Gravity's Rainbow

botany, shoes, books, and justice

October 25, 2016
by sarcozona

While you’re waiting for the bus

When You Find Out Your Neighbors Own Your House and They Try to Evict You. The state is really fucking up its role in keeping track of who owns what land.

Why Women Pretended to Be Creepy Rocks and Trees in NYC Parks During WWI.

Striking new research on inequality: ‘Whatever you thought, it’s worse.’

The Snarling Girl.
Read this a thousand times

Police, Seizures, and Fear

Elon Musk, Wernher Von Braun and Gigantism: What is Old is New Again

Screening for the metabolic syndrome in subjects with migraine

Mindfulness and headache: A “new” old treatment, with new findings

Columbus Day!?!? What the f* are we celebrating?

October 24, 2016
by sarcozona

Migraine may affect my personality, but my personality didn’t give me migraine

Anna Eidt wrote recently about the “migraine personality,” an old and sexist idea that still influences how migraines are perceived and treated. It’s a succinct discussion and debunking of the idea.

The “migraine personality” was coined in the early 20th century not long after Victorian doctors thought migraine to be a purely psychosomatic phenomenon. Headache researcher Harold G. Wolff believed that people with migraine fell into a certain category of high-strung, perfectionist, anxious worriers and the like.(1) Without much scientific understanding of migraine aside from the dilation of blood vessels, these personality traits became generally understood as the underlying cause of migraine (especially as they were applied to sexually repressed housewives) and the “migraine personality” gained mainstream popularity by mid century.(2) For perspective, keep in mind this was time in the history of neurology when lobotomies were still performed by the thousands in the United States… (i.e. neurologists had a seriously long way to go in understanding how the elusive human brain works).

I also highly recommend Joanna Kempner’s Not Tonight: Migraine and the Politics of Gender and Health, which goes into this idea, its history, and its effects in much more depth.

Is there an alternative to countries?

is a structure that grew spontaneously out of the complexity of the industrial revolution really the best way to manage our affairs?

Item from Ian: Truck ban in London to protect cyclists

i love joan watson ME TOO

Be normal.

Feds go after Mylan for scamming Medicaid out of millions on EpiPen pricing

Why Would Men Fear Women With High Sex Drives?

What danah boyd said (personal) – The essential role of the media in terrorism

The Presentation of Selfies in Everyday High School


Friday links: Lego grad student, ESA awards, and more The gulf between between doing science and being an academic is indeed vast.

“if you publish in selective journals, that shows that you can convince a careful, critical, independent expert in your field that your work is interesting and important. Which is evidence that your work is interesting and important. It also demonstrates your ability to convince others of the interest and importance of your work, which you need to do to get grants and do the other things needed to become a leader in your field.”

Erenumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody specifically designed for the prevention of migraine. Erenumab targets and blocks the Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP) receptor, thought to be pivotal in the genesis of migraine. Erenumab is currently being studied in several large global, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials to assess its safety and efficacy in migraine prevention. [from the press release for the ARISE study]

Kerrie has a nice breakdown of the results, which look quite encouraging, but not magical.


October 10, 2016
by sarcozona
1 Comment

This is the drug that works

Sick Time by Sarcozona is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License

I get the aura, I take the pill, I lie down. The pain starts, increases, becomes everything. Two hours later it has quieted to a throb that consumes most, but not all, of my attention. The ice pack doesn’t help, but it’s comforting.

This is the drug that works.

It feels like there’s a knife in my right shoulder. I imagine the pill lodged under my shoulder blade, transformed into something jagged, slowly sawing at the bone as I shift. I put the volume down and listen to a book, one I’ve read before because I’m hoping one of these waves of fatigue will carry me away.

This is the drug that works.

It’s 6 hours later. I can get up. Slowly, carefully, for a few minutes. My knees have a tendency to fold under me. A glass of water, some crackers, perhaps a moment sitting on the stoop. Back to bed.

This is the drug that works.

8 hours later and the pain is like the reverberations after a gong. I move carefully, awkwardly to avoid jostling the knife in my stomach. I’m still trembling, but can sit upright and eat leftovers (thank goodness I have some). I sit for a long time starting at the window, messaging my sister, my partner. I get up and my kitchen is scattered with dishes, spilled bits of juice and broken crackers. It is a quiet relief to tidy it, to be able to tidy it.

It is 7:30 and I’m exhausted. The pain isn’t bad but it hovers around me. I go to sleep.

This is the drug that works.

Triptans have a 50% chance of causing a rebound headache.

When I wake the next morning my head doesn’t hurt. The vision on my left side seems strangely smeared and I move carefully to avoid the lightest brush on my stomach. Breakfast, some fresh air, slowly, slowly. I feel hopeful. I sit down and start working. It is hard, but my work is hard. I start to calculate a probability. It is simple; it is impossible. I am crying with frustration when the pain starts.

This is the drug that works.

My stomach is so sensitive I am leery of taking another pill. The more often I take them, the worse the rebound effect is. The pain is not as bad as it could be, but it is enough. I lie down. The day passes.

This is the drug that works.