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Sunday, 24 February 2008


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I really enjoy your blog. I want you to be around for a long time - I need more sensible info like yours regarding the industry.

I told my wife, who teaches basic medical science at the university level, about your episode. She suspects that your episode might be more than just a side effect of the coughing. Essentially, if it were only due to passing out from lack of oxygen, you would have awoken with memories intact. The memory outage and disorientation are usually present under different conditions such as mini stroke or concussion. She's not an MD, but she is a Ph. D. who teaches them. It may be nothing, but it would be worth exploring with your doctor.

Best wishes on getting well soon from the flu and keep up the excellent work!

Well, it certainly is a pleasure to visit you. Hope you get well real soon, despite this crazy winter which sure isn't helping anyone.

Take good care.

This stuff can be scary.

Last year I passed out while peeing. Woke up on the floor with my pants around my ankles and a very sore face from hitting the ground. Some Google research shows it to be relatively common in men between 35 and 55 years of age.

Turns out that certain things can cause fainting, including 'vigorous swallowing', so vigorous coughing seems like another likely cause.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation: Fainting may occur if the vagus nerve, which supplies the neck, chest, and intestine, is stimulated. When stimulated, the vagus nerve slows the heart. Such stimulation also causes nausea and cool, clammy skin. This type of fainting is called vasovagal (vasomotor) syncope. The vagus nerve is stimulated by pain, fear, other distress (such as that due to the sight of blood), vomiting, a large bowel movement, and urination. Fainting during or immediately after urination is called micturition syncope. Rarely, vigorous swallowing causes fainting due to stimulation of the vagus nerve.

How is your blood pressure?

I'm worried about Mike's well-being, and excited about the visions of future technology from the previous post.

Can we clone Mike to make sure nothing happens to T.O.P.?

I am glad that it was not Martians.

"The extraterrestrials needed his home in the Beach for a high-level meeting and Scholze urged his wife to take their daughter and leave or face the consequences."
"As for his friends the Martians, Scholze said, "They're still around, but I got nothing to do with them."

You can never be too careful.

--Just kidding;glad that you are OK.

"I Am Abducted by Aliens"

At least you have internet access.

Go easy.

That article and the comments had an effect on me. Fortunately it wasn't as unpleasant as your event. A couple of visions of the photographic future came to me.

1) A visit to Disneyland in 8 years. You rent a camera for the day from Disneyland. The camera is video and still (of course) and it transmits it's images back to Disney very soon after they are taken. You are also given GPS enabled wristbands for you and your family. You wander through the park, taking still and video photos. At the end of the day you hand the camera in, and Disney gives you a name, password, and web location.

You log on to your account on Disney's web site. You see your own footage, and you also see footage from static Disney cameras placed in strategic locations. You might even see footage from other people's Disney cameras if you or your family are in the frame. It's all done automatically: You and the family have been geotagged all day long via bracelet, and the Disney video/photo database is searchable by exact time and location.

You mix up a presentation on the web, add Mickey's voice and a Disney logo or two, and buy the presentation.

2) Press and Event photography in 8 years: In 8 years I will be a member of an organization, primarily web based, called PeoplesPhoto. Each morning when I log on I see a list of events going on in my area which media outlets may want photo and video coverage for. Each listing has lists of the media outlets that might be interested, and lists of people who have already indicated that they want to cover the event. I can add my name or not to any event.

Event photos are more or less immediately transmitted from my still/video camera back to my PeoplesPhoto online account and PP brokers my photos and video of a particular event to media outlets, in a package along with photos and video of the same event from other members.

I can choose to participate in an event at any time. If I'm on lunch break and decide I want to do some event photography, I can look at what is going on nearby and go and submit my work. I can subscribe to a feed to my cell phone that alerts me to any breaking news event in my area where photo/video coverage may be needed. If my camera or cell phone is geotagged, I can even receive photo instructions while at an event such as we need more coverage from the left side of the stage, move to your left.

-- What advances in technology are needed for these things to happen?

- Better, faster wireless uploading.
- More pervasive use of GPS.
- Better combination still/video cameras

Take care, be as well as you can. -B.

Mike, this is scary.

I remember you went sick more often lately. So did I, 3x since New Year's Eve. This is very strange and maybe we don't take care enough of our immune system...

This is more important than sensor sizes ;-))

I didn't comment on the last posts because there were already so much opinions expressed, and many of them very very interesting.

Somehow I get tired of thinking about future developments and holographic imaging and the likes. I think ("offtopicly" spoken this not only applies to photography) I would have been more happy when born some decades earlier. While digital made entering the photographic world easier for me, I more and more feel that I would be happier with a all manual camer and one kind of film. Ok, I still could do this, but somehow I don't cut it.

However, all this is irrelevant if you are not sound.

So take care!

Mike, certainly hope you're feeling better today. I've had those racking coughs from the flue that were so bad I thought I was going to bust a rib, so you have my sympathy.

Part of the reason the posts on 4/3 engendered so much interesting reading and discussion from your readership is because your lead-in articles were thoughtful, well-reasoned, and well-written.

I consistently find TOP to be engaging, intellectually stimulating, articulate, and a veritable breath-of-fresh air compared to the vast majority of photography-related web sites. The sensibility and community that is TOP keeps me coming back time and time again...

Yikes, Mike. Take care of yourself and go see a doc to get checked out to rule out pneumonia.

I just wish I knew more of you in person!

Stop by anytime, Mike. And feel better.

Get well soon ...
Mike if you want to travel to Africa and do some nice wildlife (with 4/3 sensor ;) ) - lose that flu in our hot summer and meet a reader/fan give me a buzz.
Nico in sunny South Africa


You experienced "cough syncope." This is a rare but well recognized cause of loss of consciousness. Typically, episodes start with a paroxysm of coughing, followed by weakness and then by loss of consciousness for a few seconds. Victims generally remember the coughing fit, but not the short period afterwards. The loss of consciousness is caused by interruption of blood flow to the brain. Although there is considerable variability, people who experience this tend to be muscular, middle aged men with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and/or atherosclerotic disease of carotid or coronary arteries. In susceptible individuals, cough syncope can recur. This condition can be dangerous if syncope occurs when someone is driving a vehicle or operating hazardous equipment.

Take care.

John Hansen-Flaschen MD

Phone home, please, and tell us what lens and camera was used for that shot of the crapped cars. Are the aliens also censoring this kind of information? Call X-files for help. If you are hearing shadowy forms and seeing sounds, be careful! Just call a doctor, we cannot live without your blog, ok?

This is known in the business as post-tussive syncope. If you have a coughing paroxysm severe enough, the progressive coughs on top of each other cause the pressure inside the chest to temporarily exceed the filling pressure in the right side of the heart. This means blood stops getting to the heart, your blood pressure drops precipitously, and you pass out. As soon as you're out, of course, you stop coughing and you wake up as blood pressure promptly returns to normal. It's a problem for people driving, obviously.
I would second the opinion that you should see a doc in person to make sure nothing else is going on.

Best wishes; I'm getting over the crap this week myself. This year's flu vaccine wasn't a very good match to the prevailing flu strains, either A or B.


Could this be Tussive syncope? For whatever reason you coughed you reduced the flow of blood to the right side of your heart from increased intrathoracic pressure. Not a bad idea to talk to your doc...altho any reason for a cough can cause it. Also laughing syncope, micturation syncope...

I hardly ever chime in here with a comment, as someone else always seems to say it, usually better, but I do read regularly and greatly appreciate the time and effort you put into T.O.P. Thanks Mike, and very best wishes for getting the EI/FFH/whatever-it-is sorted.

Here's one more vote for: "see your doctor". Take good care.

'Tis the season. I had a flu about a week ago that caused sweats and chills like I haven't had since I had mono some 20-odd years ago, and then I had some strange dermatitis on top of my head and blistering on my hands and feet--all symptoms that I've never had before--and then it went away before I regained the energy to think about calling a doctor, and now I'm fine. I hope it passes for you as well.

I used to pass out during coughing fits. I told it to my physician, and she told me it was related to the asthma I have.

You've been writing about your sicknesses, and they are too close.

You are one of the few columnists who are rational. Please take care,both for yourself and your son.

Best wishes Mike - for a speedy recovery and for this not to occur again (at least not often; preferably not at all !)

Maybe the aliens implanted the memory of coughing?

But seriously, as many have stated above, there are a number of reasons why you may have feinted, but at your (our) age you really owe it to your loved ones to get it check out by a doctor.

"I just wish I knew more of you in person!"

Perhaps you should plan a 'meet and greet' at a local watering hole, like maybe Wolski's or something :-) before the aliens realize that you got away.

Pat in Wauwatosa

We're all very glad that you recovered to tell the tale but this isn't the first time you've worried us with your health Mike.
I know you love that snow but hate those fuel bills - maybe now is the time to consider moving to a location with a milder climate & within walking/cycling distance of the local shops?

Cheers, Robin

I wish you good health, Mike, and second others' suggestion to get a thorough checkup. Your intelligent and wide-ranging discussion of photography and related subjects is one of the best things on the net.

Richard from Santa Fe

Have you read THE HOT ZONE? You should lay in some Sunbeam electric grills, formaldehyde crystals and some bleach. That'll get rid of the little varmints.

Now this may not seem any less far-fetched than your UFO hypothesis, but it sounds to me like you were hit by a Causal Systems Robot. Tom Bearden talks about them in his book "Fer de Lance" and describes an incident that happened to him:

Like you, Tom was struck while looking at his computer monitor. The CSR took control of his screen, split the screen so only strips at the bottom and top were luminous. These allowed for scalar interferometry, creating longitudinal wave interference in his vision centre that manifested in the experience of blinding flashes of "light". The attack also involved 10 seconds of violent fibrillation of the heart. He said "I was instantly hypnogogic and seriously weakened by sudden hypoxia from the lack of blood pumping." His hypothesis was that he had been targeted as a test subject because he was likely the only person in the US who would understand what this was, and his attempts to alert the authorities would in turn reveal whether they had any clue what was going on here. They didn't. (I'm paraphrasing his report)

Now why you? The originators of this CSR would know that you'd write about it, and they again would want to see whether anyone out there among your fairly intelligent bunch of readers had a clue about what this might be.

Read Tom's book or check out his website if you want to know more. (cheniere.org) He has a listing on CSRs in his glossary there.

You decide if you want to post this.

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