Saturday morning musings

Foggy morning.  I haven’t worn a coat in days. Summer’s come early to the Midwest, and winter missed us completely.  There’s something unsettling about weather that is so far from norm.  This week, MrsPal’s friend was nearly blown away in a tornado—it destroyed most of her neighbors’ houses, but only knocked her’s around.  They had a 26 minute lead time to take cover, and though a hundred houses were flattened, no one was killed.

No tornadoes for us yet, but plenty of box elder beetles and lady bugs.  The beetles are actually beautiful, but my non-arthropodic housemates aren’t quite so fond of them as evidenced by the screams of a seven-year old.

It was a very busy week at the office, and I’ve been experimenting with my schedule a bit, but all I’ve learned is that it’s impossible to please everybody.  As I’ve discussed before, running late is nearly inevitable.  All it take is one ill, scared, or sad patient and the whole schedule falls apart.  But I can’t simply cut off someone who is having chest pain or baring their heart to me—it’s not good  medicine.

We have some fantastic physicians’ assistants in the office and in my ignorance and arrogance I sometimes forget just how good they are.  Every time I state the obvious to them they give me that look that says, “thanks for teaching me the alphabet again.”  Sometime patients aren’t thrilled with seeing another professional, but given that we bend over backward to get people in when they call, I don’t fret.  I’m just happy we can provide them good, timely care.  Still, waiting will always be a part of going to the doctor, unless I see fewer patients and can start billing for my time, something that is unlikely to happen as long as we accept insurance.

Today is a break from all that.  The kids aren’t up yet and the fog is starting to lift a bit.  My wife got me one of those single-cup coffee makers.  It took me about two weeks to get the plastic smell out of it, but now it’s changed my life.  I’m enjoying my cup of hot java, my quiet computer time, and the ridiculously early spring birds.

There have been some incredible must-reads in the “ScienceSphere” lately.  Jonah Lehrer has a piece in the New Yorker about the evolution of altruism.  It’s a great story of how science works, sort of like holding a Kuhn-ian microscope to one of biology’s Big Questions.  It’s behind a paywall, but it’s writing worth paying for.

I also love Ed Yong’s explanation of giant squid eyes.  Pretty cool.

Deborah Blum’s piece about the coverage of DEADLY RED MEAT!!!!! is pretty good, as usual for her.

Have a good weekend!


1 Comment

  1. Old Geezer

     /  March 17, 2012

    I especially enjoy Ed Yong’s weekly “Missing Links” feature each Saturday at his Not Exactly Rocket Science blog. (Look over there to the right for that clickable link.)

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