April 25, 2005

Last Week in Blog

What can I say, it's been a few days longer than expected since I went through my temporary bookmark file. I had two tests last week & over the weekend I had to write three stories for the school paper and put together the layout for the news section. To paraphrase Peggy Noonan using made up quotes from the Pope, it is as it was.

Scientists have discovered a technique that could induce automatic hibernation in mammals, reducing metabolism by as much as 90%. It's a step closer to being able to induce suspended animation, which could potentially give people with terminal or serious health conditions critical extra time.

Another drug proves to be more dangerous than previously believed. The epilepsy drug Neurontin, a drug which has a number of other 'off label' uses, has been found to possibly induce suicidal tendencies even in individuals who have never made a suicide attempt previously. The manufacturers of other epilepsy drugs are also being asked to review their data to see if there was significant risk from other epilepsy drugs.

More pressure was put on China last week to change its currency policies. The Chinese are now saying that they will consider revaluing the yuan.

Just because some segments of the population are more resistant to mercury, the researcher carrying out a study on mercury's effects on seniors suggests that the government current regulations on mercury may be too strict. Thanks a lot, moron. First, there are likely segments of the population that are more sensitive, and second, mercury can bioaccumulate in the foodchain at higher levels than may be released into any given point of the environment. Further, we have no idea what higher levels of mercury would do to other species, and with increasing stress from other toxins, extra mercury could push some over the edge. But be on the lookout for this research to be used for weakening our mercury standards.

A Muslim explains that in the Prophet Muhammed's time, Jews and Muslims were considered to be of the same faith community and they were treated as equals in the prophet's time in the city of Medina.

Birthday Cake points us to 13 things that don't make sense. Genuine scientific mysteries being tackled by scientists desperately trying to prove themselves wrong. Creationists and intelligent design supporters constantly say that science is an arrogant dogma no different from religion, and that scientists won't look at the alternate data they haven't found yet that will completely prove their theories someday. Yeah, whatever guys.

These are the 17 Democratic congresscritters who voted for the corporate energy welfare bill. These are the Democratic senators that caved on the bankruptcy bill. These are the 73 House members that voted for the bankruptcy bill, and these are the 31 that voted for both the bankrupcty bill and the estate tax repeal. Some of the names on the lists are very disappointing.

Max Sawicky goes to great pains here to explain the Estate and Gift Tax. Here, he explains why he loves the income tax.

The Group of 24 emerging nations say they will withdraw from the IMF and World Bank if they aren't given more say in the decision-making process. The Wolfowitz nomination to the World Bank was cited as one specific example of why they'd like to be more involved.

The Guardian looks at why Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are acting like best friends again.

From Nathan Newman at the Labor Blog: Even though corporate corruption and tax cheating is rampant, the Bush administration has made it a priority to drown unions in red tape. Jordan Barab talks about the wasteful hazard of 30-minute waiting time promises in emergency rooms. Another casualty of the Bush administration's war on public information is data on women in the workforce. The SEIU gains 49,000 workers in IL. A bill that would strengthen worker rights has been sponsored by 109 Democrats, but as Newman asks, why isn't it all of them? And btw, unions are better investors than federal investment experts.

MyDD: BenP talks about why he's backing Labour; in spite of how he feel's about Blair's war, Labour has been good for Britain's economy in general and for the economic security of the lower income brackets in particular. Chris Bowers on the generational divide between viewing the Democratic party as one of governance or opposition. Add something else to the list of things that's great for Iraq, but bad for us: the filibuster. Paul Rosenberg explains why we're really socialists. The story of how Nader killed the Greens. If the Republicans pull the nuclear option out of the bag, the Democrats have an agenda waiting for a vote.

Law and Politics talks all about the oil wars, and recaps Justice Sunday.

Pinko Feminist Hellcat finds an example of a person not afraid to be a misogynist in public, and who also can't understand why it's more important to protect women than chickens. Other legislators were caught on tape joking about spousal abuse. She also explains in greater detail how domestic violence works, and talks about the Catholic culture of life as it played out in the South American liberation theology movement.

Over at Trippi's blog, Daren Barringer talks about how supporting Social Security is a family value.

Talk Left had a John Cloud roundup, and notes that the public opposes ending the filibuster.

Tennessee Guerilla Women talk about an adulterer who hates gays and also how the new bankruptcy law will disproportionately hurt women and the poor.

The Left Coaster: Soto has a still of the Saudi hand holding, but says that he doesn't think it can save Bush now that the public disapproves of his agenda and it turns out that the CIA has called BS on the WMD. The Secret Service records of Gannon/Guckert's visits to the White House raise a lot of questions about, ... well why not just say it, what other services he was performing for the GOP. Our nosy-arse government has finally found someone outside their little clique whose privacy is worth protecting: Bin Laden. When the rubber of tax hating meets the road of state governance, GOP governors are getting religion when it comes to upping taxes to pay for services. Bush's plan to cut the deficit is pretty clearly related to his plan to phase out Social Security. The obligatory (and sadly neglected around these parts, sorry) Earth Day roundup. Ahnold begins the sell-off of California.

American Street: Emma talks about an unironically honorable man who preserved an archeological treasure for posterity. PZ Meyers highlights a novel scientific outreach effort. Kevin on the student loan industry. Our own Mary pulls together a touching collection of tributes to murdered humanitarian Marla Ruzicka.

If all this information overload isn't enough for you, if you simply crave more, go over to the Sideshow and keep reading down. Some notable links from over her way: Millionaires think they're middle class. Bob Herbert talks about Roosevelt's Second Bill of Rights, which was encouraging to read because I think that if we could get to the point of a president saying that once maybe we can do it again. A neurosurgeon talks about the value of malpractice suits, and why he thinks his profession needs to adopt a set of universal standards. Also, Ezra Klein's well-prepared and informative international health care review.

Posted by natasha at April 25, 2005 07:08 PM | Recommended Reading | Technorati links |

Another drug proves to be more dangerous than previously believed. The epilepsy drug Neurontin, a drug which has a number of other 'off label' uses, has been found to possibly induce suicidal tendencies even in individuals who have never made a suicide attempt previously. The manufacturers of other epilepsy drugs are also being asked to review their data to see if there was significant risk from other epilepsy drugs.

Did you see that Men's Health produced a list of the most depressed cities today, based partly upon sales of anti-depressants? The results are interesting. The most "depressed" city in the U.S. is supposedly Philadelphia, although it should be noted that Philadelphia is where a lot of pharmaceutical industries are based. Some other cities in the top 10 are also heavy pharmaceutical centers.

Posted by: thehim at April 26, 2005 06:20 PM

Doctors will prescribe those things for every damn reason they can think of. Chronic pain, migraine reduction, insomnia, restless legs, all kind of damn stuff. What most people don't know is that using antidepressants for any reason at all counts as a black mark against you in your insurance record, and ups your rate if you have to get private insurance. They keep a central, private database common to all the insurance companies that records every medication and diagnosis ever made during an insured treatment.

Posted by: natasha at April 26, 2005 10:51 PM