Monday, December 31, 2007

The End of an Era

Remember a web browser called "Netscape Navigator"? It was the browser to use back in the "good old days" of the Internet. In the mid-90s it was THE browser. Internet Explorer didn't exist when Netscape came out and Netscape ruled the roost.

The big anti-trust brouhaha of the late-90s against Microsoft was largely based on Microsoft's attempts to gain market share from Netscape for its Internet Explorer.

Well, all that is ancient history now. The MS Mammals have won over the Netscape Dinosaur and Netscape is no more. Netscape Navigator was officially made extinct (or perhaps put out of its misery) last Friday. (AOL Finally Kills Netscape Browser)

So let's have a moment of silence to show our respects and then ... well, er, umm, I don't know. Get on with something more important I guess.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Government Spending - getting it in perspective

A friend of mine recently pointed out something you can use to get a concept of what the US Government spends. Here is what he said:

"After the recent wildfires, in which a half million people have been evacuated, and 1,500 or more homes have been destroyed, making this the worst disaster of any kind in California history including earthquakes, according to at least one news story, a headline blared that the cost to insurers may be as much as 1.6 billion.

There are other costs, of course, because the insurers don’t pay for the firefighting effort. But if it takes all this fire damage to waste 1.6 billion dollars of insurance money, what does it take to burn up 35 billion on health care, or 196 billion on a foreign war? It’s staggering."

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Convicted Felon Was Running Wikipedia

I've blogged before about the promise and perils of Wikipedia (see links below). Now it comes out that Wikimedia (the foundation that owns and runs Wikipedia) employed a convicted felon as their Chief Operating Officer for 6-months: Felon Became a Top Wikipedia Exec

If they can't vouch for the credentials of their COO how can they vouch for the credentials of the people who write their articles? Any Tom, Dick or Carolyn can go write an article at Wikipedia and who knows a) who they are, b) who they work for, c) who pays them, d) what their personal biases and intolerances are or e) what their conflicts of interest are.

If Wikipedia wants to be treated as some sort of authoritative and trustworthy source of information then we need a full disclosure of who the authors of every article are because in order to accurately evaluate an article, you not only need to understand the article itself, but also who wrote it. An example that I hope demonstrates the point: If you read an article about how a particular drug was the solution to depression, you might be convinced to take it. But if you discovered that the article was written by a doctor who received a million dollars last year from the drug company who manufactures the drug, then you may have second thoughts.

My earlier articles:
Wikipedia - The Flaw
More on Wikipedia
How trustworthy is Wikipedia?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ron Paul Breaks His Own Online Fund Raising Record

In November Ron Paul created a new record for online fund raising when he raised $4.3 million in a 24 hour period. Well, he just did it again!

Ron Paul Raises $6 Million in a 24-Hour Period
Ron Paul backers stage Boston Tea Party, raise millions

And this article (The Real Ron Paul Revolution) really says it: "And he will be the 2008 candidate who is remembered for doing something that can matter more than winning a party nomination or a November election, and that is changing the politics of a country that needs every new approach to altering a corrupt and dysfunctional status quo."

The great thing is that these funds were raised from tens of thousands of people making small donations. This shows the breadth of support that Paul has.

Wouldn't it be great to have a President who actually followed the Constitution?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Creation and Control of Money

Here is a highly educational and eye-opening video about money: how it is created, how it is controlled, who creates it, who controls it and why you don't have more:

Money As Debt

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Do you support the US Constitution? Perhaps you are a dangerous terrorist ...

Here is a pretty scary video. Did you know that an FBI handbook labels people who refer to the US Constitution as potential murderers and terrorists? Hard to believe, but the actual handbook is shown in this video:

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Artificial Intelligence and the Human Mind

Here is a fascinating article on AI and the Human Mind. It explains the viewpoints and ideas of people working in this field and the mistakes they are making. The point the writer makes about the lack of a model for human thought or consciousness I think hits the nail right on the head: Artificial Intelligence and the Human Mind

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Quality of Personnel

I'm not a very demanding person. I'm pretty easy going and I try to see the best in people. However, recently I've been doing phone screens and interviews of potential candidates for a senior developer position for a project on which I am the technical lead and I've been stunned by the low quality of the majority of candidates.

I used to do pretty light phone screens: going over their resume and asking questions about it. But I found that when they arrived for a face-to-face technical interview they failed it dismally. So my phone screens have changed and I'm asking technical questions much earlier in the interview so I don't waste time.

Today I did two phone screens and I got no further than a few questions on basic programming and C#. Both candidates were ignorant of simple basics. I wasn't asking anything esoteric, just simple basics that any programmer worth the title should know. Sort of like asking an auto mechanic "What is an internal combustion engine?" If he doesn't know that then you sure aren't going to give him your car to fix.

I also read an article recently that said a senior programmer at Microsoft asked a particular question during interviews and that only 2 out of 200 applicants where able to answer it correctly. It was another very basic question.

This experience is making me think that our flashy, hi-tech society is actually teetering on the edge of catastrophe because the majority of people who create the flashy, hi-tech infrastructure don't understand what they are doing. It's a scary thought.

Luckily there are solution:
Reverse the Declining state of Literacy
Be Competent

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Excuse

My blogging has been rather sparse of late. My excuse is that I've been working 50 - 70 hours a week for the last 4 months and when not working all I wanted to do was eat, sleep or veg.

The project is over now and I'm hoping the next version of the software, which I'm working on now, won't have quite such a psychotic schedule. My plan to prevent such an eventuality is contained in the books Software Project Survival Guide and Rapid Development, both by Steve McConnell. I read both of them cover-to-cover and I'm also reading his other book Code Complete. I wish I'd read all these books a few years ago, they would have made my life a lot easier.

So with my excuses said, I'm going to get back to more regular posting (yeah, that's what they all say). No really. I will. Honest.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Vitamins are useless and dangerous???

The Reader's Digest magazine has once more proven itself to be the ally of its advertisers. If you look at a copy of Reader's Digest you'll notice that the majority of ads are for drugs, so it comes as no surprise that in the latest edition of this mouthpiece for the pharmaceutical industry the main article is called "Vitamin Hoax". Yes, the message of the article is that not only are vitamins useless but they are even dangerous.

If you are a person who reads without much evaluation of the information you will be frightened off taking any vitamins or other supplements. For example, vitamin E is toxic and vitamin C is completely useless at helping with a cold. So get out the NyQuil and drug yourself into oblivion while making a nice profit for the drug companies.

If, however, you are a person who pays attention to what you read and you evaluate the information, you will notice a couple of things:

On vitamin E the article doesn't say what sort of vitamin E the tests were done with. This is a huge omission. If you take lots of Alpha-Tocopherol (which is what most vitamin E supplements are) they sure it could be toxic, but it isn't vitamin E. Vitamin E is made up of many tocopherols and the correct sort to take is the vitamin E containing "mixed-tocopherols". So right away we see that the study was a bogus study because it didn't study vitamin E but instead one small part of it. Sort of like studying a tire and making pronouncements about cars.

On Vitamin C the article once more doesn't say what sort of vitamin C. Was it plain ascorbic acid? Did it include bioflavanoids? But what is even more telling is that the tests were done with 200 mg of Vitamin C per day. Wow - 200 mg? That's like going to a burning 3 story building, throwing a glass of water on it and saying that water is useless for putting out fires. Every place I've every looked to see how much Vitamin C to take if you get a cold, it says you take 1000 mg per hour until you get the runs, then you take 1000 mg less than that each day until the cold goes away.

So, if you have the misfortune to be stuck somewhere for a long period and the only reading matter is the Reader's Digest, be warned!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Study Proves that Hyperactivity is a Symptom, not a Disease

A new study proves what smart parents have been saying for years: Food additives cause hyperactivity in children.

"The researchers discovered that children in both age groups were significantly more hyperactive and that they had shorter attention spans if they had consumed the drink containing the additives. The study did not try to link specific consumption with specific behaviors. The study’s authors noted that other research suggested that the hyperactivity could increase in as little as an hour after artificial additives were consumed."

The most ridiculous comment about the study I've heard so far was from ... you guessed it ... a specialist in Pediatric Psychopharmacology (read "a psychiatrist who specializes in drugging kids") who said, “Is it powerful enough that you want to ostracize your kid? It is very socially impacting if children can’t eat the things that their friends do.” Sure doctor, let's not take away the toxic chemicals that are making the poor kids bounce off the walls. Let's give them something else instead. I know how about some nice psychiatric drugs that only have mild side-effects like suicide and homicide. After all we don't want the kids to feel left out, do we.

Honestly!

This is a hybrid??

I just saw an ad for the 2008 Chevy Malibu Hybrid. the ad contains all the usual hype about how great the car is and the wonderful improvements in gas mileage, etc., etc. But then I looked at the small print and then I looked at it again, wondering if my eyesight were failing or something. Here is what I saw:

- Non-Hybrid Malibu: with 2.4L engine: EPA rating 22 city/30 highway.
- Hybrid Malibu with 2.4L engine: EPA rating 24 city/32 highway.

Excuse me?? Did I read that right? GM has spent how many millions to produce a mere 2 mph (about 10%) improvement? My Honda Civic Hybrid has an EPA rating of 48/47 which is about 50% above the normal Civic. How come GM is incapable of producing a workable hybrid engine?

Then I saw their ad for the Tahoe Hybrid SUV - it gets an amazing 19 mpg on the highway (they don't dare mention it's mpg in the city). And that is an amazing 25% better than the non-hybrid. Man, you may as well just turn on the pump and drink the gas yourself.

In GM's favor I will say that they are also pursuing alternative fuel, electric and fuel cell cars but they are concept cars with no real delivery date.

How come the Japanese can create extremely popular hybrids that are very fuel efficient and America can't? Doesn't anyone get the importance of cutting down on pollution and our dependence on Middle Eastern Oil?

References:
Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Debuts at All-Star Game
Chevy Malibu Hybrid

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Birthday to the Helicopter - 100 years old.


I had no idea that the first helicopter got of the ground 100 years ago. I thought it was a more recent invention but here is a really interesting pictorial history of the helicopter: A century of helicopters

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Some Iraq Reality in Venice

A couple of movies at the Venice Film Festival are presenting realistic views of the Iraq war. One movie pulls no punches and may be hard for film goers to take, the other includes the reality as part of the story and may be more palatable.

The movies are Brian De Palma's "Redacted" and "In the Valley of Elah" by Paul Haggis. You can read more about them here: 2 Venice films look at Iraq war horrors

I think movies like these are important. As De Palma says, with Vietnam, "we saw pictures of the destruction and the sorrow of the people who were traumatized. We saw the soldiers ... being brought back in body bags. We see none of that in this war."

One could even come to the conclusion that the media was "in on it", attempting to gloss over the true horrors of what is going on in Iraq. And, indeed, when the connections between the people on the boards of directors of large media conglomerates and the people on the boards of the corporations benefiting from the war (arms manufacturers, oil companies, engineering companies, etc.) are examined, it could definitely make you suspicious.

But, of course, in this most perfect of all perfect worlds, corruption, rapacious greed and avarice just don't exist and the billions of dollars being made out of the war are just an unfortunate side-effect. I'm sure the people at Halliburton and Bechtel had no idea they'd make huge profits and I'm sure it never crossed the minds of their political friends in high places either.

Monday, August 20, 2007

"Paradise Lost" by Symphony X


Symphony X fans have waited five long years for a follow up to the brilliant 2002 release "The Odyssey". It was difficult to predict what the band would do next. They'd already released an excellent concept album, "V: The New Mythology Suite" and numerous other great progressive metal albums so what was in store for us?

Well, they have done it again: "Paradise Lost" is a masterpiece.

The adjectives that came to mind when I first heard the album were "tight", "confident" and "complex".

"Tight" because the musicianship is superb, not one note out of place, not one beat off. The old expression "well oiled machine" suggests itself but in this case the machine is a Ferrari.

"Confident" because the musicianship is such that you just know these guys are at the top of their form. They are so good they don't have to think about it. They just play and the fact that they are sure of themselves and what they are doing comes across as confidence.

"Complex" because the rhythms are intricate, the music is intricate, the emotional content is varied and the interplay of music, rhythm and emotion is phenomenal.

I've listened to the album a few times now and there are still new things I'm discovering. I look forward to listening again and again.

So I give this album a 5 out of 5 and I highly recommend it. You can get it here: Symphony X: Paradise Lost

Saturday, August 18, 2007

You are not alone. So SPEAK UP!


According to a recent survey by Consumer Reports National Research Center the majority of Americans know about the problems with the corrupt relationship between the FDA and the Pharmaceutical Industry.

Consumer Advocate Mike Adams gives details of the survey in his article, Americans fed up with drug industry influence, FDA corruption, reveals remarkable Consumer Reports survey.

In case you didn't know, right now:
  • The FDA does NOT have the power to require warning labels on drugs with known safety problems. The Food and Drug Administration must negotiate safety warning labels with a drug maker. Isn't it nice to know that your health and life are points of negotiation.
  • Pharmaceutical companies PAY THE FDA to review and approve their drugs.
  • Pharmaceutical companies can bury negative drug trials, and the FDA has in fact been caught conspiring with drug companies to keep negative drug data secret from the public.
  • Currently, doctors who earn hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in "consulting fees" from drug companies are not only allowed to vote on the recommendations for FDA approval of their drugs, there is not even any FDA requirement to disclose such conflicts of interest.
  • And more! Read about it in Mike Adams' article.
Once you realize that the survey showed that the majority of Americans are outraged over this corruption then perhaps you won't be shy about raising your voice and demanding reforms.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Facade at Google is beginning to crack

Google is at it again. While pretending to be the anti-Microsoft, the company of the people and the web site for the common man, Google is going about the business of creating its own monopoly in it's own special arrogant way: Google is starting to act like your garden-variety monopoly

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Another Triumph for the Pharmaceutical Industry

When pro-wrestler Chris Benoit killed his family and then himself the fact that he was taking psychiatric drugs with known side-effects of homicidal ideation, psychotic behavior and suicide was mentioned but now is being carefully ignored by the media. In the latest round in the tragedy, there is a big argument over who was killed first because it affects who inherits. In the news articles I've seen there is not one mention of the psychiatric drugs but plenty of talk about steroids. You have to marvel at the immense power the pharmaceutical industry has over the media.


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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Drug Rehab - What Works, What Doesn't


I recently got a comment on my post "Drug Rehab Fraud". I moderate my comments so I didn't allow it because it was promoting a website that looks to me like a MySpace for the addicted. Rather a sick concept I thought. I know the old saying that a problem shared is a problem halved, and I agree with the idea, but this site was loaded with ads from the same kind of frauds I was writing about in my post.

Imagine it, you create a site to attract people who have an addiction then you advertise solutions that don't work so you can make money out of them and keep them coming back for more because they are still addicted. Pretty nasty.

So instead of promoting a drug rehab method that doesn't work, I am going to promote the drug rehab method with the highest success rate on the planet: Narconon

Monday, August 13, 2007

When Translators Go Wrong



Here's a car you'll want to buy! The Great Wall-Wingle! Yes, it's called a Wingle!

Listen to this: "Bold design of chrome plated grill, infiltrating with the desire to conquer all from inside to outside." Sounds sexy! How could you resist a car described like this: "Fashion in every detail demonstrates innovative design concepts, creative design and avant-garde daring style, without any meaningless decoration. Brilliant achievements in their careers enjoy life passion."

It's a powerful car: "GW2.8TC engine, self-creative power, China’s first high-pressure common rail diesel engine cooperated with Germany BOSCH Company which possesses of world’s leading diesel engine technology."

I'll take two to go! Great Wall-Wingle Intro

Apparently the wording was worser lastest week but it fixed was.

(You'd think they could have spent a couple more bucks - maybe a couple thousand even - to get the copy on their site right.)

Monday, August 06, 2007

Pepsi Aquafina is just filtered tap water?

Do you like paying out a couple of bucks for a plastic bottle containing filtered tap water? Well, if you do then PepsiCo is willing to help you. Yes, as you sip your filtered tap water you can look at the Aquafina logo and imagine you are drinking something pure and natural: Pepsi admits Aquafina comes from tap water

Is it any wonder that food companies spend millions every year lobbying Congress to lighten up the food labeling laws?


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Saturday, August 04, 2007

China bans Reincarnation

When I first saw the headline to the article, China tells living Buddhas to obtain permission before they reincarnate, I thought it was a joke but when I read the article I realized it was just another example of an oppressive government violating human rights.

Human Right #18: Freedom of thought. We all have the right to believe in what we want to believe, to have a religion, or to change it if we want.

The oppressive leaders of China are scared to death that someone will lead the people in a revolt against them, so when they see anyone who might have the slightest amount of influence over others they clamp down hard. It doesn't seem to occur to them that if they allow people freedom and human rights then the people won't want to revolt, but then totalitarian dictators were never very good at thinking.

Human Right #18: Freedom of thought - Video
Universal Declaration of Human Rights - abridged version
Universal Declaration of Human Rights - full text

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

History Repeating Itself - The Medical Industry Makes a Profit while People Die

I just read this fascinating piece that covers the history of the relationship between the American Medical Association and Big Tobacco: Doctors, American Medical Association hawked cigarettes as healthy for consumers. You may not believe this but for 30 years the medical establishment defended Big Tobacco and for another 30 various medical "experts" continued to pretend that cigarettes didn't damage your health.

It is frightening to realize that for decades "experts" and "authorities" on health promoted something that kills people slowly and painfully. The first study linking cigarettes to cancer came out in 1930 and it wasn't until 1964 that the Surgeon General published a report on the dangers of cigarettes, that's 34 years. Following this Big Tobacco continued to pay doctors to defend them and it wasn't until the late 1990's that court cases and whistleblowers finally made it impossible for anyone to claim that cigarettes were not linked to all sorts of diseases.

It is a sad commentary on the educational system that this sort of criminality can be repeated and the majority of the population has no clue. From 1930 to the late 1990's it was Big Tobacco that was pouring millions into the PR machine and into the pockets of doctors to hide the truth about the dangers of cigarettes. Now we have Big Pharma doing exactly the same thing to hide the fact that their hugely profitable drugs are killing and damaging people.

How many more decades and how many more deaths before the truth is finally acknowledged and the criminals are brought to justice?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Drug Rehab Fraud

It seems that Lindsay Lohan has been ripped off. She paid all that money and spent all that time in "rehab" and within a few days of getting let out (less than 2 weeks) she goes right back to drinking and drugging. Not to take any responsibility away from her, she is responsible for her own actions, but to me if a person has been through drug rehab then they should be drug free and to relapse after only a few days says that the drug rehab was a total failure. (Lohan hit with drug and alcohol arrest).

So if you want to pay a lot of money for no result go to Promises Malibu Alcohol and Drug Rehab Treatment Facility. I guess "Promises" is all they guarantee.

If you want effective drug rehab then you should try Narconon, which has the highest success rate ever recorded for drug rehab.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Zoloft - A true story

Here is an interview with a woman who took Zoloft on the recommendation of her doctor. She tells what happened and what the long term effects have been:

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Harry Potter and the Children who Read

I love the Harry Potter books, however I think the best thing about them is not the great stories and the characters that populate them, but the fact that they are encouraging millions of kids all over the world to read.

There are kids lining up outside stores, kids biting their nails waiting for the book to arrive in the mail, kids getting their costumes ready for Saturday; in short, kids are going crazy to get and read a book!

I hope this reading craze continues after the last book in the series has been read and we all know what has happened, because reading is one of the most basic and important skills a child can learn.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Consumer Beware: "All Natural" can be anything but.

All Natural Foods
Isn't it great to know that we are being well protected by the FDA from the false claims by food manufacturers? Just kidding! The FDA doesn't do that. Just look at this article about products that claim to be "All Natural": Don't be fooled by "all natural" claims on foods and grocery products.

There is also an accompanying cartoon. Just click on the picture on the right.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Another Expose on the Dangers of Psychiatric Drugs

The latest edition of Whistleblower Magazine carries an investigative report on the link between psychiatric drugs and the horrific stories of violence, killing and suicide we read about so often: MANIA: The shocking link between psychiatric drugs, suicide, violence and mass murder.

Just the description of the article contains a long list of examples of horrific crimes committed by people on psychiatric drugs. If I worked for a drug company or was an FDA official who had approved such drugs then the execution of the former head of China's FDA (Chinese applaud ex-official's execution) would make me seriously think about changing my profession or perhaps moving to a country with no extradition.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Ron Paul and the future

Here is an interesting commentary and analysis of the Ron Paul phenomena and what it means to the future of politics. Ron Paul, the Mahatma

Friday, July 06, 2007

How long does it take?


For years I've known that organically produced foods are healthier than conventionally produced foods. Just the difference in taste is enough to convince anyone. Bite into a ripe organic tomato - yum! Bite into a ripe conventionally grown one - it's like eating plastic that has water injected into it.

Really it's quite logical that organically produced food would be healthier: Human bodies have been eating "organic" food ever since there were human bodies. So they have evolved to be able to digest natural foods and to absorb and use the vitamins, minerals and other substances in these foods. It's only in the last century or so that artificial fertilizers and chemical based farming methods have come along and altered the chemistry of the soil and therefore of the plants that grow in that soil.

While to me and many others the benefits of eating organic are obvious, to the scientific community the obvious often takes a long time to be recognized. But eventually even the near-sighted squint up their eyes and dimly begin to see: Organic food 'better' for heart

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day - Never give up our freedoms!

The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights are what we celebrate today. These are the documents that give us the freedoms we enjoy in the United States. Another important document is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which gives similar rights to those in the Bill of Rights, to the entire population of the world.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! Otherwise someone can take them away.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Taking Advantage of Parents

There is nothing worse for the parents of a baby or young child than having something wrong with the kid and no way to communicate to find out what is the real trouble. I know it was a relief for me when my daughter learned to talk: If she started crying I could ask her what was wrong and get an answer I could do something about.

But for parents with kids still too young to talk the situation can be horrible. They are desperate and are searching for help. So I find it abhorrent to learn of a psychiatrist taking advantage of such parents and recommending extremely powerful psychiatric drugs for babies and toddlers based on NO TESTS. The drugs aren't even approved for use on children, never mind babies. What are these drugs going to do to a forming brain and nervous system? What happens in 10 years when we find that these drugs have caused irreparable harm to these kids?

This sickening abuse of parents and young children is exposed in this article from the Boston Globe: Misguided standards of care. Not surprisingly this psychiatrist gets lots of funding (millions) from the pharmaceutical industry.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Education doubling as Advertising

When drug companies take over the education of doctors is it any wonder that doctors prescribe drugs without knowing the side-effects? When GlaxoSmithKline writes the course then it promotes its own diabetes drug Avandia (which has been found to cause heart disease) and hardly mentions a safer drug from a competitor.

In an article in the New York Times, a professor at Tufts Medical School exposes "Education that doubles as advertising for drug companies": Diagnosis: Conflict of Interest. It's an eye-opening read.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Pharmaceutical Company Recruitment Schemes and Teen Suicide

A researcher has discovered that most child suicides in Florida were by children on psychotropic drug such as anti-depressants and anti-psychotics. Would it surprise you to learn that there are FDA warnings on such drugs that specifically mention that these drugs can cause suicide?

Really we shouldn't be surprised that the warnings say the drugs cause kids to kill themselves and sure enough the statistics show that most child suicides are by children on these drugs.

The researcher analyzed every autopsy and toxicology report on every child suicide in the state of Florida from 2000 to 2004. "The majority," he says, "had already received psychiatric drug treatment even with the FDA warnings that say these drugs can cause mania, suicide, psychosis, worsening depression and even homicidal thoughts."

Right now the big pharmaceutical companies are busy (as one executive said on the Bloomberg Business Channel) "booming their share of the pediatric market." They use such recruiting schemes as TeenScreen and having "authorities" in the psychiatric industry promote the idea that toddlers need to be on anti-psychotic medication. The end result for the "market share" (or perhaps we should use the older word "children") is death, labeling for life and all the other adverse physical and mental side-effects caused by these drugs.

Read this two part article and then take some action:
Lawmakers Want to End Big Pharma Recruitment Schemes - Part 1
Lawmakers Want to End Big Pharma Recruitment Schemes - Part 2

More on TeenScreen:
The Making of Mental Patients - Inside TeenScreen
TeenScreen - What is it?

Sign the petition:
Stop TeenScreen's Unscientific and Experimental "Mental Health Screening" of American School Children
Then contact your elected representative and ask him or her to support bill H.R. 2387: To prohibit the use of Federal funds for any universal or mandatory mental health screening program.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

When is it correct to prescribe Psychiatric Drugs?

We hear various opinions about psychiatric drugs. Some say they are over-prescribed, some say they are correctly prescribed. Tom Cruise got into hot water with the pharmaceutical industry for saying they should never be prescribed.

Rather than answer the question I'll leave it to a psychiatrist, Douglas C. Smith, M.D., who has a very clear opinion and gives a very convincing argument to back up that opinion: When should psychiatric drugs be prescribed?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Biggest Gas Guzzler in the World

I just read the most enlightening article by Michael T. Klare, professor of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College. He is also the author of Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum.

The article is entitled, The Pentagon v. Peak Oil, and reveals that the Pentagon (i.e., the US Military) is the biggest gas guzzler in the world. For example they consume more barrels of oil in ONE DAY than the entire country of Sweden consumes in ONE YEAR.

He also introduces a concept that I had not come across before "Peak Oil" which is the very real possibility that global oil production is at or near its maximum sustainable ("peak") output and will soon commence an irreversible decline. He says, "Some experts place it comfortably in the future – meaning two or three decades down the pike – while others put it in this very decade. If there is a consensus emerging, it is that peak-oil output will occur somewhere around 2015."

I don't know about you, but two or three decades in the future doesn't sound very comfortable to me. I think it's about time we started cutting back on oil and using alternative fuels, especially clean ones and alternative energy sources. Let's get busy and make our voices heard.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Here's something to make the FDA and Drug Companies Think Twice

In the US, if a drug, approved by the FDA, is later found to kill people or have horrendous side-effects (such as thalydamide, fen-phen, vioxx, paxil, etc.) then it is withdrawn and maybe the drug company has a law suit in which they have to pay out a few millions, which is nothing compared to the billions they make from such drugs. But that's usually the end of it and life and profit making goes on: FDA staffers and directors later get lucrative jobs with major pharmaceutical corporations or affiliated entities (such as PR firms) and the drug companies continue making billions by selling dangerous drugs to an unsuspecting public.

Things in China are a little different: China's ex-food and drug chief sentenced to death. He took bribes and approved drugs that killed people. Is that so very different from our own FDA? They approve drugs that kill people and one could view lucrative jobs in drug companies or related entities to be a form of bribery. I'm not a particularly blood thirsty person and I don't agree with the death penalty, but perhaps we should take notice of what happened in China and get a bit tougher on the people responsible for approving harmful drugs.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Super Colossal by Joe Satriani

I know, I'm late in getting this album. Very, very late. And I have no good excuse. So I'll try to make up for it by being "better late than never".

Joe Satriani has created another masterpiece in his latest studio album "Super Colossal". It came out last year and I only just got it. Thanks to my wonderful daughter! (I think we should have Father's Day several times a year!) I'm in the middle of listening to it and it is the usual consistently brilliant music that Joe turns out year after year after year. In fact he's about to release a 20th Anniversary Remastered and Repackaged "Surfing with the Alien". So add August 7th to your calendars!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid - Propaganda of Terror

As far as I can tell, this video is not from the Ron Paul campaign, but whoever made it does support him. It's a video that demonstrates how to use propaganda to persuade us to give up our civil and human rights. It is a bit gruesome at the end, but unfortunately it is reality and our acceptance of the propaganda of terror has helped make those scenes possible.

Terrorism is a terrible thing, but the constant pounding we receive to make us believe it is even worse than it really is, is demonstrated here:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Google Gets Black Mark for Privacy

In an article a month ago I raised the question "What About Privacy?" regarding Google's new "Search, Ads and Apps" strategy. I pointed out that putting your private information in the hands of a big corporation like Google, that has ties to the CIA and NSA is not a good idea. Well, it's always nice to be able to say "I told you so." but I won't gloat too much :)

It seems that an independent privacy organization in the UK (Privacy International) is not at all happy with Google's handling of our private information. In fact they have just ranked Google the worst of 20 top Internet based companies for handling privacy: Google Gets Failing Grade for Privacy.

Rather than say, "What can we do to improve?" Google proved that they are anti-privacy by attacking the messenger. For example, in his blog, Google big-wig Matt Cutts (who used to work for the NSA) suggested the Privacy International report could corrode efforts to improve Internet privacy. That's an interesting twist. Other attacks: Google accused of conducting smear campaign against Privacy International and An Open Letter to Google.

So stay vigilant my friends and think for yourself!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Good News for the Constitution and Habeas Corpus

In uncivilized times a man or woman could be arrested, thrown in jail and left to rot. As civilization progressed certain protections were added to law so that a person in prison could be heard in court, the validity of his detention could be questioned and he could be released if the court decided that the detention was invalid. This protection is called "habeas corpus" (Latin for "you have the body").

Since 1996 and the passing of the "Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act" the right of habeas corpus has gradually been whittled away, with the biggest blow coming last year with the "Military Commissions Act of 2006".

But today there is good news: Court rules against enemy combatant policy. A federal appeals court ruled that a US resident cannot be held without being charged with something.

"To sanction such presidential authority to order the military to seize and indefinitely detain civilians, even if the President calls them 'enemy combatants,' would have disastrous consequences for the constitution — and the country," the court panel said.

Keeping a man in jail since December 2001 and in solitary confinement since June 2003 without charging him with a single crime is absolutely unacceptable in a civilized country. If he is a terrorist then charge him with whatever crime he has committed and if you don't have any proof then let him go. Is this America in the 21st Century where we have civil and human rights or Medieval Europe where we are owned by the local Baron?

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Choosing Doctors for Clinical Trials

Here's something to give you a warm fuzzy feeling about your favorite medical or psychiatric drug:

The New York Times published an article entitled "After Sanctions, Doctors Get Drug Company Pay" about their investigation which found more than 100 doctors who had been disciplined or criticized by a medical board but who, nonetheless, were paid by drug companies to conduct clinical trials or to promote certain drugs. Altogether, drug makers were found to have paid $1.7 million from 1997 to 2005 to 103 doctors who had been cited by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice.

The sanctions by the board ranged from reprimands to demands for retraining to suspension of licenses. Of those 103 doctors, 39 had been penalized for inappropriate prescribing practices, 21 for substance abuse, 12 for substandard care and 3 for mismanagement of drug studies. A few cases received national news media coverage, but drug makers hired the doctors anyway.

The reason that Minnesota was singled out is that Minnesota is the only state to make its records publicly available. So what is going on in the rest of the country?

Here's one example: The Minnesota Board of Medical Practice accused Dr. Faruk Abuzzahab of a “reckless, if not willful, disregard” for the welfare of 46 patients, 5 of whom died in his care or shortly afterward. The board suspended his license for seven months and restricted it for two years after that.

His response? Dr. Abuzzahab dismissed the findings as “without heft” and said drug makers were aware of his record. He said he had helped study many of the most popular drugs in psychiatry, including Paxil, Prozac, Risperdal, Seroquel, Zoloft and Zyprexa.

Well, doesn't that give you confidence in the accuracy of the drug trials for those drugs? Heck, they must be safe and effective, just look at these success stories of their use: SSRI Stories.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ron Paul Wins GOP Debate

According to CNN the "CNN Voters" (i.e., the people) voted overwhelmingly for Ron Paul as the winner of the recent Republican debate. Debate Scorecard.

However a sinister note crept in when it came to light that CNN had removed all pro-Ron Paul comments from their Political Ticker page and in fact reverted the page to an earlier version containing comments about the Democratic debate.

So much for a free press.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Could a real statesman please stand up?

I had this silly idea that Russia was no longer a threat to the West. Democracy was gradually (if a bit slowly) making its way into Russian politics and free enterprise was moving in. In fact I just read an article in BusinessWeek all about US & European investment in Eastern Europe and Russia. Call me naive, but it seems to me that when you have very strong trade and investment ties with a country that the likelihood of war with them is very low. When you actually know people from another country, when you deal with them all the time and when you actually visit that country and see what it is like, then the propaganda that gets spread in order to justify a war just doesn't convince you.

So I was shocked to hear that Pres. Bush is proposing to build a missile defense shield in former Iron Curtain countries: an anti-missile radar system in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland. I wasn't surprised when Putin made angry noises about this: it certainly looks rather threatening to me.

So today I read that the missile shield is actually to protect Europe from Iran. Iran? Since when did Iran have ICBMs? If this shield is to protect Europe from Iran then why isn't Europe doing it? What's it go to do with the US? And if protection against Iran is the goal then why are the missiles being put in Poland? Surely that's too far north. There are other European countries much closer to Iran.

Since 9/11 it seems to me that the Bush Administration has been hell bent on creating enemies for the US. As if Al Qaeda wasn't enough, we now have serious enemies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran North Korea and many newly pissed off people all over the Muslim world. So not content with that Mr. B seems to be aiming to add Russia to the list. Whether it's incompetence or part of some scheme to "protect American interests", it's bad statesmanship and it's creating a dangerous environment.

If any of this makes sense to you or strikes a cord then I strongly recommend you take a look at Ron Paul, who is running for President. He voted against the Iraq war and he voted against the Patriot Act. How many of the "peace" candidates running for President can say that?

Ron Paul is of the opinion that we should follow the Constitution and that the US should keep its nose out of the affairs of other countries. We should make friends and trade with other countries. We should use diplomacy and persuasion rather than force of arms.

Those sound like good ideas to me!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Secrets of how to make billions revealed!

Why work and slave day after laborious day when you could get rich easily and quickly using clinically tested and foolproof methods?

Health Ranger Mike Adams has figured out how big pharmaceutical companies make billions and now he is sharing their methods with you for free! There is no cost and no obligation. You too could be stinking rich today!

Just click here to go to the Disease Mongering Engine, follow the instructions on how to market your newly generated disease and immense riches will be yours soon!

Disclaimer: Void where prohibited. Side-effects include feeling sick when you realize what the big pharmaceutical companies are doing to us.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Opposition to perceived Injustice and Oppression

The amount of dissatisfaction with world leaders is much, much more than the mainstream media is willing to admit. Whenever the G8 holds a conference, tens of thousands of people protest. Doesn't that tell you something about the true feelings of people in the world? 

Police quell violence ahead of G-8 summit

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Beckham Rules!

Not only did David Beckham make an incredible comeback to the England squad on Friday against five time World Champs Brazil, but now it seems he may be getting a knighthood!

Amazing, how things can change. Dropped from the England squad a few months ago he is now back with a bang!

I'll bet the LA Galaxy owners are beside themselves - you can't buy PR like that!

Beckham set to keep England spot
David Beckham being considered for 'posh' honour
Beckham does everything but score as England draw Brazil

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Psychologist encourages children to have sex and take drugs

I first heard about this while radio channel surfing. I landed on the Radio Factor, Bill O'Reilly's show. Not something I pay much attention to, but it was a local station and I was listening for news about a possible tropical storm. Anyway, I heard this piece about a high school in Boulder, Colorado which held a mandatory assembly of children at which a psychologist told them (it was recorded) "I am going to encourage you to have sex and encourage you to use drugs appropriately." 

My first reaction was "Here we go again, the media sensationalizing something or making up a story." But as the piece went on and I heard the recording of what the psychologist was saying, I was appalled.  

I am more informed about the agenda of psychiatry and psychology than the average person, but even I was stunned that the school principal allowed this to go on and that very few parents have complained about it. If it had been my kids I would have demanded the resignation of everyone involved with allowing this. 

One very telling quote from the psychologist, Joel Becker,

"We all experiment. It's very natural for young people to experiment with same-sex relationships. When you are 13, 12... one of the most appropriate sexual behaviors would be masturbation. Even today, there are psychiatrists who will do sessions under the influence of ecstasy. If I had some maybe I'd do it with someone, but you know." 

In any other profession, being under the influence of an illegal drug while dealing with your clients would get you thrown in jail, disbarred or at least fired, but according to Becker it's quite normal behavior for a psychiatrist or psychologist.  

But actually it's worse than that. Let's not forget the fact that a psychiatrist or psychologist is there to (supposedly) help the person who is paying them for their services. What sort of base betrayal is it to pretend to "help" someone while being stoned? It is little wonder that the commonest treatment handed out by psychiatrists is drugs.

One last point: According to WorldNet Daily, Joel Becker is an associate clinical professor of psychology at the University of California at Los Angeles, and when you consider the history of Dr. Louis Jolyon "Jolly" West at the Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA, the fact that Becker is pushing destructive drugs on kids is not very surprising. 

Anyway, here is more on what happened:

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Was "Wipe Israel off the map" actaully said?

Anyone who has been reading this blog will know that I am not a fan of the mainstream media. I find their lack of accuracy and apparent love for creating controversy and conflict where it does not exist, abhorrent.

Their joy seems equivalent whether reporting threats from one country's leader to another or from one Hollywood celebrity to another. However, they don't seem to realize that Lindsay Lohan fighting with Paris Hilton is small potatoes compared with the United States fighting with Iran. Millions would be killed if the latter conflict ever occurred, yet the press twists the words of Lindsay Lohan and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with equal aplomb.

Warmongering is something to be done only by someone who won't be affected if the war actually occurs. On a small planet like this one where a nuclear war, even a small one, will spread toxic fallout all over the globe, it is not smart to warmonger.

The title of this post is "Was 'Wipe Israel off the map' actually said?" For some years now, and with increasing frequency the press has been reporting the rantings and ravings against Israel, Europe and the US of the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But are these reports accurate? Probably the most famous Ahmadinejad quote is the "Wipe Israel off the map" quote, but did he actually say it?

No he didn't, according to Arash Norouzi, who actually speaks Farsi, the language of Iran. Read this article and make up your own mind: 'Wiped off the Map' – The Rumor of the Century

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My Place on YouTube

I got an account on YouTube. I haven't uploaded any videos yet, but I've added plenty of favorite videos from the thousands (millions?) already there.

Take a browse and check out the videos I've added so far. I've categorized them for easy viewing. If you have read much of this blog you probably won't be surprised at my choices in the fields of Psychiatry, Social Issues and religion, but my "Comedy" choices may surprise you (or maybe not).

Anyway, here it is: grahamesd on YouTube

And here is one of my favorite comedy videos:

Welcome to Hell

Sunday, May 20, 2007

School Shooters

Here is more on school shooters from award winning documentary film maker Michael Moore:


Also at this link: School Shooters and Psychiatric Drugs

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Shame on the BBC

From many years now my opinion of the news media has been dropping lower and lower. It started dropping in the mid-80s when I met a newspaper reporter who told me how he wrote exactly what he was told by his editor and if it happened that what his editor wanted didn't match the facts then the facts came off second best. At the time I was shocked because I had the rather naïve idea that the news media reported facts. Nowadays I rarely believe anything I read in the mainstream media.

However, despite that I still had a naïve faith in the BBC. I grew up with the BBC and when I came over to the US and saw the poor quality of news reporting here; it gave me a sort of nationalistic pride to know that the good old "Beeb" would still tell the truth no matter the consequences.

Well, my last small shred of naïve belief in the news media has just been well and truly trampled into the uncompromising mud of reality. The BBC has now proven itself to be just as corrupt as all the rest.

Watch this documentary on the BBC and their "ace reporter" John Sweeney and you'll have to agree with me.

OR in parts:

And other snippets:

As a side-note, John Sweeny is aptly named, if you know anything about the story of "Sweeny Todd." Perhaps the main difference between them is that Todd used a razor on his victims and Sweeney uses a "hatchet" (in the journalistic sense of the word).

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Business As Usual in the Corrupt Medical Industry

A few years ago there was an attempt to persuade doctors and drug companies to clean up their act so drug companies would stop bribing doctors with free tickets to sports events, "consulting" and "lecture" payments, reimbursements for "meeting expenses", free drug samples and meals and booze. A new study finds that the corruption continues unabated. Doctors still taking drug company freebies. Ethics rules aimed to avoid conflicts of interest not working, study says

If a drug company rep is giving a doctor money and gifts then there is a clear conflict of interest and instead of the doctor's patients getting the correct treatment they get the drug of the best briber.

The study comes at the same time as another report that of the 6 "rich" nations, the US has the worst health care system. Report: U.S. health care expensive, inefficient. America ranks last among six countries on key measures, group finds

Is it surprising with such corruption going on?

Monday, May 14, 2007

What about Privacy?

Google CEO Eric Schmidt just announced that Google is now "Search, Ads and Apps". I'm sure that sounds good to many people. Free, on-line word processing, spreadsheets and more - sounds great. Then there is the benefit of not having to backup your computer in case of a crash:

But it's the Internet-based benefits that Schmidt was pushing at the briefing. He told reporters that computer owners have lost data when personal computers crash and offered Google's Internet-based applications as a remedy for data disaster. "What you would prefer is a trusted partner to keep all the information and have it for you on every device," he told reporters.
Google Officially Taking On Microsoft in Apps

But what about privacy? Sorry, but I just don't trust large corporations like Google with my private or business data. Especially when you consider Google's links with the NSA, CIA and other parts of the intelligence community.

I can't avoid having my emails go through large corporations, but my own private and business data is valuable to me and I'm not about to upload it to someone I don't know and don't trust.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Presidential Candidate Worth Voting For!

I'm not a very political person. I'm an independent because I'm issues oriented, not party oriented. Frankly most of the yak I hear between the Republicans and Democrats sounds like sports fans arguing. "My side is right and yours is wrong." 

I'm also a skeptic when it comes to politicians and what they say. I'm interested in actions not words. So, as you'd probably expect, I've shown very little interest in the 2008 election. I have not been very happy with any of the candidates. Perhaps they are good entertainers and fund raisers, but are they any good when it comes to civil rights and actually serving the people? 

So, I was very pleasantly surprised when Representative Ron Paul announced he would be running for President. Here is a guy who contradicts the oxymoron "honest politician". He actually is an honest politician! He's a man who isn't afraid to tell the truth about the blatant attempts to remove our civil rights (e.g., the Patriot Act). He's a man with guts and a most unlikely candidate given that most people who get to the level of running for President have already sold their souls to vested interests and big donors several times over. 

So to cut a long blog post short: get busy! Support Ron Paul for President in 2008!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Study gives an answer to the question "Is Psychiatry a Pseudoscience?"

It seems a study done last year found that the people who define mental illnesses and the treatments for those illnesses they defined have strong financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Hmm. What a coincidence that the most common "treatment" for mental illness is drugs. Is it possible there is a connection?

Tufts University study shows more than half of psychiatric DSM-IV authors have financial links to Big Pharma

Is psychiatry a genuine field made up of doctors who are helping the mentally ill with safe drugs, or is it truly a "pseudoscience" that exists only to sell dangerous prescription drugs to unsuspecting patients -- all in the name of making money for the pharmaceutical industry? That question may have been answered, thanks to the results of a University of Massachusetts and Tufts University study that was released in April 2006. According to an April 22 Reuters article, the study found that 56 percent of 170 psychiatric "experts" who helped work on the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) -- considered the "bible" of the psychiatric field -- had financial links to drug makers at some point from 1989 to 1994, when the most recent edition of the DSM was released.

 
 

Sunday, May 06, 2007

How to keep kids off Drugs

On this blog I say a lot about the dangers of drugs but my main focus is on psychiatric drugs which harm in the name of help. However, street drugs are also a huge problem and properly educating kids about these drugs is vital so they understand them and can decide for themselves not to take them.

So having said that, how do you keep you kids off drugs? Well, the answer is in the book with the perfect title: How To Keep Your Kids Off Drugs. It is available as a downloadable book, so go to the site and get it!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Homicidal Ideation - Acknowledged side-effect of psychiatric drugs

I just found out that the antidepressant "Effexor XR" has, since 2005, had listed as one of it's side-effects "homicidal ideation".

The term "ideation" means "the formation of thoughts or ideas". So "homicidal ideation" is the formation of homicidal thoughts or ideas.

This means that a side-effect of antidepressants is the formation of thoughts or ideas about killing people. Hmm. So given that every school shooter that I know of was on antidepressants (see: a partial list of school shooters on psychiatric drugs) and that this type of drug can cause homicidal ideation then the connection between the school shootings and psychiatric drugs becomes pretty obvious.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

South America Getting Wise to Oppression

It seems the leaders of South America are finally getting out from under the oppression of the World Bank and the IMF. If you have read the book Confessions of An Economic Hit Man then you'll know that these organizations are basically a means to funnel huge sums of money to large multi-national corporations such as Bechtel and Halliburton. South America has been one of the areas worst hit by these oppressive organizations so it's good to see that they are finally freeing themselves from bondage.

It's also interesting how the media refers to any leader who cuts the ties with the World Bank and IMF as "leftist" and "socialist." I guess the owners of the media outlets don't like to see countries gaining their independence, probably because these same media owners were sharing in the profits from the pillaged of those countries.

Chavez: Venezuela to exit IMF, World Bank
President Hugo Chavez announced Monday he would pull Venezuela out of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, a largely symbolic move because the nation has already paid off its debts to the lending institutions.

Venezuela is not the only country in the region distancing itself from international lenders. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said Sunday that he hopes to "get out of that prison" of IMF debt and that "we are negotiating with the Fund to leave the Fund." Ecuador's leftist president, Rafael Correa, recently asked the World Bank's representative there to leave and said the country paid off its debt to the IMF. Argentina also has paid back billions of dollars to the IMF.

Pasted from <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18406119/>

Psychiatric Drugs and School Shooters

More compelling evidence:



If the above video doesn't work, try this: School Shooters

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Massive Conflict of interest at CBS

Through another blog (Engineering a New World) I just saw an article that was first published in Nov 2006. It exposes the massive financial ties between CBS and big pharmaceutical companies as well as the ties between the 48 Hours show and psychiatry.

I think the lesson to learn here is that you can't just blindly believe what you are fed by the news media. You have to keep a critical eye open, look into the sources of the data, look for the big money and think for yourself.

CBS 48 HOURS—A MOUTHPIECE FOR THE PSYCHIATRIC/PHARMA CABAL
It is no wonder that a recent CBS 48 Hours show claimed that "schizophrenia" was a physically based mental "disease" requiring debilitating antipsychotic drugs. CBS receives nearly $600 million a year in drug-company advertising revenue and the antipsychotic drugs manufactured by CBS's sponsors are very profitable. (more …)

http://www.cchr.org/files/14880/CBS%20conflict%20summary.pdf

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Virginia Tech Massacre – The Psychiatric Drug Link

Are meds to blame for Cho's rampage? The New York Times has reported the killer was on a prescription medication, and authorities have confirmed that the "prescription drugs" found among his effects related to the treatment of psychological problems.

Virginia Tech Massacre - The Psychiatric Drug Link

From <http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55310>

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Ultimate ADD/ADHD Site

Make sure you are accurately informed about ADD/ADHD. If any of the list below applies to you then check out the ADHD Testing site. Be accurately informed before you make decisions that may affect the entire future of your child or yourself.

1. Has a teacher, school psychologist, or any other school personnel told you that they feel your child has ADD/ADHD?
2. Has a teacher, school psychologist, or any other school personnel told you that they feel your child needs “medication” to learn?
3. Has a teacher, school psychologist, or any other school personnel told you that you need to have your child classified as ADD/ADHD in order to receive extra help or services for your child?
4. Has someone told you that there is a test to determine if your child has ADD/ADHD?
5. Have you been told that “medications” used in the “treatment” of ADD/ADHD are mild with only a small degree of side effects?
6. Have you been told that your child will read better or do better academically if he or she is put on “medication”?
7. Have you been told that if “medication” works on your child, this indicates that he or she has ADD/ADHD?
8. Have you been told that “medication” will correct a chemical imbalance within your child’s brain?
9. Have you been told that there are no alternatives to drug “treatment” for children diagnoses with ADD/ADHD?

From <http://www.adhdtesting.org/>

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Another great album from Therion

The Swedish Orchestral Metal band Therion has produced yet another brilliant album, Gothic Kabbalah. The album is a slightly different style to the last, with not as much orchestra or operatic vocals, but as musical as ever and a refreshing evolution.

The band's lyrics follow mythical themes and so you don't hear the same-old-same-old, love-betrayal-oh baby stuff that you hear from a hundred thousand mainstream bands.

I highly recommend Gothic Kabbalah by Therion.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

It's about time

After the Don Imus debacle I was wondering if the movement to address racism and sexism in entertainment would just end there or if it would continue and achieve some real advances. We'll I'm glad to read that the movement is not stopping with the firing of an aging shock jock but will now take aim at an area that makes Imus sound like a Sunday School Teacher, that is rap: With Imus gone, critics turning to rap .

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Must See Video - Prescription for Disaster

If you live in the USA and you want to be healthy you have got to see this video:



If you have trouble with the video control then go to: Prescription for Disaster

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A 30 year Saga

The Canadian band Saga have been going now for 30 years. And the amazing thing is that after all that time they are still producing high quality, creative music. I just got their latest album, Trust, and it is another awesome album that delivers the excellence that one expects from Saga.

I'd describe Saga as progressive rock that often borders on, but never quite degenerates into, pop. Great songs with catchy hooks, but never boring and lyrically always interesting.

If you want to check out something new and different to the same-old, same-old that you hear on the radio then get Trust by Saga.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

One Note - The most useful piece of software I've ever seen!

I've just discovered the most useful piece of software I think I've ever come across. It's called OneNote and it is part of Microsoft Office. I had Office 2007 installed last week and a friend told me I had to try OneNote. He told me a few things about it and I thought it sounded interesting but I was skeptical. Today I opened it up and read through the intro that comes with it and that got me excited because I began to see all sorts of possibilities. Then I began to use it and MY GOD!!!! It is brilliant!

It's hard to explain but it's like a notebook that you can write or paste anything into at any position on the page, organize it and later find it again. It has incredible search capabilities like you can search for words in graphic images!!

It also lets you create a shared notebook that multiple people can work on at the same time and you can see the edits from others appear in your copy in real-time! Talk about collaboration software!

It integrates with Outlook so that you can create an Outlook task from OneLook. Here's an example, I was in a meeting today and I noted in OneNote several changes the users wanted in the user interface I was showing them. I then made each of these into a task in Outlook with a click on a toolbar button. Later I was using OneNote to write up my plans for what to do next with the application and there were a couple of things I saw I needed to do, so I made them into Outlook tasks too. Later I was in Outlook and all the tasks were there. Tasks from several places in OneLook notebooks were all in one place in Outlook so I could see what I needed to do. As I finished a task I marked it done in Outlook. Later I was browsing through OneNote and there were the tasks but marked as done in OneNote too.

I could go on for hours about the other capabilities of OneNote but you should give it a try yourself and see what you come up with. The possibilities are infinite.

You can download a free 60 day trial version: OneNote Trial. Go get it and give it a shot - it is awesome.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

I had to spring for a new laptop

Well my old laptop finally croaked. Or rather the hard-drive started to fall apart. I managed to save most of my data. I had made backups and a friend helped me plug the old hard-drive into another computer so I could recover what data wasn't corrupted. When I saw how easy it was to take the drive out and stick it into another machine I decided I would just buy a new drive for my laptop.

So I did: I put it into the laptop and loaded Windows XP - and it works!

But, I did use the situation as an excuse to get a new laptop. It's a Toshiba Satellite with a 2 core processor, two hard drives, 2G of RAM, etc. and it has Windows Vista Business.

I've heard some people who have reservations about Vista, but I'm finding it to be great. What a huge improvement over earlier versions of Windows.

So, I'm happy and so is my wife who got my old laptop!

Friday, March 16, 2007

How trustworthy is Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is fast becoming the authoritative web site on almost everything. I believe there is a danger in this. The beauty of the Internet is that you can get data from a variety of sources. This allows you to decide for yourself on the subject you are researching and allows you to get many viewpoints. On technical subjects this allows you to gather more information and on non-technical subject it allows you to make up your own mind based on the pro and con viewpoints.

Using a single source such as Wikipedia not only cuts down the information you are exposed to but allows a biased viewpoint to be promoted. For example, I looked up the Wikipedia entry on an author who has loudly attacked the pharmaceutical industry. His Wikipedia entry makes him look like a criminal and the critique of his best known book was obviously written by someone who had never read it. Who controls the entries to that page? Clearly the pro-viewpoint on that author has not been given the chance to refute the con-viewpoint.

The academic field is now expressing the same doubts about Wikipedia: Cornell Profs Slam Use of Wikipedia

Another reason to be cautious of Wikipedia is a quality issue. How do you know the entry is accurate? While this can apply to a lot of other sites most of those other sites don't allow just ANYONE to edit them. Wikipedia does, and it takes no responsibility for the quality of that editing. Take this example: Wikipedia falsely reports Sinbad's death.

So next time you see Wikipedia appearing at or near the top of your search results think twice before clicking on the link. And if you do use Wikipedia make sure you also look at other sites to make sure the data you got is accurate and unbiased.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Something cool for Valentines Day

I came across Celestial Navigations many years ago in LA and I've been a fan ever since. Here's something they have created for Valentine's day: Celestial Navigations - Valentine. Send the link to your Valentine!!!





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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Here's a movie I've got to see: Idiocracy

This sounds like my kind of movie. Satire at it's most biting.



I think society still has a chance but only if we take note of movies such as this, decide to do something about it and then act!



Idiocracy Review





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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Counterthink Comics

The "Counterthink" comics are sometimes funny, sometimes thought provoking but never dull: Mental Treatment (comic)



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Sunday, January 14, 2007

At last a real sport comes to the USA

Hopefully the baseball, American football, basketball, etc. fans will forgive me for the title of this post but I grew up with football (called "soccer" in the US) and seeing David Beckham heading over to play for the LA Galaxy is brilliant (that's English for "awesome").

Beckham coming to 'make a difference'

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Another "Safe and Effective" Psychiatric drug found to be not so safe

Zyprexa is a "miracle" drug that made Eli Lilly roughly $4.2 billion last year. It now appears that Lilly knew of it's dangerous side-effects as far back as 1996 but failed to warn doctors. Law suits so far have cost Lilly an estimated $1.2 billion, but if you have made something on the order of $40 billion from sales of a drug who cares if you have to pay out a mere $1.2 billion to the people who have been damaged by it? The pharmaceutical & psychiatric industries seem to operate on the "ethical" principle that the profits justify the means.

Lilly Settles With 18,000 Over Zyprexa