Archive for October 12th, 2004

Wedding Bells in the Blogosphere

ø

The Blogosphere is abuzz with the news that The
Redhead
and The
Acordian Guy
have decided to get hitched! This is truly a match
made in Blogging Heaven, and we wish them all the best in the world. Ah,
young love….

The happy couple met at BloggerCon
I
last fall, and have
been blogging their relationship in a manner which has for the most part
maintained decorum and good taste and avoided excessive goopiness. It
deserves to be made into the
first blockbuster Hollywood Blogger Love Story, and perhaps it will.

The "official"
announcement
is on The Redhead’s Blog, and
they already have a Wedding Site. This is sure to be THE social event
of the blogging season, the biggest thing since Charles and Di tied the knot. Stay tuned…..

Mazeltov you guys!

Pharma Karma

ø

The
thing we don’t get about cheaper drugs from Canada is how come they’re
so much cheaper? If Canadian pharmacies are selling US manufactured
drugs for less than half of what they cost in the US, it means that they
are selling them in the US for more than twice as much as they need to
to make a decent profit.

Obviously, they can get away with this because they, through their lobbyists,
have convinced the Congress and the FDA that they need these obscene
profit megamargins
to support research, development, clinical trials, etc. In reality
this is largely smoke and mirrors, and the US market has long been a
gold mine for this multinational industry.

Pharma, as the pharmaceutical industry
lobbyists are known, are considered the creme de la creme of American
lobbyists, with sophistication,continental flair, unlimited funds and
connections
that reach high
in circles of power private and public around the world, Without their
efforts our drug prices would be much closer to the Canadians’.

So how do those politicians (largely Democrats) get away with letting
their constituents legally import American drugs from Canada and circumvent
one of the slickest scams perpetrated on the American public in the past
century, by some of their
biggest
contributors
and corporate
sponsors? Will there be repercussions in future reelection campaigns?  These
powerful corporations are not going to walk away from billions of dollars
of annual windfall profits just because of some election year mania for
economic fair play….

We may be looking at a nationwide insurrection. Currently, one to two
million Americans are defying federal law by using the Internet to
purchase drugs from Canadian pharmacies. And, according to one Kaiser
Family Foundation
and Harvard University School of Public Health poll, approximately
80 percent of Americans support importing RX drugs from Canada. Who
can
blame them? In 2002, Americans paid 67 percent more than Canadians
for patented drug products, and medicines will cost US consumers an
estimated
$210 billion in 2004. The groundswell is so strong that Health and
Human Services Secretary Tommy Thomson conceded in May that Congress
will inevitably
have to yield.

Much of the blame for the lack of action at the federal level can be
pinned on Pharma, the pharmaceutical lobby, which values protecting
profits above lives,
and which is playing hard-ball in hopes of beating back an importation law.

article from Znet

House That Ruth Lived In Demolished

1

In keeping with our committment to report on stories
close to home, and with some pride
that our new hometown is so enmeshed in the history of "The Curse",
the
following
story is worth a read. Who knew that the last place the Babe lived before he was suddenly sold to the New York Yankees was just a few blocks from where we now live and blog?

WATERTOWN, Mass. — Red Sox fans hoping to "reverse
the curse" as the team heads into the American League Championship
Series with New York were heartened Tuesday when one of Babe Ruth’s old
houses was torn down.

NewsCenter 5’s Jorge Quiroga reported that Babe Ruth’s old house in Watertown,
at 47 Quincy St., — which his ex-wife lived in after Ruth became a New York
Yankee — was demolished to make room for new construction.

 

from Boston’s Channel 5

We Come in Peace

ø

One
enduring benefit of living in the intellectual Hub of the Universe
is the availability of free lectures
by some of the
smartest experts in some of the most obscure and useless areas of
knowledge known to man. This week, for example, there is a doubleheader
which we hope will go a long way towards helping us understand who we
are and how we got here, or at least distract us from the ongoing tragedy
which is the Red Sox 86 year unrequited quest for baseball redemption.

Tomorrow, there is what looks to be a gripping presentation
on one of the most dramatic discoveries of the previous century –
the army of life-sized Terra-cotta warriors unearthed 30 years ago
in China:

Wednesday, Oct. 13
UNDERGROUND ARMY

In 1974, a group of farmers in the Chinese countryside began digging
a well and instead unearthed a clay torso, and another, and another.
Soon it became clear that they had discovered something breathtaking:
A vast terra-cotta army of life-size soldiers. Buried more than 2,000
years ago to escort the ruthless Emperor Qin Shihuang to the afterlife,
the subterranean legions have become a linchpin of Chinese tourism,
spawning chess sets and trinkets and even ”Qin Army Powdered Milk." In a
talk on Wednesday, archeologist Robert Murowchick will describe this
extraordinary burial and what might lie behind it. ”Making Silent Sentinels
Speak: The Archeology of China’s Buried Armies of Clay," Boston
University, 725 Commonwealth Ave., Room 224. At 7 p.m. Free.

Then, on Thursday, we have a lecture at Harvard’s Peabody
Museum on the central mystery of life on earth – how did it get here?
A lightning strike on a primordial chemical soup? A comet carrying
a frozen seed of biological life? A visit from creatures from the stars?

Thursday,
Oct. 14
WE CAME FROM OUTER SPACE

At some point on this planet, a bunch of chemicals got together and
formed long, complicated compounds that could reproduce themselves,
a process
echoed deep inside our own bodies every time a strand of DNA replicates.
Or did life really start that way? Even experts disagree, and the
primordial evidence has long since been melted, crushed, or ground
to dust. So
scientists are looking for answers elsewhere, both within our cells
and in the far
reaches of outer space. Astrobiologist Antonio Lazcano will appear
at Harvard Thursday to lay out several theories on how the earliest
structures
of life may have arisen on Earth. ”The Origins of Life on
Earth: Did It All Begin in a Warm Little Pond?", Harvard
Museum of Natural History, Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford
St., Cambridge. Call 617-495-3045
for information. At 6 p.m. Free.

We fully expect that by Friday morning be will be completely
convinced that the Terra Cotta warriors were deposited fully formed
by visitors from beyond the stars…..

from the Boston Globe

We Can’t Go Through This Again

ø

Some superior sportswriting this morning
in the Globe, about the upcoming baseball jihad between Boston and New
York. Please, can this be happening again? We haven’t gotten over last
year
yet…First, by Dan
Shaughnessey:

And so one year after they jousted to
the (Sox’s) finish in the Bronx last
October

in an
epic
seventh
game
that
appeared to take the clash to its zenith — they go at it again tonight
on the same hallowed soil that has haunted the Red Sox and their desperate
fans for so many years.

After a winter of cutthroat backroom moves by both front offices, 162
regular-season games (including 19 vs. each other, which inspired two
bench-clearing incidents),
and first-round victories in their respective Division Series, the Sox
and Yankees tonight play the first game in the best-of-seven American
League Championship Series for the right to represent the AL in the
World Series.

and also by Brian McGrory:

Novelist John Cheever once famously said, ”All literary
men are Red Sox fans," and the series that begins tonight at
Yankee Stadium is yet another reason why. It’s almost too perfect,
this rematch
of last year’s magical but disastrous showdown, mystically predetermined
in its makeup, exquisitely undetermined in its likely outcome. Literary
men may be Red Sox fans, but the literature they write is rarely
as compelling as the story line of this team.

Just when we are most confident, as we were in the late
innings of Game 7 last year, is the point at which they let us down.To
be a lifelong Red Sox fan is to accept this fate to its godless core,
then to cheer in groundless optimism.But now there’s something different
at play: redemption. We have been given that rare gift of another bite
at the apple, a true second chance.

 

The Smoking Louse

ø

Scientists unraveling the genetic history
of head lice have found startling evidence that early humans mingled
with a clan of hairy, distant cousins as recently as 25,000 years ago
in Asia — a previously undocumented meeting that appears to have occurred
after the two peoples had evolved separately for a million years.

The more brawny but less brainy branch of humanity apparently went extinct
soon after that family reunion — echoing the fate of Neanderthals, who
also went extinct after making contact with the predecessors of modern
humans around the same time in what is now Europe.

"We’ve discovered the ‘smoking louse’ that reveals direct contact between
two early species of humans," said Utah’s Dale Clayton, who led the study
published in the journal PLoS Biology

It is not clear what happened during those cross-cultural exchanges. "We
may have mated with them; we may have eaten them. There’s no way to know," said
Alan Rogers, a University of Utah anthropologist who was involved in
the new work, being published today.

Or maybe both….

from The
Washington Post