Yesterday was not a good day. Scientifically it was great. We’re working on 4 grants with Oct deadlines and the data continues to pour in. Its exciting all around and the grants are looking very good. Couldn’t be more pleased with the progress. We had a meeting about a big collaborative grant for a Jan deadline and the group has come up with what I think is an incredibly creative outline for the work we want to do. Again, very exciting stuff… and then came the phone call.
You see, Juniorprof is hobbling yet again. This time its my knee. The first diagnosis was a bone bruise but that was 2 months ago and I still can’t run, jump or ride the bike faster than about 5 mph. I went back to the doctor about 2 weeks ago and they diagnosed torn meniscus this time. They think its of a nasty variety, that will need surgery, but the MRI has to come first. So when I called to see why the MRI appointment is taking so long to get ordered they tell me that my insurance company turned it down. Unnecessary. Did I mention it hurts to walk?
But that’s not all. We head off to the department seminar where a student gives an excellent presentation on toxicity of some new industrial compounds. He’s done some really fine work and we are all convinced that these compounds are bad for animals, so another professor asks: were these tested for safety before they started being used in situations where people could be exposed to them? We know the answer already, NO. Fuck.
Melamine. I’ve heard this word before. That’s right, it was the toxic additive that killed dogs and cats throughout the US last year in tainted pet foods. Another professor is telling us that it is being used in China, again, to increase apparent protein content in baby formal. WTF! this cannot be right, I haven’t heard this story before, it should be all over the place. Well, its not all over the news but it is happening. I think I’ll be sick.
Back to checking out financial markets. Markets are still falling apart even though A.I.G. is getting rescued. What is the shadow banking system anyway? Oh, I get it, trading bad investments for worse investments and then insuring them. Nice, looks like we all own these insurance policies now. I wonder how much we’ll pay for them over the next decade?
Fast forward to dinner with Mrs Juniorprof. The Emergency Room was packed again today. The Hospital is full and there is nowhere for patients to go but to wait in the Emergency Room. What are we gonna do if the economy collapses completely? Sure Mrs JP, you’ll have a job, but will it pay anything. Will I have a job, no idea. Can we grow food on our tiny plot of land. “It’s a fucking desert JP, are you out of your mind?” Not yet, but I think they’ve started watering down the bloody tempura sauce.