Thursday, April 23, 2015

Double the NIH Budget?

An article in the New York Times suggests doubling the NIH budget again. Using Alzheimer's and other dementia as an example, Newt Gingrich notes that we are projected to spend $20 trillion in care for these diseases, but only about 1% of that on research.  A cure for Alzheimer's is within reach, so surely that would save us trillions of dollars? Anyone see anything wrong with that argument? I can't. The same goes for other research agencies, as well, such as DOE and NSF, although one can argue about the relative importance to society of the each of the various programs they run.

Investment for the future. Get the best and brightest here and get them doing what they are good at.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Barking Mad

Today, Easter Sunday,  I was at Frozen Head State Park; one of my favorite hiking haunts. I reflected on James Earl Ray, the guy who murdered MLK, and was a prisoner nearby, at Brushy Mountain. He  escaped in 1977 and ran 8 miles in 55 hours. Gary Cantrell heard that, and said to himself "I could do at least 100 miles in that time",  and thus were the insane "Barkley Marathons" born. Runners must complete 100 miles in Frozen Head in 60 hours, including 54,200 feet of climb.  Only 15 runners out of 800 have completed it. Totally tonto. Barking Mad. This ultramarathon "eats its young". "You don't come here to be victorious; you come here to be humiliated." This year, a week ago, all 40 failed.

I struggled up 1500 feet, rested in the sun with my dog, and returned with a gammy knee.