Like most old farts, I like watching the History Channel and now wish I had not slept in history class in school. When I was 17, I stood on the grounds of the concentration camp in Dachau and marveled at how green the grass was. Then, I realized WHY the grass was so green and it was all I could do to keep from vomiting.
I wish I could share that feeling of awareness / awakening with some of the people I see on TV. The feeling is especially strong now that I have seen my town, Durham, NC, shut down early because of the threat of the KKK protesting downtown. I wonder why this group of people seemingly lack the human capacity of empathy. If someone who looked like you was denied a seat at a counter, hung from a tree, denied access to schools, given rough rides, shot in the back by the police, tied up and dragged behind a pick up until dead, suffocated for selling single cigarettes, you would be afraid to set foot outside your damn house. You hope for justice and instead, you find, just us.
Let that sink in... there is a subset of while people who look just like other white people and they are OK with you being mistreated...even abused, assaulted or murdered. How would you present yourself in the world?
Maybe the fear is that one day there will be statues of Malcolm X, various Black Panthers, and flags with the fist of solidarity flying throughout the country and in front of buildings where Justice is supposed to be blind. Or maybe seeing a jury of your peers without a single caucasian in the group.
Maybe the fear is that you will be treated in exactly the same way you have treated others? As you sow, so shall you reap. My suggestion is go get on the right side of history and then pray to your deity of choice that they are more forgiving than you may have been.
Stuff learned at work while interacting with Watson (IBM's Artificial Intelligence) scientists :
1. There has been more data generated in the last 2 years than in the entire history of mankind.
2. Last year's data would be the equivalent of every human on the planet (approx 7 Bn) getting 175 newspapers...every...day.
3. There are about 6 Bn personal devices accessing the Internet; next year that number is expected to be 8 Bn. (And how many people are on the planet?)
4. With the Internet of Things (IoT) [Fitbits, thermostats, medical monitors] the data volume will continue to grow.
5. I broke an app designed to learn from human interaction with my question, "How much guacamole can you fit in a tuba?"
I'll never know where it gave up. I'm pretty sure it knew the formula for volume of a cylinder [V=π r2 h] but maybe not a cone. Still, it should be found easily on the Internet [Volume of a frustum of a cone: V=πh/3(R2 + Rr + r2)].
Maybe it was knowing the bore of the aperture which varies. Bore sizes of tubas may vary between .580" to .870"
Maybe it was the 'trick' question of not defining the tuba pitch.
The main tube of a B♭ tuba ≈ 18'... a C tuba is ≈ 16 feet... an E♭ tuba is ≈ 13 feet, and for a F tuba ≈ 12 feet.
A B♭ tuba (18') tuba with a .750" bore, and presuming a 12" midsection, & an 18'" bell:
π * .3752 * (.625 * (18" * 12")) ≈59.64"
(π(.25(18"*12")))/3 * (62 + (6 * .375) + .3752) ≈ 2170.90"
(π(.125(18"*12")))/3 * (92 + (9 * 6) + 62) ≈ 4834.17"
≈7063.81 cu. in. or 30.58 gal.
Of course, we could put a sealed tuba underwater and measure the displacement. Better, yet...just the tuba player.
The resentful fat kid who always got the tuba in music theory class.
I f'ing hate cancer.
Moreso, I hate that the triggers for it are in our food, our water, the air, the soil, in our appliances, our makeup...
It's almost as though there is a conspiracy to draw down the population over the next 2-3 generations. Hmm...
Luckily for me, I have been able to assist in the fight by expanding the indications for Gemzar and bringing Alimta to market. I also was a nurse at the Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis and assisted with the BRCA1 treatment protocol. But my greatest achievements are yet to come through Watson - IBM's growing attempt at Artificial Intelligence.
When I was a nurse at the Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis, I worked the midnight shift. I would sit on the edge of the bed, look them in the eye and have “The Conversation”. It boiled down to this – I am your nurse. This means I am your proxy and outside of this room, I represent what you want to all necessary medical professionals. I fight for you. So, tell me, are we fighting to stay or are we fighting to leave.
By no means an easy conversation but a necessary one.
One project I was associated with was the creation of a breast cancer biorepository with samples from around the globe. The participation in this project was positively overwhelming and overwhelmingly positive. In addition to collecting samples during many clinical trials, we also had patients volunteer their biopsies in hopes of preventing cancer for their descendants. The result? More than 2 TB of data or an estimated 35 Million pages with no unifying format.
Some of the more tantalizing data points would be considered ‘dark data’; this is where Watson can shine! The challenge of translating languages and reconciling this data, with additional data coming in daily, was a Sisyphean task by any measure. Basically, you sorted through the data until you found a promising thread – and you pulled at it until it either broke or it became a solution. Watson can pull on all the threads simultaneously AND combine the segments of seemingly unrelated data to, hopefully, find that golden thread. As daunting as it was, from that data emerged the treatment protocol for women with the BRCA1 gene expression. And while this was a monumental discovery, this progress was measured in years…and in lives.
While spending some of my time chasing at knotted threads, I was also trying to provide my own version of hope to patients and their families on a daily basis. As an advocate for the patient, you want to empower them while they are essentially in a powerless state. You bear the burden of being their proxy as best as you can… knowing at any moment the fight can be lost.
What I love about working for Watson Health is the renewed sense of hope. Collectively, we are empowering decision makers with the most recent data possible. Years of effort can be compressed into minutes AND seemingly disparate data can be immediately recognized as discordant or as a possible new treatment. Hope is good. Sometimes it is the only thing that allows us to push through mental, physical and emotional dis-ease.
Some patients, I will never forget. They were the distillation of the best of humanity. But what I had to hold back from them was my frustration of knowing there was a possible cure hiding in a mountain of data we just did not have the time / money to fully explore. When someone is fighting for their life, looks up at you and asks, what else can be done, it can break your heart. Watson is empowering researchers, clinicians, and decision makers with the best data possible. But in the trenches, where it counts, we’ve put hope back onto the table. It makes “The Conversation” a hell of a lot easier to have.
I'm not a fan.
One of the best things about the internet is that everyone can have a voice. One of the worst things about the internet is the same thing. But, as the saying goes, there is an ass for every seat. Maybe there is a set of ears for every voice. I guess I will discover this as the weeks wander onward. Most times when I talk about my reality, people back away slowly, laugh nervously, or inconspicuously search for their taser in their handbag.
The other part of this endevour is that I am charging headlong into a barrage of old, old programming installed by a "shock and awe" Catholic mother and an abusive father who was the son of a Baptist deacon. One thing that was grounded / guilted into me was that you do not brag about yourself. People who talk about themselves are weak-minded and look for their self worth through the opinions of others. When your 6'3" father, angry because of his own demons, is wrapping the buckle of the belt around his palm as he advances upon you, you agree with him...period. At least in your outside voice once you discover your inside voice is yelling back 'fuck you'. So, imagine the intensity of the response I received when I wanted to tell the world I talk to dead people and that they are really very much happier where they are.
Essentially, I was told if I spoke about my experiences, I would be thrown away.
When your 6'3" father, angry because of his own demons, is wrapping the buckle of the belt around his palm as he advances upon you, you agree with him...period.
But, I kept my promise as best I could. Like a dented pressure cooker, every once in awhile, I vented some extraordinary event to the wrong person and it had to get written off. So, I became the "creative" one. Between not wanting to suffer my father's wrath or my mother's rejection, I just STFU - for a while.
It is curious, and I have no vertical proof, but the more I tried to suppress my peculiarity, the more others tried to surface. And life has a funny way of putting temptations in your path no matter how good you are trying to be. While I do believe in Free Will, I also believe that in a pre-corporeal state, I agreed to try out some crazy shit while here in this playground called Earth. Conversations with deceased relatives became astral projection, astral projection lead to Reiki, Reiki led to psychic self-defense, practicing psychic self-defense led to past life regression.
And if that wasn't enough to put a skidmark on the Haines highway, I had a NDE (near death experience) where I met with a supreme entity who decided I needed to see George Carlin. Yes, THAT George Carlin. I was given a tour of the Universe, the codes within sacred geometry, the purpose for the 'human experiment, chilled with the heavenly host, became music and sang with the angels who then claimed me for their own.
(I see you reaching for the taser so I'll wrap this up.)
In this dimension (dementia?), and in others, familiar entities keep telling me to tell my story. I may or may not discuss these other realities because if I see torches and pitchforks, I'm breezing this place like a fart in the wind. No burning at the stake this time please. If I can choose, I prefer to die as a 90 year old man who gets shot by a jealous 45 year old husband.
If I can choose, I prefer to die as a 90 year old man who gets shot by a jealous 45 year old husband.
If you are on this site, you will see a link to The Alchemist's Heir. I started this book after 9/11 but finished it, published it and marketed it in 2012 after my mother's suicide. My dad was already dead so I thought that I was now released from my promise. My family disagreed. Oh well, their loss.
The result - a large venting of metaphysical steam - is a novel where the protagonist is a 14 year old boy, bullied in high school, and sent to live with his grandpa for the summer. He learns things - metaphysical, Transpersonal, emotional - and begins to practice those behaviors some would recognize as "seventh generation" mindfulness.
In 2013, I didn't want to be "that guy". The formula for the NDEr guy seems to be to have a NDE, come back, write about it, talk about it for a year or two, and then fade back into your new normal. I am NOT that guy. Thank you, Dad, for that lesson. That desire would become Elemental Alchemy.
So I combined my nursing wound care knowledge, my Reiki skill set, and my pharma research background and created a topical cream. I was inspired by discovering that there are many, many nasty things in make up. I had applied that makeup on my patient's faces as they were being discharged home. I was so pissed off. I admit there was an altruistic component to this process but knowing I was shoving back against an industry that uses the public as disposable petri dishes r-e-a-l-l-y satisfied an aspect of my Scorpio personality.
Finally, I let my ya-yas hang low and in the breeze by writing Guitars, Cigars and Tiki Bars. All that steam? Yeah...I ripped the lid off the pressure cooker, drove over that shit with my truck, set it on fire and took a steaming dump on it that could have qualified it as a Superfund clean up site. (BTW - Erin Brockovich is flippin awesome!)
I talked about damn near everything in this book that I had not been able to speak of for nearly 30 years. Ok...Alright... I did hold a few things back. Here's a test. I astral project back to my former meatsuit, introduce myself, apply Reiki to them as they are dying, and assist them in their transition so that our soul is able to hold a higher vibrational rate in this meatsuit.
For many, this hurts their brain.
I'll hold onto the parts of conversing with multi-dimensional beings, projecting off world, and peeking into associated parallel realities.