Monday, September 22, 2008

Son of a Bitch

So this is a rant against the order of things.

1. I go to re-register to vote near my current apartment. I got my voter registration card in the mail on Saturday. I look at it and get instantly peeved because one, I don't know where I'm supposed to go and it's not within walking distance, and two, they spelled my middle name wrong. My middle name on my driver's license is "QI-BANG," but they spelled it as "QIBANK." Interestingly, this caused me to be registered to vote in 2 locations - my home city and my campus residence. I sent an address/name change form in the mail today to have my voter registration be my home city, and then I'll just do absentee. The State is rather inept for some reason.

2. I'm finally FEMA certified (I'm required for certain volunteer things). Okay, I'm not 100% FEMA certified, as I only needed to do 3 of their online training modules. But they each take like 3 hours to complete! Good thing I was able to skim and get them done in about 1.5 hours each, haha. Still, what a waste of my weekend. After doing those training modules, I now know how ridiculously convoluted FEMA is and I can easily see why it wasn't so great during Hurricane Katrina.

3. Today I got my internet bill from Comcast. On there they charged me last month's bill and this coming month's bill in the balance. I go to check my checkbook. Yes, they did cash my check for last month's bill. This means they clearly erred and they'll get a very annoyed call from me tomorrow. I tried calling today, but their phone lines were jammed and they hung up on me after I'd been put on hold for like 3 minutes. Comcast hung on me?! Ugh, there's something wrong with that.

End rants.
Oh! I got another boring guest lecturer in pathophysiology. Today was the pulmonary system. Not the most exciting system as it's largely physics that governs its function. Really, there aren't many parts to the lungs and breathing. However, in between sleeping periods, I did learn some interesting things.

For example, why cigarette smoking is mechanistically bad for your lungs. The actual cigarette smoke irritates the goblet cells in the lower respiratory tract. These goblet cells make mucus so all the dirt that gets that far into the lungs gets stuck in it. The smoke causes over-production of mucus. Also the toxicants (not to be confused with toxins) in cigarette smoke paralyzes the ciliate cells. These cells normally beat their cilia in sync with each other, moving the mucus up and out of the lungs where you'd normally swallow it. But the cigarette toxicants paralyze these cells for up to 24 hours, so the over-produced blobs of mucus just sit there in your inner lungs. This is why a lot of smokers cough and hack.

Another thing is why fat/obese people have problems breathing. Apparently, the fat creates a kind of "belt" around the lungs and pushes on the diaphragm. So one can't expand his/her lungs as much, and the diaphragm can't move up and down as far, leading to smaller and shallower breathes. Also, there's a special condition where as a result, one can become partially hypoxic (don't get enough oxygen) all the time and will thus be tired all the time.

Yeah, I know I find such things fascinating. And that's why I'm going to med school next year. :D
I know I keep diverging and dragging this post out longer, but seriously, the following song has been stuck in my head for days. Can you imagine doing your epidemiology homework and FEMA training while this song is on endless loop in your head?

女子十二乐坊 (12 Girls' Band)

Last thing, I swear. So I've been rather slow on reading blogs that I've bookmarked of late. I promise I'll to all of them, so I might be adding your blog to my blog roll any day (or week) now. If your blog is rather long, it might be a while. Tonight, I add this blog to my blog roll:

Jason's Randomness

It's a good blog! Go over, read, and say "Hi!"


naturgesetz said...

Sometimes the problem is that the company did not post the payment to your account before they prepared the bill. IOW the fact that the check has cleared *now* doesn't necessarily meant they had it on your account *then*. But it's still a good idea to call and verify that it has been credited to your account. You just don't have to be upset unless it turns out they still don't show it on your account, because that would mean they've either put it on the wrong account or lost track of it.

Aek said...

Yeah, you're right. I called them and they said that they received payment on 9-15-08, whereas my billing statement was generated the day before. Everything's taken care of now.

I think the automated voice thingy disconnected/hung up on me again (once yesterday, once today). Grrr.

steevo said...

speaking of good new blogs that we like:

He writes well, in a joshie style that is a bit more random. bu i gt it mstly. Good stories about high school in Ireland.

I get behind too.