Monthly Archives: October 2011


Rankings : My criteria: Fair and balanced


1- Vatican News
2- AlJazeera
3-World News
5-USA today
7-BBC News


The perseverance of a Translator

So, with the best intentions in mind, this started out as just a share on FB, just out of good faith, wanting to translate for my mostly English Audience what Sarkozy thought of Zucky. But the experience was quite different, and it actually made me realize that being a translator was not nothing short of complex work. With every word choice, there was a vocabulary court case, and an appeal and so forth, until you finally decide to “settle” for the choice of word that best describes ( to your understanding ) the meaning meant to be conveyed by the author. How do you objectively neutralize your subjectiveness? It becomes harder when you know both audiences, the source (this Facebook picture) and the target (my readers already acquainted with a vocabulary bag that I often subject them to). Believe it or not, I often get comments such as ” you love the word catalyze or immiscible” . Of course I smile, but not only because I do love to graft some chemistry onto almost everything, but because they noticed it. 🙂 so without further Ado

-Sarko and Zucky-

I quote: Great meeting and excellent exchange with Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, currently in Paris for the e-G8 forum. Mark is a young,  brilliant and amicable entrepreneur, we’ve had the opportunity to freely discuss on topics such as the future of the internet and of the responsibility of the various parties affecting its evolution………….

Alright I give up……. And of course it raises important questions. This is just a caption, what about a book, what anout the all time best-selling book, in all of history combined by  HUGE margin, (by a margin as cataclysmic as that of  City MANhandling United this past week-end , HAHA). That book of course is the BIBLE.

And so with a spirit of humility, although not totally condoning it, I CAN NOW EMPATHIZE (in my failure to persevere as a translator) WHY THERE  ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT DENOMINATIONS.

St Jerome, Ora Pro Nobis.

Solitary Confinement for ONE water molecule.

This isn’t your typical daily science. But this is fascinating science that could impact your daily life. Water is all around us, lots of it. I am willing to bet that everyone in the world, had at least ONE encounter with water :).  Water is amazing, chemically speaking, and unlike humans, water molecules love each other. This love is often manifested in a form of a bond, a very special bond, called the hydrogen-bond, also known as the H-bond.

However, in order to truly understand water molecules and the effect that this H-Bond has on the overall properties, scientists figured out that not only they must break the bond, but also must prevent the water molecule from encountering any other water molecules out there in the universe. This sounds like a  conspiracy….


Kurotobi and Murata from the Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University, in Japan accomplished just that. Click here for actual manuscript and here for commentary. They utilized the nobel-prized molecule C60 aka fullerenes aka buckyball and trapped within it (by organic synthesis of course aided by high temperatures and pressured) one water molecule.

How to make a Water Molecule miserable for the rest of its life?

Water molecules heads to Solitary Confinement.

If you are  not totally convinced why this is so fascinating yet,  consider this fact: Water hates carbon, so the perfect imagery is like being put in solitary confinement. By convincing a water molecule to act outside its comfort zone, you may have uncovered a cascade of properties where individual water molecules are bound to behave differently. The great Socrates once said Is pious pious because God loves pious? Similarly one can extrapolate the concept to Hydrogen bonding and Water. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, still got ways to go.

Growing up in the city of Abidjan, we had idioms such as “Qui a mis l’eau dans coco” -literally translating to “who put water in coconut”…basically alluding to the fact that the origin of some things ought to be left mysterious. We still may not know who put water in coconut, but now we know who put water in buckyball.

Obama vs. Cain …[black on black]

…Sure you can cry about how this isn’t a race thing. But quite frankly this cannot be avoided. America has come a long way, and this issue will never be neglected. So in the spirit of a healthy discourse… allow me to think outloud…:)

OBAMA VS MCCAIN was. OBAMA VS CAIN may. In a way the former exposed a lot of issues including the intricacies of race relations in America. And interestingly enough, America wanted to talk about it, as it saw record high involvements all around including in ballots. But back then, I wondered if the race duality played a part in the high output of black voters. As a scientist, you can’t really make such assertion unless you have a negative/positive control. We’ve had the negative control since 1776. Be careful what you wish for, because in less than four years,  the real experiment for America, in a way the “positive control” experiment may, and just may come to fruition: OBAMA vs. CAIN. Who needs a Mac? Haha corny joke I know.

Now that it is becoming more of a reality Barack Obama, democratic incumbent [YES, WE CAN]  vs. Herman Cain, Republican hopeful [THE BLACK WALNUT] may face in a showdown this coming elections of 2012… Let’s take a brief look at this potential race…

Without a doubt much can be said about the recent rise of african american in politics, well to the top that is. Much parallels can be made with the mechanism by which hip-hop macrophaged global entertainment. But I digress.

Let’s look at some criteria as a yardstick to measure on one hand the historical campaign that earned him a nobel prize (President Obama) vs. that of the surging republican candidate  aka the “Haagen-Dazs black walnut” Herman Cain.


Do President Obama and CEO Cain  have contrasting visions of what it means to be “black in America” amongst many other differences? Which vision comes closest to the visions that the leaders of the civil rights movements had envisioned? This election will shed light on their contrasting views and we may witness a plethora of debates that will clear the table for a real discussion such as “the diversity of blackness” if you will, YES, there is a diversity even within a specific race. God knows this will be awesome debates for america to watch as a whole, I’m excited.

This will give everyone, and I mean everyone the opportunity to grow in the knowledge of finding out about what really is their visions and their plans for America.What does it mean to be democrat and what does it mean to be republican. Folks, black and white alike will be called to think critically before making conscientious judgments about who they want as the POTUS.

Truly one can’t really hide behind the race anymore, so NO EXCUSES. And the notion of voting democrat because you’re black and republican because you’re white clearly doesn’t even deserve any ink. But let’s hold our horses for the black walnut has unfinished business to make it to the playoffs.



Pancreatic Cancer. #RIPJobs #RIPSteinman

Two of the world’s great minds just lost a battle to Pancreatic Cancer.

1.Steve Jobs. Apple’s Genius.

2.Ralph Steinman. The recent nobel Laureate in Medicine, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, a disease  he had spent his life researching, and died days before being awarded the prestigious award.

So this is more cause for a teachable moment.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death both in the United States[1] and internationally.[2] Pancreatic cancer often has a poor prognosis: for all stages combined, the 1- and 5-year relative survival rates are 25% and 6%, respectively.

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What Causes or Increases the Risk for Pancreas Cancer?

No one knows why any particular person gets pancreas cancer and another does not. However, certain things have been shown to increase the risk of getting it:

1. Cigarette smoking is a factor in over 1/2 of deaths from pancreas cancer. The risk gradually returns to normal after quitting smoking for 5 years.
2.Alcoholism can cause pancreatitis ( inflammation) which is strongly connected to pancreas cancer.
3.Chronic Inflammation of the pancreas from any source, including a blocked pancreatic duct, hereditary pancreatitis, or viruses increase cancer risk.
4. Carcinogens are chemicals that increase cancer risk. Workers in coke plants or those exposure to naptha or benzene get more pancreas cancer. The DDT pesticide is linked to a 7 times increase in pancreas cancer risk.
5. Diet is linked to many gastrointestinal cancers. High fat, low fiber diets may increase risk of pancreas cancer. Caffeine has not been proven to increase risk.
6.Diabetes is weakly linked to pancreas cancer, but pancreas cancer can also cause diabetes.
7. Surgery which has removed part or all of the stomach (“gastrectomy”) raises the risk of pancreas cancer by 5 times over the following 20 years.

What are the Symptoms of Pancreas Cancer?

The symptoms of pancreas cancer depend upon where the pancreas it starts. In the tail of the pancreas, the tumor can grow very large with no symptoms at all until it spreads. In the “head” of the pancreas, closer to the small intestine, it is usual to see
some jaundice (below) as the cancer closes off bile ducts. The most common symptoms for cancer in the head or body include:

1. Weight loss and decreased appetitein 3/4 of patients.
2. Abdominal pain in 2/3 of patients. This pain is gnawing, and may be relieved by leaning forward. In general, it radiates to the patient’s back.
3. Jaundice means a yellowing of the whites of the eyes, then the skin, caused by backup of bile into the bloodstream. The gall bladder and the pancreas empty into the same area of the small intestine, so a pancreas tumor can block-up the bile drainage and force it to backwash into the blood. The yellow-green bile causes the yellowing of the patient, in 1/2 of these cancer patients.
4. Bleeding into the intestines is seen in about 1/3 of patients. This may be seen as thick, tarry stools (also see below), since blood released into the upper intestine will appear black (“melena”) by the time it passes through the anus.
5. Itching (“pruritis”) especially in the palms and soles shows advanced cancer. The pruritis usually goes along with jaundice, from buildup of blood “bilirubin”.
6.Diabetes is caused by loss of the pancreas’ ability to secrete insulin.
7. Loose, smelly stools (“steatorrhea”) is caused by loss of the pancreas’ ability to excrete the enzymes (amylase and lipase) necessary for proper digestion.
8.Liver Symptoms (right upper abdomen pain) from liver spread and swelling it.
9.Hoarsenes s is found in one-quarter of patients.
10. Paraneoplastic syndromes means unusual conditions caused by the cancer releasing (or causing to be released) chemicals. For instance, skin color may start darkening, fat in the body decomposing or shifting location, blood clots may form, new hair may develop, are arthritis may set in – all due to cancer.
11. Depression, unexplained for other reasons, may herald pancreas cancer. It is critical for a psychiatrist to realize that new onset depression, especially in the older patient, may presage cancer.


And also #RIP Patrick Swayze

For more information please refer to the websites.


The Nobel Prize and the Yellow Star.

Everyone aspires to be a “star”, a superstar. As a matter of fact, a star is the most common symbol for  decorations and medals celebrating singular achievement, pride, honor and above all excellence.

Except the Yellow Star. The yellow star also referred to as a Jewish badge, was a cloth patch that Jews were ordered to sew on their outer garments in order to mark them as Jews in public. [WIKI]. It has been, unfortunately so, an instrument to amplify discrimination and as need not be said,  during Nazi Germany was made the emblem of “the mark of the Jews”.

But wait a minute.

Ask anyone, what is the most prestigious of awards that can be bestowed today on any human being for their singular achievement of unique excellence. Yes, in my opinion,  The NOBEL.  As I noted in my previous post, here is some very eye-catching and interesting statistics about the frequency of who receives the Nobel.

NOBEL FACTS: Jews won 29 percent of the Nobel Prizes in literature, medicine, physics and chemistry in the second half of the 20th century. So far this century, the figure is 32%. Why is it relevant here?

This is obviously NOBEL PRIZE WEEK. Check this out:So far, five of the seven Nobel Prize winners this year in 2011 alone are Jewish.  Beutler /Steinman (posthumously) for Award in Medicine, Pelmutter/Ross in Physics and Shechtman in Chemistry.  Coincidence? NO way. THEY ARE JUST BRILLIANT, THEY HAVE BRILLIANT MINDS.

That is a chunk of NOBEL SUPERSTARS for such a small percentage of the world population. Without a doubt, the most prominent minds have been Jews. Lots of theories have been proposed as to why this is so, and I am not here to speculate.  What I want to bring light to is this: There is sort of a subtle irony, in that the yellow STAR, which for so many years been a symbol of antisemitic discrimination, segregated them all the way to being recognized as top stars.  Sort of a Giant Freudian Slip by Humanity.

Take the CROSS for example. The Cross.  Such a powerful symbol of what was one of, if not, the ugliest and most gruesome death in the Roman era.

“Never had Satan’s pride met with a humiliation like that of his seeing the instrument of our perdition made the instrument of our salvation”.

God takes pitiful situations and makes them glorious. He takes the worst and turns it into the best. That is just what He does, time and time again. These mysteries are well beyond human comprehension. But we marvel at their awesomeness.

On another note, I have heard theories of possible connections between Igbos (Nigeria) and Jews. That in and of itself, warrants another post, but I maybe biased. 😛