Saturday, April 29, 2006

Work-related Blogs and News

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Oxford Pain Internet Site

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Keep Medicare Public

Breath Spa for Kids

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Crash Course in Diabetes

Cancer- glucose scan

Cancer Tests:

"Positron Emission Tomography - PET scan - PET works by providing a dynamic image of the body's interior. Instead of taking a picture of the bones, like an X-ray, or the internal organs and soft tissue, like a MRI, PET lets doctors visualize the body's metabolism. Cells use the simple sugar glucose as a source of energy. By tracking how much glucose is metabolized in different areas of the body, PET enables physicians to map the body's use of the fuel. In order to see the glucose, nuclear medicine physicians attach radioactive tracers to a chemical cousin of glucose. When the mix is injected in a patient, the scanner and computer work together to create an image. Because cancer cells are dividing rapidly, they break down glucose at a much higher rate than most normal cells and the increased activity can show up on a scan. In this way, doctors can see both primary and metastatic tumors. PET scans differ from conventional CAT because this newer test is better able to detect much smaller, microscopic amounts of cancer cells that have been left over after treatment and to verify that a suspicious mass is truly cancer. CAT, on the other hand, is only able to detect larger masses, and only a surgical procedure, or biopsy, can verify that the CAT-detected mass is cancer. A PET scan can verify that even small masses are cancerous because the technique uses a type of sugar, or glucose, that glows. Cancer cells ingest larger amounts of glucose than normal cells, so they glow 'hotter' than normal cells. So while CAT can identify suspicious masses based on their size, PET scans can identify masses that are cancerous based on their behavior. PET scans can be used in place of biopsy in some patients suspected of having lung cancer, and helps to guide treatment. 'PET allows us to see the metabolism of a tumor,' Conti said. 'From that we can infer whether "

Your Brain MAKES Insulin

BBC NEWS Health Study suggests 'type 3 diabetes'

A follow up on a previous post. This is new, interesting, and I wonder if this is why Type 2 diabetes is linked to the development of Alzheimer's.

What I Am Making For Supper

Italian Sausage Spaghetti


1 lb Italian Sausage $3.00
1 big ass onion 30 cents
1 can of spagetti sauce- my favorite is Chef Boyardee but since it skyrocketed in price I just add a bit of sugar to the other kinds. $1.00
1 can of mushrooms 70 cents
Oregano and Garlic powder to taste pennies
1.5- 2 lbs Spaghetti $1.oo

Total cost $6.70 or $ 1.34 per serving

Optional but not Available Tonite:

Green Peppers
Fresh or Canned Tomatoes
Red Peppers
Fresh Garlic
Any colorful veggie that cooks beautifully.

Add as much as you like.

To Make The Sauce:

In a cast iron frying pan set to medium high , put in sausage that you have cut into bite sized pieces, and put in a bit of water. Cover and boil. This gets the icky fat out and it also makes it cook faster. Spoon or drain the water out. The sausage will be ready when it is whitey pinkish and not brighty pinkish.

Put the Pasta water on to boil here.

Then, add the chopped onion and let them become transparent, and add other fresh veggies at this point too. Turn down the heat to 2 on a ten point scale. Add the mushrooms, and the sauce and spices. Cover and let simmer - occasionally stir. About twenty minutes works well- can be longer if you have the time.

Make the pasta- Drain and put into a large bowl . Drizzle with olive oil and toss so that the pasta does not stick.

When sauce is fully cooked, put on top of pasta.

Sprinkle with Parmesan, Cheddar or Mozza cheese.

Serves 3 giant children and two adults. With no leftovers.

Serve with garlic bread, salad, vegetables on the side, or make dessert and enjoy that.

Med Extra- Maybe I Need To Contact These People

Canadian Health Matters

Okay- so here is a company that charges money but may get the job done. They facilitate acess to Canadian and US physicians for a fee and a wide range of illnesses are covered. SO maybe scar tissue entrapping a nerve may have a real soloution. Maybe hubby could start living again rather than just existing. Maybe I could get above the freaking POVERTY LINE........................

I wonder what the insurance company would think IF I paid for this, got some valid treatment info and then forwarded them the bill and the treatment options???

For 500 bucks I could do this. My problem? I have no proverbial pot to piss in at this point. I can't pay up front. And this makes me annoyed.

Hmm??? Does anyone want to buy a kidney? JOKING!!!!!!

Sick twisted dark humour is needed to cut this feeling of not being able to breathe because I feel like I am drowning.

Relaxing and breathing now.

Blog Rolled Again!!

Pigeon Weather Dot Blog

Thank You Pigeon Weather- I would like to do the same back but like I was telling John at Evolutionary Middleman- another fab place- I am a little freaked out as every time I do something I end up losing info down the page somewhere. It is exasperating. I will put my Spidey Powers to work this week and see what I can come up with for a decent blogroll.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Political Compass - Reading List

Political Compass - Reading List

Libertarian Left Reading List

Funny thing is I have read most of these. I clicked on the Libertarian Right by accident and saw Ayn Rand and KNEW I was in the wrong place. I have read her books and loved them, but found them a little cold and didn't know why. I now know- there was no room for anyone else. We are not meant to be islands unto ourselves - we need people to be our best. It is absolutely part of us to be in community. We are pack animals.

Coley's Toxins - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coley's Toxins - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I am reading COMMOTION IN THE BLOOD and wonder if this really did work. It is kind of like fighting fire with fire, and I guess it is still used in Germany.

There is also a bit on here about how glucose is eaten quickly by cancer tumours and I remember reading a while back about a scan that is being developed to "read" where there are bunches of glucose in the body. Where it is- the cancer is. I wonder if this is why brain cancer is so deadly, since the brain is a glucose factory- again something I just found out. In fact, they are positing that Alzheimers is actually Type 3 Diabetes. Remember- I am speaking in NON SCIENTIST language, because I am not a scientist. So if you want to know more- look it up like I have to. I may be linking things wrong and making incorrect assumptions, but know that I will snoop and see if this is sensible.

John Hawks Anthropology Weblog : Mitochondrial disease minireview

John Hawks Anthropology Weblog : Mitochondrial disease minireview

I am wondering if the CFS studies had noted any mitochondrial changes in the CFS patients. I love mitochondria- even though I have a limeited understanding of them I think they truly are the NEXT BIG THING except for GLIA in understanding how the human body is resilient or not. Find a company doing mitochondrial or glial research. Put money into it- and some for me too- and tell me how it works out...... LOL!!!

I am LOVING this stuff.


Psychological approaches are always unique and specific to the individual and do not lend themselves to be studied with a "double blind study".

AHHHHH- is this not one of the seven signs of psuedoscience????

Immunology Bookcase, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Why Science in Medicine Matters

Chronic Fatigue's Genetic Component:

Taking a multidisciplinary approach that agency officials said represents the future of public health, the CDC recruited 20 physicians, molecular biologists, epidemiologists, computational biologists -- even physicists and mathematicians -- to collaborate in an effort to tease apart the syndrome.

Genetic And Environmental Factors Impact Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients

Genetic And Environmental Factors Impact Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients

ver the past year, CDC scientists have worked with experts in medicine, molecular biology, epidemiology, genomics, mathematics, engineering, and physics to analyze and interpret information gathered from 227 CFS patients. The information was gathered during a study in which volunteers spent two days in a hospital research ward. During this time, they underwent detailed clinical evaluations, measurement of sleep physiology, cognitive function, autonomic nervous system function, and extensive blood evaluations, including an assessment of the activity of 20,000 genes, in an attempt to identify factors that potentially cause or are related to CFS.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Political Compass

Political Compass

About The Political Compass™
In the introduction, we explained the inadequacies of the traditional left-right line.

If we recognise that this is essentially an economic line it's fine, as far as it goes. We can show, for example, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and Pol Pot, with their commitment to a totally controlled economy, on the hard left. Socialists like Mahatma Gandhi and Robert Mugabe would occupy a less extreme leftist position. Margaret Thatcher would be well over to the right, but further right still would be someone like that ultimate free marketeer, General Pinochet.
That deals with economics, but the social dimension is also important in politics. That's the one that the mere left-right scale doesn't adequately address. So we've added one, ranging in positions from extreme authoritarian to extreme libertarian.

Both an economic dimension and a social dimension are important factors for a proper political analysis. By adding the social dimension you can show that Stalin was an authoritarian leftist (ie the state is more important than the individual) and that Gandhi, believing in the supreme value of each individual, is a liberal leftist. While the former involves state-imposed arbitary collectivism in the extreme top left, on the extreme bottom left is voluntary collectivism at regional level, with no state involved. Hundreds of such anarchist communities exisited in Spain during the civil war period
You can also put Pinochet, who was prepared to sanction mass killing for the sake of the free market, on the far right as well as in a hardcore authoritarian position. On the non-socialist side you can distinguish someone like Milton Friedman, who is anti-state for fiscal rather than social reasons, from Hitler, who wanted to make the state stronger, even if he wiped out half of humanity in the process.
The chart also makes clear that, despite popular perceptions, the opposite of fascism is not communism but anarchism (ie liberal socialism), and that the opposite of communism ( i.e. an entirely state-planned economy) is neo-liberalism (i.e. extreme deregulated economy).

The usual understanding of anarchism as a left wing ideology does not take into account the neo-liberal "anarchism" championed by the likes of Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman and America's Libertarian Party, which couples law of the jungle right-wing economics with liberal positions on most social issues. Often their libertarian impulses stop short of opposition to strong law and order positions, and are more economic in substance (ie no taxes) so they are not as extremely libertarian as they are extremely right wing. On the other hand, the classical libertarian collectivism of anarcho-syndicalism ( libertarian socialism) belongs in the bottom left hand corner.
In our home page we demolished the myth that authoritarianism is necessarily "right wing", with the examples of Robert Mugabe, Pol Pot and Stalin. Similarly Hitler, on an economic scale, was not an extreme right-winger. His economic policies were broadly Keynesian, and to the left of some of today's Labour parties. If you could get Hitler and Stalin to sit down together and avoid economics, the two diehard authoritarians would find plenty of common ground.
Your political compass
Economic Left/Right: -6.63Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.28
Show graph on separate page for printing

A brilliant conversation piece for your office or study ...

Join 24 caricatures of your most loved and loathed political figures in a personalised colour certificate that you can load into your browser, and print in moments.
It's beautifully designed by political cartoonist Ralph Izzard and serves as a permanent record of your position on the Compass, and the political company you keep.
It's also a means of helping us to maintain and develop the concept and the site, while keeping it entirely advertising-free.
Now you know where you are on The Political Compass™, you might like to explore the ideas of those with similar (or wildly differing) views on our Reading List.
International Chart
A diverse professional team has assessed the words and actions of internationally known contemporary leaders to give you an idea of how they relate to each other on the political compass.

We regret the present exclusion of some major leaders, especially in the developing world. This is due to our inability so far to contact independent experts.

Your political compass
Economic Left/Right: -6.63Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.28

I am a Gandi and Mandela type of gal.

My future blogger child is evilly LAUGHING at me because apparently I am the furthest thing from calm and peaceful. The thing is, if everyone did what I told them to all the time there would ALWAYS be peace..........LOL!!!!!

Join Alberta Blogs at Alberta Blogs

How Evidence Based Medicine Can Be Used Against Patients.

Evidence-based medicine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

"In managed healthcare systems evidence-based guidelines have been used as a basis for denying insurance coverage for some treatments some of which are held by the physicians involved to be effective, but of which randomized controlled trials have not yet been published."

I blogged on Orac's website about how I think medicine is a science more than an art, and I wondered at the end if evidence based medicine had any downsides. Apparently it does. Having personally experienced the downsides I was not surprised to read this, but I am annoyed. Read the Wiki to find out what evidence based medicine should be based on and how it can be stymied. There are a number of problems with switching teams in any circumstance, but the denial of care because there is no evidence should not be one of them. If I sound like I am talking out of both sides of my mout, please try to follow me. If there is science behind a treatment- even if it is veterinary science- the procedure should not be considered experimental. It should behoove the great and grand insurance companies to find a way of actually assessing evidence on procedures. It should be an open process, and it should be done not to deny care but to provide the best alternative to patients. Patients are not populations, so as genetic understanding of health grows, this information should be incorporated into the body of knowledge. Financial and political pressures should not come into play like they did recently with the FDA decision to ignore marijuana's efficacy for certain conditions.

First we need brain transplants for non-thinking patients and doctors. Or real schools where real critical thinking skills are taught and valued and rote learning is seen as an adjunct not a means to an end.

I was pleased to note that there is a genetic basis for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. That is an extremely contentious diagnosis that real people are psyched to death for.

Will the Internet advance more open communication between medical players?? I would like to think this is possible, but given how much is at stake, I am certain it will be a fight to the death for some.

OKCupid! The Political Objectives Test

OKCupid! The Political Objectives Test

Social-LiberalYou scored 85 Equality, 85 Liberty, and 21 Stability!
Your commitment to both liberty and equality puts you in the hazy area that exists between the Liberal and the Socialist. You value liberty particularly in cultural and personal life. You also value government intervention to promote equity in economic life while still supporting private enterprise. For you liberty and equality are two parts of the same condition. Everyone has to be free to pursue their own way-of-life but in order for that it happen everyone must start with a similar basic standard of living.
My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 95% on Equality

You scored higher than 73% on Liberty

You scored higher than 11% on Stability

List of branches of alternative medicine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Friday, April 21, 2006

Gas Prices

Evolutionary Middleman

Doing the math I found out with the exchange rate at 85 cents on the dollar we are paying about 3.55 per US gallon. Which is darn close to SoCal rates. I used to bitch and whine about gas prices when they were not comparable -.89 cents in 2001 in the States, and I am sure we were paying between 65 and 70 cents per litre. At 3.78 litres per gallon- we were most definitely paying more.

Gas here is 1.08 a litre and climbing. It is a good thing it is summer and the kids can ride their bikes.

The Free Medical Journals Site

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Diary of a Goldfish: Blogging Against Disablism Day - 1st May 2006

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Well- I love blogging!! I have written or "bookmarked" 372 posts as of December. To me, who could never think of myself as a writer because I could never really see the stuff I was really writing, this has been a wonderful way to measure quantity. I think I am lacking in quality, but that comes with maturity and self confidence. I am sad to say that my blogging daily days are probably numbered. I don't know who has actually read my posts, but for the last few years my hubby has been off of work due to a work injury. We went through the insurance company and in October he was essentially cut off of payments, due to the fact that they deemed him employable. Well, the mind is willing but the flesh is a mess. The original problem is still there and is exacerbated with activity to the point that it is a bit more painful than your average root canal apparently.

We have run out of options. I need to work a day job and a night job in order to make things POSSIBLY work. I am scared, I am pissed I am really not happy with how life has turned out. We are waiting to see if government disability will come through, but apparently chronic pain is a grey area. Not so fun. We are like many people- we have responsibilities that we need to take care of- bills, kids, etc. We have cut out as much unnecessary stuff as we can. ( Some may argue that the internet is unnecessary, but it is my lifeline to medical info and work info. ) Now it is time to be a "man" and suck it up and work sixty to eighty hours a week so we can do what needs to be done.

If blogging is sporadic or even worse, nonsensical, in the next while- please be patient!!! I will do what I can as often as I can. And I will visit the faves I have bookmarked here as I love reading you all.

Everyone has a story. That is what I love most about this whole experience. Even the info blogs have a story. This is like a peek into someone else's life, and I appreciate the honesty and passion I have come across over the last few months.


Saturday, April 15, 2006

NEJM -- Access to the Scientific Literature -- A Difficult Balance

NEJM -- Access to the Scientific Literature -- A Difficult Balance

Please let us have open access. Please. It makes it much easier to do searches that are accurate and relevant when our loved one is ill. It helps us advocate for them and for ourselves. It is necessary to have up to date information that is trusted, because otherwise we get dirty looks and mumbles from our physicians when we say that we have information off the internet. If we could say we have information from such and such recognized journal it would be ever so helpful.

Look at how Salon sets up their website. We have to watch commercials to get free access. So we do. Lots and lots of commercials over the course of a year. I am sure there are some pharma companies that would sponsor ads for your open access site.

I cannot afford thousands of dollars for access to medical articles that may be relevant to a certain condition. I cannot even afford a day pass as such. But I can afford to take some time out of my day to watch a commercial.....

Pain and Suffering- Scroll Down

Dharma Bums

No words, just look at this picture of a life that has been altered and ask yourself how the hell we got here as a North American society.

Are insurance companies devaluing their products to inflate their bottom line?

Why is there such a large amount of money involved in denying claims? The people and paperwork involved must cost a lot. What would happen if this money was used to help people?

How many ACTUAL and PROVEN cases of insurance fraud are there really every year? Where you pay back or go to jail?

Why is it that the insurance industry says they are weeding out fraud, when in fact some insurance companies in the states are being accused of and investigated for, fraudulent business practices. Is this not the pot calling the kettle black.

If there is so much trouble getting help from insurance companies, are they really good value for the money spent??

BMC Neuroscience

BMC Neuroscience

Theodore Price

The Daily Doubter

About the Center for Integrative Medicine

About the Center for Integrative Medicine

I need to write about the rest of the New Medicine. I just haven't had the time to care or think about it. Yardwork, life and stress.....So this is a placemarker for my outrage

American Theocracy | The Agonist

American Theocracy The Agonist
I love this comment because it summs up what is happening and what has been happening in a number of areas in life over the last few centuries. It is why MSM does not like the internet and bloggers, it is why doctors fear patient autonomy, and it is why religion gets all annoyed when it is questioned. If power and knowledge really are made available to the masses then the masses will be in control. Kind of like communism except not- DECENTRALIZATION is the key here.

So in my tiny corner of the world what does that mean?? Nothing really, except that there is a possibility that after a huge upheaval which will be painful, things may start to change. Or, conversely, those in power may hold onto power even more viciously and cause a million more needless problems. Either way it will be a wild ride.

Here is the quote:

........big business does not like Green Energy because of ownership. Currently big business owns enormous power plants, refineries, etc. These are extremely profitable. With green energy, there is a different ownership. The current investment big profitable power plants compete with a decentralized production system that is not owned by big business. The power grid becomes decentralized as power is produced close to the source of consumption. It is a nightmare scenario for the power generators, who remember, do not make Solar Cells or windmills.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Dream Mom: A Day in the Life of a High Deductible Medical Plan

Dream Mom: A Day in the Life of a High Deductible Medical Plan

Fuck- and this is the future our Health Minister wants to push through- our THIRD WAY?? Yeah. I already have a good idea of what insurance companies do, and I don't like it. This upsets me more than I can say. I am goddamn lucky to live where I do. At least my medical bills are covered, even if meds and other stuff are not.

The United States needs to look at what is happening in their own back yard before it starts fixing the world yet again.

Asthma and Glycopeptides (Ketek -Antibiotic)

Synthesis of Glycopeptides

Asthma research- For some reason Ketek prevents exacerbations of asthma in a small study. Ketek is a glycoprotien and here is a small article that examines what glycopeptides are and their roles in the body. This is something that I had no idea about. I did know that different antibiotics work in different ways and that that is why there are different classes of them. These are amazing drugs, and it is unfortunate that we are losing the battle against antibiotic resistance.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Probiotics a no for heart valve patients

Sunday, April 09, 2006

It's My Country, Too

Duke incident paints a troubling picture

Duke incident paints a troubling picture

Minutes after the alleged rape occurred, it was revealed this week by Durham County authorities, one of the players fired off an e-mail to his teammates. He wrote about hiring more strippers.
Brace yourself.
He wrote: "I plan on killing the bitches as soon as the (sic) walk in and proceding (sic) to cut their skin off while (ejaculating) in my duke (sic) issue spandex."
Feel free to wince, because that is pretty hard to write off as a drunken, distasteful joke among friends. It's abhorrent. It's the stuff of a serial killer's secret journal.

Contrasted with this....

Two weeks after the incident, a Duke lacrosse player attended an on-campus "Take Back the Night" march during Sexual Assault Awareness Week. He was interviewed by Duke's student newspaper.
"I completely support this event and this entire week," he told The Chronicle.
That was Ryan McFadyen speaking. He's the guy who, according to a search warrant affidavit, typed the e-mail about killing bitches.

Can anyone say creepy??? Sick?? Wrong????

Pharyngula: We are children of the Cold War, and we learned nothing

Could Someone Tell Me How This Is Any Better Than How Some Other Cultures Treat Their Women?????

Mom Was Son's Booster During Gang Rape, Authorities Say - Los Angeles Times

Mom Was Son's Booster During Gang Rape, Authorities Say

The Anaheim attack is payback by gang members mad at the victim's boyfriend, officials believe. Ten people are charged.
By Sara Lin, Times Staff WriterMarch 14, 2006
A mother who authorities say cheered on her son and his gangster friends as they allegedly took turns raping a 23-year-old woman is among 10 people charged with the crime.Authorities said the rape was payback by members of an Anaheim Latino gang for something the victim's boyfriend did.
Experts say that although it's not unheard of for gang members' mothers to be involved in their activities, it would be unusual to see a woman raped in retaliation for her boyfriend's action."Generally speaking, rape within a Hispanic gang is reserved for punishment … but for something she personally has done, not just because they don't like her boyfriend," said Wes McBride, president of the California Gang Investigators Assn.
FOR THE RECORD:Gang rape case —An article in Tuesday's California section about the mother of a reputed gang member charged with rape said charges in the case had been filed against 10 people. Eleven people have been charged.
The alleged victim, who was not identified, had gone to a Feb. 23 party with the reputed gang members at a motel near Harbor Boulevard and Katella Avenue in Anaheim, authorities said. Early the next morning, she was lured into a room and beaten by 23-year-old Jolean Disbrow, they said.During the next seven hours, authorities said, gang members raped, orally copulated and digitally penetrated the victim. Connie Retana, 38, is accused of encouraging her 18-year-old reputed gang member son, Martin Delgado, and his friends as they allegedly sexually assaulted the woman.The gang members told the victim the rape was "to teach her man a lesson," prosecutors said. Before letting the woman go, they told her she would be killed if she reported the crime, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Susan Kang Schroeder. Authorities declined to say what the alleged victim's boyfriend had done or whether he was a gang member.Women are sometimes charged alongside their male companions in rape cases involving several defendants, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Ben Masangkay, who is handling the case.Women have also been known to join their children in gang activities, experts say. "I have seen mothers egg on kids to do violence and shoot other gang members. We've even see them drive the drive-by cars," McBride said. "If a mom is in the room and they're doing gang stuff, she's just another gangbanger. She's just a little older."McBride, who is retired after 36 years as a gang investigator with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, said raping another gang member's girlfriend was extremely rare among Latinos because of the culture's traditional respect toward women.Four suspects were arrested in Garden Grove driving the alleged victim's car the day after the crime was committed, authorities said.Besides Retana, Delgado and Disbrow, those arrested were Jesse Bess, 23; Randy Calderon, 18; Keizzy Fierro, 22; Adrian Flores, 18; Raymond Jaramillo, 19; Luis Nava, 19; and Gilbert Ortiz, 15. One suspect, identified as 19-year-old Oscar Jose "Sporty" Barajas, remained at large.Each defendant was charged with rape in concert, false imprisonment by violence, forcible oral copulation and sexual penetration by a foreign object by force.All but Fierro were charged with dissuading a witness from reporting a crime. Fierro and two others were charged with receiving stolen property: the victim's car. Delgado was charged with stealing the car. They were each being held in lieu of $100,000 bail and will be arraigned Friday.

A Rape Victim Exposed by Her Attackers

Gregory Haidl, - Google News
Key Words:
Gang rape, Santa Ana, California, Defense Lawyer says you will regret your civil suit, identity exposed, video camera, drugged, forced to watch her attackers on video...

UNBELIEVABLE- do we think the woman in the Duke rape case will have it any easier? See the CBS article for some idea of how this is being framed in the regular media.

Then read one of the boy's SICK SICK SICK emails about cutting off skin and cumming in his Duke shorts.....

Crazy world-

No more words right now.

Alleged Rape at Duke Plays to Stereotypes - CBS News

More on the Duke rape case

Respectful Insolence (a.k.a. "Orac Knows"): Peter Bowditch's 2004 Millenium Awards

The Millenium Project - Creationism

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Slant Truth � A Vacation is Due.

This is the world to which some would have us return.

Creek Running North

Read the March 26 entry on death and unions....

AlliStan: Class, Privilege, and Rape at Duke

Justice 4 Two Sisters

Justice 4 Two Sisters

The Duke University Rape of a Black Woman Allegedly by White Lacrosse Players.....A very good summary. I hope the Email they refer to makes you sick to your stomach. Unfreakingbelievable that ANYONE could be so SICK!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Six Until Me.: Diabetes Terms of Endearment

Six Until Me.: Diabetes Terms of Endearment

I was laughing until I was CRYING!!!! I work with a short person with Type 1 and it has been a hell of a ride. Thank goodness for the support I have from family. They have taught me a million things. We laugh a bit, but I have a feeling that this will cause snorts and fits and giggles.

Thank You Six for a wonderful dose of levity in what sometimes stresses me out and makes me sad. It is NOT fair that anyone gets this beast and to poke it and laugh at it when you can makes me joyous.

Read more of her blog to find out what certain legislators want to do to "manage" their budgets. It certainly won't help those living with chronic illness to manage their illness. Dumb ass pricks!!

Neuroglial Cells

Depression and Area 25 by a fellow blogger...

DepressionExercist: May 2005

A good read and an interesting blog.....

Brodmann area 25 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Brodmann area 25 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is the area of the brain that is overactive in treatment resistant depression. I hope this works for as many people as possible. I remember a story in Phantoms in the Brain by Ramachandran that talked about a guy who was prone to panic attacks and when he was having brain surgery his doc stimulated an area and the guy felt like he was having a panic attack. It was in the same area as a heart area I think. Anyway it always interested me to see that this could happen. Maybe that is why people with MS and other brain diseases can have personality changes- areas in the brain are overactive for some reason, and they go all wonky.....

Brodmann area 25 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Brodmann area 25 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is the area of the brain that is overactive in treatment resistant depression. I hope this works for as many people as possible. I remember a story in Phantoms in the Brain by Ramachandran that talked about a guy who was prone to panic attacks and when he was having brain surgery his doc stimulated an area and the guy felt like he was having a panic attack. It was in the same area as a heart area I think. Anyway it always interested me to see that this could happen. Maybe that is why people with MS and other brain diseases can have personality changes- areas in the brain are overactive for some reason, and they go all wonky.....

Chaotic Utopia � Conan the Bacterium: The Ancient Microscopic Hero

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Aon -Consulting- or Confounding and Costly

Managed Care Matters

What does this mean for you?
Do not hire consultants because they have a big name or for any reason other than they know a lot, have different ideas, are willing to learn a lot about your business, and are committed to your success. Grill them thoroughly, and beware of platitudes, generalities, and barely covered ignorance

Yes- Here in Ralph's Former World- the mighty have had an bit of a butt kicking- our dear health minister decided to contract out the Third Way investigations to Aon. Now it came out last fall that Aon had a bit of an image problem and was in a spot of trouble for some fraud allegations . This was a bit of an issue for some. Understandably so, since companies that consult obviously want to make money- they are looking to get into the market. If there are already image problems some people (namely Henry and Martha) might not like to go with the unknown. They may decide to keep what they already have.

Anyways, and anywhoo- it is a bit interesting to see what Mr. P has to say about Aons proprietary software and his warning that before you pay money you should understand what you are buying.

The largely unsubstantiated attacks, focused on the entire complementary and alternative healthcare industry, typically originate from just three cent

Cancer: A Controversial Subject - Why Should Dealing With Cancer Be So Controversial?

Well, it should be controversial because that is the nature of scientific inquiry. It needs to be proven with some real study published in a real journal with people who know the field making judgments on data, not anecdotes. The prayer studies, the reiki studies, the relaxation studies all pretty much have disproven the claims that the supporters of these healing methods are disseminating. The parents of children with special needs that are being fleeced by people who are not scientists should have as much good science as they can read available. Those who are sick need to know that they are getting what they are paying for. No-one should have to pay thousands of dollars in Canada for "hope".

Ah well, these are persecuted people who are absulutely sure of their method, and do not have time for naysayers....

I just wish that ALL of those who were into alternative stuff would see the wisdom of the next sentence...

There is never any win in answering negative press with more negative energy. Unfortunately in the media, you are quite often guilty until proven innocent. As a patient, you need to make your health care decisions based on reasonable scientific and clinical evidence instead of being told what to do by special interest groups. The intent of this web section is to leave you with the facts, so that you can make your own balanced decisions about about your own health care. (from the above links web site)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I wonder if My Anonymous Poster is Someone From Here

Cancer: A Controversial Subject - Why Should Dealing With Cancer Be So Controversial?

I came across something that makes me think that this could have something to do with my hatemail.....

I will have to see what else happens next.

Always in for a good one.

YouTube - Colbert on Science Education

Spinal Cord - Abstract of article: Functional recovery of chronic complete idiopathic transverse myelitis after administration of neurotrophic factors

IMMUNOLOGY: An Antibody Paradox, Resolved -- Prlic and Bevan 311 (5769): 1875 -- Science

IMMUNOLOGY: An Antibody Paradox, Resolved -- Prlic and Bevan 311 (5769): 1875 -- Science: "The immune effect of a cytokine bound to an antibody"

IMMUNOLOGY:An Antibody Paradox, ResolvedMartin Prlic and Michael J. Bevan
The immune effect of a cytokine bound to an antibody is paradoxically much stronger than that of the cytokine alone, suggesting a way to lower therapeutic doses and thereby reduce side effects.

Assays to Detect Host Immune Responses to HIV

Modulation of the Host Cytokine Network

MEdIC - Professional - Cytokines in Allergic Disease

Cell Interactions: Cytokines

Innersource - The Journey to Wild Divine - Consciousness-raising Computer Game

Innersource - The Journey to Wild Divine - Consciousness-raising Computer Game

A computer game?? WTH???? I told you in my last post that I I had a bad feeling about this. Ummm.. Deepak Chopra, crystal thingies- and it cures pain??? I did read somewhere that video games helped with pain in kids, but tell me how you play the game AND work and do the things you need to do.

ALL FOR 159 bucks USD.

Idiots and morons.

Wild Divine: About The Wild Divine Project

Wild Divine: About The Wild Divine Project

Search this site. On it is a biofeedback program for you and it is linked to the computer. I have no idea how it works, so will do some more digging, but the company seems to be some wholistic music based hooey type of place and it probably will turn out to be a ripp off. I found this through an online digest/support group thing for chronic pain that I subscribed to a while back and never looked at. I have a bad feeling about this....

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Depression, Personalized -- Holden 2006 (320): 4 -- ScienceNOW

Depression, Personalized -- Holden 2006 (320): 4 -- ScienceNOW

It has always fascinated me how some people have an amazing positive effect on their life while in AD's, and others seem to have little or none. This information on the gene differences in certain patient populations and their subsequent difference in effect while using AD's may explain some of this.

I have a question? Why do people coming off of antidepressants get "pings" in their brain? What happens to the brain EXACTLY? Not little bits of info, but really and truly meaty information would be considered great in regards to this question.

Depression, Personalized
By Constance HoldenScienceNOW Daily News20 March 2006Only about two-thirds of depressed people feel better while taking antidepressant medication. Currently, doctors have no way of knowing who is likely to benefit from what drug. But now researchers have identified a gene variant that appears to enhance the odds of benefiting from antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It's "a step on the road to true personalized medicine," says co-author Dennis Charney, a psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
The findings could also help explain why blacks appear to respond less than whites to antidepressants, says the lead author, psychiatrist Francis McMahon of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The beneficial gene variant--for a type of serotonin receptor--is far more common in whites than in blacks.
McMahon and colleagues analyzed DNA samples from 1953 patients diagnosed with major depression who were being treated with the SSRI citalopram (Celexa). The patients were part of the largest-ever clinical trial for depression, called STAR*D. To scout out genes that might be associated with treatment response, they looked at 768 markers on 68 candidate genes. SSRIs act on the neurons that send out serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects many things including mood and circadian rhythms. These antidepressants, which often have fewer side effects than others, prevent transmitting neurons from quickly soaking serotonin back up that has not been absorbed by receptors on other neurons, thus giving the neurotransmitter more time in the synapse to exert an effect. SSRIs also indirectly down-regulate the 2A receptor on postsynaptic (receiving) neurons, which is also necessary for the drugs to work.
It was in the gene responsible for the 2A receptor that the researchers found the only marker significantly associated with response to the drug. Everyone has two copies, or alleles, of the 2A receptor gene, one from each parent. There are two types of alleles, called A and G. Among the people with at least one A allele, 80% benefited from the drug, while only 62% of those with 2 G alleles did well. The pattern occurred only in white patients. This may be a reason why the 313 blacks in the study had poorer responses on average--only 6% of them had at least one A allele, compared with 42% of the whites. People with two A alleles (14% of whites and only 1% of blacks) did much better than those with only one, says Charney.
McMahon says that although numerous small studies have attempted to find genes implicated in antidepressant action, this is "by far the largest" as well as the first to yield a "strong and reproducible signal." It will appear in the May issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics.
"This work presages a revolutionary future for psychiatry where choice of antidepressant treatment will be determined in part on an individual patient's genotype," says psychiatrist Eric Nestler of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. McMahon expects that future research will look at the entire genome, including genes involved in drug metabolism.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

(one of) Consumer directed health's fatal flaws

Managed Care Matters

Well. I have succumbed. I have put someone from the Insurance Industry on my blog. Joe Paduda from Managed Care Matters. This article on why stats and economics do not necessarily make health care better is most interesting.

The idea her in Ralph's World Canada, is to look at privatizing some of health care. There is a move on to amake it more "patient centred". Read this link, especially this excerpt and see his take on how this really plays out.

The big breakdown is our individual uniqueness - we are each a population of one. And that’s where "consumerism" blows apart.
We each get treated as individuals, not as populations. We have unique combinations of co-morbidities, allergies, pre-existing conditions, quirks, differences, nuance, needs and fears. Some of us know a lot about medical stuff, and most of us don’t know much at all. And some patients think that “quality care” is getting in to see the doc within a couple of days, while others view it as a clean waiting room with lots of interesting magazines, and still others want a doc who is warm and smiles, while another group wants to see case-mix adjusted statistics on outcomes.
This "a plus b plus c plus d..." is what makes each patient unique, a population of one.
And docs have to treat individuals, not populations. So, each patient gets treated a little differently.

Tips For Life- A funny Email I Received

I have no idea if this is true, but I had to post it as I was laughing out loud in sympathy....

Dear Kotex,

I recently noticed that the peel-off strip of my pantiliner had
a bunch of "Kotex Tips for life" on it. Annoying advice such as:

Staying active during your period can relieve cramps.
Avoiding caffeine may help reduce cramps and headaches.
Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day to keep you hydrated and feeling fresh.
Try Kotex blah blah blah other products

Obviously the person behind this was someone who has never possessed a functioning set of ovaries. Go ahead and tell a
menstruating woman TO HER FACE that drinking 6-8 glasses of water will help keep her feeling fresh. See what happens and report back.

I'll wait. While you're at it, dump out the coffee at work and
Remove the chocolate from the vending machine. I garan-friggin-tee that the first responders will be females who just ovulated.

Look, females don't need or want tips for living on feminine hygiene products.. Younger girls are already hearing "helpful"
crap like that from their elderly relatives. Veteran females have already concocted their own recipes for survival, mainly containing alcohol.

Printing out shit advice while sneaking in ads for the brand THAT
WAS ALREADY PURCHASED is just plain annoying, not to
mention rude, stupid, and enough to send a girl running to the Always brand.

Mostly we'd like to forget that we even need these products. It's
Not a fun time, but DO NOT try to cheer us up by adding smiley
faces or bunnies or flowery cutesy crap to your products or the

Put the shit in a plain brown wrapper so we can throw
It in our carts discreetly and have it blend in among the wine
And beer.

There is nothing more annoying than having a blinding pink package announcing your uterine state to everyone in the store.

The ultimate goal of your product should be functional invisibility
at every stage, including at the point of purchase.

So take your tips for living and shove them right up your ass. Try
drinking six to eight glasses of water to make you feel fresher while you're doing it!

Ovarily Yours,
Miss PMS

I need this!!!

New Scientist Tech - Technology - Device warns you if you're boring or irritating

Apparently, this is in the works for people with autism. It is a device that tells the wearer if the person you are with is having negative emotions, so that the wearer can better interpret the world around him/her.

I am perfectly capable of figuring this out myself, but on my endless tirades this could come in handy, as I tend to just talk and then bore my friends and family to death.

I am joking of course. This device, if it works, and is not another hooey thing marketed towards desperate parents. could be interesting and useful.

Maybe salespeople can wear these too- they seem to be oblivious to my disinterest in what they want to sell me....

Patient: Prayer is aid to recovery

Ledger-Enquirer 04/01/2006 Patient: Prayer is aid to recovery

Anita Phillips of Salem, Ala., firmly believes she's healed of cancer. And after reading a newspaper story Friday stating a scientific test found that prayer by strangers doesn't positively benefit heart surgery patients, the 56-year-old Christian had a few things to say.
"This isn't bigger than my God," she said of her cancer, which was diagnosed last August as Stage 4 and was found in her kidneys, lungs and backbone.
Phillips will receive her last radiation treatment Monday at the John B. Amos Cancer Center in Columbus. A member of Faith Outreach Church in Phenix City, she said her cancer has all but disappeared, and she credits many prayers for that.
Last summer, she said, she was told to go home and die. "There was nothing medical science could do for me."

Doctor speaks out
Dr. Shane Darrah, a Columbus cardiologist, expressed skepticism about the study released Thursday showing strangers' prayers did not positively affect heart patients.
"As much as we try, and I am a scientist, some things cannot be measured," said Darrah, a member of Wynnbrook Baptist Church who's on staff at the Patrick Heart Institute of St. Francis Hospital. Like others interviewed Friday, he's not sure what the study accomplished. "It's interesting to talk about, but I don't think we'll ever get any meaningful information" out of such faith-science comparisons.

Cortisol and fear

The Hindu : Sci Tech : Injected stress hormone may cut fear of spiders

I was just talking about this to a relative tonite. How does cortisol help? WIll there be immune system effects if excess cortisol can dampen it? Yada Lada Nada.....

Loneliness Stress Exercise and The Brain

Social isolation delays the positive effects of running on adult neurogenesis - Nature Neuroscience

So let us imagine for a wee minute what it is like to stop working because of an injury. Imagine the stress that happens when something that brought you great joy now is unavailable to you. Imagine that the people in your life day to day- those that you had hired and developed, those that you had done favours for, those that you had supported with you work, suddenly saw you as a non-entity. As a drain on the company because of insurance and bonus issues. As a faker or exaggerator. Imagine that while this is going on you are forced to go to a company doctor to male sure that you are not malingering. He takes your leg and in one quick move he crushes it into your mid section at which point you groan/scream in pain. This is satisfactory to the doctor, who concurs that your pain is real. You are writhing in pain inside and your whole body is trembling while you try to get dressed and listen to him. You tell him about a treatment that is the only hop on the horizon for relief, and he says yes it may help. You tell him that the insurance company case manager told you to go through public health care because they do not cover this. The wait list is 22 months. The company doctor used to work for this insurance company, and he knows the doctor providing treatment. He calls the office 1600 km away, and speaks with the injection doctor's wife, who is also the office manager. She says that yes he does take insurance company patients, and he thanks her. He then tries to call the company to find out what the heck is going on. There is no answer so he leaves a message. Then he calls the insurance company case manager. The conversation does not go well. The doctor identifies himself, why he is calling and then asks the case manager why he is screwing the patient. The case manager blusters that he will not be spoken to this way. (apparently he is the only one allowed to speak that way in his dealings with clients.) The doctor then rephrases the question with gentler wording but still in an indignant tone. The case manager says they do not fund experimental treatment. The conversation with the injection doctor's wife is brought up. The call gets more heated. The doctor tells the case manager to call one of the insurance company docs to get this expedited, and tells him that it has been covered before, and he too will be calling the insurance company doc on this matter. "Fine, you do whatever," says the case manger. The doctor gets off the phone. The patient and his wife tell the doctor that this is typical of their interactions with this person, the difference is they have much less sway than a real doctor.

This is how the story starts on a contentious long term claim...The treatment does get approved within a very short period of time, but then there are further delays.

That is for another post.

Imagine the stress that the body and mind of this person is going through in a most vulnerable time in their life. Now imagine what happens to the brain. Would positive thinking help? Not so much. Would a sense of control help- maybe. This point is moot though, as the insurance company model is one which keeps the control as far away from the client as possible. Would friends and family help- not as much as being able to return to a meaningful work environment.

Does exercise help....For the first time it looks like shit piled on shit is not conducive to exercise having a particularity positive effect on the body during times of social isolation....

Nature Neuroscience 9, 526 - 533 (2006) Published online: 12 March 2006; doi:10.1038/nn1668
Social isolation delays the positive effects of running on adult neurogenesis
Alexis M Stranahan, David Khalil & Elizabeth Gould
Department of Psychology, Princeton University, Princeton NJ 08544.Correspondence should be addressed to Elizabeth Gould
Social isolation can exacerbate the negative consequences of stress and increase the risk of developing psychopathology. However, the influence of living alone on experiences generally considered to be beneficial to the brain, such as physical exercise, remains unknown. We report here that individual housing precludes the positive influence of short-term running on adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus of rats and, in the presence of additional stress, suppresses the generation of new neurons. Individual housing also influenced corticosterone levels—runners in both housing conditions had elevated corticosterone during the active phase, but individually housed runners had higher levels of this hormone in response to stress. Moreover, lowering corticosterone levels converted the influence of short-term running on neurogenesis in individually housed rats from negative to positive. These results suggest that, in the absence of social interaction, a normally beneficial experience can exert a potentially deleterious influence on the brain.