November 23, 2009

RIP, Stefanie Spielman …. and an SOBer’s Related Item

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 9:44 am

Stefanie Spielman has gone to a better place:

Stefanie Spielman, the wife of NFL and Ohio State star Chris Spielman who led a public fight against breast cancer, died Thursday after a lengthy battle with the disease. She was 42.

Stefanie Spielman died at the family’s home in Upper Arlington, surrounded by her family, said WBNS radio in Columbus, where Chris Spielman co-hosts a show.

“Stefanie has gone home to be with the Lord,” Chris Spielman said in a statement released by the station. “For that, we celebrate, but with broken hearts. I want to thank everyone for their support over the last 12 years. Together, with your help, hopefully we made a difference in this fight.”

Stefanie Spielman was 30 years old and three months pregnant in 1998 when she detected a lump in her breast. She later miscarried and discovered she had cancer. She survived four bouts with cancer before a fifth recurrence in March.

Chris Spielman was playing linebacker with the Buffalo Bills when he decided to give up football for a year to stay home with his wife and children.

While we’re on the topic of priorities, read this from Kyle Sisk. Have a hanky at the ready.

Lucid Links (112309, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:47 am

Uncle Sam Cash Crunch update (through the third Thursday in November, 2009 and 2008):

USTreceipts111909v111908

Consider as well the estimated combined total collections for October and November, which I’m generously and probably overoptimistically pegging at $280 billion this year vs. $310 billion last year. I’m estimating that November 2009 will come in the same as last year’s $144.8 billion, because November 2009 has five high-collection Mondays, while November 2008 had four.

I know that October and November are relatively light collections months, but $280 billion? Based on last year’s spending levels through November plus about 3% (which is way lower than the increase will really be), that amount pays for defense, HHS, the interest on the national debt and …. absolutely …. nothing …. else.

And even that is a bit padded because of the number of Mondays situation noted above. December 2009 has four Mondays, while December 2008 had five, so December ’09 collections will probably badly trail December ’08.

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Patrick Poole, on a Columbus arson — “While arson investigators continue to look into the fire that has temporarily displaced Masjid Salama (mosque), the leaders are waiting to see whether local officials and the media in Ohio — who have thus far ignored the larger controversy surrounding the fire — will finally recognize the larger battle between Muslim moderates and extremists happening in the Columbus Somali community.”

Recalling the attendance of Ohio Governor Ted Strickland at a CAIR banquet in June 2007 (here, here, and here), I would add state officials to Patrick’s list of those needing a wake-up.

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Instapundit is correct that the news concerning the upholding of Lynne Stewart’s conviction and the order that she be immediately jailed deserved more notice, though Michelle Misses-Nothing Malkin caught it — The New York Times carried its Tuesday and Friday coverage on Pages A31 and A32, respectively. At least it had decent headlines for once (“Conviction of Sheik’s Lawyer for Assisting Terrorism Is Upheld”; “Radical Lawyer Convicted of Aiding Terrorist Is Jailed”).

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Jonah Goldberg notes the gotcha of the month, which strikes comedy gold:

In its (Slate’s) reader forum, The Fray, one supposed Palinophobe took dead aim at the former Alaska governor’s writing chops, excerpting the following sentence from her book:

“The apartment was small, with slanting floors and irregular heat and a buzzer downstairs that didn’t work, so that visitors had to call ahead from a pay phone at the corner gas station, where a black Doberman the size of a wolf paced through the night in vigilant patrol, its jaws clamped around an empty beer bottle.”

Other readers pounced like wolf-sized Dobermans on an intruder. One guffawed, “That sentence by Sarah Palin could be entered into the annual Bulwer-Lytton bad writing contest. It could have a chance at winning a (sic) honorable mention, at any rate.”

But soon, the original contributor confessed: “I probably should have mentioned that the sentence quoted above was not written by Sarah Palin. It’s taken from the first paragraph of ‘Dreams From My Father,’ written by Barack Obama.”

Somebody had better let either Obama, or likely “Dreams” ghostwriter Bill Ayers, that they need to brush up on their writing chops.

Positivity: Science proves adult stem cells more promising than embryonic, says Vatican official

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 7:07 am

From Rome (related video is here and at link):

Nov 22, 2009 / 06:05 pm

The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, said this week that the work by two scientists has shown adult stem cells to be much more promising for medical treatment than embryonic stem cells. The use of adult stem cells poses no ethical difficulties and has already contributed to advancing treatments for degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.

In an article published by L’Osservatore Romano, the archbishop cited the work of two scientists, James Thomson of the United States and Shinya Yamanaka of Japan. Yamanaka was able to create adult stem cells in rats and later using human skin, which he called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, constituting a significant scientific development.

Archbishop Fisichella underscored that “the technique for producing iPS cells has allowed something to happen that was unthinkable in the field of cellular biology: to convert differentiated adult stem cells into immature, undifferentiated cells of an embryonic type.” Currently, he underscored, “nearly 300 labs throughout the world are studying these cells and what is significant is that numerous research teams have moved from the study of embryonic cells to the study of iPS cells.”

Adult stem cells outweigh embryonic stem cells in three ways, the archbishop continued. “The first is in the area of ethics, as iPS cells are not obtained through the destruction of human embryos (as is the case with embryonic cells.)” “With the development of iPS cells, the ethical debate that has raged in public opinion, parliaments and the scientific community can now be considered closed,” he said.

The second aspect “has to do with therapeutic applications: iPS cells have the great advantage of having been obtained from cells taken directly from the patient. This means that when they are injected they are compatible with the patient’s own immune system, and thus they are perfectly accepted,” as has been shown in cases involving stem cells taken from the umbilical cord.

The third aspect is that “iPS cells allow for the creation of pathological models,” Archbishop Fisichella said. “Thanks to Yamanaka, we can speak about the immediate future of generations of cellular models of diseases, in vitro, as the first practical application of this technology.” ….

Go here for the rest of the story.