Saturday, November 26, 2016

Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome mnemonic

immunodeficiency, thrombocytopenia, eczema
 Wiskott is riding an ostrich.

The ostrich is sick because it has immunodeficiency; it has epistaxis due to thrombocytopenia and a lot of eczema eggs.

X-linked disorder that causes cytoskeleton rearrangement.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Cytochrome P450 Inducers & Inhibitors mnemonics

Moderately offensive mnemonics that induce CYP450:
Nevir drive your carb by Ma's pines,
through the barbwire fence, and
up the ramp
into St. John's woods.

De-phen-ding griseoly bear (on a cycle, "Phossy,") will mo'dafinetly attack your drunk ass.
  • Nevirapine
  • Carbamazepine
  • Barbiturates
  • Rifampin
  • St. John's wort
  • Phenytoin
  • Griseofulvin
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Modafinil
  • Chronic alcoholism
Offensive mnemonic that off-puts, or inhibits, CYP450:
Ami and Quinn pro-teased Sonia'z azole with grapes and Clara's myce on the ciment floor.
  • Amiodarone
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Protease inhibitors
  • Isoniazid
  • -azole antifungals
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Clarithromycin
  • Cimetidine

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Neural crest cell / MEN2 mnemonic

Here's a word-picture to help remember the facts.
Two men "A" and "B" are wearing crowns (neural crests) and are both eating melon (melanocytes).

Man B is really tall and skinny (marfanoid) and has big orthodontics, and he chokes on the melon -- it's gone down his trachea! He freaks out! His lips and his eyelids are swollen!

Man "A," Larry, gives him a cricothyrotomy -- right in his larynx.

Now that it's 10AM, man B enters a muffin store in order to RETurn his melon. There are some seriously lumpy muffins inside...

Man "A" goes to the middle of the store. A swan in the middle of a simulated "sea" (C cells) wearing a royal crest is giving birth. The swan wields a para -- an M249 machine gun, and has HUGE thighs, 'cuz it has been using 'roids.

With the help of her dula, who is pounding on a tympani to help the swan count, she gives birth to a baby swan. Baby swan spirals around, covered in a membrane.

MEN2A/B is a gain of function mutation in the RET (tyrosine kinase) proto-oncogene found on chromosome 10. This affects cells derived from the neural crest. Both types are associated with pheochromocytoma and parathyroid hyperplasia (in type 2A) or Marfanoid habitus and mucosal neuromas (type 2B). These cells are derivatives of neural crest cells and are listed in order of appearance:
  • Melanocytes
  • Odontoblasts
  • Tracheal & laryngeal cartilage
  • Enterochromaffin cells
  • Parafollicular thyroid cells
  • Schwann cells
  • Adrenal medulla
  • Spiral membrane / tympanic surface

Monday, November 21, 2016

Benzodiazepine mnemonics

The Benzos have a contest crossing the Alps.
TOM tries with an ox mid-day;
Team Lorax crosses the Alps in less than a day;
The heavy Latin girls, Flura and Chlora, take more than one dia.

Short-acting: triazolam, oxazepam, midazolam (t½ < 6 hrs.)
Intermediate: temazepam, lorazepam, alprazolam (t½ < 24 hrs.)
Long: flurazepam, chlordiazepoxide, diazepam. (t½ > 24 hrs.)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

HIV drug mnemonics

Sometimes all you need to do is recognize part of the word.

Nuclear reverse transcriptase inhibitors

NRTI and Aba did ten vudine (voodo) tricks.
  • Abacavir
  • Didanosine
  • Tenofovir
  • Zido-, Lami-, and Stavudine
  • Emtricitabine

Non-nuclear reverse transcriptase inhibitors

No, NRTI, Neva-raping Delaware's ef-favor!
  • Nevi-rapine
  • Delavirdine
  • Efavirenz

Fusion inhibitors

Mars virus docs, 120, enfer (enter) virus 41.
  • Maraviroc - blocks GP120 and inhibits "docking" or attachment to surface receptors
  • Enfuvirtide - blocks GP41 and inhibits "entry" or viral penetration into the cell


Protease inhibitors all end in -navir ("Never tease a pro-tease.")

Integrase inhibitors all have -tegr- integrated into their names.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Microbiology: mnemonics, Baitisj-style

This post is primarily for medical students.

My brain doesn't work well with normal mnemonics, so I have to create sentences that use multiple letters from the organisms.

Aerobic bacteria:
Mona's heart and lungs need air.
  • Pseudomonas
  • Nocardia (cardia = heart)
  • Mycobacterium (infest the lungs), good enough for me
Ana's mice fuse bacteria and robes together in her closet.
  • Actinomyces
  • Fusobacterium
  • Bacteroides
  • Clostridium
Obligate intracellular:
Outside, it was rilly cold and chlammy, so I went inside because I needed to ATPee with my rilly chlammy cox.
(needs host ATP)
  • Rickettsia
  • Chlamydia
  • Coxiella
Facultative intracellular:
I listened in as the facultative French Legion pestered my nice salmon brood.
  • Listeria
  • Francisella
  • Legionella
  • Yersinia pestis
  • Neisseria
  • Salmonella
  • Brucella
Because she was Aspergers at heart, Mona Ecolied (coiled) her candid list around her serrated cattle-staff instead of her helical book-holder.
  • Aspergillus
  • Nocardia
  • Pseudomonas
  • E. coli
  • Candida
  • Listeria
  • Serratia
  • Burkholder
  • Helicobacter pylori
Urease-positive: (this is the only acronym that works for me.)
Struvite stones? PEe CHUKSS!
  • Staph. epidermidis
  • Proteus
  • Cryptococcus
  • H pilori
  • Ureaplasma
  • Klebsiella
  • Staph. saphrophyticus

Encapsulated bacteria:
Jesus (GBS)! Mona klubbed HIs nice, pnew-ly-colied salmon capsule.
  • Group B Strep
  • Pseudomonas
  • Klebsiella
  • Haemophilus influenzae (type B)
  • Neisseria meningitidis
  • Strep. pneumoniae
  • E. coli
  • Salmonella

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

git: Using the branches in a remote repository

This is more of a personal note -- something that I need to record in order to use git efficiently.

If you git clone a repository in (e.g. from GitHub), you generally end up on the 'master' or 'origin' branches, assuming that you accept the default nomenclature for referring to a remote repository. To show the other branches available to you:
git remote show [origin]
git ls-remote
To show you what you are currently tracking:
git branch -vv
You can then switch to one of the remote branches shown in ls-remote:
git checkout remote_branch
You may find that git warns you about untracked files that are present that may be overwritten by changing the branch.

Assuming you have a bunch of untracked files or cruft that you are certain that don't need and you want to discard:
git clean -d -fx ""
... and then you can proceed with the checkout.

Monday, September 5, 2016

This is what replacement nibs (tips) for the GT-N8013 look like

Nibs for the Galaxy Note 10.1 GT-N8013 (first edition, from 2013) are increasingly  hard to find. An Internet search turns up a lot of tips that look like they're incompatible -- and indeed, they probably are.

It turns out that the nibs for this particular model are straight: no curves, no blobs -- just a tube of plastic with a rounded tip. A #2 Philips is included for scale:

And yes, you can just yank them out of the pen barrel.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Building Python3 modules from FreeBSD ports

If you're like me, you will have python2.7 selected as the default interpreter in your TrueOS installation. However, some programs may require Python version 3 (and associated python3 modules). However, there aren't many py34 modules available using pkg install.

The solution to the problem is simple if you have a FreeBSD ports tree installed.

To build a port for a specific version of python, execute:
Substitute X.X for the appropriate version that you require. Instead of the default py27-modulename, FreeBSD will build pyXX-modulename.

The default, of course, can be changed in make.conf (see man make.conf for details.)

Friday, February 19, 2016

Prevent websites from hiding UI elements in Firefox browser window

This is freaking annoying
I find it very annoying when websites disable the menu bar, back and forward buttons, navigation bar, or bookmarks in windows. Banking websites and Paypal both have pop-up windows that 'castrate' my browser.

The JavaScript / HTML code that does this is quite straightforward; this is a comma-separated properties list of string tokens that define the new window behaviour: ("url","title",

It took some digging, but Firefox allows you to disable modification of the attributes of windows with a little bit of about:config magic. Simply search for disable_window_open_feature as shown below, and double-click on the attributes that you don't want websites to be able to enable or disable. My preferences are to manually set the following properties to true:

  • dom.disable_window_open_feature.menubar
  • dom.disable_window_open_feature.minimizable
  • dom.disable_window_open_feature.personalbar
  • dom.disable_window_open_feature.scrollbars
  • dom.disable_window_open_feature.titlebar
  • dom.disable_window_open_feature.toolbar

Saturday, February 6, 2016

LibreOffice: Interpreting CSV money "$XX.XX" as numeric value

For as long as I can remember using LibreOffice, I found that CSV files did not seem to be interpreted in a way such that monetary values preceded by a dollars sign (e.g. $12.34) would be interpreted as a numeric value. For example, when highlighting multiple numeric values, LibreOffice very conveniently shows the sum of the values in the lower-right area of the window.

The fix is simple. Check the box "Detect special numbers" as shown in the image below:

After this fix, LibreOffice very nicely formats any negative numbers in red ink.

Hurray! Now I'm all ready to analyse my 2015 expenditures!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Chase Ultimate Rewards sale item: Kohl's card 10% off

As part of my quest to hunt for cash back credit card bargains:

As of Feb 1, 2016, I had about $100 of Chase Ultimate Rewards built up, and noticed the Kohl's cards are currently 10% off.