Really Odd Jobs

March 6, 2008

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Came across a cute little article on CNN.com this morning. It is a list of odd jobs, some are weird, some are gross, and some you can’t believe people can’t paid to do. I thought I would share a few, but check it out here.

1. Breath odor evaluator

4. Ocularist (paint artifical eyes)

5. Flatulence smell-reduction underwear maker

10. Tampon tester

12. Dog sniffer

15. Barbie dress designer


Breast Cancer Drug Approved

February 23, 2008

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In a controversial move, the FDA has approved Avastin for breast cancer.  The drug is already used in lung and colon cancer.  For the FDA to approve a late stage cancer drug it needs to either extend patient’s lives or import the quality of life.  Avastin has shown neither and so the advisory committe recommended against its use in breast cancer.  The FDA went against the recommendation of its advisory committee.  The drug does shrink tumors effectively, but there is a debate if that alone is reason to approve a drug.

If you still die in the same amount of time in the same painful way was having smaller tumors  worth whatever adverse effects or side effects come from the medicine?  There are pros and cons to the decision.  The pros are the approval will stimulate even more research and development into tumor shrinking medicines.  The decision will also be good for business, stimulating development and growth.  But there are also cons.  First there is the obvious problem if a drug does not extend life or improve quality of life what is the purpose.  Tumor shrinking is important, but only as a part of the overall picture of improving health.  But what I find to be a more glaring problem is, the advisory committees are designed to have more knowledge and to have looked at a topic more carefully to give the FDA an intelligent recommendation.  Why have them if you don’t listen to the recommendation?  I think that sets bad precedent.

Hopefully the next large study of Avastin will show marked improvement in combination with  other drugs in the treatment of breast cancer.


Cloverfield Attacks Again

February 4, 2008

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Cloverfield, the much hyped monster movie, might be coming back. After a killer first weekend (followed by a big drop off) the creators of the film are looking to further cash in on the movie by making a sequel. REALLY? I mean I thought it was okay, as a one time thing. If the monster survived the end of this movie, how exactly would anyone even try to kill it next movie.

You can read my early review of Cloverfield here.


I’ll take the 10,000 Calorie Appetizer Please

January 23, 2008

New York City’s Board of Health is revisiting regulations in an effort to stem the obesity problem.  The board is trying to get a measure passed where people would have better access to the nutritional information of the food they consume.

 Under the rules, which officials rewrote after a federal judge struck down similar provisions in September, any chain that operates at least 15 outlets nationwide would have to display calorie content on their menu boards, menus or food tags — essentially wherever the restaurant lists the information that customers use to make their choices.

The proposal will likely be challenged in court, due to implementation problems and restaurant’s hesitation to  publish the data.  I personally support the measure.  It makes sense, you should have access to information about something you are putting in your body.  Many will argue the people choosing between the Big Mac and the Bacon-ater are not the calorie counting type, but that isn’t necessarily true.  If a person likes both, but knows one is a little better (although terrible) for them, they can make an informed choice.

More to the point it is often confusing or surprising the calorie content of meals.  People hear terrible things about places like McDonald’s but then may not associate sit down restaurants for being as bad as they are.  I know personally I feel worse when I go to a fast food drive through then if a group of us go out to a nice restaurant.

Did you know for the calories in Olive Garden’s Stuffed Chicken Marsala entree (which is not the worst food at Olive Garden) you could have a Big Mac, a Wendy’s Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, and a Taco Bell Quesadilla?


Oprah Takes Over

January 17, 2008

Oprah is taking over the world. Or at least having a large influence on it. With millions of viewers and an ever growing audience, Oprah is talking to whoever will listen. And many are listening. Hell I don’t even watch her show, but I listen to what books I should read. But this time she is endorsing more than a book or gadget. She is endorsing Barack Obama for president. Many believe it is about seeing a black president or jumping on the rockstar like following for Obama.

But I know the truth, it is just one stop on her way to world domination. It is important to have friends in powerful places. The President of the United States is a pretty powerful position. Some have said my theories on Oprah are a little far fetched. But I’ve always know she was a conquerer. From the news, to the talk show, to the made for tv movies, to book club, to the Broadway shows, to the magazine, to the South African school and now to endorsing a presidential candidate.

But now she has gone to far!! She is getting her own tv channel. The Oprah Winfrey Network, or OWN, will premier in 2009.  So you wonder why is this so terrible?  No one is forcing me to watch it.  The problem is the channel will be replacing Discovery Health Channel.  I love the Discovery Health Channel.  “Incredible Medical” is the most compelling show on television, I have been late to work in order to see the final diagnosis.  Plus shows like “Baby Baby”, “Adoption stories”, and “Babies: Special Delivery” are the only shows on television that can make me cry.

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Badass Computer or Overpriced Toy?

January 16, 2008

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Here’s some of what USA Today had to say about the sleek laptop:

… on first impressions, there’s no denying that Apple has designed another gorgeous machine. Apple has managed to cram in a full-size keyboard, 13.3-inch backlit widescreen display, iSight video camera, 2 gigabytes of RAM, state-of-the-art Wi-Fi and an 80-GB hard drive. The whole package weighs three pounds and ranges from 0.16 to 0.76 inches thick. You don’t realize just how thin that is until you see Jobs pull the machine out of one of those yellow interoffice envelopes.

Pint-size laptop computers always exact compromises. Perhaps the most glaring in Air’s case is the lack of a replaceable battery. Much as the iPod, the Air’s battery and other components are sealed inside and are not easily removed.

What’s more, Apple dispenses with a drive for loading CDs or DVDs. But the need for such a drive is somewhat diminished in the age of digital downloads, such as the iTunes movie rentals Jobs announced Tuesday.

I think the MacBook Air is a stunning testament to product development. They knew the public wanted a lighter, sleeker laptop and Mac did what it does, it delivered. It delivered an incredible, although minimalist, laptop at a reasonable price (~$1800) My problem is when reviewing the tech specs on the Apple website, the $1800 MacBook Air really is nothing more than a small laptop. To get the small laptop at the quality I expect (and deserve) hits closer to the $3000 range.

Want the 1.8 GHz Processor? Add $300.

Want the 64GB Solid State Hard Drive? Add $999

Want the ability to play and burn CDs and DVDs? Add $99

Want an Ethernet port and a modem port? Add $79

Want the Apple Remote? Add $19

Admittedly, I would still love a MacBook Air to appear in my living room. But in reality I think ‘ll wait for more reviews to come in and the price to go down. Still nice to see a company innovating when so other computer companies stagnate.

PS. Props to Apple for integrating the multi touch gestures from the iPod and iPhone, those are awesome.


When Shoemakers forget they’re Shoemakers

January 11, 2008

Me: Hey hand me the phone.

You: why?

Me: I need to call Converse

You: why?

Me: they forgot something

You: what?

Me: just the fact they are shoemakers (with a small clothing spin off).

get off your high horse and back on your high tops.  silent commercial that aren’t PSAs have no place on my television.   people like mindless marathons of sitcoms, its relaxing.

I vote this is the world’s stupidest ad campaign.  its like “wow! be different, get up do something, think for yourself” and at the same time “think like everyone else, care about name brand shoes, buy our shoes because they make you an individual like everyone else”