The Oransky Journal

Interesting stuff that doesn't fit on Embargo Watch or Retraction Watch

RIP: 1999 Jetta dies

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20161104_170621A 1999 Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg, known early in its life for being a stick shift and in its later years by mechanics in three states, died on Friday, October 21. It was 18, with more than 187,000 miles on its odometer.

The immediate cause of death was overheating on the Massachusetts Turnpike, according to a family member close to – some would say too close to – the Jetta. A mechanic said that even figuring out what had led to the temperature spike would cost more than the car was currently worth.

But to owner Ivan Oransky, who drove the car off the dealer’s lot on August 24, 1998, the value of the Jetta was never financial. “It was what I could afford when I was a medical intern in New Haven. The Jetta served me, and then Cate, well,” Oransky told CarObits.com, speaking of his wife, Cate Vojdik. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

November 4, 2016 at 5:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Bears playing golf, off the menu, and getting heads stuck in cans: The Bear News, December 7, 2014

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How much for that human in the window?

How much for that human in the window?

It’s been a while since the last edition of The Bear News. Here’s another installment (there’s a lot more where this came from, so there will be another edition soon):

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 7, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Posted in bear news

I wrote a play about the immune system when I was 11. Really. Here it is.

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This guy, I'm not.

This guy, I’m not.

For several years, I’ve been in search of a play that I wrote in the sixth grade, circa 1984. (Strictly speaking, it was a short story, but my class performed it as a play.) I was reminded of it by an event, perhaps something that was part of EST/Sloan’s project on plays involving science, and earlier this month, my mother texted me to say she’d found it her house.

Some background: My father was a pediatrician in private practice, and he was frequently beeped — yes, this was the early 1980s — in the middle of family meals. So, inspired by a case of strep throat that interrupted dinner one night, I wrote a short story/play on the immune system. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

November 24, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Would you pay $41 to see a bear along a road? The Bear News, July 21, 2014

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bearcubtwitterHow much would you pay to see a bear in a national park?

That’s the question posed by a paper in the Journal of Environmental Management that our friend Skeptical Scalpel sent along. From the background of the study, which focuses on Yellowstone:

Traffic jams on the Park’s roads due to bear viewing began in the early 20th century, a time when visitors could feed panhandling bears from stagecoaches with some regularity (Schullery, 1992). Practices such as these led to an increase in the number of bear-inflicted human injuries within the Park’s boundaries, averaging 48 injuries per year from the 1930’s through the 1960’s (Gunther and Hoekstra, 1998). With the implementation of a strictly enforced bear management program in the 1970’s, this number declined dramatically, with a large portion of the decline coming from reduced black bear caused injuries on roadsides (Gunther, 1994).

Here’s the abstract (emphasis mine): Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 21, 2014 at 11:34 am

Posted in bear news

Man bites (OK, saves) bear, bears eat cupcakes and cookies: The Bear News, July 7, 2014

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bearcubtwitterEver since I took on the persona of a bear — my Twitter avatar is a cub that wandered up to our living room window a few years ago — people send me a lot of news about bears. So I figured I’d share these important tidbits periodically: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 7, 2014 at 9:30 am

Posted in bear news

Bears like oral sex, pepper spray, and the NIH campus: The Bear News, June 19, 2014

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bearcubtwitterEver since I took on the persona of a bear — my Twitter avatar is a cub that wandered up to our living room window a few years ago — people send me a lot of news about bears. So I figured I’d share these important tidbits periodically:
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 19, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Posted in bear news

Bears in cars, hammocks, and pools: The Bear News, June 5, 2014

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bearcubtwitterEver since I took on the persona of a bear — my Twitter avatar is a cub that wandered up to our living room window a few years ago — people send me a lot of news about bears. So I figured I’d share these important tidbits periodically: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 5, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Posted in bear news