Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Unacceptable voting machines being used in Nassau County, NY

The voter machines in NY State used in Great Neck are unacceptable, in my opinion. After filling out the scantron sheet you put in through the scanner.  The screen does NOT display your vote nor give you any chance to correct a misread but simply says "Your vote has been recorded".  In my case I left a surrogate judge election vote blank & it did not do anything to ask me "do you wish to confirm the 'no vote'" but simply said "Thank you for your vote, this system is more open to mistakes and/or voter fraud than the older voting machines.

I voiced my concerns to the poll workers and they told me "Why would the machines be inaccurate, don't you trust then?" I have no way to assure that the vote was accurately recorded but was just told to "Call the Governor if you don't like it"


Posted via email from Dr. Mom's Posterous

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Can someone translate this please?

In a true piece of regulatory gobbledegook, I just received this e-mail from the credentialing authority at my institution (Name withheld to protect me from a libel suit).  It's hard to believe that this was written by someone with at least a high school education.

Someone needs to go back to grammar school to learn how to structure a paragraph.


Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

On behalf of the medical staff office, joint commission and myself as the credentialing coordinator for the XXXX department of XXXXX, I am advising you of the following new requirements when requesting appointments/reappointments/privileges at other institutions or within any of the health system's facilities.

 All applications must have a dated CV indicating month/day/year format when accessible, month/year format will also be accepted and current photo ID (drivers license or up to date passport).


Your cooperation in this matter will be appreciated.

End Quote:

1) Since when is a date on a printed or electronic document not accessible?

2) Are they asking me to include a government issued identity document? What am I supposed to do if I don't have a driver's license or passport?

Posted via email from Dr. Mom's Posterous

Friday, September 10, 2010

iTunes 10 Breaks Outlook, Apple's response, disconnect syncing between Outlook & your iPhone

As of yesterday pm Apple FINALLY admitted that there is an issue with iTunes 10  & Outlook. People have been reporting since its release that 10 is interfering  with Outlook, mostly 2000 but there are reports for all versions. It seems that  the outlookchangenotifier.dll, required for iTunes to sync an iPhone/iPad/iPod  to Outlook, is preventing Outlook from functioning. Apple has just posted an  official work around which is to delete/rename the dll so it stops interfering  with Outlook. The downside? You can no longer sync your iPhone/iPod with  Outlook. Way to go Apple! Let's break something & then fix it by breaking  something else just as important.  Reference Apple support doc. TS3500 support.apple.com/kb/TS3500

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Happy New Year Message, Thanks to everyone for all the warnings!

As we get approach the Jewish High Holidays, I want to thank all of you for your educational e-mails over the past year. I am totally screwed up now and have little chance of recovery.

I no longer open a bathroom door without using a paper towel, or have the waitress put lemon slices in my ice water without worrying about the bacteria on the lemon peel.

I can't use the remote in a hotel room because  I don't know what the last person was doing while flipping through the adult movie channels.

I can't sit down on the hotel bedspread  because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.

I have trouble shaking hands  with someone who has been driving because the number one pastime while driving alone is picking one's nose.

Eating a little snack sends me on a guilt trip because  I can only imagine how many gallons of trans fats I have consumed over the years.

I can't touch any woman's purse  for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public bathroom.

I MUST SEND MY SPECIAL THANKS to whoever sent me the one about rat  poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.

ALSO,  now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die for the 1,387,258th time.

I no longer have any money,  but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that  Bill Gates/Microsoft and  AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and  St. Theresa's Novena has granted my every wish.

I can't have a drink in a bar because I'll wake up in a bathtub full of ice with my kidneys gone.

I can't eat at KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes, feet or  feathers.

I can't use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

THANKS TO YOU  I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

BECAUSE OF YOUR CONCERN,  I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer buy  gas without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer doesn't crawl in my back seat when I'm filling up.

I no longer use Cling Wrap  in the microwave because it causes seven different types of cancer.

AND THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW  I can't boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face...disfiguring me for life.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or Fed Ex  since they are actually Al Qaeda agents in disguise.

And I no longer answer the phone because  someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore, and Uzbekistan .

I no longer buy cookies from Neiman-Marcus  since I now have their recipe.

THANKS TO YOU  I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big black snake could be lurking under the seat and cause me instant death when it bites my butt.

AND THANKS TO YOUR GREAT ADVICE  I can't even pick up a coin dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting to grab me as I bend over.

I no longer drive my car because buying gas from some companies supports Al Qaeda, and buying gas from all the others supports South American dictators.

I can't do any gardening  because I'm afraid I'll get bitten by the Violin Spider and my hand will fall off.

If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, and the fleas from 120 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it  actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor's
ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's best friend's beautician

Oh, by the way.....

A German scientist from Argentina , after a lengthy study, has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity read their e-mail with their hand on the mouse.

Don't bother taking it off now, it's too late.

P.S.:  I now keep my toothbrush in the living room, because I was told by e-mail that water splashes over 6 ft. out of the toilet


Posted via email from Dr. Mom's Posterous

Friday, April 23, 2010

Recipe from the TWiT Army Mess Hall - Italian Sausages with Broccoli Rabe

If you can't find the preseasoned polenta just add some minced basil and garlic (about 2 tsps each) to the polenta roll as you mash it.


Italian Sausages with Broccoli Rabe and Polenta


See Italian Sausages with Broccoli Rabe and Polenta on Key Ingredient.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Recipe from the TWiT Army Mess Hall - Garlicky Clam Paella

If you LOVE garlic and clams this dish is for you.

Don't try and substitute canned chopped clams since you really need those large clams to make the broth for the paells


Garlicky Clam Paella


See Garlicky Clam Paella on Key Ingredient.

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

EHRs improve patient contact, distract docs: study from Health IT Strategist

Electronic health-record systems can be a boon and a bane to physician-patient communications, according to a new report by the Center for Studying Health System Change, Washington, with support from the Commonwealth Fund, New York.

On the positive side, the study found that an EHR helps improve physician-patient interaction because it provides quicker access to patient information, affording physicians time to spend with patients that they might otherwise lose hunting for information through paper records that are less organized.

On the other hand, for some physicians, simply using an EHR can pose a distraction. It may also lead physicians to rely on EHRs for information gathering "at the expense of real-time communication with patients and other clinicians," according to a news release.

"Electronic medical records are a double-edged sword when it comes to communication with patients and other clinicians," said study co-author Ann O'Malley, a physician and researcher with the center, in the release.

According to O'Malley, vendors also need to keep refining their systems to make them less distracting to physicians.

In a shout out to the folks running the multibillion-dollar federal EHR subsidy program, O'Malley suggests policymakers "should consider incorporating communication-skills training for medical trainees
and clinicians" using EHRs.

The study, "Electronic Medical Records and Communication with Patients and Other Clinicians: Are We Talking Less?" is based on 60 interviews with physicians and staffers at 26 small and medium-sized physician practices with commercial ambulatory EHRs in place for at least two years.

Posted via web from Dr. Mom's Posterous

A DC airport ticket agent offers some examples of 'why' our country is in trouble!

1. I had a New Hampshire Congresswoman (Carol Shea-Porter) ask for an aisle seat so that her hair wouldn't get messed up by being near the window. (On an airplane!)

2. I got a call from a Kansas Congressman's (Moore) staffer (Howard Bauleke), who wanted to go to Capetown.

I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information, and then he interrupted me with, ''I'm not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts .''

Without trying to make him look stupid, I calmly explained, ''Cape Cod is in Massachusetts , Capetown is in Africa ''

His response -- click.

3. A senior Vermont Congressman (Bernie Sanders) called, furious about a Florida package we did.

I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando .

He said he was expecting an ocean-view room.

I tried to explain that's not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state.

He replied, 'don't lie to me, I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state!'' (OMG)

4. I got a call from a lawmaker's wife (Landra Reid) who asked, ''Is it possible to see England from Canada ?''

I said, ''No.''

She said, ''But they look so close on the map.'' (OMG, again!)

5. An aide for a cabinet member(Janet Napolitano) once called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas .

I pulled up the reservation and noticed he had only a 1-hour layover in Dallas .

When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, ''I heard Dallas was a big airport, and we will need a car to drive between gates to save time.'' (Aghhhh)

6. An Illinois Congresswoman (Jan Schakowsky) called last week. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:30 a.m., and got to Chicago at 8:33 a.m.

I explained that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois, but she couldn't understand the concept of time zones.

Finally, I told her the plane went fast, and she bought that.

7. A New York lawmaker, (Jerrold Nadler) called and asked, ''Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose luggage belongs to whom?

'' I said, 'No, why do you ask?'

He replied, ''Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said (FAT), and I'm overweight. I think that's very rude!''

After putting him on hold for a minute, while I looked into it. (I was dying laughing). I came back and explained the city code for Fresno, Ca. Is (FAT - Fresno Air Terminal), and the airline was just putting a destination tag on his luggage..

8. A Senator John Kerry aide (Lindsay Ross) called to inquire about a trip package to Hawaii .

After going over all the cost info, she asked, ''Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii ?''

9. I just got off the phone with a freshman Congressman, Bobby Bright (D) from Ala who asked, ''How do I know which plane to get on?''

I asked him what exactly he meant, to which he replied, ''I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these planes have numbers on them.''

10. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) Called and said, ''I need to fly to Pepsi-Cola, Florida. Do I have to get on one of those little computer planes?''

I asked if she meant fly to Pensacola, FL on a commuter plane.

She said, ''Yeah, whatever, smarty!''

11. Mary Landrieu (D) La. Senator called and had a question about the documents she needed in order to fly to China .

After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded her that she needed a visa.

'Oh, no I don't. I've been to China many times and never had to have one of those.''

I double checked and sure enough, her stay required a visa.

When I told her this she said, ''Look, I've been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express!''

12. A New Jersey Congressman (John Adler) called to make reservations, ''I want to go from Chicago to Rhino, New York .''

I was at a loss for words. Finally, I said, ''Are you sure that's the name of the town?''

'Yes, what flights do you have?'' replied the man.

After some searching, I came back with, ''I'm sorry, sir, I've looked up every airport code in the country and can't find a rhino anywhere."

''The man retorted, ''Oh, don't be silly! Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!''

So I scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, ''You don't mean Buffalo, do you?''

The reply? ''Whatever! I knew it was a big animal.''

Now you know why the Government is in the shape that it's in! Could people be this DUMB?


I don't write it, I just offer it for your consideration.

Like manure, you just gotta spread it around.

Posted via web from Dr. Mom's Posterous

Monday, April 5, 2010

Does Apple Need to Pull the iTunes 9.1 Upgrade for Windows?

Amid all the fanfare of the successful release of the Apple iPad a new problem for Windows users of iTunes software has arisen.

In preparation for the launch Apple released version 9.1 of their software for both Mac & Windows (32 & 64 bit), besides the usual security tweeks the software package included some major changes including:

  1. The drivers for the iPad
  2. Changes to iTunes to allow for syncing iBooks and other iPad specific content
  3. An updated version of Bonjour

While the update seems to have gone smoothly for Snow Leopard/Leopard users it has been anything but for Windows users.  A quick look at the Apple support forums, the " Installing & Upgrading iTunes for Windows" will show the myriad of problems which have occurred to Windows users. While I'm always amazed that, considering the wide variations in the configurations of Windows computers, software updates on PC go as smoothly as they do it's apparent that this one is much worse than usual.  Within hours of it's release the issues started to arise, they included:

  • Bonjour 2.0 not being installed correctly in Vista & Win7 machines
  • Apple Mobile Device Manage not being installed properly
  • Problems with the update to the library format including
    • Videos being reformatted (probably being optimized for the iPad) and no longer displaying correctly on smaller iPods
    • Podcast being relabeled as music
    • Library format being updated (that's the usual event but in this case it means that if you roll back 9.0.x won't be able to read your library

Uninstalling and rolling back to 9.0.x may or may not solve the problem depending on whether or not you're able to delete the new version of Bonjour from your system.

Not for one moment to I believe that Apple failed to do some quality testing on their software but it is rapidly becoming apparent that there are too many problems with this version of iTunes for it to be out in general distribution (I haven't seen such error reports since the 7.7 "Spinning beach ball of death" issues).
Although Apple obviously wants to push out this version of iTunes so that PC users can enjoy their iPads I believe that it is time for Apple to admit that there are problems with the update and pull it from distribution.  Possibly they could offer iPad customers a chance to activate their devices at the Apple store so that they can be used.  While this will not allow users to add their personal content to the device at least they can start download apps from the iPad store and use it to browse on-line content.

Posted via web from Dr. Mom's Posterous

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Why the iPad makes it clear it's time for Apple to move it's iTunes storage to the clouds

This isn't a review of the actual iPad device since, like 99.9% of people, I don't have one yet.  Whether or not I get one now, later (after gen 2 appear) or never is yet to be seen.  The review by people who's opinions I trust and respect is impressive and I do believe that some form of multitasking is in the offing with a later OS upgrade, remember how long it took for 'cut and paste' to appear?

What seems to be really obvious is that the iPad has been aimed less as a MacBook or even netbook replacement, but rather as an all-in-one content consumption device and that where the rub lies.

For me, at least, to be truely useful a content consumption device needs to be able to download content when I'm away from my 'mother ship', i.e. my home PC.  That the iPad will do that is unquestionable, however, what happens when I need to delete content to load more (I agree with most that the 16 gig model seems to be the 'sweet spot') ?  I'm referring to downloading movies/books to the unit for trips (I'm a road warrior and have spent weeks away from home in the recent months in hotel rooms etc.).  If, while getting ready to board the plane, I realize that I forgot to reload a book I wanted to read again what happens? On a Kindle or Nook the content is a few button pushes away since the companies who provide the content keep a record of my purchases and let me redown load them at will, on the iPad it seems I'm out of luck.  Likewise if I load up on 3 or 4 movies while on the road and then decide to remove them to make room for more unless I wait until I get back I've lost the content forever (this is based on past experience with my iPod touch, audio books downloaded and then deleted from the device before syncing cannot be reloaded later unless I repurchase them or go crying to Apple that I deleted the content by mistake).  For Apple to maintain a user database of purchases via the device is something they've proved that they can do easily since an app bought on a Touch or iPhone can be deleted and then redownloaded without being charged again.  For them to extend this to to their music/audiobook/e-book/movie library would not seem to be too far of a stretch especially in these days of wifi enabled devices.  This is especially true for people who are not 'tech savvy', right now the iPad seems to be a great device for people who don't want a pc/iMac but rather just a simple device to do e-mail, browse the web and consume content.  If the iPad needs to be synced to a PC/iMac to save the content the advantage for them is lost.  This came home to me with my mother, I'd given her a Kindle and she called me one day in a panic saying that she'd accidentally deleted a book, I told her don't worry, talked her thru the content manager and got her book back with all the bookmarks intact.  On an iPad, at least for right now, I'd have to tell her she's out of luck and would need to repurchase the content if she hadn't synce to a local computer.

Please be clear, I'm not asking Apple to store content I've purchased elsewhere (Audible, recordedbooks.com etc.) nieither Amazon nor Barnes & Noble do that either, but rather allow for the iPad to become a device that, with the exception of OS updates, might NEVER need to be synced to a computer.  This, in my opinion would make the device an ideal content consumption unit.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Recipe from the TWiT Army Mess Hall - Classic Chicken Soup

This is the real thing, don't skimp on any of the steps and don't try to rush it.  It really does take several days to bring to perfection.

When serving add matzo balls, cooked whole baby carrots & may a sprig of dill.


Classic Chicken Soup

This is the real thing and usually takes several days ...

See Classic Chicken Soup on Key Ingredient.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Recipe from the TWiT Army Mess Hall - Braised Lamb with Horseradish

A nice 'horseradishy' lamb stew which is much higher seasoned than most.


Braised Lamb with Horseradish and Parsley

Very 'horseradishy' which is a nice change from most lamb ...

See Braised Lamb with Horseradish and Parsley on Key Ingredient.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Recipe from the TWiT Army Mess Hall - Chopped Chicken Liver

Here's a classic, old country style chopped liver. For the best flavor, save the chicken fat for the entire year & then render it yourself.

Old Country Chopped Liver

Gehockte Leber

This forspeis is so simple and straightforward that ...

See Old Country Chopped Liver on Key Ingredient.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The E-book publisher war between Amazon and the publishers rachets up again

With the impending release of the iPad and it's e-book store as well as the release of the iPhone/iPod touch app for the B&N e-book store, Amazon is again threatening publishers with pulling of their content unless they make concessions to multiple year contracts with Amazon, not to maintain exclusive content but to keep the prices down.

A good, consumer move or e-book suicide?

A link to the article in today's NY Times is below.


Amazon Threatens Publishers as Apple Looms

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Disney/CableVision hit an impasse, ABC7 is gone

The weeks long 'pissing match' between Disney/ABC & CableVision has finally reached a true impasse.  At midnight last night ABC7 posted a self serving "Cablevision has betrayed all of you" message and then went blank. Their website SaveABC7.com has copies of all their statements as well as the video clips that they've been playing between and, more aggrevating to me, crawling on the bottom of their shows. The site also give you instructions as to how to switch your provider to one which is paying Disney/ABC to rebroadcast the over the air signal.  CableVision responed by a continual video feed of "We don't want to pull ABC, it's all their fault but please stay with us while we figure out what to do" like a sulky child who has been told that they can't have what they want.  You can see their side of the story here at CableVision.com their response page on their website.  Their reply to customers, for now, is "Please support us, get a digital signal converter or watch the content on Hulu.com or ABC.com"

I'll tell you who, IMHO, loses, THE CUSTOMER.  This was timed to coincide with the Oscars broadcast which, by contractual agreement, will not be shown on any other venue including ABC.com.  Like most of the Long Island customers, I live outside of the range of digital, over the air, signals so a converter box and new antenna won't work.  Even if I wanted to change providers it couldn't be done for a week or more meaning that I miss the Oscars broadcast anyway.  One way or another it will be the customer who pays for this either by losing a popular channel or paying higher fees.  In my opinion, the FCC needs to step in and establish clear rules as to whether or not cable providers are entitled to rebroadcast over the air signals without paying the providers while garnering revenue from customers and whether or not the providers are allowed to charge for content that the broadcast over the air on a free license they get from the government.

Posted via web from Dr. Mom's Posterous

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My 23 minutes of internet interview fame with Jackie & Leo Laporte of the TWiT network

On Thursday we discussed such vital topics of interest as Hamentaschen, how to make your matzo balls float and, more importantly, touched on internet safety for our children.

Click Here to go to ODTV.me and watch the video, I don't show up for about the first 5 minutes of the film.

I wish to thank the ODTV team for creating this video clip and for so generously sharing it under the creative commons license.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Recipe from the TWiT Army Mess Hall - Sauerkraut and Sausages

My family likes garlicky knockwurst and bratwursts so that's what we use but you could use kielbasa, whitewurst or any other cooked sausage you'd like.

Sauerkraut with Polish Sausage

See Sauerkraut with Polish Sausage on Key Ingredient.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

First a Noose & now a KKK Hood, when is enough enough at UCSD?

After the noose incident of last week now a hood with racist symbols was draped over the statue of Theodore Geisel at the UCSD campus.

The following is a clip from the local news station describing the event

Channel 6 San Diego

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Disney-ABC may pull over the air channel from Cablevision

We are now entering a situation where Disney is demanding that a cable company (Cablevision) pay for the rights to broadcast their 'over the air' channel, ABC, on the cable.  The blackout date is Sunday and is time to coincide with the Oscars presentation.  Although some have said that 'You can always watch the Oscars via the over the air broadcast" many of us, including myself, do not have digital antennas on our roofs/balconies/etc. that would allow our digital television to pick up the broadcast.  In my we are on the ragged edge of the digital signal and are unlikely to be able to pick up ABC via any type of antenna.  Content providers have the absolute right to sell their 'cable/satellite' only content to distributors at whatever price that they feel they can get/deserve/are entitiled to, however it is ridiculous for them to try and charge for content which is distributed freely over the air.

More information can be found at the Wall Street Journal

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

My take on the Outlook Social Connector Beta and LinkedIn

Since I use LinkedIn for managing business contctsextensively the potential for automatic updates has potential. I tried it on a Win7 64 bit PC with 32 bit Outlook 2003 & had to remove it after 72 hours.  A previously well behaved Outlook installation started continually hanging up as it was apparently trying to contact LinkedIn to update my scores of contacts.  There is no setting to say how often the connector should check for updates  or any other configurations options at this time that I could find.  I did notice that if I added a new contact via the LinkedIn website no new contact appeared in the LinkedIn folder and very often when I tried to link a new LinkedIn contact with a contact already in my contacts folder there was a connection error even if I put a copy of the contact into the LinkedIn folder. I contacted LinkedIn about this but have had no response. I'm not sure if the problem is with LinkedIn or the connector itself but until this comes out of beta and is more stable I'll stay away from it.

Posted via web from Dr. Mom's Posterous

Friday, February 26, 2010

Noose found hanging in Geisel Library on 7th floor. This has to stop

Hatred and idiocy again shows it's face on the UCSD campus after the shameful Compton Cookout incident.   A noose was found hanging from a light fixture in the UCSD library yesterday.  If this is a joke, it is NOT FUNNY.  If it is racism then it must be stopped.  My daughter attends that school, her dorm mates are a wonderful, racially diverse groups of girls, just the kind of 'melting pot' environment that I want her in.  Obviously, there are all horrified as to what has happened.  There is a student rally against such hatred planned for outside the library this morning at 8 am PST.  Please give all the enouragement and support that you can to the students and faculty there to help stop such events from occurrng again.

More details of the incident and other links can be found at the UC Regent Live Blog


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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Recipe from the TWiT Army Mess Hall - Chicken Pot Pie with Bacon & Marjoram

This can also be made in one 9" deep dish pie pan instead of 4 small pans.


Chicken Pot Pies with Bacon and Marjoram


See Chicken Pot Pies with Bacon and Marjoram on Key Ingredient.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

One of the funniest The Tech Guy Calls in of all time

The title says it all.  It's heard to believe that this was for real.


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Report from the TWiT Army Mess Hall - Chicken Piccata with Capers and Pine Nuts

I know that the recipe below calls for veal scallops but this works equally well with chicken scallops (this slices of chicken breast)


Veal Piccata with Capers and Pine Nuts


See Veal Piccata with Capers and Pine Nuts on Key Ingredient.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Kosher Computer

The Kosher Computer

I don't know if you know this, but you can now purchase Kosher computers! They are made in Israel by a company called DELL-SHALOM. The price is so low, even with the shipping from Israel ! However, before you purchase a kosher computer of your own, you should know that there are some important

changes from the typical non-kosher computer you are used to, such as:

  1. The "Start" button has been replaced with a "Let's go! I'm not getting any younger!" button.
  2. You hear "Hava Nagila" during startup.
  3. The cursor moves from right to left.When Spell-checker finds an error it prompts, "Is this the best you can do?
  4. "When you look at erotic images, your computer says, "If your mother knew you did this, she would die."
  5. It comes with a "monitor cleaning solution" from Manischewitz that gets rid of all the "schmutz und drek."
  6. When running "Scan Disk" it prompts you with a "You want I should fix this?" message.
  7. After 20 minutes of no activity, your PC goes "Schloffen."
  8. The PC shuts down automatically at sundown on Friday evenings.
  9. It comes with two hard drives -- one for fleyshedik (business software) and one for milchedik (games).
  10. Instead of getting a "General Protection Fault" error, your PC now gets "Ferklempt."
  11. The multimedia player has been renamed to "Nu, so play my music already!"
  12. When your PC is working too hard, you occasionally hear a loud "Oy Gevalt!"
  13. Computer viruses can now be cured with matzo ball soup.
  14. When disconnecting external devices from the PC, you are instructed to "Remove the cable from the PC's tuchus."
  15. After your computer dies, you have to dispose of it within 24 hours.
  16. But best of all, if you have a kosher computer, you can't get SPAM.

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If Air Travel Worked Like HealthCare

If you think this is frustrating for you, it works the same way for the providers.  We have to hire entire teams of people to deal with this nonsense on a daily basis.



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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Report from the TWiT Army Mess Hall - Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya

In honor of Mardi Gras make yourself a pot of jambalaya.  Taste the sausage first after cooking it.  If it's very spicy I'd cut the pepper down.


Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya

Because andouille varies in spiciness, we suggest tasting a piece ...

See Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya on Key Ingredient.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Who are more dangerous, Doctors or Guns?

Think about this:

a. The number of physicians in the US is 700,000.
b. Accidental deaths caused by Physicians per year is 120,000.
c. Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171. (US Dept. of Health & Human Services)

Then think about this:

a. The number of gun owners in the US is 80,000,000.
b. The number of accidental gun deaths per year (all age groups) is 1,500.
c. The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is .0000188.

Statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.


Please alert your friends to this alarming threat. We must ban doctors before this gets out of hand. As a public health measure I have withheld the statistics on lawyers for fear that the shock could cause people to seek medical attention.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Recipe from the TWiT Army Mess Hall - Layered Tostada Casserole

A down and dirty, quick recipe that can easily be made ahead and reheated later.


Layered Tostada Casserole

A quick and easy Mexican style casserole that can be ...

See Layered Tostada Casserole on Key Ingredient.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Jobs, "All E-books wll cost the same across platform, no price wars"


An interesting interview clip with Jobs where he says "All e-books will cost the same, no undercutting", Hmm.

Click on the title in the frame to see a video clip where he says this, decide for yourself


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Sunday, January 31, 2010

MacMillan trying to impose an "Apple Tax" on other E-Book readers?

It appears that another shot has been fired in the latest E-book reader wars.  On at 5:30 pm EST, January 30 John Sargent published a letter via Publishers Marketplace, explaining that they were, at least temporarily, terminating their sales arrangements with Amazon. http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/lunch/macmillan_30jan10.html

In the letter Mr. Sargent explaned their position which appears to be "We wish to raise the price of your e-books to the same price we will be getting from Apple.  Since you'll be getting more money that way we don't see what the issue is."  Apparently Mr. Bezos and the rest of the Amazon staff replied with a resounding "No" and proceded to say "Ok, we don't want to raise prices to our customers.  If this means we can't sell you books, so be it"  Amazon then proceeded to remove all MacMillan books, in any format except audio, from their website.  In fact you can still order MacMillan books thru Amazon since they are honoring their comittments to third party sellers who supply MacMillan books.

Why did this happen? In my opinion this is an attempt by Macmillan, and possibly Apple, to impose the "Apple Tax" on electronic books and remove a competitive advantage from Amazon and the Kindle.  From the beginning I was a bit amazed that Apple planned to charge up to fifty percent more that other e-book sellers.  Considering the initial price of the iPad will be higher than the majority of e-book readers it would have made more sense for Apple to price e-book content more competitvely.  Since they apparently won't do that the plan seems to be raise the prices to all the other retailers.  I do not know if this is a decision made soley by MacMillan or was 'forced' on them by the content agreement with Apple. The whole event feels like it will turn in to a similar event as the Google Voice debacle where AT&T said it was Apple's decision and Apple said it was AT&T's request. I wonder what the documents will show if this case comes to litigation?

Personally I applaud Jeff Bezos and the rest of Amazon for having the courage to take a potential huge revenue loss in order to honor their committment to their customers and keep the prices as promised (i.e. $9.99 for NY Times best sellers).  I believe that this decision on MacMillan's part is shortsighted and will backfire on them.  Right now they have lost a MAJOR retailer for their content and it will be at least 2 months or longer before they can hope for any significant revenue from Apple iBook sales.

I hope that this is resolved soon but also hope that other e-book distributors such as Barnes and Noble take the same road as Amazon and refuse to allow MacMillan to raise the price of content to readers.

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Recipe from the TWiT Army Mess Hall - Beer Braised Beef and Onions

Plan to make this at least one day ahead of time.  It's definitely much better if it sits overnight before reheating and serving.



Beer-Braised Beef and Onions

Long, slow cooking turns a supermarket chuck roast into something ...

See Beer-Braised Beef and Onions on Key Ingredient.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

What is required for any successful textbook e-book reader including the iPad

Much has been made of the potential for e-book readers such as the iPad or Kindle to replace traditional textbooks.The e-book has many potential advantages over traditional books these include:

  • E-books can be produced less expensively
  • E-books can be updated more frequently and corrections issued making it less likely for a text to become 'out of date'
  • Multimedia options can be added to the text enhancing the learning experience.

With those advantages in mind it is now time to consider what needs to be done to make a successful e-textbook.

The first thing to remember is that most textbooks at the high school level and beyond, with the exception of some literature, and sociology books, were never meant to be 'read' but rather to be studied and used as references. If you need an example of what I mean all you need to do is pick up a high school math or science text and try to read it. In even the best written textbooks any attempt to read them in a linear fashion is doomed to fail. It is a format which requires continual 'flipping back and forth" between pages to review examples, look up formulas, charts and tables as well as the need to make annotations and highlight important passages. You also need the abilty to skim textbooks to pick out points and issues you wish to review. As an author and co-author of medical textbook chapters (my latest published one was as the co-author of a chapter on quality management issues in the The A.S.P.E.N. Nutrition Support Core Curriculum: A Case-Based Approach - The Adult Patient) and a reviewer of articles for peer reviewed medical journals I have become acquainted with the requirement of what makes a good book chapter or article. 

I have had a Kindle since soon after it's release and, besides using it as my primary fiction and non-fictional reader,  used it's 'download' function to put on textbook chapters and articles I was reviewing for publication.  Very rapidly I realized that the format was not acceptable for technical textbooks.  Although it does have the ability to 'highlight' and annotate it fails in the ability to 'put  your thumb in' at a reference you need to continually refer back to to understand the content presented. Skimming is also an issue due to the slight delay between 'page turns' which tends to break your concentration. I have looked at the specs of other readers including the Nook and so far none of them include these necessary funtions.

When I head about the iPad and it's proposed ability to have a e-book store I started to think what would required to make it a successful e-textbook reader.  In my opinion these include:

  • The ability to highlight and annotate (not shown on the demo but I can't believe that Apple would leave that basic functionality out)
  • The ability to bookmark pages and to rapidly retrieve them this would be greatly benefited by the creation of a 'bookmark' sidebar similar to the sidebar available on the Adobe Reader so that you could quickly 'flip' back and forth to review references, charts, etc. To date this functionality does not exist in any e-book reader
  • The ability to have a pop-up calculator for technical purposes (N.B.  the iPhone/Touch does not have this ability, to use the calculator you have to close the current app. I would presume that would work in the same fashion on the iPad which, at present uses the iPhone 3.x firmware)

Items which would be 'nice to have' would include

  • The ability to 'tear out' charts, tables etc, and park them on the screen so that they would be rapidly available (this would, of course, require a larger screen or a smaller book area)
  • The ability to link to a webpage in a pop-up/out to review on-line content (in the case of the iPad this would most likely mandate flash support for the viewing of on-line media an option which we have already been told does not exist)
  • The abiity to view imbedded multimedia

I would hope that the designers of the i-Book reader on the iPad have taken in mind these considerations in mind.  If the textbooks presented on the iPad are just 'electronic copies' of print books I believe it will be difficult for public school systems, based on their current several year cycle for textbook acquision (books are not replaced yearly but only where there is a change sufficient to require the new expense) to justify the purchase of hundreds of iPads and e-textbooks.  It is true that over time this would likely occur but does the iPad have sufficient other functionality to survive for the 3 - 4 year time period required for the schools to require new books and to justify it's purchase.  For college students who are responsible, in the large part, for purchasing their own textbooks the time cycle does not apply but the expense does.  Remember that many college students already have 'smart phones' and MP3 players and are 'required' to have laptops so that they do not need the iPad to replace those functionalities. Particularlity since the iPad will not replace a laptop in it's current configuration. The e-books will have to be priced competitively with used texts otherwise cost considerations would mandate the purchase of the 'dead tree' book.

I believe that the iPad has potential for a textbook replacement but not in it's current configuration and with the limitations imposed on it by the use of the iPhone OS.



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Thursday, January 28, 2010

What Apple needs to do to make the iPad a truely functional medical device

Disclaimer: This post is based on the publically released specs of the new iPad.  I have not personally seen the device nor used it.  I have, however used, and continue to use an iPod Touch and have experience with the iPhone, MacBook Pro and iMac.

Like many others I watched the Apple annoucement with interest.  I had heard many reports about potential medical uses for the new device and was eager to see what was being released.  Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed by what was released.

On the positive side the size and shape of the device is right to be easily carried from room to room and will easily fit into a messenger sized bag.  The screen is the right size to examine X-rays and other radiographic studies and the listed resolution is more than adequate to produce easily interpretable pictures.  In addition the docking port opens up a wide range of possibilities for monitoring devices to download patient information.

With that being said here is a list of the issues that I believe need to be resolved

  1. OS 3.x is not adequate for such as device.  I have, over the years, written multiple patient databases for use in calcuations and tracking and have come to the conclusion that there is no way, at present, to write an all encompasing patient case application which will cover all needs. 
    This is important to realize because in the case of OS 3 multitasking is not fully possible (push notifications & some background processes will run).  Health care practitioners will need to simultaneously run several applications to do data acquision, calculations and then using 'cut and paste' enter the data into the medical record.  Under OS 3, in it's current configuration, each application closes when switching to the next one making this extremely difficult to perform the switching back and forth needed to easily encorporate data into  the master record. 
  2. To date I have been unsuccessful in getting either an iPhone or iPod Touch to be able to log into our institutions VPN which uses a Juniper Network, Citrix server configuration. No such issues exist for any netbook/notebook/desktop using Linux/OS X.x/Windows.  This issue will need to be corrected in the software before the device will be usable as a remote access portal.
  3. A touch screen raises issues of infection.  When a health care provider makes physical contact with patients proper infection control mandate that adequate barrier precautions be taken.  These can range from simple hand washing before and after contact any provider who makes contact with patients will have to continually clean their hands or change gloves to use a touch screen.  A stylus with  a disposable cover would solve this issue but based on Apple's history such accessories will need to be supplies by a third party.

I would need to try out the virtural keyboard before making any comments but a keyboard will be essential for the entering of patient data into records and the keyboard dock does not meet the need.

With the above comments in mind and before trying one in the local Apple store at present I have no plans to purchase the device for use as a medical tool until the above issues are addressed.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Recipe from the TWiT Army Mess Hall - Mac and Cheese with Mix Ins

Go wild with what you mix in. My family favorites are broccoli, cauliflower & shrimp or shredded cooked chicken.

Mac & Cheese with crunchy topping & mix ins

See Mac & Cheese with crunchy topping & mix ins on Key Ingredient.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Report from the TWiT Army Mess Hall - Risotto with Spicy Sausage

This cooks up quicker than most risottos do with a lot less work.  Great comfort food.



Risotto with Spicy Sausage


See Risotto with Spicy Sausage on Key Ingredient.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Teacher arrested in NY at airport - Warning Spew Alert

A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a compass, a slide-rule and a calculator.

At a morning press  conference, the  Attorney General Eric Holder said he believes the man is a member of the  notorious Al-Gebra movement. He did not  identify the man, who has  been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

"Al-Gebra is a problem for  us," the Attorney General said. "'They derive solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values.'They use secret code names like 'X' and  'Y' and refer to themselves as unknowns, but we have determined  that they belong to a common denominator of  the axis of medieval with coordinates in every  country."

As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, "There are 3 sides to every  triangle." When asked to comment on the arrest, President Obama said, 'If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, he would have given us more fingers and toes.'

White House aides told reporters they could not recall a more intelligent or profound statement by the President. It is believed that the Nobel Prize for Physics will follow…


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Report from the TWiT Army Mess Hall - Crusty Mustard Dill Meat Loaf

This recipe makes 2 smaller meatloafs so you've got one for tonight and one for tomorrow.  Serve with some potatoes or rice & a salad.


See Crusty Mustard-Dill Meat Loaf on Key Ingredient.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Recipe from the TWiT Army Mess Hall - Beef Gulasch

This takes several hours to cook but only about 30 minutes of real prep work. A great recipe for a cold night
Beef Gulash

Friday, January 8, 2010