Friday Hodgepodge

Friday, August 05, 2022

Four Things

1. Preventing Multiple Sclerosis?

As a result of a conversation with my mother, I recalled recent work strongly suggesting that infection with the Epstein-Barr virus is the leading cause of multiple sclerosis.

I also recalled that the authors of the study suggested that vaccination could end or greatly reduce the incidence of that scourge. Not knowing even if there was such a vaccine in the works, I learned that one is in early trials:

EBV is a member of the herpes virus family and one of the most common human viruses. It is spread through bodily fluids, primarily saliva. An estimated 125,000 cases of infectious mononucleosis occur each year in the United States; roughly 10% of those persons develop fatigue lasting six months or longer. Approximately 1% of all EBV-infected individuals develop serious complications, including hepatitis, neurologic problems, or severe blood abnormalities. EBV also is associated with several malignancies, including stomach and nasopharyngeal cancers and Hodgkin and Burkitt lymphomas, as well as autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and multiple sclerosis.

"A vaccine that could prevent or reduce the severity of infection with the Epstein-Barr virus could reduce the incidence of infectious mononucleosis and might also reduce the incidence of EBV-associated malignancies and autoimmune diseases," said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.
I hope they are right and that this effort pays off. I lost my father to MS and would never wish that illness on anyone.

2. Google Maps for the Roman Empire

The Reconstruction page explains: offers a reconstruction of the Tabula Peutingeriana with internet technology. The Tabula Peutingeriana, also known as the Peutinger map, is a medieval copy of a Roman roadmap from about the year 300 CE. [link added]
The modern map includes a route planner.

3. Exemplary Circumlocution

Among the comments about a handbook on North Korean tactics at Hacker News was the following gem:
One might say that the apparently excessive overuse of nominalization and the remarkably high prevalence of redundant, duplicative, or otherwise unnecessary adjectives and adverbs serve as needless, pointless hindrances to the all-important readability of this critical document.
To be fair, the handbook is not so turgid as to defy a merely curious reader, but the commenter has a point.

Image by Sincerely Media, via Unsplash, license.
4. "What useful unknown website do you wish more people knew about?"

This is a great question and there is a rabbit-hole at Reddit dedicated to the question: You should spend some time there for the sake of some concentrated serendipity.

I say this because I did this a year or so ago and remembered that the thread listed a website that helps users find adhesives for unusual situations.

Fast forward several months and after a decorative clay bowl of ours got broken, and I was able to find the right adhesive to fix it.

Of course, there were several other sites I learned about that I immediately bookmarked or started using, too.

-- CAV


Unknown said...

Yo, Gus, regarding No. 2, here's a couple of other fine maps I don't think I've sent you. First, a map of every Roman settlement in 117 AD, from the aptly named Map Porn. Second, a massive map of medieval trade routes (11th-12th centuries) from Japan to Scotland and sub-Saharan Africa.

Gus Van Horn said...

Those are really neat. thanks!