I just updated the MCW Cycling Club site. Previously, it ran completely from my own hosting service. This worked okay, but required a lot of work to add new pages since I was literally doing the HTML coding by hand. My experiences using the WYSIWUG editors are that they add a bunch of code that destroys the readability. Anyway, I was looking for something simple and went ahead with transferring the data to Google Sites. In the past, Google Sites didn’t offer much ability to customize, however, a lot has now changed. After switching the CNAME to point to Google, the switch was seamless. It looks pretty good and will be much easier to update. I can even add collaborators to help me with posting club events and updating the bike routes. This will be tremendous as I will be leaving for a year. The only thing still running on my hosting package is the punBB forum. It would be terrific if there would be a way to host that within Google Sites as well.
Check out the new site: MCW Cycling Club
Since no one checks my Scott, Future MD blog since I’ve never updated it, I’d just like to use this opportunity to mention that as my 2nd year of medical school comes to an end, I will be updating it more regularly. The first update will be to discuss the creation of the MCoW Cycling Club Interest Group.
So Google Web History has a feature called Interesting Items. Google saves your search history (only when logged into your Gmail/Google account) and then analyzes it to determine the “recent top queries related to your searches.” I must have been doing a lot of searching for medications, diseases, and science-related stuff (explanation: medical school) because coming in at #4 in top queries related to my searches is esthesioneuroblastoma, an “uncommon malignant neoplasm of the nasal vault, believed to arise from the olfactory epithelium.” What an interesting and unusual thing to learn! Interesting video is also offered and a few months ago I was shown a video of cataract surgery.
I’m currently studying for an upcoming microbiology exam on bacteriology and wanted to quick comment on something that one of the doctors told us. During World War II, Nazis were very fearful of typhus (the epidemic from caused by Rickettsia prowazekii). They wanted people in the concentration camps to do manual labor for as long as possible before being killed. Bringing people with epidemic typhus into the camps would cause everyone to become too sick to work. So to prevent the spread of typhus into the concentration camps, Nazi “doctors” tested villages for typhus antibodies via a blood test. Fortunately, some Polish physicians determined that inoculating villagers with Proteus would cause a cross-reaction with the typhus agglutination test. It would appear as if a typhus epidemic was going on in that village and the Nazis subsequently left them alone.
It was a pretty brave thing for the Polish physicians to do. It’s unfortunate that this couldn’t have been used to save even more lives. Here’s an article, A Bacterium Saved a Town During World War II, that talks about the same thing.
In an article, called The Science Education Myth on BusinessWeek, Vivek Wadhwa talks about how the U.S. is actually doing a great job of educating today’s students in math and science and that maybe more emphasis should be placed on the humanities.
Political leaders, tech executives, and academics often claim that the U.S. is falling behind in math and science education. They cite poor test results, declining international rankings, and decreasing enrollment in the hard sciences. They urge us to improve our education system and to graduate more engineers and scientists to keep pace with countries such as India and China.
The authors of the report, the Urban Institute’s Hal Salzman and Georgetown University professor Lindsay Lowell, show that math, science, and reading test scores at the primary and secondary level have increased over the past two decades, and U.S. students are now close to the top of international rankings. Perhaps just as surprising, the report finds that our education system actually produces more science and engineering graduates than the market demands.
In fact, the few countries that place higher than the U.S. are generally small nations, and few of these rank consistently high across all grades, subjects, and years tested. Moreover, he says, serious methodological flaws, such as different test populations, and other limitations preclude drawing any meaningful comparison of school systems between countries.
Just a quick plug for my aluma mater, University of Wisconsin – Madison. On the latest ARWU “Top 500 Universities” list, UW-Madison was ranked #17. Ranking Methodology Go Badgers!
Here is a poem that I wrote for my 8th grade Language Arts class in, I think, 1997. It was mailed to me by my 8th grade teacher who just recently retired. You can see that some of my rhymes and word choices were stretching a little.
What if Nature Disappeared?
What would we lose,
And who would care,
If the seasons were gone,
Never to be repaired.
But, you may ask,
How could that come to be,
The seasons have been going
For many centuries.
Hopefully they won’t cease
Because we will then lose
The beautiful qualities that
We now love to endure.
Spring is the first,
In this cycle through time,
With its glorious colors
Then comes Summer,
Hot and bright,
Filling our day with
Next arrives Fall,
On a swirl of leaves,
With cool air bringing
Riddance to all the bees.
Finally Winter follows,
Slowly at first,
Then it becomes cold
With a burst!
I had never gone to the Mifflin Street Block Party because it had always conflicted with designated exam study days. This year, however, it was scheduled for the same day as the Crazylegs Classic. So our apartment decided to check it out. We wanted to go, not to drink or get pictures taken with cops but to check out the music and people watch. It was very crazy! Imagine thousands of drunk or drinking college students all together in an approximately three block area. We only stayed for a little bit. There were just too many people smoking. We then got back and Mike, Johnny, and I played some tennis at the Nielsen for an hour and a half. And then relaxed for awhile before Mike and I headed to Madison’s Comedy Club. Then, to top the night off we watched Napolean Dynamite…pretty funny. I was very tired so I headed to bed but Mike and another guy at the apartment, Justin, went to Stillwaters to try and meet some girls. They didn’t get back until 2:45. I’m still looking forward to learning the details.
I have pictures from the Mifflin Street Block Party at Smugmug and Flickr (they are exactly the same).
Smugmug: Mifflin Street Block Party
Flickr: Mifflin Street Block Party
I’m still trying to decide what photo sharing system I like best. Let me know what you think.
A successful year. I’ll get the grades from my other classes soon, but I do know for sure that I got an A in my US History 102 class. I wrote a pretty interesting paper on the Cold War. I’ll post that in my documents section ASAP.
Now I’ll have time to update my blog. I’m hoping to include an investing page, an updated photo album, a page detailing my experiences building a mythtv pvr unit, and I will create an ironman training blog. I’ll also have a section along the left of right columns, indicating the books that I’ve read or are reading currently.
Alright. I’m writing this entry from my dorm at UW Madison. Classes don’t start until the day after Labor Day so I’m just hanging out with friends, biking, playing tennis, and setting up my room. Tonight some of us are going to go to the UW vs. Mexico soccer game and then tomorrow night we’re going to the hypnotist and comedian at the Union Theater. I glanced over my books and the classes look pretty fun.