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So I'm at a conference in LA, sitting in twilight rooms being taught at for hours a day.  I'm seeing people I haven't seen for ages, and as I walk through endless convention center hallways, I see people I know, smile, nod (what IS his name?) and say "Hi", over & over again. 
A friend and I go to a restaurant near the convention center for lunch.  As I'm sitting on a bench waiting for our table, a familiar-looking man walks in, so I smile and nod "Hello", and he nods back and then it call comes to a screeching halt.  He gives me a confused frown, and I turn beet red.  He's not part of the conference, and he has no idea who I am.  But I know him.  He's Chris O'Donnell. 
We ignored each other for the next hour.  I think it was easier for him than for me. 
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I asked a dear little old man whether he wanted the overhead light on in his room.
He said "Yeah.  I'm cold-natured."
"Would you like me to get you a blanket?" I asked. 
"Nah" he said.  "I'm not cold." 

OK, then. 

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Older Son's new group, Beta Collide, has a video from their new album, Pssst...Pssst.  It's pretty cool: http://vimeo.com/15113848.  Older Son is the emphatic trumpeter.
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Words cannot express how much I admire this young man.  Not even this article, written by someone who agrees with me, comes close. 

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As some of you know, I am in the process of writing a textbook about Neurologic eponyms, and boring a couple of you to death about it. 
The incomparable Greyrider is beta-ing the A's even now, God love her.  I've come upon something of a dilemma, and I thought I'd step out of my usual avoidance of real life on these pages to see what my f-list thinks. 

The format of the book is to name an eponym - disease, examination maneuver, whatever - and then discuss what every medical student should know about the item, and also to give a short biography of the person the item is named for. 

The item is Hallervorden-Spatz disease, a nasty congenital disorder that affects young children and causes death by age ten.  Dr's Hallervorden and Spatz were young men, essentially in their residency, when they described the changes in the brain for this disorder, and the disease was summarily named for them.  It was an auspicious beginning to two careers that could only be stellar.  They both started out to fulfill that ability when the Third Reich came along. 

At that time, Germany had a good number of asylums for adults and children with incurable disorders: birth defects, mental retardation, epilepsy, psychiatric illnesses, disabilities after trauma, polio, measles...  By the time World War II was in full swing, those asylums were closed - all of them.  Before the monstrosity that was the Holocaust, the German government charged two of their best physicians with the planning and execution of a euthanasia program for these people.  There were at least 700, and the benefit to the physicians was that they were able to autopsy every one.  They produced prodigious amounts of research regarding the pathology of many disorders.  Do I need to tell you who these two were?  They were charged with war crimes, and tried, but not imprisoned; their careers continued.  I guess their crimes were overshadowed by Mengele's.  There were fewer than 1,000 of these patients, and millions of Jews - which would get more press?

There is a movement in Neurologic academia to erase the accolades these men were given.  Hallervorden-Spatz disease is now called progressive pallidal degeneration, and the eponym is considered obsolete, and being gradually removed from the literature.  The research and specimen collections that this practice run for the Holocaust produced have been sequestered.  (If you're really interested, short and nearly digestible biographies can be found at www.whonamedit.com, but even then, don't read them near mealtime.)

I feel that I have three choices for responsibly handling this term in my book.  What I'd really like to do is publish a three-page diatribe, but that's probably not professional.  So, my choices:
1.  Treat H-S disease as all the others.  Obsolete terms are included in the list, so long as they are not confusing, and they are discussed for their historical value.  The connected people's biographies are included, with a historical slant.  I can do this, including discussion of their less noble activities, in a more subdued tone than that above.
2.  Enter H-S disease, list it's biological name  and state that the term is no longer used because H. and S. conducted themselves in a fashion inconsistent with the morals and ethics of true physicians, and that their biographies will not be listed.  (Maybe refer people to the Nuremberg Trials?)
3.  Leave them out altogether. 

In the interests of Never Forget, I'm inclined to do #1 or #2, but I also thought I'd see if you all have any thoughts.  In effect, I'm taking a poll of one of the most thoughtful and educated groups I know.  What would you do?
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Got up after Dad took The Boy to school, feeling quite lazy and grumpy about the insomnia that makes me want to sleep late.  Got my coffee and headed for the front porch to let the Bumptious Beasts out.  And the air was soft and lovely, and I decided to stay on the porch, drinking coffee and contemplating my world.  Dogs at my feet.  Sounds of someone working somewhere down the valley.  It's been so evil hot all summer, it's a joy to have a pretty morning.  End of grump, then.
Feeling also a little risque.  It's a pretty good certainty that we could run around outside here in our undies, or in the altogether, and no one would see us.  But I still felt a little scandalous to be drinking my coffee on the front porch, waiting for hubby to come home, wearing only my lacy red nightie...

The view from the porch:

Not the most complete picture, actually, since there should be a dog sitting by the flowerpots, surveying his or her domain....
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I think I love Leonard Pitts.  At least I love his ability to get to the important part of an issue, and I do love how he put this one: blogs.tennessean.com/opinion/2010/08/14/gay-rights-not-ours-to-give-take-away/

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Happy Birthday, [info]greyrider !
Do you know how nice my world is with you in it?
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There aren't many things cuter than a puppy chasing a grape around the kitchen floor. 
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Posted quite late, since lightening struck our transformer, and Comcast was killt.

We dragged The Boy off to a birthday party (belatedly, for me) at the Army-Navy Town Club, dressed in his new chinos and navy blue blazer and looking NOT AT ALL like my Baby Boy (who is this young man calling me Mom?).  Lovely party, lots of giggles, and I got to jitterbug with my Dad.  And then in the middle of the night something about dinner rebelled, and I didn't enjoy that part one bit.  Nuts.

Sunday morning, we finished loading up the Land Yacht and hugged and kissed everyone good bye and headed home.  It was a bit of a push, but we made it all in a little less than twelve hours, which is what it takes without a trailer.  After spending weeks stomping around all sorts of desert landscapes, and the neatly managed farmlands of the northern Midwest, the exorbitant greenery of the Mid-Atlantic area is a bit of a jolt.  There just doesn't seem to be any restraint.  Not that that's a complaint. 
We started naming off familiar landmarks as we got closer to Nashville, until we took the final turn onto the last bit of freeway before Goodlettsville.  Then we fell rather quiet for us.  The Boy stopped playing with his DS - the one I threatened to take away from him a hundred times ("Turn that off!  You've never seen this before and who knows if you'll see it again!") - and pressed his nose to the window.  We lumbered into our driveway, and up our hill, and maneuvered the Land Yacht into its parking spot, and looked at each other. 
Wow.  We did it.  The whole thing. 
I opened my door and stepped out of the air conditioned truck into the muggy Tennessee night and for the first time in two months, my glasses fogged up.  I smiled.  I was home. 
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