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August 21, 2007

BehindTheMedspeak: MyBiopsy.org

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From the website:

    Welcome to MyBiopsy.org

    Pathologists, physicians who study tissues and cells to identify and diagnose cancer and other diseases, have developed patient information on a variety of cancer and cancer-related diseases.

    Each page includes answers to questions about what the disease is, what treatment options are available, questions you should ask your doctors, a definition of key terms, and pictures of a normal tissue as well as one that is diseased.

    Each page was developed for you by pathologists to help you learn more about your specific disease. Because the more you know, the more empowered you become about your own health.

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Sandra G. Boodman had the following to say about this new website — which I predict will be a huge success — in an item in today's Washington Post Health section.

    Plain-Spoken Pathology

    Pathology reports are among the most impenetrable medical records patients encounter. They're also among the most important, because they help guide treatment. Now a new Web site aims to deconstruct the technical jargon and enable cancer patients and their families to better comprehend their illness and take action.

    Launched by the College of American Pathologists, the site, at www.MyBiopsy.org, includes easy-to-understand information about 20 common cancers, including breast, lung, colon and prostate tumors. It also features treatment options, definitions of key terms such as "noninfiltrating" and photographs of normal and abnormal tissue.

    The goal of the site, developed by physicians who specialize in the analysis of blood, body fluid and tissue samples, is to provide useful information at the time of diagnosis, when news of a malignancy can be overwhelming.

    For example, the section on prostate cancer — one of the most common cancers facing American men — describes what a pathologist looks for when examining tissue from a biopsy under a microscope. It also explains how prostate cancer is graded and staged and what those measurements of a tumor's aggressiveness and spread mean.

    The site describes current options for treating prostate cancer, including watchful waiting for older men with low-grade and slow-growing tumors; surgery, which is commonly recommended for younger men with smaller cancers that do not appear to have spread; and various forms of radiation.

    There are also links to clinical trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, definitions of common terms such as adenocarcinoma (the type of tumor that accounts for 95 percent of prostate cancers) and a half-dozen suggested questions to ask a physician.

August 21, 2007 at 05:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The most disgusting ad of 2007

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Reproduced above, it's in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated.

Old Spice needs to sack its advertising agency for creating it and its advertising department for signing off on it.

Does the venerable product really want to be associated with this sight?

I didn't think so.

This is what happens when clever people who are full of themselves decide they want to create something edgy.

August 21, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Jim Garlitz's Water Chopper — 'Born to be wild' is the understatement of the year

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Long story short: Garlitz, who runs a pizza shop in the little town of Corriganville, Maryland, one day got to wondering what would happen if he combined a 1985 red Yamaha Virago motorcycle frame, a 1990 9.9 horsepower Nissan outboard motor, and other "readily available materials."

After two months of work and $1,000, he hit the water with his creation (above).

Here's a link to a video of Garlitz demonstrating his superb creation.

Read the Associated Press story, which appears in today's Washington Post, below, but know this: I want one in the worst way.

    An Invention Born to Be Wild — on the Water

    Years of puttering around the workshop finally have paid off for a local inventor, whose work appeared in the July edition of Popular Mechanics.

    Jim Garlitz, who operates a pizza shop in this small unincorporated town in the Western Maryland mountains, was featured for a watercraft he assembled using a 1985 red Yamaha Virago motorcycle frame, a 1990 9.9-horsepower Nissan outboard motor and other "readily available materials."

    He calls it a water chopper.

    The chopper's hydrofoils, like the wings on a plane, can propel the rider off the surface of the water for a noiseless, smooth ride. The magazine said the water chopper would make an excellent platform for fly-fishing.

    "You can sustain that flight on the foils for as long as you want to," Garlitz said. "That's the beauty of it. You're virtually flying."

    Heading out for the first test run, Garlitz said he felt something akin to what the Wright Brothers must have experienced. The chopper worked "almost flawlessly," he said, reaching 37 mph.

    "It's stable. It doesn't tilt, tip or anything," he said. "It can ride backwards. It doesn't matter who you are, you can get on it and ride it."

    For Garlitz, creating the water chopper caps 40-plus years of fascination with motorcycles.

    "This was the first prototype I ever put together," he said, showing photographs of the craft in action on Jennings Randolph Lake. "I didn't draw up plans. I just had it in my head this would work."

    It took about two months of work and $1,000 before the bike was ready to hit the water.

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More here.

Note to file: Make sure to forward this post to crafty Phillip Torrone and his krew over at MAKE magazine.

August 21, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Gorilla Gripper — Carry that weight

Hniikjikj

From the website:

    Gorilla Gripper — Finally a safer, easier way to haul sheeting material on the job site

    Why wrench your back?

    The Gorilla Gripper clamps on to otherwise cumbersome sheeting material to create a strong, temporary handle that lets you lift with your legs and carry with a straight back — just the way your chiropractor keeps telling you to do it.

    And, because you’re carrying sheets only by the top, your center of gravity is lower for better stability with less balance work required from your back.

    Also lessens "sail effect" when you’re working out in the wind.

    The self-aligning clamp instantly adjusts from 3/8” to 1-1/8” to easily carry melamine, MDF, subflooring, drywall, plywood, sheet metal, tempered glass and wallboard.

    Lightweight, durable aluminum construction with a comfortable rubber-coated grip.

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$49.50.

August 21, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

MorphWorld: Cate Blanchett into Bob Dylan

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Hey joe, you forgot to picture the actress.

Not really — you're looking at her.

Turns out the photo up top is Ms. Blanchett playing Dylan during his "Blonde on Blonde" phase, in Todd Haynes's upcoming film "I'm Not There," a rumination on the life and times of the iconic musician.

John Anderson's story in today's New York Times goes deeper; the article follows.

    Dylan Movie to Open Like a Rolling Premiere

    Imagine you’re a film distributor, handling an experimental movie by one of the country’s most iconoclastic directors. The subject is an enigmatic occasional recluse who is being portrayed by four actors, an actress and a 13-year-old boy. Where do you open that film?

    If you’re very lucky, you get to book it at Film Forum, perhaps the most exclusive art-house cinema in Manhattan.

    Now what do you do with a movie that stars Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere, Christian Bale and Heath Ledger; whose subject is Bob Dylan; and whose director is the Oscar-nominated Todd Haynes?

    Same answer. Same film. Which is what’s making the planned Nov. 21 release of “I’m Not There,” Mr. Haynes’s rumination on Mr. Dylan’s lives and times, something of a curiosity.

    In addition to Film Forum, the film’s distributor, the Weinstein Company, will be opening the movie in just three other theaters, one more in New York and two in Los Angeles, giving it the kind of debut that might be afforded a Mexican documentary. Even “Velvet Goldmine” — the previous Weinstein-Haynes collaboration, about the British glam-rock scene of the 1970s, which starred an unknown Jonathan Rhys Meyers — began in 85 theaters in 1998.

    But Harvey Weinstein, the company’s co-chairman, said the slow rollout was the best way to nurture an unconventional, nonlinear movie like “I’m Not There,” in which the above-mentioned stars play Mr. Dylan at particular stages of his life. Shot in styles that correspond to each Dylan epoch, “I’m Not There” sometimes looks like “A Hard Day’s Night,” elsewhere like “McCabe and Mrs. Miller,” with Mr. Dylan’s life being imbued with mythic American qualities.

    “With a movie like this you have to build it,” said Mr. Weinstein, who founded the company with his brother, Bob, two years ago after an acrimonious split from the Walt Disney Company saw them relinquish control of Miramax. “I don’t think you can go out on 500 screens. The reason for Film Forum is you go where the best word of mouth is on the movie. I like the movie; I think it’s adventurous. The audience is going to have to work — work in a good way.”

    Mr. Weinstein said that a similar approach had worked for two of Miramax’s biggest successes. “Good Will Hunting” opened in New York and Los Angeles and eventually brought in nearly $140 million at the domestic box office, while “Chicago” began the same way and grossed $170 million. Those films had larger openings, however: “Good Will Hunting” (with the rising stars Ben Affleck and Matt Damon) in 7 theaters, “Chicago” in 77.

    “I’m not saying this movie’s going to come anywhere near those,” Mr. Weinstein said, “but I have a tendency to start small and go big. If we threw this movie out wide, I don’t know what it would do. I think we have to start somewhere.”

    The “somewhere” means Film Forum, “a real cathedral of cinema” according to Mr. Haynes’s longtime producer, Christine Vachon, which has presented the premieres of work by Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard, Hal Hartley, Claude Chabrol, Spike Lee and Lars von Trier, among many others. But rarely does it get star-laden films like “I’m Not There.” And for it to agree to have another theater share a New York premiere is a rare move.

    “We did it with ‘Saraband,’ ” said Karen Cooper, Film Forum’s director, referring to Mr. Bergman’s last American release. “Lincoln Plaza opened it the same day, and I don’t think either of us were happy. I thought the same crowd that lined up to see ‘Scenes From a Marriage’ would want to see ‘Scenes From a Divorce.’ I was wrong.”

    Ms. Cooper said that she was offered shared openings all the time and regularly turned them down. But she said that she and Mike Maggiore, Film Forum’s programmer and publicist, decided the Haynes film was so remarkable that they would not mind sharing it with Lincoln Plaza. In Los Angeles, “I’m Not There” will open at the Westside Pavilion and ArcLight Cinemas.

    Conventional movie-business wisdom says that if a film fails to catch fire at its opening theater, it will not move much farther. But Mr. Weinstein said there was “not a chance” he would not take this film into more theaters and cities, regardless of its fate on the coasts. “I’m going to play every major city in the United States with this movie,” he said. “I’ll play 100 cities, at least.”

    He said he also planned to position Ms. Blanchett, who plays Mr. Dylan during his “Blonde on Blonde” phase, for an Oscar. (Mr. Bale corresponds to “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan,” Mr. Ledger to “John Wesley Harding.”)

    “I may be jumping the gun,” Mr. Weinstein said, “but if Cate Blanchett doesn’t get nominated, I’ll shoot myself.”

    Films considered Oscar-worthy are released in various ways. Last year, Pedro Almodóvar’s “Volver” and its star, Penélope Cruz, were seen as possible contenders, but Sony Pictures Classics opened the film in only six theaters. (It ultimately grossed close to $13 million.) Another nominee-to-be, “Pan’s Labyrinth,” opened on 17 screens. It has made approximately $37 million. Both those films, however, were in Spanish, and foreign-language films are a hard sell to the American moviegoer.

    “I’m Not There,” which will play at film festivals in Venice, Toronto and New York, is Mr. Haynes’s first movie since “Far From Heaven,” his critically acclaimed 2002 homage to the melodramas of Douglas Sirk. The film, which has Mr. Dylan’s blessing, is also, according to Ms. Vachon, his most expensive film, although she declined to divulge the amount. (“Far From Heaven” cost $13.5 million, according to boxofficemojo.com.)

    Though Mr. Haynes, who was unavailable for this article, has never had a major commercial success except for “Far From Heaven,” he has never suffered a lack of critical acclaim. His “Poison,” for example, won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 1991, and “Far From Heaven” received four Academy Award nominations, including one for its star, Julianne Moore. But Mr. Weinstein said the decision to pick up “I’m Not There” was not purely about making money but about an obligation to have important movies distributed.

    “That’s the story of my life,” he said. “That’s exactly what I believe in. ‘I’m Not There’ and some of the tougher stuff — it’s not going to be ‘The Nanny Diaries,’ you know. But I’ve been very fortunate that what I’ve believed in has worked, and even when it doesn’t work, we make money in other areas to cover that. It is my responsibility and, more importantly, it’s my passion.”

August 21, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Belt Clip iPod Speaker

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From the website:

    Belt Clip Speaker — Listen To Your Music Anywhere

    Boom box out of earshot?

    Fellow crewmen listening to Pimp Doggy Dogg again?

    Clip this speaker to your belt, slide your MP3 player or radio into the attached holder, connect it to the speaker and adjust the volume.

    You’ll have your own tunes and playlists with you at all times, even on the ladder or roof.

    Trim profile, and no earbuds or cords to create a safety hazard.

    Quick, exterior access to iPod or radio and speaker functions.

    Provides crisp, clear sound from the mesh-covered speaker (powered by 2 AAA batteries, not included).

    Tough 600-denier nylon with Velcro close top flap.

    Measures 4-3⁄4"W x 1-1⁄2"D x 7"H.

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$34.50.

August 21, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

My Dinner With Urban: For $1 million you can have dinner with the University of Florida football coach

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Jack Stripling reports in the Gainesville Sun that if you toss a million bucks into the University's football slush fund — oh, sorry, I meant the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Renovation Project — coach will let you come over to his house and chow with him.

Bonus: You get to spend the day with Meyer and his staff, including a session breaking down film.

Not hungry?

No problema.

Instead, the university will let you run onto Florida Field with the Gators before a home game in return for your million.

Hey, I don't make 'em up: read the article below.

    For a cool million you can chow down with Meyer

    Urban Meyer is no cheap date.

    The going rate for dinner with the University of Florida's head football coach is $1 million, and Gator Boosters officials are counting on a few of those exclusive suppers to help fund a major renovation project at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

    The UF Athletic Association's fundraising arm has long lured donors with the promise of better seats and premium parking, but a recently unveiled fundraising program promises something less tangible: access.

    For $1 million, fans can have dinner with Meyer and his family in their home. That check also buys an afternoon with Meyer and his staff, who have agreed to break down game film with big-time donors.

    "(This is) inside-the-ropes type of access," said Doug Brown, director of UF's Bull Gator program. "If you contribute at a very significant level, we look for things that have some value, (things) that provide you access that other people wouldn't have."

    For fans who aren't necessarily interested in breaking bread with the Meyers, $1 million can also buy a chance to run onto Florida Field with the Gators before a home game.

    If a cool million is still too rich for some orange and blue bloods, a $15,000 contribution earns donors a trip to spring football practice as Meyer's special on-the-sidelines guest. A $1,000 contribution buys 10 "priority points," which can help season ticket holders to earn better seats in the stadium. This contribution also gives fans higher priority for coveted bowl game tickets.

    The funds generated by the Boosters' campaign will go toward a renovation of UF's football offices and the Gators' weight room, as well as the creation of a new banquet hall called "the Gator Room." The renovations, which come at a cost of $28 million, are collectively known as the "front door" or "Gateway of Champions" project.

    Boosters have already pledged about $21 million toward the project, which started with a $14 million budget only to later double in cost. UF officials attribute the ballooning budget to rising construction prices.

    "This is a very special project," said Gordon "Stumpy" Harris, an Orlando lawyer who chairs the Gator Boosters' fundraising committee for UF's capital campaign. "Urban Meyer is a huge believer — and I've heard this from his own mouth - that this project is key to the future. He sees this as a physical structure for recruiting."

    Boosters officials hope to generate at least $1 million from the new fundraising push, Brown said, and much of that money is expected to come from relatively lower-level donors.

    Fans with the financial resources to give $1 million probably won't be wooed by a date with Meyer. After all, they're already likely to have high-level access. Take Harris, for instance, whose contributions to the athletic association over the years have given him a chance to fly with the Gators to away games and to talk X's and O's with the coaches.

    "That's kind of cool," Harris said of traveling with the team. "I have to admit it; I enjoy the hell out of that."

    UF isn't the only school offering up access for cash.

    Last year, the University of Tennessee created a group called the "Victor Society" for big donors. Anyone who gives $1 million over the course of their lifetime or $100,000 in a given year can be in the club, and members are permitted to travel to a game with the team. Last year, head football coach Phillip Fulmer also invited members to his house for dinner.

    Galen Trail, a former UF associate professor of sports management, said sports management researchers have long encouraged athletic departments to develop ways of making fans feel like they're part of the team. Those relationships can come in handy, particularly if a team starts having trouble winning, he said.

    "If you have people that are more highly connected to the athletic department, then they are more likely to be more loyal in times of trouble — not that UF typically has times of trouble," said Trail, who is now on faculty at The Ohio State University.

    But Trail warns that selling access can cut both ways. If the only way fans can feel connected is to shell out big bucks, then a stratification of the fan base will occur that may brew resentment.

    "Of course, some people will be offended by (these programs), especially if the designated dollar amounts are so high that very few people are going to be able to (participate)," he said. 'The only way I'm going to be able to hang out with Urban Meyer is to pay $10 million?' That could easily turn off a lot of people."

    Don Davis, chair of the Gainesville Quarterback Club, said he views UF's fundraiser as an extension of Meyer's own coaching philosophy. Meyer, a psychology major in college, has developed a reward-based system for his players that appears to now be mirrored in the fundraising realm, Davis said.

    "My impression is that everyone loves to be on the inside, and to somehow get to participate," he said. "Not that they want to play — they just want to be in there for a moment."

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Okay, I agree — that's a pretty steep tariff.

So here's what I'm going to do for you (that's what the resident used to say when I was an intern, before assigning me a ton of patients to work up): for only $250,000 I will come to your house and have dinner with you.

But wait, there's more: I'll bring dinner.

It's not going to get any better than that.

August 21, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Longhorn Shoe Horn

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From the website:

    Longhorn Shoe Horn — For your achin' back

    Who says size doesn’t matter?

    This ultra-long, 21-3⁄8" shoe horn lets you slip into your brogans without bending over so much — better for your hardworking back.

    It’s a thing of beauty too, in smoothly varnished American oak, with a handsome stand that’s equipped with a rubber insert for a soft, protective holding area.

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$39.50.

August 21, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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