Author Topic: Random Thoughts Anew  (Read 9332 times)

mahagonny

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Re: Random Thoughts Anew
« Reply #195 on: December 23, 2020, 07:54:46 AM »
In my job you have to do some weird things sometimes.  I just cut a check for over $500 to an alarm monitoring company--to pay for having them wake me up in the middle of the night several times a year.  Thanks, guys!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71smG5d29to

nonsensical

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Re: Random Thoughts Anew
« Reply #196 on: December 26, 2020, 01:02:29 PM »
The vaccine will allow your body to recognize it very early, destroy it, and therefore prevent it from taking over, and thereby keeping you (95%) safe.

Makes sense, thank you!

Puget

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Re: Random Thoughts Anew
« Reply #197 on: December 26, 2020, 01:55:20 PM »
I thought I understood a little bit about how vaccines work, but the more I read the more I think I don't understand anything. My impression from reading about the COVID vaccines, to the small extent that I've done so, is that they teach your immune system how to fight COVID. So if I take this vaccine and then am exposed to COVID, my immune system still has to exert itself to fight the virus, right? Would I feel that in some kind of way, like feeling a little sick but not as sick as full-blown COVID? If i wouldn't feel it, why not? How is it that my body is fighting an illness and I would just go about my day as usual and not feel anything different?

Also, if that's how the vaccine works, I don't think I understand why people currently have such different responses to COVID, with cases ranging from mild to severe. Is it the case that knowledge of how to fight COVID is a continuum? So, like, some people's immune systems are currently failing that class and some people's immune systems are C students, and the vaccine makes your immune system an A student?

I am not actually expecting anyone on this thread to take the time to educate me about this (though, if anyone felt like typing out some thoughts in response to this, I'd appreciate whatever education I get!). I am just having a lot of thoughts, that I suppose are random, about how medicine and biology and bodies work. I also feel kind of silly that I don't understand these things, but I comfort myself with the thought that I know a lot about some things, and this happens to not be one of them yet.

With the caveat that I'm definitely not an immunologist, here goes:

The immune response has two phases. The first is the innate response, and is not specific to any particular pathogen -- it just reacts to anything foreign. The second phase the adaptive response, which are specific to a particular pathogen. It is activated when antigen presenting cells (APCs) detect antigens (surface molecules) on the pathogen, and present them to B and T cells, which then produce antibodies, among other things. After encountering an antigen, memory B and T cells are also produced, which can quickly re-activate the adaptive response if that particular pathogen is encountered again.

Vaccines take advantage of those memory cells. In particular, the two vaccines that have been approved so far both use mRNA that codes the spike protein on the coronavirus. Your cells take the fragments of mRNA and translate them into the protein, because that's what cells do with mRNA (this is the same process viruses hijack to replicate themselves in cells, but in this case it is just the spike protein, so is harmless)---- this is the antigen.

The APCs then recognize that protein as foreign and present it on their surface, mounting the adaptive immune response and generating memory cells that will now react immediately if they encounter the actual virus. This speeds up the immune response, so the virus can't replicate enough to make you sick (or hopefully be transmitted to others, though that hasn't been established yet). You would have no symptoms for very mild symptoms. Your immune system is always active-- you always have pathogens of various kinds getting into your body, but your immune system destroys most of them before they can make you sick. So most of the time you are indeed going about your day blissfully unaware of what your immune system is up to.

Older vaccines work much the same way, except prior to having the tools to create custom snippets of mRNA, they worked by using dead or weakened whole viruses, a longer and more hit or miss process.

As to why there is a whole range of symptoms from the virus, immune responses vary across people (due to age and other health factors), so some are much more able to fight it off effectively than others, and some people mount such a strong immune response that the immune reaction itself becomes dangerous. The immune system is immensely complex and requires a fine balance between under and over-reacting.
"Never get separated from your lunch. Never get separated from your friends. Never climb up anything you can't climb down."
–Best Colorado Peak Hikes

nonsensical

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Re: Random Thoughts Anew
« Reply #198 on: December 26, 2020, 02:21:15 PM »
Puget, that's a really clear explanation, thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to type all of that out. Also, thinking about vaccines is making me really appreciate immune systems and the other cool things that bodies do. And, you know, science.

Economizer

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Re: Random Thoughts Anew
« Reply #199 on: December 27, 2020, 01:27:50 AM »
The stress of these times brought on by worries caused by Covid 19, mine and my family's health and financial wellbeing, etc., has caused me lose my Southern Drawl a bit. I find myself speaking in a more clipped, or staccato one might say, manner. If others seem to recognize that in themselves, I can suggest they relax their vowels. I have found this very helpful to me in returning to my "normal" tone.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2020, 01:32:31 AM by Economizer »
So, I tried to straighten everything out and guess what I got for it.  No, really, just guess!

apl68

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Re: Random Thoughts Anew
« Reply #200 on: December 31, 2020, 07:49:22 AM »
In the (all too many) obituaries I've been seeing this year, I've seen a marked proliferation in the use of elaborate euphemisms for death--passed into glory, joined the angel choir, etc.  I appreciate the faith that's expressed in these, but let's not beat around the bush.  They died.  Just like we all do.

When I breathe my last, I hope that my obituary says "apl68 died on such and such a day.  Is looking forward to getting better soon."
Don't lay up treasures for yourselves on Earth, where they can decay or be stolen.  Lay up treasures for yourselves in Heaven, where there is no decay or theft.  Where your treasure is, you heart will be also.


You can't take it with you.  You can only send it on ahead.

ciao_yall

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Re: Random Thoughts Anew
« Reply #201 on: December 31, 2020, 09:08:28 AM »
In the (all too many) obituaries I've been seeing this year, I've seen a marked proliferation in the use of elaborate euphemisms for death--passed into glory, joined the angel choir, etc.  I appreciate the faith that's expressed in these, but let's not beat around the bush.  They died.  Just like we all do.

When I breathe my last, I hope that my obituary says "apl68 died on such and such a day.  Is looking forward to getting better soon."

I am requesting my obit say "cial_yall blew this taco stand on..." Please consider this a written record as such, and if you hear about me doing so in real life you may contact whomever you wish and share this final request.

Puget

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Re: Random Thoughts Anew
« Reply #202 on: December 31, 2020, 09:21:48 AM »
Puget, that's a really clear explanation, thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to type all of that out. Also, thinking about vaccines is making me really appreciate immune systems and the other cool things that bodies do. And, you know, science.

The NYT has a really nice illustrated explainer here:
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/health/moderna-covid-19-vaccine.html?name=styln-coronavirus-vaccines&region=TOP_BANNER&block=storyline_menu_recirc&action=click&pgtype=Interactive&impression_id=e118a1b0-4b8a-11eb-8ff2-7bb119c71e36&variant=1_Show

Or as summarized by XKCD: https://xkcd.com/2404/
Also, I love this one: https://xkcd.com/2397/

"Never get separated from your lunch. Never get separated from your friends. Never climb up anything you can't climb down."
–Best Colorado Peak Hikes

downer

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Re: Random Thoughts Anew
« Reply #203 on: January 05, 2021, 06:43:14 AM »
If I have to log on to a website and follow detailed instructions in order to see my student evaluations, I'm even less likely to bother.
"Change takes courage." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

apl68

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Re: Random Thoughts Anew
« Reply #204 on: January 13, 2021, 01:36:17 PM »
Even though it has now been most of a year, I still can't help thinking of the irony every time I go to the bank and see a sign ordering customers to put on a mask before entering.  Used to they had signs discouraging people from entering with hoodies and sunglasses!
Don't lay up treasures for yourselves on Earth, where they can decay or be stolen.  Lay up treasures for yourselves in Heaven, where there is no decay or theft.  Where your treasure is, you heart will be also.


You can't take it with you.  You can only send it on ahead.

writingprof

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Re: Random Thoughts Anew
« Reply #205 on: January 13, 2021, 01:42:28 PM »
The phrase "no pun intended" is now completely disassociated, for most humans, from the presence of puns.

downer

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Re: Random Thoughts Anew
« Reply #206 on: January 14, 2021, 08:06:16 AM »
If you are not sure a class is going to run, how close to the start of the semester do you wait to do the prep? I think I'm going to wait as long as possible.
"Change takes courage." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

mahagonny

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Re: Random Thoughts Anew
« Reply #207 on: January 14, 2021, 08:54:51 AM »
If you are not sure a class is going to run, how close to the start of the semester do you wait to do the prep? I think I'm going to wait as long as possible.

Your predicament is absolutely common and were it to be the subject of a new thread, would doubtless produce Polly_Mer pronouncing that whatever befalls you it can only be your fault for being an adjunct.
All of it is your fault, the febrile, verbose response would go -- the poor money, the accepting of the terms, the lack of compensation for cancellation, the lack of teeth in union membership, etc. With the rest of the forum, most of it, giving the usual extremely wide berth out of passive complicity.
There are of course people who've stopped reading the forum because of this toxicity. And others who would read the thread and quit reading the forum as a consequence.
It's why forums such as these, which exist to fortify the tenure track and its massive needs, are a cesspool for discussing legitimate adjunct concerns, and why your post appears as a random thought rather than an inquiry.
On the old forum there was poster named Infopri who absolutely had the sweetest most deferential adjunct attitude possible. She ran a thread where she told a story of spending the whole summer prepping a course that never ran, after having been asked explicitly. Her only reflection was 'how might I have handled this differently?' It was left to the reader to supply the 'WTF' reaction. This is really the right way to do it, these fora being dedicated to maintaining our employment and us as sacrificial components.
Lack uf nuance. I know. Because sometimes a steaming pile of shit that a group of people choosing to call something else in order to keep the status quo is just a steaming pile of shit, with people denying it.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2021, 09:09:06 AM by mahagonny »

apl68

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Re: Random Thoughts Anew
« Reply #208 on: January 15, 2021, 08:01:31 AM »
Why did I wake up this morning with a TV advertising jingle I haven't heard in probably 30 years or more stuck in my head?

I guess whoever created that jingle did a good job of making it memorable.
Don't lay up treasures for yourselves on Earth, where they can decay or be stolen.  Lay up treasures for yourselves in Heaven, where there is no decay or theft.  Where your treasure is, you heart will be also.


You can't take it with you.  You can only send it on ahead.

mamselle

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Re: Random Thoughts Anew
« Reply #209 on: January 15, 2021, 08:51:55 AM »
Same with 1950s/60s sit-com themes.

One morning it was, "A horse is a horse, of course, of course..."

(Sorry...)

M.
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.