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  1. <?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?><?xml-stylesheet href="" type="text/css"?><feed xmlns='' xmlns:openSearch='' xmlns:blogger='' xmlns:georss='' xmlns:gd="" xmlns:thr=''><id>,1999:blog-6281085</id><updated>2015-09-16T14:50:23.276-04:00</updated><title type='text'>The Corpus Callosum</title><subtitle type='html'>The Corpus Callosum is an occasional journal of armchair musings, by an Ann Arbor reality-based, slightly-left-of-center regular guy who reserves the right to be highly irregular at times.&#xa;&#xa;Topics: social commentary, neuroscience, politics, science news.  &#xa;&#xa;Mission: to develop connections between hard science and social science, using linear thinking and intuition; and to explore the relative merits of spontaneity vs. strategy.</subtitle><link rel='' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href=''/><link rel='hub' href=''/><link rel='next' type='application/atom+xml' href=';start-index=26&amp;max-results=25'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author><generator version='7.00' uri=''>Blogger</generator><openSearch:totalResults>1215</openSearch:totalResults><openSearch:startIndex>1</openSearch:startIndex><openSearch:itemsPerPage>25</openSearch:itemsPerPage><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-06-09T12:00:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2007-11-18T18:24:36.574-05:00</updated><title type='text'>Corpus Callosum Has Gone To Seed</title><content type='html'>As of now, &lt;span style=&quot;font-style:italic;&quot;&gt;Corpus Callosum&lt;/span&gt; will no longer be published on blogspot.  The &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;new location&lt;/a&gt; is at &lt;span style=&quot;font-style:italic;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;ScienceBlogs&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/span&gt;, sponsored by &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Seed Media Group&lt;/a&gt;, publishers of &lt;span style=&quot;font-style:italic;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Seed Magazine&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/span&gt;.&lt;br&gt;
  2. &lt;br&gt;
  3. &lt;a onblur=&quot;try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}&quot; href=&quot;;&gt;&lt;img style=&quot;display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 400px;&quot; src=&quot;; border=&quot;0&quot; alt=&quot;&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  4. &lt;br&gt;
  5. &lt;center&gt;
  6. Photo by &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Tennessee-Gator&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  7. &lt;font size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;Licence: &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Creative Commons&lt;/a&gt;, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0&lt;/font&gt;
  8. &lt;/center&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Corpus Callosum Has Gone To Seed'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-06-08T14:45:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-06-08T14:51:06.233-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Today&#39;s Lesson?</title><content type='html'>&lt;div id=&quot;Politics&quot;&gt;
  10. The two big news items today are : 1) the &lt;a
  11. href=&quot;;&gt;killing&lt;/a&gt;
  12. of &lt;a
  13. href=&quot;;amp;en=67185ba70ac5fa01&amp;amp;ei=5090&amp;amp;partner=rssuserland&amp;amp;emc=rss&quot;&gt;Abu
  14. Musab al-Zarqawi&lt;/a&gt;, and 2) the &lt;a
  15. href=&quot;;&gt;sharp
  16. decline&lt;/a&gt; in &lt;a
  17. href=&quot;;amp;en=56388c6e1eb39257&amp;amp;ei=5090&amp;amp;partner=rssuserland&amp;amp;emc=rss&quot;&gt;stock
  18. markets&lt;/a&gt; around the world. &amp;nbsp;The two are not
  19. particularly related.&lt;br&gt;
  20. &lt;br&gt;
  21. The juxtaposition of these two events creates an interesting
  22. perspective. &amp;nbsp;While it is good news that Zarqawi is out of
  23. action, it is bad news that the stock markets around the world are
  24. struggling. &amp;nbsp;The thing is, the good news does not have any
  25. direct effect on the quality of life here in the USA, while the bad
  26. news &lt;i&gt;does&lt;/i&gt; have a direct domestic effect.
  27. &amp;nbsp;How bad the negative effect will be remains to be seen.
  28. &amp;nbsp;I&#39;m not arguing that the economic news is dire; rather, I am
  29. saying that this juxtaposition of events may highlight the relative
  30. importance of the two. &amp;nbsp;It is going to be hard for people to
  31. care about an incremental improvement in Iraq, when their own
  32. retirement funds are going in the tank.&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Today&#39;s Lesson?'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-06-08T02:10:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-06-08T02:16:29.823-04:00</updated><title type='text'>&quot;They Must Actually Take Their Medication&quot;</title><content type='html'>&lt;div id=&quot;Science&quot;&gt;
  33. A &lt;a
  34. href=&quot;;amp;spc=246&quot;&gt;new
  35. report&lt;/a&gt; indicates that treatment with calcium and vitamin D
  36. might actually reduce the incidence of hip fractures. &amp;nbsp;This
  37. appears to contradict some other studies that were reported widely in
  38. the popular media. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  39. &lt;blockquote&gt;Dr. Boonen presented results of a meta-analysis of
  40. major randomized placebo-controlled trials that analyzed the effects of
  41. vitamin D alone or in combination with calcium. The meta-analysis found
  42. that in patients getting 800 units of vitamin D and more than 1,000 mg
  43. of calcium a day, there was a 21% reduction in risk of fracture
  44. compared to placebo.&lt;br&gt;
  45. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  46. The new report was a &lt;a title=&quot;Wikipedia link&quot;
  47. href=&quot;;&gt;&lt;i&gt;meta-analysis&lt;/i&gt;&lt;/a&gt;,
  48. meaning that the authors pooled the results of several studies.
  49. &amp;nbsp;As seen in Wikipedia:&lt;br&gt;
  50. &lt;blockquote&gt;In &lt;a
  51. href=&quot;;
  52. title=&quot;Statistics&quot;&gt;statistics&lt;/a&gt;, a &lt;b&gt;meta-analysis&lt;/b&gt;
  53. combines the results of several studies that address a set of related
  54. research hypotheses. The first meta-analysis was performed by &lt;a
  55. href=&quot;;
  56. title=&quot;Karl Pearson&quot;&gt;Karl Pearson&lt;/a&gt; in 1904, in an
  57. attempt to overcome the problem of reduced &lt;a
  58. href=&quot;;
  59. title=&quot;Statistical power&quot;&gt;statistical power&lt;/a&gt; in
  60. studies with small sample sizes; analyzing the results from a group
  61. of studies can allow more accurate data analysis.&lt;/blockquote&gt;
  62. To give an idea of why the meta-analysis might be more valid than the
  63. other studies, the authors point out:&lt;br&gt;
  64. &lt;blockquote&gt;For one thing, he said, neither study had enough
  65. statistical power to find an effect. For instance, he said, the RECORD
  66. trial, looking at hip fractures, had 2,649 participants and only 93
  67. events. By contrast, Dr. Boonen said, he and his colleagues had a
  68. patient pool of 16,978 individuals and 812 fractures.&lt;br&gt;
  69. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  70. I&#39;m not sophisticated enough with statistics to be able to give an
  71. opinion of the validity of this particular analysis, and the report I
  72. am citing here has not yet been subjected to peer review.
  73. &amp;nbsp;Therefore, the results are to be considered to be
  74. preliminary. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  75. &lt;br&gt;
  76. What is interesting is the list of reasons given, for why the
  77. meta-analysis gives results that are different than the
  78. previously-reported studies. &amp;nbsp;It turns out that the positive
  79. effect is seen only in those patients who actually had a deficiency of
  80. either calcium or vitamin D. &amp;nbsp;If the patient&#39;s regular diet
  81. provides enough of those nutrients, there is no effect from
  82. supplements. &amp;nbsp; Some patients in the studies did not take doses
  83. that were high enough. &amp;nbsp;Some did not take both the calcium and
  84. the vitamin D. &amp;nbsp;Also, the prior reports included in the
  85. analysis patients who did not actually take the supplements at all:&lt;br&gt;
  86. &lt;blockquote&gt;Dr. Boonen told reporters after his presentation that
  87. clinicians need to pay attention to four factors. They must prescribe a
  88. combination of calcium and vitamin D, the doses must be high enough,
  89. the patients must be in need of the supplements, and finally they must
  90. actually take their medication.&lt;br&gt;
  91. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  92. It seems kind of obvious to say that the patients actually have to take
  93. the supplements in order to see an effect, but in daily practice, noncompliance
  94. turns out to be a common problem. &amp;nbsp;Sometimes the factors that
  95. seem too obvious to even consider, are the ones that turn out to be
  96. important.&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='&quot;They Must Actually Take Their Medication&quot;'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-06-05T01:09:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-06-05T01:09:29.560-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Is This One For Real?</title><content type='html'>&lt;div id=&quot;Science&quot;&gt;
  97. The LA Times (free registration required) has an article on the
  98. possibility of a shortage of physicians in the USA:&lt;br&gt;
  99. &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;b&gt;&lt;a
  100. href=&quot;,0,1528090.story&quot;&gt;Physician
  101. Shortage Looms, Risking a Crisis, as Demand for Care Explodes&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  102.  &lt;b&gt;&lt;small&gt;An aging America needs more doctors, but supply
  103. isn&#39;t keeping up. Experts fear worsening quality and dangerously long
  104. waits for appointments.&lt;/small&gt;&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  105.  &lt;small&gt;By Lisa Girion, Times Staff Writer&lt;br&gt;
  106. June 4, 2006&lt;/small&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  107.  &lt;br&gt;
  108. A looming doctor shortage threatens to create a national healthcare
  109. crisis by further limiting access to physicians, jeopardizing quality
  110. and accelerating cost increases.&lt;br&gt;
  111.  &lt;br&gt;
  112. Twelve states &amp;mdash; including California, Texas and Florida
  113. &amp;mdash; report some physician shortages now or expect them within a
  114. few years. Across the country, patients are experiencing or soon will
  115. face shortages in at least a dozen physician specialties, including
  116. cardiology and radiology and several pediatric and surgical
  117. subspecialties.&lt;br&gt;
  118.  &lt;br&gt;
  119. The shortages are putting pressure on medical schools to boost
  120. enrollment, and on lawmakers to lift a cap on funding for physician
  121. training and to ease limits on immigration of foreign physicians, who
  122. already constitute 25% of the white-coated workforce.&lt;br&gt;
  123.  &lt;br&gt;
  124. But it may be too late to head off havoc for at least the next decade,
  125. experts say, given the long lead time to train surgeons and other
  126. specialists. [...]&lt;br&gt;
  127. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  128. The biggest issue there is the funding for medical training.
  129. &amp;nbsp;It is incredibly expensive to train physicians. &amp;nbsp;I
  130. recall that when I was in medical school, and students were complaining
  131. about double-digit increases in tuition, one of the administrators told
  132. us that our tuition only covered about one-third of the actual cost of
  133. training. &amp;nbsp;As an &lt;a
  134. href=&quot;;&gt;historical
  135. aside&lt;/a&gt;:&lt;br&gt;
  136. &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;a
  137. href=&quot;;&gt;&lt;img
  138. alt=&quot;First UM Medical building&quot;
  139. title=&quot;First UM Medical building&quot;
  140. src=&quot;;
  141. align=&quot;right&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; height=&quot;86&quot; width=&quot;120&quot;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;When
  142. the Medical School first opened in 1850, students paid only a $10
  143. registration or matriculation fee.&lt;br&gt;
  144.  &lt;br&gt;
  145. By 1891, the matriculation fee was $10 for Michigan residents and $25
  146. for students from out of state. Over the next 50 years, tuition rose
  147. slowly until it was $250 in 1940. In the early part of the twentieth
  148. century, students were required to pay laboratory and demonstration
  149. fees totaling $136 over the four years. None of this takes into account
  150. room and board. The average cost of room and board in 1893 was $3-$5 a
  151. week; 1931: $12-15 a week. In 2003, tuition and fees for Michigan
  152. residents were $20,526 (out of state, $31,526) and estimated living
  153. expenses were $20,300 a year. Currently, the average student debt for
  154. someone receiving an M.D. degree from the University of Michigan is
  155. close to $100,000. &lt;br&gt;
  156. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  157. Medical schools are allowed to charge more for services, based upon the
  158. recognition of the fact that training costs are high. &amp;nbsp;But the
  159. federal government has balked at these higher fees, so there have been
  160. caps. &amp;nbsp;This debatable policy has made it more difficult for
  161. medical schools to expand enrollment.&lt;br&gt;
  162. &lt;br&gt;
  163. There have been dire warnings of physician shortages before, but this
  164. time it seems more credible to me. &amp;nbsp;The key factor is the fact
  165. that the average age of the US population is increasing.
  166. &amp;nbsp;Obviously, older people require more doctoring than younger
  167. people. &amp;nbsp;But there is another factor:&lt;br&gt;
  168. &lt;blockquote&gt;At the same time, younger male physicians and women
  169. &amp;mdash; who constitute half of all medical students &amp;mdash; are
  170. less inclined to work the slavish hours that long typified the
  171. profession. As a result, the next generation of physicians is expected
  172. to be 10% less productive, Edward Salsberg, director of the Assn. of
  173. American Medical Colleges&#39; Center for Workforce Studies, told a
  174. congressional committee in May.&lt;br&gt;
  175. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  176. I expect that the trend toward fewer work hours will bring up some
  177. controversy, and possibly some resentment. &amp;nbsp;Some physicians
  178. will be negatively judgmental about those who choose to work fewer
  179. hours. &amp;nbsp;Others will face pressures to delay their retirement.
  180. &amp;nbsp;At the same time, it will be increasingly difficult for
  181. physicians to keep up-to-date with their skills and knowledge base.
  182. &amp;nbsp;Every hour spent on continuing education is an hour that is
  183. not devoted to patient care. &amp;nbsp;There is a risk that the demand
  184. for more patient-care hours could lead to doctors devoting less time to
  185. continuing education, which obviously would have a detrimental effect
  186. on quality.&lt;br&gt;
  187. &lt;br&gt;
  188. It seems likely that the prediction of a shortage of physicians is
  189. accurate. &amp;nbsp;That will pose new challenges for physicians, in
  190. terms of managing stress. &amp;nbsp;It occurs to me as I write this,
  191. that it may be desirable to make a point of educating medical students
  192. about these pressures, and how to deal with them. &amp;nbsp;As soon as
  193. I figure out how to deal with them, I will post that information here. &lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Is This One For Real?'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-06-04T17:01:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-06-04T17:14:42.266-04:00</updated><title type='text'>What To Do On 6/6/6</title><content type='html'>There is still time to make your plans:
  194. &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;b&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Hell plans devil of a time on 6/6/06&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br&gt;&lt;/b&gt;
  195. &lt;br&gt;
  196. June 4, 2006&lt;br&gt;
  197. &lt;br&gt;
  198. HELL, Mich. -- They&#39;re planning a hot time in Hell on Tuesday.&lt;br&gt;
  199. &lt;br&gt;
  200. The day bears the date 6/6/06 -- abbreviated as 666, it is the &quot;number of the beast&quot; according to the Bible&#39;s Book of Revelation, often linked to the devil or the Antichrist.&lt;br&gt;
  201. &lt;br&gt;
  202. And there&#39;s not a snowball&#39;s chance in Hell the day will go unnoticed in the unincorporated hamlet 60 miles west of Detroit.&lt;br&gt;
  203. &lt;br&gt;
  204. Nobody seems more fired up than John Colone, the town&#39;s self-styled mayor and owner of a souvenir shop.&lt;br&gt;
  205. &lt;br&gt;
  206. &#39;&#39;I&#39;ve got &#39;666&#39; T-shirts and mugs. I&#39;m only ordering 666 so once they&#39;re gone, that&#39;s it,&#39;&#39; said Colone, also known as Odum Plenty. &#39;&#39;Everyone who comes will get a letter of authenticity saying you&#39;ve celebrated June 6, 2006, in Hell.&#39;&#39;&lt;br&gt;
  207. &lt;br&gt;
  208. Not all &#39;Hell-billies&#39; happy&lt;br&gt;
  209. &lt;br&gt;
  210. Most of Colone&#39;s wares will sell for $6.66, including deeds to one square inch of Hell.&lt;br&gt;
  211. &lt;br&gt;
  212. Mike &#39;&#39;Smitty&#39;&#39; Hickey, owner of Dam Site Inn, wasn&#39;t sure what kind of clientele would show up Tuesday.&lt;br&gt;
  213. &lt;br&gt;
  214. &#39;&#39;I don&#39;t think we&#39;re going to get the cult crowd, the devil worshippers or anything like that,&#39;&#39; Hickey said.&lt;br&gt;
  215. &lt;br&gt;
  216. Jason LeTeff, one of the town&#39;s 72 year-round residents -- or, as the mayor calls them, Hellions or Hell-billies, wasn&#39;t enthused.&lt;br&gt;
  217. &lt;br&gt;
  218. &#39;&#39;Now, here I am living in Hell, taking my kids to church and trying to teach them the right things and the town where we live is having a 6-6-6 party,&#39;&#39; he said.&lt;/blockquote&gt;
  219. More information on Hell, &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;here&lt;/a&gt;.</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='What To Do On 6/6/6'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-06-04T12:51:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-06-04T12:52:37.610-04:00</updated><title type='text'>War on Science Update</title><content type='html'>&lt;div id=&quot;Science&quot;&gt;
  220. &lt;span style=&quot;font-style: italic;&quot;&gt;Seed Magazine&lt;/span&gt;,
  221. the originator of the &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;web&#39;s
  222. largest conversation about science&lt;/a&gt;, has an editorial: &lt;a
  223. href=&quot;;&gt;&lt;span
  224. style=&quot;font-style: italic;&quot;&gt;The American War on Science&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;.
  225. &amp;nbsp;There have been many such articles lately, but this one is
  226. different. &amp;nbsp;It examines the logistical aspect of the war.
  227. &amp;nbsp;By that, I mean that the author, Christopher Mims, discusses
  228. the complex issues involved in the supply of scientists,
  229. mathematicians, and engineers in the USA. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  230. &lt;blockquote&gt;It is possible that American students&#39; accelerating
  231. disinterest in science and engineering, coupled with a dwindling supply
  232. of foreign replacements, would set up a Peak Oil-type scenario in the
  233. US, where demand for these workers continues to grow while supply
  234. plateaus and then dwindles.&lt;br&gt;
  235. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  236. There is another issue that is peripherally related to this: The &lt;a
  237. href=&quot;;&gt;&lt;span
  238. style=&quot;font-style: italic;&quot;&gt;Undercover Activist Blog&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;,
  239. a blog that allows public employees to post anonymous criticisms of
  240. their agencies and governmental activities, has posted some new
  241. information (&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;1&lt;/a&gt;
  242. &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;2&lt;/a&gt;)
  243. about the industry push to get controversial pesticides approved by the
  244. FDA. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  245. &lt;blockquote&gt;EPA scientists protest pending pesticide approvals&lt;br&gt;
  246.  &lt;br&gt;
  247. In a PEER-released May 24th letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection
  248. Agency, leaders from three unions representing 9,000 scientists, risk
  249. managers and other specialists are publicly objecting to imminent
  250. agency approval for a score of powerful, controversial pesticides.&lt;br&gt;
  251.  &lt;br&gt;
  252. The letter is in reference to an August 3, 2006 deadline for the EPA to
  253. issue final tolerance approval for 20 organophosphate and carbamate
  254. pesticides. The scientists cite &amp;ldquo;compelling
  255. evidence&amp;rdquo; which EPA leadership is choosing to ignore that
  256. these &amp;ldquo;pesticides damage the developing nervous systems of
  257. fetuses, infants and children.&amp;rdquo;&lt;br&gt;
  258.  &lt;br&gt;
  259. Today&amp;rsquo;s Wall Street Journal &lt;a
  260. href=&quot;;&gt;article&lt;/a&gt;
  261. (subscription) broke the story and cites political pressure by agency
  262. managers and pesticide-industry officials to allow the continued use of
  263. a family of pesticides that might be harmful to children, infants and
  264. fetuses. The letter asks EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson to either
  265. adopt maximum exposure protections for these agents or take them off
  266. the market.&lt;br&gt;
  267. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  268. It seems ironic that persons who advocate for a &quot;culture of life&quot; would
  269. want to make it legal to poison fetuses. &amp;nbsp;Of course, no one is
  270. saying that these pesticides actually &lt;i&gt;kill&lt;/i&gt; fetuses,
  271. just that they damage their brains. &amp;nbsp;The real irony is that it
  272. is going to be a lot harder to keep up the supply of scientists and
  273. science teachers, if we poison their developing brains.&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='War on Science Update'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-06-03T17:52:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-06-03T18:03:54.780-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Cheslea Painters Art Show</title><content type='html'>In Chelsea, Michigan, the &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Chelsea Painters&lt;/a&gt; are having their annual art fair.  It is closed for today, but will be up again tomorrow from 10 AM to 5 PM.&lt;br&gt;
  274. &lt;center&gt;
  275. &lt;a href=&quot;; title=&quot;Photo Sharing&quot;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;; width=&quot;375&quot; height=&quot;500&quot; alt=&quot;IMG_1281&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  276. &lt;/center&gt;
  277. &lt;br&gt;
  278. It&#39;s on the grounds of Chelsea Community Hospital (&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;map&lt;/a&gt;), about 20 miles west of Ann Arbor.</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Cheslea Painters Art Show'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-06-02T01:34:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-06-02T01:34:55.176-04:00</updated><title type='text'>A Skeptic&#39;s View of &quot;Viagra for Diabetic Women&quot;</title><content type='html'>&lt;div id=&quot;Science&quot;&gt;
  279. OK, this synopsis does not contain much actual information; certainly,
  280. not enough to be useful as a basis for medical decisions. &amp;nbsp;But
  281. it
  282. does provide an example to illustrate the process of skeptical
  283. thinking. &amp;nbsp;It&#39;s from Medscape News (free registration required
  284. --
  285. but it&#39;s worth the hassle).&lt;br&gt;
  286. &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;a
  287. href=&quot;;&gt;Sildenafil
  288. May Improve Sexual Functioning in Diabetic Women&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  289.  &lt;blockquote&gt;NEW YORK (Reuters Health) May 31 - Premenopausal
  290. women with
  291. type 1 diabetes with sexual dysfunction may find that sildenafil
  292. improves arousal, orgasm and sexual enjoyment and decreases pain during
  293. intercourse, results of a small pilot study suggest. [...]&lt;br&gt;
  294.    &lt;br&gt;
  295. To test their theory, they recruited 32 women with type 1 diabetes who
  296. in the past had experienced normal sexual desire within their
  297. heterosexual relationship, but currently experienced sexual dysfunction
  298. -- for 3.5 years on average. [...]&lt;br&gt;
  299.    &lt;br&gt;
  300. Sildenafil was associated with significantly improved arousal, orgasm,
  301. and enjoyment compared with baseline (p &amp;lt; 0.001 for each).
  302. Compared
  303. with placebo, the experience of arousal (p &amp;lt; 0.01) and orgasm (p
  304. &amp;lt; 0.05) were better during active treatment. Only desire and
  305. frequency did not change significantly in either group. [...]&lt;br&gt;
  306.  &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  307. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  308. Note: &lt;a title=&quot;Wikipedia link&quot;
  309. href=&quot;; rel=&quot;tag&quot;&gt;sildenafil&lt;/a&gt;
  310. is the generic name for &lt;a title=&quot;manufacturer&#39;s site&quot;
  311. href=&quot;; rel=&quot;tag&quot;&gt;Viagra&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;br&gt;
  312. &lt;br&gt;
  313. The original study can be found &lt;a
  314. href=&quot;;&gt;here&lt;/a&gt;,
  315. but you need subscription-level access or a bunch of money (that you
  316. have no other use for) in order to read the text.&lt;br&gt;
  317. &lt;br&gt;
  318. There are a couple of points that one needs to consider in interpreting
  319. a study such as this. &amp;nbsp;First, as a general rule, one should
  320. not make medical decisions based upon small studies that are identified
  321. as pilot studies. &amp;nbsp;Doing so, one is likely to expose patients
  322. to risks that have not been justified by sufficient research. &lt;br&gt;
  323. &lt;br&gt;
  324. Second, it is important to examine critically the outcome measures used
  325. in the study. &amp;nbsp;Specifically, it is necessary to look beyond
  326. the measures of statistical significance. &amp;nbsp;The statistics in
  327. this study look reasonably impressive, at first glance.
  328. &amp;nbsp;However, those numbers do not tell you what you really want
  329. to know. &amp;nbsp;Remember, &lt;i&gt;statistical&lt;/i&gt;
  330. significance does not necessarily translate into &lt;i&gt;clinical&lt;/i&gt;
  331. significance. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  332. &lt;br&gt;
  333. So let&#39;s look at the numbers:&lt;br&gt;
  334. &lt;br&gt;
  335. &lt;table border=&quot;1&quot; cellpadding=&quot;6&quot; cellspacing=&quot;0&quot;
  336. frame=&quot;border&quot; rules=&quot;all&quot;&gt;
  337.  &lt;colgroup span=&quot;7&quot;&gt;&lt;col&gt;&lt;col&gt;&lt;col&gt;&lt;col&gt;&lt;col&gt;&lt;col&gt;&lt;col&gt;&lt;/colgroup&gt;&lt;thead
  338. valign=&quot;bottom&quot;&gt;&lt;tr&gt;
  339.    &lt;th align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  340. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;Sexual activity&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/th&gt;
  341.    &lt;th align=&quot;center&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  342. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;Baseline&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/th&gt;
  343.    &lt;th align=&quot;center&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  344. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;Sildenafil&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/th&gt;
  345.    &lt;th align=&quot;center&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  346. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;Placebo&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/th&gt;
  347.    &lt;th align=&quot;center&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  348. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;&lt;i&gt;P&lt;/i&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;#tblfn1&quot;&gt;&lt;sup&gt;
  349.    &lt;/sup&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;sup&gt;a&lt;/sup&gt;&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/th&gt;
  350.    &lt;th align=&quot;center&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  351. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;&lt;i&gt;P &lt;/i&gt;&lt;sup&gt;b&lt;/sup&gt;&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/th&gt;
  352.    &lt;th align=&quot;center&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  353. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;&lt;i&gt;P &lt;/i&gt;&lt;sup&gt;c&lt;/sup&gt;&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/th&gt;
  354.  &lt;/tr&gt;
  355.  &lt;/thead&gt;&lt;tbody valign=&quot;top&quot;&gt;
  356.    &lt;tr&gt;
  357.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  358. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;Desire&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  359.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  360. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;4&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;1.3&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  361.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  362. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;3.9&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;0.5&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  363.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  364. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;4.1&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;0.6&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  365.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  366. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;NS&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  367.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  368. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;NS&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  369.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  370. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;NS&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  371.    &lt;/tr&gt;
  372.    &lt;tr&gt;
  373.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  374. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;Arousal&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  375.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  376. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;2.9&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;1.2&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  377.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  378. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;3.7&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;0.5&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  379.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  380. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;3.2&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;0.3&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  381.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  382. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;&amp;lt;.01&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  383.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  384. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;NS&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  385.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  386. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;&amp;lt;.001&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  387.    &lt;/tr&gt;
  388.    &lt;tr&gt;
  389.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  390. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;Orgasm&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  391.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  392. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;2.8&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;1.4&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  393.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  394. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;3.8&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;0.8&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  395.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  396. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;3.1&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;0.6&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  397.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  398. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;&amp;lt;.05&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  399.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  400. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;NS&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  401.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  402. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;&amp;lt;.001&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  403.    &lt;/tr&gt;
  404.    &lt;tr&gt;
  405.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  406. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;Enjoyment&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  407.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  408. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;3.5&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;1.1&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  409.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  410. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;4&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;0.5&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  411.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  412. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;3.7&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;0.6&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  413.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  414. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;NS&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  415.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  416. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;NS&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  417.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  418. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;&amp;lt;.001&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  419.    &lt;/tr&gt;
  420.    &lt;tr&gt;
  421.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  422. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;Satisfied by frequency&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  423.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  424. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;3&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;1.1&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  425.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  426. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;3.2&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;0.7&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  427.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  428. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;3.1&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;0.4&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  429.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  430. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;NS&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  431.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  432. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;NS&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  433.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  434. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;NS&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  435.    &lt;/tr&gt;
  436.    &lt;tr&gt;
  437.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  438. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;Frequency of intercourse&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  439.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  440. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;1.8&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;1&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  441.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  442. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;2.3&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;0.5&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  443.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  444. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;2.4&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;0.6&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  445.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  446. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;NS&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  447.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  448. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;&amp;lt;.05&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  449.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  450. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;&amp;lt;.05&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  451.    &lt;/tr&gt;
  452.    &lt;tr&gt;
  453.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  454. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;Frequency of fantasies&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  455.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  456. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;2.1&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;0.8&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  457.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  458. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;2.3&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;0.4&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  459.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  460. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;2.2&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;0.6&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  461.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  462. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;NS&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  463.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  464. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;NS&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  465.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  466. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;NS&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  467.    &lt;/tr&gt;
  468.    &lt;tr&gt;
  469.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  470. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;Dyspareunia&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  471.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  472. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;2.3&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;1.1&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  473.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  474. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;1.4&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;0.8&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  475.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  476. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;2&amp;nbsp;&amp;plusmn;&amp;nbsp;0.7&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  477.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  478. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;&amp;lt;.05&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  479.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  480. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;NS&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  481.      &lt;td class=&quot;nowrap&quot; valign=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font
  482. size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;&amp;lt;.05&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
  483.    &lt;/tr&gt;
  484.  &lt;/tbody&gt;
  485. &lt;/table&gt;
  486. &lt;br&gt;
  487. &lt;ul&gt;
  488.  &lt;li&gt;a Sildenafil vs. placebo.&lt;/li&gt;
  489.  &lt;li&gt;b Placebo vs. baseline.&lt;/li&gt;
  490.  &lt;li&gt;c Sildenafil vs. baseline.&lt;/li&gt;
  491. &lt;/ul&gt;
  492. Qualitative items were answered on a 5-point Likert scale, ranging from
  493. 1, not at all, to 5, a great deal. Quantitative items were answered as
  494. 0, never; 1, less than once a week; 2, once or twice a week; 3, several
  495. times a week; 4, once a day/sometimes twice; and 5, several times a day.&lt;br&gt;
  496. &lt;br&gt;
  497. To be fair, the authors of the paper are cautious about interpreting
  498. the numbers. &amp;nbsp;They include all the appropriate cautions and
  499. limitations. &amp;nbsp;My concern is that a newspaper could easily pick
  500. up this story and print the high points, leading to a great deal of
  501. misinterpretation among the general public. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  502. &lt;br&gt;
  503. When I get around to it, I&#39;ll put up another post with my
  504. interpretation of the numbers. &amp;nbsp;In the meantime medical
  505. students and interested readers are encouraged to look at the data and
  506. think about what conclusions may be justified by the numbers.&lt;br&gt;
  507. &lt;br&gt;
  508. Depending on when I do get around to it, and when the new Seedlings go
  509. live, the follow-up post may be here, or it may be at &lt;a
  510. href=&quot;;&gt;;/a&gt;
  511. (which is not up as of this writing).&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='A Skeptic&#39;s View of &quot;Viagra for Diabetic Women&quot;'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-06-01T15:58:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-06-01T16:01:50.053-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Climate Change Affects Blogs</title><content type='html'>Due to the unseasonably hot weather, Corpus Callosum will not be going to Seed tomorrow.  The ScienceBlog meteoblogologists inform me that they expect the new Seedlings to sprout in 10 days or less.
  513. So all those good ideas I&#39;ve been saving will have to wait.</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Climate Change Affects Blogs'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-05-29T14:58:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-05-30T01:05:42.543-04:00</updated><title type='text'>The Effect of Caffeine on Web Design</title><content type='html'>&lt;div id=&quot;Satire&quot;&gt;
  514. From &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Wikipedia&lt;/a&gt;:&lt;br&gt;
  515. &lt;br&gt;
  516. &lt;div align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;a
  517. href=&quot;;
  518. title=&quot;Photo Sharing&quot;&gt;&lt;img
  519. src=&quot;;
  520. alt=&quot;Caffeinated_spiderwebs&quot; height=&quot;463&quot; width=&quot;277&quot;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  522. Caffeine has a significant effect on &lt;a
  523. href=&quot;; title=&quot;Spider&quot;&gt;spiders&lt;/a&gt;,
  524. &lt;br&gt;
  525. which is reflected in their &lt;a
  526. href=&quot;;
  527. title=&quot;Spider web&quot;&gt;web&lt;/a&gt; construction.&lt;br&gt;
  528. &lt;/div&gt;
  529. &lt;br&gt;
  530. The question is, does this apply to humans as well? &amp;nbsp;After
  531. all, humans engage in web design, so it should be possible to do a
  532. direct comparison.&lt;br&gt;
  533. &lt;br&gt;
  534. &lt;div align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;a
  535. href=&quot;;&gt;&lt;img
  536. alt=&quot;&quot;
  537. src=&quot;;
  538. border=&quot;0&quot; height=&quot;500&quot; width=&quot;500&quot;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  539. &lt;/div&gt;
  540. &lt;br&gt;
  541. Here is the structure of a &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;web
  542. site&lt;/a&gt; designed by a person who is not impaired at all.
  543. &amp;nbsp;Here&#39;s the information about it:&lt;br&gt;
  544. &lt;b&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  545. Image:&lt;/b&gt; created by &lt;a target=&quot;window&quot;
  546. href=&quot;;&gt;Websites as
  547. Graphics&lt;/a&gt;.
  548. &lt;p&gt;&lt;b&gt;KEY: &lt;/b&gt;What do these colored dots mean?&lt;br&gt;
  549. &lt;small&gt;&lt;b&gt;&lt;font color=&quot;#1803cc&quot;&gt;blue&lt;/font&gt;:&lt;/b&gt;
  550. for links (the A tag)&lt;br&gt;
  551. &lt;b&gt;&lt;font color=&quot;#cd050d&quot;&gt;red&lt;/font&gt;:&lt;/b&gt;
  552. for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)&lt;br&gt;
  553. &lt;b&gt;&lt;font color=&quot;#00b90f&quot;&gt;green&lt;/font&gt;:&lt;/b&gt;
  554. for the DIV tag&lt;br&gt;
  555. &lt;b&gt;&lt;font color=&quot;#b9099d&quot;&gt;violet&lt;/font&gt;:&lt;/b&gt;
  556. for images (the IMG tag)&lt;br&gt;
  557. &lt;b&gt;&lt;font color=&quot;#d4d506&quot;&gt;yellow&lt;/font&gt;:&lt;/b&gt;
  558. for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)&lt;br&gt;
  559. &lt;b&gt;&lt;font color=&quot;#fbb203&quot;&gt;orange&lt;/font&gt;:&lt;/b&gt;
  560. for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)&lt;br&gt;
  561. &lt;b&gt;black:&lt;/b&gt; the HTML tag, the root node&lt;br&gt;
  562. &lt;b&gt;&lt;font color=&quot;#65785c&quot;&gt;gray&lt;/font&gt;:&lt;/b&gt;
  563. all other tags&lt;/small&gt;
  564. &lt;/p&gt;
  565. Now, what happens if a person makes a web site while drinking too much
  566. Starbucks?&lt;br&gt;
  567. &lt;br&gt;
  568. &lt;div align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;a
  569. href=&quot;;
  570. title=&quot;Photo Sharing&quot;&gt;&lt;img
  571. src=&quot;;
  572. alt=&quot;Corpus Callosum tag structure&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;
  573. height=&quot;499&quot; width=&quot;500&quot;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  574. &lt;/div&gt;
  575. &lt;br&gt;
  576. Again, from Wikipedia:&lt;br&gt;
  577. &lt;blockquote&gt;
  578.  &lt;p&gt;Too much caffeine, especially over an extended period of
  579. time, can lead to a number of physical and mental conditions. The &lt;i&gt;Diagnostic
  580. and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (&lt;a
  581. href=&quot;; title=&quot;DSM-IV&quot;&gt;DSM-IV&lt;/a&gt;)&lt;/i&gt;
  582. states: &quot;The 4 caffeine-induced psychiatric disorders include &lt;i&gt;caffeine
  583. intoxication&lt;/i&gt;, &lt;i&gt;caffeine-induced anxiety disorder&lt;/i&gt;,
  584.  &lt;i&gt;caffeine-induced sleep disorder&lt;/i&gt;, and &lt;i&gt;caffeine-related
  585. disorder not otherwise specified (NOS)&lt;/i&gt;.&quot;&lt;/p&gt;
  586.  &lt;p&gt;An overdose of caffeine can result in a state termed &lt;i&gt;caffeine
  587. intoxication&lt;/i&gt; or &lt;i&gt;caffeine poisoning&lt;/i&gt;.
  588. Its symptoms are both physiological and psychological. Symptoms of
  589. caffeine intoxication include: restlessness, nervousness, excitement, &lt;a
  590. href=&quot;; title=&quot;Insomnia&quot;&gt;insomnia&lt;/a&gt;,
  591. flushed face, &lt;a href=&quot;;
  592. title=&quot;Diuresis&quot;&gt;diuresis&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a
  593. href=&quot;;
  594. title=&quot;Muscle twitching&quot;&gt;muscle twitching&lt;/a&gt;,
  595. rambling flow of &lt;a href=&quot;;
  596. title=&quot;Thought&quot;&gt;thought&lt;/a&gt; and &lt;a
  597. href=&quot;; title=&quot;Speech&quot;&gt;speech&lt;/a&gt;,
  598. paranoia, &lt;a href=&quot;;
  599. title=&quot;Cardiac arrhythmia&quot;&gt;cardiac arrhythmia&lt;/a&gt; or &lt;a
  600. href=&quot;;
  601. title=&quot;Tachycardia&quot;&gt;tachycardia&lt;/a&gt;, and &lt;a
  602. href=&quot;;
  603. title=&quot;Psychomotor agitation&quot;&gt;psychomotor agitation&lt;/a&gt;,
  604.  &lt;a href=&quot;;
  605. title=&quot;Gastroenterology&quot;&gt;gastrointestinal&lt;/a&gt;
  606. complaints, &lt;a href=&quot;;
  607. title=&quot;Hypertension&quot;&gt;increased blood pressure&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a
  608. href=&quot;;
  609. title=&quot;Tachycardia&quot;&gt;rapid pulse&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a
  610. href=&quot;;
  611. title=&quot;Vasoconstriction&quot;&gt;vasoconstriction&lt;/a&gt;
  612. (tightening or constricting of superficial blood vessels) sometimes
  613. resulting in cold hands or fingers, increased amounts of &lt;a
  614. href=&quot;;
  615. title=&quot;Fatty acid&quot;&gt;fatty acids&lt;/a&gt; in the blood, and
  616. an increased production of &lt;a
  617. href=&quot;;
  618. title=&quot;Gastric acid&quot;&gt;gastric acid&lt;/a&gt;. In extreme
  619. cases &lt;a href=&quot;;
  620. title=&quot;Mania&quot;&gt;mania&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a
  621. href=&quot;;
  622. title=&quot;Depression (mood)&quot;&gt;depression&lt;/a&gt;, lapses in
  623. judgment, &lt;a href=&quot;;
  624. title=&quot;Disorientation&quot;&gt;disorientation&lt;/a&gt;, loss of
  625. social inhibition, &lt;a href=&quot;;
  626. title=&quot;Delusions&quot;&gt;delusions&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a
  627. href=&quot;;
  628. title=&quot;Hallucinations&quot;&gt;hallucinations&lt;/a&gt; and &lt;a
  629. href=&quot;; title=&quot;Psychosis&quot;&gt;psychosis&lt;/a&gt;
  630. may occur.&lt;sup id=&quot;_ref-10&quot; class=&quot;reference&quot;&gt;&lt;a
  631. href=&quot;; title=&quot;&quot;&gt;[13]&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/sup&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
  632. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  633. When DSM-V is published, it will expand the list of symptoms of
  634. caffeine intoxication:&lt;br&gt;
  635. &lt;ul&gt;
  636.  &lt;li&gt;Excessive use of unordered lists and bullet points&lt;/li&gt;
  637.  &lt;li&gt;Gross failure to comply with social norms of HTML coding&lt;/li&gt;
  638.  &lt;li&gt;Implusive, pointless linking from one post to another&lt;/li&gt;
  639.  &lt;li&gt;Pathological refusal to use tags only for their intended
  640. purpose&lt;/li&gt;
  641. &lt;/ul&gt;
  642. This is a good illustration of an important point reagrding the
  643. categorization of medical conditions (&lt;a
  644. title=&quot;link to dictionary definition&quot;
  645. href=&quot;;amp;va=nosology&quot;&gt;nosology&lt;/a&gt;).
  646. &amp;nbsp;When the expectations and demands of society change, we have
  647. to revise our system of diagnosing mental illness.&lt;br&gt;
  648. &lt;br&gt;
  649. HT: &lt;a
  650. href=&quot;;&gt;Hedwig
  651. the Owl&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;i&gt;et alia&lt;/i&gt;.&lt;hr&gt;
  652. Update: there are over 400 &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;websites-as-graphs on Flickr&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;br&gt;
  653. &lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='The Effect of Caffeine on Web Design'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-05-28T23:53:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-05-28T23:53:28.906-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Generic Escitalopram</title><content type='html'>&lt;div id=&quot;Science&quot;&gt;
  655. This is not really big news, but it makes me stop and think. &amp;nbsp;&lt;a
  656. title=&quot;Wikipedia link&quot;
  657. href=&quot;; rel=&quot;tag&quot;&gt;Escitalopram&lt;/a&gt;
  658. has been approved in generic form (5, 10, 20mg tabs, 5mg/5ml solution).
  659. &amp;nbsp;Previously, it could only be obtained as the branded product,
  660. Lexapro. &amp;nbsp;As of today, that leaves only one selective
  661. serotonin reuptake inhibitor (&lt;a title=&quot;Wikipedia link&quot;
  662. href=&quot;; rel=&quot;tag&quot;&gt;SSRI&lt;/a&gt;)
  663. with patent protection: Zoloft (&lt;a title=&quot;Wikipedia link&quot;
  664. href=&quot;; rel=&quot;tag&quot;&gt;sertraline&lt;/a&gt;).
  665. &amp;nbsp;Zoloft is going off patent in June 2006. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  666. &lt;br&gt;
  667. I&#39;m still not entirely sure when generic sertraline will be available.
  668. &amp;nbsp;There has been a lot of convoluted legal wrangling over the
  669. subject, a discussed in &lt;a
  670. href=&quot;;&gt;this
  671. court ruling&lt;/a&gt; (82 KB PDF). &amp;nbsp;When it does occur,
  672. though, there will be no SSRIs under patent protection.
  673. &amp;nbsp;Effexor (&lt;a title=&quot;Wikipedia link&quot;
  674. href=&quot;; rel=&quot;tag&quot;&gt;venlafaxine&lt;/a&gt;)
  675. and Cymbalta (&lt;a title=&quot;Wikipedia link&quot;
  676. href=&quot;; rel=&quot;tag&quot;&gt;duloxetine&lt;/a&gt;)
  677. will be the only popular antidepressants that are patented.
  678. &amp;nbsp;(The Emsam (&lt;a title=&quot;Wikipedia link&quot;
  679. href=&quot;; rel=&quot;tag&quot;&gt;selegiline&lt;/a&gt;)
  680. patch was &lt;a
  681. href=&quot;;&gt;approved
  682. recently&lt;/a&gt;, but it remains to be seen how popular it will turn
  683. out to be.)&lt;br&gt;
  684. &lt;br&gt;
  685. For many years, antidepressants have been a major contributor to the
  686. cost of prescription drug insurance coverage. &amp;nbsp;Clearly, that
  687. is changing. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  688. &lt;br&gt;
  689. I suppose we can all expect our insurance to get cheaper now.&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Generic Escitalopram'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-05-28T19:40:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-05-28T19:42:52.766-04:00</updated><title type='text'>On the Recursive Nature of Pride</title><content type='html'>Pride is one of the seven deadly sins. &amp;nbsp;The others are greed
  690. and sloth and a few others I can&#39;t remember. &amp;nbsp;Pride is the one
  691. I remember best, because of its curious mathematical properties.
  692. &amp;nbsp;Things with unexpected properties are easier to remember than
  693. ordinary things like greed and sloth and so forth.&lt;br&gt;
  694. &lt;br&gt;
  697. &lt;a onblur=&quot;try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}&quot; href=&quot;;&gt;&lt;img style=&quot;display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;&quot; src=&quot;; border=&quot;0&quot; alt=&quot;&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  698. &lt;br&gt;
  699. The thing about pride is this: once a person becomes aware of it, he or
  700. she tends to recognize that it is a sin. &amp;nbsp;That person then
  701. takes steps to banish the pride. &amp;nbsp;Then the person is proud for
  702. having banished the sin, thus becoming a paragon of virtue.
  703. &amp;nbsp;Rather naturally, the person then realizes that excessive
  704. pride in one&#39;s own virtue is itself a sin. &amp;nbsp;Then the whole
  705. thing starts over again.&lt;br&gt;
  706. &lt;br&gt;
  707. Some people do manage to get&amp;nbsp;little bit wiser with each
  708. iteration. &amp;nbsp;Others do not.&lt;br&gt;
  709. &lt;br&gt;
  710. I have never been able to figure out what makes the difference.
  711. &amp;nbsp;Nor have I been able to find an objective way to determine if
  712. I am one of the ones who is getting wiser.&lt;br&gt;
  713. &lt;br&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='On the Recursive Nature of Pride'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-05-28T13:55:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-05-28T13:56:44.450-04:00</updated><title type='text'>New Banner</title><content type='html'>Getting ready for the transition to ScienceBlogs, I&#39;ve gone ahead an
  714. designed a new banner. &amp;nbsp;(I had help with the techincal
  715. aspects, but the design was my idea.) &amp;nbsp;I&#39;m a little worried
  716. that they are redesigning the layout, so it is possible that the size
  717. will be wrong or the colors won&#39;t match, but I decided to do it anyway.
  718. &amp;nbsp;It should be simple enough to change, if that turns out to be
  719. necessary.&lt;br&gt;
  720. &lt;br&gt;
  721. The &lt;a
  722. href=&quot;;&gt;image
  723. on the left&lt;/a&gt; is a macro photo of an Intel 486-DX2 processor;
  724. the &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;image
  725. on the right&lt;/a&gt; is an illustration from the 1918 edition of
  726. Gray&#39;s Anatomy. &amp;nbsp;Both are in the public domain. &amp;nbsp;I
  727. found the images on Wikipedia. &amp;nbsp;The text is in a font known as
  728. Ringbearer, which I downloaded from a free font site. &amp;nbsp;I
  729. suppose I should mention the site, but I can&#39;t recall the name of the
  730. site. &amp;nbsp;If you search for &quot;Ringbearer font&quot; you will find
  731. several sites that have it.&lt;br&gt;
  732. &lt;br&gt;
  733. The banner was made using &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;GIMP&lt;/a&gt;,
  734. the Gnu Image Processor, which is an open-source program.
  735. &amp;nbsp;Although it started as a Linux program, there are version for
  736. Mac and Windows.&lt;br&gt;
  737. &lt;br&gt;
  738. &lt;div align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;a
  739. href=&quot;;
  740. title=&quot;Photo Sharing&quot;&gt;&lt;img
  741. src=&quot;;
  742. alt=&quot;gimp_macosx_screenshot1&quot; height=&quot;375&quot; width=&quot;500&quot;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  743. &lt;br&gt;
  744. &lt;/div&gt;
  745. &lt;div align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;Using GIMP on a Mac, image from the
  746. site.&lt;br&gt;
  747. &lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='New Banner'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-05-27T21:26:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-05-27T21:26:22.673-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Knoppix Screenshots</title><content type='html'>These are pictures of Knoppix, a kind of Linux, in use. &amp;nbsp;See
  748. the
  749. previous post for the context. &amp;nbsp;The images are from the
  750. O&#39;Reilly site, &lt;a
  751. href=&quot;;amp;slide=4&amp;amp;title=knoppix+5.0+screenshots&quot;&gt;;/a&gt;.
  752. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  753. &lt;br&gt;
  754. &lt;div align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;a
  755. href=&quot;;
  756. title=&quot;Photo Sharing&quot;&gt;&lt;img
  757. src=&quot;;
  758. alt=&quot;Knoppix Screenshot - browser&quot; height=&quot;375&quot;
  759. width=&quot;500&quot;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  760. &lt;small&gt;Knoppix, showing the browser. &amp;nbsp;Firefox is also
  761. available, but
  762. not shown here.&lt;/small&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  763. &lt;br&gt;
  764. &lt;a href=&quot;;
  765. title=&quot;Photo Sharing&quot;&gt;&lt;img
  766. src=&quot;;
  767. alt=&quot;Knoppix Screenshot - menu&quot; height=&quot;375&quot; width=&quot;500&quot;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  768. &lt;small&gt;With Knoppix, you click on the lower-left icon to open the
  769. main menu, as shown.&lt;/small&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  770. &lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Knoppix Screenshots'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-05-27T21:05:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-05-27T21:06:48.246-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Accelerated Knoppix</title><content type='html'>I know I&#39;ve written about this before, so if you&#39;ve read one of my
  771. prior posts on the topic, or if you already are familiar with the
  772. concept of a live CD, just skip to &lt;a href=&quot;#The_bottom_line&quot;&gt;the
  773. bottom line&lt;/a&gt; for the info that is specific to Accelerated
  774. Knoppix. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  775. &lt;blockquote&gt;&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp; We affirm that the
  776. world&#39;s magnificence&lt;br&gt;
  777. &amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp; has been enriched by a new beauty:&lt;br&gt;
  778. &amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp; the beauty of speed.&lt;br&gt;
  779.  &lt;br&gt;
  780. Filippo Tommaso Marinetti - Manifesto of Futurism -&lt;br&gt;
  781. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  782. That quote is on the &lt;a
  783. href=&quot;;&gt;homepage&lt;/a&gt;
  784. for the Accelerated &lt;a rel=&quot;tag&quot;
  785. href=&quot;;&gt;Knoppix&lt;/a&gt;
  786. project. &amp;nbsp;What that means is that computer users
  787. can boot from the CD and get a complete operating system and a complex
  788. set of applications, ready to use. &amp;nbsp; It boots if the hard
  789. drive has crashed. &amp;nbsp;It even boots if there is no hard drive
  790. in the computer at all. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  791. &lt;br&gt;
  792. There are several uses for a &lt;a title=&quot;Wikipedia link&quot;
  793. href=&quot;;&gt;live CD&lt;/a&gt;.
  794. &amp;nbsp;Probably the most
  795. obvious is that it enables a user to try an operating system or an
  796. application without having to install the application on the hard
  797. drive. &amp;nbsp;So if you&#39;ve never used &lt;a title=&quot;Wikipedia link&quot;
  798. href=&quot;;&gt;Linux&lt;/a&gt;
  799. before, and want to give
  800. it a try, you can use alive CD to try it out, with minimal effort, and
  801. with no risk of messing anything up. &amp;nbsp;Or, if you&#39;ve heard
  802. about OpenOffice -- the free alternative to Microsoft Office -- and
  803. want to see if it
  804. really will open your Word documents, and see if it really is as easy
  805. to use as Microsoft Word, you can do so easily. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  806. &lt;br&gt;
  807. Another use for a live CD is for emergency use. &amp;nbsp;If your
  808. computer crashes and you HAVE TO check your email, you can do it
  809. quickly with a live CD. (It can&#39;t configure a dial-up connection
  810. automatically, but it can and will recognize and use a broadband or
  811. ethernet connection without specific user intervention.)
  812. &amp;nbsp;Likewise, if your system won&#39;t boot,
  813. you might be able to recover data using a live CD. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  814. &lt;br&gt;
  815. A more obscure use of a live CD could be to use it for anonymous
  816. browsing. &amp;nbsp;&lt;a
  817. href=&quot;;amp;task=view&amp;amp;id=190&amp;amp;Itemid=2&quot;&gt;lxnay
  818. dEsigN&lt;/a&gt; is planning to develop a live CD (actually a DVD) that
  819. uses &lt;a title=&quot;Wikipedia link&quot;
  820. href=&quot;;
  821. rel=&quot;tag&quot;&gt;TOR&lt;/a&gt; servers to obscure your internet
  822. usage. &amp;nbsp;Plus, being on an unwritable medium, there would be no
  823. cookies, no browsing history, or other traces that could be recovered
  824. later.&lt;br&gt;
  825. &lt;br&gt;
  826. Finally, some folks have used Knoppix to figure out how to configure
  827. their Linux systems. &amp;nbsp;I&#39;ve done that myself. &amp;nbsp;When I
  828. was first learning to do intermediate-level configuration, I somehow
  829. messed up my XF86Config file (one of the files that says &quot;Please do not
  830. edit this file&quot; at the top.) &amp;nbsp;I booted from Knoppix and saw
  831. how Knoppix autoconfigured the file, saved it to a USB flash drive, and
  832. fixed the problem that way.&lt;br&gt;
  833. &lt;br&gt;
  834. By the way, there are live CD&#39;s for &lt;a
  835. href=&quot;;&gt;operating
  836. systems other than Linux&lt;/a&gt;. &amp;nbsp;I&#39;ve never used any of
  837. them, though. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  838. &lt;br&gt;
  839. &lt;a name=&quot;The_bottom_line&quot;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;The bottom line: one
  840. disadvantage of a live CD is that it can take a couple of minutes to
  841. boot. &amp;nbsp;Accelerated Knoppix uses a &lt;a
  842. href=&quot;;&gt;new
  843. technology&lt;/a&gt; to speed up the boot process. &amp;nbsp;I did not
  844. time it, but it seemed to boot in less than a minute. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  845. &lt;br&gt;
  846. &lt;div align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;a
  847. href=&quot;;
  848. title=&quot;Photo Sharing&quot;&gt;&lt;img
  849. src=&quot;;
  850. alt=&quot;Accelerated Knoppix&quot; height=&quot;340&quot; width=&quot;490&quot;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  851. &lt;/div&gt;
  852. &lt;br&gt;
  853. In the spirit of open-source software, the developers of Acclerated
  854. Linux have made available their &lt;a
  855. href=&quot;;&gt;&quot;LCAT&quot;
  856. (Live CD Acceleration Toolkit)&lt;/a&gt;. &amp;nbsp;If you want to
  857. convert your favorite Live CD distro to an accelerated version.
  858. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  859. &lt;br&gt;
  860. The one trick to this distribution is that the default language is
  861. &lt;i&gt;Japanese&lt;/i&gt;. &amp;nbsp;In order to get English menus,
  862. you have to type&amp;nbsp; &lt;code&gt;Knoppix
  863. lang=US&lt;/code&gt; &amp;nbsp;when it first starts. &lt;br&gt;
  864. &lt;br&gt;
  865. So, I will now keep a copy of this at home and at my various offices,
  866. just for emergency recovery.
  867. &lt;br&gt;
  868. &lt;br&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Accelerated Knoppix'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-05-27T14:34:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-05-27T14:38:34.856-04:00</updated><title type='text'>No New Taxes...</title><content type='html'>&lt;div id=&quot;Politics&quot;&gt;
  869. ...except on people who are not very influential.&lt;br&gt;
  870. &lt;br&gt;
  871. It was publicized pretty well, when the Administration &lt;a
  872. href=&quot;;&gt;increased
  873. taxes on teenagers&lt;/a&gt;. &amp;nbsp;This has been discussed
  874. &lt;a
  875. href=&quot;;&gt;elsewhere&lt;/a&gt;,
  876. so I won&#39;t go into it very much. &amp;nbsp;I just learned,
  877. however, that there has been another tax increase, again affecting
  878. Americans who have little influence. &amp;nbsp;And like the one that
  879. affects teenagers saving for college, this one could have serious
  880. negative consequences.&lt;a
  881. href=&quot;;&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  882. &lt;/a&gt;
  883. &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;a
  884. href=&quot;;&gt;U.S.
  885. tax law sends expatriates reeling&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  886. By Keith Bradsher and David Cay Johnston &lt;br&gt;
  887. The New York Times&lt;br&gt;
  888.  &lt;br&gt;
  889. FRIDAY, MAY 26, 2006&lt;br&gt;
  890.  &lt;br&gt;
  891. HONG KONG The sudden, and retroactive, imposition by the U.S. Congress
  892. last week of much higher taxes on Americans living abroad has left
  893. individuals and companies scrambling to regroup, while many executives
  894. and entrepreneurs assert that the move could backfire by hurting U.S.
  895. business interests at home and abroad.&lt;br&gt;
  896. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  897. The $69 billion tax cut signed into law May 17 raises taxes on
  898. Americans living overseas by $2.1 billion over the coming decade. [...]&lt;br&gt;
  899. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  900. To put this in perspective, consider that the additional revenue
  901. represents &lt;a
  902. href=&quot;;&gt;the
  903. cost&lt;/a&gt; of only a two weeks of fighting the war in Iraq (which
  904. does not include reconstruction costs).
  905. &amp;nbsp;If it hurts international trade, it obviously wouldn&#39;t be
  906. worth it. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  907. &lt;br&gt;
  908. Note that this increase is not only a violation of one of Bush&#39;s
  909. campaign pledges, but it also increases the complexity of the tax code:&lt;br&gt;
  910. &lt;blockquote&gt;Last year the law allowed most overseas Americans to
  911. exclude $80,000 of foreign earned income from income taxed in the
  912. United States. The new law adjusts the exclusion for inflation to
  913. $82,400, but it raises taxes by adding complex new provisions on how
  914. the exclusion is calculated.&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  915. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  916. Oddly, this article shows up on the &lt;i&gt;International Herald
  917. Tribune&lt;/i&gt; site, but not on the &lt;i&gt;New York Times&lt;/i&gt;
  918. website, despite the fact that it was written by NYT reporters.
  919. &lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='No New Taxes...'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-05-27T02:09:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-05-27T02:39:29.803-04:00</updated><title type='text'>War On Science Update</title><content type='html'>&lt;div id=&quot;Science&quot;&gt;
  920. I can&#39;t tell you how glad I am to see this:&lt;br&gt;
  921. &lt;a
  922. href=&quot;;amp;en=69fd4b6c89672485&amp;amp;ei=5090&amp;amp;partner=rssuserland&amp;amp;emc=rss&quot;&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  923. &lt;/a&gt;
  924. &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;a
  925. href=&quot;;amp;en=69fd4b6c89672485&amp;amp;ei=5090&amp;amp;partner=rssuserland&amp;amp;emc=rss&quot;&gt;In
  926. Speech to Medical Graduates, Bloomberg Diverges From G.O.P. Line&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  927. By DIANE CARDWELL&lt;br&gt;
  928. Published: May 26, 2006&lt;br&gt;
  929.  &lt;br&gt;
  930. Distancing himself from national Republicans and the Bush
  931. administration, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg yesterday urged an end to
  932. the political manipulation of science, which he said had been used to
  933. discredit the threat of global warming and undermine medical
  934. advancements in areas like stem-cell research.&lt;br&gt;
  935.  &lt;br&gt;
  936. In a speech to graduating students of Johns Hopkins University School
  937. of Medicine in Baltimore, Mr. Bloomberg railed against what he sees as
  938. ideologically motivated arguments that have fueled debate over
  939. hot-button issues like teaching evolution in public schools and the
  940. Terri Schiavo case.&lt;br&gt;
  941.  &lt;br&gt;
  942. &quot;Today, we are seeing hundreds of years of scientific discovery being
  943. challenged by people who simply disregard facts that don&#39;t happen to
  944. agree with their agenda,&quot; Mr. Bloomberg said. &quot;Some call it
  945. pseudoscience, others call it faith-based science, but when you notice
  946. where this negligence tends to take place, you might as well call it
  947. &#39;political science.&#39; &quot; [...]&lt;br&gt;
  948. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  949. Bloomberg only cited global warming, stem cells, Terri Schiavo, and
  950. Intelligent Design. &amp;nbsp;There is a lot more that he could have
  951. mentioned, but I am sure the new graduates appreciate the fact that he
  952. didn&#39;t go on at encyclopedic length.&lt;br&gt;
  953. &lt;br&gt;
  954. In his speech, Bloomberg clearly acknowledged the systematic nature of
  955. the war on science. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  956. &lt;br&gt;
  957. From time to time, I have wondered, momentarily, if scientists are
  958. defensive about their field, &lt;i&gt;imagining&lt;/i&gt; they are
  959. under attack, much as a subset of conservative Christians feel there is
  960. a war on Christmas. &amp;nbsp;I never think that for more than a few
  961. seconds, though. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  962. &lt;br&gt;
  963. At other times, I wonder why scientists worry about the war on science.
  964. &amp;nbsp;After all, science will endure. &amp;nbsp;Presidents come and
  965. go, religions come and go, but science marches on. &amp;nbsp;Surely
  966. scientists can find other things to work on, at those times that petty
  967. power struggles give rise to temporary impediments. &amp;nbsp;Then,
  968. when the heat dies down, they can get back to whatever it was that the
  969. politicians or theocrats were meddling in.&lt;br&gt;
  970. &lt;br&gt;
  971. But then I remember that science is actually &lt;i&gt;important, now&lt;/i&gt;.
  972. &lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='War On Science Update'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-05-25T23:45:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-05-25T23:47:22.973-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Nature is Full of Surprises</title><content type='html'>&lt;div id=&quot;Science&quot;&gt;
  973. From Nature News, we hear of another twist in the story of inheritance:&lt;br&gt;
  974. &lt;br&gt;
  975. &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;a
  976. href=&quot;Mutant%20mice%20challenge%20rules%20of%20genetic%20inheritance&quot;&gt;Mutant
  977. mice challenge rules of genetic inheritance&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  978. DNA&#39;s cousin, RNA, may also pass information down the generations.&lt;br&gt;
  979.  &lt;br&gt;
  980. Helen Pearson&lt;br&gt;
  981.  &lt;br&gt;
  982. In a discovery that rips up the rulebook of genetics, researchers in
  983. France have shown that RNA, rather than its more famous cousin DNA,
  984. might be able to ferry information from one generation of mice to the
  985. next.&lt;br&gt;
  986.  &lt;br&gt;
  987. DNA has long been credited with the job of passing traits from parent
  988. to child. Sperm and egg deliver that DNA to the embryo, where it
  989. ultimately decides much of our looks and personality.&lt;br&gt;
  990.  &lt;br&gt;
  991. The new study in Nature1 thrusts RNA, DNA&#39;s sidekick, into the
  992. limelight. It suggests that sperm and eggs of mammals, perhaps
  993. including humans, can carry a cargo of RNA molecules into the embryo -
  994. and that these can change that generation and subsequent ones.&lt;br&gt;
  995.  &lt;br&gt;
  996. &quot;It&#39;s a very exciting possibility,&quot; says Emma Whitelaw who studies
  997. patterns of inheritance at Queensland Institute of Medical Research in
  998. Brisbane, Australia. &quot;DNA is certainly not all you inherit from your
  999. parents.&quot; [...]&lt;/blockquote&gt;
  1000. We already knew that mitochondrial DNA could play a role, albeit a
  1001. small &lt;br&gt;
  1002. role, in the process of inheritance. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  1003. &lt;br&gt;
  1004. &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;
  1005. Spotty mice flout genetics laws&lt;/a&gt;, on the BBC site, is another
  1006. article on the same topic. &amp;nbsp;The Washington Post has a version,
  1007. &lt;a
  1008. href=&quot;;&gt;here&lt;/a&gt;.
  1009. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  1010. &lt;br&gt;
  1011. When I hear of things like this, I am reminded of how little we know
  1012. about the details of the functioning of even fairly simple processes in
  1013. biology. &amp;nbsp;Think about inheritance, which is the transfer of a
  1014. defined set of information. &amp;nbsp;Then think about the operation of
  1015. the human brain, which has something like 10&lt;small&gt;&lt;sup&gt;15&lt;/sup&gt;&lt;/small&gt;
  1016. synaptic connections. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  1017. &lt;br&gt;
  1018. Now, I am going to write something very un-scientific. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  1019. &lt;br&gt;
  1020. Proponents of Intelligent Design might look at the subtleties of
  1021. inheritance, or the vast complexity of the brain, and take those
  1022. observations as evidence for their proposition. &amp;nbsp;As far as I
  1023. can tell, though, their only argument is that the origin of species via
  1024. evolution just doesn&#39;t &lt;i&gt;seem&lt;/i&gt; right; it doesn&#39;t mesh
  1025. with their intuition. &amp;nbsp;My intuition apparently works
  1026. differently. &amp;nbsp;What I see is that scientists start out with a
  1027. bunch of complex, seemingly-inexplicable phenomena, then one by one,
  1028. make discoveries that explain more and more of what previously was
  1029. inexplicable. &amp;nbsp;What my intuition tells me is that, eventually,
  1030. science will come up with mundane (complex, perhaps, but still mundane)
  1031. explanations for an ever-increasing percentage of things that formerly
  1032. were awe-inspiring. &amp;nbsp;From that, I conclude that the mere
  1033. existence of seemingly-miraculous things can only be taken as evidence
  1034. of limitation in our knowledge and understanding. &amp;nbsp;It does not
  1035. mean anything more.&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Nature is Full of Surprises'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-05-25T00:44:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-05-25T00:58:57.986-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Nice Picture</title><content type='html'>&lt;div id=&quot;Science&quot;&gt;
  1036. &lt;br&gt;
  1037. &lt;div align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;a
  1038. href=&quot;;&gt;&lt;img
  1039. alt=&quot;&quot;
  1040. src=&quot;;
  1041. border=&quot;0&quot; height=&quot;331&quot; width=&quot;500&quot;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  1042. &lt;/div&gt;
  1043. &lt;br&gt;
  1044. This is a smoke plume from a volcano in the Aleutian Islands, as
  1045. photographed from the International Space Station; it&#39;s from the &lt;a
  1046. href=&quot;;&gt;NASA Earth
  1047. Observatory&lt;/a&gt; site.&lt;br&gt;
  1048. &lt;blockquote&gt;Astronaut photograph &lt;a
  1049. href=&quot;;amp;roll=E&amp;amp;frame=24184&quot;&gt;ISS013-E-24184&lt;/a&gt;
  1050. was acquired May 23, 2006, with a Kodak 760C digital camera using an
  1051. 800 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations
  1052. experiment and the Image Science &amp;amp; Analysis Group, Johnson
  1053. Space
  1054. Center. The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to
  1055. improve contrast. Lens artifacts have been removed. The &lt;a
  1056. href=&quot;;&gt;International
  1057. Space Station Program&lt;/a&gt;
  1058. supports the laboratory to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that
  1059. will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make
  1060. those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken
  1061. by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the &lt;a
  1062. href=&quot;;&gt;NASA/JSC Gateway to
  1063. Astronaut Photography of Earth.&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;
  1064. &lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Nice Picture'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-05-24T19:46:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-05-24T19:50:59.606-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Penguin Power</title><content type='html'>&lt;div id=&quot;Science&quot;&gt;
  1065. &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;&lt;img
  1066. alt=&quot;&quot;
  1067. src=&quot;;
  1068. align=&quot;right&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; height=&quot;150&quot; width=&quot;150&quot;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;After
  1069. messing around with XGL -- the most advanced graphical user interface
  1070. there is for a computer operating system, I&#39;ve now been using a much
  1071. older and simpler interface: &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;FVWM&lt;/a&gt;.
  1072. &amp;nbsp;What is FVWM? &amp;nbsp;The answer, from their FAQ:&lt;br&gt;
  1073. &lt;br&gt;
  1074. &lt;blockquote&gt;
  1075.  &lt;pre style=&quot;margin-left: 5%;&quot;&gt;&lt;a
  1076. href=&quot;;&gt;1.1&lt;/a&gt; What does FVWM stand for?&lt;br&gt;&lt;br&gt;A: &quot;Fill_in_the_blank_with_whatever_f_word_you_like_&lt;br&gt; at_the_time Virtual Window Manager&quot;. Rob Nation &lt;br&gt; (the original Author of FVWM, doesn&#39;t really remember &lt;br&gt; what the F stood for originally ...&lt;/pre&gt;
  1077. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  1078. I suppose that one tires of all the fancy do-dads after a while.
  1079. &amp;nbsp;Or maybe it is just a desire for something different.
  1080. &amp;nbsp;After all, different things always have a certain appeal.&lt;br&gt;
  1081. &lt;br&gt;
  1082. Speaking of that appeal, it has been determined that we now have a
  1083. &quot;new&quot;
  1084. species of
  1085. penguin:&lt;br&gt;
  1086. &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;a
  1087. href=&quot;;&gt;The
  1088. eyebrows have it for new penguin species&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  1089. By John Lichfield in Paris&lt;br&gt;
  1090. Published: 24 May 2006&lt;br&gt;
  1091.  &lt;br&gt;
  1092. In a world full of disappearing or threatened species, here is some
  1093. good news at last. The planet is about to welcome a new species of
  1094. penguin.&lt;br&gt;
  1095.  &lt;br&gt;
  1096. The birds - a few thousand small penguins on the French islands of
  1097. Amsterdam and St Paul in the southern Indian Ocean - resemble millions
  1098. of rockhopper penguins found all around the northern fringe of the
  1099. Antarctic.&lt;br&gt;
  1100.  &lt;br&gt;
  1101. And thanks to the stubborn research of a French ornithologist, they
  1102. have been declared a species in their own right.&lt;br&gt;
  1103.  &lt;br&gt;
  1104. Pierre Jouventin, scientist and film-maker and one of the world&#39;s
  1105. foremost experts on penguins, first claimed that the Amsterdam and St
  1106. Paul rockhoppers were a separate species 25 years ago. [...]&lt;br&gt;
  1107.  &lt;br&gt;
  1108. His claims were dismissed by other ornithologists. Now, two years
  1109. before his retirement, Mr Jouventin, 63, has been vindicated. In a
  1110. forthcoming article in the magazine Molecular Ecology he will reveal
  1111. DNA tests which show that the Amsterdam and St Paul rockhoppers are a
  1112. distinct species. [...]&lt;br&gt;
  1113. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  1114. &lt;div align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;a
  1115. href=&quot;;&gt;&lt;img
  1116. alt=&quot;&quot;
  1117. src=&quot;;
  1118. border=&quot;0&quot; height=&quot;500&quot; width=&quot;333&quot;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  1119. &lt;a href=&quot;Eudyptes%20moseleyi&quot;&gt;&lt;i&gt;Eudyptes moseleyi&lt;/i&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  1120. &lt;/div&gt;
  1121. &lt;br&gt;
  1122. This is a nice illustration of the power of close observation, combined
  1123. with a little intuition, and a lot of perseverance. &lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Penguin Power'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-05-24T01:04:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-05-24T02:29:37.526-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Grand Rounds 2:35 is Up</title><content type='html'>&lt;div id=&quot;Science&quot;&gt;
  1124. Dr. Emer has posted the &lt;a
  1125. href=&quot;;&gt;latest
  1126. Grand Rounds&lt;/a&gt;. &amp;nbsp;He even came up with a nifty logo for
  1127. it. &amp;nbsp;As always, he has a nice layout/design. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  1128. &lt;br&gt;
  1129. &lt;div align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;a
  1130. href=&quot;;&gt;&lt;img
  1131. alt=&quot;&quot;
  1132. src=&quot;;
  1133. border=&quot;0&quot; height=&quot;117&quot; width=&quot;355&quot;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  1134. &lt;/div&gt;
  1135. &lt;br&gt;
  1136. At first, I was going to list a few posts that I found particularly
  1137. interesting, but that proved to be too difficult. &amp;nbsp;I will say
  1138. that it is good to see nonmedical persons participating.
  1139. &lt;hr size=&quot;2&quot; width=&quot;100%&quot;&gt;Update: shortly after
  1140. posting this, I realized that Coturnix has the new &lt;a
  1141. href=&quot;;
  1142. rel=&quot;tag&quot;&gt;Tangled Bank&lt;/a&gt; up. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  1143. &lt;div style=&quot;clear: both;&quot;&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1144. &lt;div align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;
  1145. title=&quot;The Tangled Bank&quot;&gt;&lt;img
  1146. src=&quot;;
  1147. alt=&quot;The Tangled Bank&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; height=&quot;31&quot;
  1148. width=&quot;88&quot;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  1149. &lt;/div&gt;
  1150. &lt;br&gt;
  1151. This is an astonishing array of science writing; I find it inspiring.
  1152. &amp;nbsp;In fact, it is almost enough to make me wish I had become a
  1153. real scientist.&lt;br&gt;
  1154. &lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Grand Rounds 2:35 is Up'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-05-23T00:21:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-05-23T00:21:57.573-04:00</updated><title type='text'>XGL Eyecandy</title><content type='html'>I do think that XGL has promise, but it needs a few things.
  1155. &amp;nbsp;First, it has to be more stable. &amp;nbsp;With it, I cannot
  1156. run Firefox in KDE, unless I run it as root, which I am loathe to do;
  1157. or, unless I open another session and use Gnome or FVWM.
  1158. &amp;nbsp;Also, ideally, it would be possible to customize mouse
  1159. gestures, so that awkward keyboard commands are not necessary.
  1160. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  1161. &lt;br&gt;
  1162. I must say that the performance is decent. &amp;nbsp;I expected the
  1163. system to be more sluggish, but any decrement is not noticeable.
  1164. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  1165. &lt;br&gt;
  1166. Some of the commands really are useless, such as the &quot;rain&quot; command:&lt;br&gt;
  1167. &lt;br&gt;
  1168. &lt;div align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;a
  1169. href=&quot;;&gt;&lt;img
  1170. alt=&quot;&quot;
  1171. src=&quot;;
  1172. border=&quot;0&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; width=&quot;500&quot;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  1173. &lt;/div&gt;
  1174. &lt;br&gt;
  1175. I suppose there is a use: it shows a potential that somebody, some day,
  1176. might find a real use for. &amp;nbsp;But why would I want the effect of
  1177. raindrops splashing on the screen? &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  1178. &lt;br&gt;
  1179. Also, I cannot resist this comment. &amp;nbsp;Everyone keeps referring
  1180. to the &quot;cube.&quot; &amp;nbsp;It is not a cube. (Unless you have a square
  1181. monitor.) &amp;nbsp;It is a square cuboid: The top and bottom are
  1182. square, but the sides are non-square rectangles.</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='XGL Eyecandy'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-05-21T00:38:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-05-21T04:55:13.673-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Huh? Botox for Depression?</title><content type='html'>&lt;div id=&quot;Science&quot;&gt;
  1183. Medscape News has an interesting item: &lt;a
  1184. href=&quot;;&gt;&lt;i&gt;Botox
  1185. Injections May Be Useful for Major Depression&lt;/i&gt;&lt;/a&gt; (free
  1186. registration required).&lt;br&gt;
  1187. &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;b&gt;Botox Injections May Be Useful for Major
  1188. Depression&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  1189. Laurie Barclay, MD&lt;br&gt;
  1190.  &lt;br&gt;
  1191. May 16, 2006 &amp;mdash; Botulinum toxin A injections can treat major
  1192. depression, according to the results of a small case series reported in
  1193. the May issue of Dermatologic Surgery.&lt;br&gt;
  1194.  &lt;br&gt;
  1195. &quot;Major depression is a common and serious disease that may be resistant
  1196. to routine pharmacologic and psychotherapeutic treatment approaches,&quot;
  1197. write Eric Finzi, MD, PhD, and Erik A. Wasserman, PhD, from Dermatology
  1198. and Cosmetic Surgery Associates in Greenbelt, Maryland, and Chevy Chase
  1199. Cosmetic Center in Maryland. &quot;There is a body of evidence that suggests
  1200. that the facial expression of emotion may play a causal role in the
  1201. subjective experience of emotion. We initiated a small open pilot trial
  1202. to determine whether inhibiting the expression of facial frowning
  1203. commonly associated with depression could help ameliorate depressive
  1204. symptoms.&quot;&lt;br&gt;
  1205. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  1206. This was an extremely small study, involving only ten patients,
  1207. without, and with double- or single-blind condition. &amp;nbsp;That
  1208. means that it is not possible to draw any valid conclusions, other that
  1209. to say that a larger, double-blind, placebo-controlled study might be
  1210. worthwhile. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  1211. &lt;br&gt;
  1212. The idea is not without precedent. &amp;nbsp;It is known that people
  1213. with anxiety tend to be overly vigilant concerning somatic symptoms
  1214. that are correlated with anxiety. &amp;nbsp;When they notice such
  1215. symptoms, it tends to increase their anxiety, which increases the
  1216. symptoms: a classic positive feedback loop. &amp;nbsp;Sometimes,
  1217. patients with anxiety disorders can learn to interrupt the feedback
  1218. loop, resulting in clinical improvement. &amp;nbsp;As far as I know,
  1219. nobody has tried anything like that with mood disorders, until now.&lt;br&gt;
  1220. &lt;blockquote&gt;A total of 10 patients who met Diagnostic and
  1221. Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, criteria for
  1222. ongoing major depression refractory to pharmacologic or
  1223. psychotherapeutic treatment were evaluated with the Beck Depression
  1224. Inventory II (BDI-II) before receiving botulinum toxin A to their
  1225. glabellar frown lines.&lt;br&gt;
  1226.  &lt;br&gt;
  1227. Two months later, all patients were reevaluated clinically and with the
  1228. BDI-II. Nine of 10 patients were no longer depressed, and the 10th
  1229. patient had an improvement in mood.&lt;br&gt;
  1230.  &lt;br&gt;
  1231. &quot;These findings are very promising and show that Botox has the ability
  1232. to work in ways we don&#39;t expect,&quot; Alastair Carruthers, MD,
  1233. president-elect of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery and
  1234. head of Carruthers Dermatology in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
  1235. says in a news release.&lt;br&gt;
  1236. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  1237. Personally, I would be astonished if this turned out to work in a
  1238. large, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. &amp;nbsp;On
  1239. the other hand, it would be pretty neat if it did work. &amp;nbsp;What
  1240. is more likely is that it either will not pan out at all; or it will
  1241. turn out to be of great benefit to a few people, partial benefit to a
  1242. few more, and no benefit to everyone else. &amp;nbsp;Even so, stranger
  1243. things have happened. &amp;nbsp;The first discovery of &lt;a
  1244. title=&quot;Wikipedia link&quot;
  1245. href=&quot;; rel=&quot;tag&quot;&gt;antidepressant&lt;/a&gt;
  1246. medication occurred when an antitubercular antibiotic, iproniazid, &lt;a
  1247. title=&quot;Medscape link&quot;
  1248. href=&quot;;&gt;was
  1249. found&lt;/a&gt; to relieve melancholia in patients being treated for
  1250. tuberculosis. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  1251. &lt;br&gt;
  1252. None of this indicates that &lt;a title=&quot;Wikipedia link&quot;
  1253. href=&quot;; rel=&quot;tag&quot;&gt;Botox&lt;/a&gt;
  1254. is likely to work for treatment of depression, but it shows that it is,
  1255. at least, remotely possible.&lt;br&gt;
  1256. &lt;br&gt;
  1257. Update: The Washington Post &lt;a
  1258. href=&quot;;&gt;picked
  1259. up the story&lt;/a&gt;, and has a testimonial from one patient.
  1260. &amp;nbsp;From a scientific standpoint, one testimonial is meaningless.
  1261. &amp;nbsp;What it does do, though, is give you an idea of what the
  1262. experience is like from the patient&#39;s point of view.&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Huh? Botox for Depression?'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-05-20T18:48:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-05-20T18:50:26.580-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Serotonin and Depression: A Disconnect</title><content type='html'>&lt;div id=&quot;Science&quot;&gt;
  1263. This is sort of &amp;nbsp;a follow-up to a &lt;a
  1264. href=&quot;;&gt;recent
  1265. post&lt;/a&gt;,
  1266. in which I discussed the correlation between administration of
  1267. fluoxetine, and neurogenesis in the hippocampus. &amp;nbsp;In that
  1268. post, I
  1269. mentioned that skeptics of psychopharmacology are fond of pointing out
  1270. the lack of a well-defined connection between the inhibition of
  1271. serotonin reuptake, and the clinical effects of the serotonin reuptake
  1272. inhibitors. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  1273. &lt;br&gt;
  1274. The hypothesis that there is a connection between serotonin and
  1275. depression is a refinement of the monoamine hypothesis of depression.
  1276. &amp;nbsp;That hypothesis states that there may be a connection between
  1277. relative underactivity of brain monoamines (serotonin, norepinepherine,
  1278. dopamine) and depression. &amp;nbsp;It is an old idea, derived in part
  1279. from studies such as this one: &amp;nbsp;Antagonism to reserpine
  1280. induced depression by imipramine, related psychoactive drugs, and some
  1281. autonomic agents&lt;i&gt;.&lt;/i&gt; &amp;nbsp;Sigg EB, Gyermek L, Hill
  1282. RT.&amp;nbsp;&lt;i&gt;Psychopharmacologia&lt;/i&gt;. 1965 Feb
  1283. 15;7(2):144-9.&lt;br&gt;
  1284. &lt;br&gt;
  1285. Obviously, we have learned a lot since 1965, so the monoamine
  1286. hypothesis is significant mainly as an historical relic. &amp;nbsp;Even
  1287. the refinement -- the serotonin hypothesis -- is ancient.
  1288. &amp;nbsp;Since then, ample evidence has been found, showing that the
  1289. serotonin hypothesis is, at best, a gross oversimplification.
  1290. &amp;nbsp;There is no strict correlation between serotonin activity and
  1291. any defined mental illness.&lt;br&gt;
  1292. &lt;br&gt;
  1293. The lack of a strict correlation means that the action of
  1294. antidepressant
  1295. medication is not fully understood; nobody I know will dispute that.
  1296. But the thing is, harping on that string is pointless. &amp;nbsp;It is
  1297. like
  1298. pointing out that there is not a strict correlation between the noise
  1299. of an automobile engine, and the motion of he automobile. &amp;nbsp;It
  1300. is
  1301. true that sometimes an automobile moves without the engine making
  1302. noise; and sometimes the engine makes noise without moving.
  1303. &amp;nbsp;Sometimes there is a significant lag between the time the
  1304. engine
  1305. starts making noise, and the time the automobile starts to move.
  1306. &amp;nbsp;With the correct instruments, it would even be possible to
  1307. show
  1308. that
  1309. none of the energy that goes into the production of noise has anything
  1310. to do with the movement of the automobile. &amp;nbsp;True, all of it.
  1311. &amp;nbsp;But can we conclude that there is no connection between the
  1312. noise
  1313. of the automobile, and the motion? &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  1314. &lt;br&gt;
  1315. Perhaps the serotonin boost is not at all related to the clinical
  1316. effect. &amp;nbsp;It could be an&amp;nbsp;&lt;a title=&quot;Wikipedia link&quot;
  1317. href=&quot;http://&quot; rel=&quot;tag&quot;&gt;epiphenomenon&lt;/a&gt;.
  1318. &amp;nbsp;Physicians generally know about epiphenomena, and are
  1319. cautious about overinterpreting them. &amp;nbsp;Pointing out the fact,
  1320. that there is not necessarily a causal connection, is tiresome.
  1321. &amp;nbsp;Thus, when a skeptic takes pains to point it out, it merely
  1322. shows that the skeptic is not aware of how obvious it is to
  1323. medically-educated people.&lt;br&gt;
  1324. &lt;br&gt;
  1325. As an aside, it occurs to me that epiphenomena are roughly analogous to
  1326. &lt;a title=&quot;Wikipedia link&quot;
  1327. href=&quot;;&gt;spandrels&lt;/a&gt;.
  1328. &amp;nbsp;If I felt like getting tediously philosophical, I could write
  1329. a post outlining that analogy. &amp;nbsp;Another time, perhaps.
  1330. &amp;nbsp;(A hint: just as a feature that evolves as a spandrel can
  1331. turn out to be useful, sometimes side effects of mediation can be
  1332. useful.)&lt;br&gt;
  1333. &lt;br&gt;
  1334. Sometimes it is difficult to avoid getting tediously philosophical.
  1335. &amp;nbsp;Oh well. &amp;nbsp;It occurs to me also that this is an
  1336. example of how a good understanding of evolutionary theory can be
  1337. helpful in understanding medicine, as Orac is &lt;a
  1338. href=&quot;;&gt;fond
  1339. of pointing out&lt;/a&gt;. &amp;nbsp;(As is my former residency
  1340. director, &lt;a
  1341. href=&quot;;amp;HITS=10&amp;amp;hits=10&amp;amp;RESULTFORMAT=&amp;amp;fulltext=medicine+needs+evolution&amp;amp;searchid=1&amp;amp;FIRSTINDEX=0&amp;amp;resourcetype=HWCIT&quot;&gt;Randy
  1342. Nesse&lt;/a&gt;.) &amp;nbsp;This is true regardless of whether you
  1343. believe that evolution is responsible for the origin of species.&lt;br&gt;
  1344. &lt;br&gt;
  1345. Putting that aside aside, and getting back to the point: Because it is
  1346. tiresome to hear skeptics harp on that string (the lack of a
  1347. fully-delineated connection between serotonin and depression) I was
  1348. surprised to see this article in a well-regarded journal:&lt;br&gt;
  1349. &lt;a
  1350. href=&quot;;amp;doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020392&quot;&gt;&lt;i&gt;Serotonin
  1351. and Depression: A Disconnect between the Advertisements and the
  1352. Scientific Literature&lt;/i&gt;&lt;/a&gt;, by Jeffrey R. Lacasse and
  1353. Jonathan Leo.&lt;br&gt;
  1354. &lt;br&gt;
  1355. &lt;div align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;img
  1356. alt=&quot;Illustration: Margaret Shear, Public Library of Science&quot;
  1357. title=&quot;Illustration: Margaret Shear, Public Library of Science&quot;
  1358. src=&quot;;
  1359. height=&quot;500&quot; width=&quot;500&quot;&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  1360. &lt;/div&gt;
  1361. &lt;div align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;small&gt;&lt;font
  1362. face=&quot;Courier New, Courier, monospace&quot;&gt;&lt;small&gt;Illustration:
  1363. Margaret Shear, Public Library of Science&lt;/small&gt;&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/small&gt;&lt;br&gt;
  1364. &lt;/div&gt;
  1365. &lt;br&gt;
  1366. I was surprised to see this, because it is, to me, a new twist on the
  1367. old theme. &amp;nbsp;The authors do not imply that antidepressant
  1368. medication does not work; nor do they argue that psychopharmacology is
  1369. suspect. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  1370. &lt;blockquote&gt;To equate the impressive recent achievements of
  1371. neuroscience with support for the serotonin hypothesis is a mistake.&lt;br&gt;
  1372. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  1373. Rather, they argue that it is inappropriate for pharmaceutical
  1374. companies to base advertising campaigns upon the presumed link between
  1375. serotonin and depression. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  1376. &lt;blockquote&gt;In the US, the FDA monitors and regulates &lt;acronym
  1377. title=&quot;direct-to-consumer advertising&quot;&gt;DTCA&lt;/acronym&gt;.
  1378. The FDA requires that advertisements &amp;ldquo;cannot be false or
  1379. misleading&amp;rdquo; and &amp;ldquo;must present information that is
  1380. not inconsistent with the product label&amp;rdquo; [27]. Pharmaceutical
  1381. companies that disseminate advertising incompatible with these
  1382. requirements can receive warning letters and can be sanctioned. The
  1383. Irish equivalent of the FDA, the Irish Medical Board, recently banned
  1384. GlaxoSmithKline from claiming that paroxetine corrects a chemical
  1385. imbalance even in their patient information leaflets [29]. Should the
  1386. FDA take similar action against consumer advertisements of SSRIs?&lt;br&gt;
  1387. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  1388. Curiously, the authors devote several paragraphs to debunking the
  1389. serotonin hypothesis, even though, in my opinion, their purpose could
  1390. have been served with one or two citations. &amp;nbsp;What is even more
  1391. curious is that they do not go on to draw a specific conclusion that
  1392. answers the question they pose: they never answer directly the question
  1393. about whether the FDA should take action against the pharmaceutical
  1394. companies that refer to the serotonin hypothesis in their
  1395. advertisements. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
  1396. &lt;br&gt;
  1397. In fact, they do make a good case against the pharmaceutical companies,
  1398. and I happen to agree. &amp;nbsp;It appears to be true, based upon
  1399. their argument, that pharmaceutical companies are not following FDA
  1400. regulations regarding DTC advertisements. &amp;nbsp;Moreover, the
  1401. authors make several other good points, such as this one:&lt;br&gt;
  1402. &lt;blockquote&gt;Patients who are convinced they are suffering from a
  1403. neurotransmitter
  1404. defect are likely to request a prescription for antidepressants, and
  1405. may be skeptical of physicians who suggest other interventions, such as
  1406. cognitive-behavioral therapy [&lt;a
  1407. href=&quot;;amp;doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020392#JOURNAL-PMED-0020392-B48&quot;&gt;48&lt;/a&gt;],
  1408. evidence-based or not.&lt;br&gt;
  1409. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  1410. I personally have spent a lot of time in the office, with patients,
  1411. trying to undo the misinformation contained in DTCA. &amp;nbsp;It
  1412. bothers me that I have to do that. &amp;nbsp;I would much rather spend
  1413. the time providing good education, not undoing bad education.
  1414. &amp;nbsp;I would prefer to not have to deal with direct-to-consumer
  1415. advertising at all; but if we have to have it, companies really ought
  1416. to be held to the standards that exist to ensure balance and accuracy.&lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Serotonin and Depression: A Disconnect'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-05-20T02:32:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-05-20T02:34:54.176-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Impeachment Update</title><content type='html'>&lt;div id=&quot;Politics&quot;&gt;
  1417. Howard Kurtz, &lt;a
  1418. href=&quot;;&gt;writing&lt;/a&gt;
  1419. on the &lt;i&gt;Washington Post&lt;/i&gt; column, &lt;i&gt;Media Notes&lt;/i&gt;,
  1420. has an update on the brewing impeachment issue. &amp;nbsp;It turns out
  1421. that some Republican strategists have been hyping the threat of
  1422. impeachment. &amp;nbsp;Apparently, they believe that the possibility of
  1423. impeachment of the President might motivate some voters to go to the
  1424. polls and vote for Republican congressional candidates.&lt;br&gt;
  1425. &lt;br&gt;
  1426. Personally, I do not see the problem with impeachment hearings, even
  1427. looking at it from the Republican perspective. &amp;nbsp;After all,
  1428. with regard to the domestic spying operations, the Administration keeps
  1429. telling us that if we haven&#39;t done anything wrong, we have nothing to
  1430. fear. &amp;nbsp;Certainly, the same principle applies to the
  1431. Administration itself.
  1432. &lt;/div&gt;</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Impeachment Update'/><author><name>: Joseph j7uy5</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='32' height='32' src=''/></author></entry></feed>

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