Category Archives: Rants

Short and sweet rants on my favorite science topics

Roe v Wade: unfair distribution of burden

While i agree that the constitution does not have the right to provide the “right” to abortion, and while i do not think abortion is an appropriate form of contraception, pregnancy happens.

In my own case, the male (whom i married), was arrogant, impulsive, unwilling to change life style; I was weak, and wimpy and did what he asked.  I am not the only woman who has been, or will be in this situation. In truth, all i needed was for that male to say “awesome” i am going to be a father and there would never have been an abortion.  How ignorant are we all still of the differences in gender psyche… good grief.  How few men step up to the plate and become parents, fathers? Not that many.  …. And thus result of the act which required equal voluntary participation from man and woman, was left on my shoulders entirely  (not just once, but 5 times, for three children).  Some women need protection, I don’t need it now, but i did then.  I hope women are given that help. I hope men are included in any punishment or legal action. Where is the equity in this.

Since we see the burden of pregnancy and child rearing weighing most heavily on the woman…. the few males engaged in an equal burden. But they were gung-ho during sex.  How is it that they will be so little affected by this overturn of Roe v Wade, yet in cases of incest, rape they are the perps.  In cases where there are genetic defects where fetuses are not going to be viable at birth, who would force pregnancy and delivery on someone to watch a newborn die.

I am not for abortion at any time, BUT sometimes it is the better path. What that path is can be misued, ues, but I am for laying responsibility most directly on the shoulders where it should lie. I am for equal work and monetary investment for men, and women in child rearing…. that hasn’t happened. Make no mistake, this is a gender issue. Women are still the individuals who carry 99% of the burden of children, even in 2022, women of all races and creeds and nationalities and faiths bear that.  So we have lots of men, also every race creed and nationality who accept no physical burden, financial or emotional burden for child rearing.  How totally sad.

We best be voting out of office those who restrict personal medical rights, and condone forcing women to singly carry the responsibility for what is a shared burden at best, and forced burden at worst.

Econimically and socially, this is going to “be a snaffoo for lot of old white men”, ha ha.  watch the change in birth rate among poorer and darker skin people. Watch the cost of gov. substidized health care…. I hope that it comes right out of the pockets of the well off white men of considerable age.  That is what i hope.

A flat below middle C

I have a bad Aflat key below middle C.  I don’t know how to fix it, but i might try. But while bemoaning the fact I said to myself… it probably has a bad butt screw. I just laughed and said…. OK — i looked it up, more likely called a butt spring.

Image processing, signal processing? is doing both necessary?

I know well that the right brain – left brain dogma is overly popularized by the lay community, and it is easy to find discourse pro and con, but lateralization and uniqueness of each half and the terrific communication that occurs between the hemispheres is amazing, and a great area for research.
It clearly requires two hemispheres to be logical – or to be creative, and each offers valuable input, but for me, thinking in “visual” terms has become more pronounced as I have reinforced it with over the decades of microscopy. And what a wonderful evolutionary adaptation lateralization of the brain has been at providing a great exchange of perspective within a single individual’s ability to perceive what they see. This ultimately allows for inter-individual communication of ideas from those that favor one or the other approach to thought, to produce a truly global, universal “whole” mix of collective thought.
While my approach appears to be more visual, I rely on input from those that process information more numerically for help in solving problems.

Case in point is my own approach to finding out what surfactant protein D (SP-D) “looks like”, might show more neural activity in my right brain, were it mapped, while I was researching this subject.

My initial interest in SP-D, not surprisingly, came from “visual” input: albeit as an annoyance at a researcher who chose to use his “artistic licence” to produce what was an incredibly bad diagram (and to be fair, there exists a spectrum of diagrams of SP-D from the totally thoughtless to the acceptable (a couple listed here) (1, 2, 3, 4) which covered the truth that he really did not “know” in his mind’s eye what SP-D looked like even though he was researching it.

I immediately went on a quest to find every published diagram, drawing, rendering or molecular model, as well as running my own protein modeling of published sequences of SP-D on various online programs, which included those published models of the CRD and coiled coil neck on RCSB.  The search was to see if any peer-reviewed journals from surfactant research community had any models of SP-D which fit images seen under the microscope (in this case AFM, TEM (shadowing and negative staining).  None found to date.  Whats more, I found publications that totally ignored parts of the trimer, calling the CRD and neck region SP-D as if it were the “whole” of the protein, not emphasizing that it was in fact a protein that has not been completely moedled yet. The best description (as of this date 11-29-2021) there was one post on RCSB that referred to the SP-D model as a “fragment”  Kudos.

SP-D is a very interesing molecule that can multimerize, at several levels, and sometimes that organization affects function.  The models and the microscopic images provide more together than apart. I saved about 100 images from several publications (various techniques, but mostly AFM, upon which I used about a half a dozen image processing programs to ehnahce, upgrade, depixelate.  The purpose was to find a “commonality”. Those images were processed as a whole images, not just elements of the image, so I think it is/was justified. The image processing filters applied with the most successful (in my opinion) outcomes and producing the smooth and most informative grayscale plots (in my opinion) are the old standards.  Gaussian blur, unsharp mask, median, min, max (noise), and limit range.

The processed images were then assessed along a centered, segmented line trace of each arm (as the basic units of SP-D are trimeri arms) either in corelDRAW or ImageJ or Gwyddion (in which, in my experience, the latter doesnt really work here very well at all) and arm length was calculated in nm from the accompanying and simultaneously processed bar marker.  ImageJ has an easly run routine for grayscale measurements along those lines and was used to create plots exported to excel (.csv ). A screen print of the trace and resulting plot were saved with the data.  Brightness peaks were counted by eye (subjective) while the image was open in ImageJ as was peak number (subjective) counted while the grayscale plot was open in ImageJ.

Those plots were normalized over x and/or over x, y and peaks were counted again in BatchProcessing using  LTI (lag threshold and influence)(thus a semi-subjective count where any peak width of a single line width was ignored or if proximate to a bigge peak, blended), and also peaks were determined in ImageJ under the menu “find Maxima”, using three settings for “Maximum” points. These points were counted along the lines of the tracings only (ImageJ, Find Maxima; 0.5, 1, 2).

Frankly, data are all over the map. My favorite is the subjective count by eye.

My goal was to plot so many trimers that at some point the variations in the number of peaks along a plot  caused by random noise, preparation artifacts, image processing variations, publication quality, overlapping molecules, imperfect traces, etc,  would fade into a background noise that could be over come with appropriate “signal” processing of the plots and that the most likely (by some statistical measure) number of peaks along each trimer would emerge.

COMMENT: With access to a very interesting website on signal processing which defines the options for processing. and with the help of its creator I was able to learn how to use function code to assess plots (.csv plots of SP-D trimers) in Octave.  Looking over this website made me think carefully about signal processing of an image that had already been image processed….. was this in fact redoing what I had already done.  I considered the name of the algorithms being used…. they are remakrably similar, even identical names. Is this duplication….  what will be gained by signal processing my image processed signals.  (more later i hope)

CorelDRAW aggressive advertising: dont buy this software if you dont like to be contstantly bugged by popups

The more frequently you crash my CorelDRAW program with your adds dear Kohlberg Kravis Roberts of KKR, the more determinined I am to give you as much bad press as i can. How sad for you to ruin a company that was early on completely friendly with other platforms, and so kind to customers. You ruined it.  I havn’t found any fixes that work with windows 10 and corelDRAW x5.

Now that it is near black friday and the holidays, they are really bugging things, and often it causes the program i am using (two versions, CDRx5 and 19) to lose functions and then require a reboot.  Just too childish of them.    I would have been a customer for life. NOT NOW.

BEDE

Keeping house and yard together is a full time job, add to that my total addiction to pieces and puzzles (mosaic, quilts, stained glass, patterns etc)… and my daughter’s house and yard… all of which is falling into ruins… ha ha… but that’s oK, entropy and rebirth are part of life.

I just put my fingers on my new “pause” button, a polymer clay refrigerator magnet, and acknowledge my mortality haha.,… how funny that that piece of refrigerator art makes a difference…. i should be more intellectual and go pray, or meditate, or touch a reliqious mandala, or finger a japa mala, or kiss a talisman, or fondle worry beads…. OK now i have to look up the history of beads…… get this… “The word bead derives from the old Anglo-Saxon word “bede” (prayer). ” ha ha ha ha ha — i would never have guessed.

There is science behind this… amen.