stAllio!'s way
Friday, December 12, 2003 
there just isn't enough time to post every interesting story i come across... maybe i'll find some time later but i'm not sure when that will be.

i still have a little more packing before i'm off to san francisco tomorrow for a few days. there was talk of appearing on kpfa while i'm out there; if i hear more about that you can be sure i'll post it here. vacation time is nice.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003 
here's a huge story that so far the US media is completely ignoring (i've only found two articles, on and in the uk's observer, though it should be front-page news throughout the west):

the word is starting to get out about just how much influence drug companies have over what gets printed in medical journals. since the journals have strict rules requiring that any links to drug companies in published studies should be stated explicitly, the drug companies now go out of their way to hide their presence even more. their latest trick is to ghostwrite drug studies, then bribe doctors and researchers into putting their names on the studies (as the sole author). here's a quote from the observer article that should pique your interest.

Estimates suggest that almost half of all articles published in journals are by ghostwriters. While doctors who have put their names to the papers can be paid handsomely for 'lending' their reputations, the ghostwriters remain hidden. They, and the involvement of the pharmaceutical firms, are rarely revealed.

Monday, December 08, 2003 
for awhile i had a screw loose. for how long, i don't know; maybe a few minutes, maybe many months. then finally i lost it. i started crawling around on the floor of my cublicle, mumbling to myself & squinting passionately like a pirate whose parrot had run off with his eyepatch.

at first i was going to wander around the building begging people to give me a ride. then in my best corey hart stylee, i put on my sunglasses. keep in mind this was at about 2:30pm, in the middle of an office building with "state of the art indirect lighting which is designed to reduce glare"... the lighting is still brighter than i'd like, but gazing at my monitor through shades is probably a challenge under any lighting conditions.

yes, these are the hazards of wearing wire-rimmed glasses (or at least the cheap-ass frames i end up getting). you can be simply sitting around innocuously, barely even moving, then pop, screws start flying everywhere, one of your lenses falls out, & suddenly you're screwed (or maybe i should say unscrewed). i was lucky to remember that i had my sunglasses with me or i would've been virtually helpless: unable to continue working, incapable of driving anywhere safely, & unable to rectify the situation without help. why had i never brought an eyeglass repair kit to the office? or as gordon gano put it, "why can't i get just one screw?"

so once i had my sunglasses on, & it was clear i could not locate the missing screw to replace myself, i had to find a glasses shop nearby. the closest one i could think of was at castleton, a high-traffic area 6-7 miles away. but on my way out, as i passed through what passes for a "smoking area" at the new office building, i saw a couple of my fellow four-eyed smokers & asked if they knew of anyplace. luckily, after a few minutes one of them gave me the name of lanter eyecare, a place at 106th & pennsylvania (about a mile from the office).

when i got to lanter i passed it by once & almost didn't stop in at all. the place is in the middle of a doctor park & it's full name is "lanter eyecare and laser surgery". so i assumed it was an opthamologist, not someplace to get glasses. but i stopped in anyway, & indeed they sell eyeglasses there (primarily to the aged, or so it looked from the people in the waiting room). i was out & on my way within 3 minutes. that was nice.

the down side, however, is that now i'm back in the office & expected to work. damn my eyes!

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