Photograph is by Jongsung Ryu, National Geographic Photo of the Day May 18 2014:

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do. ~ Isaac Asimov

In our last visit with This Old House there had been a pretty significant leak in the hall bath. When I pulled up the liner in the vanity before this round of work there was a large section of what I can only assume was black mold. I hit that with vinegar (having learned my lesson on that score) and will clean (or toss) everything before it goes back. Fortunately there wasn't a ton on the wall behind the cabinet.

NIH Research Matters: Symptom checkers | Who to treat with statins | Magnetic field sensor in worms

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Health Thursday (Jul 23)

Bath remodel.2

Some things I forgot in the first part (links are to Amazon):

  • A new exhaust fan in the hall bath. That's the mid-range model that has manual and automatic (based on humidity) modes. Existing wiring handled both circuits so the electrician didn't have to snake a new one. Contractor told me that exhaust fans should run max 30 minutes. They're not heavy duty; they can overheat and burn down the house.

    I had at the ready a combination switch to go into half of a 2-gang wall plate since each circuit needs its own switch (the other half of the plate is the switch for the light).
  • New HVAC registers . Apparently floor, wall, and ceiling are different (who knew?). As soon as the painting is done you'll run screaming out the door to get new so you might as well plan ahead. Hot tip: The size indicated (8 x 4) is of the hole, not the register. Amazon lists the outside dimensions as well:

The tile in the master bath started today. The hall bath floor is in. I'm old-fashioned and a floor should look great but do it quietly. The contractor installed two soap holders, one for the bath and one for showering.

The plumber was averse to dropping the toilet before repairs and painting are done. He doesn't want to install a toilet that someone else, not a plumber, will remove and reinstall. I'll bunk with ES when the second toilet comes out.

The plumber installed the whole-house filter. I'll still filter water for showering, brushing my teeth, and drinking (including for the cats). This protects appliances and adds an extra layer of filtering. The water here is The Worst.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Technology Tuesday: Bath remodel edition

First what is not (just) a shameless plug:

EMV Card Reader | Square

I asked my son to explain emerging payment technologies and he provided the link. There's a cute video and if you click the Town Square link you'll find (a lot) more information. Europe already uses chip & pin, which we're headed for eventually. I could not locate information about that on the Square pages; a search will do it. [For example, here's an amusing autoplay video from MarketWatch about how it will trigger the End Times].

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

NIMH Twitter chat on coping with cancer; Bioengineering 3D heart chambers; Germy beaches

Beach Sand, Not Water, More Likely to Make You Sick | NIH Medline Plus

Heading to the beach this weekend? A new study finds that when it comes to germs, beachgoers may have more to fear from the sand they sit on than the water they swim in.

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NIMH Twitter Chat on Cancer and Psycho-Oncology

Don't forget to join our Twitter chat tomorrow with the National Cancer Institute! We're co-hosting a chat on how patients and caregivers, across all ages, can deal with the psychological impact of cancer. Experts from NIMH, NCI, and others will be on hand to answer your related questions.

Please use the hashtag #CopingCancer to follow and participate in the Twitter chat. To ask questions, you must have a Twitter account. If you prefer to simply observe the chat taking place, you may do so at and view the conversation in real-time. An archive of the chat will be posted on NIMH's website following the event.


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Bioengineering: Big Potential in Tiny 3D Heart Chambers | NIH Director's Blog

The adult human heart is about the size of a large fist, divided into four chambers that beat in precise harmony about 100,000 times a day to circulate blood throughout the body. That's a very dynamic system, and also a very challenging one to study in real-time in the lab. Understanding how the heart forms within developing human embryos is another formidable challenge.

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