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Links With Your Coffee - Friday

  • Haiti relief efforts set to relieve God shortage
    Are you having trouble thinking of the word of God while you’re stacking the mangled, decomposing bodies of your family in mass graves and trying not to kill your neighbour for a cup of clean drinking water?
  • Don’t Believe The Hype: Cholinesterase Inhibitors As A Treatment For Dementia
    I distinctly remember the day I attended a “drug lunch” (as a PM&R resident in New York City) to learn about the value of donepezil (Aricept) for the treatment of dementia. I was surprised by the drug’s lack of efficacy – the graph displayed in the PowerPoint show demonstrated a 2-point improvement on the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE), an effect that began after 6 months of donepezil use, and persisted for only 6 months after that. A 2-point difference on the MMSE has no clinical relevance of which I’m aware. The drug’s common side effects include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, tiredness, drowsiness, trouble sleeping, or muscle cramps. That day I realized that the risk-benefit profile did not support its use. Nonetheless, I was perplexed by the number of patients who came to the hospital already on the medication. Over and over again I heard the same story: “Mom is becoming forgetful so our doctor started her on this medication to help her memory.” When I asked the family if they thought the medicine helped, the response was equally predictable: a shrug and then “What else can we do?”
  • Swine flu wasn't overhyped – research meant we had to play it safe
    There was no conspiracy or panic. Scientists were right to prepare us for a major crisis
  • Comity and reconciliation
  • Watching Faces Of Students As They Finish 'The Lottery' Highlight Of English Teacher's Year What you've never read it



    The comments about the reconciliation cartoon are just as entertaining as the cartoon itself.

    "Whenever God makes terrible things happen, everyone says He works in mysterious ways. But when I make terrible things happen, I'm just a dick." -- Dan Mintz

    "Whenever God makes terrible things happen, everyone says He works in mysterious ways. But when I make terrible things happen, I'm lectured on personal responsibility."

    That settles it, God is a Wall Street banker.

    re: the lottery-

    i don't see why student's faces should register anything special upon finishing the story. for me it was clear from the second paragraph where it was headed and i didn't think it was much of a story, either, except maybe as fodder for an episode of "lost".

    really, what's the big deal here? i'm "lost".

    really, what's the big deal here?

    I'm speechless.

    I was going to try and explain it myself, but the 4-paragraph summary on Shirley Jackson's Wikipedia page sums it up pretty well.

    I especially like the last quote in the summary about South Africa; it implies that while the story's setting and intended audience is American, its underlying social commentary is somewhat universal.

    i'm sorry, perhaps i'm admitting to some kind of cultural stupidity. jackson's "explanation" (thanks for the link):

    I suppose, I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village to shock the story's readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives.

    merely underlines my own feeling about how absolutely non-shocking this is. as a lifelong inhabitant of "small towns" and a 20+ year student of "ancient rites", i repeat: i am not impressed. and not with the writing itself, neither. :)

    i can see how this story might be shocking to completely ignorant high school students and rightly so. but what's it doing here? i myself am shocked at the complete ignorance of modern high school students, so i guess that's fair enough. :(

    A lifetime of infant weenie-hacking ceremonies inures you to this sort of thing, eh?

    :) no, a lifetime of living in small towns, getting stoned. :)

    btw a: that was a reply to frenetic above and b:

    thanks norm and frenetic- even though i'd never heard of the story or the author, and even though i'm not impressed with either, i still appreciate being turned on to stuff that you humans seem to get off on. :)

    also: it might be just fodder for "lost" but it could easily be turned into a complete script for "twilight zone". but i don't expect modern high school students to to know anything about this.

    it would have made a pretty good episode, actually, if they ditched all the heavy forshadowing and made the end a real shocker.


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