A Week of Accomplishment and Renewed Commitment

In my current job, my primary responsibility is more of management and scientific “oversight”.  These days, I don’t often get the time to do what I trained for in all those years I put in during college and graduate school:  to do basic research.  Well, this week, I managed to re-prioritize my time so that I could get a paper finished that I am helping to co-author and that will be submitted to an astronomy journal soon!  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

Daily injections of fire

[NOTE: updated on Feb 21, 2013 — added a couple new injection suggestions near bottom of post].  I’m posting fast-and-furious  because my life is in super-fast motion right now, and I need to get y’all caught up to “today” rather than telling historical stories. Reading a blow-by-blow account of someone’s  life,  rather than a historical account of past events, allows the reader to be “in the moment” with the author, experiencing all the twists and turns, and makes for far more interesting reading!  My past posts have served to provide some medical history/background, but very soon (maybe after this post?) we’ll be all caught up and current with today.

Enough disclaimer, now back to the regularly scheduled program …

Multiple sclerosis, briefly, is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the myelin sheath that surrounds/protects the neural axons in the “white matter” part of the brain (the “white” actually comes from the myelin, which is a fatty tissue). Continue reading