Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Medical Miracle

If you haven't already seen the news this morning, I have an amazing medical story for you. Doctors in Barcelona have just successfully transplanted a new windpipe into a 30 year old Columbian woman that was made completely out of her own stem cells. Stem cells are baby cells........undifferentiated into one of the more complex cell structures that makes up our specific organs. Doctors have found a way to take these stems cells and help manipulate it to form a human windpipe. This should be considered amazing in its own right, but since the stem cells came from the patient herself, she will not have to worry about the ever present risk of her body rejecting the transplant.

The woman needed this transplant because  she has been suffering from Tuberculosis and her trachea had been stripped of all the cells leaving just connective tissue, and one of her bronchioles was almost completely constricted. In the US alone, there are about 25,000 new cases of TB each year.  For this reason, and so many others, is why I support stem cell research. I know there is controversy out there about where the stem cells come from and to each their own, but successful stories such as this one prove that all funding, all research, all testing.......should move forward as fast and as safe as possible!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm a Simple Man!!

I am just going to go ahead and put it out there.........I hate places that have a bathroom attendant. Via paying my check, buying tickets, or whatever, I probably have already paid for the right to use the bathroom at the facility. I get up from the table and head towards the bathroom hoping for some personal time with the urinal.....waiting to get that amazing feeling as your bladder is voiding. I turn the corner AND THERE HE IS!!  He sits there looking all smug, quietly lining up the brut cologne, the scented hand soap, and the Q-tips.  I then realize that I all I have is a $20 bill. This leads to the financial dilemma that we have with bathroom attendants.  I mean are you supposed to ask for change? I mean it is weird enough for me to have someone turn the faucet on, spray a little soap in my hands, and then hand me a paper towel..........AND THEN expect money for it.  It is even worse when you then have to give them a $20 and ask for $19 in change from their plastic tip basket. If they don't have the change then you have to go out to the bar to get some and then come back in to tip the guy OR you just have to look him straight in the eye and walk out without tipping knowing the attendant is trying to drill a hole in your back with laser beams from his eyes. Everyone has to earn a living so it is not the attendants themselves I dislike. However, let all of the bars and clubs of this world know that I hold whether or not you use a bathroom attendant as criteria for where NOT to party. It can change everything........when to "break the seal", how much extra money I have to blow on Golden Tee, can I get that extra cheeseburger at late night McDonald's?!?!? All important things to think about.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Checking In

It's been almost a month since I put something down on here so I figured I would write some random thoughts:

My friends both in Atlanta and Ft. Lauderdale finally broke me down because I finally saw my first episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia a few weeks ago and its already one of my favorite shows of all time. I have finished the 1st, 2nd, and current season but I still need to go back and see most of the 3rd season. I mean with classics like "The Gang has a Jihad" AND "Charlie has a baby" can you go wrong?

Music:  Everyone should get the newest CD from Kings of Leon. I had not heard much of their stuff previously, but after hearing the song "Sex on Fire" I was hooked. I also recommend the songs "Closer" and "Use Somebody."  My buddy Todd from HOTlanta said I should look into this band named Elbow because the lead singer looks like me. I have to say after checking the band out that I am a little insulted by the appearance reference as the lead singer looks like he has had a few too many cold British winters and few too many nights in the pub, BUT.....the band is actually pretty good.

Working out has become pretty important to me. I will never be one of those people that says they actually enjoy the pain that is cardiovascular exercise, but I am getting pretty addicted to the feeling just after I am done. I think it will take another 2-3 months of dedication to actually get my goal of a six-pack but hopefully I can stay healthy so I can at least try for it.  Normally about this point I get some injury that will keep me from running for a few weeks and throw off the workout mojo, but I will keep my fingers crossed!

Finally, since I should continue to pay attention in class today, I will leave you all with one last thing.....

I am psyched about the outcome of last night's election. And that acceptance speech blew me away......which is mostly due of NBC's The West Wing.  I watch that show all the time and it inspires me, but what has always made me come back to watch the episodes time and time again was the speeches that Aaron Sorkin wrote for Martin Sheen's fictional President Bartlett. They were eloquent, rousing, and inspirational. I wrote blogs and made jokes about how I would like to see President Bartlett as the actual President of the US......POTUS if you will.  All of this because Bush has worn me down.........made me feel that America had lowered the bar for what we expected in the leader of our great nation. And I can not believe we voted him in for a second term!!  

Now I know President Elect Obama is just that.......our future president who has not even stepped into office, BUT  for about 10 minutes last night I saw and heard everything I had been waiting for over the past 8 years (and more).  I saw a man who WAS a candidate, flip the switch and BECOME the office of president. I saw a time in the future where traveling internationally does not come with the question, "Do you like President Bush" with that the tone that says we blame you personally for all foreign policy.  I saw 150,000 people turn an acceptance speech into a rally for change on behalf of at least the majority and hopefully soon, the nation.  There are many questions still left to answer, and promises to make happen, but we are on our way. 

"This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can."    -Barrack Obama (and obviously his speechwriters)

That is what I look towards The West Wing for.....what I look towards my president for!