Monthly Archives: December 2008

Transient Global Amnesia

Tweet Transient Global Amnesia (TGA) is a rare disorder of unknown cause. It is seen mainly in patients between the ages of 55 and 75. It commonly follows a stressful event, but at least 50% of episodes occur with no previous stressor. The sole feature of the disorder is the sudden loss of antegrade memory….


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Medicare's Overhead

Tweet Rep Pete Stark chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee’s health panel is once again on the warpath.  The California Democrat delivered his latest zinger last week, saying he wouldn’t negotiate with insurance companies on a health-care overhaul. “I think their intention is to see the Democrats fail, regardless of what it does…


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Why Nothing Works

Tweet The title is a bit hyperbolic – almost nothing works. Good service usually can  not be purchased at any price unless you are in the billionaire class. Why do businesses that provide only a service – like the airlines – perform so terribly? In this case (airlines) it’s our fault. We don’t want to…


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Early Diagnosis of Cancer

Tweet Wired.com, of all places, has an excellent article about the early diagnosis of cancer: Why Early Detection is the Best Way to Beat Cancer by Thomas Goetz. The problem is that early detection is a way to beat cancer, but it almost certainly is not the best way. First of all the article is…


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Turandot Without the T

Tweet Today’s Puccini’s 150th birthday. To commemorate the occasion NPR’s Performance Today had an interview with noted Puccini expert Fred Plotkin. During its course Plotkin followed the now conventional practice of pronouncing Puccini’s last opera with its final t articulated. While this practice is pretty small beans in the course of human events it’s pedantic…


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The Met's Thaïs in HD

Tweet Jules Massenet’s opera Thaïs was premiered in 1894. Since then it has been a little beyond the frontier of the standard operatic repertoire. It’s periodically revived for star sopranos. The Met’s current production is a vehicle for Renée Fleming. Without her there would be little reason to mount the opera. While it has moments…


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Thoughts On The Puccini Sesquicentennial

Tweet Much of the July 2008 issue of Opera News is devoted to Giacomo Puccini who was born in 1858. Anybody who loves the composer’s operas, which is anyone who has ever heard them and who is not a terminal snob, will enjoy reading the articles analyzing various components of Puccini’s amazing ability with melody…


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