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Interests: This site is just a start. I am hoping to eventually develop a website (not just a blog) that is full of educational info on TB, with appropriate sections for physicians/health care workers, researchers, and laypersons. See my blog category on Building a TB Website for the updates on how my search for funding for this endeavor is going. That said, with a complete lack of funding, we're stuck with this (nearly free) format for now. So here's how the blog format works: there are categories on the left side of your screen. Most categories will have updated, relevant scientific publications, except for the news categories, which will have links to up-to-date news items. I'm slowly going chronologically backwards and popping in older entries into these categories as well, but this will take some time. There's a mechanism for readers to comment on any entry -- I'd love to see that, to test this format as a forum for discussions on scientific publications. Once I get funding for a full-fledged website, I'll take what I've learned here and expand it to become a comprehensive source for information on TB, for people of all levels of scientific knowledge.
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OK, so I certainly agree with your axiom. Variance can make it look like you're a winning player when you aren't. However, I'm not sure I entirely agree with your expansion on this topic -- or maybe I'm just misunderstanding your point. I agree that it's hard to tell if you are just getting lucky or if you are a favorite. But from a purely financial perspective, you shouldn't be walking away from a game when you hit your statistical high, regardless of whether you are a shark or a fish at the table. If you are a shark, you should stay there for as many hours as possible, and eventually (granted, really eventually, in a high variance game) you will level out at your positive hourly rate for that table. Sure, you might swing up and down a lot, but those loose calling stations are going to give you a lot of money in the long run -- a lot more money than in a lower variance game full of tight calling stations. If you are a fish, from a financial perspective you shouldn't have sat down at the table in the first place -- every hour you spend there you will inch (or plummet) ever closer to whatever your losing hourly rate is. There are reasons to be at this table, of course -- fun and education being two examples. Obviously, if you want to stay fairly level in your bankroll and, particularly, if you are prone to tilting, setting a win-loss limit isn't a bad idea. But I don't think it can be considered financially correct.
Toggle Commented Aug 15, 2006 on Idiotic poker axiom #572 at Shabbir's Diary
You're right, it's likely not the first case of avian flu. But let's take a step back and think: what exactly are we worried about? Avian flu is caused by a particular strain of the flu virus. We first saw it eight years ago, and recently evidence was presented that it is genetically related to the flu virus that devastated the world in 1918, killing 10 million people. So sure, that's scary. But the genetic relationship of the current avian flu appears to be tied to its virulence, not to ease of transmission. Because right now, it's pretty hard to get the avian flu without being in close contact with a diseased bird. What does this mean? It means that a certain type of mutation has to happen to this virus to allow human to human transmission, which is when we can start to worry. How bad it could be if that happens is anyone's guess. But when TB kills 3 million people every year (airborne transmission), HIV kills 3 million people every year (sexual/blood transmission), and malaria kills 1 million people every year (mosquito transmission), I'd vote that we worry about something else. [If you want to know more about Katie, check out her TB blog at -Shabbir]