Monday, November 12, 2007

msb-0223 The Missing Class?

msb-0223 The Missing Class?


Feedback comes first, so...

I am dealing with the New Jersey State Unemployment and they don't seem to realize that their pathetic telephone system with their nonsensical and frankly hilarious "Your wait time is approximately [some random number] minutes" is just feeding me material for my blog and podcast.

Now I won't record the phone conversations, but I will "allude" to them. (It fits in with my wry sense of humor. [I am ever so glad to have recovered it too. {I attribute this to podcasting.}] This theater of the absurd which I call my life is indeed, uh, absurd... :-)

My ex-employer really messed me up by moving my "state of employment" around to Michigan (even though I was there for a week and the rest of the time, I was doing work between Detroit and Bangalore by phone from here in Jersey.)

Needless to say, I am less than thrilled by this aspect of working for an off-shore outsourcing multi-national. Oh well, it'll work itself out, regardless of how many hoops I have to jump through.

I've got the advocacy arm ot the MS Society involved. (Oops...)

My stats are beginning to scare me again.

Since the last show, I've had over 50, uh, 100, uh, 150, uh, 250 uh, 350 (I went to sleep and they jumped on me [holey model. Its now telling me 395, {strike that 450}]) download and more coming in by the hour.

Hey there is some advantage to having an extensive back episode catalog.

People can download all my old shows, (which is what's happening,) and then, after they tire of listening to me constantly, they can catch my new episodes three times a week.

Meantime, I'm feeling my Spanish roots.

---- "Cerca de ti" by: "Franz Black"

Feed Forward comes next, so...

This is "your" segment.

Say "your" piece on this segment.

Share with other MSers whatever "you" want to share.

Drop me an email: charles at


There was an interesting "piece" [] in The Register about genetic expression of genes in the brain:
"A new catalogue of genes, and the proteins they trigger in the brain, could help scientists develop new treatments for neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's. The database has been created by researchers at UCL and the University of Miami, who have spent years mapping the expression of genes in the brain.

Professor John Hardy, UCL Institute of Neurology, said the research has revealed a high degree of genetic control in terms of how much of a particular protein is made by genes in the brain.

He said: "We've taken nearly 200 samples of the human brain [from one section of the brain] and looked at how much of every gene in the genome is being made in a specific area in and around the frontal cortex. Then we looked at the expression pattern of the genes."

The research, led by Hardy and his US counterpart Dr Amanda Myers, could pave the way for totally new approaches to treating brain disease because it can shed light on exactly how it is a gene may predispose a person to a particular illness.

"It is not just the presence of a particular gene but the amount of protein they produce which is going to have real significance in understanding and treating neurological disease," Professor Hardy added. His team has already linked a protein called MAPT with the neurological disease Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, he said.

"In principle, though we are not there yet, this will allow researchers to take a blood sample from anyone and, from looking at their DNA sequence, know how much of every protein they make in their brain and what they might be more pre-disposed to in terms of neurological disease," he concluded.

The database has been made public, and the research is published in the current edition of Nature Genetics."
So I'm getting some confirmation of my thoughts about the role of genetics in disease.

I'd be interested in finding out about what could be done with genetics and the expression of the immune system which underlies MS.


And I would apreciate if someone could write a review of this podcast on iTunes [ ] You can just select the link and, eventually, scroll down the iTunes page to "Customer Reviews"

---- "Cuentan que el" by: "Whitehouse"

Feed Me comes third, so...

Do you have a therapy, product, good or service that is of interest to MSers?

Consider advertising on this podcast.

Reminders on this segment only cost $0.03 per reminder per download of an episode. (A $30CPM targeted at MSers.)

It can/should lead to a full ad, in text, audio or video, which costs $3.00 per download.

That sounds expensive until you do the math and realize that if nobody downloads it it costs you nothing, unlike print, where you often can't even get an ad in to the specialized journals, or radio or TV where you'd just be wasting your money with the 0.0833% MSers rate of return. (That's about six times "below" the level of "statistical noise".)

But MSBPodcast is 100% in your market, and you only pay per download of your material.

No play, no pay.

Reach the MSers who would buy your therapy, product, good or service, with-out having to waste your advertising money on anyone who is "not" interested...

Send me an email at: charles (at)

---- "Sin promessas" by: "Don Betto"


I caught "Bill Moyer's Journal" when he had on "Katherine Newman" [ ] who has written a fascinating book called "The Missing Class".

The book [ ] sounds fascinating, and fundamentally incomplete.

Its about the millions of Americans who are technically above the poverty line but still far from a middle-class standard of living.

These are the people who are one paycheck away from calamity and one illness away from disaster.

She put it most eloquently:
“It’s a fragile existence because they don’t really have the security that comes with owning a home, for example, or having a savings account, or any of the other buffers the rest of us have – and they don’t qualify for federal benefits for the most part… They can’t get Medicaid because they’re too wealthy for that. They don’t get food stamps. They don’t get subsidized housing, for the most part. So we don’t really think about them very much. We don’t even track how many of them we have."
This is the tragedy of thinking that you are invincible.

15% of you weren't invincible, were you, while 85% of you are pretending that you didn't see the crash and are driving around the wreck that has become somebody's life.

Nobody's invincible, and we're only invisible if you live your life with your eyes closed.

---- "Ala sola" by: "Daiki and Little Wings"


In her arguments, she didn't mention once mention the incredible losses the the healthy suffer if they become sick.

Its a double tragedy with MS because MSers the world over are usually people who exhibit symptoms in their thirties, after they have started to build their lives with husbands and/or wives, children, careers, home ownership, cars, furniture... everything that comes from working hard for your place in the world.

The first part of the tragedy is getting sick. You see your life's options dwindle and shrink. There may still be a brass ring but you won't be the one grabbing it. You'll never be able to compete for it surrounded by the young and healthy. (That is part of growing old in a land full of shiny-faced youth and boundless, senseless optimism, one that refuses to pay heed to what's going on all around. [I could go on about the power "versus" the energy consumption of thought, and maybe I will some day. {Its a lot more productive to work smart than it is to work hard.}])

The second part of the tragedy is that the same sense of senselessness that guides peoples' rapaciousness in the first part of this tragedy is at the root of the acceleration of the dispossession of those who were hurt, caught up in the web of disease.

That's the part that really hurts. Watching everything you have slowly disappear because you got hit by a bus with the license plate "MS" (Or any other damn chronic, tragic disease.)

Our safety nets in the 'States are slung so low that they might as well not exist.

If you're existing below the poverty line, you can't own anything, you can't earn anything, you can't "be" anything.

And of course, you're treated like the dirt you have hit.

Help should come when start in the metaphorical free fall, not too long after either.

You shouldn't have to lose everything before help comes because "everybody" loses something that way. The entire economy suffers from the loss, not just the person who suffers from the disease.

The safety net should be able to stop everybody from falling as soon as they start, not just be there to prevent you from getting up again with a shattered body and soul.

---- "El Pulpo" by: "Carne Cruda"


I would love it if "Katherine Newman" would cover the stories of people who become sick in the 'States.

It would be quite interesting to read or hear her insights about the rapid degeneration and deterioration of people's material evvironment as well as their physical situation.

---- "Cada Dia" by: "Josh Lopez"



mdmhvonpa said...

Hmmm, the brain. If we could just remove it and replace it with some synthetics. Say, you did keep a backup and the boot floppy, right?

Charles-A. Rovira said...

No, I just got the Leopard DVD. :-)

The important news on this episode is "The Missing Class, and that is what I want feedback on.