Monday, May 6, 2013

Solidifying Moose Brain

Today's post will cover a few random things about the blog, including some new pages I recently added. Toward the end I'll explain where the title of this post came from, and then I'll finish with the monthly blog stats where I learn about a country I've never heard of before.

First, if you subscribe by email then the two pictures in the last post (April 30) may not have appeared correctly or at all. They did not look right in my email, but that post and the pictures do look fine on the blog, though, in case something seemed to be missing from your email. I think it has to do with how I added those pictures to that post. If it happens again I will issue a full refund to all subscribers.

New Pages

I recently added some new pages to the blog, listed on the right side near the top. One page that has been there a couple of months but I may not have mentioned before is a page titled "Welcome New Visitors!" It is just what it says, a page for new visitors to find out what is available on the blog.

Next is a page titled "What should I do now?" This page has my recommendations on what people should do when they or someone in their family is diagnosed with fibrinogen amyloidosis. These recommendations depend on whether or not a person has been genetically tested for the mutation, whether or not they have symptoms of kidney problems, and whether or not amyloidosis has been confirmed by a kidney biopsy. I came up with six different scenarios a person could be in based on the status of those three things and I created a list of recommendations for each scenario. (You nerdy types in the audience will be happy to know that I created a truth table with these three variables to make sure I covered all possible scenarios. Two scenarios were considered invalid, which is why there are only six instead of eight.) Feedback is certainly welcome on that page. I tweak it a little almost every time I read through it.

Then the most recently added page, which is definitely in its infancy, is a glossary. I named this page Simple Glossary because it is my attempt at providing definitions of some of the medical terminology used in the journal articles and in the blog. I'm not duplicating the definitions that can already be found elsewhere on the internet, because those tend to be quite detailed and cover a lot that does not really matter in this context. What I am trying to provide is very simple definitions to help people understand the articles in medical journals and also to help people explain things to friends and family without giving them a medical lesson first.

I have wanted to do this glossary page ever since I wrote the first article review in February of this year, but I never took the time to work on it for very long. Now that it is public I guess I'll have to keep adding to it.

Spam Comments

With the increase in traffic to the blog there has been a corresponding increase in the number of spam comments submitted. Fortunately, Blogger does a great job at putting those in a spam folder such that I don't have to do anything and they never appear on the blog. So far I think every comment flagged as spam has included a link to a web site, and most of them tell me what a wonderful job I am doing and how much they like the blog. (Awwww, thanks, spammers!) Anyway, if you submit a comment and don't see it posted within 24 hours, ask me if it landed in the spam folder.

Here is my favorite sentence from the April spam comments:

"This is both welcome and long overdue, since more progress needs to be made against the Libyan leader, one of the darkest acts that exist in the wild flowers growing near the pond."

Solidifying Moose Brain

What the heck does a solidifying moose brain have to do with fibrinogen amyloidosis? Nothing really, but if you rearrange the letters in "fibrinogen amyloidosis" you can spell "solidifying moose brain." (I'll take anagrams for $200, Alex.) Yes, sometimes I just have too much time on my hands . . .

And finally, the eagerly anticipated monthly blog stats. April was a record month for total pageviews as well as for the number of new countries visiting the blog (10), including one in Eastern Europe that I had never heard of. (Quick: What country is between Romania and Ukraine?)

=====Monthly Blog Status Update=====

Total posts: 75 (5 in April)

Total pageviews: 1932 (620 in April)

Email subscribers: 4

RSS subscribers: 2 (Hooray! Somebody besides me subscribes via RSS.)

Total number of countries that have viewed the blog: 44

10 new countries viewed the blog in April:

Mexico (Why did it take our neighbors to the south so long to find us?)

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