Tuesday, December 11, 2018

At Linus Pauling House


I've not had a Tuesday night off in awhile, one of my Python nights.  However my course wound up last week and I'm free to join Wanderers.  Steve Mastin is doing Blood Pressure a second time, and I missed the Wednesday morning event, so this is a fine opportunity to learn from a scientist.

I'll not be staying to the end though, as I'm trying to supervise Carol's recovery.  It's a cold wet night, with a furnace repairman coming in the morning.  Not a night for partying.  I'll do my homework and drive back (no, I don't usually drive, unless bringing props).

Speaking of props, I finished up at Glencoe today, where I face whether to hammer down as their best ever animation teacher, when that's not what I know, but am learning.  I've got a new Medium story on that.

I won't blog during Steve's talk.  You might find out what I learned about blood pressure by reading elsewhere.  I recently had an echo of my chest in followup to the year-ago PE.  They've got me on a stable regime so at the moment future doc visits are spaced wide apart.  That's a measure of current health I suppose.

Actually, now that the night is over, let me do a recall of Steve's talk from memory without even looking at the slides I photographed (still in the camera, not uploaded yet).

He took us through the various ways the body naturally self regulates, and what it self regulates. The rate at which the kidneys clean the blood governs glandular hormonal responses which medications may inhibit or block, should medical science consider that a prudent move.  The adrenal glands, as well as various cells in the heart, take their signals from chemical pathways.

The body takes blood pressure seriously, as should we.  He talked about how it fluctuates throughout the day and how it's important to replicate measuring conditions, down to the equipment, if wanting to get an accurate sense of change over time.  This is not super easy.

The talk dove pretty deeply into the structure and function of many organs, and provided some history as to the concept's evolution.  By convention we measure at the arm, though other body parts may be used.  Use a scale factor.  Newer devices are getting continuous readings from less bulky devices.


Thursday, December 06, 2018

Intergenerational Cyberia

Traditional societies, such as commuter cultures in big cities, put children in the care of people other than parents, as the latter need to go foraging for berries, or pick fruit in the fields.

Professional caregivers, such as teachers, may pick up the slack, but then you have grandparents also.  Those who have become more frail and perhaps scattered, perhaps not, stay behind in the camps and share skills with the next generation to assume a parental role.

This pattern repeats in Cyberia, where retired people finally get the time to reflect on their lives, including the history they lived through.  Many boomers today are consuming hours of conspiracy theory documentaries, trying to make sense of what happened.  Who else has that kind of time?  The grandchildren, momentarily spared the need to earn a living, retired young people.

I'm not saying there's anything particularly wrong with this pattern in principle.  You want the wise elders, who've seen it all, who've raised kids, held a job, to pass on what they know to the younger ones.  Mom and dad need a break to get out there are forage, to commute, to spend time on freeways listening to radio.  A different caste of adults gets to work with the younger people.

Of course this pattern I'm sketching grossly oversimplifies.  Some folks in that middle generation, young parents for example, do work with little kids for a living.  A lot of job descriptions involve kids as a target audience, even if you don't interact with them personally on a daily basis.  Getting the toy stores properly stocked and decorated is kid-oriented work.

However, the fact remains, that many don't get the time to reflect on history much, even at the university, if lucky enough to attend.  Depending on one's area of focus, the demands on one's time may be such that no academic credit accrues in exchange for spending time studying the custody of the Zapruder film (to take the highlighted example).