Monday Review: Past Pieces -- The Monkey Trap and Acinetobacter

I've often found it interesting to traverse the sands of time and excavate various archives for a glimpse and reminder of what has come before and what was predicted for the future. Humanity is a curious species, at times reaching out and exploring with eyes wide with innocense and at other times galloping headlong into the unknown, sometimes deriving dubious benefit from the journey and at other times pushing the wellspring of human experience to dizzying new heights -- and depths.

Often, critics and nay-sayers intone odd phrases like "curiousity killed the cat" in their efforts to halt or slow what they see as inevitable bad ideas on the horizon, while enthusiasts oft cry words of encouragement and bravado like "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" or cryptic pseudo-wisdom like the sage "a journey of discovery begins with the first step" or "one must spread his wings in order to fly."

Somewhere in the middle, the folks generally regarded as old stodgy grandparents of caution interject terms and tidbits like "walk before you run" and "every time one door closes, another opens" -- the latter is perhaps intended to encourage the more zealous to look around instead of alighting upon the closed doors with plastique and battering rams.

A random stroll along the byways of history can reveal a lot, and inform us not only about the time and circumstances but also provide us a clue as to how to approach our future -- what worked, what didn't, what advice would likely have made a difference and what advice didn't work.

Sometimes, too, those meanderings through historical information can remind of things that may have fallen by the wayside in the mad scramble that the present often presents us with. In the heat of the moments that ever-so-temporarily comprise the "here and now" there are often hints, clues and opportunities to recognize major issues. If we catch wind of them before they forever escape into the foundation of history, we can act proactively upon them. If we miss them, then the occassional review of the paths we've walked that have led us to our present circumstance may reveal important items that we'd overlooked before, giving us the opportunity to act upon them now rather than waiting for the historical review of our time to weigh in after we've close the book or ended a chapter on the events they concern.

So, I've been delving into the past, and into the ePluribus Media archives -- most of which currently reside on the old Scoop site -- and I've got two old pieces to pull and share.

Check 'em out:

  1. Chris White's Iraq: Monkey Trap for Bush, first published in August of 2006, opens with the following:
    The Malaysians catch monkeys with a trap, called a "Malaysian monkey trap". They put a banana in a sturdy jar with a narrow neck. The monkey puts its hand in to get the banana, the clenched fist plus banana is bigger than the hand going in, the monkey can't get its hand out again through the jar's narrow neck, as long as it holds on to the banana. The monkey could let go of the banana and scamper away to freedom. But the monkeys don't let go.

    It's an interesting read as we enter yet another year after the infamous "Mission Accomplished" fiasco.

  2. jimstaro's Acinetobacter from May of 2007 wonders if there's more behind the story of Acinetobacter Baummanni, and cites several transcripts in search of more information. People who have been to Iraq and have returned with multiple serious infections may find the cause to be more than a simple explanation and not easy to chaulk up to Walter Reed Hospital types of facility mismanagement.

    Anyone familiar with infections as they pertain to the troops in and returning from the field may find some of the resources cited of interest, and any information you have that could further enlighten us about the topics can be shared in the comments, below.

And that's it, folks. Monday's mini-review of Past Pieces -- hope you'll check 'em out and share what you think in the comments below.

Thank you.


Previous Past Pieces:

    Sunday Review: Past Pieces, published Sun, 01/13/2008


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