BenTha'er-Horizons

Hey Abbott

The cream of the crop, the ultimate is the Who is On First Routine of Abbott and Costello. My ultimate favorite and will put a smile on my face every day. Please watch the ultimate comedy routine with exquisite timing. One can also find on YouTube the “This is Your Life, Lou Costello” episode with host Ralph Edwards from 1956. Ah time flies!
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Pinocchio Redux

We seem to be dealing with Sequestration politics lately and the worst of it is the exaggerations and Obamageddon “facts” out there.
This recent article by Dan Heninger of the Wall Street Journal covers how simple things are often made more complex by our current President.
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High Tech Med

This article is not specifically about veterinary medicine though drug development and diseases on the human side still has implications on the veterinary side. We are several years behind in regard to some of the targeted therapies. The article though also talks about how as Big Pharma looks at more specific targeted therapies that won’t sell to large numbers of people, will the costs and regulation make them balk at providing this need.
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High Debts and New Veterinarians

The Thayer Family offer a $750 scholarship at the Washington State University to a student who has a strong interest in feline medicine and surgery, need and scholarship. We have done this for 4 years including this up coming awards program in April. We are proud to help a student. Student debt load is overwhelming. I believe more veterinarians could help the current students in this area and offer scholarships, especially in the area of cats. So little is done there. Though this article is not altogether correct, it still puts a spotlight on an area that needs strong discussion. I graduated without debt though little money. I don’t know what I would do if I faced having to pay off the equivalent of a house loan right after graduating.
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World War II Bunkers

If you want to see what can be made of long abandoned World War II bunkers in France, Holland, and Belgium, check out this article and the photographs taken of the bunkers in different lighting and in the winter. A lot of history and most likely the stories of men’s lives all wrapped up in these concrete “mansions”.

Air-raid-shelter
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How Wars Start

It is not the ArchDuke Ferdinand flash of a match that starts a war. It is the underlying problem and volcano of issues that build the real reason. The desire for territory or power, the resentment of a possible lack of respect or face in front of your peers. The article linked here give a good discussion of where the deeper meaning lies to start our greatest wars.
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Parenting Post-Apocalypse

One has to laugh a bit at how we can get caught up into the Zombie “culture”. A bit of escapism for sure. It really is getting in deep when you start analyzing the parenting of characters on The Walking Dead. You would have to grow up fast or you would end up Zombie food. Just to get a sense of the discussion just read about it here in The Atlantic.
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Cats and Traps

Cat humor is some of the most viewed and funniest (especially if you are a cat lover) stuff on the internet. ICanHasCheezburger is one spot and CatsLOL is great also. They just seem to blithely and elegantly do things we least expect them to. Could we sit in boxes with such dignity as if this was our throne? Put out a box or a paper bag and the cat most likely will be there. If one wishes to consider them a trap, not severely so, just a way to humor us and our cat friends.

Cat_traps

Cats in boxes
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Women of the Gulag

One of the saddest and most interesting books I have read in the last few years was Bloodlands by Timothy Snyder. It describes the large area of land in eastern Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltics where the Germans and Soviets fought for control before, during, and after World War II. A large portion of the book discussed the Great Famine and Great Terror plus the purge that Stalin wrought on these countries and also the Russian Motherland itself. There will be a new book out called Women of the Gulag. It describes the effects of Stalin’s actions against the men in these women’s’ lives and the spillover to the women. To rise to the top and be brought down by a psychotic megalomaniac afraid of potential rivals. An article describing the book and 5 of the women is found here.

Russian woman
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Libsyn and Podcasts

What a great feeling when you tackle a challenge and get it done. I had not gone through their website process of publishing a podcast and its description. I loaded two of them today of 10 min. interviews with Dr. Jessica Quimby and on research funded by the Winn Feline Foundation. One place to check out Winn’s channel on Libsyn is at this link.
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1963

I came across this article in The Atlantic Magazine online. They posted 50 photos from the year 1963. A number of the photos were key influencers on issues of that day. One photos is of an older Buddhist monk who set himself ablaze in protest to the suppression of the monks in South Vietnam by the government. The photo helped to lead to the government’s downfall. Another was a police dog lunging a a black youth during marches in Alabama.This photo’s appearance got the Kennedy government more deeply involved in moving Civil Rights for African-Americans forward. Of course there are the photos of the time around President Kennedy’s assassination in November. An interesting read about this time in history is in Bill O’Reilly’s book, Killing Kennedy. A look at the world 50 years ago.
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Early Grant

Last night, Richard and Josi Lewis, our neighbors here in Berlin, invited us to dine out at Red Lobster in Eugene. We had a lively discussion. They are readers and book lovers too. We ended the evening at Barnes and Noble where I purchased as one of 3 books, an biography of Grant. I told them of a recent blog article of the Ohio Congressman, Thomas Hamer, who helped Grant get into West Point in one of the last slots he had available to give. The story of Thomas Hamer’s influence on history and what his loss might have meant to our country is found in the article here.

263x332xHamer045.jpg.pagespeed.ic.5hvaTxiXlPGeneral Thomas Hamer
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Small Accomplishments

Neighbors have invited us out to eat dinner in Eugene. It felt good to be able to say Yes and go out after getting some projects done. I have started the priorities Excel list I needed to do and also got started on ABVP case review work. I am starting to feel more in control of what I need to do.
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February Organizing

We did a bit of early organizing and tossing out of old papers and items. Just small steps in that area though it helps to feel we are making a start. More to do as we go along. A bit cloudy and depressing outside today, so a good day to try and get this started.
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Valentine's

Wow, a sunny day today. I may be catching up on items that need to be done for Winn and can start on personal management. Later on, we are going to the House of Noodles to eat a Valentine’s Dinner together.
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Rural America

An interesting article today on how rural America covers a large part of the United States yet they are becoming less and less relevant to government and the political arena. The larger cities and major government centers have control of the message and numbers. Rural Americans have to live at the whim and decisions of the metropolitan regions.
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Osama bin Laden Raid

Phil Bronstein wrote a fascinating piece for Esquire Magazine that describes the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. The article also focuses on the special forces units that do such daring work behind the scenes and how hard it is to re-assimilate back into a normal lifestyle.
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Details

Back at home again and working through a list of tasks to accomplish. Adder decided to run off yesterday and did not come home. Sending an email shout out to the neighbors brought about a call from Shirley Adams and her comment that he showed up at their house at 11 pm last night. Silly dog! He is all sore and tired today.
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Meetings

All morning consisted of our Winn board meeting. Lots to do and get done. Then off to the airport to get home from Houston by way of United. The flight was fine, left on time and got in early to Portland. One lady sitting a row ahead was also reading research grants though on breast cancer. In talking with her, she said they have found targeted immunoglobulins to be a huge advancement in the last few years, especially in the area of lung cancer. She said she was a medical oncologist. It would have been interesting to chat longer.
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Review

Our 2013 grant review was today. Half of the group was on a teleconference phone line, the rest were able to make it to Houston. Winn Feline Foundation is lucky to have such a great group of people wanting to help cats. Out to Chez Nous, a French restaurant for dinner tonight. Good food and drink all the way around. As the Marines say……….HoooRaaaa!
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Houston, We Have a Problem

Heading out the door at 8 a.m. Most flights out of the Northeast were canceled and so any of our group from there had to stay home and attend by call. I had to get all the info gathered for the meeting I could since I would be the backup go-to person. I am glad I had a First Class upgrade for the flight segments on this trip. Just to make me feel better and less stressed. Houston, here I come.
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Occam's Razor

Tomorrow I head off on a flight to Houston. The annual Winn grant review will be Saturday followed by a board meeting. I upgraded to a first class ticket using miles to treat myself. It has been a busy and stressful time over the last few months.
I found an interesting article about Occam’s Razor and its use in science. The article is here. The thought of keeping to the simplest or null hypothesis is in its way, comforting.

Science deals with facts, experiments and numerical representations of the natural world around us. Science does not deal with emotions, beliefs or politics, but rather strives to analyse matters dispassionately and in an objective way, such that in consideration of a given set of facts two different practitioners might come to the same interpretation….

William of Occam

William of Occam

Which brings us to the matter of Occam’s Razor and the null hypothesis. William of Occam (1285-1347) was an English Franciscan monk and philosopher to whom is attributed the saying ‘Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate’, which translates as ‘Plurality should not be posited without necessity.’ This is a succinct statement of the principle of simplicity, or parsimony, that was first developed by Aristotle and which has today come to underlie all scientific endeavour.
The phrase ‘Occam’s Razor’ is now generally used as shorthand to represent the fundamental scientific assumption of simplicity. To explain any given set of observations of the natural world, scientific method proceeds by erecting, first, the simplest possible explanation (hypothesis) that can explain the known facts. This simple explanation, termed the null hypothesis, then becomes the assumed interpretation until additional facts emerge that require modification of the initial hypothesis, or perhaps even invalidate it altogether.
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Shakespeare Uncovered

PBS has been showing different TV programs on some of Shakespeare’s plays using different actors to moderate the program. Tomorrow night should have Hamlet with David Tennant describing the play. The Tempest is the other one on the same evening. Information about PBS’ series is found here.
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The Plantagenets

With the discovery of Richard the III’s bones, a recent article online discussed the over 300 period the Plantagenet’s ruled England. The period began with Henry II, son of Queen Maude and Geoffrey of Anjou, and ended with the death of Richard. Henry the VIII did all he could to eliminate Plantagenet descendants who could have been a threat to the Tudor dynasty. He did a good job though some did carry through. I love the Plantagenet’s and their strong, often ruthless history. They were what drew me to love English history. It is fun to see it carried into today’s current news.

Plantagenet statue
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Old Bones

Exciting news today! They have confirmed that the skeleton located under a Leicester car park is the skeleton of King Richard lll of England. He was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 at the end of the War of the Roses. The used the DNA of direct descendants of his sister, Anne of York, to confirm. The plans are to reinter his remains at Leicester Cathedral early next year. Here is information regarding how this historical find came about.

richard-skeleton-1_2470042c
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God Made A Farmer

The Super Bowl is over for this year. The Forty-Niners ended up losing. Bob was very disappointed with the refereeing at the end that may have affected the final outcome. I just ate until I was too full. Common for us to do. Of course, the Super Bowl is also full of commercials that are launched that people have to pick their favorites. One that seemed to really resonate was a Dodge Ram commercial that used a vignette from Paul Harvey. The title is “So God made a farmer”. A commercial like this resonates in the Thayer household since we both came from farming or agricultural backgrounds in our own way. More vegetable farming in Bob’s, more beef and forestry in mine. Enjoy an outstanding commercial here.
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Monty Python

Was Monty Python irreverent? Were they revolutionary? Led to the collapse of normal life? They certainly were funny. Which ones are your favorites? The Cheese Shop? The Spanish Inquisition?
The Ministry of Silly Walks? Here is a take on the subject that the best of Monty Python were not always the funniest. I still think these are funny.

monty-python1-247x300
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Cats With Eyebrows

The newest cat sensation on the internet has black eyebrows on white. Too bad so much of this internet experience was not available when I was taking photos of patients. You can see Sam at two sites, Instagram and his own website. Someone is having fun taking photos of their cat.
So do you think this innocent looking cat, Sam, would be part of a tribe of bird and small mammal killers.
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