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Sweet red blood

See this?

Measure 1 dl

This is a deciliter (about 3.3 fluid ounces) of “blood”. Where I live, we measure blood glucose concentrations based on how much glucose is present in this amount of blood.

(Actually, it’s not blood, it’s red wine. Humor me.)

So, if I wanted to find out how much glucose was in the above sample of “blood”, I’d simply extract the glucose, put it on a scale, and weigh it.

(Your nation may vary, and if it does, I apologize in advance for not doing the conversion for you. But mmols involve counting molecules, not weighing them, and mmol folks base it on a full liter – or litre if you prefer – which is an order of magnitude larger)

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All I ever needed to know I learned in 7th grade

The_Giving_TreeWhen I was in seventh grade, my English teacher structured an entire lesson around the children’s book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Though the topic of the book is not without controversy (people draw parallels to an ungrateful child who keeps taking from a parent who enables the greedy behavior), this lesson was a little different. And it’s a lesson that has stuck with me to this very day. If you’re not familiar with the book, you should either go get a copy (now!!), or be warned that I’m about to reveal the ending. Not that knowing the ending of this book will ruin it or anything, but still — SPOILER ALERT!!

The story is about the interactions between a boy and a tree. At the beginning of the book, when the boy was a young child, he would play on the tree: climb it, swing from it, and eat its apples. Then the boy’s priorities changed. His visits became more and more infrequent, and when he did, greed had taken over. What follows are a few quotes from the boy in subsequent pages:

Wordless late-Wednesday: Ironic


These two things arrived at my house today (no, not together).  I wonder which one I’ll dig into first.

Ten strips a day

Ten strips a day. Those are my directions: “Test 10 times a day as directed”.

I shouldn’t complain.  Ten strips a day isn’t really bad.  Some people have insurance plans that cover a lot less.  Some don’t even have insurance (that should all change in the United States in a couple of years!).  And as we all know, strips are too expensive!

But everyone who has a prescription has a prescribed “per-day” amount.  And, in most cases, that is a perfect amount for a perfect day.  Maybe the doctor says to test before meals, before bed, and before exercise.  Five a day.  Or maybe the prescribed order also states to test before driving, two hours after meals, upon waking up, and once overnight.

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