How Lexi Almost Died – and why YOU should vaccinate YOUR Child

Posted on 02/11/2015 in Me, Medicine, Science

My almost 5-year-old daughter Lexi nearly died when she was one, from meningococcal septicemia.

Meningococcal septicemia is what happens when you don’t get meningitis, and instead your body declares all out war on the bacteria that causes meningitis. The thing is, the bacteria is carrying chemical weapons. Each one that your white cells destroys unleashes toxins into your body. So you end up being sluggish and lethargic, and won’t wake up, and if you go to the hospital too early you’ll be sent home with Tylenol – and die at home. Or if you get there just too late your child is just dead.

We were in the emergency room when Lexi presented with a petechial rash. Little purple pinpricks all over her body, that started to appear EVERYWHERE in seconds. And then, while we were there, I watched as her oxygen level dropped rapidly from 83% to 50-something. I ran to get a nurse immediately.

We were very lucky that it happened right then and there. We were at Seattle Children’s Hospital, because it was just around the corner, and my wife Darci’s instincts kicked in that this just wasn’t right. (Our Doctor – Martin Cahn – told her on the phone, “You can come here… but if you’re that worried, go right now to Children’s”).

So next, what happens is that your daughter is rushed up to the ICU – unconscious. And you sign a bunch of forms which give them permission to do everything and anything possible to save her life. They shoo you out of the room so you don’t see them pricking and sticking your daughter with every tube and IV known to man – including one down into her heart. She’s on a ventilator. She can’t breathe by herself.

 

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Sometimes the self-delusion of antivaxxers amazes me…

Posted on 02/05/2015 in Humor, Medicine

sigh

This is an actual post from a thread on proposed Washington state legislation to make “personal reasons” exemptions from having your kid vaccinated before attending public schools illegal. I had to get a screenshot because it’s so ludicrous.

And below it is the current job of the person who posted it – from their Facebook page.

Sometimes the stupid is so stupid it burns.

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A Way To Reduce Snoring … Revisited

Posted on 01/10/2015 in Medicine

Way back in the mists of time (a decade ago, in 2005), I posted my snoring cure. It’s really quite simple – fish oil before bed massively reduces snoring. Take 2 or 3 caps, and make sure it’s fish oil and not krill oil or plant-based Omega-3 – because that doesn’t work; only the fish-based one seems to have the right effect.

I discovered it around 2000 when I was working at Sierra and passed it on to a few friends…

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My Facebook Year In Review

Posted on 12/27/2014 in Humor, Me

I know, a lot of people are giving this feature flack because algorithms can be insensitive, but I quite liked the results myself.

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Why movies look weird at 48fps, and games are better at 60fps, and the uncanny valley…

Posted on 12/20/2014 in Film Making, Game Design, Medicine, Technology

the hobbit

Damn you, Peter Jackson!

Let’s end this debate once and for all. Humans can see frame rates greater than 24fps (although plenty of people will argue that they can’t on the internet). I’ll explain more in a future post if necessary, but let’s take that as read.

Once you’ve accepted that fact, the next question is why do movies at 48fps look “videoy”, and why do movies at 24fps look “dreamy” and “cinematic”. Why are games more realistic at 60Hz than 30Hz?

The answer to all of this lies in two things – ocular microtremor, and center-surround receptive fields in the retina. And it predicts where the cut-off lies as well.

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