Study as if you were going to live forever; live as
if you were going to die tomorrow.
Maria Mitchell ---
We have a hunger of the mind which asks for
knowledge of all around us, and the more we gain, the more is our desire; the
more we see, the more we are capable of seeing.
Maria Mitchell ---
New calculations show that sensitivity of Earth's
climate to changes in the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) has been
consistent for the last 420 million years, according to an article in "Nature"
by geologists ...
PhysOrg, March 28, 2007 ---
No matter how well they're engineered, hydrogen cars
offer no real answer to the imminent threats posed by global warming.
David Talbot "Hell and Hydrogen,"
MIT's Technology Review, March 29, 2007 ---
In other words, General Motors is making a very bad bet on the future of
Teachers and Teaching in Days
Despite these limitations, I admired beyond measure the wisest, most learned
members of the faculty and have been forever grateful for the models of the life
of the mind that they provided me. From them I learned, as George Steiner wrote
in Lessons of the Masters (2003), “There is no craft more privileged.... To
awaken in another human being powers, dreams beyond one’s own; to induce in
others a love for that which one loves; to make of one’s inward present their
future: this is a three-fold adventure like no other.”
James O. Freedman writing about his
teachers at Harvard, "Teachers and Teaching, Inside Higher Ed, March 27,
This essay is an excerpt from
the Words, an autobiography by James O. Freedman of the first 27 years of
his life. Freedman served as president of Dartmouth College and the University
of Iowa and was the author of
Idealism and Liberal Education (University of Michigan Press) and
Education and the Public Interest (University of Iowa Press). Freedman died
of cancer last year, weeks before Finding the Words was to move into
production at Princeton University Press. The press — working with two of
Freedman’s friends, Stanley N. Katz of Princeton University and Howard Gardner
of Harvard University — finished the book, which has just been released. This
excerpt is printed with permission of the Princeton University Press.
In the 21st Century Teaching Excellence is Secondary to Research for Promotion, Tenure, and Pay
"Teaching versus Research: Does It Have To Be That Way?" by Lucas Carpenter,
Emory University ---
Discussions must move beyond tenure processes. We
must now examine the tenure system itself, future career pathways for our
increasingly diverse and mobile faculty, and standards of performance in a
global academic marketplace. There may be alternative models to explore. Those
discussions must involve a variety of stakeholders who focus on one key
question: How do we create and maintain a rigorous and competitive tenure system
that best meets the needs of our students and our publics, and best positions
America for long-term success? Tomorrow’s students and the next generation of
Americans deserve nothing less.
Hank Brown (President of the
University of Colorado), "Tenure Reform: The Time Has Come," Inside Higher Ed,
March 27, 2007 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on controversies in higher education are at
“[By] the 1960s … we had reached the point where
virtually all smart youngsters were going to college. Only the stupid or the
poor were not going on to college.”
Daniel Patrick Moynihan, in his
essay “The Travail and Fall of Higher Education.“ as quoted by Alan Contreras in
"College for Whom?" Inside Higher Education, March 30, 2007 ---
The Trouble With Talent
Psychologist Carol Dweck has shown that people who
believe intelligence is static struggle to overcome adversity, while those who
see achievement as a product of effort shrug off setbacks and keep climbing.
What are the implications for school, business and society? . . . According to a
Stanford psychologist, you’ll reach new heights if you learn to embrace the
Marina Krakovsky, Stanford
Magazine, April 2007 ---
And to think he was once just a kid at Stanford University
Jerry Yang, '90, a University trustee and co-founder of
Yahoo! Inc., and Akiko Yamazaki, '90, a director of the Wildlife Conservation
Network in Los Altos, pledged $75 million to support multidisciplinary programs.
The bulk of the gift - $50 million - will be used to cover construction costs
for the new Environment and Energy Building, which eventually will serve as the
hub for environmental studies on campus.
Mark Schwartz, Stanford Report,
February 15, 2007 ---
No Compromises in Quest for World Domination
Addressing a mass rally in memory of the
founder of the Hamas terrorist organization, Ahmed Yassin, senior Hamas leader
and former Palestinian Authority official Mahmoud A-Zahar reiterated a
fundamental position espoused by Hamas and other Islamist groups worldwide:
struggle for the complete obliteration of Israel and the worldwide rule of
Israel Nation News, March 27, 2007 ---
Leftist Bloggers Cheer Cancer Announcement
Moments after White House Press Secretary Tony Snow's
new personal battle against cancer became public yesterday, a vicious assault
was launched at left-leaning websites, with some message posters hoping for a
swift death for the presidential spokesman.
Joe Kovacs, "Left spews deadly venom
over Tony Snow's cancer: 'He is pure lying scum and should die ASAP!',"
WorldNetDaily, March 28, 2007 ---
The cock even crows in the morning on which it ends
up in the pot.
Stanislaw Jerzy Lec ---
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making
John Lennon ---
Are all male's liars and cheaters? Yes -- if they're
PhysOrg, April 2, 2007 ---
Under the sod and under the trees
Lies the body of Jonathan Pease.
He is not here, there's only the pod:
Pease shelled out and went to God.
On a grave from the 1880's in Nantucket, Massachusetts
I was Carolina Born and
Carolina bred and here I lay
Lady buried at Chapel Cemem. UNC Chapel Hill
Some Quotations Attributed to George Burns ---
My approach over the years has been time consuming by archiving links on
selected topics pages. The new tagging approach purportedly makes sharing of
tags much more efficient. The problem for me at this stage is how to change this
late in the game now that I have so many topics pages at
Of course social bookmarking does not solve the huge problem of broken
Note the links below for swapping used books
March 26, 2007 message from Tina Bungert
Dear Mr. Jensen,
I recently found your bookmarks being a great
resource looking for new or important links. Especially the Miscellaneous
Helpers Section has been very helpful.
Today I would like to notify you about some broken
links I found in this section and also would like to recommend our web
service as a possible addition to this section.
The broken links that appeared were the following
Miscellaneous Publishers respectively
TV Television <http://cnnplus.cnn.com/games/now.ear.this/index.html>
CNN Plus: Games! (Shockwave) :
Besides I would like to introduce you to our
service and web site Hitflip that might be an interesting addition to your
links for books and education. Hitflip is a community to swap used books and
other original media. It is therefore an easy and cheap alternative to the
existing online book stores. You can find hitflip at
The just recently launched English version can be found at
We would appreciate it if you can consider adding
our web service to your bookmarks. If you have any questions regarding
Hitflip please feel free to contact me.
Tel.: +49 (0) 221 - 27 24 07-13
Fax: +49 (0) 221 - 27 24 07-22
March 27, reply from Bob Jensen
It may take several days, but I will soon post your link to Hitflip at
the following two sites:
"Dell gives the go-ahead for Linux," BBC News, March 29, 2007
Computer giant Dell will start to sell PCs
preinstalled with open source Linux operating systems, the firm has said.
The second largest computer maker in the world said it had chosen to offer
Linux in response to customer demand.
Earlier this year, 100,000 people took part in a
Dell survey. More than 70% of respondents said they would use Linux.
Dell has not released details of which versions of
Linux it will use or which computers it will run on, but promised an update
in the coming weeks.
"Dell has heard you," said a statement on the
firm's website. "Our first step in this effort is offering Linux
preinstalled on select desktop and notebook systems."
Currently the company only offers Microsoft Windows
on its computers, but sells servers running Linux.
Members of the Linux community welcomed the move.
Continued in article
Damodaran Online: A Great Sharing Site from a Finance Professor at New
York University and Textbook Writer ---
This site has great sections on corporate finance, investments, valuation,
spreadsheets, research, etc. For example, take a look at the helpers on
You can pick the valuation approach that you would like to go to, to see
illustrations, solutions and other supporting material.
||Discounted Cashflow Valuation
||Option Pricing Approaches to Valuation
||EVA, CFROI and other Value Enhancement Strategies
Or you can pick the material that you are interested in.
|Problems & Solutions
||Derivations and Discussion
Jim Mahar's finance sharing site (especially note his great blog link)
Financial Rounds from an anonymous finance professor ---
Bob Jensen's threads on fair value controversies in accounting are at
Bob Jensen's finance and investment helpers are at
I wonder if the pandas prefer "black and white" media?
"Zoo Hopes Porn Will Help Pandas Mate," PhysOrg, March 27, 2007
Authorities at the Chiang Mai Zoo in northern Thailand hope the images
will encourage him to mate with his partner, Lin Hui, and serve as an
instructional lesson in how to do it right.
So far, it's been a tough sell, the zoo's chief veterinarian, Kanika
Limtrakul, said Tuesday.
"Chuang Chuang seems indifferent to the videos; he has no reaction to
what he's seeing on TV," Kanika said. "But, we're continuing to show him
videos and hoping they will leave an impression."
Pandas are threatened by loss of habitat, poaching and a low reproduction
rate. Females in the wild normally have a cub once every two to three years.
There are as few as 1,600 giant pandas in the mountain forests of central
China, according to the zoo. An additional 120 are in Chinese breeding
facilities and zoos, and about 20 live in zoos outside China.
What works for pandas may work for humans
Behind every wave of disgust that comes your way may
be a biological imperative much greater than the urge to lose your lunch,
according to a growing body of research by a UCLA anthropologist.
"Ewwwww! UCLA anthropologist studies evolution's disgusting side," PhysOrg,
March 28, 2007 ---
"The reason we experience disgust today is that the
response protected our ancestors," said Dan Fessler, associate professor of
anthropology and director of UCLA’s Center for Behavior, Evolution, and
Culture. "The emotion allowed our ancestors to survive long enough to
produce offspring, who in turn passed the same sensitivities on to us."
Across a series of subtle and ingenious studies,
Fessler has managed to illuminate the ways in which disgust may have served
to protect our ancestors during such biologically precarious situations as
pregnancy and to maximize the likelihood of our forbears’ reproduction when
they were at their most fertile.
Fessler’s research also illustrates how the
emotional response that helped our ancestors may not serve us as well today
and may actually promote xenophobia, sexual prejudices and a range of other
"We often respond to today’s world with yesterday’s
adaptations," Fessler said. "That’s why, for instance, we’re more afraid of
snakes than cars, even though we’re much more likely to die today as a
result of an encounter with a car than a reptile."
Fessler will present his findings on Friday, March
30, as part of a three-day conference at UCLA on new research concerning
emotions. The event, "Seven Dimensions of Emotion: Integrating Biological,
Clinical and Cultural Perspectives on Fear, Disgust, Love, Grief, Anger,
Empathy and Hope," which runs Friday through Sunday, March 30–April 1, will
include 40 scholars from around the world. The conference will be held in
Korn Hall at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and is sponsored by UCLA
and the Foundation for Psychocultural Research.
Fessler’s research helps shed light on why some
body parts universally draw more "ewwwws" than others. In one study, Fessler
asked 400 participants to imagine 20 different transplant operations and to
rate them according to the level of disgust they elicited.
Half of the transplant organs were appendages —
like tongues and genitalia — that routinely come into direct contact with
the outside world and are therefore more susceptible to infection and
damage. The other half were located inside the body — like the spleen and
heart — and much less under an individual’s control, especially with regard
to protecting from infection and damage.
"If disgust protected our ancestors from pathogens,
the emotion would have had the most utility in protecting parts of the body
that interact most with the environment such as appendages," Fessler said.
"Our ancestors would not have enjoyed the same advantage from disgust
reactions with regard to protecting internal organs. So they benefited from
focusing disgust reactions on the parts of the body that are on the outside
and interface with the world around us."
True to Fessler’s theory, participants considered
the idea of transplanting appendages more disgusting than the idea of
transplanting internal organs. Tongues, genitalia and anuses ranked the most
disgusting, while hips, kidneys and arteries turned the fewest stomachs.
"The disgust we feel when we consider individual
body parts reflects an adaptive goal of avoiding the transfer of pathogens,"
The same logic appears to be behind some of the
queasiness experienced by women during the first trimester of pregnancy,
when an infusion of hormones lowers the immune system to keep it from
fighting the "foreign" genetic material taking shape in the womb. Because
the consequences of infection are also greatest for the fetus during this
period, Fessler reasoned that natural selection may have armed pregnant
women with an emotional response that helped compensate for their suppressed
Continued in article
Do you suppose we could also add CEO emotions to annual reports?
Or maybe this is the dawn of emotional corporate logos!
"The New Face of Emoticons: Warping photos could help text-based
communications become more expressive," by Duncan Graham-Rowe, MIT's
Technology Review, March 27, 2007 ---
Computer scientists at the University of Pittsburgh
have developed a way to make e-mails, instant messaging, and texts just a
bit more personalized. Their software will allow people to use images of
their own faces instead of the more traditional emoticons to communicate
their mood. By automatically warping their facial features, people can use a
photo to depict any one of a range of different animated emotional
expressions, such as happy, sad, angry, or surprised.
All that is needed is a single photo of the person,
preferably with a neutral expression, says Xin Li, who developed the system,
called Face Alive Icons. "The user can upload the image from their camera
phone," he says. Then, by keying in familiar text symbols, such as ":)" for
a smile, the user automatically contorts the face to reflect his or her
"Already, people use avatars on message boards and
in other settings," says Sheryl Brahnam, an assistant professor of computer
information systems at MissouriStateUniversity, in Springfield. In many
respects, she says, this system bridges the gap between emoticons and
This is not the first time that someone has tried
to use photos in this way, says Li, who now works for Google in New York
City. "But the traditional approach is to just send the image itself," he
says. "The problem is, the size will be too big, particularly for
low-bandwidth applications like PDAs and cell phones." Other approaches
involve having to capture a different photo of the person for each unique
emoticon, which only further increases the demand for bandwidth.
Li's solution is not to send the picture each time
it is used, but to store a profile of the face on the recipient device. This
profile consists of a decomposition of the original photo. Every time the
user sends an emoticon, the face is reassembled on the recipient's device in
such a way as to show the appropriate expression.
To make this possible, Li first created generic
computational models for each type of expression. Working with Shi-Kuo
Chang, a professor of computer science at the University of Pittsburgh, and
Chieh-Chih Chang, at the Industrial Technology Research Institute, in
Taiwan, Li created the models using a learning program to analyze the
expressions in a database of facial expressions and extract features unique
to each expression. Each of the resulting models acts like a set of
instructions telling the program how to warp, or animate, a neutral face
into each particular expression.
Once the photo has been captured, the user has to
click on key areas to help the program identify key features of the face.
The program can then decompose the image into sets of features that change
and those that will remain unaffected by the warping process.
Finally, these "pieces" make up a profile that,
although it has to be sent to each of a user's contacts, must only be sent
once. This approach means that an unlimited number of expressions can be
added to the system without increasing the file size or requiring any
additional pictures to be taken.
Li says that preliminary evaluations carried out on
eight subjects viewing hundreds of faces showed that the warped expressions
are easily identifiable. The results of the evaluations are published in the
current edition of the Journal of Visual Languages and Computing.
Continued in article
Software that recognizes faces on your photographs
(after some training as to what face goes with what person)
"Filing Photos by Face," by Leslie Walker, The Washington Post,
February 8, 2006 ---
One of the best afternoon demos came from Riya, a
company using face recognition and automated text-reading techniques to
classify people's digital photo collections.
Its software uses image-analysis to index or "tag"
photos on the fly. It tries to recognize faces and automatically label them
as, say, your Uncle Rupert. Riya's software also reads text inside images,
like any signs or words that appear on computer screens.
Riya chief executive Munjal Shah showed the
audience how people can manually train Riya to recognize faces by uploading
photos of that person to Riya's Web site and providing their name.
In the demo, Riya scanned his laptop to search for
faces matching ones he'd uploaded of his son -- it even found one photo of
Shah in which a framed photo of his son hung behind him on the wall.
Riya's service resides on the Web, which I gather
means you have to upload your photos to a Flickr-like Web site in order for
it to analyze your photos. The service is in a private testing now, but will
open for public testing in two weeks, Shah said.
The Ria home page is at
This reminds me of main frame computer software that I used to use to make
Chernoff Faces made from multivariate data having up to 18 variables. Professor
Chernoff was a former professor of mine who gave me his main frame computer
program. One of the problems was subjectivity in clustering "similar faces." It
is possible these days to make real faces rather than cartoon faces from
multivariate data. I wonder if Ria software could be adapted to cluster similar
You can scroll down this document to see examples of my Chernoff faces.
Bob Jensen's threads on visualization of multivariate data are at
BP's Bet on Butanol (not Ethanol)
Forget ethanol: it's hard to transport and gives bad
mileage per gallon. Another alcohol, butanol, is a much better renewable fuel,
says the president of BP Biofuels.
Kevin Bullis, MIT's Technology Review, March 27, 2007 ---
"Libraries at the Cutting Edge," by Pamela Snelson, Inside Higher
Ed, March 29, 2007 ---
Strategies for today — and tomorrow
A quick look at two familiar Web sites
will demonstrate that academic libraries now play a vital
role in how students and faculty find and gather information
via the Web as well as in the stacks. Both Johns Hopkins
University and the University of Maryland offer a full range
of online library services, from catalogs (formerly known as
“card catalogs") to research help to DRUM — the
Digital Repository at Maryland,
which provides a permanent online address for computer files
and eliminates the need to attach them to e-mail messages.
The Julia Rogers Library at Goucher College subscribes to
services that provide students with access to over 22,000
online titles, while Baltimore City Community College’s
library gives students technology support and online access
to research materials.
The volume of information available
on the Web has led some students to believe that if a
resource can’t be found online, it doesn’t exist. This
mistaken idea, coupled with concerns about the reliability
of information on the Web and the potential for plagiarism
from online sources, has led faculty and librarians to team
up to teach information literacy skills.
Nationwide, higher education
developed information literacy instruction
to help students understand how to
find and evaluate information online and in print — more
bang for their tuition buck! Many colleges and universities
even provide “personal trainers,” so students can work with
librarians one on one, or with a group project team to brush
up on the best databases for a particular class or
Technology training helps students
succeed in class, but also prepares them for future careers.
Information literacy is critical to a competitive work
force, and information-literate people know how to find
accurate, useful information that will help them through
family, medical or job crises.
Partners in education
College and research librarians are
partners with professors in educating students, offering new
perspectives, developing curriculums and facilitating
research projects, and they lead the library world in
digitization efforts and online reference.
Our nation’s college and research
libraries are constantly finding new ways to better serve
students, faculty and staff, online and in person. More than
90 percent of college students now visit the online library
Yet use of the nation’s physical
academic libraries and their collections grew from more than
880 million library visits in 2002 to more than a billion in
2004, according to the most recent data from the National
Center on Education Statistics — an increase of more than 14
percent. Circulation of library materials in the same period
was up by 6 percent, to more than 200 million items.
In short, if the classroom is the
first stop in the learning experience, the library is the
next, and great libraries continue to be a key to a great
Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing are at
How do scholars search for academic references?
PLoS One ---
Google Scholar ---
Not to be confused with Google Advanced Search which does not cover many
scholarly articles ---
Microsoft's Windows "Live Search" or "Academic Search" ---
Amazon's A9 ---
Beginning October 23, 2003,
Amazon.com offers a text search of entire contents of over 120,000 books
(over 10 million pages) ---
How It Works ---
A significant extension of our groundbreaking Look Inside the Book
feature, Search Inside the Book allows you to search millions of pages
to find exactly the book you want to buy. Now instead of just displaying
books whose title, author, or publisher-provided keywords that match
your search terms, your search results will surface titles based on
every word inside the book. Using Search Inside the Book is as simple as
running an Amazon.com search.
Wikipedia (heavily used by scholars in spite of authenticity
Other Scholarly Search Engines (CrossRef
Scholarly search tools
Citebase is a trial service that allows researchers
to search across free, full-text research literature
ePrint archives, with results ranked according to
criteria such as citation impact.
Gateway to ePrints
A listing of ePrint servers and open access
repository search tools.
A search tool for scholarly citations and abstracts,
many of which link to full text articles, book
chapters, working papers and other forms of
scholarly publishing. It includes content from many
open access journals and repositories.
A search tool for cross-archive searching of more
than 540 separate digital collections and archives,
including arXiv, CiteBase, ANU ePrints, ePrintsUQ,
A search tool for online journals and Web sites in
UCLA Library Scholarly Search Helpers ---
University of Kansas Scholarly Search Helpers ---
Social scientists and business scholars often use SSRN (not free) ---
If you have access to a college library, most colleges generally have
paid subscriptions to enormous scholarly literature databases that are not
available freely online. Serious scholars obtain access to these vast
Librarian's Index to the Internet ---
Searching the Deep Web ---
Open Access Shared Scholarship ---
University Channel (video and audio) ---
Bob Jensen's links to electronic
literature, including free online textbooks and other learning materials ---
Bob Jensen's search helpers are at
Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing are at
"The Harlem (School) Success Lottery," The Wall Street Journal,
March 28, 2007; Page A16 ---
The public charter school, which opened last year,
is holding an admissions lottery at 6 p.m. to fill 105 kindergarten slots
for next year from the 500 or so families who've applied for them. Harlem
Success was founded by Eva Moskowitz, a reform-minded Democrat who formerly
served as a New York City Councilwoman specializing in education issues.
In an interview this week, Ms. Moskowitz described
the naked emotions on display at such lotteries, which are a common method
for deciding who gets to attend these independently run public schools. "I
thought I knew a lot about school choice and ed reform," she said. "But
until I'd done the lottery last year I didn't understand the desperation.
"Unlike their middle-class counterparts who can use
real estate to determine where their kid is going to school, my exclusively
black and Latino parents' only option is to go through this process. And
literally, people are praying and shaking and hoping to get into a school."
As for Mr. Silver, the Democratic lawmaker is
single-handedly blocking a bipartisan attempt by Democratic Governor Eliot
Spitzer and the GOP-controlled state Senate to lift New York's current cap
of 100 charter schools, which was reached last year. Mr. Silver is beholden
to the teachers unions, who oppose charters because they operate outside of
union work rules.
Ms. Moskowitz is baffled by his intransigence. "In
his bill, he's proposed further lowering significantly the funding for these
schools," she said. "I'm already educating these kids at 75 cents on the
dollar, compared to a traditional public school. And we're getting results.
Sixty-six percent of our first-graders are reading at a second-grade level.
We've been open 126 days."
"The Tort Tax," by Lawrence J. McQuillan and Hovannes Abramyan, The
Wall Street Journal, March 27, 2007; Page A18 ---
Economists have long understood that America's tort
system acts as a serious drag on our nation's economy. Although many
excellent studies have been conducted, no single work has fully captured the
true total costs, both static and dynamic, of excessive litigation.
The good news: We now have some reliable figures.
The bad news: The costs are far higher than anyone imagined.
Based on our estimates, and applying the best
available scholarly research, we believe America's tort system imposes a
total cost on the U.S. economy of $865 billion per year. This constitutes an
annual "tort tax" of $9,827 on a family of four. It is equivalent to the
total annual output of all six New England states, or the yearly sales of
the entire U.S. restaurant industry.
Continued in article
Do We Need More Lawyers?
Sarah Rosser, Inside Higher Ed, March 27, 2007 ---
Dell's Internal Accounting Probe Uncovers Evidence of Misconduct
Annual Report Is Delayed, Restatements May Follow;
Problems Aren't Specified. The computer
maker said the investigation also found a number of accounting errors and
deficiencies in the financial-control "environment." Dell stressed that its
investigation isn't complete, however, and said it will delay filing its annual
10-K report with the Securities and Exchange Commission, originally due April 3,
past an extension date of April 18.
Christopher Lawton, The Wall Street Journal, March 30, 2007; Page A3 ---
Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at
"Finding the Right Job for Your Product", by Clayton M. Christensen,
Scott D. Anthony, Gerald Berstell & Denise Nitterhouse. (MIT Sloan Management
Review, Spring 2007, Vol 48, No. 3, Reprint 48301) It is available at
(free for now, I don't know for how long).
Updates from WebMD ---
Researchers Identify Connection between Sleep Disruption and Increased
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego
(UCSD) School of Medicine have discovered that sleep disruption in seemingly
healthy subjects is associated with increased clotting of the blood, which has
previously been shown to predict cardiovascular disease. The findings were
published in the March issue of CHEST, the official publication of the American
College of Chest Physicians.
PhysOrg, March 30, 2007 ---
"Diabetes Linked to Parkinson’s Disease: Type 2 Diabetes May Raise
Parkinson’s Disease Risk, by Jennifer Warner WebMD, March 29, 2007 ---
Having diabetes may increase the risk of developing
Finnish researchers have found that people with
type 2 diabetes were more than 80% more likely to be later diagnosed with
Parkinson’s disease than others.
It’s the first major prospective study to suggest
that diabetes may be a risk factor of Parkinson’s disease, a progressive
disease that causes muscle rigidity and tremors.
Researchers say the exact nature of the
relationship between diabetes and Parkinson’s disease is unclear, but
several lifestyle factors may be associated with both disorders, such as
being overweight, cigarette smoking, and lack of physical activity.
“It could be hypothesized that diabetes might
increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease partly through excess body weight,”
writes researcher Gang Hu, MD, PhD, of the National Public Health Institute
in Finland, and colleagues in Diabetes Care.
Diabetes Boosts Parkinson’s Risk In the study,
researchers followed a group of more than 50,000 men and women in Finland
over a period of 18 years. During that time, 324 men and 309 women developed
Researchers found people who had type 2 diabetes at
the start of the study were much more likely to be later diagnosed with
Overall, after adjusting for other possible risk
factors for Parkinson’s disease, men and women with type 2 diabetes were 83%
more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those without it.
Although common lifestyle factors may play a role,
researchers say more study is needed to fully understand the relationship
between diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
SOURCES: Hu, G., Diabetes Care, April 2007;
vol 30: pp 842-847. News release, American Diabetes Association.
Why Europeans Often Shop for Prescription Drugs in the United States
Since European drug regulators do not allow new
medicines to reach patients until government negotiators have extracted a
favorable price from sponsors, cancer drugs are often available in the U.S.
months if not years earlier. In 2003, when 31 new drugs were launched worldwide,
about 60% were available here months before Europe. Between 1995 and 2001 the 15
cancer drugs approved in Europe and the U.S. took 468 days to reach patients in
Europe versus 273 days in America. Herceptin was tangled up in a 550-day
approval process as the Europeans fought for a lower price, while the U.S.
approved it in fewer than 120 days.
"Breast-Cancer Breakthroughs," by Scott Gottlieb, The Wall Street Journal,
March 26, 2007; Page A15
Gender linked to development of skin cancer
Inherent gender differences – instead of more sun
exposure – may be one reason why men are three times more likely than women to
develop certain kinds of skin cancer, say researchers at Ohio State University
PhysOrg, April 1, 2007 ---
"When Brain Shuts Down, Legs Kick into Overdrive," by David Kestenbaum,
NPR, March 29, 2007 ---
It's maddening to have a feeling that you can't
explain. When I was a kid on long car rides, I would sometimes experience a
strange sensation in my legs. I felt like I had to move my legs. When I did,
the feeling would go away for a few seconds but then come back.
It struck at the worst times — my legs kept me
awake when I was tired and needed to sleep. As an adult, the feeling
periodically comes back to haunt me, during a slow movie, on airplane rides,
or having a late drink at a bar, or just around bedtime. Always when my
brain is half-disengaged.
I had no idea what this was until a few years ago
when I found a Web site about something called Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).
I had that eureka moment people must have when they find out that what ails
them has a name. "Yes!" I thought, "THIS IS WHAT I HAVE!"
My case is fairly tame. People with severe forms of
Restless Legs Syndrome are sleep deprived and miserable.
The number of people affected by RLS is somewhat
uncertain, but one large study found that almost 8 percent of people in the
United States have experienced restless legs sometime in the past year.
Three percent are bothered by it two or more times a week. And "bothered"
probably isn't the right word — the study categorizes these people as
experiencing "moderate or extreme distress."
People with RLS sometimes describe a "tugging" or
"creepy crawly" sensation. Until recently, an average physician was unlikely
to know what it was.
There are some early references to what appears to
be RLS in the scientific literature. An English physician named Thomas
Willis wrote a description in 1683:
"Wherefore to some, when being in bed they betake
themselves to sleep, presently in the arms and legs. Leaping and
contractions of the tendons and so great a restlessness and tossing of the
members ensure, that the diseased are no more able to sleep, than if they
were in the place of the greatest torture!"
But that was it, for about 250 years. Then, in the
1940s, a researcher made a more detailed study, and more work has been done
in the past decades.
Today, there is a Restless Legs Syndrome
Foundation, dedicated to getting the word out and encouraging research. Bob
Waterman served as chairman of the foundation, and says RLS affects him
almost every night. He hid his condition for years because, he says, it just
"I just get very fidgety," he says "I make people
nervous just to look at me."
One of the foundation's goals is education — and
Waterman speaks freely about his condition now.
"One of the funniest things is to visit one of our
board meetings," Waterman says. "You see people lying around with their legs
up against the wall, or walking around. It's very amusing. You really wonder
how we get any work done."
Growing Body of Research
A small community of scientists now study Restless
Legs Syndrome. David Rye is a neurologist at Emory University and director
of the Emory Healthcare Program in Sleep. Rye also has the disorder and has
used himself as a guinea pig. At one point, he attached a special device to
his leg to measure how often he kicked while he was asleep. Rye says there
is good evidence the condition has a strong genetic component.
Continued in article
Nutrients might prevent hearing loss, new animal study suggests
Soldiers exposed to the deafening din of battle have
little defense against hearing loss, and are often reluctant to wear protective
gear like ear plugs that could make them less able to react to danger. But what
if a nutritious daily "candy bar" could prevent much of that potential damage to
"Nutrients might prevent hearing loss, new animal study suggests," PhysOrg,
March 28, 2007 ---
"5 Signs of An Unhealthy Workaholic," AccountingWeb, March 23,
Bryan Robinson, a psychotherapist in
Asheville, NC, and author of “Working
Ourselves to Death: the High Costs of
Workaholism and the Rewards of Recovery,”
identifies the following five common traits
that workaholics exhibit when their
absorption with their jobs has begun to take
over their lives. Some individuals may only
have one of two of the traits but exhibit
them to a very great degree.
Workaholics may not be able to leave their
work in the office and find that they can’t
stop talking about work in social settings.
Irv Flax, a director of Gorfine Schiller &
Garcyn PA, a regional accounting firm, says
that he finds himself taking about taxes,
business and financing at social events.
2. Discomfort in
Most workaholics want control and tend to
think that only they can handle a task
properly, says Gayle Porter, associate
professor of management at Rutgers
University in New Jersey.
3. Neglect other
aspects of their life
Flax says that he is coming home to dinner
more often because his daughter asked him
to, but he then returns to the office. His
wife says that she see his work as the
4. Merge other
parts of their lives into work
Workaholics may try to create businesses
based on their hobbies. Robinson says he
turned personal relationships into business
Like other addicts, Porter says, workaholics
often try to hide their addiction. “If you
find you have to lie to people about where
you are or what you are doing, there is a
problem,” she says.
recommend that hard-working and dedicated
individuals take the following practical
steps to make sure that their enthusiasm for
their jobs is not threatening their health
and relationships, careerjournal.com says:
boundaries. After work hours, leave your
BlackBerry in the car or turn it off. If
you must check your work email, limit
your log-ins. Eat lunch away from your
desk, and don't bring work on vacation.
- Reframe your
identity. At social events, practice
introducing yourself and conversing
without talking about your job or work.
- Track your
habits. Keep a journal of daily
activities, work and personal. Evaluate
it once a month, looking for imbalances.
Identify areas of your life you may need
to dedicate more time
A pirate walked into a bar and the bartender said, "Hey, I haven't seen you
in a while. What happened? You look terrible." "What do you mean?" said the
pirate, "I feel fine."
"Well, we were in a battle and I got hit with a cannon ball, but I'm fine
"Well, o.k. but what about that hook? What happened to your hand?"
"We were in another battle. I boarded a ship and got into a sword fight. My
hand was cut off. I got fitted with a hook. I'm fine, really."
"Oh, one day we were at sea and a flock of birds flew over. I looked up and
one of them crapped in my eye."
"You're kidding," said the bartender. "you couldn't lose an eye just from
some bird crap."