Friday, August 27, 2010

Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Spondyloarthritis: Abstract and Introduction

This is a good source of information on how MRI technique can be very useful to SA sufferers – in fact, the study claims that MRI and TNF are the two greatest technological improvements in the treatment of Ankylosing Spondylitis.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Spondyloarthritis: Abstract and Introduction

Be Grateful for what One has…

By Derek Andrews

Imagine this scenario.

There are thirty-three of you. All miners, probably all male. And you are trapped after a tunnel collapse in your copper-mine. Your mine in the South American country of Chile.

Normally, and sadly, you would not survive despite frantic attempts by hundreds of people to rescue you, with many millions more praying and holding you in their thoughts.

This is different.

After 18 days rescuers have been able to make contact with you and seen some of your faces on their camera-probe. Those images are shown around the world.There is huge relief that you are all alive and in reasonably good shape. You have air supply from existing air ducts plus some food and fluids. You are in a shelter area the size of a small apartment.

You have been able to pass scribbled notes via the miniature camera-probe, back to the surface. Everyone is cheering and your President is almost in tears. There is no sense of panic and arrangements are being made to pass re-hydration gel tablets, food and basic medicines to you.

But, engineers say that it may take four months to reach you to extricate you and re-unite you with your families.

That's right. FOUR MONTHS. Hopefully you will be out for Christmas.

The moral of this story ?

Be grateful for what you have in life and please keep these brave and probably frightened miners in your thoughts and prayers.


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Northampton, England:My Kinda Town:


By Derek Andrews

And by the by, its Old England not New England we're talking about here !

NORTHAMPTON, Northamptonshire, UK

Northampton has been around since the Iron Ages when it was just a few dwellings. Fast forward to the 11th century and it was a thriving town with a castle, market square and a Multi-Plex. No, I made that last bit up to check you're paying attention. The market square with its market every day except Sunday still thrives today and is one of the largest and oldest in the country. Way back in the early 12th century, Thomas Beckett (of whom  The Young King Henry in exasperation plead "Will no-one free me of this turbulent priest ?") was briefly imprisoned at the castle but escaped to London and then to the continent. Cue famous English joke based on truth about "Fog in Channel. Continent cut off". Brits an insular race? Heaven forbid.Later he was assassinated by several Knights in Canterbury Cathedral. Becketts Park is one of several noble parks in the town. The castle sadly has long gone. Strange that many castles in the UK are still standing proud but some have disappeared. I guess you got rogue builders even then.

NORTHAMPTON, Northamptonshire, UK

In the middle-ages Northampton became a major centre for the shoe-making industry and at its hey-day supplied boots to the Kings army. I believe the King got his especially from Nieman Marcus though. The shoe trade has to all intents also collapsed though the Doc Marten factory is still here and several specialist shops such as Churchs. There is another small factory close to where I live that attracts even Italians, who know a thing or two about footwear. Recently Roberto Mancini, the manager of Premier League soccer club Manchester City (known as the noisy neighbours by supporters such as myself who worship at the Theatre of Dreams aka Old Trafford, home of Manchester United)was seen visiting there. My own street (well I don't actually own it, but you know what I mean) consists of terraced houses all of which were built in the 19th century for the out-workers of the shoe-trade. The local soccer team is affectionately known as the Cobblers. My house was built in 1888, the very year Jack the Ripper was doing his thing in Whitechapel. Kinda creepy association.

There was a Battle of Northampton in  1264 when King Henry 111 finished as the winner and the runners up mainly killed. A second Battle of Northampton was fought in 1460 at Delapre Abbey and King Henry V1 was captured. I expect he wished for some V1 rockets to aid him. The Civil War was fought in the mid 1600's between the army of King Charles 1 and the forces of  Oliver Cromwell. The defining battle of the conflict was at Naseby, just 12 miles from Northampton. The end of the end so to speak for the King came after being tried by Parliament and beheaded at the Banqueting House in London's Whitehall. Oh well, they say you can't take it with you.

Equidistant from the town are the grounds of Althorp House, the family home of the Spencers and where the late, much-missed Princess Diana is buried on an island in a lake. The day of her funeral brought the country to a halt, not least in Northampton where the market traders unanimously decided not to open their stalls on that emotional Saturday. For them to pay their respects in such a way, on their busiest day and for the first time in over 800 years, says much about Diana's place in the public psyche. Truly the Peoples Princess.

During the 1960's many of Britain's older  buildings were pulled down  and replaced with hideous concrete slabbed buildings. A decade when Britain gave so much to the world (well OK the Beatles and Carnaby Street) but destroyed a lot of its heritage. Sad and it will surely not happen again.

More recently the town is proud to be the home-town of Francis Crick, one of the two scientists who discovered the double-helix, leading to the realisation by Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys of the properties and potential of DNA. Leicester University, where he worked is also very close to Northampton.

Major large companies who are headquartered in Northampton include Barclaycard, Carlsberg Brewery, Avon Products, Coca-Cola and Texas Instruments.

The population is about 200,000 but growing fast. In fact it will increase by two next May when my American wife and our cat arrive as permanent residents. My wife and I married at Northamptons Victorian Guildhall in November 2008.I think she will be the second most famous American to be associated with the town as Judy Carne has is permanently back in the UK and living here in Northampton, her home town.

.NOTE BY Mike Burt:

Northampton also has some personal meanings for me:  I have some direct ancestors from the mid-second millennium who also hailed from Northampton in the UK, and when my wife and I honeymooned in NEW England, we spent a couple days at Northampton, Mass.  While strolling about, we encountered a memorial to the last man to be killed by Indians in the valley wherein Northampton, Mass, rests.  His name was Bartlett, and as it happens he was descended from the UK Northampton family.  At the time, I didn’t know this – it wasn’t for another ten years that I would learn that the man memorialized was a great (x9) grandfather on my father’s side of the family.  I hope one day to spend some meaningful time in old Northampton!  - MB

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Virtual Tour : The Mystical Dazu Rock Carvings

This site is amazingly detailed and beautiful, as well as mysterious and of great use to archaeologists and anthropologists interpreting Chinese life between the 9th and 13th centuries.  The link takes us to a really brilliant virtual tour.

Virtual Tour : The Mystical Dazu Rock Carvings

A Blog Guest Author with a UK perspective

I’ve often thought it might be fun to have the occasional guest blogger here, and the first person I thought of is Derek Andrews.  I am so pleased that he has done me the honor of writing a few pieces for the Bully Pulpit.

Over the past couple of years I have come to really enjoy reading the posts online of a good friend I’ve come to know through the internet alone.  Since I enjoy his writing style, very eclectic and often similar topical interests to my own, I asked him to write some items for the Bully Pulpit.  He submitted several, which you can easily find by clicking on his name in the Quick Links column.  Here is the bio Derek offers as a brief introduction, along with several blog posts I’ll be adding today, to give us a quick introduction to Derek Andrews:

  • Born December 1945 in England.

  • Married to an American

  • Lived and worked in the U.S. for five years. (Based in Kansas City, MO but visited every Lower 48 state, except Maine.)

  • Has been lucky enough to have travelled extensively worldwide.

  • Son and daughter from first marriage (39 and 41)

  • Occupation: Retired

  • Working life: (UK) Insurance Industry  (25 years)

                     (UK) Driving Instructor    (11 years)

                     (USA) Professional Delivery Driver (5 years)

  • Interests: Travel,Current Affairs,Photography, most sports (particularly Soccer, Motor Sport and Tennis), Writing, Military History, True Crime,Carpentry and much more.

  • Manchester United supporter since age 11.

  • Part-owner of a cat called Moongazer.                  

Derek has become a good friend over the past couple of years, though we’ve never met in person.  I do hope someday to meet him personally – either in Northampton or somewhere in the US.   I thank him for his interesting submissions! 


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Massive solar storm to hit Earth in 2012 with 'force of 100m bombs' - Yahoo! India News

The current wave of “Mega-disaster” (after all, would people really watch tv shows and news reports if they were only reporting regular old disasters?) programs, books, articles and the now ubiquitous “internet chatter”, can now add to it this forecast for a very significant solar storm in 2012.  With space junk, magnetic pole reversal, asteroid and meteor and all the usual possible disasters that are possible, it surely seems that I might want to pull a Rip Van Winkle and snooze for the year in2012.

Massive solar storm to hit Earth in 2012 with 'force of 100m bombs' - Yahoo! India News

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Sunshine on Discovery Bay

Sunshine on Discovery Bay
As always, the photos we use are either my own, or in the public domain. Please let me know if there are any errors and I'll correct them immediately.