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January 12, 2005

BehindTheMedspeak: What's in your medical record - and what if it's wrong?

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Your insurer routinely shares your medical records with other medical insurance companies.

That's just the way life works.

But what if there's something in your medical record that's incorrect?

That could lead to your paying higher rates than you should, or even being denied coverage.

That's major.

Most people who apply for certain kinds of life and health insurance give their insurers permission to send their personal information to a central clearinghouse, where other insurers can access it.

Cancer treatments, chronic conditions like diabetes, psychiatric treatment, etc. would appear in this database.

So might a history of reckless driving, risky activities like bungee jumping or skydiving, and the like.

Information usually stays on your record for seven years.

Bet you didn't know (I sure didn't, until I read Ron Lieber's short piece in yesterday's Wall Street Journal) that you can get a report of what's in your file.

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act states that you can request a copy of your report once a year - free.

Visit the MIB Group (they collect the information) website.

Then call this toll-free number: 866-692-6901.

Find out what people are saying about you behind your back.

Turns out that of the approximately 9,000 people who saw their medical records over the past year, 300 to 400 found errors.

Correctible, once you report them.

Knowledge - in this case, at least - is power.

January 12, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Tweel - is the air-filled tire obsolete?

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What if you didn't ever have to worry about tire pressure - because there wasn't any?

No more flat tires, either, or need to carry a heavy spare.

Forget "run-flat" - I'll take "un-flat."

Michelin's created a new concept called the Tweel, a combined tire and wheel that requires no air.

It's basically a bike wheel on steroids - serious steroids.

There's a central hub, polyurethane spokes, a "shear band" surrounding the spokes, and an outer band covered with rubber tread - four pieces, bonded together.

The project's in Version 1.0, and only a single set of car Tweels exist.

Norman Mayersohn's test-drove the new tires at Michelin's research center, and reported on the experience in the following story, which appeared in the January 3 New York Times.

    Reinventing the Wheel (and the Tire, Too)

    The first automobile to use air-filled tires was a racecar built by André and Édouard Michelin in the early 1890's.

    More than a century later, the French company founded by the Michelin brothers is so identified with pneumatic tires that its mascot, Bibendum, is a man made of little else.

    Now, after decades spent persuading the world to ride on air, the company has begun work on an innovation that could render the pneumatic tire obsolete.

    Engineers at Michelin's American technology center here envision a future in which vehicles would ride on what they call the Tweel, a combined tire and wheel that could never go flat because it contains no air.

    Arriving at a conference room recently to explain the development project, a research engineer, Bart Thompson, used the Segway Human Transporter that he rode to the meeting to illustrate his points.

    Aboard this high-tech visual aid - one of those self-balancing electric scooters best remembered for the optimistic claim that it would reinvent personal transportation - Mr. Thompson whizzed down the hallway and out to the lobby, pirouetting among the benches and planters to demonstrate the flexibility of the Tweel.

    To be sure, the Segway would be a very small market for Michelin, the world's leading tiremaker, but it is an apt demonstration vehicle for the Tweel.

    The first commercial use of the integrated tire and wheel assembly will be on the stair-climbing iBOT wheelchair, another product developed by Dean Kamen, the Segway's inventor; Michelin said it would announce another application at the Detroit auto show next week.

    The tiremaker has high expectations for the Tweel project.

    The concept of a single-piece tire and wheel assembly is one the company expects to spread to passenger cars and, eventually, to construction equipment and aircraft.

    The Tweel offers a number of benefits beyond the obvious attraction of being impervious to nails in the road.

    The tread will last two to three times as long as today's radial tires, Michelin says, and when it does wear thin it can be retreaded.

    For manufacturers, the Tweel offers an opportunity to reduce the number of parts, eliminating most of the 23 components of a typical new tire as well as the costly air-pressure monitors that will soon be required on new vehicles in the United States.

    In recent years, manufacturers have devoted an increasing amount of attention to tires that let motorists continue driving after a puncture, for 100 miles or more, at a reduced speed.

    Several such "run flat" designs are now available, providing convenience and peace of mind for travelers as well as freeing automakers to eliminate the weight and cost of spare tires.

    Michelin, which markets run-flat tires under the Pax name, took a different approach in developing the Tweel.

    Its goal: a replacement for traditional tires that is designed to function without air in the first place.

    Mounted on a car, the Tweel is a single unit, though it actually begins as an assembly of four pieces bonded together: the hub, a polyurethane spoke section, a "shear band" surrounding the spokes, and the tread band - the rubber layer that wraps around the circumference and touches the pavement.

    While the Tweel's hub functions as it would in a normal wheel - a rigid attachment point to the axle - the polyurethane spokes are flexible to help absorb road impacts.

    The shear band surrounding the spokes effectively takes the place of the air pressure, distributing the load. The tread is similar in appearance to a conventional tire.

    One of the basic shortcomings of a tire filled with air is that the inflation pressure is distributed equally around the tire, both up and down (vertically) as well as side-to side (laterally).

    That property keeps the tire round, but it also means that raising the pressure to improve cornering - increasing lateral stiffness - also adds up-down stiffness, making the ride harsher.

    With the Tweel's injection-molded spokes, those characteristics are no longer linked - a point of particular excitement to an engineer like Mr. Thompson because of the potential it holds for improving handling response.

    The spokes can be engineered to give the Tweel five times as much lateral stiffness as current pneumatic tires without any loss of ride comfort.

    The Tweel auto project is in its infancy - "Version 1.0," Mr. Thompson said - and only a single set of car Tweels exist.

    A test drive in a Tweel-equipped Audi A4 sedan on roads around Michelin's research center proved to be far less exotic than the construction method or appearance would suggest.

    The prototype Tweels are noisy, as Mr. Thompson warned they would be, a problem traced to vibration in the spokes.

    The Tweels also transmit more of the feel of a coarse road surface than customers would tolerate in a production tire, but the level is understandable considering the early stage of development.

    More important, the steering's response as the driver begins a turn is excellent, and large bumps were swallowed up easily by the Tweels and the Audi's unmodified suspension.

    There are other negatives: the flexibility, at this stage, contributes to greater friction, though it is within 5 percent of that generated by a conventional radial tire.

    And so far, the Tweel is no lighter than the tire and wheel it replaces.

    Almost everything else about the Tweel is undetermined at this early stage of development, including serious matters like cost and frivolous questions like the possibilities of chrome-plating.

    Logical uses - military vehicles, for example - would come years before automobiles, but Michelin's business projections accommodate the possibility that the Tweel may not be an overnight success.

    This would be nothing new for Michelin: the radial tire it invented in 1946 was not widely accepted in the United States until the 1970's.


January 12, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Dead Business Walking: Movie Rentals

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One of the mysteries of this still-young year is a carryover from last: why are Blockbuster, private equity group Leonard Green, and Movie Gallery fighting over Hollywood Entertainment like Veronica and Betty over Archie?

Yesterday's papers carried news of Movie Gallery's apparently successful bid for Hollywood, capping a nine-month-long battle.

I've got news for you: I grew up reading Archie, and Hollywood's no Archie.

Not even in the same ballpark.

Consider that Sumner Redstone, the founder/owner of Viacom, couldn't dump Blockbuster fast enough last year, when it became clear the whole video-rental business was on life-support.

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And it's not just store-based rentals with a severe case of the dwindles: with Sam's Club having just lowered its monthly charge for online DVD rental to $12.97 a month, with NetFlix hemorrhaging cash after having dropped its own fee to 17.99 to compete with Sam's before the latest counter-strike, NetFlix is now calling for the cardioversion machine to be brought to the bedside.

Bet the short-sellers can't work fast enough to get the last few dollars out of this corporate corpse-to-be.

Better put gel on the paddles, 'cause they're gonna be needed real soon.

Video-on-demand, whether via cable or phone line or satellite or Wi-Max or some new delivery means not yet visible on the horizon, is coming, slowly to be sure, but inexorably.

The only people who'll still be smiling after the upcoming deal is done are the investment bankers at UBS, Merrill Lynch, and Wachovia, the advisers making it happen.

The "golden crumbs," as Tom Wolfe so aptly put it in "Bonfire of the Vanities," will be plenty nourishing, as last month's again-spectacular Wall Street bonuses demonstrated quite nicely.

I give USA Today credit for being the only major newspaper to offer any skepticism about the proposed merger: they began their story on the front page of yesterday's Money section like this:

    The often baffling bidding war for Hollywood Entertainment....

I'm also amused by talk of how the Federal Trade Commission's possibly going to raise anti-trust objections if Blockbuster succeeds in buying Hollywood, creating "a merger of the two biggest video chains."

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To me, that makes about as much sense as the government objecting to a merger of the two biggest horse buggy makers after Henry Ford started cranking out Model-Ts.

Say what?

Talk about a waste of time and energy....


January 12, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Stendig Calendar

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Designed in 1966 by Massimo Vignelli, this calendar became an instant classic, added to the Design Collection of the Museum of Modern Art that same year.

The calendar measures three by four feet.

Note that it comes in the European style, where Monday is the first day of the week.

Twelve sheets, one for each month, printed in black ink on white sixty pound weight offset paper stock.

In random order, the calendar sheets for some months are reverse printed, producing a black background with white letters and numerals.

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The sheets are perforated along a line just under the binding strip to allow them to be torn away neatly.

Removed sheets are useful for wrapping gifts and craft projects.

The binding strip of the calendar has three matte black finish metal eyelets for easy hanging.

Until recently, this calendar was hard to find for the hoi polloi like me; now it's available online here.

$28, plus $6 shipping.

Quite reasonably priced, considering its size and the fact that it's a design icon.

January 12, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Can cosmetics make you better looking - naturally?

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Obviously, make-up changes your appearance, usually for the better.

But the whole idea is to look as if you're not wearing any make-up - or at least, not much.

That's what drives cosmetic surgery.

Now cosmetic companies are moving to the next level, using state-of-the-art technology (see the graphic above) to get their ingredients under your skin.

Microscopic ball bearings, cell vectors, time-release spheres, even nanotechnology are being enlisted in an all-out research effort to find ways to bring antiwrinkle ingredients through the skin, up to now mostly impenetrable.

Claudia Deutsch wrote an interesting story for last Saturday's New York Times about this intersection between Big Pharma and companies like Procter & Gamble, all seeking to occupy the same lucrative space.

Here's the article.

    Cosmetics Break the Skin Barrier

    Procter & Gamble is about to sell ball bearings - but not the metal kind.

    Its minuscule mineral spheres are designed to help usher its Olay-brand body lotions deep into the skin.

    Freeze 24/7, meanwhile, is pushing the muscle relaxant GABA, or gamma-amino butyric acid, a common ingredient in over-the-counter antianxiety supplements.

    It is not using GABA to relax minds, however.

    Instead, the goal is to relax the muscles that cause face wrinkles.

    "We knew that if we could find a way to use GABA topically, it would be a killer app," said Scott E. Gurfein, the founder of the year-old company.

    The science of smoothing women's skin is going high tech.

    And cosmetics companies, whether they serve the masses or the elite, are adopting not just the language of Silicon Valley but many of its most sophisticated techniques.

    Researchers for cosmetics companies have spent several years developing chemical bullets to attack wrinkles.

    But now, the players in this growing industry are turning to the medical and electronics worlds for ways to keep human skin from bouncing those bullets off the body like so many blanks.

    "What you are seeing in the skin care world is a mirror of the advancing technology in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology," said Karyn Grossman, a dermatologist and international spokeswoman for the Prescriptives line of Estée Lauder.

    Scientists from far outside the cosmetics world are noticing the change.

    "Skin care," said Neil Gordon, president of the Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance, "is definitely becoming a big area for nanoscience," which involves working to manipulate nature at the supersmall level of individual atoms and molecules.

    There is a lot at stake.

    According to Lenka Contreras, vice president of Kline & Company, a research firm, sales of facial treatments represented $7 billion of the overall $12 billion skin care market last year, buoyed by more than 6 percent annual growth the last five years.

    The Olay line of Procter leads the pack, but Mary Kay and Clinique from Lauder are hot on its heels.

    Add in Neutrogena, from Johnson & Johnson; Avon; and the Estée Lauder brand, and you have accounted for about a third of the market, Ms. Contreras said.

    As American society ages demographically, she expects the healthy growth of recent years to continue unabated, for the tiny players as well as the household names.

    "Women just don't mind spending a lot of money to look younger," she said.

    Outfoxing nature's protective instincts - after all, the skin's well-evolved purpose is to keep foreign substances out - is no small task.

    The field is littered with failed ideas (researchers have pretty much ditched, for example, the idea of microneedles to create tiny pathways for skin care substances).

    Even some skin care insiders concede that there may be as much hype as substance to a lot of the emerging claims.

    "We've all been looking at particle sizes and optimized formulas for a while, so maybe the trend now is to talk more about it," said Janice J. Teal, chief scientific officer at Avon Products.

    Skin creams are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so there is no government stamp of approval for the safety or effectiveness of any of the new delivery mechanisms.

    And most are too new to have passed the ultimate test: Will consumers be happy enough to buy them again?

    Still, many of the new delivery systems have proven their mettle in other fields, which suggests that cosmetics companies might be on to something in their bid to piggyback on proven technologies.

    Lighting manufacturers already use microparticles in high-tech lamps, while pharmaceutical companies have long used plant extracts to enable the skin to absorb drugs.

    So now the cosmetics industry is trying to build on research in other fields, in hopes of further proving that it offers more than hope in a jar.

    Skin care companies are notoriously tight-lipped about their research budgets, but industry insiders say they are throwing tens of millions of dollars into that effort.

    "The trend in the whole industry," said Allan G. Mottus, a consultant to the beauty industry and publisher of The Informationist, a trade publication, "is to find ways to deliver ingredients to the skin with more efficacy."

    Indeed it is.

    Harvey Gideon, Estée Lauder's executive vice president for research and development, said that the company devoted about 25 percent of its research budget to delivery systems; five years ago, he said, no more than 5 percent was focused on that objective.

    "We're working on anything you can dream of that will allow us to make smaller amounts of material effective for longer periods of time," he said.

    The research into delivery systems is beginning to yield lots of "new" products.

    Olay's latest body lotion, which sells for less than $10, and night cream, which lists for about $20, are expected to hit the market this month, relying on the same basic antiwrinkle ingredients but adding mineral spheres to the lotion and a time-release technology to the cream.

    The price of the new version is staying the same as the prior model.

    "We already have excellent active ingredients, so now we're finding better ways to get them into the skin," said Emma Palfreyman, a senior scientist for the Olay division of Procter & Gamble.

    Similarly, Estée Lauder's latest version of its Future Perfect antiwrinkle moisturizers include "cell vectors" - little balls of protein material that are slowly dissolved by enzymes in the skin intended to make the product more effective over time.

    Freeze 24/7 was created solely around a new method of teaming GABA, which does not penetrate skin, with gynostemma, a plant extract that does.

    The GABA "programs" the gynostemma to mimic its muscle-relaxing properties.

    The new company, which says its revenue topped $5 million, recently introduced a line of antiwrinkle creams for $95 and up, relying on that technology.

    The products are on sale in stores like Nordstrom and Sephora.

    Of all the avenues of research, the most exciting - and the most frustrating - is the emerging field of nanotechnology.

    "It's too early to tell whether nanotechnology will be particularly advantageous in skin care, but there's no question that everyone is interested in exploring it," said Gerald N. McEwen Jr., vice president for science at the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association.

    The potential applications of nanotechnology go beyond making particles small enough to penetrate the skin.

    Sunscreens, for example, work best if they stay on the skin.

    But zinc and titanium oxides, the most effective sun blocks, often give the skin a matte whitish hue.

    More troublesome, because it is hard to densely pack the large oxide molecules, harmful rays still manage to get through the gaps.

    Neutrogena and Lauder have both introduced sunscreens with particles that while not quite nanosize, are tiny enough to be invisible on the skin.

    But the effort to shrink particles down to the molecular level is hitting snags.

    In Europe, a consumer reaction against nanotechnology research is on the rise, similar to the outcry against irradiated foods and genetically engineered crops.

    "There's always a fear that nanoparticles will attack the body," Mr. Gordon conceded.

    The fears are not without logic - after all, particles tiny enough to penetrate several layers of skin could, at least in theory, pierce all of them, enter the bloodstream, and wind up in organs for which they were not intended.

    Perhaps not surprisingly, skin care companies are proceeding warily in the nanoscience world.

    "We are certainly looking at nanotechnology," said Craig S. Slavtcheff, global director for skin cleansing and new technology at Unilever, "but I doubt you'll see a product in less than 5 or 10 years."

    Many of the companies are, meanwhile, pursuing more immediate pathways. Unilever, which owns the Dove and Ponds brands, is working on a consumer version of an ultrasound machine on the theory that ultrasonic energy can help some molecules better penetrate the skin.

    Olay is exploring whether applying heat can enhance the penetration of ingredients.

    It is also looking into ways to use the same technology behind Procter's spin toothbrushes for a hand-held skin polisher.

    Neutrogena, too, is about to introduce a battery-operated vibrating device topped with replaceable sponges imbedded with an aluminum oxide cream to slough away dead skin.

    E. Michael McNamara, Neutrogena's president, said the brand also hopes to adapt some Johnson & Johnson technologies for delivering medicine through the skin.

    There have been dead ends, of course.

    Microneedles made out of inert silica-based materials seemed like a winning formula for punching temporary holes into the dead cells that make up the skin's outermost layer to deliver antiaging ingredients.

    The problem was that preservatives, irritants and possibly microbes and bacteria got in as well.

    "We put two solid years of research into this," John E. Oblong, a principal scientist at Procter & Gamble, said, "then shut it down because it just raised too many negative possibilities."

    But the research failures are finally being outnumbered by the breakthroughs.

    And even as they explore better delivery methods, many of the companies are moving onto science Phase 3: the search for ingredients that act as treatments themselves, even as they carry other substances through the skin.

    "Using substances that work as both delivery systems and ingredients," Mr. Gideon of Estée Lauder said.

    "Now that's a promising line of research."

January 12, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Truth, What a Word! - by E. M. Cioran

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The idea of liberation through the suppression of desire is the greatest foolishness ever conceived by the human mind. Why cut life short, why destroy it for so little profit as total indifference and the illusion of freedom? How dare you speak of life after you have stifled it in yourself? I have more respect for the man with thwarted desires, unhappy and desperate in love, than for the cold and proud philosopher. A world full of philosophers, what a terrifying prospect! They should all be wiped out so that life could go on naturally—blindly and irrationally.

I hate the wisdom of these men unmoved by truths, who do not suffer with their nerves, their flesh, and their blood. I like only vital, organic truths, the offspring of our anxiety. Those whose thoughts are alive are always right; there are no arguments against them. And even if there were, they would not last long. I wonder how there can still be men searching for the truth. Do wise men not yet understand that truth cannot be?

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Truth


January 12, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bull-Proof Vest - 'Cowboys don't read warning labels'

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That's what John Zbaren, co-owner of CLG Pro Rodeo Equipment, based in Minneapolis, said in a story in the January 2 New York Times about his company's newest line of protective vests for bull riders.

The new vests, called Armadillo Armor, were introduced in the fall of 2003.

You can buy the basic black polyester version for $219, or wear what the pros wear, a colored leather number that'll set you back $349.

The company's not done much in the way of marketing: a fews ads in Humps N' Horns, the monthly bible of the bull-riding industry, and that's about it.

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You can buy the vests from around 1,000 retailers around the country, mostly tack stores and people who set up booths at rodeos.

Occasionally, the company receives vests in the mail, complete with horn marks and letters complaining about the damage.

The company cheerfully repairs them, usually for around $20, and sends them back.

You want something to help you get past the velvet ropes?

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Wear one of these and see what happens.

[via Brendan Koerner and the New York Times]

January 12, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The man who made Alfred E. Neuman world-famous is dead

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Frank Kelly Freas, whose illustrations of Alfred E. Neuman for Mad magazine in the late 50s made him (Alfred E. Neuman) an international icon, died January 2 at 82.

Alfred E. Neuman was created by Norman Mingo, and first appeared in a Mad Reader paperback in 1954.

He next appeared on the cover of Mad in March 1955.

Freas (below)

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started at Mad in February 1957, and painted most of Mad's covers until October 1962, when he quit because he was turned down for a raise.

Among his iconic covers was one in 1960 featuring a green-tinged Neuman announcing, "This magazine is revolting."

Here's Douglas Martin's superb obituary, which appeared in the January 5 New York Times.

    F. K. Freas, Who Drew the Devilish Face of Mad Magazine, Dies at 82

    Frank Kelly Freas, an artist and illustrator whose work included luminous images of amiable aliens beloved by science-fiction fans, the jug-eared visage of Alfred E. Neuman for Mad magazine and the crew shoulder patch for Skylab I astronauts, died on Sunday at his home in Los Angeles.

    He was 82.

    His wife, Laura Brodian Freas, confirmed his death in an interview with The Associated Press.

    Mr. Freas (pronounced Freeze) was best known for the illustrations in more than 300 magazines and books that won him 11 Hugo awards, presented by the World Science Fiction Society and considered among the highest honors for a science-fiction illustrator.

    His whimsical, highly personalized style was characterized by vibrant colors and a sort of cosmic haze well suited for depicting bejeweled alien princesses. Wrinkles and other details added realism.

    Mr. Freas did not invent Alfred E. Neuman, the gap-toothed champion of adolescent rebellion whose motto was "What, me worry?" and who was given to making pronouncements like "A teacher is someone who talks in our sleep."

    But he told The Virginian-Pilot in 2001 that his illustrations gave "Alfie" his personality.

    Mad's freckled mascot was created by Norman Mingo and first appeared in a Mad Reader paperback in December 1954.

    He next appeared on the cover of Mad in March 1955.

    Mr. Freas started at Mad in February 1957 and by July 1958 was the magazine's new cover artist.

    He painted most of its covers until October 1962.

    Among his more memorable works was a 1960 painting of a green-tinged Neuman announcing, "This magazine is revolting."

    His "Great Moments in Medicine" illustration showed a recumbent patient and surrounding family members shocked when presented with a doctor's bill.

    A barrage of enraged letters from doctors followed.

    One pointed out that one of the doctor's instruments was a gauge used in aircraft manufacture, a perhaps understandable slip on the part of a science-fiction writer who once spent a week in a nuclear submarine in pursuit of verisimilitude.

    Other works by Mr. Freas ranged from six posters for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration now in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution, to portraits of 400 saints for the Franciscans, to classic miniature paintings done in a 16th-century technique.

    His picture of a werewolf appeared in the movie "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban."

    What became one of his most famous works (below) showed a giant robot holding a dead man in his hand.

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    It first appeared on the cover of the October 1953 issue of Astounding Science Fiction magazine.

    Years later, two members of the rock group Queen asked Mr. Freas to reprise the image with band members in the robot's hand.

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    In 1977 it appeared on the cover (above) of Queen's album "News of the World," which contains the ubiquitous tune "We Will Rock You."

    Frank Kelly Freas, the son of two photographers, was born in Hornell, N.Y., on Aug. 27, 1922, and was raised in Canada.

    He was hooked on science fiction by the time he was 10.

    He flirted with medicine and engineering as possible occupations, but drifted toward art and attended classes at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

    During World War II, he painted pulchritudinous women on the noses of bombers.

    An early job was painting internal organs for anatomy textbooks.

    His picture of a satyr on the cover of the November 1950 Weird Tales began 50 years of professional illustrating.

    His work appeared in magazines like Analog Science Fiction and Fact, and illustrated articles by writers like Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke.

    In an interview with Contemporary Authors, Mr. Freas said he regarded himself as an illustrator rather than an artist.

    "I prefer storytelling pictures and picture-generating stories," he said.

    The New Encyclopedia of Science Fiction called him "the most popular illustrator in the history of science fiction."

    Mr. Freas both wrote and illustrated several books, including "Frank Kelly Freas: The Art of Science Fiction" (Donning, 1977) and "Frank Kelly Freas: A Separate Star" (Greenswamp, 1985).

    Mr. Freas was married to the former Pauline H. Bussard from 1952 until her death in 1987.

    In addition to Laura, his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Jacqueline; his son, Jeremy; and six grandsons.

    His experience with Mad ended when Mr. Freas was turned down for a raise.

    He was also a little tired of painting the same grinning face.

    "Alfred E. Neuman was making me stale," he said in an interview in "The Mad World of William M. Gaines" by Frank Jacobs (Bantam, 1972).

    "I found it difficult to shift my artistic gears from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again."



    January 12, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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