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May 19, 2011

"Without a winning strategy, litigation is a lot like playing chicken."

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I won't argue.

Above, a full-page ad which appeared in the May 14, 2011 issue of The Economist.

A nominee for a 2011 bookofjoe Addy Award.

May 19, 2011 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Mahogany Chair

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Made by Jack Rogers Hopkins.

Said Wayne Burgess (above), chief designer of the 2012 Jaguar XF, of this chair, "Would I have it in my house? Absolutely. I'd sit on the sofa and look at the chair."

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$75,000 at Todd Merrill Antiques.

Tell Todd I sent you if you want a really good deal.

Heh.

[via the New York Times]

May 19, 2011 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Aquagenic Pruritus

Mystery17a

I must've been out the day we covered this in med school 'cause I'd never heard of it until I read a fascinating case history by Sandra G. Boodman in Tuesday's Washington Post.

Long story short: In 1999 53-year-old Austin professional photographer Carrell Grigsby [above] began experiencing bouts of ferocious itching. By 2005, the attacks were happening regularly nearly every week and she'd seen a number of doctors who couldn't find the cause. In 2006 she saw an internist who referred her to a dermatologist, Dr. Jay Viernes, who saw her on a Friday and the next Monday made the correct diagnosis: aquagenic pruritus, "a poorly understood and often misdiagnosed condition that causes intense and often prickly itching concentrated on the arms and legs. For many, the attacks begin within minutes of exposure to water of any temperature and can last from 10 minutes to two hours. The skin displays no sign of a problem."

The cause of the extremely rare disorder is unknown, according to the Office of Rare Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.

Grigsby found an online support group for people with the condition — health.groups.yahoo.com/group/aquagenicskin — which she said has been a useful source of information and comfort.

Treatment with hot showers followed by use of a hair dryer on the affected areas — a remedy suggested online — worked wonders and relieved the itching.

Narrow-band UV light also helps.

Below, the abstract of a report of three cases of aquagenic pruritus published in 1981 in the British Medical Journal.

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Aquagenic pruritus

Three patients were studied in whom brief contact of the skin with water at any temperature evoked intense itching without visible changes in the skin. The patients were otherwise apparently healthy, and this chronic and disabling disorder tended to attract a "psychogenic" label. Pharmacological studies showed that the condition was associated with local release of acetyl choline in the skin, mast-cell degranulation, and raised blood histamine concentrations. It responded well to antihistamines in two of the three patients. Aquagenic pruritus is probably common, but it is generally unrecognised and may be misdiagnosed. Antihistamines may induce a good therapeutic response.

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Read and/or download a PDF of the original BMJ article here.

The case histories related above are exemplars of what I call "The One Guy" theory, to wit: there is someone somewhere in the world who can make a significant difference in outcome in even the most recalcitrant or obscure conditions.

The trick is to find that person.

I have promised in the past and here renew my vow to focus on this issue in a future post.

May 19, 2011 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Paper Plane Earrings

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Wrote their creator, Hong Kong-based yellowgoat*: "They dangles and catch lights, small but sure catch attentions."

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Hand made from sterling silver; matte finish.

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0.4" x 0.6" (1cm x 1.5cm).

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M.I.A., call your office: your accessories are here.

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$32.

*"Why yellowgoat you may think? It comes from my Chinese name, when pronounced, it can mean yellow goat, literally, so that's my inspiration for this shop name."

Her blog is here.

Or/and follow her on Twitter.

May 19, 2011 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Yale opens locked images vault online for free

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The way we like it.

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Even better: "Yale is taking the unusual step of imposing no limits on the use of images and is not requiring any licensing."

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Sounds like they took a leaf out of of my book.

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Above, exemplars from among the 250,000 images already online.

Who painted the zebra?

[via the New York Times]

May 19, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

"Not all those who wander are lost"

Jrr-tolkien-quote-leather-tag

Finally, the source of this quotation, which I've seen on bumper stickers for decades.

I'm betting Brandy, the maker of the luggage tag and proprietor of Etsy store Of The Fountain (brandy@of-the-fountain.com), will be happy to make you one if you ask nicely.

Prolly best not to mention I sent you, I don't want to ruin your chances of scoring.

Just window shopping, not interested in buying anything?

Give her a Twitter follow or some Facebook love.

Remember, love is the only thing you get more of by giving it away.

Still not ready to get back to work?

I hear you.

Her blog is here.

[via Doobybrain]

May 19, 2011 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Helpful Hints from joeeze: "Out-of-office" emails may be a data gold mine

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Who knew?

I've always made fun of people who are self-important enough to think anyone cares whether or not they're in the office.

For what it's worth, the automated "Out-of-office" reply is much more prevalent among the English — at least, the English whom I email — than Americans.

Excerpts from Barbara Haislip's May 16, 2011 Wall Street Journal article follow.

The next time you get an out-of-office email, don't just hit delete. It may be a data gold mine.

Len Feltoon, chief executive of Countrywide Pre-Paid Legal Services Inc. in Cherry Hill, N.J., gets hundreds of the automated notes every month — and he says they're a great source of sales leads. The notes usually come with contact information for someone else at the company, which "has provided us an additional lead source and has led us to the decision maker, which has allowed us to close more business," he says.

"Closing a deal is all about finding the right person and the decision maker," Mr. Feltoon says. The automatic notes provide "real-time information and are 99% accurate."

Mr. Feltoon says the strategy accounts for 6% of new business annually for his firm, which provides group legal-services plans to employees of companies. For instance, he once got an out-of-office note saying the human-resources manager at a hospital had left the company. He got in touch with her successor, whose contact information was cited in the email, "to introduce ourselves and continue the client relationship," he says.

And, through networking with other service vendors, Mr. Feltoon found out where the former manager was working and signed up her new employer as a client, he says.

 

May 19, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sony Alpha DSLR cut in half

Screen shot 2011-05-18 at 4.44.57 PM

From petapixel: "Camera innards are often shown in cross section diagrams, but here's a Sony Alpha camera and lens that were actually sliced cleanly down the middle (we’re guessing a lightsaber was involved). The build quality of the lens definitely looks cheaper than the sliced Leica lenses we shared last week (as it should). Brownie points if you can identify both the camera model and the lens."

[via Global Hermit]

May 19, 2011 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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