Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Cat Superstitions

Intestinal Problems

Despite the fact that we are living in the XXI century, still quite a lot of people all over the world believe that a black cat that runs across their way can bring us bad luck. Sometimes, even so-called serious-minded citizens, seeing a cat cross their way, stop and wait until somebody else passes the "bad -luck" line.

Here you will find some of the more popular beliefs and a few not so popular or well known.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Hobbit-Like Human Ancestor Found in Asia

Hobbit-Like Human Ancestor Found in Asia:

"Scientists have found skeletons of a hobbit-like species of human that grew no larger than a three-year-old modern child (See pictures). The tiny humans, who had skulls about the size of grapefruits, lived with pygmy elephants and Komodo dragons on a remote island in Indonesia 18,000 years ago.
Australian and Indonesian researchers discovered bones of the miniature humans in a cave on Flores, an island east of Bali and midway between Asia and Australia. "

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Change is NOT coming.

What happened to that guy from the future who said a civil war here in the states was brewing? Was he a hoax? Or will there be a civil war to right the corruption soon? What would be worse?

Aspartame-Rumsfeld-Bush-Reagan-Searle-Monsanto - Why?

Why are they connected? Is there a goal? What is the goal? Read...

USATODAY.com - Scientist says FDA system 'broken'

By Rita Rubin, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON

A Food and Drug Administration scientist told a Senate committee Thursday that the FDA is 'virtually defenseless' against another 'terrible tragedy and a profound regulatory failure' like Vioxx, a drug pulled off the market over safety concerns.
'It is important that this committee and the American people understand that what happened with Vioxx is really a symptom of something far more dangerous to the safety of the American people,' David Graham, associate director for science and medicine in the FDA's Office of Drug Safety, told the Finance Committee. 'Simply put, FDA and its Center for Drug Evaluation and Research are broken.' (Related: Vioxx lawsuits mount)

Graham went on to name five other drugs he thought might deserve Vioxx's fate: Meridia, Crestor, Accutane, Serevent and Bextra. Drug companies were quick to defend the safety of their drugs.

The problem, Graham said, is that the FDA office that approves a new drug, which it regards 'as its own child,' has too much sway over the drug-safety office. But Sandra Kweder, deputy director of the Office of New Drugs, told senators, 'That is not the FDA I know.'
Graham testified during a 4�-hour hearing into whether the FDA and Merck, which withdrew Vioxx on Sept. 30, acted in patients' best interest during the more than five years the drug was on the U.S. market.

Merck yanked the pain reliever after a company study found that Vioxx patients were more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke than those on a placebo. Based on Merck's own studies, Graham said, he estimates that Vioxx may have caused heart attacks or sudden cardiac deaths in up to 139,000 Americans.
Critics say Merck and the FDA knew even before the drug was approved that it might be linked to cardiovascular problems. But Merck CEO Raymond Gilmartin told the committee that he and the company "believed wholeheartedly in Vioxx."

A month before Merck pulled Vioxx, Graham presented an FDA-sponsored study at a scientific meeting in France that found that those who took Vioxx were more likely to suffer a heart attack or sudden cardiac death than those who took Celebrex, a drug in the same class.

Graham told Finance Committee investigators last month that the FDA was trying to block publication of his results. Acting FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford, in a statement e-mailed to reporters Wednesday night, criticized Graham, whom he did not refer to by name, for recently submitting his findings to The Lancet, a British medical journal, without having gone though the agency's normal review process.

This goes all the way back to the 'original' sin of Aspartame in 1980. Maybe even further back. See this search for more details.

FDA scientist details problems of five drugs - Finally the truth! - He'll no doubt end up in an 'accident' soon...

Fri Nov 19, 6:20 AM ET Top Stories - USATODAY.com


By Liz Szabo and Rita Rubin, USA TODAY
During a Senate hearing Thursday regarding Vioxx, the arthritis blockbuster pulled off the market in September over concerns about increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, FDA (news - web sites) scientist David Graham dropped a bombshell about five other drugs on the U.S. market. Graham, associate director for science in the FDA's Office of Drug Safety, said the five drugs pose serious safety concerns:


• Abbott Laboratories' weight-loss drug Meridia can cause high blood pressure, Graham said. When he raised a question about the drug's usefulness in a report, though, Graham said he was forced to delete it. Abbott spokeswoman Laureen Cassidy defended Meridiaby saying it has been studied in morethan 100 studies and has been used by 15 million patients worldwide. (Related story:Scientist says FDA system 'broken')


• AstraZeneca's Crestor is the "only cholesterol-lowering drug that causes acute kidney failure," Graham said. Emily Denney, a spokeswoman for AstraZeneca, says the drug has been prescribed to more than 3.5 million people worldwide and has been extensively tested.


• Roche's drug Accutane, approved to treat severe acne, is a "20-year regulatory failure," Graham said. Accutane can cause serious birth defects if taken by pregnant women, he said, and the agency's efforts to prevent this problem are ineffective. He said the FDA should institute a system that would restrict the distribution of the drug. Carolyn Glynn, a Roche spokeswoman, said the company will now require all patients - as well as their doctors and pharmacists - to register with an independent agency that will track patient use.


• Pfizer's arthritis medicine Bextra is in the same drug class as Vioxx. A recent study showed that the incidence of heart attacks and strokes among Bextra patients was more than double that of patients taking sugar pills. Pfizer spokeswoman Susan Bro says an analysis of previous studies found no increase in "serious cardiovascular events" in nearly 8,000 arthritis patients.


• GlaxoSmithKline's drug Serevent treats asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Before the FDA approved this asthma drug, a British study found with 90% certainty that it increased the risk of death from serious asthma complications, Graham said. There have been reports of patients "found dead clutching their Serevent inhaler," he said. GlaxoSmithKline issued a statement defending the medication, saying the FDA "fully considered" safety concerns last year when it issued a black box warning in the medicine's label.


It was clear Thursday that Graham was not speaking on behalf of the FDA. Sandra Kweder, deputy director of the Office of New Drugs in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, told committee members there's no evidence that these five drugs are any more dangerous than others.


Graham's testimony hurt the manufacturers' stock prices. AstraZeneca dropped $3.80 or 8.6%. GlaxoSmithKline dropped $1.45 or 3.2%. Pfizer was down 22 cents, or 0.8%, while Abbott Laboratories was down 28 cents, or 0.6%. Roche, a Swiss company, doesn't trade on U.S. exchanges.

Bush rescues his number one bodyguard from scuffle with Chilean security

U.S. President George W. Bush (news - web sites) and his wife, Laura arrive at the Estacion Mapocho Cultural Center at the APEC (news - web sites) Summit, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2004, in Santiago, Chile. To the right is the unidentified U.S. Secret Service Agent who was originally blocked from entering. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)

Saturday, November 20, 2004

TAISMHO - The American Internet Society of Manufactured Home Owners

Just so you know that there is consumer friendly website out there for us poor saps that couldn't afford anything nicer.

TAISMHO

Friday, November 19, 2004

Rice Recuperating After Minor Surgery -- White House

Oh and while you're in there, could you tweak the loyalty chip and install the new GPS hardware?


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites) was recuperating at Georgetown University Hospital after minor surgery on Friday morning, the White House said.

"The surgery was successful and she is resting comfortably," said National Security Council spokesman Jim Wilkinson said.

Rice, the White House national security adviser, was nominated by President Bush (news - web sites) earlier this week to succeed Colin Powell (news - web sites) as secretary of state.

Rice, 50, underwent a uterine fibroid embolization, a minimally invasive procedure aimed at treating fibroids by blocking blood flow to them. Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that are common in women and usually not dangerous.

She is expected to stay overnight at the hospital and return home on Saturday.

Rice stayed back from a trip Bush is taking this weekend to Santiago, Chile, for the Asia-Pacific summit.

Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, who will be succeeding Rice as national security adviser, is accompanying Bush on the trip.




Thursday, November 18, 2004

Drizzle of Shooting Stars Expected Friday Morning

If its clear skies where you live tonite, go out around 10pm central and watch for a few minutes.

TiVo Pauses Fast-Forwarding [Motley Fool Take] November 18, 2004

TiVo Pauses Fast-Forwarding
By Rich Duprey
November 18, 2004

One of the beauties of DVR systems like those offered by TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO), Echostar (Nasdaq: DISH), and cable provider Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), is getting the television program you want when you want it. Insipid, annoying commercials can be bypassed with a click of the fast-forward button. Same with watching a movie on DVD or one that you've recorded on video. Hello, feature; goodbye condescending commercials. Heck, just flipping through channels during commercials provides a feeling of superiority over advertisers.

TiVo, a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection, is quickly realizing that the fast-forward feature is a problem for its service, which is increasingly supported by advertisers. TiVo is trying to balance the competing interests of companies that want to put their product in front of its estimated 2.8 million subscribers against those of viewers who couldn't care less about them. To this end, TiVo is introducing a static pop-up ad -- a "billboard" -- that will freeze on the screen as the user skips past the ad. Called a "fast-forward tag," advertisers can pay for a logo or other image to display while viewers otherwise ignore their ads. (They can't buy a tag during a competitor's spot.)

While it does offer advertisers a way to keep their company in front of a viewer, it shouldn't take them long to wonder whether it's cost-effective to advertise through TiVo in the first place if viewers are skipping the ads, or why they should have to pay twice for the chance to advertise their wares.

TiVo has gained in popularity, particularly as the price has dropped from $400 two years ago to $99 this holiday season. The number of households with TiVo is expected to increase from 5% to 41% in five years.

Though it has been marketed as a way to watch television commercial-free, TiVo has apparently been working behind the scenes from the beginning to incorporate advertising into the service. Already viewers are able to click on a "thumbs up" logo that is displayed during an ad if they want to receive more information about the product. It plans to offer true interactive viewing -- what it's calling "couch commerce" -- through contests, giveaways, and links to other ads. By opting in -- that is, using the remote to select the promotion -- the viewer's contact information is downloaded to that advertiser to permit even greater targeted marketing opportunities.

While technology exists to allow viewers to avoid commercials altogether (privately held ReplayTV had this capability until it bowed to the demands of the entertainment industry and removed it) TiVo has always restricted viewers to fast-forwarding through them. The new technology is built into the system itself and has some wondering whether it might not lead to the company eliminating the subscription fee altogether in order to bring in more viewers, or else risk alienating those who subscribe to be able to avoid commercials.

"TV Your Way" may be fast-forwarding to become "Advertising Their Way."


IF I am ever forced to watch an AD via my TIVO, I will cancel the service and buy the service from someone else. AND I will sell all the stock I own in TIVO as well.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

OHMYGAWD! - Mom Breastfeeds Puppy to Protect Baby

Wait til you read the last line....

Wed Nov 17, 8:30 AM ET Oddly Enough - Reuters


WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A woman in New Zealand says she is breastfeeding her pet puppy because she wants it to protect her baby daughter as they both grow up.

Kura Tumanako told the NZPA news agency Wednesday that she had started breastfeeding the Staffordshire bull terrier pup after her baby stopped taking her milk.

'I didn't want to waste it so I gave it to Honey Boy,' she said.
According to NZPA, Tumanako said she had fed the dog twice a day for the past week but would probably wean it off in about six weeks' time. Her baby, now 2 months old, is on bottled milk.

'I wanted to raise it (the pup) with my baby,' she said. 'I wanted to bring it up with a baby. It will protect her as they grow up,' said Tumanako, who lives in Hastings in New Zealand's North Island.

'He drinks more than the baby. It doesn't hurt, but it's a little bit ticklish.' "

University of Washington Chemistry exam question (thanks Shelley)

The following is supposedly an actual question given on a University of
Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic
(absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas
cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we
need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at
which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul
gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different
religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state
that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since
there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong
to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls
in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of
the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the
temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has
to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:
1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls
enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until
all Hell breaks loose.
2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in
Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.


So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year
that, " it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you, and take
into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number 2 must
be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen
over.
The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it
follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore,
extinct...leaving only Heaven thereby proving the existence of a divine
being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."

THIS STUDENT RECEIVED THE ONLY "A"

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Mobissimo Travel | Search airfare

Finally! A working search engine designed for the traveler! 'nuff said.. Now go!

Hewlett-Packard Test Drive

Hewlett-Packard Test Drive

Want to try the latest technologies over the Internet? This program allows you to test drive some of the hottest hardware and operating systems available today. Have you ever wanted to try out HP's exciting 64-bit Itanium, Alpha, and PA-RISC technology? Get time on SMP ProLiants? Try different Open Source operating systems? Do it here! Just register for an account and fasten your seatbelt!

If you like the Test Drive site, be sure to sign up as a FREE Subscriber to the Developer & Solution Partner Program so we can keep you informed on new featured technologies, as well as the latest technical information about HP platforms.

LG 48x24x48x /16x EIDE CDRW/DVD Combo Drive (Black)

WOW! LG 48x24x48x /16x EIDE CDRW/DVD Combo Drive (Black)

Matrox Millenium G450 16MB AGP Dual Head Video Card

SUPER WOW! Matrox Millenium G450 16MB AGP Dual Head Video Card

Sunday, November 14, 2004

NEC 15" Multisync

NEC 15" Multisync
1500 LCD Monitor

15" Viewable screen.. almost as much
viewable as a 17" CRT with 1/2
the bulk! Also, has built in speakers!
$159.99
FREE SHIPPING!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

The Leonid meteor shower - 2004

SW/2137761
The Leonid meteor shower will be appearing in 2004 from November 14
to November 21 and will peak on November 17.

The meteors will appear to come from a point in the constellation of
Leo. Under ideal conditions it's possible to see over 10-15 meteors an hour
and their average speed is a speed 71 kilometers per second.

The Leonids will be best seen after the First Quarter Moon has set.

The closest bright star is Gamma Leonis.

For additional information and links go to:

http://www.sky-watch.com/meteor.html#leonid

Ed Ehrlich webmaster@sky-watch.com
http://www.sky-watch.com
Jerusalem, Israel
© 2004 SkyWatch

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Northern Lights TONITE!!!

Wed Nov 10 20:54:12 IST 2004

SW/2131189

Increased Solar activity has triggered a massive geomagnetic storm
around the Earth causing auroras (northern lights) to appear in far more
southerly locations than usual. An aurora was seen as far south as Arizona.

You need a very dark sky to see an aurora. If you’re lucky enough to be
in such a location, take a look towards the northern horizon and you might
get to see an aurora. (If you are south of the equation, looks towards the
south.)

Ed Ehrlich - SkyWatch - The Astronomical Alarm Clock

Jerusalem, Israe
l
© 2004 SkyWatch

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Wild Northern Lights tonite!

Noticed something out of the corner of my eye this evening around 6pm central. I was driving back from the Mall of America with Alex and her friend Samantha, when we noticed a wide swath of Aurora Borealis, just east of Hudson, WI. We were going to go home to the Amery area thru Baldwin, but I wanted to see the lights more clearly, so we cut up north through Hammond, WI instead.

WOW! what a light show. This event was of the cool light blue variety. Off to the west, a little purple. Not much color variety. This was a dynamic show, on, off, on, off. Not a lot of shimmery curtain, but more like the static phosphor of a flourescent bulb glowing and dimming with very irregular shapes, unorganized patterns and lines.

Ok timeline now 9:45pm central. The show has moved to slightly south of my home near Amery and it is just rippling in real-time like I am seeing waves from the north and waves from the south come to a terminal point straight up above me. Streaks of bold light appearing and disappearing above me like those toys that you scratch on and then lift the plastic sheet up and it all disappears!

10:15pm, most of the show is weakening and has moved quite a bit south from me, so that I am only looking south from my deck. There is some activity north of me, it just appears static compared to the ripple activity overhead. It is now much brighter to the east.

Ok, my butt is frozen. When I first got home, it felt like high 30's. Now it has to be the low 20's!

I'm going to bed to warm up...

Friday, November 05, 2004

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Futura L501AD 15" White CRT Color Digital Monitor @ ONLY $29.99 after 25% Discount!
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NEC 19" Multi Sync Black UXGA CRT Monitor FE991SB @ ONLY $86.24 after 25% Discount!
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