Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Blog move

Update: The current location of my blog is http://mallet.typepad.com/malletrivia/.

Like a good corporate citizen, I'm moving from Blogger to Microsoft Live Spaces; all further updates to my blog will be made at its new location: http://alexmallet.spaces.live.com .

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A day at the office

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Baby headrush

No, I'm not torturing our child. He actually likes it, at least if the huge smile he exhibits when he's right-side up again is anything to go by. Then again, maybe he's just happy to not be hanging upside down anymore ...

Curious uses of the word "acute"

From a post on Biology News Net [emphasis mine]:

Researchers led by neuropathologist Hannah Kinney, MD, and neuroscientist David Paterson, PhD, at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School examined brain autopsy specimens from 31 infants who had died from SIDS and 10 who had died acutely from other causes, provided by the San Diego Chief Medical Examiner's office.

I was under the impression that death, in whatever form it occurred, was pretty acute, but apparently there are gradations even here. I suspect non-acutely is the way you want to go.

I've also always wondered about the expansion for SARS -- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Aren't "severe" and "acute" redundant here ? The only explanation I can come up with is that if the "severe" bit were left out, the pronunciation would be a bit embarrassing [though entertaining for the juvenile-minded, like me] whereas SARS minus the A would be unpronounceable ["I'd like to buy a vowel, Vanna".]

I assume there is a precise medical meaning attached to "acute" that merits its use in these circumstances, and that I'm just unaware of said meaning.

Return to the Emerald City

A few snippets, after being back in Seattle for a couple of days:

- Getting through the metal detectors at the airport was a lot like the "farmer, goat, wolf and cabbage" problem: both cats, and Zander, had to be taken out of their respective conveyances and carried through the detectors, and we could only carry one cat or baby at a time. After much head-scratching, the TSA folks bent the rules and allowed Christina to walk through the detector with one cat, drop it off, and then come back for the second cat by walking back through the detector [ie against the flow, usually a no-no]. The whole thing was such a spectacle that all the underemployed TSA folks also in the area crowded around to watch our menagerie make its way through. I wouldn't be surprised if a replica of our situation ends up being in a TSA "Advanced Security Conundrums" training video. [Side note: why on earth would a farmer have a wolf ? That seems equivalent to a cotton grower raising boll weevils ...]

- The flight itself was relatively uneventful. The cats were so terrified that they didn't emit a single peep, and Zander didn't fuss very much and slept through the last 3 hours of the flight. That said, there were plenty of other screaming kids on the plane, so he would have been in good company had he chosen to voice some displeasure.

- Seattle rolled out the "Welcome Home" carpet for us: after an initial day of rain, we've had 2 beautiful, clear and sunny [but cold] days, the sort you rarely get in Seattle. Driving across Lake Washington yesterday, we were treated to two of my favorite sights: mist on Lake Washington, and Mount Rainier. And I never realized until now how many deciduous trees there are around here, and that Seattle actually has some pretty nice foliage too.

- Fatherhood and zippy little cars are incompatible, as I found out during our car shopping expedition: you can't fit a rear-facing car seat and two adults into them, at least not comfortably. So, in another concession to the onset of maturity, we're getting grown-up, mom-and-dad cars. *Sigh*

-In two days, we've already had two "social" dinners [ie dinner with friends/family], which is about the number we would amass over an average 6 months in Boston.

Overall assessment: it's good to be home :-)