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One of my fave blogs is (of course) PZ Myers' pharyngula.

It was with great sadness and alarm that I learned a few days ago that he was to undergo a fairly extreme procedure to assist his ailing heart. Very sad indeed.

Well, I learned a few days after that the operation went swimmingly and that he's recovering.

PZ is one of those writers who always inspires me.  I wish I could write with just 10% of his wit and intelligence.  It's so good that he's back doing what he does best - in fact I was expecting there to be a few weeks' silence from him, but divil-the-bit.  He was producing excellent quality blog posts withing days of the operation.  That's dedication.

Within the last month or so, there's also been the news that Chris Hitchens has been diagnosed with some unpleasant form of cancer.  It looks to my untrained eye that his prognosis is much less encouraging that PZ's.  PZ's problem seems to be mechanical. His heart is weak, needed reinforcements and that's doable using today's medical know-how.

Chris's problem is something deeper. His body is attacking itself, and his chances are low.  Still, it's good to know that if having a hardy constitution and a fighting no-nonsense approach to life makes any difference, his odds are probably improved.

It's been an alarming but encouraging week for atheist fanboys like me.  But it's thanks to modern medicine, science and reason that we'll have these guys around a bit longer yet.


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