Monday, January 29, 2007

Finally sleeping

Well I'm coming down with something. That, in combination with a fairly hectic schedule, forced me into bed by 10 pm every night this weekend, so I think my sleep schedule has finally settled back to something resembling normalacy. As amazing as the difference is between being well-rested and not, I think the tempatation to extract just a few more minutes, an hour at most, from the day, is almost impossible to resist. I guess in a sense I should be grateful for the sickness that made it possible to resist that temptation.

Speaking of sickness, we finally found out what was wrong with our son. After two pediatricians and a library of medical literature couldn't diagnose it, the dematologist resident mis-identified it. It wasn't until the main pediatric dematologist for Primary Children's Hospital came in that they finally put a name to it (she knew what it was right off the bat). I can't remember the name (perhaps my wife can post it in the comments) but essentially the three word description breaks down into a condition where a certain kind of sweat gland gets attacked by a certain kind of white blood cell and subsequently becomes inflamed. Apparently you see it all the time in chemotherapy patients, and very rarely in kids who's feet got too cold. Though apparently no one knows what the relationship is between the cold and the condition. In any event, to put your minds at ease, it's entirely benign.

In other weekend activities we went to an indoctrination camp Saturday morning. Actually it was a debate conference. The topic was renewable energy, and after a keynote polemic and a mock debate by a group who had named thereself after their commitment to all things green. We we sent off to "Breakout Sessions" there were about 20, about 5 were concerned with the actual mechanics of debate. One, possibly Two gave the case for the status quo, and the rest were sessions that could have been given by the Sierra Club (and several actually were). With enormous care I picked out one titled "So you want to stop the Greenhouse Effect?" (or something along those lines) I figured at a minimum I could lay into the instructor (a professor) after it was over if he didn't mention nuclear power. After one of the most pessimistic presentations on the Greenhouse Effect I had every witnessed he did in fact mention that renewables could, at most, reduce about 1/5 of the CO2 emissions and that only nuclear could handle the rest. That's when the fun started.

It was obvious that many of, if not most of the students, had been raised on a steady diet of "Nuclear Power = Satan" since they could talk. And of course there was the predictable comments about waste, but then one little budding green party voter raised his hand and said, "Well isn't the problem with nuclear power that every nuclear plant every built has blown up?" The professor was quite taken aback and obviously struggled with how to rebute such an obvious falsehood without being mean. He ended up talking at some length about Three Mile Island, but the kid was not satisfied, for the rest of the question and answer period he was asking as many questions as the rest of the room put together.

Public schools... *sigh*


Blogger aozora said...

Ah hah, trying to soften us up to the nuke revival I see.

Very clever to get it on the table now so by the time construction starts every is tired of talking about it and quietly goes back to their own business ( ;-D ).

3:36 AM  
Anonymous ed said...

Being in grad school, I'm surprised how often I run into people like these (although I deal more with humanities folks).

You'd think the GRE would add more questions to filter these folks.

6:46 AM  

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