This is Joe McCarthy's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Joe McCarthy's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Joe McCarthy
Helping people relate.
Interests: People, places and things ... and the relationships among them.
Recent Activity
Image
Yesterday, I encountered some great instructional posts on programming, Python and the IPython Notebook. How to more effectively teach the concept of recursion (by Gustavo Duarte) How to use the web-based PythonTutor to learn Python (by Philip Guo) How to... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Gumption
@Laura: figuring out digestive issues can be quite the odyssey. Thanks for sharing some of your experience here, and best wishes as you continue your journey.
1 reply
Image
In my last post, I was waxing poetic about an IPython Notebook demonstration that was one of my highlights from Strata 2014: "this one got me the most excited about getting home (or back to work) to practice what I... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Gumption
@Rodrigo: I can't determine what might have happened from your comment. If you copy and paste your session - removing or masking any passwords - I might be able to suggest a course of action.
1 reply
Image
I attended my first Strata conference last week. The program offered a nice blend of strategic and technical insights and experiences regarding the design and use of "big data" systems. Atigeo was a sponsor, and I spent much of my... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2014 at Gumption
@carolyn:Thanks for confirming that others feel the pain, and for introducing the perspective of a conference speaker into the equation. A few years ago, I posted a related rant about the dark side of digital backchannels in shared physical spaces, in reaction to danah boyd's reaction to having conference hashtag tweets posted on a screen behind her while she was giving a presentation, which proved to be rather disruptive. I believe we can all benefit from the more judicious use of shared resources, digital & physical.
1 reply
@Una: I am sad to learn that your 6 year old is experiencing severe pain. Although we no longer believe Amy has fructose malabsorption, she still occasionally experiences related symptoms, including episodes of severe abdominal cramping. Yoga, meditation and other mindfulness practices seem to help during some episodes. The most severe episodes still require analgesic opioids (Dilaudid, or hydromorphone hydrochloride) administered via IV in an emergency room. I am at a loss for what to suggest for a 6 year old, but I hope you and your daughter are able to find relief!
1 reply
@Tim: glad to have provided a tipping point for reading the book; your blog & tweets have provided similar tipping points for me in the past. The challenges for "success" on the edges are especially burdensome for someone in graduate school or in a tenure-track (but pre-tenure) appointment, two of the most vulnerable career stages / paths I know of. Whenever one must gain approval from "the powers that be" - to be awarded a degree or a lifetime appointment - those powers are formidable ... and often rather traditionalist. I'll be interested to see what your PhD student uncovers ... and hope he/she is able to succeed in studying the edges and their impact.
1 reply
Any sufficiently large number of signals is indistinguishable from noise. I suspect this principle does not figure prominently in the consciousness of people who are live-tweeting from conferences or other physical world events, or participating in purely virtual tweet chats.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2013 at Gumption
Image
I didn't physically attend Strata NY + Hadoop World this year, but I did watch the keynotes from the conference. O'Reilly Media kindly makes videos of the keynotes and slides of all talks available very soon after they are given.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2013 at Gumption
Image
Stuart Firestein brilliantly captures the positive influence of ignorance as an often unacknowledged guiding principle in the fits and starts that typically characterize the progression of real science. His book, Ignorance: How It Drives Science, grew out of a course... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2013 at Gumption
@aaron: I'm glad you've found some relief through the avoidance of FODMAPs. I had not encountered a reference to sodium cromoglycate before, but have read about a wide variety of medications (often typically prescribed for other conditions) that seem to work for some people. Although we no longer believe Amy has (or had) fructose malabsorption, intermittent gastrointestinal trauma and PTSD are significant factors in her ongoing health challenges. @Dennis: Thanks for sharing your experience with this multifarious and multifaceted disorder. I am glad to read that your symptoms have been eliminated. Given our own experience with a [self-proscribed] misdiagnosis of FM, and having read so many stories about others' experiences with related symptoms and idiosyncratic salves and solutions, I find it difficult to interpret the generalizability of any claims of a cure. @Liz: we similarly found it very useful to pay close attention to the fructose:glucose ratio of any and all foods when Amy was symptomatic. I'm glad you are able to successfully manage your symptoms through supplementing your diet with glucose pills.
1 reply
Image
O'Reilly Media is my primary resource for all things Data Science, and the new O'Reilly book on Data Science for Business by Foster Provost and Tom Fawcett ranks near the top of my list of their relevant assets. The book... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2013 at Gumption
Robb: nice to read from you! I agree that just making a decision can often be challenging. I'm reminded of yet another segment on David Whyte's CD collection where he quotes a passage from poet Antonio Marchado: When anyone moves on, no matter how little, it is like Jesus walking on water. Here's to moving on!
1 reply
Image
I recently accepted an offer to assume the role of Director, Analytics and Data Science, at Atigeo LLC. This career transition mostly marks a shift of title and status, as I've been consulting at Atigeo as a Principal Scientist for... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2013 at Gumption
@rob: Thanks for the information about possible linkage between FM and depression via serotonin, and sorry for the delay in responding (somehow, the comment notification email escaped my notice). There is a 2011 article on Fructose Intolerance and Depression at LiveStrong.com which references a 1998 study on the linkage between fructose malabsorption and depression. I wonder if that is what you are thinking of. In any case, I wish you all the best on your journey! @Alison: thanks for sharing some of what you've learned. FM does seem to promote (and even require) a great deal of experimentation with - and attention to - what is ingested in any modality.
1 reply
Image
I've been using the Delicious social bookmarking web service for many years as a way to archive links to interesting web pages and associate tags to personally categorize - and later search for - their content [my tags can be... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2013 at Gumption
@sam: thanks for sharing your experiences with FM and various treatments. Reading your comment after listening to an NPR story this morning about a mother and daughter injured in the Boston Bombing facing a new future - and struggling to regain their former sense of independence - reminds me of just how devastating the early stages of adjustment can be. The relative invisibility of FM offers special social challenges, often requiring either explanations or deflections, as you note. One of the other aspects highlighted in that story, that I think is relevant here, is the strength and hope the mother and daughter both derived from visits by a veteran U.S. Marine - and amputee - who demonstrated that it is possible to rebuild one's life after devastation. I hope others will similarly draw strength and hope from the stories you and others have shared here (and elsewhere) about perseverance, challenges and whatever palliative successes you encounter along the way.
1 reply
@Bethann: Richard is the one who first helped me recognize how well Rhone-style reds pair with foods; his pairing of a Domaine de Marcoux Chateneuf du Pape with turkey during a Thanksgiving dinner at your house many years ago was a watershed (or perhaps wineshed?) experience for me in this regard. I hope all's well on your end, too ... and that whatever recipe Gary chooses for tuna works out well!
1 reply
@Nancy: thanks for sharing the additional resources. @Elizabeth: thanks for sharing the story of your odyssey. Amy has also added several foods back to her diet. Our current hypothesis is that the fructose malabsorption may have been secondary to / triggered by some other disorder (e.g., SIBO), and that the subsequent reduced frequency and severity of reactions to formerly problematic foods may be due to the primary disorder having abated. In any case, it's great that you've reached a stable state, and we wish you all the best as your journey continues!
1 reply
Image
The cover of Gayle Laakmann McDowell's book, Cracking the Coding Interview, and links to her Career Cup web site and Technology Woman blog are included in the slides I use on the first day of every senior (400-level) computer science... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2012 at Gumption
@my2girls: The experience of being undiagnosed, or having questionable diagnoses - despite seeing numerous specialists and having innumerable tests - seems to be common among many who suffer from digestive disorders. I'm glad to read you have found your own personal safe zone with respect to tolerated foods. Amy's fructose malabsorption appears to have been temporary and likely secondary to other causes (perhaps SIBO?), and she can now safely eat several of the foods that were off limits during the darkest days of the elimination diet. From my earlier research and reading, I suspect the temporary / limited nature of her fructose malabsorption is more the exception than the rule, but I also know that finding and resolving the core cause of digestive disorders often takes decades, and many sufferers reach a stage where a diagnosis and treatment (or response) - such as a severely limited diet - offers sufficient relief from symptoms that they suspend the search so that they can get on with their lives. We still don't know what is really going on in Amy's gut. We go through periods where we resume the search for answers (or questions), but also have long periods where we try not to think too much about the whole thing, especially as there does seem to be a psychosomatic component (i.e., thinking about the problem itself sometimes precipitates an exacerbation of symptoms). At this moment, her weight appears to have stabilized around 115 lbs, and she has seen some small gains over the past few weeks. She still suffers periodic episodes of abdominal cramping of varying degrees of severity, as well as other symptoms, but they no longer appear to be as closely linked to what she is eating. She is developing greater capabilities of awareness, mindfulness and acceptance, and this appears to be helping smooth things out a bit. We wish you all the best as you navigate your own digestive health odyssey. It seems that while there are many common symptoms and emotions, each person's journey is different. We can relate to frustration and feelings of defeat, and we hope you will persevere as you continue the process of understanding and responding to both the common and special challenges you encounter!
1 reply
@Mandybohiken: While FM may not be directly life-threatening, I agree that it is severely lifestyle-threatening at a breadth and depth that is not readily comprehended by anyone who has not had to live with such restrictions. I wish you all the best in adjusting to the restrictions and exploring new, substitute channels of fun and joy!
1 reply
@Robb: nice to read from you. Thanks for the updates, and the encouraging words about joint-related surgery. Jeff was quite the tastemaker with his album collection in college; I'll create a Pandora station for Trampled by Turtles to learn more about Jeff's more recent tastes. @Eric: thanks for the the contribution; I've added it to the list. Seems that musica requitur sequitur is more the norm than the exception with Pink Floyd's albums.
1 reply
Image
Since my shoulder surgery 4 weeks ago, I've been spending a lot of time developing software and listening to Pandora. The pain meds (oxycodone & hydrocodone) put me in a bit of a brain fog, limiting the effective breadth and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2012 at Gumption