Thursday, August 26, 2004

A condom for your CD?

How's that for a catchy title? Thought that might grab your attention. Actually, this is a very cool idea developed by a company called - d-skin. These are protective "skins" that slip on to your CD/DVD collection that keep them from ever getting scratched and any CD/DVD player, whether it be home, car or PC can read them while the skin is on. So if you want to maintain a pristine disc collection, you might want to slip a few of these on. They can be bought at Walmart, BestBuy (also online), Gamestop, and Media Play. BestBuy has a sale on them online at the moment, although I didn't check shipping costs. Might be cheaper to just walk into a BestBuy store. To learn more about these, visit the d-skin home page .


Vioxx Concerns Yikes! (The following from Dr. Mercola's blog) - A large study funded by the FDA did what some people--me included--believed almost impossible: Showed the risk of taking drug giant Merck's popular COX-2 inhibitor Vioxx increased one's chances of a heart attack by 50 percent!

Even more distressing: Patients taking the highest recommended daily dosage of Vioxx had three times the risk of heart attack and sudden cardiac death as those not taking standard painkillers. Sudden cardiac death, a sudden electrical disturbance of the heart that is not considered a heart attack, is the nation's biggest cause of death.

Researchers came up with the potentially damaging findings on Vioxx, a $2.5-billion-a-year blockbuster medicine, after analyzing the medical records of 1.4 million people.

In fact, patients taking the typical starting dose of Vioxx had a 50 percent greater chance of heart attack and sudden cardiac death than patients taking any dose of Celebrex.

If you've forgotten, the market for pain relievers is about $10 BILLION per year. Anytime you deal with numbers that large there will inevitably be corruption, greed and negative influences.

Besides, you can create your own anti-inflammatory just by changing the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in your diet.


Use Instant Messaging a lot? Then you should check out this review of Trillian Pro 2.013 . It enables you to talk to your friends and buddies on all the services (MSN,AOL,Yahoo, ICQ) and will show them all to you in 1 window. How cool is that? You don't even need to download those other services, although you do need to have signed up with them so that you have a username, so that others can see you're online. I've used it for years - works like a champ. Authors keep it updated and are quick to fix any attempts by AOL or Yahoo to block messages (this doesn't happen very often any more, as those services seem to have accepted Trillian). There's a free version but the $25 pro version has some nice perks and is worth the price, imho. The actual web site for Trillian is at

Word of the Day
excoriate 1.To tear or wear off the skin of; abrade. 2. To censure strongly; denounce. Usage - "an editorial that excoriated the administration for its inaction", " there has been mostly silence from those leaders, even from those who privately excoriate the cleric as a rabble-rousing upstart"

Quote of the Day
"Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well- warmed, and well-fed."
Hermann Melville

Web Site of the Day - AlterNet's journalistic achievements include being named one of NPR's five "winners on the Internet," winning a Webby in the Print and Zines category and a nomination in the "activism" category, and winning Utne's Independent Press Award for Online Political Coverage.

YTD Indexes
Dow -2.60
Nasdaq -7.12
S&P 500 +.31

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Back Again

I've returned once again from hibernation. Health issues (too boring to relate) and the Olympics, which have sucked me in and kept me there permanently, I believe. It's been worth it though. Nice to have satellite TV, where you can watch it all day on MSNBC,Bravo, USA,CNBC, and NBC. By midnight though, I am definitely seeing double. Some highlights so far - Paul Hamm's incredible comeback in the Men's all-around Gymnastics final. The Men's Swimming Relay team that finally beat Australia in a great finish. Deena Kastor's ( a lady with "class") incredible come from behind surge to snare a bronze in the Women's marathon(she was profiled earlier in this blog), the first medal for America since 1984 in the marathon, and a great marathon it was, with some incredible hill climbs, something none of these women had ever had to battle in a marathon. It was the same route Pheidippides ran 2,500 years ago to deliver the news that the Athenians had overcome the Persians (of course he dropped dead at the end of that run, something the favorite in this race - Paula Radcliffe of England probably felt like doing when she suddenly quit around the 22 mile mark while in 3rd place). The USA finishing 1-2-3 in the 400 meters in Track and Field. The women's softball team going undefeated and having only 1 run scored against it during the entire Games. And let's not forget Iraq's soccer team, who is down 2-0 to Paraquay in a semi-final at this very moment, with the winner playing for the Gold Medal (even if they lose, they can still play Italy for the bronze). That would be really something if Iraq could come from behind, play Argentina for the Gold and beat them.

The media is wasting a lot of our time with the continued emphasis on the Swift Boat issue. Give us all a break - go find something worthwhile to write about - like the economy, the environment, Iraq, etc. To try and pin lies on someone who volunteered for VietNam and who came back and fought for Veterans Against the War is ridiculous. I understand we're talking about someone's credibility here, but there are too many people who back up Kerry, so the whole thing does indeed look like a "smear" campaign. But politics thrive on this crap - no wonder the American people are disinterested when it comes to voting - let's get back to the important thing folks - like how come my health insurance premiums escalate 15-20% per year? And when I can't pay it, who's gonna pay for my indigent visits to the ER?

The Canon 20D has arrived and looks to be quite a camera for a decent price. I may finally make the plunge into the Digital SLR world. Should be on sale sometime in mid-September. As soon as I buy it, a competitor will of course come out with something better, but this camera pretty much addresses most any concerns I might have had with previous models.

Firefox browser is now updated to version .93
RoboForm is now at Version 6.04

Have you downloaded and installed SP2 yet? If so, leave a comment below and let me know how it went.

YTD Indexes
Dow (-3.64)
Nasdaq (-8.22)
S&P 500 (-.53)

Word of the Day
inexorable [adj] not capable of being swayed or diverted from a course; unsusceptible to persuasion. ""Cynthia was inexorable; she would have none of him" 2. [adj] not to be placated or appeased or moved by entreaty; ""Russia's final hour, it seemed, approached with inexorable certainty"" 3. relentless, unrelenting - "The hill climb is inexorable" (heard during the women's Marathon at the Olympics); "oil continues its inexorable upward spiral."