Archives for September 2011

University of Wisconsin-Stout Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen Defends Firefly Poster Censorship | Popehat

THIS is how to rant. Follow the link to read the whole thing, but revel in this exercise in spleen venting:

3. Similarly, this case illustrates the problem with an approach to freedom of expression premised on “sensitivity” and making people feel “welcome, safe and secure.” “Sensitivity to hurt feelings” is not, in fact, a First Amendment value or a justification for censorship. In fact, stopping people from speaking because the speech hurts people’s feelings is the essence of censorship. A system in which what we can say is premised upon the likely reactions of the mentally ill and the undernourished pussywillows of the world is a system that encourages suppression of all unpopular, forceful, interesting, or challenging speech. The irrational and the morally and mentally weak are not entitled to have their feelings protected through the force of law, however prevalent they are on campus.

via University of Wisconsin-Stout Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen Defends Firefly Poster Censorship | Popehat.

I wish I had been able to write this when the whole Florida dumb-speech suppression law was announced.

MedBlog Grand Rounds: Year 8!

I’m slow to the draw on this announcement, but you should go see it. This beats all of mine, combined, hands down.

We are in orbit around a remote County emergency department. My crew of young interns is greener than a vat of Vulcan hemoglobin, and being of the Millennial generation they insist on bringing their stuffed Tribbles to work with them. New Federation-mandated work hour restrictions make them as useless as a Romulan lounge singer at a Ferengi bar mitzvah.

My second year resident—Dr. Spock—insists on quoting evidence-based guidelines to me, reminding me constantly that my ad hoc treatment regimens are “highly illogical.” And our respiratory therapist Scotty tells me our CPR dummy “is barely holding together…she can’t take much more o’ this!” Worse still, some redshirt made a documentary of our adventures and put it on StarTube:

via The Wrath of Dr. Khan.

A taste of the ZDogg video empire:

Seriously: Genius. I am humbled.

Announcing Guess-a-Nobel 2011

MedGadget has an interesting contest going on:

Six days from today, the Nobel committee will begin announcing this year’s prize winners, starting with Physiology or Medicine on Monday, Physics on Tuesday, and Chemistry on Wednesday. Although a spectator sport, we try to turn these prizes into a competition anyone can participate in by guessing this year’s winners. Simply leave a comment at DocThink, our new site for clinicians to ask and answer medical questions, with the names of those you think should win for each category and you can win an Apple TV. If you manage to guess all three, we’ll get you a brand spanking new iPad 2.

Rules of the game:

via Announcing Guess-a-Nobel 2011.

I’m guessing you have to read different blogs than I do to have a clue what’s going on in the real Nobels…

amednews: Federal judge bars Florida ‘don’t ask’ gun law

Huh. That’s what I argued. Right again. #fb

In a victory for Florida pediatricians and family physicians, a federal judge has blocked a state law that restricted physicians from asking patients if they have guns at home, calling the measure unconstitutional.

The NRA and others said asking patients about guns in the home was a violation of privacy.

In her Sept. 14 opinion, U.S. District Court Judge Marcia G. Cooke said the loss of doctors’ First Amendment freedoms, even for a minimal period, constituted an irreparable injury.

“The evidence on the record shows that practitioners have eliminated questions about firearm ownership from intake questionnaires and either curtailed or stopped routine counseling on firearm safety as a result of this law,” Cooke said. “Practitioners are self-censoring themselves out of fear of disciplinary actions. Plaintiffs’ injury is their chilled free speech.”

via amednews: Federal judge bars Florida ‘don’t ask’ gun law :: Sept. 26, 2011 … American Medical News.

So, it took a Federal court to make sure the US Constitution is upheld. Too bad. That’s what they’re for. Also, not just for Florida Peds and FP’s. It’s for every American.

I was quite disheartened by the number of commenters in the linked threads who were quite certain squashing physician speech was totally legal as long as their gun owning ox didn’t get gored. (‘Business licensure’, like how dry cleaners cannot ask what that stain in the shirt is, grasping at straws gun owners should never resort to). Which is of course short sighted. And stupid.

Yeah, there may well be a challenge, but as only Florida (so far) has been as credulous as to pass this NRA sponsored legislation (disclaimer: I’m an NRA Life Member, and yes, the NRA sometimes screws up), hopefully the appeal won’t be taken up.

Look, I understand the American Academy of Pediatrics is, well, nuts on this issue (‘until recently’, when they stopped advocating for gun control, or whatever peeved the NRA), but that is NOT, as I’ve repeatedly pointed out, an excuse to suppress speech. First amendment, right above the second. (And, as I say, the second assures the first).

Speech is sometimes unpleasant, and there are places where all unpleasant speech is suppressed. You won’t like it there.

amednews: California’s noneconomic damages cap upheld :: Sept. 26, 2011 … American Medical News

The Court of Appeal of the State of California, 5th Appellate District, has upheld the state’s $250,000 noneconomic damages cap, reaffirming what physicians nationwide consider the gold standard among tort reforms.

via amednews: California’s noneconomic damages cap upheld :: Sept. 26, 2011 … American Medical News.

via @amednews on Twitter

My neighbors can be fun

So, I started with this (actually happened):

I (well my friend) accidentally pulled his truck and laden trailer over your yard last night.

I very sincerely apologize for this. I will gladly repair any sprinkler system damage, or other damage to the lawn.

I do not anticipate this ever happening again. Both my wife I value your friendship and your being better neighbors than I am.

Apologies. Please let me know what needs repair.

I got this back:
[Read more…]

The best bumper sticker evah! « My Strong Medicine

The best bumper sticker evah! « My Strong Medicine.


Originally found and posted by @CardioNP on twitter!


Click over. It’s worth it.



What Went Wrong at the Reno Air Races – P-51 Crash – Popular Mechanics

Trim tab.

Today the National Transportation Safety Board released its first report on the Reno Air Race crash that killed P-51 pilot Jimmy Leeward and 10 others. We did our own digging, talking to racers and crew members with years of experience at Reno about what went wrong. A small flap’s failure probably caused this deadly crash—but the accident could have been much worse.

via What Went Wrong at the Reno Air Races – P-51 Crash – Popular Mechanics.

Backgrounder on trim tabs here.

Obama Administration to Ban Asthma Inhalers Over Environmental Concerns

This underestimates the increased cost by a huge factor…

Remember how Obama recently waived new ozone regulations at the EPA because they were too costly? Well, it seems that the Obama administration is would rather make people with Asthma cough up money than let them make a surely inconsequential contribution to depleting the ozone layer:

Asthma patients who rely on over-the-counter inhalers will need to switch to prescription-only alternatives as part of the federal government’s latest attempt to protect the Earth’s atmosphere.

…But the switch to a greener inhaler will cost consumers more. Epinephrine inhalers are available via online retailers for around $20, whereas the alternatives, which contain the drug albuterol, range from $30 to $60.via Obama Administration to Ban Asthma Inhalers Over Environmental Concerns.

I added the bold in the quote to show where the increased cost is coming from: these people (who were buying these old inhalers without a prescription) are now going to have to see someone with a prescription pad, pay for that visit, and then go buy the more expensive inhalers.

The FDA made the prescription inhaler manufacturers take out the CFC’s a few years ago, and the prices of those inhalers went up substantially.

For the record, I think all these inhalers should be OTC: they’re safe and affective. Off the top of my head, 90% of the meds on the WalMart $4 list should be OTC as well.

Ford door protector takes the sting out of dings – Autoweek

It’s the future, as predicted from the ’70’s. Sure, no jetpacks, but at least Europeans can have automatic door ding protectors.

Ford officials in the United States say they have no plans right now to offer the door protector here. But they said they will watch to see how popular it is in Europe and might change their minds later.

“Any system that can reduce the risk of damage to your own or someone else’s vehicle is worthy of recognition, but one that operates so effectively without affecting the looks or performance is particularly noteworthy,” said Matthew Avery, crash and safety research manager at Thatcham, a U.K. motor-insurance repair research center.

via Ford door protector takes the sting out of dings – Autoweek.

Which I’d bet will be standard here in 3 years.

Congressman Phil Roe performs CPR on man at airport | Reuters


(Reuters) – Representative Phil Roe retired from his medical career to go to Congress, but on Tuesday he put his doctor skills to use to help save a man’s life at a Charlotte, North Carolina airport.

via Congressman Phil Roe performs CPR on man at airport | Reuters.

via Drudge

Really good Ultrasound in EM case


20 yo M with “abscess” from on Vimeo.

€gads! | The Weekly Standard

A remarkably well written and approachable look at the Eurozone financial problems, and ours.

Merkel cannot say no. She leads the country whose arrogant un-neighborliness the European Union was set up to abolish. But she cannot say yes without violating the law and colluding in the looting of the people who voted her into office. So she and her government are in the position of a man who yearns to get divorced but has religious scruples against it.

via €gads! | The Weekly Standard.

Paul, I Accept Your Resignation | TechCrunch

Apparently, even an open handed slap can leave a mark. If it’s public enough.

Paul Carr, one of our columnists who was hired for his grandstanding ways, has decided to fall on his own sword and quit very publicly on TechCrunch. I believe this is the second or third time he’s quit in public in the past couple weeks. I keep losing count. He thinks he is somehow being loyal to Mike and standing up for the editorial independence of the site. But he is not. He is just grandstanding.

via Paul, I Accept Your Resignation | TechCrunch.

Read the rest, and enjoy. I suspect this isn’t over….

Coked up: Man had 72 drug bags in belly – World news – Americas –

First, a startling CT image at their site, and after you see that, a little Emergency Medicine:

Brazilian police have released X-ray images of an Irishman they allege swallowed dozens of cocaine capsules in an attempt to smuggle the drug out of Sao Paolo….

The medical images show 72 bags packed with the drug in his gastrointestinal tract.

via Coked up: Man had 72 drug bags in belly – World news – Americas –

From the CT image (which is cool, go see it) this represents the forethought-involved “Packer”, as opposed to the ‘cheese it, it’s the cops, swallow the drugs’ “Stuffer”.

Packers think ahead, carry a lot of drugs, and (if memory serves) are more likely to die if their packaging ruptures. Stuffers, though, are much more likely to show symptoms, get brought to ED’s (via the cops), and live to stuff another day.

I wonder what 2 pounds of cocaine sells for in Ireland…  (It’s not enough to spend the rest of your life in a Brazilian prison).