CraigHicks's past comments

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    Here is the link for a detailed Ebola report given by NEJM, The link I gave before was missing the underscores:

    New England Journal of Medicine, Clinical Illness and Outcomes in Patients with Ebola in Sierra Leone : Supplementary Appendix, http://www.nejm.org/doi/suppl/10.1056/NEJMoa1411680/supplfile/nejmoa1411680appendix.pdf

    This report shows that consistently high body temperature is not a 100% reliable warning preceding severe Ebola.

    In particular see Figure S8, case C. A patient has an abnormal fever on only two days, day 1 and day 7. The abnormal fever is not even terribly high, only 38 C. The rest of the days 2 through 6 the fever is in normal range. The patient died of Ebola, there are no measurements after day 7.

    Table S5 shows that in a significant fraction of fatal Ebola cases no abnormal fever was measured, and in non fatal cases most cases did not display a fever.

    By NEJM's own data therefore, fatal Ebola is not always reliably preceded by a fever, and non-fatal Ebola is usually not.

    NEJM's editoral assertion that quarantine for doctors is unnecessary presumes that doctors with ideal behavior and judgement will react in time as they measure fever three times daily. But the NEJM editor ignores the data in the NEJM report referenced above, data which shows unreliability of fever as an indicator. If NEJM can show denial, then surely a young rookie doctor can show denial in self diagnosis also - adding yet more delay.

    Quarantine is not an obstacle in addressing the Ebola problem. The problem is that the west relies entirely on volunteer doctors working through NGOs like MSF, and the west has not taken any action to bring medicine to bear to the problem. It is laissez faire strategy. The doctor quarantine issue would not be there if the US government had organized a voluntary paid brigade of doctors, allowing them to work under MSF or some other NGO at the other end. Furthermore, if the US govt had offered multi-decamillion dollar rewards for medicines to mitigate Ebola, we would already have seen some action in the field.

    China is or will be proving soon that it is possible:

    "China has also dispatched hundreds of aid workers to Africa to combat Ebola including health experts and medical staff."

    "Sihuan Pharmaceutical Holdings Group Ltd., a Chinese drug maker with military ties, has sent several thousand doses of an experimental Ebola drug to Africa and is planning clinical trials there."

    http://ewn.co.za/2014/10/31/China-to-send-army-unit-to-fight-Ebola-in-Liberia

    Posted in: Nurse defies Ebola quarantine in U.S.; rides bike

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    The problem is unsuitable technology - human bio-systems - to achieve space travel. Certainly the "intelligence" and "soul" components are reusable, but the packaging needs to upgraded.

    Posted in: Spacecraft for tourists explodes on test flight in Calif

  • -2

    CraigHicks

    @JTDanMan ... Because the science tells us she IS NOT infections when she starts "showing symptoms."

    New England Journal of Medicine, Clinical Illness and Outcomes in Patients with Ebola in Sierra Leone : Supplementary Appendix, http://www.nejm.org/doi/suppl/10.1056/NEJMoa1411680/supplfile/nejmoa1411680appendix.pdf

    Table S5 shows only 25 out of 36 fatal cases show fever - it seems a remarkable number, they have also listed 89% as the number who did show fever so there is an error there somewhere as 25/36 is 0.69 not 0.89

    Figure S8 shows body temperature vs. days for 6 patients, 3 fatal and 3 non-fatal.

    Look at fatal case C. On day 1, temperature is measured above normal once (38 C), and then returns to normal all through day 6. On day 7 the temperature rises above normal again (38 C), it is the last day of measurements.

    In 2 of the 3 non fatal cases, the temp never goes out of the normal range.

    Posted in: Nurse defies Ebola quarantine in U.S.; rides bike

  • -3

    CraigHicks

    @Owain T. Yamanaka

    Showing consideration to others is better than than living with a chip on your shoulder. Neither big balls nor big brains guarantee emotional intelligence - they are independent qualities.

    Posted in: Nurse defies Ebola quarantine in U.S.; rides bike

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    @shonanbb ... The title is confusing. It is not asking Japan to aid China in the fight, but to aid globally in the fight.

    Yes, it is easily misunderstood because of the semicolon. If the semicolon were removed it would mean "expert seeks Japan aid for China which is at risk", but with the semicolon it means "Expert says China at risk, and expert also seeks Japan aid (to see China's raise and hopefully up the bet again)".

    Posted in: Ebola expert says China at risk; seeks Japan aid

  • -5

    CraigHicks

    As she was in contact with terminally ill Ebola patients, she could still get sick with Ebola. If she gets sick and is tested positive for Ebola, it will necessary to trace all her contacts within some time window. This is a difficult, expensive, and error prone task, but contact tracing is the key to Ebola control. That is why it is necessary to minimize contacts to a few special people.

    As for precedent, the live-in relatives of Duncan were all put in quarantine. She should follow precedent rather than claim exception because she is a doctor.

    She lives in a beautiful sparsely populated area where she can go bicycling and not meet anybody, whereas a returnee living in a cramped apartment in NY city does not have that option. She is trying to develop a principle based on her special case which does not hold in general. The catalyst for the quarantine order was a NY city doctor who did get sick, but had gone out to get pizza shortly before. She cannot undo that doctors actions. She cannot stop others from having poor judgement.

    She certainly did a service by volunteering as an Ebola doctor, but now is claiming that experience as basis for exceptional entitlement. That is snobbery and elitism.

    She is damaging the image of Ebola volunteers and discouraging people from volunteering because they won't want to be associated with her actions. She should be fighting Ebola, not some petty battle of her own.

    Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

    Posted in: Nurse defies Ebola quarantine in U.S.; rides bike

  • -2

    CraigHicks

    Because Hickox has been in contact with terminally ill Ebola patients, there is still a chance she could get sick. If she gets sick it is going to be necessary to "trace" all her contacts in the one day or so window before a confirmed temperature reading - even if it is overkill that is how it is done, so far. Contact tracing is an expensive, laborious, and error prone task. Therefore, it is desirable to keep the number of contacts as low as possible.

    (We also have to consider the chance that she could get sick without a warning temperature, the possibility of which has been reported by the WHO. (http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-1012-ebola-fever-20141012-story.html#page=1)).

    The total number of volunteers returned to the US so far is about 50. Given the number is so few, it would be easy enough to set up a temporary quarantine center with plenty of surrounding space for exercise somewhere in the US. Perhaps Obama could even offer Camp David for the purpose. Leaving the Ebola volunteers to the masses is just bound to create problems - you can argue until you are blue in the face but it won't help - and it could make things much worse, e.g. if Hickox now gets sick.

    I respect the Obama administration, but I think they are taking far to much of laissez faire approach to the Ebola problem. As a result of lack of a strong plan, the vacuum is being filled by xenophobic hysteria which will interfere with solving the problem.

    Posted in: Obama says U.S. can't seal itself off in Ebola fight

  • -1

    CraigHicks

    If it wasn't for the political parties watching each other, there would be more corruption. Tedious and uninspiring for the public, but it helps to keep politicians in line, sort of.

    Posted in: Opposition DPJ takes aim at Abe over scandals, Abenomics

  • 1

    CraigHicks

    "Engrish" happens because the Japanese and English languages are so divergent. It is much better to go ahead and communicate imperfectly using a second language than to clam up worrying about a mistake. Shared laughter is a good way of dealing with mistakes, because it identifies the mistake, but does not result in unnecessary shame or humiliation. Be sure to laugh with, not at.

    Anybody who has spent time speaking "Nibonzo" during their learning period in Japan knows how hard it is.

    Posted in: Why does 'Engrish' happen in Japan?

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    An explanation why there are so many "keep it" votes. I suppose that most of the people who said "keep it", belong to some social groups through upbringing, way of thinking, hobbies, work, etc.. If the money was found in a place where it was likely to have been lost or placed by a member of a shared social group, the answer would likely be "turn it in".

    In other words, the choice of "keep it" or "turn it in" has to do with whether the voter perceives the abstract original owner of the money as somebody towards whom he feels a sufficiently high level of social allegiance.

    Loyalty towards the group, and selfishness towards the out-of-group, these are two behaviors evolved in humans for survival purposes. In terms of survival there is risk in investing loyalty towards an out-of-group person who is less likely to reciprocate than an in-group person.

    The groups attracting loyalty can get very large - e.g. nations with hundreds of million of members which have developed protocols for the fair and non-violent handling of wealth. On a religious or philosophical level we can - if we so choose - abstract our in-group loyalty even further to mankind as a whole.

    Finally, one thing not considered is if the finder of the money is in desperate straight - e.g., they need the money to buy some food for their child who is starving. That would really change things.

    Posted in: If you found a large sum of money in a secluded spot, would you keep it or hand it in to the police?

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    A thoughtful move on the part of the Japanese government. Omoiyari and kikubari, that is the Japan style at its best.

    And how wonderful to think of preparing Halal food, which is kosher to eat for Muslims. With Indonesia, having the largest number of Muslims of any nation in the world, Japan has strong historical-political and business connections. Indonesia is the largest recipient of Japan's foreign aid, about 1 billion per year.

    Posted in: Japan to issue disaster response guidelines for foreign tourists

  • 1

    CraigHicks

    Don't think of it as cash. Think of it as Bad Karma Promissory Notes. Then what would you do?

    Posted in: If you found a large sum of money in a secluded spot, would you keep it or hand it in to the police?

  • 2

    CraigHicks

    @NathalieB ... but if the driver had been doing the posted speed limits in most car parks Ive been in of around 10mph and anticipated the unexpected going around a corner, he would have been able to stop immediately even at the last second.

    Exactly. 10 kph, sometimes even 8 kph. (not mph). The rules are there for a reason.

    Posted in: 3-year-old boy dies after being hit by car in Chiba

  • -1

    CraigHicks

    He might just have have been driving too fast for the parking lot - I've seen enough drivers in parking lots driving like James Bond to know that is a possibility. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKAME9fAA-4

    Posted in: 3-year-old boy dies after being hit by car in Chiba

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    rules barring multinational companies from paying bribes ABROAD

    "Abroad" is the key word here, and should be the focus of the comments. It's stealing from outside the voting group, rather than from inside it.

    Posted in: Watchdog: many countries fall short on rules against bribes

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    The typical design of an Ebola ward in Africa has three parts

    (1) Triage (admissions)

    (2) Suspected or early cases of Ebola

    (3) Cases in the thrall of Ebola

    (1) and (2) are relatively low risk of infection. (Remember Duncan was throwing up on the way to the hospital the second time but noone who had contact with him at that time or earlier got sick, but two nurses got sick treating him in the late stages, even though they were using hazmat suits to the best of their ability).

    So perhaps the masks are intended for use in (1) only, or (1) and (2) only. Or perhaps for health workers who are traveling to peoples homes making inquiries or checking up on reports.

    It's wise to be wary, but more information is required before jumping to conclusions. In the meantime, I say good job.

    Posted in: Japanese firm donates 10,000 high-tech masks for Ebola fight

  • 2

    CraigHicks

    Where little Aso is now used to be a giant volcano which 90,000 years ago erupted so hard that volcanic rocks were dispersed over a 25 km radius, the pyroclastic flow covered half of Kyuusyuu, and significant ash fell as far away as what is now Yamaguchi ken on Honsyuu.

    Posted in: Agency warns of increased activity at volcano near nuclear plant

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    @Andreas Zachcial ... CIDRAP (Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy) "We believe ... Ebola virus ... transmitted via ... aerosol particles ... which means that healthcare workers should be wearing respirators, not facemasks."

    Perhaps the idea is that the Pittarich mask, killing 99% of viruses, is somewhat better than most facemasks.

    Perhaps, the medical staff in question are African workers who are presently using facemasks as they have no respirators.

    However, it is necessary to realize that killing 99% of viruses does not equate to a 99% reduction in transmission. If an extremely sick patient's virus count doubles every hour for 24 hours their virus count will increase by 16 million times. 1% of 16 million is still to huge a number for safe approach.

    For treating patients who have just begun to show symptoms and whose virus count is still low, this mask may noticeably reduce transmission - but that's in cases where transmission danger was not so high to begin with.

    Posted in: Japanese firm donates 10,000 high-tech masks for Ebola fight

  • 6

    CraigHicks

    @hokkaidoguy ... "Putting stocks into a trust to remove conflict of interest is a perfectly normal procedure when someone lands a cabinet position, anywhere in the world. ... Unless the DPJ wants to prohibit all elected officials from owning stocks, that's going to have to do"

    You appear to be correct that it is not illegal, however that does not mean that it is not in the public's interest to know about Miyazawa's investments. Transparent government makes for solid democracy.

    To put the conflicted stocks "as is" into a trust is not the law in the US - here is the US law:

    United States Office of Government Ethics : Resolving Conflict Of Interests

    ... In particular, a criminal conflict of interest statute, 18 U.S.C. 208, requires an employee to be disqualified (“recused”) from a “particular matter” if it would have a direct and predictable effect on the employee’s own financial interests or on certain financial interests that are treated as the employee’s own, such as those of the employee’s spouse or a prospective employer. There are a number of ways to deal with a financial conflict of interest under 18 U.S.C. 208: .. () The employee may divest the conflicting property...() The employee may establish a qualified trust. Qualified trusts are rare. ... a value of less than $1,000. () Qualified Diversified Trust. .. not considered to pose a conflict of interest because the portfolio is so diversified that an official action taken by the employee would not have a direct and predictable effect on the value of the portfolio.

    http://www.oge.gov/Topics/Financial-Conflicts-of-Interest-and-Impartiality/Resolving-Conflicts-of-Interest/

    Posted in: Minister hit by bar scandal also under fire for owning TEPCO shares

  • 2

    CraigHicks

    Thanks for the link, @zorken.

    There are 3 kinds of seijisikin (政治資金)

    1) Donations - Kifu 寄付(Kenkin 献金) Coporations, Individuals (Foreigners, in particular Zainichi Koreans are not allowed to give).

    2) Fund raising events - seijisikin party 政治資金パーティー (No foreigners)

    3) Public funding - seijikoufukin 政党交付金 Comes from public taxes - 250 yen for each vote gathered The big parties LDP, JDP, get aound half their funding this way. Smaller parties get none (a vote threshold?)

    A long history of political funding scandals such as the Lockheed and Recruit scandals led to the establishment of public funding in the mid 1990's, as well as stricter laws requiring public disclosure of income and expenditures.

    The details of why it was illegal for Obuchi to buy clothes for work, but not illegal for Miyazawa's underlings to buy S&M entertainment for relaxation outside of work are not explained, although it is a fact.

    It was interesting that he didn't say he would fire his underling. Japan is relatively tolerant about soft porn.

    Posted in: New trade minister hit by S&M bar scandal

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