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Feb. 18th, 2012

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This is a very well-documented opinion piece about one of the most central problems in US politics today. I've been spreading the link to Altemeyer's The Authoritarians for years but this article both goes beyond his insights and add a very concrete and alarming perspective. Well worth the time to read.

Dec. 12th, 2011

Real life me

And so it ends, again

Mom died quietly in her sleep a little past 8 this morning.

For the past year and a half she had been fighting the 3rd resurgence of cancer in her body. We knew the chances were not good this time since now it was in her liver, from where the likelihood of it spreading was all to high. And eventually this was what happened, that it spread to he lungs and bones and finally overwhelmed her today. At first the doctors fom Oncology tried combating it with the newest drugs but after 4 months it had not grown but not shrunk away either, as had happened 4 years when spots had been discovered in mom's left lung (the original cancer was in her left breast which was operatively removed 19 years ago). At that point, they asked if she wanted to go into chemotherapy, with the warning that due to the doses necessary it might kill her in her already weakened state.

We discussed this. Really in-depth, November last year, just before Christmas. Mom said she had seen what had happened to one of her teacher collleagues who had gone through chemo but nevertheless died. And she was only 50 and in good shape. She said she didn't want to do that. And I said I would respect that. So this last year we've known time was not too long. There were some crises, she had stomach surgery in February and a wound infection afterwards which drained her so much she had to go stay in an assisted-living facility for a month to recover. but still she managed to come home just before her 80th birthday on July 8 and we had a nice summer together, watching the Tour De France and with family visiting. In August, her older sister Esther died after having a brain hemorrhage, as I've posted about. That took a lot out of mom but nevertheless she persevered.

In early October mom was hospitalised with bad back pain. At that time, it was discovered the cancer had spread to her spine and other bones as well as to her lungs. Since she had said no to chemotherapy, mom had been under the care of the special Palliation team and they have a hospital ward all to themselves for patients under their care. They adjusted moms pain medication to a high level as that was now necessary. For those of you who know medicines, oxycontin and if necessary pure morphine. She came home and we celebrated my 47th birthday together. But a few days later she fell and hurt herself and had to go in the hospital again and then to an assisted-living place. She was glad to be there and doing okay for a couple of weeks. But 2 weeks ago she unfortunately developed a lung infection and was taken to the Palliation team's special ward again. They managed to combat the infection but the fight and general spread of the cancer had taken too much of her strength. This last week she was was mostly in a barely-conscious state where we could be in contact with her but she could only respond with nods and shakes and pressing the hand. And these last few days she was slowly fading away.

The important thing is that she was not in pain, or panic. We had said our goodbyes. So when the call came this morning, it was okay. We went up there, me and her 2 brothers Børge and Christian (86 and 90) and said our last goodbyes. She looked peaceful, same as when I was sitting with her yesterday. The nurse told me she just started breathing slowly and 10 minutes later she was gone. In the end, I'm glad the end was quick and she did not have to lie in that state too long.

Rest in Peace, Erna Kjær Henningsen. You were loved, you were one of the strongest women ever and you were and always will be an inspiration.

Sep. 27th, 2011

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So I caught some sort of bug last week and had to go home from work on Wednesday to spend the rest of the week conked out in bed, throat, head and body hurting and tons of gunk clogging up the airways. Not my idea of fun.

And coming back today, the monday gods had apparently decided that that was not enough and piled on a whole lotta unwanted stuff. Guess I must be indispensable, not the way I'd want to be though. Also adding to the fun, my assistant was out today. Can't go into why but I'm worried for him.

Guess after that start the week can only improve. Gonna go sleep now.
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Sep. 11th, 2011

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Smart women rule

Science! Microbes Generate Electricity While Cleaning Up Nuclear Waste

I mean, nanowires, preventing nuclear pollution, producing electricity and genetically engineering microbes. What's not to love.

Also, Gemma Reguera is one of the best names ever...

Aug. 18th, 2011

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And so it ends

My moms oldest sister Esther died peacefully this afternoon with her closest family around her. She was 87. 3 weeks ago she suffered a massive brain hemorrhage and has been in the hospital since then, with little to no chance of recovery. The MRI scans showed that the hemorrhage covered most of the left part of the brain. Which meant that she would need help for pretty much everything, moving, eating, most basic functioning. But miraculously she still had some consciousness despite the damage and was able to feel and recognize people around her and even communicate a little. And so her children and grandchildren were able to meaningfully visit her these last weeks.

This was the bad family health news referred to in the previous post. Since then mom and I have obviously talked a lot, she and Esther were very close. We unfortunately know a lot about brain hemorrhage because dad suffered one too 20 years ago. His was not as bad and he lived 7 more years, though he had to be in an assisted-living facility and the last year was not good. Mom visited him most every day and I tried to be there as much as I could. And from that knowledge and experience it was clear to both of us that the damage was probably too much for her state to be sustainable for long.

So when Esther's son, my cousin Jørgen called today I knew what was coming just seeing the name. He said there'd been less and less contact the last 5 days, they could see her fading until she finally slipped away today. He also said that this was probably for the best, as otherwise should have had to live out the rest of her life bedbound in a home, without much function. Which I have to agree with, having watched dad's last year when he took a significant turn for the worse.

I didn't want to tell mom the sad news over the phone tonight and have her be alone afterwards. So tomorrow I will drive up and tell her as gently as possible. But I think she'll at least be comforted her sister was at least spared that.

R.I.P Esther. You were an inspiration and an incredibly sweet person, who faced many challenges with admirable perseverance and a smile on your lip and had a long, mostly good life.

Jul. 29th, 2011

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It just never ends

I guess it's what happens when your family gets older, but I'm just about ready for the bad health news to take a break. Not my mom this time, thankfully, but I'm really not looking forward to having to bring her bad news tomorrow.

Feb. 4th, 2011

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Oh, this is excellent

The bigots at N.O.M. hotlinks an SMBC comic. N.O.M. gets pwned ;D

Sep. 27th, 2010

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This reminds me of something seen before. Still brilliant :)

This is a news website article about a scientific paper
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Sep. 22nd, 2010

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Cool cats ;)

Preeeeesenting: The Moscow Cat Theatre

EDIT: Direct link for anyone having trouble with the video Moscow Cat Theatre

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Sep. 12th, 2010

South Park warrior

I have no words

On second thought, I do have a few words: Flames! On the side of my face!

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