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September 22, 2005

BehindTheMedspeak: The most dangerous animal in the U.S.


It's the bee.

Bees kill more people in this country every year than any other animal (except, of course, for humans).

A study published in the September issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology notes that most insect sting victims, even those with potentially fatal reactions, are undertreated in hospitals and discharged without proper follow–up.

Only 13% of patients who should have received epinephrine shots got them.

Of the 259 patients who had systemic reactions, only 6 — that's 2.3% — received all the recommended interventions.

Dr. Carlos A. Camargo, one of the paper's co–authors, said that anyone with a history of systemic allergic reactions to bee or insect stings should never be without a self–injectable epinephrine syringe.

Here's Nicholas Bakalar's story from Tuesday's New York Times Science section.

    Safety: Most Dangerous Animal? Hint: They Make Honey

    Bees are deadly.

    More people in the United States are killed by them than by any other animal - and some of those people may not be getting the right emergency room treatment.

    A study published in the September issue of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology suggests that most insect sting victims, even those with potentially fatal reactions, are undertreated in hospitals and discharged without the proper follow-up.

    The researchers reviewed the charts of 617 patients with insect sting allergies treated at 15 hospital emergency rooms in the United States and Canada.

    Almost one-third of patients had anaphylactic reactions, the more severe, multisystem responses that can be fatal.

    Guidelines call for patients with anaphylaxis or less severe systemic reactions - for example, a sting in one place and a rash or hives in another part of the body - be given immediate treatment with epinephrine, a prescription for self-injectable epinephrine for future prevention and a referral to an allergist.

    But only 13 percent of these patients actually received the drug in the emergency room, 27 percent left with the proper prescription, and 20 percent got referrals.

    Of the 259 patients with systemic reactions, only 6 received all the recommended interventions.

    Dr. Carlos A. Camargo, a co-author of the paper and an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Harvard, said that self-injectable epinephrine is essential equipment for anyone with a history of systemic allergic reactions.

    Sunday Clark, an epidemiologist and the study's lead author, said: "One way we can improve is to increase discussion and collaboration between emergency physicians and allergists. The more these groups talk to each other, the better the situation will become."

You want to know why almost no one who has the need for an epinephrine auto–injector has one?

Look here.

$86 for a drug that is generic and costs about 1 cent.

Why the huge markup at this Canadian website?

You're paying for not having to deal with the cost and inconvenience of getting a prescription for it (in the U.S. it can only be dispensed with a doctor's prescription).

Even with a doctor's prescription it's not cheap: two for $93.94 here.

And there's one other thing: it expires in a year, so you have to keep buying a new one forever.

What a rip–off.

And yet: what's your life, or that of a loved one, worth?

September 22, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Betsey Johnson Scrub Sponge


Hey, it's not all fun and games in the rag trade: a girl's gotta make a buck, what?

Betsey Johnson, probably my favorite designer on the whole planet, has collaborated with 3M and done a makeover of the old standby O-Cel-O scrub sponge.

She's taken potscrubbing to the next level with her three colorful new designs: delicate pink roses, a bold leopard print and vibrant pink polka dots on a blue background.


You can vote for your favorite here and 3M will sell the winning design beginning next spring: $1.99 for a two–pack.

[via Liz Seymour and the Washington Post]

September 22, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

WhatsMineIsYours.com — 'eBay for fashionistas' (minus the mania)


"Turn Gucci into Pucci."

That's the general idea.


"Whatsmineisyours.com is the only place you can buy, sell and exchange designer and vintage clothing, accessories and furniture with a community of fashion lovers from around the world."

No auctions.

Chat online with others of a similar ilk; you might make new friends.


Last I looked there was all manner of high–end stuff there: Hermès, 7 for all mankind, Vivienne Westwood, etc.

The site charges £5 ($9;€7.4) for a one–year membership in an attempt to keep the idle bored and hoi polloi from clogging up the works.

[via Jonathan Margolis and the Financial Times]

September 22, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Arcade Game Pens


From the same company that brought you the Poker Pen featured here last week comes this batch of Arcade Games Pens.

Three more ways to do what you're not supposed to be doing.

Maybe I'm not the best influence, after all. Oh, well.

From the website:

    Experience the excitement of your favorite arcade games — anywhere, anytime!

    These ballpoint pens offer instant fun with built–in arcade games that really work.

    Each classic game has awesome graphics, impressive sounds and entertaining challenges.

    Game pens have on/off switch and include two button cell batteries.

Your choice: Blockade, Car Racing or Pac Man.

$6.99 apiece here.

Hey — I'm really sorry that your Poker Pen was confiscated by the teacher but you know, I really don't think it's fair to blame me.

On the other hand, if you're the teacher (and I know for a fact that many teachers are secret joeheads, some even while class is in session) who confiscated it, well, aren't you the lucky one?

September 22, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack



Photofiddle.com promises to help you transform your digital photos into professional–looking artwork in a matter of minutes.

You choose from a broad range of mediums and styles (including pencil sketches, watercolor and abstract painting), choose the photo you're going to work with and then click "apply."

Voila: your masterpiece appears.

Or not: if you don't like what you see, no matter; do it again.

Doesn't cost a penny.

The company makes money by printing out your finished piece and mailing it to you — in the form of atoms, not bits.

[via Terri Sapienza and the Washington Post]

September 22, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Cook's Cutting Guard


Want to keep your fingertips where they belong?

Consider this nicely–conceived stainless steel guard that slips over the end of your middle finger, shielding it and the rest of your digits from the knife blade as you slice, dice, chop and julienne.

"The edge of the curved shield holds food in place, leaving your fingers free to handle the item being cut."


$14.95 here. (Onion not included.)

September 22, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

'Red Eye' — The movie


I decided to live dangerously yesterday and went to the 2:25 p.m. showing of "Red Eye," Wes Craven's new thriller.

Although the early reviews were dreadful, the latest, in the Financial Times and the Economist, were very favorable so I decided to take a walk on the wild side and actually go to a movie theater to see it instead of waiting a few more months for the DVD.

I figured that since the movie's been out for over a month, and school's back in session, the early Wednesday afternoon matinee shouldn't be too replete with talkers and the like.

Lucky me: there were only two other people in the mid-sized multiplex auditorium.

Great movie: tense from the get–go but not close–your–eyes scary, which I do not like at all because I get nightmares.

Rachel McAdams is one of the most naturally beautiful actresses in motion pictures: not an iota of plastic surgery anywhere, a rare thing indeed these days.

Good thing for us: the extreme close–ups in this movie make perfection a requirement.

Not just a pretty face, either: she's excellent, as is her suitably creepy co–star, Cillian Murphy, who himself has been to the plastic surgery chop shop for a bizarre–looking nose job that nevertheless seems to have worked well enough to propel him into a major role in a big picture.

Another nice thing about the film is that it's just long enough: 85 minutes.

Also, it's an excellent way to refresh your memory, in case you haven't been on a plane in a while, about how unpleasant the whole airport and air travel experience has become.


You can watch the film's trailer here.

September 22, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hands–Free Poker


Look ma — no hands!

Perfect if you're a lazy sot like moi and can't be bothered to hold your cards.

"Stand the fan–shaped Card Holder on the table or hold it in your hand."

"Tuck your cards in the cushioned slot and the cards will stay put."

Two for $8.99 here. (Cards not included.)



Just in from Gotham and Vogue magazine (I cannot say any more since the girls working there belowdecks in the "glamour ghetto" are certainly not being paid by Si Newhouse to be surreptitiously reading — much less contributing to — bookofjoe during working hours), a price break on this item: $6.99 for two here.

Sandra Bernhard said it best for all of us here at bookofjoe:


September 22, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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