Selasa, 30 November 2010

What's the main music in "Christmas Canon" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra?

: transsiberian orchestra christmas canon

Why: Have y'all been listening to KOST 103.5 ("love songs on the coast") since the day after Halloween? Because it's been all Christmas music all the time. The little kids choir version of this came on tonight. I know that music, but I feel like I've heard it played in TV weddings. Is it a Christmas song? I don't know.
Answer: "Canon in D major" by Johann Pachelbel! It's also called "Pachelbel's Canon"! Hope you would enjoy!
Source: YouTube comments. Some are intelligent!

The More You Know: I'll tell you some TV shows and movies that I have heard it in:
  • 13 Going on 30
  • "The Office" (Jim & Pam's wedding, durr)
  • Ordinary People
  • Runaway Bride
  • Wedding Crashers
There are tons more, like a "Simpsons," a "House, a "Wonder Years," and a Jennifer Lopez movie.

What's the song in the commercial for Pleasures Bloom by Estee Lauder?

: pleasures bloom estee song

Why: It was just on. How charming!

Answer: "Fidelity" by Regina Spektor! It's from the 2006 album Begin to Hope. Buy it here on Amazon or iTunes!
Source: AnswerBag

The More You Know: The thing in the commercial is kind of mixed together, I think. Real lyrics go like:
I hear in my mind all these words
I hear in my mind all this music
And it breaks my heart

Suppose I kept on singing love songs just to break my own fall
Just to break my fall

What's the origin of the term "bush league"?

: bush league

Why: Some comedian has written "BUSH LEAGUE" on a sheet of notebook paper and taped it to the broken ice maker in the breakroom.

Answer: The early days of baseball! As major league baseball became the "national sport," teams popped up in rural communities. These "minor leagues" were good entertainment for people who lived far away from the big cities that had professional teams. They played on crappy fields that were surrounded by bushes. Get it?
Source: WiseGeek

The More You Know: Since the players in the "bush leagues" were amateurs who usually had day jobs - and therefore were not professionals - the quality of their play was viewed as inferior.
This sense of inferiority came to be closely identified with the concept of being bush league in nature, and to this day is used to refer to something that is not quite professional in quality.
Just like our broken ice maker.

What's a sinus?

Search: what is a sinus

Why: I am stopped up about the face and head, so much that I was told I snored last night. How mortifying. I am pretty sure I have some sort of infection, possibly in my sinuses, but the truth is that I have no idea what a sinus is or why I have it, because all it ever seems to do is get infected.

Answer: An airpocket in your face bones! WHAT!

First, we have 4 pairs of sinus cavities (well, in the face - there are paranasal sinuses, but there are also sinuses [literally Latin for "pocket"] in other organs, like your brain and butt).
  • Ethmoid (between the eyes) sinuses - Located behind the bridge of the nose and at the "root" of the nose between the eyes. We are all born with ethmoid sinuses, and they grow as we grow.
  • Frontal (forehead) sinuses - Located above the eyes in the region of the forehead and only develop around 7 years of age.
  • Maxillary (cheekbones) sinuses - Found on either side of the nostrils in the cheek bones. They are present at birth and grow as we grow.
  • Sphenoid (behind the eyes) sinuses - Deeper in the skull behind the ethmoid sinuses and the eyes. We only develop sphenoid sinus cavities during adolescence.
And they serve a few purposes:
  • They remove unwanted air particles from the air you breathe!
  • They moisten the air!
  • They give resonance to your voice!
  • They lighten the weight of the skull!
That last one is why your head feels heavy and you feel sleepy during a sinus attack.

Source: SinusWars, eMedicineHealth

The More You Know: When you get a sinus infection, all sorts of gross things happen. Acute sinusitis (the kind that lasts about a week) is caused by a viral respiratory infection. The infection damages the lining of the sinus, causing it to become inflamed. The lining thickens, obstructing the nasal passage that connects to the sinus. The disrupts the process by which bacteria is normally removed from the sinus, and like a jerk, the bacteria just starts to multiply and invade the lining. All sorts of nasty things get trapped in the sinus cavity and you can't breathe and you snore.
Here is a list of symptoms of different kinds of sinusitis. I think I'm getting the acute maxillary, Pop.

What is Smokey Bear up to?

: smokey the bear

Why: Caroline is talking about D.A.R.E., which had posters like this:
That mascot looks grrrreat!

Answer: Still preventing wildfires! They're wildfires now, by the way, not just forest fires. They changed the terminology to encompass a more comprehensive threat in 2001.

1944, 48, and 49:
1970, 1985, 2001:

The More You Know: Smokey came as part of a campaign to prevent forest fires during World War II.
Since most able-bodied men were already serving in the armed forces, none could be spared to fight forest fires on the West Coast. The hope was that local communities, educated about the danger of forest fires, could prevent them from starting in the first place. The Japanese, on the other hand, saw wildfires as a possible weapon.
Before Smokey, the posters were pretty grim:
The real Smokey Bear was a darling little black bear cub who was caught in 1950 in a wildfire that burned 17,000 acres of New Mexico. Over the 26 years that he lived in the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., he got so much mail that the USPS gave him his own zip code.
Fun fact: Bears can not read.

Tina and the B-Sides Fine Line Music Cafe Tickets

Tina Schlieske formed the B-Sides while still in high school and released their first album, Tina & The B-Sides Movement, on their own indie label Movement Records in 1990.  Two years later they released, Young Americans, which turned out to be the band's biggest selling CD that continues to sell today. They've earned comparisons to Bruce Springsteen and the Grateful Dead for the growing camaraderie between the band and it's loyal fans. They were even dubbed in the Midwest as the "Best Bar Band in the World."  Tina and the B-Sides were together for over 10 years before taking a break in 2000.  Now they're back and will be hosting a highly-anticipated NYE show at the Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis on Friday, Dec. 31st at 8pm.  This will definitely sell out so I would recommend getting your Tina and the B-Sides tickets now before it's too late!  Ticket King has ALL-INCLUSIVE tickets for just $95 each that include beverages all night long for those 21+.  Get yours now before it's too late!!

Woo woo! Senate passes FDA Food Safety Modernization Act

Thanks Senator Harkin
Not too much to say, that I haven't said before. Today the Senate passed the FSMA bill 73-25-2. This bill was actually introduced in March 2009 and would cover 80% of the food supply excluding meats. This seems like a nice example of bipartisanship. The NY Times mentioned that Republican and Democratic Senate staffers met for the first time in ages and 'broke bread' with Starbursts and jelly beans. Let's hope this gets out of committee in time or is simply passed by the House as is. Would be sad to see this die when the clock runs out.

Final quote: “This legislation means that parents who tell their kids to eat their spinach can be assured that it won’t make them sick,” - Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)  Of course, anyone who needs to figure out how to get their kids to EAT their spinach, should check out my friends Laura and Jennifer's book from the American Academy of Pediatrics: Food Fights: Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed with Insight, Humor, and a Bottle of Ketchup

NY Times article 11/30/2010

Cheap Minnesota Vikings vs. Buffalo Bills Tickets

After the Minnesota Vikings 17-13 victory on Sunday over the Washington Redskins, Adrian Peterson is left injured after suffering a sprained ankle.  Since entering the league in 2007, Peterson has played the last 51 regular season games in a row and has missed only two of a possible 62 regular and post-season games. Now the Vikings can't do much but hope he will be back in action in time for this Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills at the Metrodome.  If you would like to be a part of the action for a cheap price, you've come to the right place!  Ticket King has Vikings vs. Bills tickets currently starting at just $20 for upper level seats or $90 for lowers, with the majority of our seats BELOW face value!  We also carry VIP parking passes for just $62 that allow you to park ON the Metrodome property, saving you time later on.  If you would like to show your support for the Vikes, get your tickets now!! GO VIKINGS!

Kerala paintings

As I was producing my series of oil paintings on Kerala, India, I posted some of the larger ones, which I tend to tackle first. Having dealt with the 2 metre and 1 metre jobs I finished with a series of small (for me) paintings (40 x 40 cm). These are almost more of a challenge than the larger canvases because there's nowhere to hide - they are snapshots of my interpretation of the South Indian landscape.
Pleased to say the exhibition which ran from mid-July to mid-September at Francis Kyle Gallery in Mayfair, was a success given the economic climate - all of the larger canvases sold.
Here are the titchy ones:

Senin, 29 November 2010

Lady GaGa - Bad Romance (Skrillex Remix)

Obsessed with this song right now. Skrillex tears Gaga's Bad Romance to shit. UNreal. 

Calvin Harris Quits Singing and Sticks to DJing and Producing.

Hit producer and DJ Calvin Harris has vowed to no longer sing on any of his future tracks.  Harris was quoted saying "I've stopped the live shows. I'm going to focus more on production and DJing and zero per cent of my time will go on singing. I'll do tracks with people who can sing well - proper artists, proper performers. I can focus on what I'm much better at, which is making music. I'm just not cut out for that role." 

Check out these songs from his first two studio albums,  I Created Disco and Ready for the Week. 

MELBOURNE - tania, little collins street, 11/29/10

Leadership Development Program in Australia

Australian Leadership Awards

Scholarships for Chilean students

Tiesto- Fresh Fruit

Minggu, 28 November 2010

Don't pull that trigger!

The headline on the front page of the New York Times this week read "Study Finds No Progress in Safety at Hospitals." This article (graphic shown) reported on a paper in this week's New England Journal of Medicine (free text here). In this study, 240 charts from each of 10 hospitals in North Carolina were reviewed using the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's (IHI) Global Trigger Tool. The admissions reviewed spanned the years 2002 to 2007.

Now I didn't know much about the Trigger Tool and the methods section of the paper doesn't give much description, so I looked up the guide, which you can review here. The triggers are 53 different indicators that when observed in the medical record should prompt further review to assess for an adverse event. For example, administration of benadryl is a trigger to look for a drug allergy, which according to IHI is an adverse event. Adverse events are further classified by severity and whether they were preventable. Per the IHI guide, no more than 20 minutes can be spent on the review of any chart (that rule was also observed for the published study).

Per the IHI methodology, healthcare-associated infections are both a trigger and an adverse event. Here is what the guide states (p.17):
Any infection occurring after admission to the hospital is likely an adverse event, especially those related to procedures or devices. Infections that cause admission to the hospital should be reviewed to determine whether they are related to medical care (e.g., prior procedure, urinary catheter at home or in long-term care) versus naturally occurring disease (e.g., community-acquired pneumonia).
Note that HAIs are never defined. Unlike the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), which defines infections using multiple data points, IHI methodology doesn't guide the reviewer as to case ascertainment. I did a PubMed search this morning and found no studies where the Trigger Tool was compared to NHSN methodology to assess its validity.

So here are some concerns I have about this paper and the Trigger Tool:

  • By design the Trigger Tool is not true surveillance. There is no attempt to detect all instances of harm. Imagine looking at the medical record of a patient who stayed in the hospital for 8 months with a 20-minute time limit. While I can understand how the Trigger Tool might uncover problems in any given hospital using a case-based approach for quality improvement, to look for trends over time using these data doesn't make any sense since there is no attempt to capture all the cases of harm. Of what value is trending incomplete data? I think this harkens back to the philosophical differences between quality improvement and healthcare epidemiology that I've talked about before
  • I have serious concerns regarding the validity of this approach for HAIs. We know how problematic surveillance can be even when using well-delineated case definitions and how poorly administrative claims data perform for HAIs. The IHI approach seems much more analogous to the administrative data approach.
  • In the New England Journal paper the secular trends were shown only for all harms and preventable harms, but not for any of the component harms, such as HAIs. It would be interesting to see the trended data for HAIs. Recall that AHRQ, using administrative claims data, recently published a paper claiming that HAIs are increasing in the US, while CDC, using much more rigorous surveillance methodology, published the opposite conclusion.
  • Generalizability seems to be problematic. In this paper 2,400 hospital records were reviewed from 10 hospitals in a single state. Over the same time period, there were approximately 220 million hospital admissions in the US. That means that about 1 in 100,000 hospital admissions were reviewed (and only partially given the 20-minute rule). While the published paper never attempts to generalize the study findings to the universe of US hospitals, the media certainly did, and the lead author of the study states in the New York Times, “It is unlikely that other regions of the country have fared better.”
  • Some of the instances of "harm" are not preventable and I'm not sure how they are related to quality of care. For example, consider the case of a patient with no known drug allergy who is treated with an antibiotic and develops a rash. This would be classified as a harm, and it is indeed a harm to the patient, but it's not predictable and not preventable. How does it help us to trend such data? And how would we attempt to reduce this harm? It is preventable harm that needs our attention. 
  • With regards to HAIs, even if these data were valid, I don't believe these data reflect the current state of affairs in US hospitals given that much improvement in infection rates has occurred since 2007.
So here we have another paper that beats us up some more. If truth be told, I bet that the quality of care in US hospitals is significantly better today than it was in 2002. It sure would be nice to see that in print, but it probably wouldn't hit the front page. 

P.S. It's amazing that IHI claimed to have saved 123,000 lives in the US due to its safety program for US hospitals, but now claims that during the same time frame there was little evidence of improvement in patient safety. Something doesn't compute......  

Claude Monet (Rouen Cathedral)

Author Hermione Cameron is, as I am writing this, walking in bitterly cold weather from London to Monte Carlo to raise funds for the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) in memory of her husband Steve who died recently. A couple of days ago Hermione had reached the city of Rouen in Normandy where she visited the Cathedral.
In the 1890's Monet created a series of thirty paintings of Rouen Cathedral. The series captures the fa├žade of the cathedral at different times of the day and year, and reflects changes in its appearance under different lighting conditions.
Historically, the series was well timed. In the early 1890s, France was seeing a religious revival and the subject was well received. Apart from its religious significance, Rouen Cathedral, built in the Gothic style, represented all that was best in French history and culture, being a style of architecture that was admired and adopted by the rest of Europe during the Middle Ages.
When Monet painted the Rouen Cathedral series, he had long since been impressed with the way light imparts to a subject a distinctly different character at different times of the day and the year, and as atmospheric conditions change. For Monet, the effects of light on a subject became as important as the subject itself. A selection of the Rouen series is shown below.
If you're able to make a donation, however small, to Hermione's fund for the RNLI please go to this link: