January 12, 2005

Bizarre coincidence, or a sign?

Writing about web page http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=blog

I opened a new tab to go to look at Urban Dictionary. While this loaded, I read this entry on the 'blog social.' Upon returning, I found this on the front page:



Short for weblog.
A meandering, blatantly uninteresting online diary that gives the author the delusion that people are interested in their stupid, pathetic life. Consists of such riveting entries as "homework sucks" and "I slept until noon today."

v. intr.
The act of posting to a weblog.


Is this a sign from the Almighty?

- 7 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. I did sleep until noon today….

    Come to the social: enrich your stupid, pathetic life!

    12 Jan 2005, 13:43

  2. The tagline from my blog is "It's a blog. By definition it's a blow-by-blow account of how you painted the toaster and sandpapered the cat!"

    Sums it up IMO

    15 Jan 2005, 00:34

  3. Tom, you didn't go to the blog social – do you feel unenriched by the non-experience?

    Now, it really is time to be off and a-doing something! Like painting cats!

    16 Jan 2005, 16:53

  4. Lesley

    Here by mistake. Caught by 'rhesus negative'. As Terry has this type of blood and wonders how it affects him. Not getting far on Internet apart from stuff on how it affects pregnant women! which he is definitely not. Though he would like me to be…

    Any ideas on how 'rhesus negative' blood affects people?



    20 Jan 2005, 00:08

  5. Hi Lesley,

    For the benefit of anyone else reading, I'll briefly outline the rhesus system. (Talk about topic drift!)

    You can classify someone's blood group with two factors: their blood type, or their 'rhesus factor.' Both of these refer to antigens (a special type of protein) which are found on the surface of your red blood cells.

    There are four blood types A, B, AB and O and three different proteins, A, B and O. You inherit genes to make these proteins from your parents, one from each parent. That means that you get AB blood if you inherit an A from one parent and a B from another, whereas you only get type O if you get two Os. If you get an A and an O, or two As, you get type A, and it's the same for type B.

    The rhesus factor is simpler than that: either you have the protein, or you don't. If you do inherit it you've got 'rhesus positive' blood (Rh+) and if you don't you've got 'rhesus negative' (Rh-).

    (Actually, 'rhesus' refers to a whole group of proteins 'rhesus negative' just means that there's one missing, or one has been mutated, so that it doesn't show up on the surface of your blood cells. But we won't go into that.)

    Until quite recently no one could figure out why the hell these proteins existed, or what they did in humans. Quite recently (four years ago?) they found out that they have some role in transporting ammonia through the cell membrane. While this sounds pretty important, there's actually no problem at all with people who have rhesus negative blood, they're no different from people with positive blood. Unless Terry is an algae or a defective strain of yeast, it won't do him any harm at all.

    As your research turned up, it is a problem in pregnant, negative mothers who have positive partners, and then only if she has a rhesus positive baby. It's not so bad for her first child, but there's a chance (which gets bigger as she has more children) that her body will have an immune reaction to her child's blood, and the child could develop haemolytic disease. However, there's no problem for Terry, as a man even if you're positive and the baby's negative, there won't be any reaction.

    However, one thing you might like to know is that it limits his choice of blood donors; people with positive blood can take negative or positive transfusions, but if you're negative you can only take negative. Only about 1/8 people in the UK have rhesus negative blood, and even less in other parts of the world. Around Asia, for example, only about 1/250 people have it they're urgently in need of some rhesus negative blood in the aftermath of the tsunami. So remind him not to get hurt if he goes to Taiwan!

    Incidentally, you get rhesus negative blood if you inherit the negative gene since it's recessive, chances are that any of Terry's children (if you have any) will be positive.

    As an aside, people with O-rhesus negative are called 'universal donors,' because they can give blood to anyone (though they have a much harder time finding donors), whereas people with AB-rhesus positive can take blood from anyone, and so are known as 'universal recipients.' (Though of course, not many people can take their blood!) A hemolytic reaction occurs because people with either A or B blood (or positive blood, for that matter) have antibodies in their plasma which detect and attack blood which doesn't have the right proteins. The whole thing is quite unfair, really.

    Hope that answers your question, Lesley!

    Remember, though - I'm not a doctor, so if you're looking for anything medical, don't take any of this as gospel, ask a professional.

    21 Jan 2005, 05:52


    Accurate info except… In the case of O blood, there is no surface antigen (protein) produced. A and B blood groups produce proteins, but O ought rather to be thought of as zero (0) instead of its alphabetical cousin o, as in the letter. People with the absence of either an A marker or a B marker have no markers, hence "O.

    21 Feb 2005, 20:24

  7. Couldn't agree more about the blood thing. Anyway, bring yourself down to the blog social, Mr Gray - not to enrich your life, but to avoid crossing the wrong side of the goons that we're hiring to kick the crap out of non-attenders.

    03 Mar 2005, 12:40

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