Monday Miscellaneous

Smart pacemakers: Pacemakers that detect motion, O2 levels and other metrics.

Modern pacemakers are externally programmable and allow cardiologists to select the optimal pacing modes for individual patients. The complexity and reliability of modern pacemakers have increased significantly, mainly due to developments in and use of sensing technologies. Therefore, modern pacemakers with sensors are applied not only for pacing but also for other functions such as obtaining diagnostic data and providing continuous cardiac monitoring and long-term trended clinical information.


In rate-responsive pacemakers, some of new physiological parameters are sensed and utilized for diagnosis, such as body vibration or movement, respiratory rate, electrocardiograph (ECG), heart rate, physiological impedance, temperature, and venous oxygen saturation

[Emphasis mine]

Loki as an allegory about internalise racism. Incredibly interesting; I’ve never really thought about Loki in this way before.

All his life Loki believed he was Aesir by blood. For years he’s been fed negative messages about Frost Giants – probably that they’re backwards, barbaric and unattractive. For years he’s participated in the Othering of an entire race (species?) and hating them for just being who they are.


So what does he do when he finds out he’s adopted and biologically Jotun? Naturally, he manipulates events just so that he can commit genocide on his own people.

Making your bed may actually be bad for you: Untidy beds may keep us healthy

A Kingston University study discovered the bugs cannot survive in the warm, dry conditions found in an unmade bed.

The average bed could be home to up to 1.5 million house dust mites.


“Something as simple as leaving a bed unmade during the day can remove moisture from the sheets and mattress so the mites will dehydrate and eventually die.”

Thanks. I’m never making my bed again. Hah. Take that, UfYH!

Half-Marathoner Takes Wrong Turn, Wins Marathon. This, is kind of amusingly awesome. Like, I’m not surprised she found out she was ahead of everyone else at the half-way point [since she was pacing for a half-marathon, after all]; I’m just surprised she kept the pace up enough to win.

New delivery mechanism for HIV meds effective at preventing HIV in women.

It’s often said that the HIV/AIDS epidemic has a woman’s face. The proportion of women infected with HIV has been on the rise for a decade; in sub-Saharan Africa, women constitute 60 percent of people living with disease.


The new ring is easily inserted and stays in place for 30 days. And because it is delivered at the site of transmission, the ring—known as a TDF-IVR (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate intravaginal ring)—utilizes a smaller dose than pills.

The device contains powdered , an anti-retroviral drug that is taken orally by 3.5 million HIV-infected people worldwide, but that has not previously been studied topically. But the ring’s strength stems from its unique polymer construction: its elastomer swells in the presence of fluid, delivering up to 1,000 times more of the drug than current intravaginal ring technology, such as NuvaRing, which are made of silicon and have release rates that decline over time.

It’s an interesting read; it’s been fairly long known that giving someone antiretrovirals immediately after exposure to HIV can keep the disease from successfully invading and hiding in T-cells, but compliance and side effects are kind of also a thing.

New island off the coast of Pakistan, and earth keeps on changing.

Plant grows both tomatoes and potatoes.

The TomTato can grow more than 500 sweet cherry tomatoes while producing white potatoes.


“It has been very difficult to achieve the TomTato because the tomato stem and the potato stem have to be the same thickness for the graft to work, it is a very highly skilled operation.” [says Thompson & Morgan horticultural director Paul Hansord]

Frankly, I’d found this cooler if it was genetic engineering [tomatoes and potatoes aren’t that far apart – they’re both Solanaceae, after all.] But still, kind of epically amusing and awesome.

Party on with Playboy! Consensually [1].

“Black holes” of the ocean drag water and debris around.

These ocean vortices are so tight that they act like a container for the water trapped inside them. Water temperatures and salt content within the eddies can be different from the surrounding ocean. As they drift across the sea, they act as transports for micro-organisms like plankton, or even for human trash such as plastic waste or oil.

One interesting consequence of these black holes of the sea is that they may be increasing the northward transport of warm and salty water from the Southern Ocean. This is important because it might be helping to slow the melt of sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere, which could counteract some of the negative effects of global warming.

Life sucks if you’re a millennial.

Our parents had less unemployment, more access to union jobs, a lower uninsured rate for health insurance, cheaper tuition, and cheaper and more accessible home mortgages. They also had a higher average income with a high school diploma alone and made about the same as we make today, despite the dramatic rise in costs and our productivity. Basically, life is pretty bad, and empirically worse for millennials than their parents.

How to follow APoD during the government shutdown.

This is not how you program.

When I was in college, I worked in an engineering lab on a research project that involved writing code. I was supposed to integrate the code I wrote with another piece of code written by an electrical engineering graduate student. This student seemed to be coming from a math background, and had not done too much CS coursework.


The most striking thing about his code was that he used every one-letter variable name from a to z, then the capital letters A-Z, and then, finally having run out of all such naming options, he settled for something worse: naming variables “alpha”, “beta”, “gamma”, etc. by actually typing out the English spellings of these. This went on for a sufficiently large variety of Greek letters that, at the time, it taught me some Greek. I found this quite amusing because, well, descriptive names for these variables would not have taken up considerably more characters than typing “omicron”. Of course, the Greek letters appealed to his mathematical nature.

….I’ll admit that I’ve written code that contains the variables foo, foobar, and foobar2.

I swear I’m better than that now.

And the miscellaneous picture for this week:

Yes. This is a cricket [from wikipedia]

Yes. This is a cricket [from wikipedia]

[1] Yes, I know this is a parody. HT: Brute Reason. [Return]


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