birdie's blog

Legislating Cheerleading

One of the more idiotic preoccupations of our ever-diligent seekers of the "right, proper, clean and patriotic way to be an American"...in Texas, they're legislating what's appropriate in cheerleading ("shake your...no don't shake your...!!!) NYT

Four Billion Dollars for Drug Advertising

It's not my imagination. There is more direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising than ever. Ad Age says, " Food
and Drug Administration is pelting drugmakers with letters warning
that they have run afoul of promotional regulations." They write the FDA's actions are "threatening to tip the $4
billion direct-to-consumer industry into a full-blown crisis." The
FDA has warned nine companies so far in 2005, compared to 12 in 2004
and five in 2003. "DTC ads account for nearly a third of the
advertising on the major broadcast network's nightly news programs,"
notes AdAge.

This is ridiculous. There's not a doctor I know who wants random patients to call them about prescribing such and such a drug. The drug companies have gone too far.

In case you haven't yet seen it, here's a great takeoff on those nauseating drug ads: Consumers Union or jib-jab .

Attention all Dead and Dying

Seems like you have to be either dead, dying or in a PVS to get any attention from the media/elected officials these days. What about us poor suckers who are still alive, have children of draft-age and are approaching retirement with a broken social security system? What about the troops in Iraq? What about children who attend our underfunded schools? What about us poor working saps?

For You Hunter Thompson Fans

wonderful parody from The Onion that I think he would have approved of...

Quel Headline

"Obese Will Die Young, Save Social Security"
(TechNewsWorld) -- don't you just love it?

Both Sides of the Coin for Seattle

I posted a story the other day about a bookstore (All For Kids) owner celebrating her birthday and the success of her long-lived children's store by having authors read in various Seattle Public Libraries.

Here's the other side of the coin, a much more common one I'm afraid, Seattle's Hullaballoo Books is closing.

Public libraries...keep that COMMUNITY spirit going. Keep local businesses in business.

The Store

Pretty soon people will be headed to THE STORE...the only store extant after the consolidation, merger, acquisiton and elimination of all of the interesting and unique marketplaces established by our forefathers (Abraham and Strauss would turn over in their graves)

Blooming-Macy's-Walmart-Target-Barnes&Taylor

Robert B. Reich had an interesting editorial in today's Times in which consumers face some of the blame for what has become a terrifying sterile retail environment.

The Gates ...Orange You Glad

"The Gates" is now the talk of the town. Everyone I speak to from out of town asks if I've seen them, and thus far, the answer is no. If I do get around to seeing them, I promise to post a review. Meanwhile, here's a heartwarming story about how a "Gates" volunteer rescued two dogs: Daily News .

One Year Since the "Wardrobe Malfunction"

Frank Rich (who was one year ahead of me in high school in Washington DC, and yeah, he was editor of The Beacon) commemorates Janet Jackson's faux pas and analyzes how things have changed in terms of what (some) Americans think should be censored and how networks are responding. New York Times (registration).

LASIK/LASEK (don't read if squeamish)

I've been away from New York for a bit having LASIK surgery (in the hinterlands, it's half the price as at home in the Apple). Originally, I was supposed to have both eyes done simultaneously(correction for astigmatism), but on the first eye, the laser took a bit more cornea than intended and caused a corneal abrasion. The doctor wants to wait and possibly do "LASEK", a more conservative procedure on the second eye which does not involve cutting a flap in the cornea...the disadvantages are having to wear a protective lens, more pain and a longer healing time. Both LASIK & LASEK have the same eventual results. Anybody with any experience to offer suggestions?

The Domain Game

For the year 2005, the spammers are out and about in shiny new domains such as "yohoo.com" and "yanoo.com". Any other clone-like domains that you've noticed?

Pale Male Is the Talk of the Town

A red-tailed hawk and his mate, who've lived on the 12th floor of a fashionable Fifth Avenue building since 1991, are the talk of NY. Evicted by the coop-board (their nest was destroyed), and later enthusiastically supported by all kinds of New Yorkers, famous and not so, it appears the board has altered its original eviction plan. CNN .

This is some impressive bird...the first to have chosen the Big Apple as his home since the days of Peter Stuyvesant. He's outlived three wives (is now on his forth, Lola, and they've raised 23 chicks on the ledge.

Bye Bye

It's all over but the shouting...for Ken-Jen.

Bush II - It's as if the children have taken over..

Bob Herbert's excellent column in today's New York Times describes Geo. W. Bush's second term as "It's as if the children have taken over and sent the adults packing." Not only is it literally true (in terms of the senior advisor exodus), it's also a symptom of Bush's unbelievable obstinancy. NYT.

To the spoiled goes the victory. Little George is still digging in his heels and wants things his way.

Wal-Mart Ethics

Just the suckiest, greediest and most uncaring company in the world. They're raking in the bucks

NYTimes

...and communities where they have insinuated themselves are becoming poorer and poorer

Penn State study .

The Times article tells that some of their biggest payout problems are dealing with lawsuits that arise from accidents in their stores.

Have you ever tripped on anything in a Wal-Mart? Maybe you've banged into a disgruntled employee while madly searching for some product or other that nobody seems to care if they have or not. Or perhaps you've slammed into a cardboard display while searching for "an associate" to help you find it. Or you've fainted while waiting in the cashiers line while they unwrap their bubble gum. I think the next time I have an accident at Wal-Mart, it will be while running towards the doors screaming 'get me out of here!'.

the bulge

Cashmere and Kevlar? Bulge Affair Has Tailor Miffed

NYT

...and the winner is...

Hope this'll cheer up Samantha and everyone else who is suffering a post-election downer...Mark Fiore cartoon

and p.s., Chica (the cat) is seventeen and going strong

spam

Spam hates Spam.

read it here

Stranger in a Strange Land

by Nicholas Kristof NYT.

I know that I lost, but I feel disenfranchised, as if I don't belong here. The people have spoken, but the people...I just don't know who they are, or how they got to where they are or why they can't seem to see what is plainly in front of their faces.

Political Bohemian Rhapsody

Funny, and may it create a moment of lightheartedness in your week.

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