The MS paper that can change it all

29 December 2011 | 26 Comments

It’s a good end to 2011 to finally have this paper available: “Multiple Sclerosis Is Not A Disease Of The Immune System” by Dr. Angelique Corthals, published in the last 24 hours by The Quarterly Review of Biology.

The paper details Dr. Corthals’ theory that MS is a lipid metabolism disorder. For more context and a precis, see Nicola’s detailed explanatory post and the long comment conversation that follows. If you would like to ask Angelique a question, you may do so at Nicola’s blog.

QRB is charging $14 for online access to the paper, but have given permission for it to be freely distributed by email. If you want a copy, please drop a comment here or email me, and I’ll be delighted to forward it to you.

If you know anyone in science, medicine, the media, or someone with MS, I enthusiastically encourage you to forward the paper to them as well. The more quickly this information spreads, the better for us all.

Nicola and I have never — never — staked our public support on any theory of MS until now. That’s because Angelique’s argument makes complete sense to us. Angelique is a friend, and I love her even more right now for this gift of hope not just to us, but to millions of people around the world.

I don’t blame anyone who is skeptical or disinclined to embrace a new theory. The goal of spreading this word is to have as many people as possible poke at it, turn it upside down, shake it hard and see if any part of it falls off. The goal is to test, test, test this theory, because that is what will lead to some real progress for everyone instead of the dartboard approach that currently constitutes the medical profession’s strategy for MS. But I tell you what, friends, if Angelique is right — and we believe she is — then the whole game of MS just changed.

2012 looks different to me because of this.

Enjoy your day, and thanks for your support.

Multiple sclerosis is a metabolic disorder, not an immune system illness

21 December 2011 | 1 Comment

I blogged earlier this week about upcoming news regarding a new theory of MS.

If you’re back here for more information, please go to Nicola’s blog and read her precis of the paper that will be published today on Friday (rescheduled due to typsetting issues at the Quarterly Review of Biology).

It’s groundbreaking. Go read it. And as before, I ask you to please help spread the word about this. Thank you!

Enjoy your day. It’s a day of good news for people with MS, and people who love them.

Coming soon: important news about MS

19 December 2011 | 4 Comments

Please go to Nicola Griffith’s blog and read this post about a forthcoming paper that establishes a radical new framework for understanding the causes — and therefore the treatment of — multiple sclerosis.

For those newer visitors who may not be aware: Nicola has multiple sclerosis. The work that will be done as a result of this paper will change her life, and mine, and the lives of millions of other people who have been, or will be, diagnosed with MS.

Nicola is asking in her post for people to help spread the word about this paper, so that it comes as quickly as possible to the attention of media, scientific institutions, doctors, people with MS, and those who love them. Please help. Please read her post, and then please consider helping us by linking to it, reposting, re-tweeting, or sharing on Facebook.

This is just the beginning. The paper itself comes out on Wednesday, and after that, the conversation begins. I ask you to be a part of it, and I thank you in advance from the bottom of my heart for anything you care to do to help spread the word.


18 December 2011 | 3 Comments

Origami is such an intricate art. I remember learning a bit as a kid, and being amazed at the way an ordinary piece of paper could become so many things.

And now there is moneygami. Go take a look at the slideshow, it’s a lot of fun. I like it particularly for the clever uses of the illustrations on the bills. I could no more look at a bill and see these outcomes than I could fly to the moon. But other people can. So many ways to use our brains…

Enjoy your day.

Let there be light

17 December 2011 | 5 Comments

All of you who are members of the HandyPeople Tribe, here is your opportunity to beam fondly upon one who is only slowly discovering your secrets…

We have two sets of overhead lights in our main room: a three-way switch/dimmer, and a separate single switch dimmer in the dining area. For the last year or so, we’ve had an occasional glitch in the dining room dimmer — it took a lot of jiggling (along with incantations, curses, and the occasional round of impact maintenance) to turn the light off. We’d flip the toggle to off, and the lights would turn off and then flick back on All By Themselves. On and off, on and off. Spooky!

Then the other day, we turned off the living room lights and they Just. Stayed. On. No amount of fussing would turn them off. Finally we had to kill the circuit in the breaker box and go to bed.

Normally this would be the time to cue the entrance of the Electrician. But we just spent a chunk of money getting our roof and driveway/sidewalks maintained, and every once in a while I get stubborn… And so I decided that before we called a guy (and although we know a woman master electrician, she sadly has moved away, and everyone else seems to be a guy), I would see if I could replace the switch myself.

Here is where all you HandyPeople can smile indulgently. I know in my head that I cannot blow up my house by wiring a switch wrong. But yeeps, the first time is scary!

I open up the wall and peered at the switch (with a flashlight because there is no sun in Seattle these days, and the circuit was off, so it was, you know, dark!).

I went to the store and bought two switches, one for each dimmer.

I came home and realized I had bought the wrong switches. My old switches were pre-wired. I bought switches with no wires.

I cursed.

I briefly contemplated going whole hog and stripping the existing wires myself, and wiring the new switch in.

I realized this was a bad idea and went back to the store. I bought two pre-wired switches.

I returned home. The new switches had different colored wires than the old! I went to the internet and learned.

I installed the first switch. It worked! Chortle!

I installed the second switch. I got it all the way into the wall before I discovered the dimming mechanism was broken.

I sighed.

I went back to the store. By now, the Returns person and I are on a first-name basis. I bought a new switch.

And installed it.

I know, really, all this white space and wordcount for a non-story. A grown woman did a home repair project all by herself. But GAZE UPON MY TRIUMPH!

My dad is an engineer. He is going to be so proud. (*waves at father through the internet*)

Enjoy your day. Go do something that makes you feel like the master of your own destiny!

Beyond Binary

13 December 2011 | 2 Comments

I’m delighted to announce that my novella “Eye of the Storm” will be included in the anthology Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction, from Lethe Press in May 2012. Many thanks to editor Brit Mandelo for including “Storm”: it’s one of my favorite stories and I will be happy to see it swing-dance with other genderqueer fiction. It’s in extremely good company, and I’m very pleased indeed.

Edited to add: Just to be clear, this is a reprint anthology, so those who have read Dangerous Space will have read this story. But in that case, buy the antho for all the other great stories!

Table of Contents:

“Sea of Cortez” by Sandra McDonald
“Eye of the Storm” by Kelley Eskridge
“Fisherman” by Nalo Hopkinson
“Pirate Solutions” by Katie Sparrow
“A Wild and Wicked Youth” by Ellen Kushner
“Prosperine When it Sizzles” by Tansy Roberts
“The Fairy Cony-Catcher” by Delia Sherman
“Palimpsest” by Catherynne M. Valente
“Another Coming” by Sonya Taaffe
“Bleaker Collegiate Presents an All-Female Production of Waiting for Godot” by Claire Humphrey
“The Ghost Party” by Richard Larson
“Bonehouse” by Keffy R. M. Kehrli
“Sex with Ghosts” by Sarah Kanning
“Spoiling Veena” by Keyan Bowes
“The Metamorphosis Bud” by Liu Wen Zhuang
“Schrodinger’s Pussy” by Terra LeMay

Thanks every day

12 December 2011 | 2 Comments

We were talking last night over a celebratory bottle of Spanish wine about our urge to live more of a city life, to have more urban energy around us. As we drove to the restaurant last night, the city spread out in the night all lit up for the holidays, full of people, and we thought how lovely it would be to have known places nearby once again, the way we used to when our favorite restaurant was just down the street, when the dry cleaner and the wine shop and the market and the bakery and the pub were all right there, full of familiar strangers. It can be very good to belong in a place like that.

And it’s also good to belong where we do, and to be who we are right now. Last night we celebrated 22 years of living together. The nice people at the restaurant gave us a dessert (gooey chocolate cake, espresso flan, profiterole!). We talked about small moments and big ideas. We remembered, and we looked ahead… It was a lovely evening. And it reminded me that I am both a creature of yearning and big dreams, and one who prizes the beauty and joy of the small daily moments. I’m grateful for those things, and although there is much about me I would change, I am grateful to be what I am.

And since I am currently in a mood to eschew the authority of the calendar (Hah! to your structure I say, hah!), today is my thanksgiving day; and because I am so goddamn busy, I’ll let other people talk about the yearning and the big dreams and the everyday beauty and joy. They say it so well.

Here’s John Scalzi talking about right here, right now.

And here are many of your sister and brother humans talking about their lives at The Rumpus.

Whoever we are, whatever may have come to us in life, we have this day. I’m thankful to spend part of mine with you. I hope you enjoy yours.

Be Bold With Bananas

2 December 2011 | 4 Comments

It has been a while since I laughed so hard that I cried. Mileage varies, so maybe you won’t find yourself running for the nearest tissue as you read this post

But oh my goodness, friends, the wackiness of the world is a thing of joy sometimes!

Enjoy your day. I hope it brings you something to laugh about.