients in my home. When they are terminal and the hospital cannot help anymore I help them get back to their families (often 1000+ miles away) or offer them a comfortable place to die and bring families to them (resources permitting). The biggest thing that I've found that these families need is to know and be known by their dying father/mother/etc. before the end. The "life advice" is a nice part of that but when I can encourage and facilitate a father opening up to his son or daughter about his past, his failures, his thoughts, his pain, his love, his adventures, his first kiss, his best friends in grade-school, his favorite games of soccer in school, how he met his wife (the child's mother), and any number of other stories... THESE things are what the grown child treasures. OP: I would advise making individual videos that each tell a story from your past. Talk about times you were disappointed. Talk about the humbling secrets that others cannot tell because no one else knew the story but you. If you list off your achievements it means little. Your wife and family members know those. Tell her about when you first learned about science and what joys it brought. Tell her how you felt when you started educating others and the way your heart flipped when you met your wife. Tell her how your almost dropped her when she was born because you were so emotional. Tell her that you knew so little about being a father that you put the diaper on wrong the first few times. Tell her about watching her grow and how frustrating and hard it was to be self-sacrificial for those years and how much it took out of you to do that. Tell her that she was worth so much more than the years you've been given to be self-sacrificial.

These stories and emotions will, I believe, be treasured far more than encouragement to pursue understanding differential equations, elliptic curve encryption, chemical biology, Linux kernel contributions, or any number of geeky things.

Well done for caring about how you leave your family. That is rare and you are to be commended for it. I like to tell my patients that they are not running out of time. They are running into eternity. You don't have to drag your feet in this. There will be tremendous pain and there will be devastating days and nights as your body weakens. You are running into eternity OP. I hope you run your race well.

Spartacus

+ - Researchers Block HIV Infection In Monkeys With Artificial Protein->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Immunologists have developed a synthetic molecule that's able to attach to HIV and prevent it from interacting with healthy cells. "HIV infects white blood cells by sequentially attaching to two receptors on their surfaces. First, HIV’s own surface protein, gp120, docks on the cell’s CD4 receptor. This attachment twists gp120 such that it exposes a region on the virus that can attach to the second cellular receptor, CCR5. The new construct combines a piece of CD4 with a smidgen of CCR5 and attaches both receptors to a piece of an antibody. In essence, the AIDS virus locks onto the construct, dubbed eCD4-Ig, as though it were attaching to a cell and thus is neutralized." The new compound was tested in monkeys. After successively higher injections of HIV, all four monkeys who received the compound beforehand stayed from free infection. Any potential treatment is still a ways off — the researchers plan more trials in monkeys before bringing humans into the test.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:The science is great (Score 1) 396 396

by x_IamSpartacus_x (#47255231) Attached to: "Super Bananas" May Save Millions of Lives In Africa
I live in Mozambique. Check my posting history. This is my home. I'm an American but have lived here for about 5 years and don't have plans to go anywhere.

There are VERY LARGE CORPS that do massive scale farming here. These corps receive large subsidies from the government here, mostly because they negotiated freakishly one-sided deals many years ago when the government was a baby and prone to being taken advantage of. These corps get "free and unimproved seeds" from the government and it is important that those policies change so these large corps actually start having to buy their seed and so that they sell quality food to Mozambicans.

I work and spend every day with very poor Mozambicans. They do not buy their seed. By the way, the time frame on that co-operation policy was to do that by November 2012. Again, I am with poor, subsistence farmers in Mozambique every day. They are not buying expensive seeds and being locked into some expensive cycle. They harvest their crops, replant what they can from their crops, purchase from each other the seed they don't have from their own crops.

Also, it's worth noting that the report The Guardian is quoting from has a bullet point RIGHT BELOW the one you bolded and hyped. Here it is: Implement approved regulations governing seed proprietary laws which promote private sector investment in seed production (basic and certified seed).

This is just to point out that the government here is thinking about making sure that proprietary seed DOESN'T lock poor farmers into some expensive cycle. I know it makes for a shocking story to pretend like things are black and white/good and evil but, at least here in Mozambique, there is more than just "ZOMG, THINK OF TEH POOR AFRICANS AND THEIR FARMS!"

Comment: Flying Cars (Score 2) 75 75

by x_IamSpartacus_x (#46793627) Attached to: DARPA Developing the Ultimate Auto-Pilot Software
Could this tech finally solve the "everyone would need a pilots license" problem of consumer level flying cars? Maybe cars could be developed that rely on the person inside the to drive on roads but as soon as liftoff is initiated an auto-pilot like this one DARPA is making could take over completely removing the human factor from the flying hunk of metal.
Not saying it's imminent but perhaps this is a step in the direction of ubiquitous personal flying vehicles that could solve a lot of transportation problems and get people/things to places "as the crow flies" instead of "as the wolf runs". It would just be an automated crow instead of a human one.

Comment: Re:"Unfair"? (Score 5, Informative) 362 362

by x_IamSpartacus_x (#46380527) Attached to: Google Funds San Francisco Bus Rides For Poor
It bothers me too. In my opinion it's part of a subtle temptation and accidental attitude that is very common in humanitarian/NGO/missionary work.

Let me explain.

I am a missionary working in Sub-Saharan Africa trying to fill a hole in the medical care here. In a developing country there are expected and predictable shortcomings in the medical system and I find myself trying to help cancer patients where the State cannot. Now, the tempting mindset is to hope that the State never actually develops enough to do what I do, thus, I never find myself redundant and always feel needed and like I’m filling a purpose. That is, of course, a horrible thing to hope. Of course I hope my service is redundant soon and of course I hope that what I do won’t be needed soon. That would mean fewer people were suffering! That would be great! It would also mean I’m no longer needed and I could find myself and my family in some trouble looking for a new place to serve.

The “I hope the problem never goes away so I never find my cause pointless” mindset is what is likely going on here. Erin McElroy of the SF Anti-Eviction Mapping Project likely dedicates her (his?) entire life or, at minimum, most of his (her?) emotional energy on this project and so any progress Google and others make to help things get better means Erin is more and more redundant and less and less needed. That is a scary thing for someone who lives for a cause and therefore, while fighting for their cause, there is often a self-defeating hope that the cause never actually succeeds.

That’s just what I’ve noticed in the “I have a cause” field at least. YMMV.

Comment: Slashdot linking to Slashdot (Score 4, Insightful) 108 108

by x_IamSpartacus_x (#45830659) Attached to: No Question: Snowden Was 2013's Most Influential Tech Figure
Why the hell is this here? There have already been like 50 other stories about how important Snowden was/is and now /. feels it's important to post a ridiculously redundant story of their own that is JUST A BUNCH OF OTHER LINKS to other news sites? WTF /.?

Seriously...

wtf???

Comment: Re:High pitched noises (Score 2) 294 294

by x_IamSpartacus_x (#45819179) Attached to: Parents' Campaign Leads To Wi-Fi Ban In New Zealand School
You need to watch this: This video will hurt. Be prepared for your ears and head to start hurting when you turn it on.
This video is especially relevant to the issue at large. The "Nocebo effect" is real and creates real symptoms in people. We need to understand that people who have these symptoms are not simply making them up, THEY IN FACT HAVE NAUSEA/HEADACHES/TROUBLE-BREATHING/ETC. and we need to be compassionate to that.
This is a complex issue and one that requires patience and understanding. When people complain of health effects due to wifi, power cables, or other things they don't understand they should be taken seriously, despite the fact that these technologies have no scientific reason for causing those effects.

Comment: Re:Need a summary of the summary (Score 5, Informative) 194 194

by x_IamSpartacus_x (#45473125) Attached to: Mathematicians Team Up To Close the Prime Gap
It looks like you don't understand what GP was asking (at best) or you don't understand the summary/primes.
I think the GP was asking if there are always less than 600 between primes. The answer to his question is "no". The higher you go the larger gaps can be between primes. There can be untold millions/billions/trillions etc. between two distinct primes. This proof shows not that there are never more than 600 between primes, but that there are an infinite number of pairs of primes that are separated by less than 600. The difference is small but important. There may be two primes separated by a vast number, yet the higher you go there will always be a pair of primes coming up that are separated by less than 600.

For example:

The numbers
2^57,885,161 - 1
and
2^43,112,609 - 1
are primes. They have 17,425,170 and 12,978,189 digits in them. They are the largest two primes we know of. They are separated by a bunch of numbers in between them, almost 5,000,000 DIGITS (note digits not numbers) and all the numbers between them are composites. HOWEVER, the next largest prime may simply be (2^57,885,161 1) + 600 because there will always be a chance that there is a prime coming up less than 600 away from the current highest prime.

This is getting closer and closer to proving the long held belief/hope that there are an infinite number of primes separated by only 2. NOT that EVERY prime is separated by 2 from every other prime. That would be obviously false. Simply that there are an infinite number of primes salted throughout all those impossibly high ones that are only 2 apart.

Comment: Living Overseas? (Score 5, Informative) 513 513

I'm an American and I live in a pretty undeveloped Southern African nation. I wonder how much of a profile the NSA is capable of building on me?
Upon arriving in the USA very recently my wife was flagged going through the mettle detector at IAD (she was carrying our 3 month old daughter so the TSA told her they had to do some extra checks since she had a baby in a sling, dafuq?). She spent the next 45 minutes getting checked, rechecked, patted down (enhanced pat down; under the waistband, hand up the legs until it meets "resistance", hands swiping breasts, etc.), having her carry-on bags checked and rechecked for bomb residue, all in the name of "You were carrying a baby in a sling".

I'm trying to be as honest and non-paranoid as possible in all of this. But these leaks from Snowden really do give rise to questions about how large my NSA profile has grown, simply because I live overseas.

Comment: Re:OLD news (Score 5, Insightful) 183 183

by x_IamSpartacus_x (#44753891) Attached to: How Africa Will 'Leapfrog' Wired Networks
You're absolutely right. I live in Mozambique and people in the DEEP bush (read: rural areas) who live in houses made of mud or grass have cell phones are able to do simple banking even on old candy bar phones. Here in the capitol of Maputo, in the last year, smart phone and tablet use has exploded. Mozambique has 3 cell networks that offer 3G connectivity and one is talking up their 4G transition for next year. I think the intuition of the touch screen is being proven here as people who were raised without running water or power are able to pick up and use a smartphone while the same person struggles to a comical degree trying to understand and use with any semblance of efficacy a laptop or desktop PC.

Oh... Mozambique is the 3rd least developed country IN THE WORLD according to the UNDP
So yeah, this Les Cotrell is just a guy wanting to sound smart by explaining things about Africa to people who know nothing about Africa. This happened long ago.

Comment: Do Away With This Disease? (Score 5, Insightful) 209 209

by x_IamSpartacus_x (#44518727) Attached to: Malaria Vaccine Nearing Reality
It's definitely something to be celebrated that we're nearing the mark of a viable vaccine. Unfortunately, the hardest hit areas by Malaria are not places where vaccine distribution is

Easy
Affordable by those who need it
I would love to see this vaccine become a reality but I'm not very hopeful that this would have a price tag that many African nations could afford to give out to their populations for free or, if not free, the pennies the average citizen could afford. Mozambique, where I live and work, is VERY hard hit by Malaria but it's rural areas are very poor and the medicine distribution points in the CITIES struggle to keep vaccines refrigerated and properly handled. There is much development to be done in many of the nations who see high death rates from Malaria before we can use phrases like "allow us to do away with this disease". I do hope to see the disease done away with but let's not assume that with the development of the vaccine that that victory is imminent.

Comment: Re:Seems counter-intuitive (Score 5, Interesting) 132 132

Posting from Mozambique:

You don't know how right you are. This is REMARKABLY stupid and dangerous. The countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are developing and with development comes all the growing pains, not least of which is very very corrupt police. Police in South Africa and elsewhere on this continent can be very vindictive and outright murderous when upset about people disrespecting their authority. A few months ago a teenager from Mozambique was dragged to death behind a South African police car because the police who "randomly" stopped him felt disrespected. If the people on these lists know about this hack and their names being made public there is a very real and justified fear they now permanently live in. If they don't know about this hack (a bit more likely in a developing country with a not-so-exposed-to-the-internet underclass) they may be blissfully unaware of the danger they are in but that does not change the its depth.

Whoever released this info has very real blood on their hands. I don't give a damn about the title "Anonymous", the script kiddies who released this info are accessories to the horrible vindictive violence that will assuredly come, and the potential of the loss of life for many of the names released.

The stupidity of this move cannot be overstated. Be ashamed of yourselves "Anonymous". Be ashamed for your lack of disciplining your own.

+ - Jolla Announces 1st Meego/Android-App Device Available Year End 2013

Submitted by x_IamSpartacus_x
x_IamSpartacus_x writes: Jolla, the Finnish company that continued Nokia’s work on the MeeGo mobile platform, announced details of its first smartphone on Monday. Availability for the Jolla device is expected by year end and can be pre-ordered now; the phone will be priced at no more than €399 (US $512.26).
The Jolla hardware looks similar to that of Nokia’s Lumia, with a clean, button-less front face that houses the 4.5-inch touchcscreen.The phone will use a dual-core processor and support 4G LTE in some regions. Internal storage tops out at 16 GB, but can be expanded via microSD card. The phone also includes an 8 megapixel rear camera with auto focus.
The phone is also “Android app compliant” which, in a move similar to that of BlackBerry, can help with available apps at launch.

The perversity of nature is nowhere better demonstrated by the fact that, when exposed to the same atmosphere, bread becomes hard while crackers become soft.

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