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Archive for April, 2006

Sunday, April 30th 2006

Fatal Contact: Bird Flu In America

A movie-of-the-week (MOW) as a public service announcement is ridiculous.

“We feel we’re providing a level of awareness and we’ve gone to great effort to make sure the film is accurate,” co-producer Judith Verno said. “We’ve included a lot of information we believe people need to know.”

“We had wonderful consultants who were actually ahead of the [bird-flu] curve,” Kerew said. “The way the disease popped up in China, then moved to Turkey and Africa, were things we already knew about.”

This is irresponsible and inflamitory and the previews for the movie only heighten my feelings. Its written by Ron McGee (“Atomic Twister” is another of his ‘real world’ disaster pieces) so you can start questioning Fatal Contact’s accuracy without even watching it.

Part of the irresponsibility lays with the worst case scenario approach and passing it off as education. But such a scenario even from the mouth’s of the most extreme alarmist is a far fetched one.

The threat of H5N1 is overstated. It is a media darling and they can’t report anything but the worst.

“It is impossible to predict whether we’re going to have an H5N1 pandemic and, if so, how severe it’s going to be,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told HealthDay.

Fauci had earlier told the Associated Press that he thought it “very unlikely that there is going to be the type of situation [here that] we see everywhere, from Nigeria to Indonesia.”

That sentiment was echoed by Dr. Julie Gerberding, head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Speaking to attendees at a recent meeting in Tacoma, Wash., she said “there is no evidence it will be the next pandemic.”

If you must watch it airs on ABC May 9th.

Sunday, April 30th 2006

Patient History

Chief Complaint
Location – Where is it? Does it radiate?
Quality – What does it feel like? Dull? Sharp? Aching?
Quantity – On a scale of 1 to 10 how bad is it? Does it disrupt your daily activities?
Onset – When did it start? What were you doing when it first began?
Duration – How long have you had these symptoms? If it comes and goes how long does it last?
Frequency – Is it all the time or does it come and come?
Progression – Has it gotten better or worse?
Setting – Is it associated with any place or action?
Relieving or Exacerbating – Does anything make it better or worse?
Manifestations – Are there other symptoms?


Sunday, April 30th 2006

Regenerative Abilities of Cutaneous Nerves

Woman Says She Has Feeling in New Face

The French woman who received the world’s first partial face transplant has complete feeling in the new tissue five months after the operation, she told a Sunday newspaper.

Dr. Oliver says bogus.

Saturday, April 29th 2006

Off Topic I Play Too Many Hands

I’m a pretty poor poker player. If I had more free time maybe I’d be better. :)

I’m playing at Full Tilt in a no limit tournemant. Its pretty early, at the second level. I’ve got about the tourney average at the time.

I’m the small blind with A5s. It comes around with a bunch of calls and I make it 3.5x the BB. BB folds. Button + 3 calls and two middle position players call. Well spit on me, that ain’t so great four handed.

The flop comes

Ah 4h 10d

Why the hell am I sitting there thinking I need to show strength or that I can take this pot? I bet the pot, more than a third of my stack. Two of three call and I know I’m hosed with a 5 kicker. The turn comes


I check, the next player makes this odd bet just about a tenth of the pot. It gets called and comes to me.

I figure the guy to my left has a solid Ace, and the elephant in the middle position I’m not so sure on. Heart draw? I can win this thing with a five I figure which is what? 6 or 7% to come? Maybe just two outs if I think the five of hearts will make one of the others a flush. The pot is about 12 to 1 to this small bet from my left. Right more than what I need to make the call but I gamble, albeit not much.

The river comes Queen.

I check the guy next to me makes an identical bet to last time. The middle position raises allin (which ain’t much at this point) and I finally bail out.

Turns out the middle position had a Q4 and called a pot sized bet (with fewer chips than myself at the time, perhaps half his stack) with bottom pair and then stuck around to sucker out a full house. The guy to my left had AK.

Why the hell did I make that huge bet as the first to act with a 5 kicker four handed? I’m in fine positions with the blinds, I made a steal attempt pre-flop that was valid, considering big slick merely called the big blind, but then put a bluff at it that wrecked my stack. I should a made a smaller post flop bet just to figure out where I was with that garbage hole card sitting next to my Ace.

Saturday, April 29th 2006

Off Topic Trojans Get Creamed In The Draft

As I’ve mentioned Reggie Bush got sucker punched in a Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan kind’ve moment for the Houston Texans. Matt Leinart (a potential Top 3 pick) fell all the way to #10 and late in the third round Dominique Byrd and Darnell Bing (once scouted as a potential first rounder) still have not gone.

The other Trojans who haven’t gone are a little more understandable.

The draft picks so far are:

Reggie Bush – 1st Round, 2nd Pick – New Orleans Saints
Matt Leinart – 1st Round, 10th Pick – Arizona Cardinals
Winston Justice – 2nd Round, 7th Pick – Philadelphia Eagles
Deuce Lutui – 2nd Round, 9th Pick – Arizona Cardinals
Lendale White – 2nd Round, 13th Pick – Tennessee Titans
Dominique Byrd – Should’ve been second round
Darnell Bing – Sould’ve been second round

Friday, April 28th 2006

Off Topic Bob McNair = Mr. Magoo

Pasquarelli on why the Houston Texans have made a catastrophic mistake. They need a play maker and they choose DE Mario Williams. Laughable.

[W]hither the Texans at this point? Well, nothing against Williams, but it’s going to take blind loyalty for a fan base already smarting from the franchise’s snub of popular hometown star Vince Young to understand Friday evening’s decision.

Friday, April 28th 2006

Scientists Behind The Iron Curtain Are On It

Personally I think Russia is relapsing a bit, into its paranoid Soviet self. Western culture and thought process are just too different; for all of history Russia has been its own and not part of Europe or the west. They simply cannot understand a life and culture so different from what they have experienced. My favorite example is when Putin asked Bush why he fired Dan Rather.

It’s not clear how well Putin understands the controversy that led to the dismissal of four CBS journalists over the discredited report on Bush’s National Guard service. Yet it’s all too clear how Putin sees the relationship between Bush and the American media — just like his own. Bush’s aides have long feared that former KGB officers in Putin’s inner circle are painting a twisted picture of U.S. policy.

The opinion of the west is no different in the general population, many of whom mistake how the west and America function for their own methods of doing thing.

Now we have very confident word that any bird flu pandemic will be squashed by a Russian made vaccine.

“Only when a pandemic virus strain develops will a vaccine be created, and it will not take long – only about a month,” Mikhail Zurabov said after a meeting of health ministers of the Group of Eight (G8) industrial nations in Moscow.

He said Russian scientists were working on two potential vaccines.

Pretty sketchy rhetoric, but I guess we’ll see.

Friday, April 28th 2006

Off Topic Mario Williams = Sam Bowie

What more can said? The Houston Texans are fools for passing on both Reggie Bush and Vince Young for DE Mario Williams. This will go down as one of the biggest blunders in NFL draft history.

The Houston Texans have signed North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams, making him the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft Saturday.

Texans general manager Charley Casserly had cautioned earlier in the week that anyone concluding the team had decided on Southern California tailback and Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush and was only using Williams as leverage was mistaken.

The choice of Williams by the Texans could dramatically alter the landscape of the early segment of the first round. The New Orleans Saints, with the second choice, have indicated they would snap up Bush if he fell to their slot. But the Saints had hinted, in general, that they might entertain trade offers for their pick.

The availability of Bush at the No. 2 spot would almost certainly elicit trade offers.

Friday, April 28th 2006

Stolen Body Parts Made Me Sick

I don’t know what they expect to collect. Still this has been a pretty gruesom story over the past several months. But as the AP story says,

Lawsuits have been filed for two men, one in Nebraska and one in Ohio. Each contends he caught a hepatitis virus from tissue implanted in back and spine operations — an assertion that lawyers acknowledge will be difficult to prove.

Its hard to prove what caused these diseases.

Friday, April 28th 2006

Legalized Drugs A Stroll Away

Mexico has legalized a broad range of street drugs. But it might not be as dramatic as the headline makes it seem.

I believe in the legalization of most drugs for personal use. I’m just wondering how the legalization of just about every drug (just not marijuana) will affect health in the Mexico – Texas border region, where my school has a huge presence.

Mexico’s Congress approved a bill Friday decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin for personal use— a measure sure to raise questions in Washington about Mexico’s commitment to the war on drugs.

If signed into law, the bill could have an impact on Mexico’s relationship with the United States— and on the vast numbers of vacationing students who visit Mexico, often to take advantage of its rarely enforced drinking age of 18.

The bill says criminal charges will no longer be brought for possession of up to 25 milligrams of heroin, five grams of marijuana about one-fifth of an ounce, or about four joints and half a gram of cocaine about half the standard street-size quantity, which is enough for several lines of the drug.

“No charges will be brought against … addicts or consumers who are found in possession of any narcotic for personal use,” the Senate bill reads. It also lays out allowable quantities for a large array of other drugs, including LSD, MDA, ecstasy about two pills’ worth and amphetamines.

Sale of all drugs would remain illegal under the proposed law, unlike the Netherlands, where the sale of marijuana for medical use is legal and it can be bought with a prescription in pharmacies.

While Dutch authorities look the other way regarding the open sale of cannabis in designated coffee shops something Mexican police seem unlikely to do the Dutch have zero tolerance for heroin and cocaine. In both countries, commercial growing of marijuana is outlawed.