Halo2

Well, I’ve gotten through Halo2 a couple of times (on easy, I’m not superman), and I have to say it’s visually better than the first, but the ending leaves something to be desired.

I’m also more than a little disappointed that their “Xbox live compatible” game will not play the campaign mode over Live, just the one-on-one and team games. Lame.

It’d make a good xmas gift for a kid who doesn’t already have one. Or a medblogger. Hehe.

Aoooooooooch!

From Black Triangle comes this horrific surgical misadventure:

I hate when that happens

Click to read it. Then try to imagine explaining this to your patient!

also posted on LingualNerve

MSN “Spaces”

Microsoft (a little mom&pop software setup in a rainforest) has discovered blogs, and now has their own weblog service, Spaces, which they describe as:

With MSN Spaces, you can easily create and manage your blog from your computer or your mobile phone. It’s a great way to share information and photos with your friends and family. And best of all, it’s free!*

(There’s always an asterisk or two with MS).

Before you get all excited and start your own weblog, a reading of the fine print is in order. Which is where Mr. Jones comes in. Leave it to a lawyer to read the fine print, and find it objectionable:

For materials you post or otherwise provide to Microsoft related to the MSN Web Sites (a “Submission”), you grant Microsoft permission to (1) use, copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, modify, translate and reformat your Submission, each in connection with the MSN Web Sites, and (2) sublicense these rights, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law. Microsoft will not pay you for your Submission. Microsoft may remove your Submission at any time. For each Submission, you represent that you have all rights necessary for you to make the grants in this section. To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, Microsoft may monitor your e-mail, or other electronic communications and may disclose such information in the event it has a good faith reason to believe it is necessary for purposes of ensuring your compliance with this Agreement, and protecting the rights, property, and interests of the Microsoft Parties or any customer of a Microsoft Party.

(Small print added for our occasional lawyer visitors).

There are alternatives, Blogger, for instance. I started there, and left, but it’s still better than letting MS have your blog.

Just say NO to Spaces.*

*Just kidding, in case some MS lawyer reads this and wants to sue me. I can have asterisks, too.

?Over? Medicated America

How on earth is it that this many people take prescription medications?

LingualNerve

Military Wounded Eligible to Stay

From INTEL DUMP -, comes the following excellent news:

In a shift in military culture, the U.S. armed forces have recently announced new efforts to keep seriously wounded or disabled soldiers on active duty. Although there is no clear written policy, the sentiment is being echoed down from the White House.

“When we’re talking about forced discharge, we’re talking about another age and another” military, President Bush told wounded soldiers at Walter Reed last year. “This is a new age, and this is a new [military]. Today, if wounded service members want to remain in uniform and can do the job, the military tries to help them stay.”

It’s never made any sense to me that the service medically retired people who actually wanted to be there, if they could do the job. It’s doubly silly with our current force, made up of volunteers, i.e., people who really want to be there to start with.

I wouldn’t make this compulsory, but it’s a terrific opportunity for those who want to stay, and, frankly motivating to the other soldiers: he was wounded, survived, and can still do the job.

Hoo Rah.

Linkage

I have finally gotten around to linking to a lot of the medical blogs I’ve missed. I have no excuse other than this method takes a little time (make a little picture, etc), and that this is a hobby, not my life. Really. I can quit whenever I want.

I note there are a significant number of psychiatrists in my new additions, and wonder what that means. Or, if my noticing it means something. Calling Dr. Freud.

If I haven’t linked to you, it’s NOT because I am snubbing you. It’s because a) I don’t know you exist (sorry), b) you’re brand new (a lot of blogs get off to a rollicking start and are then abandoned within a month or so), or c) you haven’t posted in more than a month when I come to call. This causes me to wonder if you’ve abandoned your blog, and I have enough dead links to close friends to add dead links to strangers.

So, go and read some of these other medical blogs!

Day by Day Returns

Day by Day, an excellent cartoon, is back! Go, and enjoy.

Medblogs Grand Rounds 10

is up: DoctorMental: Medical Grand Rounds 10

Target has what You’re Looking For

A screen capture of an unusual holiday offering:
happy holidays, hophead

I suspect the original link will be “broken” (meaning fixed) by the time you read this, but here it is: http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/601-0824952-0161764?asin=0823916839
Update: now the link is broken.

FYI, heroin did’t match anything on their site.

via Instapundit

More in the extended Entry
[Read more…]

Safe Cycling

the helmet makes the outfit

Safety First!

New Sidebar Entry

I have a new sidebar entry, linking to the Medblogs Grand Rounds hosts, starting this week, with another link to the Medblogs GR Archives.

Hope this helps.

It’s not that I’m a Procrastinator

…it’s that I’m Deadline Oriented.

Flu and You

Well, actually, from the current stats, NOT you. For those who need something to worry about, however, read to the bottom.

CDC – Influenza (Flu) | Weekly Report: Influenza Summary Update 46, 2004-2005 Season

Week ending November 20, 2004-Week 46

The following information may be quoted:
Synopsis:
During week 46 (November 14-20, 2004)*, influenza activity overall was low in the United States.
… However, in the Mid-Atlantic region there were increases in both the proportion of patient visits to sentinel providers for ILI and the percentage of laboratory specimens testing positive for influenza. Two states reported widespread activity, and 1 state and New York City reported regional activity. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia reported sporadic influenza activity and 14 states reported no influenza activity.

It’s about 3/4 type-A, but enough type B that this year, should I actually see any flu, amantadine won’t be my drug of choice.
However, there’s even better news if you got this years’ influenza vaccine:

Antigenic Characterization:
CDC has antigenically characterized 11 influenza viruses collected by U.S. laboratories since October 1, 2004: nine influenza A (H3N2) viruses and 2 influenza B viruses. All of the influenza A (H3N2) isolates were characterized as A/Fujian/411/2002-like (H3N2), which is the influenza A (H3N2) component recommended for the 2004-05 influenza vaccine. Both influenza B viruses characterized were B/Shanghai/361/2002-like, which is the influenza B component recommended for the 2004-05 influenza vaccine.

So, luckily, the flu isn’t bad this year (so far; things can change), but to date we’ve been spared a horrible epidemic.

Speaking of horrible epidemics, WHO warns of dire flu pandemic

BANGKOK, Thailand — The World Health Organization has issued a dramatic warning that bird flu will trigger an international pandemic that could kill up to seven million people.

The influenza pandemic could occur anywhere from next week to the coming years, WHO said.

“There is no doubt there will be another pandemic,” Klaus Stohr of the WHO Global Influenza Program said on the sidelines of a regional bird flu meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.

“Even with the best case scenario, the most optimistic scenario, the pandemic will cause a public health emergency with estimates which will put the number of deaths in the range of two and seven million,” he said.

“The number of people affected will go beyond billions because between 25 percent and 30 percent will fall ill.”

No vaccine even possible before 2007 at the earliest.

I’m not hugely concerned, yet, about a bird-flu pandemic. I think I’d have an entirely different concern if I lived in a high-population-density country with lots of close contacts to birds (like Asia).

Home for the Holidays

My wife has contributed to the blog! Here’s what she has to say:

Home for the holidays?? Sorry Mom?….

I usually DO the holidays, but this year I can?t. I am recovering from surgery, so we are going to Mom?s. I just called her house, it does not sound good, my eldest daughter is unhappy and surly, and my sister sounds stressed and disgusted. Mom is exhausted.

Get out the hose.

One of my favorite movies is Home for the Holidays with Holly Hunter. Charles Durning turning the water hose on his son and son in law, fist fighting in the front yard is the best. We all have dysfunctional families. That?s what family is all about. If I knew anyone with a picture perfect family, I would bow down and say BS! Where are you hiding the stress of real life? My only job this year is to cook the Turkey. So, Mom called me yesterday asking “will the turkey will have crisp skin?” ( I hope so)… “will it will be moist?” ( that?s the plan) and “do you plan to cook it until done?” (well, no, I plan to give everyone in the house the dread underdone turkey disease?the trots).

What kind of weird family do I have? One just like yours?

Medblogs Grand Rounds 9

shrinkette: Grand rounds #9 is up. Go forth, and see what the Shrinkette has linked.