Saturday, March 2, 2013

Day 259 - the loom whisperer

The roof with just a little snow. I would like to figure out how to depict this in woven form.
My loom is called a Jane Louet. The person who designed it is named Jane Stafford and she runs a nice little weaving shop in BC. Or, in the interest of internet honesty, what appears from the pictures to be a nice little weaving shop. I sent her email and learned a bunch of interesting stuff. My loom was bought in the first year of manufacture of these looms and many (most?) people who own this loom use it as a second loom because it is portable. She thinks mine may be one of the harder used Jane looms as well as one of the longest used ones. On top of that, what do I favor? Non-elastic closely set cotton yarn. The windows piece is set at 32 ends/inch. That means that each harness has 4 ends / inch across 14 inches. That's a lot of pulling. I was surprised to have a cord break and even more surprised when I looked and saw a few others fraying. Jane said that it was not a known problem, but for the reasons above, I might be a pioneer. At any rate, she is sending a replacement set of eight cords as well as the elastic things that provide the counter tension. She also suggested not tightening it quite so much next time. Good advice. I did take the windows piece off the loom and like it quite well. It's not done being finished yet so I'll wait a day or two to post it here.

In other exciting news, I took a nap on the couch today. The sun was at just the right angle to come in the window and shine on my face. I sure hope it's right that house window glass takes the ultraviolet out of sun because it shone the heck out of my pre-skin cancer spot.

In further edifying news, the 2/19/13 Annals has a nice article about "Assessing Bias in Studies of Prognostic Factors." Using that article, I would not have been misled in my review of the article where I was so enamored of a negative study that I totally missed the boat on how it was super biased. Ah, well, live and learn. I doubt Annals will ever let me near another article to review, but maybe someone else will and now I've got a nice checklist for bias.

Additionally, there is a great article about "Acupuncture in Patients with Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis." The net is that real acupuncture helps more than sham acupuncture and rescue medicine alone, but it may not be enough of a decline to be noticeable clinically. I'll have to take their word on the significance of the scale they used, but they said that a decline of 1 point was about what you get out of 10 mg of zyrtec. Sham vs real acupuncture was 0.5 points different and real vs rescue meds only was 0.7 points difference. It seems to me that almost as effective as the usual dose of zyrtec would be clinically significant. The real reason I am drawing your attention, however, is the editorial. They talk about how very few surgical procedures have been subjected to trials where patients have a "sham" version of the procedure done. They then note that many other trials have been shown acupuncture to be more effective than no acupuncture but not sham acupuncture. In those cases, the answer to the question of whether acupuncture is effective depends in large part on whether one considers a procedural-based intervention to be effective relative to the absence of that intervention, or relative to an artificial course of treatment that would never be administered in clinical practice and may not be physiologically intert." They discuss how trials of acupuncture vs nothing are of interest to insurers, patients and doctors, but trials of sham acupuncture are intended to tease out the placebo effects. The Harvard Medical School offers a $4,000 (last time I checked) CME course in learning to do acupuncture. I bet the CME course in sham acupuncture is a lot cheaper. A funny thing about this topic and me is that I do have an opinion about good acupuncture practitioners in the area. You need a referral? Gimme a call.

A long time ago (when Emily was a baby), I kept getting "sinus infections." I went to see an acupuncturist in Berkeley, CA where we lived at the time and she did her thing a few times. I ended up with an ear infection x 1 right after the course of acupuncture and then no more sinus or ear trouble for a lot of years. N = 1. If people have the ability to get to my favorite acupuncturist and nothing else has worked well enough, I do suggest trying acupuncture for lots of things. (not metastatic cancer, however, but yes to pain from metastatic cancer) Sometimes it's helpful and sometimes it's not, just like lots of things I recommend from the pharmacy.

Well, that's a cheery, non-controversial end to today's post. I am hoping for tomorrow to see this virus in my rear view mirror. For you, too, I hope you do not get any new viruses and that you get over any you have picked up very quickly.

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