Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sicko in Great Britain

Here's that great universal healthcare we keep hearing about in other countries:

British patients favour India most for treatment

LONDON: India has emerged the most popular destination for British patients wanting to undergo surgery for ailments that would otherwise take months to treat in the National Health Service (NHS).

In the first major survey of medical tourism, figures show that British citizens have travelled to 112 hospitals in 48 countries for safe, quick and affordable treatment. NHS hospitals in Britain face long waiting lists and hygiene challenged by superbugs.

...Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, said the figures were a "terrible indictment" of government policies that were undermining the efforts of the NHS staff to provide quality services.

He said: "Healthcare is an area where Britain could be a world beater because we have some of the best research and best clinicians. If people don't trust the health service, then that is a terrible indictment of this government, which has turned the NHS into a nationalised bureaucracy, instead of something able to focus on what patients want."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Baby animals + the Sox!

Two of my favorite things!

BOSTON --There's a new member to the growing population of Red Sox Nation -- a baby giraffe.

Zoo officials on Monday named a calf born on the morning after Game 1 of the World Series after the Red Sox in honor of Boston's four-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies, Zoo New England President and Chief Executive Officer John Linehan said in a statement.

The names "Red," "Fenway," "Champion," and "Boston" were among several proposed for the female giraffe, but Franklin Park Zoo staff settled for "Sox" because of her long, lanky legs, according to the statement.

"Sox" weighed 154 pounds at birth, standing 6 feet 2 inches tall. The giraffe was not named immediately after birth because the zoo's superstitious staff wanted to wait until after the World Series because they didn't want to jinx the outcome, according to the statement.


Some of my favorite pics from the last few days:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

We already knew Kucinich was 'out there'

Somehow this is not at all surprising to me

Kucinich sees UFO, new book claims

Kucinich, she writes on page143-144 of the book, "had a close sighting over my home in Graham, Washington, when I lived there. Dennis found his encounter extremely moving. The smell of roses drew him out to my balcony where, when he looked up, he saw a gigantic triangular craft, silent, and observing him. It hovered, soundless, for ten minutes or so, and sped away with a speed he couldn't comprehend. He said he felt a connection in his heart and heard directions in his mind."

Representatives of Kucinich's presidential campaign and congressional office have not responded to calls and e-mail asking whether the Cleveland Democratic congressman in fact saw a UFO or if there is another explanation for MacLaine's recollection.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Trick or Treat?

Am I the only one who hears of a noose in October and immediately thinks Halloween?

3rd Noose Found In Recent Long Island Trend
Discovery One Of Many Hate Symbols Of Old South Lynchings

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (AP) ― A noose was found today on a fence at a Long Island public works garage, a day after two nooses were found at another municipality's highway department garage.

Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray today announced that the Nassau County town's 2,000 employees will undergo diversity and sensitivity training.

The latest noose was found this morning, hanging off a chain-link fence, inside a Nassau County Department of Public Works facility in Baldwin.

Isn't there the slightest possibility that this has nothing to do with hate but an upcoming holiday?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Potty Mouth

West Side woman faces jail time for swearing at toilet

A West Scranton woman could face up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $300 for allegedly shouting profanities at an overflowing toilet while inside her Luzerne Street home.

Dawn Herb, whose potty mouth caught the attention of an off-duty police officer, was charged with disorderly conduct recently, prompting her to fire off a letter to the editor and vow to fight the charge.

“It doesn’t make any sense. I was in my house. It’s not like I was outside or drunk,” said Ms. Herb, who resides at 924 Luzerne St. along with her four young children. “A cop can charge you with disorderly conduct for disrespecting them?”

...Although Ms. Herb doesn’t recall exactly what she said, she admitted that she was frustrated and let more than a few choice words fly. Unfortunately, it was near an open bathroom window.

“The toilet was overflowing and leaking down into the kitchen and I was yelling (for my daughter) to get the mop,” she said. “A guy is yelling, ‘Shut the f--- up,’ and I yelled back, ‘Mind your own business.’ ”

Her next-door neighbor, Patrick Gilman, a city police officer who was off-duty at the time, apparently had enough of Ms. Herb’s foul mouth and asked her to keep it down, police said. When Ms. Herb didn’t stop, he called the police.

Friday, October 12, 2007

What a difference 7 years makes!

Call Derek Jeter the Teflon Captain

This time A-Rod isn't the only one wearing the horns, as Looie Carnesecca used to say. This time the shortstop, the captain of the team, hurt the Yankees every bit as much as the third baseman did. It goes on his record with all the winning.

This one goes on him, really for the first time.

After all the hits he has gotten at this time of year, after all the plays he has made - The Flip against Oakland in 2001 is the greatest play in Yankee postseason history, which means all the Octobers - this time Jeter left even more runners on base than A-Rod did.

...There is more. For the first time - and maybe this was because of a sore knee that we kept hearing about but Jeter never discussed because it is never his way to make excuses - his range in the field seemed to decline, sometimes dramatically. That got no better against the Indians. Only a scoring call more generous than the Salvation Army got him out of a bad error in the first inning of Game 3.

You kept thinking he would do something. He was Jeter, after all. This was the postseason. Another notion out of the past. He let the team down as much as A-Rod did, as much as Jorge Posada. He wasn't supposed to carry the team the way A-Rod did during the regular season. He was still supposed to give it something. Instead he was another Yankee who hit about as well as Chien-Ming Wang pitched.

...Jeter came to the plate with runners on first and third, one out, the score at 6-2 now. If he hits the ball hard someplace, produces another Jeter moment, the place would have exploded. Maybe the Indians would have done the same. As he walked to the plate, the 55,000 stood and asked him to make this one of those nights out of the past.

He hit a harmless ground ball to second, perfect double play ball, the Indians were out of what could have been a real bad inning. When he came up to lead off the bottom of the ninth, trying to get on ahead of Bobby Abreu and A-Rod, he popped out. All he had.

Gotta love it!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Beware the Phantom Pooper

Phantom Pooper Has City & Businesses Disgusted

A phantom pooper is taking a squat in the back of one Idaho Falls neighborhood.

"If the wind blows in that area, you can smell it through our back door."

"I'd like to catch the person, you know. I think it's disgusting."

Here's the scoop on the poop. The city has gotten so many calls about the phantom pooper that they've set up a pooper stake out to see if they could catch him doing his business.

"From what I understand, they still haven't caught him yet even though they've staked out and sat and watched. They still haven't caught up with him yet."

Here are the clues to the phantom poopers identity as we know them. His preferential place to leave a log is under the Lindsey Boulevard Overpass.

He fancies himself a Rembrandt.

"You know I don't know why they want to finger paint with it but you know, ah, leave your mark and go."

He does leave his mark, and he certainly goes, and goes and goes, and he even uses toilet paper.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

After the morning-after pill

Sold over the counter, the morning-after pill is the ultimate convenience drug. However, is regular use affecting women's fertility?

...But Gemma's blushes were not simply prompted by the embarrassment of having to ask for such an emergency measure, or the fact that the night before she'd had drunken, unprotected sex with her boyfriend, but also because, shockingly, it was her 60th request for the drug in less than five years.

..."People will say that we could use condoms, but we feel they desensitise sex and make it less intimate [what could be more intimate than sharing venereal diseases?], so we'd rather not bother with them and, to be honest, we're often too drunk to have a conversation about contraception in the throes of passion anyway." [They must have a great relationship, to have to be really drunk to have sex]

..."I literally take it and forget about it and I don't worry about taking it all the time because it says in the leaflet that comes with it that as long as you don't use it more than once in a menstrual cycle then it's fine." [If the leaflet says it, that means it's so]

Gemma's relaxed attitude to her sexual health and fertility is not one that's shared by Olga Van den Akker, professor of health psychology at Middlesex University.

"To think that it's healthy to regularly take a drug designed only for emergency use is totally naive.

"The makers of Levonelle may well state that there's no reason why a woman shouldn't take it once every cycle, but on a cautionary note we don't know what the long-term effects of these hormonal preparations are for woman's health and fertility.

"They could well turn out to be nasty.

"How will she feel if, for the sake of expediency, she has been playing Russian roulette with her chances of motherhood?

"In theory, prolonged use of the drug could affect a woman's fertility because it messes about with the body's menstrual cycle," she says.

"These young women who go out, get drunk and regularly have unprotected sex because they rely on the morning-after pill to prevent pregnancy, may one day want to conceive.

"And if they find they can't, then they'll have to deal with the emotional burden of fertility problems brought on by the irresponsible sexual behaviour of their youth."

[But professor, I don't care what may happen 10 years from now, I want to have drunken unprotected sex multiple times a year NOW!]

...Serena says: "The truth is that because the morning-after pill was available in pharmacies so readily, there was no real incentive for me to be careful about having safe sex."
[I am shocked SHOCKED that easy access to the morning-after pill increases unprotected sex]

..."It got to the stage where we'd be careless during sex and I'd just think: 'Oh well, I'll just tag another hour onto my morning so I can go and get the morning-after pill.'

"I know now that attitude is wrong but so many women think the same and in part it's being driven by the availability of Levonelle.

"Drug companies are making a fortune out of it, so perhaps they aren't telling us the whole story about what it can do to your body if it's taken regularly.
[No way! Everyone knows that companies in the "family planning" business would NEVER have an ulterior motive like $!]

So what happens when our generation settles down and instead of being obsessed with preventing pregnancy, we are obsessed with getting pregnant? Are we going to learn the hard way what all the long term consequences are of new birth controls, morning-after pills, and medical abortions?