Elnea FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

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from Illinois

  • Activity

    • Passover Puppet Theater

      12 years ago

      Elnea

      Well, it is that time of year again. A time when we gather in an adobe hut with Charleton Heston in fear of Yul Brenner and his cronies and murmur, "Moses! Moses!" over and over to a thrilling soundtrack in Technicolor®.

      Also, it is Passover. Starting tonight. I think.

      *Checks Calendar*

      Yes.

      Hey, kids! Passover is just steeped with F. U. N. fun! Those gentile kids get to look for candy eggs. Don't be jealous just because you only get to look for the cracker in the handkerchief! You've forgotten the thrills and enjoyment of playing with your Plague Toys!

      Last year, I hope you all remember the big bag of Passover Plagues and accompanying quiz. If not, you should go take the quiz right now. Then report back here with your score!

      I'll wait.

      *taps foot*

      *checks watch*


      Okay, so how did you do?

      Wow. You suck. Even I got the one about Paris Hilton. Too bad about Wisconsin.

      But that's okay! Because now you get to play with the: Passover Ten Plagues Finger Puppets!

      passoverpuppets.jpg

      Oh what fun you'll have as you and your friends make up exciting tales of adventure, romance and disease using your new plague puppets. Or, if you have no friends, you can put one on each finger, and play by yourself by the window while you watch the gentile kids look for chocolate eggs on Easter. If you have no fingers, you can put them on top of your action figures:

      passoverHAFT.jpg

      Dayenu!

      smiley0.gif


      This journal entry was brought to you by Linnea's self-appointed half-Jewish/half-Christian committee to make plagues and crucifixions equally fun for kids.

    • They'll let anybody on the 20+ forums

      12 years ago

      Elnea

      As I was checking my watch list today I couldn't help but notice that my CAT Mazha has recently reached level 20 karma. I should point out this was without any help from me or my kin, as we all come from the same IP address and therefore cannot mod one another... So she did it on her own.

      I just thought that was really weird. She doesn't even have thumbs. Or really much of a forehead. Is she the highest karma level quadruped on RedvsBlue.com? And if not, who is, and should I fear that creature as the next step in machinima fan evolution, destined to supplant the rest of us?

      If you haven't been to Mazha's profile I suppose this is your big chance, before she becomes drunk with power and starts posting evocative photos of herself and Sparky in RedvsBlue T-shirts or something worse and gets banned for acts of indecency or .... something....

      smiley7.gif

      PrettyMazha.jpg

      Today's Vocabulary Words
      quadruped
      evolution
      supplant
      evocative

    • The Wretched Kidney

      12 years ago

      Elnea

      So, I've mentioned I am teaching this Pharmacology class this semester and I'm actually enjoying doing it... you know you never really learn a subject until you teach it. At least that is my experience. The only thing I HAVEN'T liked.. well, two things. One is that, as a matter of principle, I've forced myself to read the textbook assigned to the class, which is sort of painful because it is written for an Introductory Level class and therefore is just... painful. (Alsace, if you are reading this, I'd assume you'll be using something like Katzung's Pharm. Book which is part of the LANGE series... really good.)

      The other thing I haven't liked is that the prerequisite for the class doesn't actually require the students to know any relevant physiology, which puts students without any physiology background at a horrible disadvantage compared to the other students.

      For instance, the last lecture I gave was about a class of drugs called "diuretics" which basically make you pee. This is helpful if you are overloaded with fluid because you have a bad heart or because you had a motorcycle accident and weren't wearing a helmet and you were crushed by a Volvo. (That makes you swell up something awful.) But to understand how diuretics work, and what their side effects are, and what drugs they interact with (which is basically what pharmacology is) you have to know about how the kidney does its thing...

      ...namely strain your blood for pee. And then pump in and out some other stuff like salt.

      So I was supposed to give a 30-minute lecture describing these drugs AND explain what the kidney does AND explain how its functional unit (called the nephron) works... and man, I didn't get past what the nephron does... But I will not be defeated!

      So, I made the following two figures. And you, my RedVsBlue friends, are my guinea pigs. I am assuming only that you know that:

      1. Blood is in your body and has red blood cells and other stuff in it.
      2. Urine has yucky stuff in it and is made from strained blood or something
      3. Kidneys are organs and have something to do with pee
      4. You know that there are such things as the chemicals sodium (abbreviated Na), chloride (Cl), potassium (K) and acid (H+)

      Also, you should know that you need to look at what sodium (Na) is doing, and that water loves sodium, and will follow sodium everywhere....

      ...which incidentally is why eating salt increases your blood pressure... the salt in your blood just soaks up water like a sponge, and more water in the blood means more blood in your pipes (blood vessels) and more blood in the pipes means higher pressure.

      Also, for the ladies, if you are bloated and retaining water, the thing to do is eat less salt and drink MORE water... to dilute out the salt. It seems counterintuitive, but if you have a healthy heart and kidneys, that is how it works. Freaky!

      ...but I digress. Anyway, tell me if this makes sense. I'm not going for anything revolutionary. Just steps, la la la....
      NephronFunction.jpg
      Okay, now if that makes sense, and you are feeling brave, try the second part of that same figure, the one where I explain how diuretics work to keep sodium (Na) in the urine, and thus water follows the sodium into the urine, and out to your bladder, and out your pee-pee and onto the wall if you don't have good aim.

      i2.photobucket.com/albums/y20/LinneaRetina/Pharmacology/NephronDiuretics.jpg

      The sad thing is I just can't think of a way to make it more simple than that. Trust me, there is a LOT more to it than this, but this is the essentials. In medical school, Pharmacology was a second year course AFTER an entire year of intensive coursework in physiology, anatomy, histology, name it.... this is just terrible for these students. And they have a test next week. Gah!

      Remember, "There be water pores in yon proximal collectin' tubule, yarrrrr!"

      smiley8.gif

      Today's Vocabulary Words
      pharmacology
      kidney
      nephron
      aquaporin
      "Yarrrrrrrr", quoth the kidney pirate!

    • Spring is here, one day only!

      12 years ago

      Elnea

      Chicago is a great town to live in. But Fall is really where Chicago shines. Today is Spring. And by that I mean TODAY is Spring. We generally only get one day. Tomorrow it will either be winter again or summer. We generally only get one day of Spring.

      But that's okay, as Fall makes up for it.

      This weekend also marks the beginning of Spring Break for Spyton, which means I have to come up with some plan for getting him out of the house once a day in order to keep him from becoming completely immobilized in bed playing Warcraft III... I hate when the bed gets a depression in it a la the movie Psycho... (name that scene)

      So, any suggestions? First stop is the optician, as that car door to the eye managed to break the frame and he's going around with one arm missing from the glasses... which looks weird.

      Then I was thinking of having him help me clean the garage. But what about Tuesday? Yes, here is your chance to
      RUIN SPYTON'S VACATION! Best practical suggestion gets ten mod points. I'd give more, but I've given all the rest away.

      An actual retinal explanation for Piratey Patches. Matey.
      I have to take a quick break with Ask the EyeDoc questions and comment on something that was covered on the Discovery Channel's MythBusters show (Spyton loves that show). They said that the reason that pirates wore eye patches was not to cover one poked-out eye, but rather to keep one eye dark-adapted so that if they went below-deck they could switch the patch to the light-exposed eye and be able to see in the dark easily. Similarly, in a night battle, they could go in a cabin with a fire going to load a cannon, etc and then go back above decks to see their enemies clearly in order to yell "Avast" and "Arrrrr!" and such.

      The hosts of the show went to a UCSF Retina specialist who did some medical dark-adaptation testing to show them that the theory was medically sound (which it totally is) and when the two guys from the show tested the pirate patch theory with an obstacle course in a pitch black room they found that the dark-adapted eye did allow them to see well immediately. No doubt about it. Arrrr.

      Dark-adaptation takes several minutes to work... you will notice if you go from a bright room to a dark one, that for several minutes you can't see squat. After a few minutes you start to see better. It takes 20-30 minutes to make your dark vision the best it can be, and this dark-adaptation depends on certain cells in your retina called rod cells, which are good for seeing in dim light.

      So I have several (hopefully interesting) comments about this from a Retina specialist's perspective:
      1. For this to work, the pirate patch has to completely patch the eye. If the patch just half-covers the eye, and there is a big streak of light coming in from the side or by the nose, it won't work. The rod cells of the retina get bleached out (light-adapted) very quickly with only a small amount of light. Think about it. G-d didn't expect humans to have light bulbs. Or fire. We were supposed to depend on the moon and sun... and that's it. So the eye isn't equipped to handle flashes of light. Hence the long time required to dark-adapt.

      2. The red light you see in the Star Trek ships and plane pilot's cabins
      in movies works under the idea that red light won't bleach the rod cells and allow the person to maintain their dark adaptation. So if the onboard power goes out, the pilot (or Mr. Sulu) will still be able to see around him.

      3. If you have to get up in the middle of the night to pee, remember to only open one eye when you switch on the bathroom light. Keep your other eye closed the entire time. When you've finished your business, flick off the light and then open the closed eye. You'll be amazed at how well you can see to get back to your bedroom.

      (I should point out here that having one eye closed will affect your stereo vision and ability to shoot at a target. So men, please do make a special effort to aim IN the toilet rather than NEAR the toilet. Thanks. -The Management.)

      4. Whenever I drive through a tunnel on a sunny day
      I always go into "defensive driver" mode. Because going INTO the tunnel, all the patients with retinal disease (like macular degeneration) slam on the brakes, because their dark-adaptation is even crappier than the average person's. Coming OUT of the tunnel, all the people with cortical cataracts slam on the brakes because the sunlight glares them out because it is diffused by the opacities in their lenses.

      So many ophthalmology patients... so little time...

      The answer? Never leave your home. Also, always wear eye protection. Uh... and a helmet. Kevlar is also helpful.

      smiley8.gif

      Today's Vocabulary Words
      Arrrrrr
      rod cells
      dark adaptation
      stereo vision
      opacities

    • I have a headache

      12 years ago

      Elnea

      Friday is supposed to be my day off when I have fun. Grrr...

      Last night I wrote a detailed e-mail to the school principal CC'd to the School Superintendent with all the facts and phone numbers and dates and names of everyone we've talked to and said that a notice should go to the parents.

      I got a curt e-mail back saying that "True to our communications within the
      district, our superintendent was informed of this information. I will
      indeed further discuss your inquiry with the district administration."

      Evidently k3stut1s decided to be proactive and call the local paper as I got a call from them this morning, and shortly thereafter I FINALLY got a call back from the principal. She said that none of the other parents had called, to which I responded, "Yes, that is what I am complaining about! None of the other parents know!"

      And I repeated Spyton's story and the principal said she had "interviewed" a "number" of students from the bus and had gotten a "very different picture" than what I described.

      So I guess the detective's eye witness account means nothing and Spyton is a big liar? Come on. You are 13-to- 16-years-old and the principal calls you in to ask if the bus driver did something wrong and you are 13 years old... what are you going to say? The popular kids at the school all think this driver is cool and don't want anything to happen to him.

      Anyway, she said she "wondered if there was any point to sending home a note this long after the event..." which now makes the stalling tactic make more sense.

      I guess we'll see if the paper picks it up. If not I'll just call people I guess.

      Oh, and she finally called me "Doctor". I wouldn't care but she calls k3stu1s "Doctor" and she herself is a PhD. But she's been calling me "Mrs" all year.

      BigVig sent me an interesting message about this bus company, First Student:

      You probably already know that First Student is owned by FirstGroup plc out of Aberdeen, Scotland.

      What you may not know is that, during part of last year and this year, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has been attempting to organize First Student bus drivers (It's a link to the Teamsters page describing their organizing efforts at First Student branches). Many drivers quoted in their press releases cite concerns about safety, maintenance and training.

      Since those quotes are from an obviously biased source, you may want to read them with care to read between the lines.

      Why am I sending this to you? As far as I can ascertain, as of spring 2007, the bus drivers for First Student, Inc., in northeastern Illinois do not belong to a union.

      So whatever policies or run around they are giving you, and it does seem very apparent that they are giving you a run around, is not because of a union. It might make sense, in regards to being informed, for the PTA to request a copy of the contract between First Student and Spyton's school district in order to see what provisions for disciplining drivers or responding to complaints by parents are included in the fine print.


      If nothing else it is an interesting story. Sheesh.

      I need to go lie down in the dark. Head hurts. I blame First Student. If only real life were like Halo I could beat them up with their own skull. Ah well....

      smiley8.gif

      Tomorrow I promise a light hearted non-headache journal.

    • Corroborator

      12 years ago

      Elnea

      You know, when you are a parent, you do want to believe every word your kid says, you really do, but there is always that teeny weeny grain of doubt... I think because you remember when they used to smear spaghetti-Os in their ears when they were 15 months old...

      I just got off the phone with the detective who was at the railroad crossing, who it turns out was the officer I spoke with at the scene last week, and here's what he told me:

      He was at the train platform on an unrelated case, and he and his partner heard the bells of the crossing go off. He glanced up and saw the train was coming (it is a straight shot either way to see the trains coming, and the crossing is about a half-block from the platform.) This one was an express and was coming about 80 mph. He looked away again and then heard the sound of the kids screaming. (He specifically said that it was not the sound of happy screaming, but the sound of frightened screaming.) He looked up again and saw the bus crossing the tracks with the gates coming down on the bus, and he said he thought the gates were going to hit the bus.

      Then the express went by. So, he radioed a police car that was nearby and issued the ticket.

      So, this detective completely corroborates Spyton's story.

      The driver claimed he'd followed the law (stopped at the tracks, looked both ways and proceeded). But the detective distinctly heard the bells, saw the train and the empty crossing and then heard the screaming and saw the bus driving under the gate, so I think the driver is pretty much screwed.

      The bus company told him that he is one of their safest drivers, and has been with the company 37 years, but there is an automatic suspension for 3 days after this sort of thing and then they plan to put him on a route driving adults. Also, evidently the detective is the one who wanted him to get the hearing and physical testing.

      O. M. G.

      Now I feel like I finally really know what happened. This detective evidently called the principal of the school that afternoon and left a message, and spoke to her the next morning.

      So now I really have two issues. First, why on earth didn't a memo go out to the parents about this? It seems like twice a monthI get a phone call with an automated voice message about the tiniest incident about "stranger danger" involving a kid in the school district, most of which end up being nothing. But this seems like a cover-up. Why? I don't understand. And why won't the principal talk to me?

      Secondly, the bus company representative seems to have given different stories to different people... like the record of this driver... we've now heard from different sources that he drove with the school for 15, 17, 30 and 37 years. Which is it? And the three-day suspension... this is the first I heard of it. I get the feeling that the First Student bus company either doesn't have an actual policy, or their representative doesn't know what it is. quikthinkr brought up the valid point that there are probably Union rules about this sort of thing, which I would expect there are. Folks are innocent until proven guilty, so I'd think they would have some procedure in place for such an occurrence. Why the runaround?

      I would like the other parents to know the real story. I don't know that we really need to get the Chicago Tribune involved, but I think the parents should know. What should I do? I guess I could just start making phone calls. This is a traffic ticket, right? I mean, it is okay to be talking about it in a public forum... right? It isn't like the OJ trial or anything. Does anyone know?

      Blah. Now I am freaked out all over again. If I saw this bus driver right now I'd want to slap him in the face. Well, probably not. But I'd make a mean face at him. I can make a really mean face.

      Jerk.

      Today's Vocabulary Words
      corroborator (as opposed to carburetor)
      spaghetti-Os
      automated
      stranger danger


    • Score One for PolyCarb

      12 years ago

      Elnea

      Yesterday we were getting into the car to go to karate and as Spyton was opening his door, he turned his head to look at some women walking by, and then of course, turned back just in time to poke himself right in the eye with the pointy bit at the top of the door.

      So I walked over, already thinking in my mind that I'd have to go inside to get a plastic cup to tape over his orbit while I drove him to the ER and that it totally sucked that he'd just poked out his eye, but I'd been expecting this because I'm an eye doctor so obviously my kid is going to enucleate himself at some point because life is ironic that way...

      ...and when I coaxed him to lift his hand I saw with great relief that the pointy bit had indeed impacted right over his pupil, but he was wearing his glasses, which are made with polycarbonate lenses (that is what racquetball goggles are made of), so the point hit that, but then slid up and just gouged him in the forehead. Whew!

      Of course now he is sporting a very manly looking Kratos-like gash on his forehead, and instead of spending the evening in the ER with his vitreous humour dripping down his cheek, he got to perform in his band concert and rock the house with a stirring rendition of Meadowland.

      Remember kids, don't try this at home!

      A month ago he asked me for contact lenses and I said no. Because: 1) his eye is still growing and 2) polycarbonate lenses are much better protection than soft lenses made of 90% water.

      Ha! I was right.

      Now my only worry is what will happen next. First almost flattened by train... then eye poking. These things come in threes....

      I don't want anything to happen to my little banana!

      RE the bus situation, I spoke with the District Manager yesterday and he's told the bus company that the school district can't have that driver driving any district buses until the matter is cleared up. He also said some vague things about the guy having personal problems and about that particular bus being very long.... whatever. And get this: He's had a dozen parents from one of the district elementary school call and say they will boycott the bus unless the driver is immediately reinstated because they love the bus driver so much.

      They also need to be hit with a trout.

      In case you do not know or understand the concept of being whacked with a large fish, here is a photo of me beaning a fellow 'Scaper named DRAyKE with a stuffed rainbow trout in Baltimore several years ago. Ha! Fear the trout!

      Okay. Last, BigVig sent me a link to a company doing some freaky neuro research, and one of their projects is taking videocameras and outputting the array onto patients' tongues... so the patients see with their tongue. Whoever thought of it was probably stoned at the time, but it is ingenious. Here's a link to the BrainPort Eye-Tongue thingy Company

      Woot!

      quackJAGKittyCat.gif

      Today's Life Lessons
      1. Don't look at women walking by when you are opening pointy car doors
      2. Glasses with polycarbonate lenses can save your eyeballs
      3. The tongue can be used as an eye
      4. The hand can be used as a knife
      5. Fear the trout

    • My Actual Superpower...

      12 years ago

      Elnea

      ...has to do with an uncanny ability to raise one eyebrow...

      This is from Jengaship's Journal... where he's written "superhero profiles" for anyone foolish enough to leave a comment (snide or otherwise) at his journal... LOL!


      Elnea43ed829d154f3.jpg
      Don't call her Doctor McSpartan!

      Screen Name: Elnea, M.D.

      Aliases: Momxors, Sheecargo Susie, Linnea,

      First Appearance: Doctors of Action #32: "Eyes of the Beholden"

      Group Affiliations:
      AMA, TaiChiKnees, (Red) Triangle of Confusion, UNSC, The Tribe (see Warmsox) (Formerly: ) Secret Defenders, Winnetka Pajamma Party Society

      Allies: OboeCrazy, Spyton, RvBTO Staff, Alsace, BigVig, Kardiez, The Lukie League, Charliez, The Ghost of Allen Ginsburg, The Themyscirans

      Enemies: Scary Comcast Patel, Optometrists, BhadSpelurPete, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome,The Covenant, and, um, Doctor Doom

      Base of Operations/Hideout: I dunno. Panera? Do you hang out at Panera sometimes?

      Appearance: (sort of combines height, weight, eye color, hair color)
      Physically fit, tall, short-to-medium length hair. Always wears labcoat, even to the Monster Truck Rallys.
      Alternately, pink spartan armor specifically fitted with medical equipment similar to what you may find in a tricorder. The suit also has internet access and account on X-Box Live

      Powers and Abilities:
      Linnea is a skilled physician and surgeon specializing in the eye. Gross. Has the strength and stamina of a woman who engages in moderate exercize. While in Spartan Armor, her strength and speed are enhanced at the cost of agility. But come on, man, that armor is heavy. I'd like to see YOU walk to the ice cream parlor in that getup, let alone across the battlefield.

      History:
      By the fortune of an accident to the hands of one Stephen Strange, Elnea quickly rose through the ranks to become Chief Surgeon of Our Lady of Parisppany Hosptial. However, the lure of action proved too great, so Elnea decided to ply her trade and satisfy her adrenaline addition by taking the battle for good optical health against the bad forces in the world. In addition to saving the world on a daily basis, she raises a son, advises the UNSC on the optical health of their spartans, and sits on the Board of Trustees for Wellesley. Excelsior!


      Ha! I had no idea Jenga knew so much about me! I'm just glad he didn't post those photos of my secret underground lair filled with minions in orange jumpsuits. Again.

      smiley8.gif

      Today's Vocabulary Words
      gross
      ply
      adrenaline
      minions

      PS: By the way, despite what Jenga has written, please feel free to call me Dr. McSpartan. Just don't call me Mrs. McSpartan. Because then I would have to hit you with a fish. A large trout, perhaps.

    • Bus O Death, Refraction and HAFT 48

      12 years ago

      Elnea

      Thanks to everyone who wished Spyton a Happy B-day yesterday! We looked at his journal at his party and everyone had a good laugh at the dancing banana.

      An update on the bus situation reported on in my last few journals:
      Spyton's dad K3stut1s talked to a First Student bus spokesman, who said:
      1. The bus driver got a ticket (for what we don't know) but he's going to court and if he loses he will lose his license
      2. In the meantime he is driving a different route (yet again, I say...?????)
      3. The driver claims he didn't hear the train warning bell. (Which makes no sense... the bus should have stopped in front of the tracks, and there are flashing lights & a gate.)
      4. The driver is getting his hearing tested... but evidently still driving...
      5. The detective who called the police cars on the bus said he noticed the incident because his attention was drawn by the sound of terrified screaming from the bus.

      Good. Lord.

      I left my name and number at the police station for the detective to call me, and I went to the school to make an appointment with the principal. Neither has called back yet. but it has only been a few hours, so I'm not concerned. I did speak with the school social worker, who had no clue about any of this, other than she'd heard something happened on the bus and that some kids were boycotting the bus route.

      Of course, the guy is driving a different route so...

      I called some other parents to let them know, especially as they should be checking to see who is driving their kids. K3 is coming in this weekend to Chicago so we'll pow wow a bit and decide what to do next. I want to talk to the detective and the principal again, and I want to find out exactly what the ticket was given out for. Then we'll see what happens. I have no desire to drag this school district through another public scandal. But this bus company is the major provider for the schools on the north shore, and I want to be convinced that they are making some honest effort to keep these kids safe. And I think that parents have a right to know what happened. Most parents don't know anything about it.

      smiley4.gif

      Okay, onto something more fun! Another (non-gross!) eye question from AmandaJ3162 about a recent trip to the eye doctor:

      3-the big one. This is the one where they go "which is better, 1 or 2?" Afterwards, the Doc flipped another arm out that had some kind of microscope shape and he held a magnifying glass type thing in front of my eyeball and looked through it to see my eyes.


      This procedure is called "refracting" a patient... how we figure out what your prescription is.

      The first part basically just involves putting increasing power lenses in front of your eye and letting you tell us if it improves your vision. The bit that confuses patients is that part at the end, where you get two choices that look equally blurry. That is supposed to be how it is, because we try to narrow it down to your exact prescription and find any astigmatism you might have, and then we try two choices, one focusing the image a tiny bit in front of your retina, and one a tiny bit behind. If the images look equally blurry, we know we are about right.

      I could spend a week talking about refracting, but all the gizmos we use have the same goal, to find a lens that will put images exactly onto your retina so they are in perfect focus. Some doctors go even farther, checking your eyes with a letter chart in red and green... because red is focused a little behind the retina, and blue/green a bit in front (due to the small differences in the bending of different wavelengths of light...) The goal is to get yellow focused on your retina for the crispest (crispiest?) image.

      (This, by the way, is why blue-blocker sunglasses make everything look clear... the yellow lenses filter all that blurry red and blue light).

      Hm... I definitely need some figures to describe this. I'll find or draw some photos about refraction and post next journal. But for now...

      TADA!

      Halo Action Figure Theater: The Steve n' Lois Chronicles Presents:
      Episode 48: Failure to Communicate ("Le fils malodorant.")
      HAFT48Failure2Comm.jpg
      (Click HERE for Steve n' Lois Back Issues)

      Today's Vocabulary Words
      refraction
      retinoscopy
      wavelength
      blue blockers

    • Happy Birthday Spyton!

      12 years ago

      Elnea

      Hey, it's my son Spyton's Birthday! You know, if it weren't for him, I never would have tried playing Halo. Or read EGM. Or come to RedVsBlue. And then OboeCrazy wouldn't be here. And then you wouldn't know about eyeballs OR oboes. And that just wouldn't be right. It's a wonderful life, Spyton!

      So do me a big favor, and please Wish Spyton a Happy Birthday. Later he is having some friends over to have birthday cake and play Halo 2. Does it get any better than that? No, I think not.
      smiley0.gif

      Oh, also, I made this for him. He was about 3 in this photo. I guess he's too old to dress up as a banana nowadays. LOL!
      PBJBananaSpyton.gif

      smiley0.gifsmiley0.gifsmiley0.gifsmiley0.gifsmiley0.gifsmiley0.gif

      Today's Ask the EyeDoc question is from VertigoX who asks:
      There was an episode on Babylon 5, where a person lost his eye, and got an electronic one put in, and could take it out at night, placed it at his bedside in a glass of water... much like dentures of old.... Will technology ever get to be that advanced?

      Well, as I've said, it wouldn't be a round ping-pong ball-shaped thing, but actually, I think the answer is yes. In fact, depending on the condition, prosthetic implants aren't that far off.

      For instance, this guy Mark Humayun, who I trained with in Baltimore, has spent the last fifteen or so years developing a artificial implant that goes into the eyes of patients with a particular condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa. The condition is peculiar in that when a patient has lost all vision, some nerves are usually still intact, but the photoreceptors and underlying pigment epithelium are sick. So he developed this little 5x5 pixel grid that fires in response to a little videocamera to stimulate the retinal nerves. That sends signals to the brain and with each patient you can program the computer to fire the pixel which will stimulate, in that patient, the correct signal.

      For instance, if you had a 5x5 grid you could see a giant E. Right? Right. I leave it as an exercise for the reader.

      Anyway, the first ones had wires and a big bulky camera and the chip heated up and wasn't good for the retina yadda yadda yadda but nowadays they have these teeny weeny chips that work like bluetooth and the patient wears the videocamera like Geordy LaForge from Star Trek Next Generation. Also, the grids have way better resolution now.

      Ha! I just googled Mark to see if he had any images up and I see he has a few press releases from last month as the FDA has given him the go ahead to start clinical trials. Good for him! So cool.

      Here's an article about him and the chip which explains in detail what the thing does. Here's another one. Pretty cool. Also note the giant plastic eye Mark is holding. That is so you can tell he is an eye doctor. ROFL!

      So, now what about an artificial eyeBALL? See, the biggest problem is the optic nerve, which carries literally millions of nerves into the brain and back around in all sorts of loops to the back of the head and sorts things out upside-down and backwards and by color and contrast and... well, let's just say your brain is working hard every time you look at anything. And in many, MANY eye diseases either the optic nerve, or the retinal nerves die. So we have to figure out a way to bypass the optic nerve.

      In the late 1970s there was this old patient who had a camera that fed into an array of wires that directly stimulated the back of his brain (the occipital cortex) which is the part important for vision. The guy actually could walk around and see shapes; I've seen videos of this guy walking around (sorry, can't find any on the 'net!). He must be dead by now, but that was pretty amazing. And that was all done by sticking random electrodes onto the back of his brain, and then stimulating each one and him just pointing to where he saw the light. Now that I think of it, I wonder how they got that one past the FDA?

      "No, no! It is pronounced Franken-steen"

      smiley8.gif

      So if they were able to do that 30 years ago?... Yeah, I bet they'll have something really slick sometime soon. If not in my lifetime, then certainly in Spyton's.
      smiley0.gif


      Today's Vocabulary Words
      Peanut Butter Jelly Time
      Retinitis
      Occipital
      electrodes

      IdesSpyton.jpg

  • Comments (3262)

    • DaPuma

      13 years ago

      thx for puttin the pic in ur profile i used photoshop to make the colors and i cant remember where i found the pic

    • PissedKitty

      13 years ago

      Elnea Spartan is very skinny. XD

      -Glomp.- :D

    • DaPuma

      13 years ago

      i made this for u marry christmas
      DaPuma439114c945abc.jpg

    • BigNiceJohn

      13 years ago

      I wanted to lol more but... not like this!! NOT LIKE THIS!!!

    • ohfer FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      13 years ago

      They're actually pretty fun to watch without shaking up too. The kid with the snow shovel whacks the kid with the snowboard with it, and Grandpa sleepwalks.

    • Caboose343

      13 years ago

      Cheese prize?
      I am teh win.

      For real.

    • TheSwmnCello

      13 years ago

      Actually, I really had no idea how long they'd been around, so I guessed. Sad, I know... but to me, computers have been around almost my whole life, so anything else must be OLD. smiley0.gif

    • dingolord

      13 years ago

      Let me get this straight. The guy broadcasts music over the FM radio, and then people tune in and park outside his house to watch his insane light show?

      That is hardcore, man. That is HARD. CORE.


      Yeah... he takes the whole thing VERY seriously. I think he said the sync on those lights last year took him 60 hours... and that was all after the setup. He sets the soundtrack CD on a loop, and hooks it up to his FM transmitter and broadcasts on a frequency that's not being used. It only broadcasts for about a quarter-mile radius around his house, so you can only really hear it if you're watching the lights. I think he's in one of the few places where his neighbors actually absolutely love it. smiley1.gif

      seriously dude, I'm a mom. I have a reputation to uphold and you are making it very difficult for me to keep this clean.


      Hey... it's all clean when I start. It's not my fault that it tickles you in the right places. smiley8.gifsmiley6.gif

      I think you're right, though. They'd just say "ew" and leave it at that. smiley0.gif

    • chopstickgod

      13 years ago

      I think you need a christmas monkey. all the cool people are getting them. you wanna be cool right?

    • teamcoltra

      13 years ago

      later (after i was gone.. yes this is hear say but hearsay from the entire class not just friends)
      the sub teacher was saying the "F word" about me, and was cussing alot... if i get to have a meeting with the guy ill bring it up.

    • StrangeAngel

      13 years ago

      You know what your problem is? Your journals are too good! I put off checking my watchlist for a few days, and when I looked today, yours said 5 journals. I thought "That's far too many to read. Maybe I'll just read the last one, and that'll be it." But noooo, you had to write about cool stuff like EYEBALL SURGERY and SWEARING! So of course I had to read them all!
      Stop being so entertaining and smart!!!! NOW! -_-
      *whimpers*
      >8-O-(&) <-- person who just found out they have a tape worm.

    • dingolord

      13 years ago

      So did you find that pudding wrestling site? smiley8.gif

      I'm still laughing over here. That just cracked me up so bad! smiley0.gif

      Post edited 11/30/05 5:56PM

    • Dizzy

      13 years ago

      Got to say I love that avatar!

    • lagmaster

      13 years ago

      i thought i did a crappy job on my bike frame, but anyway, cool! btw, love your pics

    • Laid_To_Rest

      13 years ago

      thankyou for the lovely picture!

      Post edited 11/29/05 1:55PM

    • Gee

      13 years ago

      it is totally a Buffy reference. smiley0.gif

      my favourite part about the last Toronto Trek was when they did "Once More With Feeling" in the style you usually see Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the entire audience was singing along with every song. it was awesome!

    • Lukie

      13 years ago

      Yeah it's a harvard study or something. whoops, I should have clarify, I meant caucausian women are stiatically average.

      anyways the harvard study went like this:
      smarts
      asian
      white
      black

      penis size
      black
      white
      asian

      lol, you have to look this up

    • Lukie

      13 years ago

      I know you're tall, but statistically smiley8.gif you're average.

      I wish I had more room to type in my journal, I'm learning a lot about that stuff in health care ethics.

    • BladeZelvado

      13 years ago

      That's why I plan on enacting my plan....MU HAHAHAHA....*evil grin*

    • dingolord

      13 years ago

      But where is the make-up?
      Also, why do my fingernails get dirty when all I've been doing is lying in bed typing on my laptop?


      [lightbulb]

      smiley6.gif

      Iowa only wishes I was from there. smiley8.gif

    • dingolord

      13 years ago

      I happen to know for a fact that your relatives are from West Podunkville, while I'm clearly from East Podunkville.

      Besides, we know those particular relatives never get out to "the city". Cuz it is a city now... it got a Wal-Mart just last month. The East Podunkville Wal-Mart and Bait Shoppe.

      I miss home. smiley2.gif

      smiley6.gif

    • dingolord

      13 years ago

      *thinks* Well, if honesty isn't working...

      Okay, ya got me. I'm really from a small town in Indiana called Podunkville. Our chief export is podunks. My mom makes the best podunk pie in town.

      Better? smiley6.gif

    • agent_z

      13 years ago

      half pence is the old half a penny 1 pound is around 50cent erm... yeh we should start trading in vacume sealed fish lol

    • Lukie

      13 years ago

      DON'T LET YOUR SON READ MY JOURNAL! IT'S FILLLLLLLTH!

    • Lukie

      13 years ago

      I thought you looked familar!

    • REDSKULL

      13 years ago

      yes i think tht would be better

    • QuackJAG

      13 years ago

      QuackJAGsaward.gif
      Sorry for the bad word!

    • abeus

      13 years ago

      RedRose.jpg
      A Beautiful Rose for a Beautiful Lady

    • JulyFlame

      13 years ago

      ]scan0011.jpg

      :D

      For you.

      smiley12.gif

    • gjhowar

      13 years ago

      Illinois, and medical. Nice. smiley0.gifsmiley0.gif

    • JulyFlame

      13 years ago

      :D Thank you. Oh, that reminds me. *scrabbles for drawings* Be back in a few minutes. XD

    • dingolord

      13 years ago

      I just have to say that, when you're sick, you're a very funny lady. smiley8.gifsmiley6.gif

      Oh, and I'm still not from the Midwest. I just live here. smiley6.gif

      Yorkshire terriers... aren't they the dogs that firemen use? smiley11.gif

    • Gilluin

      13 years ago

      thanksgivingorange.gif

    • Aperture

      13 years ago

      Happy Thanksgiving!
      It's about time you Americans had Turkey Day. I think You're Stuck in a Temperal Time Flux that is 1 month behind the Canadians.
      Woot!

    • Gee

      13 years ago

      11-_November--_Turkey_Day.jpg

    • BigNiceJohn

      13 years ago

      Well of course you were using the Guns metaphor, but what kind of gentlemanly canadian would I be if I went for the dirty comment every time?

    • BigNiceJohn

      13 years ago

      Sadly, Big Nice John doesn't really take well to Big Nice Guns... it's not in his nature. Captain Canuck is a hands-on guy.

    • Pip

      13 years ago

      well i would love to make u a gif for free just tell me what you want pics? vid? well sry i am going to california for the week end yay to a 13 hour drive in a tiny car one day drive im so excited lol bye

    • Laid_To_Rest

      13 years ago

      its ok, i value the advice of someone who knows what they are talking about...thankyou! smiley1.gif

    • Elnea FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      13 years ago

      Please do not post political commentary (national or forum-based) here in my comments. I consider it akin to advertising or spam and will delete said comments. I will also delete comments that flame other members. I want you kids to play nice, please.

      I am all for freedom of speech, just not here at my journal. That is what your profile is for. Thanks!
      smiley0.gifsmiley0.gifsmiley0.gifsmiley0.gifsmiley0.gif

    • JulyFlame

      13 years ago

      Ah.

      Thanks. smiley0.gif I'm looking into getting photoshop. XD

    • quikthnkr

      13 years ago

      I just realized I spelled Brake...break. LOL. What a dum dum. Ah well perfection is overrated I'm told anyway.

    • quikthnkr

      13 years ago

      I know I am late to the caption party. I hope you forgive. I spent most of my work time this weekend doing this

      eradacators.chadcarlson.com/videos/piperhosaturdaynight.wmv

      And once I finished that up for her rvb.roosterteeth.com/members/profile.php?uid=15618

      I started on this host258.ipowerweb.com/~eradacat/spytondarkfuture.jpg for you.

      It is huge so you have to upsize it to read the captions. If you want any of the PSD files associated with this little abomination (there are many, the warthong is yours, the characters are yours, there are slices galor it took forever lol) just let me know and I'll upload them to my server for your perusal. Right now I am still at work so all I have time for is to send you the JPEG of the end result. Hope you like ... SPYTON"S DARK FUTURE! smiley0.gif

    • HavokBlue

      13 years ago

      You must see the Greatness in my images. It's also my Avatar.

    • wigglepie13

      13 years ago

      an award for you, because you're the coolest soccor mom i know ^___^
      KDaward01.jpg

    • espithaca

      13 years ago

      Go Vote! smiley0.gifsmiley11.gif (please?) smiley6.gif

    • xenomorph64

      13 years ago

      Elnea, after that "2 week data loss" awhile back, i didnt get a chance to get a copy of that neat picture you made at my request. can you plaese send me a copy?

      thank you!

    • Gee

      13 years ago

      don't worry, I understand how the media manipulates me. smiley1.gif Sometimes I let them do it, because it makes the story more fun.

      I found out a long time ago that not everyone with a physical disability is a sweetly suffering soul. I knew some really assholes in university who would zoom over your feet in their wheelchairs, or holler at you to get out of the way and then smack you with their cain. Some people are just jerks.


      what was the name of this story you guys had to read, anyway?

    • Flea_girl

      13 years ago

      Smackdown.jpg

      an award a friend made for me, i am awarding it to all guys i frag... what ya think?

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