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2007 Screenwriters Strike - Explained!

TV Land strike - Matt Davies Blog
Perfect illustration of the Hollywood Exec's position in the screenwriters' strike.

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Plumpy'nut Saves Malnourished Children

Notes on Plumpy'nut piece on 60 Minutes.

Plumpy'nut saves Malnourished Children in Niger, Africa. Saw this piece on 60 minutes with Anderson Cooper. Plumpy'nut is a food substitute (or supplement) used to treat malnourished children. Basically a peanut butter-based paste, Plumpy'nut is compose of peanuts, evaporated milk, sugar (or sugar-like compound) and, most important, vitamins. It doesn't need refrigerating, is easy to manufacture, and since it's sweet, kids love it, as do their mothers after seeing the fast results. Severely malnourished children are cured in two to three weeks after starting a regime of Plumpy-nut.

Pilot study on Plumpy'nut in Niger, Africa, has been very successful. Mortality rates for children reduced. Occupancy in hospital is down. Lots of good to say about this small change. Wow!

Peanut allergies have not been an issue in developed countries, so no worries there (why?). Doctors without Borders passes out the stuff liberally, can always use more.

But it's not perfect. Not all malnourished kids can be saved. But it's a high impact, simple solution to cure many malnourished children.

Wouldn't this paste make kids very thirsty? Since potable water is so hard to find, does this cause problems?

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Bush Butt Probed - Cheney in Charge

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Buying the War - by Bill Moyers

Bill MoyersHow did the mainstream press get it so wrong? How did the evidence disputing the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the link between Saddam Hussein to 9-11 continue to go largely unreported?

~Bill Moyers

Buying the War by Bill Moyers is a fascinating report of how mass media was co-oped by the Bush administration to hammer home Bush's talking points: Iraq has WMDs, and Hussein was involved with 911. It's a devastating account of the media betraying their responsibility.

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Leading Cause of Death in US ... Medical Treatment!

Death by Medicine - According to a review study, more deaths are caused annually in the U.S. by medical treatment and diagnostic procedures than by heart disease or cancer.


Adverse Drug Reactions106,000$12 billionLazarou(1), Suh (49)
Medical error98,000$2 billionIOM(6)
Bedsores115,000$55 billionXakellis(7), Barczak (8)
Infection88,000$5 billionWeinstein(9), MMWR (10)
Malnutrition108,800-----------Nurses Coalition(11)
Outpatients199,000$77 billionStarfield(12), Weingart(112)
Unnecessary Procedures37,136$122 billionHCUP(3,13)
Surgery-Related32,000$9 billionAHRQ(85)
ANNUAL TOTAL783,936$282 billion 
Heart Disease699,697  

And these numbers are based on reported deaths, which suggests the true death toll from medical treatment is much higher.

Is American Medicine Working? Here is the reviewers' reply...

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Hillary '1984'

Hillary 1984 - The instantly famous parody of the Apple Computer commercial and the Hilary Clinton campaign for President of the U.S.- Hillary 1984.

Hilary '1984'

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Why Drinking Too Much Water Is Dangerous

Drinking Too Much Water - Jennifer Strange died from drinking too much water. The fact she drank it during a contest to win a Nintendo Wii video game system -- "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" -- made her death especially tragic...and newsworthy.

How could you die from drinking water?

Basic physiology and osmosis. The kidneys can only process so much water over a given time. If you drink more water than the kidneys can process, your blood dilutes. The diluted blood creates an imbalance (more salt in the surrounding cells than in the blood). To relieve that imbalance, water from the blood starts entering the salty cells. This causes the cells to swell.

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Russell Crowe's Eulogy for Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter

Russell Crowe's Eulogy for Steve Irwin

Russell Crowe Eulogy Steve Irwin - When I heard that Steve Irwin, the Crododile Hunter, had been killed by a sting-ray, I was shocked and saddened. As news coverage of his death swelled, I was somehow comforted to learn that so many others felt the same....Who knew this wacky, passionate Aussie had such an impact on so many people?

Russell Crowe, a good mate of Irwin's, gave such a touching eulogy at the memorial service for Steve Irwin, a service that was televised around the world. I've transcribed Russell's words below. Truly moving. Here is the video...

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10 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy Diamonds

I wish my wife would read this list. I saw a documentary on PBS about De Beers that totally turned me off to supporting this industry in any way. Liz Stanton has summarized much of the ugly side of this beautiful gem.

Also see Apollo: Real diamonds "grown" in a machine.

Ten Reasons Why You Should Never Accept a Diamond Ring from Anyone, Under Any Circumstances, Even If They Really Want to Give You One - Dead Link

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Mother Duck Loses Babies Down Sewer Grate

So very sad...

Mother Duck Loses Ducklings Down Sewer Grate

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Democrats First 100 Hours In Congress

Here is Democrats' agenda for the first 100 hours of majority rule in the House of Representatives. Nice talking points....Where are the gaps?

Our New Direction begins with a commitment to integrity, civility, and fiscal responsibility. We will break the link between lobbyists and legislation. We will govern the House of Representatives under bipartisan administration, so that the voice of every American will be heard. And we commit to no new deficit spending, with pay-as-you-go budgeting. These are the principles by which we will govern. And under these principles we will take our country in a new direction, with priorities that address the urgent needs of the American people.

In the first 100 hours...

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Dick and Rick Hoyt: A Unique Father and Son Story

Dick and Rick are Team Hoyt

Dick and Rick Hoyt - When Rick Hoyt was about to be born, the umbilical cord got wrapped around his neck, depriving his soon-to-be-born body of oxygen. Initially, doctors told the new parents their son was a vegetable, with no higher brain function. But the parents didn't believe it; they saw signs of life and intelligence in their son. Sure enough, the doctor's discovered they were wrong. Rick did have higher brain function. However, the lack of oxygen did deprive Rick of the ability to control his muscles, leaving him essentially a quadrapalegic.

The story of Team Hoyt began when Rick found out about a fundraiser for a friend. The fundraiser involved running, and wheelchair-bound Rick told his Dad he wanted to participate so he could help his friend. So father Dick Hoyt ran with his son, rolling him around the track, raising money for Rick's friend. After the run, Rick told his Dad that running made him feel free for the first time. Inspired by his son's statement, Dick took Rick running, swimming, bicycling, climbing--anything he wanted to do, Dick found a way to share it with his son and help him feel free. It's an amazing story of a father and son's courage, determination, and love.

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'300 Millionth American' Cartoon

The legacy we are leaving our kids...Just add the polluted environment and the list is about complete.


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Mistake On Google News

What is wrong with this picture?

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He Who Cast the First Stone...Probably Didnít

Escalating violence is natural - Fascinating NY Times piece by Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard, and author of Stumbling on Happiness. In this article, Gilbert explains how our faulty human perception in a tit-for-tat exchange can lead to escalating violence. Apropos of the Middle Earth...uh, Middle East conflicts between Israel and Hezbollah, the civil war in Iraq, and so many other conflicts...

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Startling Honesty from Israeli Professor

Ze'ev Maoz

Ze'ev Maoz's editorial struck me as incredibly brave. For an Israeli to opening admit such a point of view...But why should I label this act as brave? Would it be brave in the U.S.? No. People express their dissent about U.S. government policy all the time--we stage protests, heckle, post blog entries.

Is Israel any different?

I admit ignorance. I guess I have this impression (false?) that the government of Israel dislikes dissenters AND can make their lives uncomfortable. Is that true? I need to dispel my ignorance here. I just don't know the truth about the culture, the Israeli society. I'd like to learn. Given the current conflict in the region, I need to learn.

The first paragraph of Maoz's editorial startled me:

"There's practically a holy consensus right now that the war in the North is a just war and that morality is on our side. The bitter truth must be said: this holy consensus is based on short-range selective memory, an introverted world view, and double standards..."


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Michael Berg Responds to Zarqawi's Death

Michael Berg

Michael Berg is the father of Nicholas (Nick) Berg, the young businessman who in May of 2004 was captured by terrorists in Iraq and beheaded. The terrorists videotaped the beheading and distributed the tape via their website. News services reported on the contents of the tape, showing the preamble of statements by Berg (and the terrorists?), but stopping short of broadcasting the actual beheading. However, besides the video, a still image of a terrorist holding up Bergs decapitated head has circulated widely on the Net.

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It's Not What Snow Doesn't Say, It's How He Doesn't Say It

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Missed Tributes at the Oscars - by Ben Stein

In his critique of the Oscars, actor/economist Ben Stein points out...

...there was not one word of tribute, not one breath, to our fighting men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan or to their families or their widows or orphans...not one prayer or moment of silence for the dead and maimed.

Whoa. Got my attention.

I think he may be right, though I didn't see the whole awards show (Stein admits he didn't watch it all either). Even so, I had very mixed feelings about his comments. Yes, as he observes...

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The Long And Short Of Olympic US Skater Evan Lysacek

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Tucker Carlsons Olympic Overview Show

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Rufus the Bull Terrier Wins 2006 Westminster Dog Show

Rufus the Bull Terrier biting the lips off his owner

His name is Rufus and he's a beauty contest winner. Rufus has won the 130th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

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Pairs Ice Skating

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2006 Winter Olympics

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Ice Skater Michelle Kwan Withdraws from 2006 Winter Olympics

Michelle Kwan

Michelle Kwan 2006 Olympics - How sad is this, on so many levels? One, for Emily Hughes, who could have been preparing for her Olympic appearance, but now gets pulled into the games as a last minute replacement for Kwan. And for Kwan, jeez! The girl won't be getting her gold, though, to be honest, her chances were slim. She's had such an impact on skating, but it surely hurts in her marrow that she doesn't have an Olympic Gold medal.

Jim Lampley, the NBC Sports anchor, put it this way:

If her contributions to the sport, her ability to face disappointment with perspective and grace counts for anything, then Michelle Kwan is, and always will be, a champion.

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