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August 2008
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October 2008

September 2008

Current movie scene

I was thinking about seeing Eagle Eye this past weekend, but couldn't get that excited about it.  The reviews were mostly negative and the plot DOES seem a bit derivative.

Then, I checked out the spoiler.  It sounds like a jumped up War Games (1983) to me.  As it happened, I was suffering through a few video rentals, including an atrocity called Them or Ils--actually a French/Romanian language flick.  I was temporarily burned out on seeing any more cinema.

When I lived in LA, I would always hear how difficult it is to get a movie made, but that just can't be true anymore.

There is stuff now on home video that is well below what some high school kid could do with a cheap camera, some of his friends, and no script.  AND, this seems to be dragging down the theatrical release material, as well.  A lowering tide sinks all boats???

The docs still don't get it on infection control

A few days ago, this article appeared in the New York Times, and examined the cross-infection hazards of the clothing worn by health care workers.

Prominently mentioned was the oft-spoken, but hardly ever enforced policy of not wearing scrubs outside of the hospital, or better yet keeping them only in an active clinical setting.  My son—who is in med school—e-mailed me about this piece, and about his clueless classmates who were wearing their scrubs on the bus, and then coming back into the hospital for clinical rotations.

His exact comments...

Not at all surprised.  Many doctors have no clue/concern about germ transmission.  And the cycle perpetuates itself...Take for example, the multiple dipsh__s in my class that despite being told not to wear scrubs to the hospital (but rather change into them upon arrival), are seen touting them on the buses.

Clearly, in a allopathic world, prevention barely gets a second thought.

Curing Cancer By Granulocyte Transfusion

You may not have hard too much about Zheng Cui, the guy who cured cancer in mice by injecting them with white cells from their cancer-resistant brethren.  If not, read all about it here.

He's now setting up to do human trials, and everybody seems to be excited except the cancer establishment.  Heck, Cui even has trouble getting funded, because even though his approach works, it is GOD FORBID empirical--and that sort of thing just won't do.

Most so-called cancer research grants go for esoteric molecular level experiments that will never have any practical application, since after all, if they cure this disease, THEN what will we do?

If you take a look at the untold billions spent, and lack of progress on most solid tumors, it is difficult not to get a little conspiratorial.

Controlling Health Care Costs

Do you think that managed health care is something new?  Think again.  It goes back to 1700 BC, and the Codex Hammurabi.

Maybe it's time that we focus on health care, rather than just disease care. Rarely mentioned in discussions on the health care crisis—but certainly another way to control costs—is to keep people healthy. Note that "health insurance" is inaptly named. In its current format, it is primarily acute care and prescription drug financing, with any notion of "health" clearly pushed to the background.

How about incentivizing such things as cutting prescription drug use and encouraging a healthy lifestyle? Willing participants could have mini-physicals once or twice a year, and key indicators would be compared. If such things as Body Mass Index (BMI) or performance on a Exercise Stress Test (to name only two possibilities) were to improve, and/or prescription drug consumption reduced, rebates could be issued to whoever pays for the health insurance.

Check out the entire HND article.

Righteous Kill

As I suggest in my review, the main attraction here is De Niro and Pacino, together on screen.  There are numerous plot holes, and the script is poor.

Just another case of a potentially good idea (a cop serial killer) gone wrong.

Easily the best movie to come out this week is Burn After Reading.

To Reform Health Care, Look At Outcomes And Quality--Not Just How It's Paid For

That title is a mouthful, and it also is the title of my latest HND piece.  We cover some old ground, such as pointing out that there is no other service on earth, whereby people seem to only care about how easy it is to obtain, and how they should not have to pay for it.

Seldom, in this ongoing debate about health care reform, does anyone talk about quality or outcomes.

The reason for this is simple enough. Political debates are usually centered on two things: How money is spent, and why you're not getting a big enough piece of the pie. They are almost never concerned with the technical details of the particular program under discussion--let alone quality or outcomes.

Heck, LBJ's War on Poverty couldn't even keep Tom Fletcher, his media poster child from Appalachia, out of poverty!  I always wondered why the administration could not have at least created a success story for this one heavily publicized guy, with all the millions that were being spent.  And then, I realized:  They didn't care a bit.  It was ALL for show.

Then, the piece takes a different turn, as I get personal, and talk about caffeine-caused hypertension.

Do you think that this might explain some of what the docs call "essential" hypertension?  (As in we don''t know what causes it, and that covers maybe 90% of cases.)

I got some favorable e-mail on this piece, from people who say they don't usually read my stuff.  Check it out.