Monthly Archives: March 2010

Hamlet in HD

Tweet Ambroise Thomas’ opera returned to the Metropolitan this season after an absence of 115 years. Its reappearance was only the company’s 10th staging of the work. On March 27th the opera was telecast in HD. Hamlet is so far on the fringe of the repertoire that if it were a geographical location it would…


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Our National Fugue State

Tweet If you opened an umbrella in Times Square you could say you covered New York A sizable portion of the American political class seems to be mired in a prolonged fugue state (code 300.13). Their confusion has led them to the conviction that our nation’s well being will be served by a complex piece…


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Retinal Implants

Tweet Scientists have been working for some years to come up with the visual equivalent of the cochlear implant – a device which would restore vision to people who have gone blind because of retinal disease. While there are many diseases which would benefit from this advance, prominent among them are retinitis pigmentosa, a congenital…


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The Cost of a Mammogram

Tweet The descent to health helplessness is illustrated  by mammography. Everyone had been in hysterics about whether health insurance, government or otherwise, will cover routine mammograms. Forget about whether the procedure is useful or not and focus on what it tells us about our loss of self reliance. The average cost of a mammogram is…


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Recording of the Week: Macbeth

Tweet First performed in 1847, Verdi’s Macbeth took 112 years to reach New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Part of the interval was unavoidable as the house didn’t open until 1883. When the work finally did reach the Met the company made up as much as possible for they delay with a superlative production. Verdi’s 10th opera…


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How to Disable Yahoo’s Theft of Firefox’s Open a New Tab

Tweet If you like puzzles you might try to figure this one out. If you install a Yahoo toolbar into Mozilla’s Firefox you’ll discover that it hijacks Firefox’s new tab page. If you click the new tab button on Firefox you should get a blank and untitled page. But once you’ve installed the Yahoo toolbar…


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Be Careful Buying From ProFlowers

Tweet Recently I ordered flowers from ProFlowers.com – apparently a major player in the flower business. The flowers duly arrived and were as described by the vendor. Somewhere along the line I got an email from ProFlowers asking if I wanted a discount on future orders. Not seeing any cost to doing so I clicked…


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Physicians Working Less Hours

Tweet The leaders of American medicine (I had to start this piece with something – there are no leaders of American medicine – we’re too balkanized) are forever issuing pronouncements of how many doctors we should have. We never have the right number, we oscillate from too many or not enough. They usually ignore how…


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Ban Water

Tweet A Brooklyn legislator has introduced a bill in the New York legislature that would ban chefs in New York from adding salt to food – he must be the same guy that designed my new toilet. Good for him. The public is as dumb as a pillar of salt and needs its enlightened lawmakers…


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Addio, del passato bei sogni ridenti

Tweet She’s gone. She’s been in place for 50 years. A faithful servant. Not that there haven’t been problems. The last 10 years she’s struggled with the problems of age. She’s had her innards reamed out. She’s undergone multiple open lid surgeries. Old hardware has been removed and replaced with new, but eventually no one…


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