Blogdex, the pimp

I enjoy checking my junk box. Now that all of my email is spam-filtered (with about 95% accuracy I might add), I get great satisfaction out of reading the titles of rogue messages and then squashing them all in one fell swoop.

blogdex is my fantasy
Is blogdex your ULTIMATE fantasy?

And then there are those priceless gems, like the one above. When I started Blogdex I thought I was getting a degree in Media Arts and Sciences, but now it appears to be P-I-M-P-ology. More to come on my blingtastic New Years plans…

Syndromic surveillance

some crowd in danger of diarrheaAfter 9/11/01, the CDC Division of Public Health Surveillance with help from Homeland Security implemented a new program for tracking possible bioterrorist threats, known as syndromic surveillance. Instead of relying on medical diagnosis of individual doctors, the system looks for statistical anomalies across the symptoms reported in recent emergency room visits and notifies epidemiologists when attention is needed. Doctors tend to use the Occam’s Razor approach to diagnosis, assuming that common illnesses are the cause for most medical visits; without any awareness of hospital- or city-wide statistics, a bioterrorist assault could go undetected for weeks until initial cases had progressed into more severe symptoms.

This approach to surveillance strikes me as ultra-futuristic, allowing machine intelligence to process large amounts of data that no individual doctor could take into perspective. While the system is developed (and funded) for the purpose of thwarting bioterrorist attacks, it’s easy to imagine a number of other uses for syndromic surveillance: seasonal viruses, STDs, macroparasites, and so on. Given an appropriate sensitivity, it could even be used to replace Erin Brockovich, finding carcinogenic sites based on a few reported cases and an abnormality in symptoms. Of course there will be a number of unexpected uses as well.

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12 days of Ludacrismas

check my tekThis week I was down in the ATL at a CDC-related meeting, and had the wonderful opportunity to fall in love with the south all over again. Eating collards and fried chicken, talking about STDs, and of course listening to 107.9. If you haven’t noticed, Atlanta hip hop (Ludacris, T.I., Youngbloodz, Bonecrusher, Lil’ Jon, Outkast, etc.) have been dominating airplay in America for the last few months, and the ATL is quickly becoming the most prominent city of hip hop. And Hot 107.9 is the epicenter of of it all.

While I was in town, Hot107 was running the best promotion ever: The 12 Days of Ludacrismas wherein every day a few people get presents from Ludacris and are entered into a lottery for the grand prize: his and hers matching watches from IceTek valued at over $26k dollars (courtesy of Bonecrusher aka Crusha Claws). Nothing says bling-bling like a watch with 3 carats of diamond chips and a leather wristband, not even an Escalade EXT with 24" spinners.

Let’s just say my cellphone was in use most of the time I was in the car, but unfortunately I was never caller #9.

Icetek watches: Diamond sports watches at uncomparable prices

Mediabase: HOT 107.9 charts