Wednesday, January 27, 2010
"Slow Motion: The Log of a Chesapeake Bay Skipjack" by M. Kei is a break-through collection of waterman poetry from the Chesapeake Bay who actually knows what he is talking about. M. Kei crews on the title boat, the Skipjack Martha Lewis. Kirsty Karkow, prize-winning author of 'water poems' and 'shorelines' says: "A Skipjack is a historica vessel where form follows function with a rough beauty. These characteristics are apparent in the sensitive, poetic voyages of an aging boat and the men who work her sails. This history and trip log is sure to delight any sailor or lover of the Chesapeake Bay . . . and of poetry."
The trade paperback is for sale at: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/slow-motion-the-log-of-a-chesapeake-bay-skipjack/2905064
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Recently Simon Wessly et al, authors of the PLOS article I criticized in a previous post, have fired back at criticisms they are receiving from around the world regarding their patient cohort. Since I believe in giving the Devil his due, I will briefly summarize their reply. They specifically addressed the criticism that their patients are not typical of CFS patients, and that their patients are purely psychiatric cases. They identify several biologically anomalies in their patients, so it appears that not all their patients are 'pure' psychiatric patients. Based on the information presented in their article, it appeared that they had screened out all patients with documented physical anomalies. I don't know enough about the medical details to assess whether the biological anomalies they note are the same as those found by other researchers or whether they are significant in CFS. However, they explicitly state that they do NOT use the Canadian Clinical Consensus because they don't how to use it. (???!) Given that the Whittemore Peterson Institute DOES use the Canadian Clinical Consensus, it is clear that the patient cohorts necessarily differ in significant ways. Different patient cohorts = different study outcomes. No surprise there. The PLOS paper says nothing about the science done by the Whittemore Peterson Clinic. As long as they don't claim their study is a replication study (it isn't), there's nothing to get excited about.
I salute the authors of the PLOS article for defending their patients and asserting them to be as worthy of medical care and research as other patients. Unlike some critics, I don't think they're a cynical bunch of bastards making money for insurance companies off the bodies of their patients. I believe they actually do care about their patients. I think they're wrong-headed in how they go about it. I've met their kind of doctor before: absolutely unshakeable in their certainty that their medical degree means they're right and their patient is wrong.
I also salute them for detecting celiac disease in about 2% of their patients; this is a pernicious disorder that is hard to identify and can make a person absolutely miserable if not treated. On the other hand, such patients are then excluded from a diagnosis of CFS, and some studies have shown an association of gluten intolerance with CFS. They also exclude cancer patients from a diagnosis of CFS, and other research has shown that patients with CFS are at an elevated risk of developing cancer. Thus they have excluded two populations of patients that are reasonably included in CFS research.
However, the WPI makes no statement regarding celiac disease, so we don't know if it played a role in their patients, either. The WPI statements about cancer patients have been confusing; I have tried to track it down, and I believe they have said that the rate of lymphoma in CFS patients is one of the things that tipped them to look for XMRV, but that they did not include cancer patients in the cohort of 101 patients in their original study. Thus it appears that the WPI and UK patients are similar in this regard. Nonetheless, the utilization of the Canadian Consensus by the WPI and the utilization of the older Fukuda criteria by the UK study are dramatic differences in CFS definition and patient selection which render their study outcomes irrelevant to one another.
Above and beyond the medical implications for the public health that XMRV and CFS pose, the drama being played out in the usually sedate world of medical research is fascinating in and of itself. Somebody is going to take an Oedipal fall before this is all over, and like Oedipus, nobody is going to cry for them when it happens. It's like watching a very close football match, except in this case the outcome actually matters. My health--and yours-depends on it.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Call for Submissions
Cat Tanka & Kyoka
Catzilla! Cat Tanka & Kyoka is an anthology on the theme of cats edited by M. Kei. It will be published in the fall of 2010. The anthology will feature tanka, waka, kyoka, tanka sequences, tanka prose, tanka acrostics, shaped tanka, extended tanka, and any other creative use of tanka, waka, and kyoka in homage and affection to the felines we have known.
READING PERIOD: April 1, 2010 - June 30, 2010.
SUBMISSION ADDRESS: Keibooks (at) gmail (dot) com
Please do not subscribe this email address to any list, forwards, invitations, or any other item.
TOPIC: They say a genre of poetry has arrived when it produces its first anthology of cat poems. While most cat poems have been long on cute and short on depth, Catzilla! (in spite of its humorous title) seeks works that have significant literary value as well as feline appeal. Cats have been objects of worship or fearful demons, lifelong companions or feral strays skirting the edge of human life for thousands of years. They endlessly fascinate, amuse, and frustrate their human friends (and enemies!), so it is only right that they should have a tanka anthology to call their own.
POETS: Poets are invited to submit up to thirty tanka, kyoka, or waka for consideration for Catzilla! Both new and previously published works are acceptable. Previously published works must show credits including title of the book or journal or other source, city and name of publisher, and the date. Appearing in Catzilla! must not violate any other previously existing rights and the poet’s submission will be taken as certification that they are the holder of the copyright or the lawful representative of the copyright holder.
No simultaneous submissions.
FORM: We are seeking tanka and tanka-variations, loosely defined. Tanka, kyoka and waka are short poems composed of five poetic phrases. Classic Japanese tanka were written in a pattern of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables, but English-language tanka are less regular. We will accept any variation of tanka, waka, and kyoka. Each five line poem MUST stand on its own merits. When submitting longer works such as sequences or shaped tanka, each tanka must be autonomous; it must make a coherent statement on its own. We prefer untitled poems. Brief footnotes are acceptable when necessary to translate an unfamiliar term or concept.
INTERNATIONAL: We welcome international submissions that include English translations. Correspondence for the anthology will be in English, although we can read Spanish and French and some other languages for queries.
PAYMENT: We regret that the only payment for inclusion in this anthology is publication.
RIGHTS: We require digital and print world anthology rights. This gives us the right to publish a book and an electronic version of the book. It also grants us the right to use the accepted poems as part of promotional materials for the anthology. All other rights remain with the author.
EXCLUSIONARY CLAUSE: In the event of previously unpublished works, we acquire the right of first publication and the author agrees to not submit the works for consideration elsewhere or to publish the works until 90 days after Catzilla appears. After 90 days the author is free to submit or publish wherever they wish, provided subsequent publications credit Catzilla!
MANUSCRIPTS: We prefer to receive email submissions. Please use a large, plain font. NO ATTACHMENTS. All email submissions must be sent as plain text in the body of the email. Please set your spam filters/permission levels to allow our response. If we cannot contact you, your poems will automatically be rejected!
ANNOUNCEMENTS: We strongly recommend joining Keibooks-Announce (at) googlegroups (dot) com to receive updates about the project. This is an announcement-only list that generates no more than 0-4 emails per month.
CONTACT INFO: All submissions must include legal name, pen name (if any), postal address, telephone number and email address. Translators and agents must include a statement indicating that they are authorized to act on behalf of the author(s). In the event of multi-author submissions, the contacting author must include a statement that they are authorized to act on behalf of the other participating author(s). It will be the responsibility of the contacting party to keep the author(s) s/he represents up to date on relevant details of the submission and anthology.
AGE: All contributors must be sixteen years of age or older to comply with privacy laws in the United States.
BIOGRAPHY: No author biographies will be included. Authors should include their country of origin when submitting; this material may be included or omitted at the publishers' sole discretion.
RESPONSE TIME: Rejections will generally be within four weeks. Acceptances may take longer.
PURCHASE: Catzilla! will be available through Lulu.com and major online booksellers. It will be printed in the United States of America. Due to circumstances beyond our control, international buyers may receive better service through Amazon.com or other major online bookstores. Catzilla! will be available as an e-book as well as trade paperback.