Posts Tagged ‘Lidar and Mahendraparvata’



June 24, 2013

I missed Meet the Press today so I was in a much better mood all morning; I caught a taped Chris Matthews show that was a compilation of the last 11 seasons and featured how well his changing group of panelists predicted outcomes to news of the day, and, although it brought back TOO MANY memories  of the George W. era, it was a kinder, gentler program than the live one is these days – even Chris Matthews was civil.

Nevertheless, there was news other than the storms and the electrical outages, and the fact it will take Xcel working as fast as they can with a crew of 1000 until possibly Wednesday to get the last 99,000 persons back on the grid.  How lucky I have been here…no trees to clean up, no house repairs….no cleaning out of food from freezers and refrigerators and no reading by flashlight!

The Brodkorb Story

So my news day started with irritation over the Brodkorb story making Section A “above the fold” status as if it were equal to not just the storm, but the medical research so severely impacted by budget cuts.  Both Koch and Brodkorb were out of line but in the last 50 years, if anyone’s misdeeds would have traditionally been overlooked, it would have been those of the “boss”.

Generally, the one in the power position (usually the man) and usually the initiator escapes unscathed – often to repeat again and again.  The one with a lessor position of power (usually the woman) –often participating- fearing loss of job asretribution if she did not- generally lost her job in the aftermath anyway.

This time around because of the official role reversals, the female power position was terminated, as was the male direct report.

Were I Koch, holding the historically untouchable power position, I might have been justified to think it was discrimination to be removed from office because I was a woman.  After all, men in the power position are not dismissed for the same offence.

But that is not how it played out.  After all, Brodkorb had had several “incidents” with others before Koch, and although he was male, in this case, he was the direct report so following tradition, he just had to go-no discrimination there – they overlooked he was the male.  

So because of the role reversal, two were removed, and Brodkorb got a taste of what women all over the United States feared for years and years  even though he was a male. And surprise!  It made him mad- obviously, what had been good for the goose, was not so good for the gander so HE is the one suing for discrimination because of his (oft-repeated) unacceptable behavior.

I am really hoping this case is settled quickly and he loses. Nothing would be better than part of the settlement would include financially making payment back to us, the citizens of Minnesota for $200,000 and counting of state expenses this nonsense is costing us!

Young American Indian Women and the Opiate Problem

For all of those who would prefer to deny it, one more time, we read this morning there has been a 3695% increase in abuse of opiates and heroin between 1998 -2011 in the American Indian Community. (Yes, three thousand six hundred and ninety-five percent).

In Minnesota, the Midwest American Indian Advisory Council representing 11 Minnesota reservations has initiated discussions with chemical addiction counselors and public health officials to determine WHY and how to help.

Of particular concern-very young American Indian women addicted; often pregnant.  Suzanne Koepplinger, Executive Director of MN Indian Women’s Resource Center says “self-medicating often is a response to sexual violence…they are trying to cope with the deep pain.”

We cannot always fix problems-often originating with us, with white man prejudices and solutions. We need to find a better way to address this.  So I particularly applaud the idea of tapping into “sacred medicines, traditional values and the wisdom of the American Indian elders” rather than relying on that of the white man.

“Lidar” Technology and Mahendraparvata

“Lidar” technology gave me the shivers this morning.  How long ago was it that a young Linda Zurfleih –in awe- shared with me the “discovery” of the now famous Angkor Wat temples complex in Cambodia…and today we learn lidar laser technology used from an airplane has created a 3-d map of a buried lost city of Mahendraparvata – 145 miles from Angkor Wat.  Amazing!

Bio-Medical Research  

If I am not experiencing enough “cultural shock” as I work my way through my latest read – “The New Digital Age”, today in the Strib, I learned much more about tissue engineering and the Big Brain atlas – a 3D virtual brain and I am both in awe and totally freaked out!

At the same time, it was a nice reinforcement to read I have made the right choices as I rejected pain meds and even Tylenol to help with all the residual effects and pain of that awful fall now eleven years ago.

But neither story helped soften the impact of the main one – medical research budgets.

Research for Alzheimer’s and other “cascading medical challenges of an aging population is slowing…we cannot train the next generation of scientists…current scientists are leaving the field – all because of funding cuts to medical research over the last decade.

Does this make sense?

Our greatest cost in upcoming years is the aging population and their health issues so we cut funding that targets that very problem to a point that we are now spending less as a percentage of GDP than Israel, Japan, Korea, Sweden and Switzerland.  China increased their budget 26% last year and will spend $300 billion on biotechnology research over the next 5 years.

Biomedical research spending increased from 2-20+% last year in India, China, Brazil, S. Korea, Japan, Germany, Australia, and the UK.  As for the US, we cut 5% and seem to be ok with qualified scientists working without staff; some working full time on partial salaries themselves; and at least one exists only through the help of food stamps.

Hopefully since these troubles were aired at a Klobuchar discussion meant to discuss a new initiative to map the neurons of the human brain, our good Senator will be able to call attention to the issue and start a discussion in DCA on the damage these funding decisions are doing to not only our state, but also our country.

Of course, it did occur to me that the only way the angry old birds can be right in all their complaints about Obamacare is to stop funding in the short term for discoveries and treatments that would minimize the impact of medical costs of an aging population. 

After all, it is low risk to them, I believe-if I remember right, as members of the Legislature, they receive health care for life. (Oh dear, how bad am I to be that suspicious of these guys?)





Opps- sorry for this highlighting here- not sure how it happened, but cannot get it to undo – I am blaming it on the storms and electrical problems in Mpls rather than deleting the whole entry and redoing. Good night!