Thursday, August 31, 2006

How Medicines Work

I never was big on biology. It's interesting, but the physical sciences seemed to make more sense to me. Because I hadn't studied a lot of biology, I wasn't aware of how little we understand about how our body works. So when I started working at a pharmaceutical company over 17 years ago, I was very surprised at how little folks knew about how drugs actually worked on the body. A company puts together a package to show a drug is safe (the do no harm part of the Hippocratic oath ) and efficacious to satisfy regulatory agencies. But knowing a drug is safe and effective doesn't mean you understand the mechanism of action. OK, I'm naive...but I was just astounded.

I was reminded of this again today when I read this article. Think of the hundreds of years it took to figure out menthol provides some sort of pain relief through a 'cooling' effect. I wonder how many people died because they applied something poisonous for pain relief before stumbling on menthol. Think of the millions of people that have used menthol preparations over the years for symptomatic pain relief. Many OTC analgesics today (like Bengay and Icy Hot for example) have menthol as one of their medicinal ingredients. However, only recently has the receptor that responds to menthol to produce an analgesic effect been identified! Hopefully that understanding will give some insights that will help folks come up with improved therapies for pain relief.

I'm still astounded how little we understand about medicines!

"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind."
-- Albert Einstein

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Google, Ask, and Blogger Search Results

Dianne had a nice post about blog tracking and the use of MyBlogLog. I get less traffic than she does, but it's still interesting to see where people are coming from. A couple reminded me of posts made long ago that brought back some memories. I was actually surprised to see that people doing a search would actually click on a search result that takes them here. Obviously not very discriminating with their searching. Here are recent searches (Google, Ask, and Blogger) that led people here.

  • hogey carmichael biography who was
Took them here. Probably didn't stay long with my Hogey comments. I did see Lauren Bacall on the Oscars and she looked really good.
  • cincinnati rollergirls
  • blu bayou cincinnati and "blu bayou" cincinnati
  • blu bayou roller derby
  • sadistic sadie
  • 739.27 t213e
A lot of traffic associated with the Rollergirls. The last one took them here. I wonder if they were looking for The Librarian or actually looking for the book.
  • tracking blog traffic
  • creative cubicles
  • clocks that display time floating in air
  • wrist fracture physical therapy
Took them here or maybe here. They probably would have found Dianne's post funny. By the way, my shoulder continues to improve and my range of motion, although not the same as the right side, is fairly close. I feel for anyone dealing with a frozen shoulder.
  • wedding lion dance august 20, 2006
  • earl world
Someone was actually searching for this blog?

And just today I had a hit on this search:
  • where in Hawaii can you find a fountain pen by earl?
It took them here because of this post that has the phrase "...see if you can find us..." and this post that mentions "...a fountain of feet...". They must have thought Google failed them on that search.

Flickr Badge

I stumbled across The Foo Logs today while poking around at MyBlogLog. The Foo Logs blog has a nice mix of entries on technology, the Internet, news, etc. While scrolling down the blog, I noticed a neat Flickr pane in the sidebar that shows his recent photos. The Foo was kind enough to respond to a message I sent asking how he set it up. As a result, I've added a Flickr badge to my sidebar -- you have to scroll down a bit to see it. It's a Flash piece that shows random photos from my Flickr pool. You can click on any photo in the sidebar to see a larger version. Pretty neat. Thanks to The Foo!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Murals With a 3D Appearance

CinciRollergirls_SRS_4There has been a lot of buzz about this mural on a building in Columbus, OH. Although it's a flat wall, the 3D effect of depth incorporated into the mural is done so well that it made me wonder if it was real or if it was done using Photoshop. (I guess that skeptical nature is part of the low trust block in my personal DNA.)

Thanks to Carla for sharing a co-worker's email, I found out the artist who made the mural is Eric Grohe. He has a very nice website that has a gallery of his work. There is a nice before and after comparison of the building shown at the left. Personally, I like the murals that he did for the Miller Brewing Company that you can see here. This mural is my favorite. I wonder how many people have walked into the wall thinking they were going down a hallway.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Sunday Afternoon ... Somewhere

I stumbled across this photo on Flickr. It was setup by some folks in Beloit, WI. This must have taken quite a bit of planning and work. Here is a newspaper article describing the effort.

Here is a picture of the Seurat painting.

Sunday afternoon

Just Sit Right Back and You'll Hear a Tale...

Gilligans Island MinnowHere's your chance to be like Alan Hale and become the Skipper of the Minnow. Check out the for sale ad that claims this is the boat used in the making of Gilligan's Island. You can find some additional Gilligan's Island info here. Thanks to Boing Boing for calling this to our attention.

Borgman Blog

I like Jim Borgman's editorial cartoons. Even though we don't subscribe to a local paper, I'd occasionally look at his creations. Today I stumbled across Jim Borgman's blog. I found it pretty interesting. Besides showing the cartoons, he will sometimes show sketches that led to the final cartoon and give some background. I thought this cartoon about the TSA's recent antics was pretty funny.

TSA....vigilant, effective, efficient. Yeah, right! I guess that's why a utility knife was found on the seat of a plane going from Philadelphia to Connecticut.

P.S. -- This is my 200th post to the blog!

Our Commander in Chief

This has been all over the Internets

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Personal DNA

I went to the PersonalDNA site and took their personality test. It's a little on the long side. I'm a 'Concerned Analyst'. Here are my results in a color map -- hover over the blocks to see the traits associated with each color.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Benefits of Blog Tracking

I don't get much traffic here...not many folks reading my musings. Nevertheless, when I was visiting Patrick Mayfield's blog and reading one of his posts about tracking blog traffic, I was intrigued at what was available. I signed up for Technorati and also MyBlogLog just for smiles. As expected, I'm not getting a lot of traffic.

What is interesting is that MyBlogLog gives you a pro account for 3 days that reverts to a free account later. The pro account gives instant updates on where people come from when going into your site and what they click on while there. When I looked at my stats this evening, I noticed I had someone coming to my blog from Sk8Crime's blog (one of the Rollergirls I mentioned in an earlier post). I thought that was strange until I went to her blog this evening and saw this post that links to my site. It's a good post--pretty clever choice of music! She has a good livejournal site.

We already bought our tickets for SRS II, so I guess I'll have to go incognito. My name is Earl.

SRS II Coming Up

Tickets are on sale now for Super Roll Sunday II. Check out the Cincinnati Rollergirls website for information.

Jason Bechtel, the official photographer for the Rollergirls, has some great pictures of the debut match posted on Flickr. He has a good eye and, given the relatively poor lighting in the rink, very good equipment and technique. Clearly a professional. He has two groups -- the first match here and the second match here. It was Blu Bayou's birthday that day, and we actually show up in the photo Jason took when they brought her out to mention her birthday. Do the 'Where's Waldo' thing and see if you can find us in the crowd.

P.S. You can find out where Waldo is by looking at Dianne's post.

Subway Maps

Subway maps aren't a big need in Cincinnati. There isn't a lot of activity in the Cincinnati subway. When Dianne and I were in Washington recently, we used their subway a lot. I was forever having to look at the subway map to remember which direction we needed to go. I ran across this site that has subway maps for iPods. That would have been handy. Neat idea.

Also along the subway theme is this site that show the London subway map with anagrams for each station. Put the cursor over the anagram and the real name shows up. Kind of cute. Not sure how long it will be there though as the last time it was posted, the British authorities made him take it down.

Good News for Actonel

Good news for P&G/s-a this week with the approval of Actonel for male osteoporosis. This is one of the last clinical studies I worked on before transferring to my new position just over two years ago. It's good to see the work finally paying off.

Viral Videos

I ran across this viral video site, WorldTV, the other day. Each week they chart the top video from the four leading internet video sites. Some of these are really funny. If you want to be a lemming, check it out if you have a couple minutes to waste.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Super Roll Sunday - 1

It was Super Roll Sunday today – the first match for the Cincinnati Rollergirls. I’m sure you’ll be able to find out more on their website soon and see some better photos of the action there. Going in, I was pulling for The Riots (because of Lauren’s Roller Derby Diva blog and the Ithaca connection) and the Full Metal Corsets (just because I liked the team name and some of the member names). But alas, both of my teams lost by huge margins. Now that I've got a first look at some of the characters, I might have to rethink my favorites.

The first match was between the Bloody Sundays and The Riots. This was a blowout with the Sundays winning easily. The Sundays were good, but it seemed like the Riots beat themselves by running into each other and having their jammers lose momentum. My take was that Gummilove was their strongest jammer and Bola del Fuego seemed to do well. Miss Print had one good jam but also another where she got held up in the pack and didn’t score. Dianne commented that there wasn’t enough whipping or helping along of the jammers. It was hard to get a good picture, but here is an artistic view of one of the Sundays/Riots jams.

CinciRollergirls_SRS_4Watching the warm-ups, especially for the second match between the Full Metal Corsets and the Dames of Destruction, it was readily apparent which team had the best skaters. In that match, Sadistic Sadie of the Dames was far and away the best jammer. She really maneuvered through the pack well and she used her teammates to help her advance and score (sometimes by pushing them to the ground in order to stay in bounds and keep moving ahead). The Corsets took a beating with three players going down hard on separate occasions that stopped the match. That was no fun to see. Two of the girls (The Librarian and I believe Collier Mamma) seemed to be hurt bad and they sat out the rest of the match. The Corsets had some tough cookies on the team that were fitting into the bad girl mold, but not the best skaters. Among the bad girls was Sk8 Crime whose attitude or persona I didn’t care for. After some tough jostling with Sadie in the next to last jam, I was happy to see Sadie pull Sk8 Crime down from behind using her belt and then go at it. It was worth the penalty to put Sk8 Crime in her place.

All in all, I thought it was a good event. It seemed like the Rollergirls were having fun and many were playing to the crowd. The flat track style is different and takes more planning to work through the pack and stay in bounds. Most everyone was giving it their all and the blocking was tough. It also takes a lot of work from a lot of volunteers to put on something like this. I hope they can make a go of it! However, you could tell the league is young and they need to work out some kinks like scoring (having team names rather than home/visitors), timekeeping, concessions to handle the crowd, announcing, etc. Nevertheless, I’d go again and encourage anyone with a roller derby interest to check it out. Who knows, maybe I can talk Dianne into SRS II coming up in a few weeks.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Dr. Z.

OK….I’ll admit it. I don’t get the whole Dr. Z ad campaign. I find the commercials get old very fast and the likeness of Dr. Z on the AskDrZ website is creepy. The blinking eyes and the wiggle of the mustache is worse than the annoying Paper Clip or Einstein characters of the Microsoft Office Assistants.

The only thing I want to ask Dr. Z is was this the best ad campaign your agency could come up with? Wow!

Super Roll Sunday

It's coming up fast...Super Roll Sunday...the premier bout of the Cincinnati Roller Girls. You can get tickets now online or at a few locations around town. Dianne and I will see you there this weekend. You can read more about the group at the Roller Girls website or get one insider's view on the Roller Derby Diva's blog on the site.

I don't know anything about the people involved, but I have to say I thought the player number for "The Librarian" on the team "The Full Metal Corsets" was kind of funny. Her number is 739.27 T213E which is the call number for a book written by Elizabeth Taylor called Elizabeth Taylor: my love affair with jewelry. I guess The Librarian is a Liz Taylor fan. I wonder if she has a magical horse with wings that will help her move through the pack as a jammer. We'll see on Sunday.

Looking Ahead to Reno

Only 36 days until the start of the National Championship Air Races and Air Show at Reno. My favorite group of racers is the unlimited class. There are 32 entries registered in the unlimited class this year. That’s a good sized field. More important are the planes that are registered. Rare Bear, an F8F Bearcat, will be back to try for a third straight win. However, unlike last year when Rare Bear’s primary competitor was absent due to financial constraints, Dago Red will be back. Dago Red, a P-51 Mustang, won several years in a row prior to Rare Bear’s current streak. Finally, I’m happy that my favorite team will be there. Voodoo, race number 5, is also a P-51 Mustang. You can just barely see the nose of Voodoo behind me in my profile picture. Always in the hunt, Voodoo had engine problems last year that caused the team to drop out. They are now testing a new engine that hopefully will help them move up the ranks in the gold, or top, tier of the unlimited racers. The Voodoo website also mentioned they stripped the wings and smoothed out imperfections in the airfoil that might help their speed a bit.

The highlight of the air show portion of the event this year is the Air Force Thunderbirds.

If you haven’t been to Reno for an air race, you’ll have the chance next year in Hollywood style. Next year is the scheduled debut for the movie “Thunder Over Reno”. There is a nice website for the film. Looking at the cast, I doubt it will be an Academy award winner. Nevertheless, it might be a good film to see on the big screen.

Fly low, go fast, and turn left.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Polo Grill

On our way back from the Jeffersonville outlet mall, Dianne and I stopped at the Polo Grill for dinner. We had a gift card from Raymond Walters College for the restaurant. I had a cup of tomato bisque that had a garlic crustini with goat cheese and salsa. It was a nice dinner, but it was freezing in the restaurant. Fortunately Dianne had brought along a long-sleeved shirt.

This is a test of a picture blog entry from the phone. Thanks to Dianne for teaching me about the mobile blogging capability. It's practical now that we have a qwerty keyboard on our phones.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Hello world....from my phone.

Hello world....from my phone.