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October 26, 2014

Yes really I'm reposting a FB post on the blog --guess that tells you how important it is

ummm I may have gotten a little grumpy here but...

Sorry FB friend-

I strongly disagree with you- Dr. Craig Spencer was self monitoring and when he had a fever he called MSF and there was a procedure in place which was implemented.

Re Kaci Hickox- I'm glad she is suing. I think we need to have a national discussion about this and the balance of personal rights and public health and the role of due process and appeal here. The NJ Gov keeps saying that she is sick and he hopes she gets well but that is not what the doctors are saying- they are saying she shows no symptoms. Not being able to speak with her lawyer when she is being kept against her will, that is not acceptable.

And don't even get me started about unintended outcomes-- Without even trying hard I came up with 6 ways to avoid this quarantine which actually would put more people at risk. I am very impressed that my Gov (Deval you rock) is making his decisions on this based on the advice of public health experts not pollsters. The idea that we are discouraging people from going to West Africa to stop the spread of Ebola is, well not smart.

I'm not saying this from the safety of my home. I fly a lot, mostly out of Boston and yes I have started wiping down the buttons, handrests etc on the plane and offer wipes to my seat mates because what the heck. But I've also been reading about what it takes to get Ebola (as you know I love PUBMED and I'm continuing to live my life and being very thankful to all those folks who have the courage and compassion to fight Ebola.

October 14, 2014

It's Ada Lovelace Day

As many of you know, today is Ada Lovelace Day where science bloggers are encouraged to "write a blog post about your STEM heroine". I had a lot of thoughts about who to write about, but then I read an NPR story, The Forgotten Female Programmers Who Created Modern Tech and realized that there are many people who don't know who Ada Lovelace is. So I'm writing about her. Ada Lovelace well actually her full name is Ada Bryan King, Countess of Lovelace, was an Analyst, Metaphysician, and Founder of Scientific Computing and is credited as being the world's first computer programmer. .

As wikipedia says, "As a young adult, her mathematical talents led her to an ongoing working relationship and friendship with fellow British mathematician Charles Babbage, and in particular Babbage's work on the Analytical Engine. Between 1842 and 1843, she translated an article by Italian military engineer Luigi Menabrea on the engine, which she supplemented with an elaborate set of notes of her own, simply called Notes. These notes contain what many consider to be the first computer program—that is, an algorithm designed to be carried out by a machine. Lovelace's notes are important in the early history of computers. She also developed a vision on the capability of computers to go beyond mere calculating or number-crunching while others, including Babbage himself, focused only on those capabilities.[8] Her mind-set of "poetical science" led her to ask basic questions about the Analytical Engine (as shown in her notes) examining how individuals and society relate to technology as a collaborative tool."

So as you work on your computer today, give a shout out to Ada