Eye Am Stable?

Just a quick eye-health report. and its a good one.  I’ve had 2 OCT scans since I last reported on my eye condition.  I saw a new neuro-opthomologist back in the spring, at UCSF, and then back to my optometrist last month.  As usual, I give you a summary of all the OCT measurements so far:

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My Story (so far)

What might seem odd, after having published 42 posts, is to be writing something entitled “My Story”.   Since I wasn’t clever enough to have made my last post The Answer To The Ultimate Question Of Life, The Universe, And Everything, I decided it was high time to write a short biographical, with all the interesting bits in one place.  You see, lately I’ve been joining various online groups — mostly MS-related — and I am finding the redundancy of “introducing” myself over and over again to be incredibly tedious.  The future plan?  Point ’em to this tell-all page.  Brilliant! So, with apologies to those who have already slogged through 42 posts, here goes … Continue reading

A Matter Of Uncertainty

As a wide-eyed undergraduate physics student getting introduced to scientific research, the following proverb was drilled permanently into my head:  no measurement we could possibly make in this imperfect world — the cup of flour that our recipe calls for, the pencil marks on the wall indicating the annual growth of our child, the 10 gallons of gas that we were led to believe just went into our car tank — is ever exactly the “true” measurement, but rather is a value with some “give or take” (aka, uncertainty) associated with it.  And that amount of tolerance shall always be attached to any measurement! After my recent OCT eye scan last week, I’m wishing that students in the medical field had the same borderline-unhealthy obsessions about uncertainty. Continue reading

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream: Part 1

Did you know that sleep could kill you?! (Or at least, cause a lot of serious health problems?)  Neither did I.  Of course, I’ve been familiar with the term “sleep apnea” for quite some time, but until now, always just regarded it as a fairly benign problem related to snoring that impacts sleep quality.  Continue reading

Data dump

[Note:  Feb 18 2013 — new update with higher resolution pictures and additional data.] In my professional work, when someone publishes a paper that is heavy on tables (or plots) of data, but thin on serious analysis and interpretation (eg, “what is all of this data telling us about such-and-such star or galaxy?”), we often refer to such a paper as a “data dump”.  While data dumps are not necessarily bad (if the author chooses to not dig deep into the physical implications of the data, then at least by making the data available to others, someone else might be able to make more sense of the data), the term “data dump” is somewhat derogatory.

With that background provided, I hereby confess that this post is a bona-fide data dump.  And I hope that it becomes a sort of data depository, as others begin to read my blog.  Continue reading

How I got here, Part 2: Choose your charities carefully!

I love to cycle.  My love for bikes started when I was an undergraduate … one of my physics lab teaching assistants (TA)  had a beautiful, very expensive bike that he had won in a bike race.  That bike went everywhere with him, and was a permanent fixture during labs.  As I was hanging weights off of pulleys, and trying to figure out why the hell my circuits weren’t working, I’d sneak glances at that beautiful, sleek bike and wish it were mine.  My lab TA — the owner of said bike —  did semi-professional racing on weekends, and his body was a toned, lean-mean machine.  He made biking look very, very cool. Continue reading