Saturday, November 17, 2007

Religion Fact of the Day

The final book in the Christian Bible, The Revelation to John, more commonly called simply Revelation, was probably written in the early 90s CE. Most scholars do not believe that this John is the same John who was an apostle of Jesus. Revelation fits into the apocalyptic genre of writing which had been flourishing amongst the Middle East since about 250 BCE.

Revelation Was Written When?

Well, according to Bill O'Reilly, it was 5,000 years ago.

On the November 13 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, while discussing the "secularists" and their refusal to acknowledge the "holy war going on," Bill O'Reilly cited the Book of Revelation, the final scripture in the New Testament, saying, "This was written -- what? Five thousand years ago?"

That's right. Even though, Jesus lived 2,000 years ago and the New Testament (of which Revelation is a part of) was written after Jesus was around, the book of Revelation was somehow written thousands of years before that.

Why is it that people who scream loudest about any topic seem to know the least about it?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to my oldest daughter, Erica. She turns eleven today. I can't believe she is that age already. No longer can I see a young girl in her; she is becoming a young woman. It is scary and thrilling at the same time.

I hoped to talk to her today, but, unfortunately I did not. I called her house a couple of times, but, unsurprisingly there was no answer. I will see her and her sister on Friday, though. We're going to go rollerskating and then have cake and ice cream. I can't wait.


If Mississipi could figure this out in 1926, why are we having so much trouble today calling a spade a spade. Waterboarding is torture. I'm not typically a black and white kind of guy, but in this instance, there is certainly no gray. It is abhorrent and everyone who has done it, authorized it, or stood by and let it happen should be held accountable.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Religion Fact of the Day

Sennacherib, king of Assyria, destroyed much of Judah in the late 8th century BCE in response to Hezekiah allying with Egypt against Assyria. Jerusalem was spared but Hezekiah had to pay Sennacherib large amounts of gold and silver, cede some of his territory, and return to a vassal state. The account in Isaiah and 2 Kings credit the saving of Jerusalem to an angel of God which slew 185,000 Assyrian troops in one night. Sennacherib's non-Biblical records mention no defeat of any kind.

Spirit of Men

The hospital I work at sponsors an organization called Spirit of Women. As you would expect, it is all about celebrating femininity and so on. They have all sorts of meetings and events. It seems to me a little sexist to not have a counterpart group, so I have taken it upon myself to create a recruiting poster for when they realize the error of their ways. I used a SoW poster as a template and came up with this:

What red-blooded male wouldn't want to be a part of this?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Wordsmiths at the Onion

Where else are you going to read such awesome sentences as this:

On this occasion, Baumer removed the tea bag from the dainty brew and added one dollop of honey made by his friends the honeybees and a splash of milk straight from his mama's precious teat.

Read the whole article here.

Multiple Sclerosis - Year One

It's been one year now since I found out I have MS. It's the strangest thing in the world hearing your doctor tell you that you have an incurable disease. As I've said before, I wasn't really surprised. My symptoms were strong and I knew there was something wrong. I expected the worse. Still, when he said, "Shane, you have multiple sclerosis," I sat in shock for a moment, unsure what to say.

My first thought was, this changes everything. My next was, no, it doesn't. I could have let this disease change my life, but I was determined to not let it get the best of me. I've been blessed in that I was diagnosed very early. Many people go years before their doctor figures out what it wrong. Being that it is so early, the MS has not progressed enough to give me any noticeable signs. In fact, other than fatigue and susceptibility to cold, I don't feel any different.

I have also been very lucky in that there just happens to be a study going on right now for MS drugs. I met the qualifications and so I signed up. The study is testing whether Copaxone and Avonex work better together rather than individually. Both drugs are already tested and proven. There are three groups in the study, two get one drug and a placebo, and the third group gets both drugs. Obviously, I have no idea which group I am in, but no matter which I am getting something. Because I am in the study the drugs are free. If they weren't, I'm not sure I would be able to take either. At my last appointment, the study coordinator told me she had just checked the market price for the drugs and they were both $1800 for a one-month supply. $1800! I have great insurance through the hospital, but I don't think I'd be able to afford either of these.

The shot I take weekly, Avonex (or placebo), is not much fun. For the first month or so, I would have flu-like symptoms for up to 24 hours after I took the shot. I felt horrible. My body has adapted to it, though, and it is not as bad now. I take the shot on Saturday night and typically until around dinner time on Sunday, I fell a general malaise. Some days are better than others, but I don't usually feel really good on Sundays. The daily injection, Copaxone (or placebo), is much nicer in this regard in that the only side-effects I get are occasional redness and itching at the injection site.

I struggled with how to tell people at first. I debated keeping it to myself and not telling anyone. I didn't want anyone's pity, nor did I want anybody's first thought of me to be "He has MS." In the end, I decided I didn't care what people thought and just told friends and family and work. My Mom knew something was wrong because she had seen me stumbling during my flare-up last summer and so I probably couldn't have kept it from her anyway. Reactions were, of course, mixed with lots of tears and disbelief. Overall, though, everyone was very supportive.

Overall, though, it has been a strange experience. Other than my initial flare-up last July and August and a minor flare-up in February, I have no major signs of the disease. I still feel like the same person I was before I was diagnosed. Not that I would be different if the disease was progressing more rapidly, but it would have more of an impact on my life. As it is, I can still run around and do everything I could before. I am very lucky in that regard. I know that the disease is going to progress and I will eventually become limited physically. I don't sit around praying for a cure. If one comes, great. If not, I know I will manage just fine. That's how I roll.