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November 30, 2007

BehindTheMedspeak: 'Awake'


Look at the photo above.

What do you see?

No, it's not a poster accompanying today's opening of "Awake," a new film starring Jessica Alba and Hayden Christensen, which revolves around a patient who finds himself awake — and paralyzed, unable to communicate the fact to his surgeons — during an operation.

Already the Amercan Society of Anesthesiologists has tried — and failed — to defuse the film's message that such things do happen.

Watch for lots more people opting to have local anesthesia in the near future.

But I digress.

The picture up top is of Madeline Gallagher, an emphysema patient — in real life, not a movie — after doctors at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia hospital removed 30% of each of her lungs.

It accompanied Denise Grady's story in yesterday's New York Times.

The caption in the Times slide show accompanying the article read, "Mrs. Gallagher in the operating room after surgery as the medical team begins to clean up."

When I happened on the photo as I read the paper, I nearly fell off my chair — who's watching the patient?

Besides the Times photographer, Damon Winter.

I mean, it looks for all the world like everyone in the OR is off doing her or his own thing while Mrs. Gallagher lies there unconscious amidst the mess.

I'm reminded of some of the anesthesia residents I used to teach, back in the day.

They had a habit of turning their backs on the patient at critical moments in a case, to chart something or check the anesthesia machine or whatever.

I would gently but firmly place a hand on each of their shoulders and rotate them so that they were squarely facing the surgical field.

Sometimes I would have to do it repeatedly during a case.

As I oftimes remarked, "The patient only moves when you're not looking."

To be told by the surgeon or nurse that a patient is moving is not good anesthesia technique.

Tell you one thing: you won't see the photo above in an ad for the hospital.

The movie, well, that's another thing entirely.

Perhaps it's time to update Otto von Bismarck's oft-quoted observation, "Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made.", to include surgical procedures.

November 30, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Double your Mac laptop's USB ports — So quick and easy, even a TechnoDolt™ can do it


Reading some lament recently on an Apple fanboy website about how the measly two USB ports make it difficult to work efficiently, it occurred to me to mention my great kludge, which I've had for years now.

Long story short: You plug the Dr. Bott T3Hub into a USB port on your Mac laptop and all of a sudden you've got 4 — not 2 — ports.

Above and below, exclusive unretouched photos of mine in use.


From the Dr. Bott website:

    T3Hub USB 2.0

    Technical Specifications:

    • 480, 12 and 1.5 Mbps transfer rate available on all 3 connectors

    • Compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 specs

    • Bus error recognition and correction

    • 3 USB Type A ports for USB devices

    • Active devices indicated via LED

    • Plug-and-play compatible


    • T3Hub 2.0 is platform-independent — Mac OS (both 9 and X flavors), Win98/ME, Win2k/XP and Linux are all supported

    • T3Hub Aluminum fits the MacBook Pro and the PowerBook G4 Aluminum series

    • Includes a separate USB extension cable to reduce strain on built-in USB ports

    • T3Hub 2.0 can be installed without turning your computer off

    • T3Hub 2.0 is compatible with all USB devices

    • T3Hub White fits the iBook


Below, Dr. Bott's photo of the device.


Not nearly as interesting as my pics, in my humble opinion.

But then — who asked me?


November 30, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

'Cruz Missile' explodes in tube after $3.7 billion dollar bet goes south


Maybe it's like the Sports Illustrated cover jinx, being featured here.

Not once but twice, most recently just three weeks ago.

Anyhow, the fierce banker was just tossed over the side yesterday by Morgan Stanley.

Not to worry too much about her landing: I'd estimate her total severance package after 25 years with the firm to be in the range of $100 million to $200 million after you add in all the compensation (deferred and otherwise), stock options and God only knows what else this clever woman negotiated to ease her passage on down the road.

Cry for Argentina if you like but don't waste your tears on Ms. Cruz.

November 30, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Rubik's Sudoku


Drive yourself crazy.

From the website:

    Rubik's Sudoku

    This colorful grid combines the genius of Rubik's Cube with the challenge of Sudoku!

    To play, align each horizontal and vertical row by moving tiles into a sequence of numbers 1 through 9 without repeating numbers in a single row, horizontally or vertically.

    Includes 40-page booklet with 100 puzzles!

    Ages 8 and up.

    7"L x 6.5"W.


November 30, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Capacity (Human Lungs in Glass) — by Annie Cattrell


The British artist created this piece in 2000; it was part of "Head On: Art with the Brain in Mind," a 2002 show at the Science Museum.

November 30, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Soon Desk Lamp – by Tobias Grau


"The characteristic form of Soon is the result of adding together vertebra-like members. These form the arm of the lamp and snake their way from base to top."


Transparent, Red or Blue.


November 30, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

MyMapWebsites.com — 'Submit your website to the map'


The latest creation of Marcus Reimold of Cologne, Germany.

I wish I were tech-savvy enough to put bookofjoe on it but alas — no can do.

But that doesn't mean clifyt and Shawn Lea and Steven Leckart and Katie Das and Dean Kaltsas and everyone else can't.

In fact, it probably means it's a snap.

November 30, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

French Fries Car Mats


Perfect if you're like me and always dropping fries while you're eating 'em in the car — hide in plain sight, what?

From the website:

    French Fries Car Mats

    They may look good enough to eat, but our fun designs are no small potatoes when it comes to protecting your car's floor.

    4-piece set includes two 17" x 25" front mats and two 12-1/2" x 17" back mats.

    Durable polyester with non-skid back.


November 30, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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