Government

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Mostly everything that comes up and hits you in the teeth about the current controversy around “core standards” seems to be more political than born of actual knowledge.

This no surprise, really, since this is the reductionistic American mentality that makes it difficult to have meaningful conversations with the American Public without making them sound a lot like radio talk show rants.

With customary naiveté and sheer guts, I made the decision that I could not have an opinion about it without knowing what it actually was. Read more on Core Standards For Education – Political Grandstanding?…

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It is noble to teach the history and pharmacology of marijuana.  After practicing as a medical marijuana doctor and writing some for The NORML Women’s Alliance, and Ladybud (among others), my endorsement of marijuana and its constituents as nothing less than medicinal marvels is a matter of public record.

What is going on in Florida is something very, very different indeed.  Like the days of the Old West, when the gunslingers lived by the weapons on their holsters, now entrepreneurs are living on the cusp of an extraordinary wave of public opinion.  The pro-marijuana opinion in these United States has never been higher, and those who watch, comment upon, and work in the field seem to have little doubt that a generalized legalization of use is not far away.

Recreational and medical use are very different entities. Read more on Tampa Marijuana School…

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Okay, let me get this straight.

A study, done by people who at least in part are employees of the CVS pharmacy chain, has established to a wildly impressive level of significance that prescriptions for (cheaper) generic drugs are more likely to get filled than prescriptions labeled “brand name only.”

Brand-name only prescriptions are 50 to 60% less likely to get filled.  This is the summary of the article on CVS website.

Of course there is a little more info in the first article linked above — like specialists being more likely to write “dispense as written,” and such. Read more on Brand Name vs. Generics — Again and Again…

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The story of CVS (Caremark) pharmacies no longer selling tobacco products seems to be dominating today’s headlines across the board.

It is true that numerous studies have identified smoking as the single major cause of preventable death in these United States.  It is also true that smoking has diminished in recent years.  Most of the studies I see show that the numbers have gone down from maybe 25% of the population to maybe 15% of the population, which will surely prolong and increase the quality of the lives of the individuals who have kicked the habit.

Legislation may have helped some.  I have heard time and time again that nicotine is one of the most addictive, perhaps THE most addictive substance known to man.  I have heard from plenty of patients how an unexpected stimulus or even memory has caused relapse. Read more on CVS Chain Kicks Tobacco’s Butt (Out Of Their Stores)…

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Okay, an environmental group based in San Francisco says that 17% of our species are threatened by rising sea levels.

Yeah, I saw “An Inconvenient Truth” when it came out.  Al Gore did the best he could but he is not my choice for a scientific spokesman on global warming.

This being said, he had plenty of enthusiasm and seemed to be real.  My immediate reaction when I saw the film was “Yeah.  This looks like real science.”  I mean, when I was in prep school I actually thought Scientific American was more “fun” than “Seventeen”–  which my mother of blessed memory actually encouraged me to read, thinking it would somehow make me more socially acceptable or maybe even more “normal.” Read more on Global Warming Is Science Not Politics And It Is Affecting Humans…

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I talk to a great many people in a great many areas and fields.  In California, a lot of the mental health treatment programs are having “Obamacare-it is.”

While consumers who tried to use the official website to get enrolled for insurance had their “challenges” – to put it politely – the facilities expected to treat patients are having to do some major adjustments.

If you aren’t aware (especially you, Rip Van Winkle), “Obamacare” is what people lovingly call The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

I use the term “Lovingly Call” in the same manner people called homeless camps during the Great Depression “Hoovervilles” – blaming President Herbert Hoover for ruining the US economy and leading to the stock market crash.  Many feel Pres. Obama has done something similar to health care. Read more on Dual Diagnosis Should Not Be A Reason To Refuse Treatment…

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Polystyrene foam has been around for a long time; I mean, it is part of my early educational life and memories.  The most popular brand-name for this material is Styrofoam ™.

I cannot say for sure whether it was officially my first science fair, although it might have been.   My parents, ever since they actually purchased retail a book entitled “1001 things you can get free,” got me free samples from some representative of the oil industry of, well, oil in various stages of refinement.

They usually tried to write or rewrite my school projects to make them “better,” and wrenching things away from them was virtually impossible, and they did “help” with my descriptions and diagrams of the “cracking” process.   Of course, I had memorized articles from every encyclopedia I could get my hands on.  This was my standard modus operandi for pretty much everything in those days. Read more on Save Us From Styrofoam Already…

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I was wearing my best pastel multicolor weave suit as I walked up the stairs of a drab gray Victorian mansion converted into a medical office on the outskirts of large mid-western city. It was a bit cool, early spring, and I had been through all of the other principal personalities in a fairly large and well respected neurosurgery department.  The emeritus chief of the department — older, semi-retired, wrote hunks of textbooks about 20 years before; was the last one I had to see.  Although nobody seemed wildly excited, I had “passed” the interviews to make it this far.

The Victorian mansion was the office building of the neurosurgical group that was the residency faculty.  I was ushered into a richly furnished Victorian style office with antimacassars and gigantic velvet wing-backed chairs.

The father-to-us-all type neurosurgeon spent over five minutes asking me about France and my passion for the brain before asking me if my period gave me any problems. Read more on Women In Science Sore And Soar…

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I had my struggles with the military about weight requirements.  Many have.  I remember an especially clever nurse-officer who had given a lot more years of her existence to the Army than I had, and was both a cracker jack clinician and a cracker jack administrator, and left with a wimp because she was too heavy.

I also remember one whom I then considered a mediocre physician’s assistant who told me he got a commission as a warrant officer where the physical consisted mainly of measuring the circumference of both his neck and his waist. He did it by pumping up his muscles in his neck so that his neck was so damned fat that the rest of him seemed “proportional.”  Yes, this really worked.  Waist not — want not.

In case anybody is curious about my military commission physical, I had starved myself to some pretty small proportions.  The physician told me I was built like a fashion model, so as much as he would surely enjoy it, he was not going to insult me by giving me a physical. Read more on Plastic Surgery To Pass The Army Physical…

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Okay, so they found a stimulant, a long-named never tested member of the amphetamine family a body building type supplement; not listed on the label, never studied in humans.  I can’t count how many laws were broken.  So they can throw the responsible party in jail and stop this sort of thing, right? Wrong.

Read more on One Craze I Hope Won’t Catch On…

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