Terra Sigillata

Archives for March, 2007

Leave it to the British to suggest bringing civility to blogging, specifically in blog comment threads, with a call for a suggested code of conduct. This follows blogger Kathy Sierra receiving vulgar and graphic death threats on her and others’ blogs. (Kathy writes the techie blog, Creating Passionate Users.). As a result, Sierra canceled her…

No real wine column this week, although you may care (or not) that I am enjoying a glass of 2003 Thorpe McLaren Vale Shiraz Reserve while writing. Australian winemaker Linda Domas is highly favored at my local wine wholesaler and this intense but nicely balanced Shiraz is made even more lucscious by the fact I…

You may have read that pergolide (Permax), a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease, has been withdrawn voluntarily from the US market due to its causal association with heart valve abnormalities. I hope to have time later to discuss why these heart problems occur and why other Parkinson’s drugs that act by a similar mechanism…

A few years ago, GlaxoSmithKline marketed Remifemin brand of black cohosh extract from their consumer products division as a hormone-free alternative in managing menopausal symptoms. But after reports surfaced that black cohosh might be associated with cases of liver damage, GSK very quietly walked away. (To date, no one has ever shown that black cohosh…

I noted just last week the latest review by Drs Newman and Cragg citing that nature remains the source of 70% of prescription drugs. Wall Street Journal medical reporter Ron Winslow took his turn yesterday contributing to the paper’s new HealthBlog from New Orleans, site of the American College of Cardiology meeting. Turns out that…

On being thankful

Docs have a million of these kinds of stories, but pediatrician Dr Clark Bartram at Unintelligent Design put up a particularly moving reflection on a recent case.

More health news from Canada

For your Saturday morning reading pleasure, here are two articles following up on my dichloroacetate (DCA) and bogus internet pharmacy death posts this week. Each was recommended by my clandestine operative from the Great White North, PharmCanuck: Canadian cancer society warns of untested drug Heather Logan, the director of cancer control policy at the society…

I must extend hearty apologies to my colleague, wine and research mentor, and guest blogger Erleichda for overlooking a great wine column he wrote for Terra Sig back in November. November! How could I overlook a post whose third paragraph begins, “The evening began with three different champagnes…“?!? As The Friday Fermentable has been running…

By now you’ve heard about the recent death of Larry (Bud) Melman, the old Late Night With David Letterman character whose real name was Calvert DeForest (NYT obituary). In an intellectual property dispute, NBC claimed ownership of the Larry (Bud) Melman name, even though it had been devised by a “Letterman” writer, Merrill Markoe. From…

It’s been just over a month since we last discussed cases of misfilled internet prescriptions and misbehavior by a US drug wholesaling firm. Yesterday, Sandra Kiume at OmniBrain told us about the death of a woman in British Columbia from what sounds like another case of terribly misrepresented drugs purchased over the internet (a second…