To a meteorologist, this is very, very funny.
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Now we're in the midst of what many are calling the worst recession since World War II, something that might even qualify as a depression. I don't know what the future holds. But looking back over the years has brought me to a somewhat startling conclusion: Recessions have coincided with some of the best times of my life. Is this coincidence or causation? I'm not sure.Just as my own past health crises helped me get my priorities in order, a recently laid-off friend is exploring new avenues.
I don't mean to minimize the suffering and hardship that recessions bring and that are all too evident now as evictions and unemployment soar and as charitable endowments and donations plunge. But to the extent recessions shake up the status quo and force us to examine our goals and priorities, they also offer enormous opportunities.
I found my thrill on Blueberry HillSing the rest.
On Blueberry Hill when I found you
The moon stood still on Blueberry Hill
And lingered until my dreams came true
I suppose everyone has his/her Open Sesame, his/her Abracadabra or Presto Chango, the arbitrary word, event or unforeseen signal that knocks a person down, causes him/her to behave, either permanently or for the short term, out of the blue, contrary to expectation, from nowhere. A shade is pulled, a door creaks open, some kid goes from Geek to Glamour Boy. And Milton's Hocus-Pocus, his Master Key, happened to be a flowy sentence in Mr. Johnson's generic speech, a speech Dad would call "stirring as a wall of cinder blocke," indicative of the "Hallmark fever infecting our politicians and official spokesmen of late. When they speak, actual words don't emerge, but summer afternoons of draining sun and tepid breeze and chirping Tufted Titmice one would feel gleeful shooting with a handgun"Special Topics in Calamity Physics goes on like this for 500 pages. You are either captivated by this type of gushing prose, or you are not. Why on earth I persisted, is a mystery. Actually, the book might have made a good 150 page mystery. I am the type that has to find out whodunit and I had to read it to the
"When he said that thing about Hannah bein' like a flower," Milton said, "like a rose and all, I felt kinda moved." His big right arm lumber-rolled on top of the steering wheel as he edged the Nissan between the cars and out of the Student Parking Lot.
"You," said Soo-Jin, barely turning from Diagram 2114.74 "Amino Acids and Peptides" to hand me the phone.and for a fellow high school classmate:
"I hope you're reincarnated as a mammal and our paths cross again, sooner rather than later because when I go to med school I doubt I'll have a life," wrote Lin Xe-Pen.'Nuff said. What about the physics?
Whenever I heard an awful noise, one I couldn't identify, I told myself it was nothing but Chaos Theory, the Doppler Effect or the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle applied to lost people in the dark. I think I repeated the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in my head at least one thousand times; the mathematical product of the combined uncertainties of concurrent measurements of position and momentum in a specified direction could never be less than Planck's constant, h, divided by 4 π. This meant, rather encouragingly, that my uncertain position and zero momentum and the Beast Responsible for the Sound's uncertain position and uncertain momentum had to sort of null each other out, leaving me with what is commonly known in the scientific world as "wide-ranging perplexity."Huh? Read Heisenberg's own words.
We rely on antibodies to recognize and sound the alarm on potential invaders. Yet our cells come programmed with less than 30,000 genes, far fewer than the billions of foreign structures we might encounter.Read the rest of Doing the DNA Shuffle.
Even so, says Mark Schlissel, a Berkeley professor of immunology and pathogenesis, "the immune system is capable of recognizing literally hundreds of millions of foreign chemical structures."
This phenomenal flexibility comes courtesy of a remarkable DNA shuffling system called V(D)J recombination. Just as riffling a deck of cards can produce an endless variety of poker hands, shuffling specialized DNA segments in developing immune cells can produce a different antibody structure nearly every time. During the reaction, enzymes select one of many available genetic versions for each variable antibody segment, snip out the unused portions, and stitch the chosen pieces back together. The resulting antibody travels to the surface of the immune cell, or lymphocyte, where it can recognize bacteria, viruses and toxins in the bloodstream.
"All of us have developing lymphocytes in our bone marrow shuffling these antibody genes around continuously, from the time we are in the womb," Schlissel says. Schlissel studies V(D)J recombination and its place in lymphocyte development. Understanding when this reaction occurs and how it is regulated will help scientists learn to treat leukemia, lymphoma, immune deficiencies and a wide array of autoimmune diseases.
Every shuffle of DNA segments also carries the danger of producing an antibody that recognizes the body's own tissues. To avoid such potential autoimmune reactions, every new antibody undergoes self-tolerance testing in the bone marrow. If the antibody flunks, the recombinase returns to the nucleus for another round of gene rearrangement.