Autarchy of the Private Cave

Tiny bits of bioinformatics, [web-]programming etc

    Archive for the 'Society' Category

    Ukraine hit by influenza A/H1N1 (swine flu)

    31st October 2009

    virusStarting October, 30, there is a 3-week quarantine in all primary and higher bodies of education in Ukraine – to limit the spread of the infection.

    A total of 80k people were registered with respiratory infections (not classified by flu type). Several small samples tested for A/H1N1 (which is the cause of swine flu pandemic) indicate that 30-50% of all cases could be swine flu (with other cases being “seasonal flu” – that is, previously known influenza types and subtypes). It is reported that ~37 died since Monday, with symptoms matching those of swine flu. Most of the statistics come from the Western regions of Ukraine, which were the first to face rapid daily temperatures decrease – which could have been the trigger of massive infections.

    Today I’ve seen a number of people in Kyiv’s underground railway wearing medical face masks (or just pulling their scarfs up to cover noses). Drug stores were literally stormed for anti-virus medications, immune system stimulators, medical face masks, vitamins, etc.

    If not the virus, then panic is definitely in the air. I do not recollect seeing something like that before.

    Share

    Posted in Life, Misc, Society | No Comments »

    DIYbio, biohackers, and Open Source Medicine

    25th July 2009

    DIYbio is

    an organization that aims to help make biology a worthwhile pursuit for citizen scientists, amateur biologists, and DIY biological engineers who value openness and safety.

    DIYbio also has a google group, where a wide range of questions – from bio-patents to DIY gel electrophoresis shopping list and model organisms is dicussed. There is also a DIYbio/biohacking FAQ.

    Today for me is the day of discoveries. I learned about the International Open Space Initiative (to give robotics enthusiasts a way to send their tele-controlled and/or intelligent robots to the Moon and Mars), about the DIYbio and biohackers, about OpenManufacturing (which doesn’t seem to have produced enough content to link to), Open Source Medicine (ouch!), BioBrick Assembly Kit (with an assembly manual), OpenWetWare, and a whole bunch of other awesome and inspiring community efforts, which do not belong here.

    Do you feel the wind of change?

    Share

    Posted in Links, Misc, Science, Society, Welfare | No Comments »

    The Visualized Crisis of Credit

    26th February 2009

    Everybody already knows that, but this visualization is good:


    The Crisis of Credit Visualized by Jonathan Jarvis.

    Share

    Posted in Misc, Society, Welfare | No Comments »

    Russia vs Georgia: no comment

    17th September 2008

    2008 South Ossetia war

    russia-vs-georgia

    Share

    Posted in Society | No Comments »

    HospitalityClub.org and CouchSurfing.com

    4th September 2008

    These are the addresses for those who would like to travel lightly, meet new people, get new friends, hang out with interesting people, or just find a shelter for a night in the foreign country.

    I’m now registered in both systems (and getting “verified” in CS), and so far I stayed with three people (at two places) found via HC and CS. Both experiences were highly positive. Actually, my world outlook changed quite a bit after my first stay: I heard from someone that

    it’s better to trust wrong person once, than always distrust all the people

    But building trust, despite being central to HC ans CS, is only one – basic – component. Cultural exchange and knowledge sharing are also important, though so far I was unable to comprehend these components sufficiently to write on them.

    At the CouchSurfing.com website, it appears to be popular to put some test/quiz results into profiles. These are the tests:
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Share

    Posted in Links, Misc, Society | 1 Comment »

    What is important in life

    19th June 2008

    It has been over 18 months, since I started this post. As a result, it has gone through some (though not really extensive) internal reviews and modifications. I have no doubts there will be more comebacks and reviews and edits to this topic.

    On Sunday, the 10th of December, 2006, the grandmother of my wife died – almost three days after she had a cardiac infarction.

    She was a kind, calm, warm-hearted old woman. She was just a little bit over 79 years old.

    What did she leave behind?

    She had brought up and educated her children and grandchildren to be People. None of her offspring went the way of crimes, or even disrespect towards others. The likes of her children could form a quasi-ideal ethical society, with no exaggeration – given she would be able to teach and bring up all of them.

    She served the society well, working as a psychotherapist at a hospital. She helped people regain peace of mind, she cured mental diseases in the best way she could. She happened to meet her old-time patients in the street from time to time, and they expressed gratitude for her help.

    She left a memory of a good, reliable, helpful person. This memory lives with all the people who were lucky to know her.

    ———

    Death is the final evaluation for the person’s deeds during life.

    What are the measures for this evaluation? What is really important? What matters after death?

    First, it appeared to me that human memories are what matters. Memories of good deeds, memories of helping others, memories of being valuable for the society and mankind. “To put the mark on history” and “to be placed on record” are the expressions of the desire to have people remember someone even after death.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Share

    Posted in Personal, Society, Welfare | No Comments »

    Death on the roads of Ukraine

    19th March 2008

    Ukraine is the most dangerous country in Europe. That is, in terms of road safety and driving culture (or, to be more precise, the lack of both).

    In 2007 in Ukraine, there were over 62 000 road accidents with over 9 000 killed and 77 000 injured.
    This is 20% increase comparing to 2006.
    And this is also almost two people dead from road accidents per 10000 of population, and 16(!) people injured per 10000 of population.
    Based on these numbers, every Ukrainian is (on average) at 0.16% risk of being injured and at 0.02% risk of being killed in a road accident.

    (An increase in the number of new cars sold in 2007 relative to 2006 was 46.1%: from 371000 sold in 2006, up by 171000 to 542000 new cars sold in 2007.)

    On average, road kill accidents take 3-8 times more lives in Ukraine, then in other European countries.

    If you visit Ukraine – watch out for reckless, drunken, stupid, blind, ignorant drivers and violating, unpredictable, dummy pedestrians.

    The further from the Kyiv’s downtown you are – the more watchful you should be.

    This post used the numbers from this press-release (in Ukrainian).

    Share

    Posted in Life, Society | No Comments »