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October 15, 2008

It pays to advertise — Or, never buy car insurance from a woman named Flo

I wonder how many millions of dollars Progressive Insurance spent to create its idiotstick TV ad campaign, the very worst iteration of which appears above.

I mean, there's the fat check they wrote to their advertising agency, along with the big salaries their marketing group commands, not to mention what they pay the networks for commercial time.

All to convince me never, ever to buy Progressive car insurance.

Guess what?

They got their money's worth — it worked.

October 15, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Wire Bender — 'Get bent'


From the website:

    Wire Bender

    Makes all the shapes you’ve been trying to bend with pliers all these years.

    Now you can make your own custom tool hooks for peg board, create tabs for hanging pictures and bend wire for any number of reasons.

    Between the channeled aluminum base and removable pegs you can create “S” hooks, fishing rod eyes, curtain rod rings — you’re limited only by your own ingenuity.

    Mount it on your workbench or clamp it in your vise.

    Works on mild steel up to 3⁄16"Ø.

    4-3⁄8"L x 1"W x 5⁄8"H.


$6.50 (coat hangers not included).

October 15, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

History's greatest journeys


"Choose a travel route to start exploring."

[via Milena]

October 15, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

October 15, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

MoneyAisle.com — 'Banks bid in live auctions for your business'


That's different.

I mean, usually it's you groveling in front of some geezer who's trying to find a reason not to lend you money.

This time the shoe's on the other foot.

I like it.

Back story here.

October 15, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

EEMILI — by Lincoln Kayiwa


The designer was born in Uganda and attended UIAH in Helsinki where he now resides and runs KAYIWA,


his own brand product design company.


He writes, "Is it a reef? Is it a symbiote? No, it's EEMELI!"


"You may just plain admire it or place flowers in it."


Black or white porcelain and glass.


Apply within.

October 15, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Catathrenia


It means nocturnal groaning and was the subject of a paper published this past spring in the journal Sleep.

Here's the report.

    Catathrenia (Nocturnal Groaning): What is It?

    Guilleminault et al recently reported in Sleep a series of seven non-obese young women affected with sleep-related respiratory noises that they diagnosed as cases of catathrenia (sleep-related groaning).

    In their patients sleep-related respiratory noises occurred mainly during light NREM sleep and diminished during REM sleep. Respiratory noise in these patients was expiratory. In view of the presence of a significant, mainly inspiratory flow limitation, with anatomic evidence of a small upper airway and small jaws, the authors put their patients on nasal CPAP treatment, plus successive surgical intervention or oral device appliance in four of them, that abolished/reduced sleep-related hypopnoeas and inspiratory flow limitation with resolution of the respiratory noise.

    They argued therefore that catathrenia may have different subtypes related to sleep stage specificity or to the presence of sleep disordered breathing. Together with a recent report of continuous airway pressure benefit in a case of nocturnal groaning associated with mild obstructive sleep apnoea, oxygen desaturation and irregular abdominal wall movements, Guilleminault et al. raise the question regarding the definition, the heterogeneity and the pathophysiology of catathrenia.

    Catathrenia was first reported as sleep-related expiratory groaning during REM sleep in abstract form. Pevernagie et al. described apparently the same phenomenon as “vocalization during prolonged expiration during REM sleep”, and, in our description of nocturnal groaning, we proposed the term of catathrenia (meaning “groaning”) in 4 cases in which the groaning sounds, though sometimes present also during NREM, were prevalent during REM sleep. The same prevalence, or even the recurrence solely during REM sleep, was emphasized by Oldani et al. in their report of 21 patients, 16 examined by polysomnography (PSG). In all of the PSG performed in catathrenia, the features were quite similar and stereotyped: a deep inspiration without sound production was followed by a prolonged expiration with groaning, usually lasting from at least 2 s to 20 seconds; there was bradypnea during catathrenia, no evidence of respiratory muscular effort and no oxygen desaturation.

    Thus, the hallmark of catathrenia is that inspiration is followed by protracted expiration during which a prolonged or fragmented sound is produced, and this recurs especially during REM sleep. Vetrugno et al. recently reported ten patients with catathrenia and without any evidence of other facial, airway or lung disease in whom intrathoracic pressure recordings was performed. During the expiratory groaning sounds, neither the diaphragm nor the intercostalis EMG were active and endoesophageal pressure, monitored in all patients, showed a slight initial positive rise subsequently returning to values around 0 cm H2O. Strikingly, during the groaning, the respiratory pattern was distinctly abnormal, with a substantial slowing of the respiratory rate (breathing rate was actually decreased by 2/3) and a disproportionate increase in the length of expiration. Remarkably again, nocturnal groaning alternated with normal breathing in the same night, sometimes in the same sleep state.

    This respiratory pattern, that we consider as typical for catathrenia, is clearly different from what reported by Guilleminault et al.1 In their seven patients, the produced sound was expiratory but short lasting and occurred at the peak of expiration; in particular, expiration was not prolonged, and there was no bradypnea during the “groaning” sometimes, a noise could be detected also at the peak of inspiration; finally, the sounds were not produced during REM sleep. All of these differences are substantial, and indicate that the case of Guilleminault et al are not catathrenia, but rather instances of expiratory snoring.

    In order to show that these two phenomena are quite distinct, we provide a picture [top; repeated below] comparing the polysomnographic features of a catathrenic patient of ours versus expiratory snoring, both displayed at the same time scale. The differences are readily evident.


    Legend for figure:

    Catathrenia (A) compared to expiratory snoring in a snorer patient (B). The recordings are shown at the same time scale. Please note: 1) the different duration of the groaning sounds (microph.), 2) the prolonged expiration (oral, thoracic and abdominal respirograms), and 3) the bradypnoic pattern in catathrenia.

    EOG: electro-oculogram; Mylohyoid.: mylohyoideus; microph.: microphone; Interc.: intercostalis; Oral Resp.: oral respirogram; Thor. Resp.: thoracic respirogram; Abd Resp.: abdominal respirogram; Intraoesoph. Press.: intraoesophageal pressure; SaO2: oxygen saturation; R.: right; L.: left.

    Narrowing of the upper airway and flow limitation is not solely an inspiratory phenomenon but may also occur with expiration in healthy subjects, in snorers, in patients with upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) and in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS).

    Observations of expiratory obstruction during sleep are not new. Weitzman et al. first postulated expiratory obstruction and Lugaresi et al. provided an illustration of expiratory flow limitation in a snorer. Gravity (mainly during the supine body position) together with relaxation of pharingeal dilator muscles, such as the tensor palatini and genioglossus, have been considered to promote local upper airway narrowing during expiration more frequently at the supraglottic/retroglossal level. Isolated expiratory flow limitation has been reported to recur in breaths and to be coupled with inspiratory flow limitation in sleep.

    Whether catathrenia is an abnormal, possibly vestigial, central respiratory pattern during sleep, due to abnormality in brainstem respiratory centers, as we proposed, and whether narrowing of the airways occurs during catathrenia, must be left to further studies. We also consider that whether catathrenia is a parasomnia rather than a sleep-related breathing disorder is just a matter of definition. In the previous ICSD-1 classification indeed, at the time of most reports of catathrenia, snoring too, itself a respiratory phenomenon, was classified as a parasomnia. What we are really concerned about and wish to emphasize with this letter is that catathrenia presents with a distinctive pattern on the PSG, and should be clearly differentiated from other respiratory disturbances during sleep. This has clear and important consequences on prognosis and treatment.

October 15, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Ducati Stilettos


[via planete ducati]

October 15, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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