The Corpus Callosum

Archives for December, 2008

Ethanol is a poison.  But the difference between poison and medicine sometimes is only a matter of dosage. For decades, there have been studies that purport to show a small benefit from regular consumption of small amounts of ethanol, with obvious problems caused by excessive alcohol consumption.  Physicians, however, are divided about what to do…

Prepared for the New Year?

This photo is one of Yahoo’s most emailed. (AP Photo/Detroit Zoo,Mark M. Gaskill)

Feminism and Collapse

The impetus for this post came from a confluence of stimuli, as is usually the case.   Recently I received a book, a biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer (American Prometheus, by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin).  The book describes the persecution of Oppenheimer during the Red Scare in postwar USA.  The current global and perpetual…

Let us all savor the season and be appreciative of our good fortune.  I really mean that, although what I am about to say will lead some to think otherwise. Earlier this year, it was reported that thirty million Americans were receiving food stamps.  That is one out of every ten persons.   Last month,…

GlaxoSmithKline, also known — to old-timers — as  GlaxoWellcomeSmithKlineBeecham, has elected to halt all political contributions.  Almost.  The corporation itself will not make any contributions, after having made a total of $585,425 to candidates in the USA in 2008.  It will facilitate PAC activity by its employees. GlaxoSmithKline to halt political contributions LONDON (AP) —…

An Unbearable Tortuosity Of Logic

On 24 November 2008, the United Nations reported the outcome of the Human Rights Council’s Working Group On Right To Development. They held a vote on the question of whether people have a right to food. The United States of America voted against this: By a vote of 180 in favour to 1 against (United…

The Ten Million Dollar Shoes

Saudi offers $10m for shoes thrown by journo Iraq: Wednesday, December 17 – 2008 at 09:22 A Saudi man has offered $10m to buy the shoes that Iraqi journalist Muntadar Al Zaidi hurled at US President George W. Bush, according to a report carried by Al Arabiya net. Sixty-year-old Hassan Mohammad Makhafa, from Aseer, south…

To Roughly Generate

Ovation Pharmaceuticals obtained the rights to a drug developed by Merck, Indocin IV.  It is used as a medical treatment for patent ductus arteriosus.  PDA is a type of birth defect in the heart.  It is serious.   It is helpful to have a medication that is an alternative to surgery. The following year, they…

White Coat Hypotension

Land’s End sells white coats.  The kind that doctors wear.   I got an email hawking Land’s End stuff.  Promising big savings.  So I notice this: Anyway, I looked at the image of the coat.  I imagined myself putting it on.  Got chills.  Yuck.   I’m glad I went to medical school.  There was more…

Republicans to America: Drop Dead!

Senate rejects auto bailout By DAVID ROGERS | 12/11/08 11:15 PM EST A White House-backed bailout for ailing automakers collapsed in the Senate Thursday night, pushing General Motors Corp. closer to almost certain bankruptcy absent a major intervention by the Treasury Department. The 52-35 roll call fell well short of the 60 needed to cut…