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Showing posts from November, 2007

Just in: Everything I Do Causes Cancer

 In the immortal words of the late, great Warren Zevon, "Life'll kill ya." But this time, it's   personal .  As has just been   widely reported in the media , the World Health Organization's cancer research organization is about to add working night shifts to its list of probable carcinogens.  Why?  Because working at night switches the body's exposure to light and darkness, disrupting the natural circadian rhythms, and interfering with natural production of the hormone Melatonin, which can suppress development of tumors. Of course,   I work nights a lot .   This wouldn't be such a concern, except that the place I work nights restricts my hours   because   letting me work more hours would lead to them being required (by state law) to offer me a health insurance plan. So... work that probably causes cancer, combined with an employer determined to not offer health insurance.  Great, huh? Interestingly, the same thing can happen with Melatonin


  At the beginning of November, I went to Yokohama, Japan for a week to attend a conference.  Since I like Northwest Airlines and had never flown between Japan and anywhere in the US except Honolulu, I opted to fly to the mainland and go from there. I caught up with my friend and fellow conference-goer, Twig, at the Detroit airport just as our 747-400 bound for Japan was boarding.  I knew we would be on the same flight, but I didn't know that he'd wound up right across the aisle and one row back!  It made it easy to chat now and then during the very long flight! Our flight path from Detroit to Tokyo-Narita took us over Alaska, which was interesting to see.  I've still never been on the ground there, and I suppose I really have to work on that sometime.  We got into Narita on-time, though... and then had to wait for our friend Peter, whose flight from Vancouver was running a little late. We all took the JR Line Narita Express train down to Yok