health

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Christina Loguidice's picture

Why I wrote Cancer Nutrition & Recipes For Dummies

Cancer Nutrition and Recipes For DummiesCancer Nutrition and Recipes For DummiesSo, I’m excited to announce that my book, Cancer Nutrition & Recipes For Dummies is officially out—okay, it has been out for a few weeks now (since July 29th, to be exact), but finding the time to do anything these days is a tremendous challenge. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I have burnout and need a break from all the extracurricular activities. Bill is in the same territory as I am, so we’re two peas in a pod in that regard. But as tired as we are, we just can’t say no to projects, particularly when they excite us. And that is how it was for me with the cancer book. So, I wanted to tell you a little about how it came to be and what my experiences were along the way.

As many of you know, Bill and I have written a few books together, projects that we got through our agent, Matt Wagner. They were all technology books, of course. And while I love technology, it really isn’t my strong suit. In fact, Bill often likes to tease me by calling me a “technology witch” or “technology lich” (you’ll get that reference if you’re a fan of Adventure Time, like we are). And he’s right! Technology seems to fall apart in my hands. I don’t know why or how, but it always manages to go awry in some way. But I always thought that this quirk, if you can call it that, was what made us a great team on these projects—he’s the subject matter expert who knows his stuff and can fix things and I’m the dope who breaks them, thereby helping us determine which troubleshooting topics to cover.

After coauthoring a few books with Bill, Matt emailed me that he expanded his contacts at various publishing houses and asked if I had any ideas for potential medical titles. He wanted to see if I had an interest in doing stuff in the clinical arena as well. I shot off a few ideas to him, all focused on cancer.

Cancer was foremost on my mind because I had been an oncology editor and writer at my previous job and it’s an area where there’s a lot of activity, so there are always lots of exciting developments to read and write about—kind of like with technology. It was also a topic very dear to my heart because of my mother-in-law’s struggle with breast cancer. I saw the obstacles she faced and felt so helpless to do anything for her. Many people joke about their in-laws, but she was always kind to me and I considered her a second mom, so watching her decline was truly devastating for me.

Matt Barton's picture

If Only Spirit Had Attended More Quilting Bees

Phone Home, Damnit!Pick up, you Nickel-plated Nincompoop!It's Wednesday, May 25th, 2011. A day that will promptly be forgotten and wasted. I imagine when you're old, infirm, and rotting away in a nursing home tended by a robot who's stopped responding to your cries for help, you'd gladly give it all for just one more day like you're going to have today. To be young, healthy, and free, just (gasp) one more day! And on that note, news.

First off, something really neat: Depixelizing Pixel Art: Upscaling Retro 8-bit Games. It took me a little while to figure out what's going on here, but it amounts to a new algorithm that turns blocky pixel images into smooth vector images. The actual article is pretty technical, but also includes lots more cool transformations. I can see tech like this being used to "update" old games, perhaps even on-the-fly. The researchers really seem to get what they're doing, too, and believe they've "managed to capture some of the charm of the original" from the 8-bit "masterpieces." Can't wait to see what Samantha Fox will look like.

Matt Barton's picture

Designing Videogames to Treat Videogame Addiction

Nintendo's treatment facility.Nintendo's treatment facility.We've heard often about the dangers of videogame addiction, defined by WebMD as a "clinical impulse control order" similar to gambling, drug addiction, or masturbation. Fortunately, some game publishers are joining forces to do something about it, including Nintendo, Activision, and Blizzard. As Larry Probst of Electronic Arts puts it, "We're fed up with viewing children and thirty-something year old men merely as markets to be ruthlessly exploited. Instead, we wish to leverage our resources to promote prosperity, justice, and goodwill." But what's the plan? It's a simple but cunning plan that might just work: design videogames that will themselves help treat and potentially cure videogame addiction.

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