Weekend Wonderings: Mid-February Edition

Written February 16th, 2014 by Ken
Bruno

Giordano Bruno

Welcome to this week’s edition of Weekend Wonderings. The basketball teams are within a month of ending their regular seasons. I hope that you all had a very nice weekend with the love of your life to celebrate Valentine’s Day. And St. Woody Day, as well.

I spilled quite a bit of ink with this WW, and it is a bit different. So, grab whatever beverage that you need, and possibly a back-up and let’s proceed.

More on this imposing figure later.

The James/Wexner

“All politics is local”, said former Congressman Top O’Neill.  The same can be said for health care. Way back in the Fall of 2012, before I came on board here at tBBC, I’d asked Mali to do me a personal favor and run this article, concerning bone marrow donation. I remain grateful, since the article explained the issues that my cousin was dealing with at the time. We’re still searching, but a marrow match has yet to be found. Meanwhile, the wolves have been kept at bay via a stem cell implant. A significant “band-aid” to be sure, but certainly not the needed answer.

During this time, one of their sons (a Penn State student-athlete at the time) asked fellow PSU’ers to be tested as possible donors, and the response was, and continues to be outstanding.  Moving to the present, this video is an interview with Kim and Jim, and tells of the current status of my cousin’s bone marrow search, the participation of students as bone marrow donors and the work yet to be done.  You can do your part by merely swabbing the inside of your cheek. These samples are analyzed by the National Marrow Donor Program, and when genetic matches are found, the process begins.

Samples continue to be submitted, donors-recipients matched and people are helped. Obviously, this is an ongoing effort. As tenacious a disease that cancer is, we have to be even more so to beat it. I’d like to thank Channel 4 (WCMH) in Columbus for their features on this topic.

FDA approves Imbruvica to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today (February 12th) expanded the approved use of Imbruvica (ibrutinib) for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients who have received at least one previous therapy.
CLL is a rare blood and bone marrow disease that usually gets worse slowly over time, causing a gradual increase in white blood cells called B lymphocytes, or B cells. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 15,680 Americans were diagnosed and 4,580 died from the disease in 2013.

Good news, indeed. This drug was approved via the FDA’s accelerated approval process.

Commentary

We’re nearing the 414th anniversary (February 17th, 1600) of the execution of a free-spirited Renaissance Man,  Giordano Bruno. He was a contemporary of Galileo Galilei, so most likely you’ve heard of the latter, but not the former. Although a Dominican friar, he later was tried, sentenced and executed for various heresies, keeping in mind this was during the Roman Inquisition, and when the Papacy was held by individuals a bit short of piousness regarding the Chair of St. Peter.

Bruno was charged with blasphemy (must have hit his thumb with a hammer), immoral conduct (think “violation of team rules”) and heresy in matters of dogmatic theology (didn’t buy what the system was selling) and underwent a seven year trial. From Wikipedia, the list of charges include:

  • holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith and speaking against it and its ministers;
  • holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith about the Trinity, divinity of Christ, and Incarnation;
  • holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith pertaining to Jesus as Christ;
  • holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith regarding the virginity of Mary, mother of Jesus;
  • holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith about both Transubstantiation and Mass;
  • claiming the existence of a plurality of worlds and their eternity;
  • believing in metempsychosis and in the transmigration of the human soul into brutes;
  • dealing in magics and divination.

As you can see by the above charges, holding contrarian opinions, without offering a full recantation, turned out to be a capital offense.

In addition to his cosmological writings, Bruno also wrote extensively on the art of memory, a loosely organized group of mnemonic techniques and principles.  Other studies of Bruno have focused on his qualitative approach to mathematics and his application of the spatial paradigms of geometry to language.

Here was a man that I think was ahead of his time, but came along at the right time. Thank you Signore Bruno.

I should have seen this coming: I write quite a few of the men’s (MBB) and women’s (WBB) basketball games recaps, and frankly, in 2014, my performance has been lacking. At a combined won-loss record 10-13 in conference play, The Management here at tBBC expected a better performance from me. I was disciplined for the following:

  • writing recaps (6-6) contrary to the expectations of the Men’s Basketball Program;
  • writing recaps (4-7) contrary to the expectations of the Women’s Basketball Program;

Fortunately, unlike Fr Bruno (above), I will not be burned at the stake. Instead, for yesterday’s games (Illinois and MSU) I was suspended, without pay, from writing recaps of these games. Also, rather than being excommunicated, I was incommunicado. I wasn’t to be near a television, GameTracker, nor LiveChat. Hopefully, this sabbatical will bring me to my senses, and I will write recaps showing the MBB and WBB programs to go undefeated for the balance of the season. We’ll see..

Sunday’s Song

No, seriously.. Would I Lie to You? Annie Lennox wouldn’t think so.

2 Comments

  1. CharlesNo Gravatar
    February 16th, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Nice reminder about the importance of getting yourself tested for bone marrow donations, hopefully our readers all do it and we can help a lot of people.

    I especially liked the mention of Bruno. He is often overlooked, even by Astronomers, but his work was very ahead of his time. He was right in his claim that the Sun was just another star. Even more impressive was the despite living almost 400 years before the first planet orbiting another star was found, he postulated that the universe was full of other planets and that they were inhabited by intelligent beings. While we haven’t found evidence of life on other planets, we have proven that the universe is full of other planets and it is only a matter of time before we find ones that are capable of supporting life; whether they do support life still remains to be seen but is likely.

    [Reply]

    KenNo Gravatar
    February 16th, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Thank you Charles, I always appreciate your comments & insights. Bruno was a late-comer to my awareness, but I’ve been astounded by his insight to the heliocentric solar system model and his postulation of life on other planets. He certainly set the stage, 400 years ago, for the many worlds hypothesis and the field of exobiology.

    [Reply]

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