Archive for February 27, 2008

Chantix Warning

February 27, 2008

Via email:

I thought I would give you an update on one of your recent postings. We discussed Chantix and mood swings. Although I have not changed my prescribing habits in regards to the drug — being careful to avoid people who are depressed — I thought it only fair to offer to you a few observations noted since our dialogue.

I have recently had 2 patients -both women- who attempted suicide after being started on the drug. Both had injuries that required hospitalization and one of the two required surgery to repair a severed artery and tendons. I was able to look back at their records and notice that indeed both of them had been placed on Chantix about one month before. Incidental note is made that both curtailed their nicotine habit. The cost however was catastrophic.

I would have sent this to your blog, but it would probably have gone unnoticed. And I have not been to your blog in a few weeks due to workload. You may feel free to use the above if you wish. However, again, I must state that Chantix, despite its history as noted above, is still a very good drug for smoking cessation. Screening is the order of the day for most patients.

This is a followup to something I noted earlier: Quitting Smoking Can Make You Die.

Stage6: The Dregs

February 27, 2008

Update: Stage6 shut down on March 1, 2008.

Once a Hero: just watching the credits — which ripped off several well-known comic book artists — made me queasy. My nausea was well-founded as I got less than five minutes into streaming it. My God! I don’t remember seeing this at all, but I must have. The trauma of its badness must have destroyed some neural connections. Consider that a warning! The original source seems to be VHS. Once a Hero wikipedia entry.

Dynaman: The Lizard of Oz. Apparently a spoof dubbing of a half-hour Power Rangers-like Japanese series. This might be worth getting for whatever humor value it might contain. (However, I bailed after a minute.) Original source is VHS. Dynaman wikipedia entry.

Other oddites — including five VHS-sourced episodes of Quark (which is available in better DVD here in the U.S.) — can be found here.

Blog Notes: Technical Botch

February 27, 2008

The bottom of the front page here seems to have lost the link to allow people to see prior posts.

There should be a Previous Entries link down there.

I’ve contacted WordPress Support.

In the meantime, triage is to click on the date in the Calendar. That will display a summary of all posts published that day and also display the Previous Entries link. Click on the post you want to read.

Watch. Once I post this, that damned invisible link will reappear. [Update: Yep. It did!]

If not, triage.

Stage6: Space Hospital

February 27, 2008

Update: Stage6 shut down on March 1, 2008. Space Hospital is also on Veoh and YouTube. I recommend Veoh.

Five files worth grabbing — because they are just whacked.

I suppose this was going to be an ongoing series. But it stops suddenly. Too bad. It made me laugh. It will make you laugh too.

See, this is what video on the Net is supposed to be. This has things most Net video lacks: lighting, sound, editing, special effects, directing, writing, and acting.

They put some effort into this. These people are happy nutjobs! And they pull it off!

spacehospital001.jpg

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Take a bow, all of you:

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spacehospital015.jpg

It’s taken me about 5 times longer to do this post than to watch the videos! That’s because I want you to go get it!

If anyone involved in this is reading, please move everything over to Veoh! If you plan on doing more, people can easily subscribe to them. And if you’re not, Veoh is the only service that will allow downloads of the original uploaded file format (say, if you upload MPEG, people can watch it on screen as FLV but when they download, they get the MPEG!).

Space Hospital on Stage6

Stage6: Very Old Cartoons

February 27, 2008

Update: Stage6 shut down on March 1, 2008.

I’m stepping close to the edge by posting this one.

I know of series up on Stage6 that are available on DVD. I won’t post links to those. Go spend some money and help the creators pay their rents!

But this one …

These cartoons are very old and have since passed into the public domain.

However, these are gorgeous renditions, which tells me someone spent some money for digital restoration.

One of these is the Betty Boop classic, Poor Cinderella, in stunning color.

Maybe this link will inspire you to hunt down the DVDs. Or inspire someone in some other way.

Old cartoons on Stage6

Stage6: British Mysteries

February 27, 2008

Update: Stage6 shut down on March 1, 2008.

I wish I’d come across these sooner. I don’t have the time nor the CD-Rs required to get these. At least three of these are not to be found in the U.S. on DVD.

Wikipedia links first:

Rosemary & Thyme, starring the lovely Felicity Kendal.

New Tricks, with geezers my age (oi, I don’t look like them!).

Murder in Suburbia, eh.

The Last Detective, based on British mystery novels that are in fact not available in the U.S. (dammit!).

All of the above at Stage 6

Stage6: Star Fleet AKA X-Bomber

February 27, 2008

Update: Stage6 shut down on March 1, 2008.

The original Japanese name for this series is X-Bomber. It was picked up in England, dubbed (into English, duh), renamed Star Fleet, ran on TV there, and made its way at least to VHS both in England and the U.S., with one half-hour episode per tape.

Although I’ve seen DVDs of this series on sale at eBay, it’s been one of two versions: British (PAL DVD) or Japanese (NTSC, but maybe Region coded).

Of minor note:

The English version’s theme song was done by Paul Bliss of The Moody Blues, and was also famously covered by Queen member Brian May and Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen. This was released under the name “Star Fleet Project”.

I don’t know why. I think the theme is terrible.

There are six files up on Stage6, each near an hour in length. I don’t know how much of the series this represents. I’ve gotten a few episodes elsewhere and it’s been a real test of will to get through at least one of them. Mimicking Supermarionation is not easy. Every attempt I’ve seen (including, and perhaps especially, Team America: World Police) has failed. Gerry Anderson produced something unique, special, and enduring. He should be proud of that.

Star Fleet on Stage6

X-Bomber wikipedia entry

Stage6: New Captain Scarlet

February 27, 2008

Update: Stage6 shut down on March 1, 2008.

If you’ve used the other links today, you’ve probably already run across these.

For everyone else, there are three episodes of Gerry Anderson’s New Captain Scarlet available.

This is another series not available in the U.S. on DVD. With the concentration of media over the past two decades, selling to American TV from Britain is not as easy as it used to be. Virtually every TV station that was independent is now aligned with a network. And all of these networks like to produce their own programming (thank you FCC for allowing that conflict of interest; ever recall how the Hollywood studios were made to divest themselves of their theater chains? this is that all over again!), leaving independent producers such as Gerry Anderson out in the cold. No, they don’t care if his programs could bring in ratings — they all want their greedy fat piece of the ownership pie. If they can’t own it, they don’t want it.

Gerry Anderson’s New Captain Scarlet on Stage6

Gerry Anderson’s New Captain Scarlet wikipedia entry

Happy Birthday, Ralph Nader

February 27, 2008

The Man Who Should Be President is celebrating the anniversary of his birth today.

His campaign team is asking people to contribute especially on this day.

Here’s the email text (minus in-text links):

Good morning.

Today is Ralph Nader’s birthday.

Tonight, we’d like to present Ralph with one big birthday card.

Inside the card will be the names of his loyal supporters who responded to our Ralph birthday challenge.

So far, 344 of you have responded with over $35,000 in contributions.

We have until 5 p.m. today to drive that number over 500 contributors giving more than $50,000 since Monday.

And then tonight, we’ll print out all of your names and present them to Ralph in a big birthday card.

We like to call our candidate Mr. Frugal.

We’ll use your donations deliberately to help Ralph get on ballots all across the country.

As you know, Ralph is coming under relentless attack for challenging the corporate dominated two party system.

It’s time we all stand with Ralph against the corporate power structure.

Contribute now and say – Happy Birthday Ralph – and thank you for a lifetime dedicated to the public interest.

Onward

The Nader Team

(Stage6 and an afternoon appointment caused me to check email late!)

Go to Vote Nader to contribute. You should especially contribute to expiate your future votecrime of choosing Obama, Hillary, or McCain!

And hey you, just because it’s 5PM on the east coat, don’t think you’re off the hook. I expect the team is bright enough to use West Coast Time as the cutoff. Which means you have til 8PM in the east to cough up your guilt payment.

Do it at least to thank Ralph for the seatbelt you have.

Quote: William F. Buckley Jr

February 27, 2008

He’s dead.

“I am, I fully grant, a phenomenon, but not because of any speed in composition,” he wrote in The New York Times Book Review in 1986. “I asked myself the other day, `Who else, on so many issues, has been so right so much of the time?’ I couldn’t think of anyone.”

And people accuse me of having a big ego?!

Can we get some more pompous asses of his selfish generation to croak? Lots more to go. Unfortunately, their fetid effluences will pollute the atmosphere of thought for at least another decade or two.

(Yes, this is a cranky post. This guy really got up my nose over the decades. Perhaps the most devastating caricature of him was done by SCTV: Meat Loaf Meets William F. Buckley, Jr. If someone knows where that clip can be found online, I’d love to get it!)