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Archive: August+17,+2008

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Relay for Life

Sunday,  08/17/08  09:32 PM

Relay for LifeYesterday and through this morning (!)  I joined Team Aperio in participating in the National Cancer Society's Relay For Life, down in Encinitas.  It was an amazing experience.  These events celebrate cancer survivors and memorialize cancer victims, while raising money for cancer research and care for those battling cancer.  Teams representing companies or individuals relay continuously around a quarter mile track for 24 hours.  After dark the track is surrounded by luminaria, candles inside paper bags; the luminaria are each sponsored and carry messages, either congratulating cancer survivors or remembering cancer victims.  Walking along the track in the middle of the night, reading these handwritten messages was incredibly moving.  My favorite was one which began “Dear Grandma, I never knew you but have heard so much about you”.  It was signed Britta, age 8.  It really makes you realize how important our work is, and the work of our customers.

I couldn't help thinking about my father, who died twenty years ago of a brain tumor, or my friend and ex-partner Daniel Jacoby, who was similarly taken by cancer four years ago.  I thought of Randy Pausch, the "last lecture" professor, whose audio book I listened to recently.  I found myself blinking back tears, thinking of all the people - survivors, victims, caregivers, and family and friends - whose lives have been affected by this disease, the scourge of our time.  I'm tearing up right now just typing these words, recalling how I felt, and thinking of all those affected today and tomorrow.  It really brings home how important Aperio's work really is, and the work of our customers.

Relay for Life: luminaria commemorating survivors and victims line the track
...the long and winding road...



Sunday,  08/17/08  09:47 PM

Spent most of today asleep (!) after the Relay for Life yesterday and this morning; woke up at 3:00PM, and vegged the rest of the day in front of the TV, watching the Olympics.  I couldn't even muster enough energy for a ride.  Not necessarily my most productive day :)

The Economist's increasingly liberal bent on display: Taking on Terrorists.  This makes me so sad; there was a day, not too long ago, when the Economist set itself apart from the MSM by being relatively apolitical.  And they still are relatively apolitical, as Time and Newsweek (and U.S. News & World Report) and the rest accelerate into the trash.  But the trend is in the wrong direction :(

Kobe Bryant in BeijingI never thought I'd enjoy a Kobe Bryant interview; I was wrong, as Kobe schools NBC's Chris Collingsworth:  "Collinsworth: Is that a ‘cool’ thing to say, in this day and age? That you love your country, and that you’re fighting for the red, white and blue? It seems sort of like a day gone by(?)  Kobe: No, it’s a cool thing for me to say. I feel great about it, and I’m not ashamed to say it. I mean, this is a tremendous honor."  Excellent.  My opinions of Kobe and Chris are adjusted accordingly.

[Update: some commentors have suggested that Chris was just teeing up the question for Kobe, and upon rewatching the video of the interview, I agree.  So my opinion of Chris, formerly high, has been restored.  YMMV :]

In this context it is worth mentioning, by some accounts Kobe is the most popular athlete in the Olympic village; more in demand for pictures and autographs than even Yao Ming or Michael Phillips.

Another feel good story from Beijing: Cancer-stricken U.S. swimmer wins unexpected 'gold medal' in China.  "Although having failed to qualify for the final of the swimming competition at the Beijing Olympics, cancer-stricken U.S. swimmer Eric Shanteau won an unexpected "gold medal" from the Chinese.  He received the medal from Shanghai-based Cancer Rehabilitation Club for his fight against the disease, in the presence of 200 cancer patients from Shanghai."  Good for them.

A simple rule from Richard Wolpert for reconnecting a dropped cell conversation [ via Joi Ito ]:

  • If you dialed the other party, you redial.
  • If you received the call, you wait [semi-patiently] for them to call you back.

Pass it on...



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Correlation vs. Causality
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Unnatural Selection
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
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