Monthly Archives: July 2012

Biomarkers and Hip Fractures

Tweet There’s an article in today’s Wall Street Journal, Test May Reduce Death After Hip Fracture, that is firmly in the lay press’s tradition of misunderstanding medical science. Part of the reason in this instance is that there’s not much in the source paper they quote. And second is that the study the Journal discusses…


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Acetaminophen Dosage

Tweet A couple of days ago I bought a bottle of Walmart’s brand of acetaminophen. At the top of its packaging was a banner that read: “See new warnings and directions.” So I took a look and found that in contradistinction to previous labeling the user was directed not to take more than 3,000 mg daily in…


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The Pearl Fishers – The Other Duet

Tweet Everyone knows the first act duet for tenor and baritone from Bizet’s opera The Pearl Fishers. Less well known is the second act love duet for soprano and tenor – ‘Léïla! Léïla!…Dieu puissant, le voilà!’ The story which I’ve resisted summarizing in previous posts on this opera is a love triangle.  A Ceylonese Vestal Virgin…


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Prostate Cancer Mortality

Tweet A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine  concludes: Among men with localized prostate cancer detected during the early era of PSA testing, radical prostatectomy did not significantly reduce all-cause or prostate-cancer mortality, as compared with observation, through at least 12 years of follow-up. This will come as no surprise to readers of this site….


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Maometto II at Santa Fe

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Tweet On July 14 the Santa Fe Opera premiered the new critical edition of Rossini’s Maometto II. Originally written for Naples in 1820, the opera has a strange history. After the piece failed in Naples Rossini rewrote it for Venice in 1822. There it had a happy ending. In 1826 he extensively redid the opera and had it performed in Paris…


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The Pearl Fishers in Santa Fe

Tweet Bizet’s opera The Pearl Fishers (Les pêcheurs de perles) had never been performed by the Santa Fe Opera until this season. Since its premiere in 1863 it has hung around the outskirts of the standard operatic repertory. It has only received four performances by the Metropolitan Opera, the last in 1916 with Enrico Caruso heading the…


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Verdi – Father and Adopted Daughter

Tweet Verdi’s first success was his third opera, Nabucco (Nebuchadnezzar); it takes place during the fall of the first temple in Jerusalem and during the subsequent Babylonian Captivity. In this opera the title character has two daughters, Abigaille and Fenena. The former turns out to a slave girl whom he adopted. She discovers her true lineage in…


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Quotation of the Week

Tweet Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm – but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves….


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The New HIV Test

Tweet There’s a new test for HIV which has just received FDA approval for over the counter sales. This has been widely reported in the press. Not surprisingly the press is having a lot of trouble understanding what a positive test means. The NY Times tied itself into a knot on the subject. The closest to reality…


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Verdi: Father and Daughter

Tweet In Aida there are two father-daughter combos. The obvious one is Aida and her warrior-king father Amonasro. The other pair is the Pharaoh and his rebellious teen-age daughter Amneris. The Pharaoh is a minor character and not a whole lot goes on between him and his daughter. But the third act encounter between the Ethiopian royals is one of…


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