Friday, November 27, 2009

something new on MS?

"US scientists are testing a radical new theory that multiple sclerosis (MS) is caused by blockages in the veins that drain the brain.

The University of Buffalo team were intrigued by the work of Italian researcher Dr Paolo Zamboni who claims 90% of MS is caused by narrowed veins.

He says the restricted drainage, visible on scans, injures the brain leading to MS.

He has already widened the blockages in a handful of patients.

The US team want to replicate his earlier work before treating patients."

via BBC News (here)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

text versus video and podcast

More and more outlets (for want of a more attractive term*) are opting for video (or vodcasts) and podcasts, picture and words. This is not a bad thing.
Except, I can't skim through a recording of either kind -- not if I want to catch the gist of it.
If there is something to read, I can ascertain if the item in question is something I NEED to find time for or if I can move it off into one of my 'deal with this later/never' piles. Even better, with text, it is far easier to search for key words and concepts.
National Public Radio in the US, for example, is moving to provide, at no cost to us, transcripts of many of its programs/podcasts. I just wish more organisations were able to do the same.

* (similarly, when can we re-christen 'blogs'?)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Google Wave

Finally following up on my Google Wave invitation -- albeit with too much haste. Actually using it though will create some major disruptions to current habits, so I have to say, I am hesitating. Especially, as it seems to be the kind of 'thing' that needs mass behind it (that is, Google Wave will be very useful if virtually everyone you deal with is on it). And it is not yet clear if that will happen.
My mind roamed back to a time, in Tokyo, where I held some classes showing people how to use email. There was a good deal of angst, particularly in reference to privacy (and the realisation anyone could forward your emails to anyone else.)
Wave puts it even further out there.
Liking the 'robots' though - especially the blogger related one.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

the bigger questions...

When the springs on two large hair clips snap, within the same week, does it mean poor workmanship, the clips are no longer 'big enough' or have little spring snappers been secretly at work...?

Well, OK, the latter was the most ridiculous option I could think up, but, now I have two big bits of plastic, perfectly useless cause a 10 cent spring (or thereabouts) is virtually impossible to replace. Even if I could find the right springs, without expending ridiculous effort, replacing them would probably turn into a thankless task without the right equipment.

Anyone wondering why I am going on about now useless bits of plastic might want to ponder this:

There is an even better video/photo story I saw online recently, but I don't have the link to hand. I will post it, if it crops up again.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A very sophisticated Nigerian email scam

It landed in my junk mail box, but this one is good (it is a con, for anyone inclined toward gullibility!)

Dear Customer!

We have been waiting for you to contact us for your Confirmed Package that is registered with us for shipping to your residential location.We had thought that your sender gave you our contact details.It may interest you to know that a letter is also added to your package.However, we cannot quote its content to you via email for privacy reasons.

We understand that the content of your package itself is a Bank Draft worth $800,000.00USD (Eight Hundred Thounsand United States Dollars), FEDEX do not ship money in CASH or in CHEQUES but Bank Drafts are shippable.The package is registered with us for mailing by your colleague, and your colleague explained that he is from the United States but he is here in Nigeria (NG) for a three (3)months Surveying Project as he works with a consultant firm in NIGERIA, We are sending you this email because your package is been registered on a Special Order.

What you have to do now, is to contact our Delivery Department for immediate dispatch of your package to your residencial address.Note that as soon as our Delivery Team confirm your information, it will take only one working day (24 hours) for your package to arrive it's designated destination.For your information, the VAT & Shipping charges as well as Insurance fees have been paid for by your colleague before your package was registered.Note that the payment that is made on the Insurance, Premium & Clearance Certificates, are to certify that the Bank Draft is not a Drug Affiliated Fund (DAF) neither is it funds to sponsor Terrorism in your country. This will help you avoid any form of query from the Monetary Authority of your country.

However, you will have to pay the sum of $172.00 Usd to the FEDEX Delivery Department being full payment for the Security Keeping Fee of the FEDEX company as stated in our privacy terms & condition page. Also be informed that your colleague wished to pay for the Security Keeping fee, but we do not accept such payment considering the facts that all items & package that are registered with us have a time limitation and we cannot accept payment not knowing when you will be contacting us for your package or even responding to us.So we cannot take the risk to have accepted such payment incase of any possible demurrage.

Kindly note that your colleague did not leave us with any further information.We hope that you respond to us as soon as possible because if you fail to respond until the expiry date of your package, we may refer the package to the Nigeria Commission for Welfare as the package do not have a return address.

Kindly contact the delivery department (FEDEX Delivery Post) with the details given below:

FEDEX Online Delivery Post
Contact Person:[contact detail removed]
Email:[contact detail removed]
Tel: [contact detail removed]

Kindly complete the below form and send it to the email address given above.This is mandatory to reconfirm your Postal address and telephone numbers.


Kindly complete the above form and summit it to the delivery manager on:
[contact detail removed, but it was a gmail address]

As soon as your details are received, our delivery team will give you the neccessary payment procedure so that you can effect the payment for the Security Keeping Fee. As soon as they confirm your payment receipt of $172.00 Usd, they will not hesitate to dispatch your package as well as the attached letter to your residence. It usually takes 24 hours being an overnight delivery service.

Note that we were not instructed to email you, but due to the high priority of your package we had to inform you as your sender did not leave us with his phone number because he stated that he just arrived Nigeria and he hasn't fixed his phone yet. We indeed personally sealed your Bank Draft and we found your email contact in the receivers column as the recipient of the foremost package.

Ensure to contact the delivery department with the email address given above and ensure to fill the above form as well to enable a successful reconfirmation.

Do not reply this email because this email account is not monitored.Send your details to:[contact detail removed, but it was a gmail address]

Yours Faithfully,
[contact detail removed]
FEDEX Online Team Management.
All rights reserved. © 1996-2009
This E-mail is only for the above addressees. It may contain confidential or Privileged information. If you are not an addressee you must not copy, distribute, disclose or use any of the information in it or any attachments.