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November 17, 2007

MTV Arabia launches today


Right here.

Funny: not a peep about it in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times or Charlottesville Daily Progress.

Good thing I get the Financial Times (FT), else I'd be out of the loop.

Here's today's FT story by Simeon Kerr and Peter Aspden.

    MTV Arabia beams 'bling' to Gulf

    MTV Arabia starts beaming its diet of music and youth-oriented programming across the Middle East today to a potential audience of 190m young Arabs.

    The first Arabic youth lifestyle channel will air locally produced programmes, as well as international imports such as Pimp My Ride and Cribs , which should prove popular in the car and property-obsessed Gulf.

    Graced by international soul star Akon and rapper-turned-actor Ludacris, the launch party took place in the suitably "bling" emirate of Dubai, where a tolerance for the lifestyles of a large non-Muslim expatriate population sits uncomfortably amid the conservative Gulf.

    Bill Roedy, vice-chairman of MTV Networks, said the launch of MTV's 60th channel was a chance to correct misconceptions of the region: "This part of the world has been associated with stresses and tensions . . . the one thing music can do is act as a unifying cultural force across regions."

    MTV's partner in the venture, Dubai-based Arab Media Group, says the channel's scope will go beyond entertainment to promote social causes. "We are going to encourage education and look for solutions to problems such as unemployment. These are all causes on our agenda," said Abdulatif al-Sayegh, chief executive.

    Glimpses of MTV Arabia's output included the channel's famous promotional "idents" with a twist of regional humour, along with a talent show, Hiphopna , in which Saudi rapper Qusai and Palestinian-born producer Fred Wreck seek new rappers from the streets of the Arab world.

    An underground hip-hop scene is spreading across the region, inspired by the strong tradition of lyrical poetry in the Gulf and the genre's association with street culture and political struggle in the Middle East's more troubled locales.

    Mr Roedy says he hopes the channel will launch a regional artist on to the global stage. The last big Arab crossover was Algerian raï music, the blend of classical Arab music and western rock that gave north African youth a voice.

    Warming up for the international stars were Desert Heat, a Dubai-based rap duo who say hip-hop is becoming the most popular genre among their peers.

    Salem and Abdullah Dahman say it was hard for them to emerge in Dubai, where the music scene is in its infancy. While they have more respectable day jobs, the brothers hope MTV Arabia will air an album they are recording.

    "Hip-hop is a movement, a form of expression that has long been denied the youth of the Arab world," said Salem, aka Illmiyah, or "knowledge".

    Rather than the "booty" and "bling" fixation of American rap music, however, their lyrics reflect topics such as the importance of education.

    MTV Arabia aims to bridge cultural divides, but the launch party also managed to prise open some of the social divides within Middle Eastern society.

    At the close of his set, Hollywood star Ludacris professed his love for Dubai's "buildings, food and women".

    In a briefing after the party, however, the actor was taken to task by a female journalist from a Saudi newspaper who objected to his showboating "love" for Dubai's women.

    Mr Sayegh's company is owned by Dubai's ruler and plans four more TV stations over the next year.

November 17, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Animal Mug


Dog, Monkey,









[via Ashley Pigford and decomodo.com]

November 17, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: 'Left behind' — in a CT scanner


Long story short: 67-year-old bone cancer patient Elvira Tellez (above) of Tucson, Arizona, went in for a CT scan and was told not to move.

"The technician dimmed the lights, but never returned. Eventually, Telez called out for help but received no answer; then she spent hours trying to extricate herself from the machine. When she finally emerged she found that she was locked inside a darkened, deserted office. Sheriff's deputies had to get her out," according to an account in the November, 2007 issue of Physicians Practice magazine.

Here's the full story, from the September 29, 2007 Arizona Daily Star.

    Woman left in CT scan machine 5 hours

    After being diagnosed with bone cancer, 67-year-old Elvira Tellez of Tucson was understandably stressed. But that stress quickly elevated to panic last week when she went for a CT scan and was left in the machine for five hours after a technician forgot about her.

    Tellez eventually freed herself from the scanner but found the medical office closed for the night with her locked inside. She called her son and then dialed 911. Sheriff’s deputies had her unlock the front door.

    For the last week, Tellez has had trouble sleeping and when she does sleep she wakes up crying. She said she is still shaken by the ordeal, which occurred Sept. 19 at Arizona Oncology Associates, 2070 W. Rudasill Road in Tucson.

    Tellez and her family say what they want now is an explanation, something they have yet to receive.

    “I don’t know what to think,” Tellez said in Spanish. “I think and think and think but I can’t understand it.”

    Office managers for Arizona Oncology did not return phone calls Thursday, but one physician said it’s not the first time this has happened.

    “People have been left in the office after hours, when something like that happens — it’s the same sort of thing,” said Dr. Steven Ketchel who works there and heard about the incident. “My guess is she was lying on the table, waiting and waiting and nobody told her she could go home.”

    But it is not that simple for the Tellez family who voiced concerns about what could have happened while she was trapped in the machine.

    “She almost lost it while she was in there,” said Tellez’s son, Ariel Tellez. “She has diabetes and she could have had a heart attack.”

    It was supposed to be a fairly routine procedure, Ariel Tellez said of the scan.

    His mother had been recently diagnosed with cancer and her doctor referred her to Arizona Oncology where it would be determined if the cancer had spread.

    She was injected with a dye and was told to wait about 45 minutes, Ariel Tellez said. At about 4 p.m., Elvira Tellez was taken in for the scan, which she was told would last about 25 minutes and that she could then drive herself home.

    She was placed inside the large machine, which scanned her body from the waist up. The lower half of her body was wrapped in what she described as a heavy blanket.

    The technician told Tellez not to move during the scan and proceeded to turn off the room lights to help her relax, her son said.

    “At some point, my mom lost track of time and felt like too much time had passed but she couldn’t look at a clock or anything because it was dark,” Ariel Tellez said.

    When Elvira Tellez came to the conclusion that 25 minutes had definitely gone by, she called out to get someone to help her out of the machine. She got no response.

    Soon enough, fear overwhelmed Tellez and she began screaming but still got no response because the office had closed and everyone had left for the night.

    “I was going crazy and I was crying to God to get me out,” Tellez said on Thursday. “I was thirsty, I needed to go to the bathroom and I was really scared.”

    After hours of working to free her legs from the heavy blanket, Tellez slid out of the machine and nearly fell on the floor but managed to grab a table, she said.

    When she walked out of the room she found the office was dark and she was the only person there, she said.

    At about 9 p.m., she hysterically called Ariel, who lives in California. He told her to call 911 and at the same time he managed to contact the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

    Deputies arrived and had her unlock the office door to let them in, said Deputy Dawn Hanke, a Pima County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman. The deputies contacted the office manager who was not aware of the situation.

    Tellez was taken to a hospital where she was checked out and finally released around 1 a.m., Ariel Tellez said.

    The following day, the technician who left Tellez in the machine called to apologize. At that time Tellez asked for a written explanation of what occurred, she said. She has yet to receive anything.

    Another concern is whether Tellez received a large amount radiation over the five-hour period, Ariel Tellez said.

    Tellez’s doctor said that was unlikely because many machines are on automatic timers.

    Dr. Ketchel also confirmed there is an automatic shut-off on the machine, but Tellez said she heard noise coming from the scanner the whole time she was inside.

    As her cancer treatment progresses, Tellez will have to undergo the same procedure again to determine if the cancer is spreading. But she refuses to go back to that office. Her doctor has promised she will not be sent there again.

    Arizona Oncology Associates is one of the top cancer doctor groups in Tucson. They have four offices in Tucson and one each in Green Valley and Oro Valley. There are 30 physicians, which include hematologist/oncologists, radiation oncologists, gynecologic oncologists and blood and bone marrow stem cell doctors.

November 17, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

M&M's RaZZberry — 'Look for the hot pink bag with the berried treasure inside!'


Will do.

I'm outa here in a minute to get mine.

Just in via Shawn Lea, head of my crack research team, this new Limited Edition M&M's flavor.

According to the RaZZberry website, "The summer of 2007 marks the official start of the raZZing season."


Maybe they mean Australian summer.

Note to file: Run this by Katie Churns to see if that's the case.

November 17, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

MorphWorld: Jeff Koons' $11.8 million 'Diamond (Blue)' into $19.95 Wine Decanter Stopper


Koons' sculpture (above), a seven-foot-wide "diamond" made of stainless steel, brought "only" that amount last Tuesday evening, November 13, 2007, at Christie's — it had been estimated at $12 to $20 million.

So why not get the next best thing?


From the diamond decanter stopper website:

    Diamond Decanter Stopper

    Pull out all the stops — give your guests the diamond treatment!

    Top your decanter with this optic crystal stopper, wonderfully faceted and reflective, and let friends know how special they are.

    Fits decanters with level mouths 3" in diameter.

    Makes a gem of a paperweight, too!

    2"H, 3" Dia.

    Lead free.


Also in Clear, Red or Green.


[via Gawker]

November 17, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Collapsible Self-Powered 15-LED Lantern


From websites:

    15-LED Dynamo Lantern

    This convenient light source is able to provide 360 degree illumination through dual mode lighting: 9-LED or 15-LED.

    The lantern features three distinct ways to power up.

    It has a wind-up generator with a 3-phase alternator motor, an included 12V AC/DC vehicle cigarette lighter socket adaptor or works with a 12V AC/DC wall socket adaptor (not included).

    It is perfect for emergencies and power outages as well as while camping, fishing and hunting.

    When the lights go out in an emergency, there is often a need for a light source that covers an area larger than what a traditional flashlight can handle.

    In the past there were two options for lighting a room, the first being multiple candles placed around the room, the second a kerosene lantern.

    While both produce large amounts of light, they come with the danger of open flames.

    Now there is a new option in emergency lighting — the LED Crank Lantern.

    To access the 360 degree light, pull up on the top of the lantern while pressing the two buttons located on opposite sides.

    When fully extended the lantern will lock into place.

    When turned on, the lantern boasts two lighting options: at low power nine LEDs conserve power, and at high-power 15 LEDs provide maximum brightness.

    The lantern's hand crank is tucked away neatly in the lantern's lid when not in use.

    When the crank is needed, it flips up and turns easily (in either direction) to generate continuous light after a few minutes of turning (see conversion table below).

    In addition to being a fabulous light source, this lantern has a built-in, extra-loud emergency siren that can be used to let people know where you are.

    The lantern can also charge many cell phones with the furnished adaptors.

    Winding/Light Duration Table

    1 minute winding = 8-10 minutes light

    3 minute winding = 12-15 minutes light

    5 minutes winding = 15-20 minutes light



November 17, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Helpful Hints from joeeze: How to tell right from left


Many years ago, annoyed about always having to check which color (white, black or red — above) goes to which spot when applying the EKG leads at the beginning of a case — especially around 3 a.m., having been working without a break since 7 a.m. the previous day... but I digress — I thought to myself, there's got to be a better way.


Sure enough, after a lot of applied processing muscle by the bookofjoe quantum supercomputer (yeah, we had that here last century, long before it was even a Fort Meade fever dream), the solution emerged.

White is right.

Genius, no?


The white lead goes on the right arm — see, the two words rhyme.

From there the others fall right (sorry) into place, since the other upper lead is black and by default must therefore go on the left arm.


Then I thought to myself, why not take this discovery out of my narrow perioperative bailiwick into the great world?

Once again, a session with the machine that was all the rage (not against the machine, but I digress yet again) spit out the generalized solution: blue is left when you're a civilian, and red is right.

See, there's an "l" in both "blue" and "left," and an "r" in both "red" and "right."

To apply these discoveries to your life and eliminate trying to figure out which headphone goes on which ear (isn't it amazing how Sony, especially, makes it nearly impossible to see the minuscule "R" and "L" embossed on each side, maybe a millimeter high and placed where you'd never think of looking?), simply put an adhesive red or blue dot on the appropriate side, or use a dot of colored Liquid Paper or its equivalent.

Do both sides if you're really into this stuff.

Bonus: A mnemonic so you'll stop spelling minuscule wrong.

Note that the word "minus" appears first, congruent with the meaning of the greater word.

Not "minis" (see usage note).

Now don't you feel smarter already?

One of us should.

Full disclosure: I thought that one up without even using my supercomputer.

November 17, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Death Mints


From the website:

    Death Mints

    These Death Mints are the preferred breath mints of corpses, vampires and zombies.

    Each collectible 3" x 1-1/2" x 5/8" coffin-shaped tin contains one hundred potent mints that will leave you with fresh breath to die for!


Two tins for $4.95.

November 17, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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