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  Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Doc has a fire up near him-- and I get a plane crash just over the hill. It's never boring in LA.

Also a quasi-skating note: Speedskater Derek Parra is Home and Gets Parade in Hometown if you don't remember Derek, he's the guy who won a couple (1- gold 1-silver) speed skating medals in SLC. Derek's originally from San Bernadino and got his start in roller speed skating.  I've known Derek before he became very famous this week-- you see Derek was the World Champion roller speed skater for several years BEFORE he ever took to the ice!  And he was one of the original Team Rollerblade members. More about his dedication and other roller skaters who converted to ice-- later!

I see Doc has made it nearly home.   I got several of the same "You owe me money, asshole" emails. They didn't do a thing for me! Nice to see you didn't stay in NC.

Color me green with envy:  David Weinburger, (Cluetrain author among other things,) has been reporting about the TED, the Technology Entertainment and Design conference in Monterey, which he calls "an eccentric mix of presentations and performances, celebrities and civilians." 

This sounds like a tough assignment.  (snicker)

David shares: Yo-Yo Ma brought out a troupe of musicians playing instruments from around the world. They performed two pieces written around 1500, the sort of courtly, tuneful European music of the time that I've found no more than entertaining. This I found moving. In part it is the joy with which Ma leads his group and the joy with which they play. It helped also that I've been listening to Ma and watching his astonishing growth (from his astounding beginning) all my adult life. Ma is not particularly articulate in terms of his sentence structure, but he is remarkably eloquent. He conveyed vividly the way in which the world's music is connected. I choked up.

No lie. Ma sat in at a little concert in SLC I attended last week. When Ma is "on" his music is haunting. His new CD with composer John Williams is good, but Ma's CD Soul of the Tango is still my favorite.

David also writes: Steven Pinker, whose work on language and the brain is brilliant and too hard for me, gave a highly understandable preview of his new book that argues that there is indeed such a thing as human nature. He pointed to four reasons we fear that idea: We don't like the inequality of capability it implies, we think it means that we are not perfectable, it seems to imply determinism and it seems to suck all the meaning out of life. He gave brief, effective counters for each fear.

I rarely use the word genius to describe someone-- but Steve Pinker is a genius. His academic work in cognitive studies work is way over the top-- especially the language and vision studies.  I was around when Steve was working on the Visual Cognition book, and he was the reader for another vision book. When Steve is given the opportunity to talk to the rest of us, he is entertaining and educational. The general acceptance of  How the Mind Works and the books longevity is proof enough he's not writing a column for a computer mag!

The next time you need someone to carry your bag David-- sign me up!

3:23:46 PM    

A picture named globe.gifHow the Rest of the World Thinks:

State of Iowa Declares English is the Official Language: (Des Moines Register) After years of debates and hand-wringing, the Iowa House has finally passed the Iowa English Language Reaffirmation Act which will make English the official language of the State.  Senate File 165 requires, with several exceptions, that all official documents, proceedings and publications of state and local government be in English. Gov. Tom Vilsack finally was sent Monday night. "We all agree that everyone who lives and works here should be proficient in English, because it is the language that unites us, and it is the language of opportunity," said Vilsack. However it is rumored that the Governor is holding his signature until he can get $1.4 million in funds to teach more ESL (English as a Second Language) programs.

A picture named corn-sm.gifWhat you don't know about Iowa: There is a lot to be said for long winters and the Midwestern work ethic, because Iowa has one of the highest literacy rates in the U.S. While multiculturalism is everywhere and many native languages are present within Iowa, English is considered the "language the binds us together," by a large majority of its citizens-- politically correct or not. Hopefully the powers that be will get their act together.

1:18:23 PM    

Dvorak speaks and puts foot in mouth:

Dave Wiener thinks: A good case in point. John Dvorak takes PC Mag into the blogging world. With both guns blazing. Sure you can make the Cluetrain authors sound like bozos if you're willing to be a bozo yourself. As Dvorak admits in his discussion board for the column "This is something of an attention-getting exercise." Toward what end? Improved flow? That'll work for a while, and then get old. Then what? Will his column cover the technology? He's never seen a blog be critical of another blog? He must not read Scripting News. [Scripting News]  Source: Scripting News; 2/25/02; 2:25:12 PM.

Dave hate to break it to you. JD doesn't play well with others, and prefers preaching off the PC Mag mountaintop. The concept of engaging someone in open non-staged debate doesn't compute to Johnny.

Doc's asking for some help: You can help Johnny get some clues. Or you can turn the page.    John C. Dvorak apparently got around to reading the copy of Cluetrain I gave him when I was a guest on Silicon Spin. Turned the poor guy's irascibility knob up to eleven. It would have stopped at ten, I think, if he weren't also getting back for the shit we gave him about dissing Weblogs a couple weeks ago.

I really like the "book that won't die." The "cult" thing too.

Doc: JD is protecting his turf on the blog issue. Reason: Fear of becoming a casualty of Darwin's Theory of Evolution comes to mind. I followed JD when he used to be on the old PCMagnet on CompuServe, his personality does not lend itself to having a conversation. He prefers to preach and we the unwashed masses are supposed to follow and purchase without question. I gave up that crap years ago.

Bad Medicine: Former Kansas City Pharmacist Robert R. Courtney has reached a plea agreement with the government in chemotherapy drugs dilutions case, his attorney says. If convicted on all 20 charges, Courtney faced up to 196 years in prison. Kansas City Star 

The case also generated lawsuits. More than 300 cancer patients or their families also have filed civil suits against Courtney in Jackson County Circuit Court. More Kansas City Star

Disclaimer: My SO is a clinical pharmacist.

This FORMER Pharmacist (he has lost all his licenses to practice) has murdered patients in the name of greed. Courtney duluted the strength of major chemotherapy and cancer treatment drugs to a poing so low that the drugs were ineffective. This guy is a murderer, because he killed people or seriously prolonged their suffering by not giving them the medications they were supposed to receive in the proper strengths to treat their cancer.

Courtney's greed has broken the trust of every patient who relies on their pharmacist to give them the right drug in the proper strength as prescribed by law. He was caught when a drug rep started auditing the amount of drugs local oncologists were prescribing vs. what Courtney was purchasing. A sting was set up to have Courtney's pharmacy send prescriptions to homebound patients or doctors for office treatment. Instead of going to patients, the drugs were then sent to an independant lab for testing. The lab reported that Courtney only put a small percentage of the prescribed drug in IV solution. This renders the drug treatment ineffective.

The rumor mill within pharmacy is calling Courtney a "major money-grubbing scumbag." He's become a posterboy for what should never happen. In the pharmacy world this is called drug tampering, adulteration and misbranding drugs-- all major felony charges. 

5:07:47 AM    

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