Category Archives: Featured

Operatic Laughter

Tweet There’s a lot to laugh about in opera, some of it intentional. My subject is not situations that are funny, rather it’s situations in which the characters laugh. Here are a few; doubtless, you can think of others. I’ll start with Adele’s Laughing Song from the younger Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. Adele, the Eisenstein’s maid,…


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On Persistence

Tweet This article is the 1000th published here since the site went live in December of 2007. I don’t keep track of this sort of thing, but the computer does and I couldn’t help noticing that the previous one had number 999 attached to it. So, big deal! All this proves is that if you’re…


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New (2019) Cholesterol Treatment Guidelines

Tweet The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have released new guidelines for the management of elevated blood cholesterol levels. These guidelines focus on LDL-cholesterol. They are summarized in the figure below which can be enlarged by clicking on it. They were published in a short article in the JAMA which is…


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The Met’s House Tenors

Tweet The definition I’m using here is this: A Met house tenor is one who has sung at least 500 performances in leading tenor roles with the company. Thus, comprimario singers are not included. Using this rule there are only six tenors who qualify. They are listed below in the order of their birth followed…


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Dr. Donald W. Seldin, ‘intellectual father’ of UT Southwestern, dies at 97

Tweet Dr Seldin died April 25, 2018 at the age of 97. I was one of thousands of physicians whose life and career was shaped by this great man. The article below is the tribute to him that was published by Southwestern Medical Center, the institution that he devoted his life to and which was…


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Prevention of Contrast-Associated Acute Kidney Injury

Tweet The infusion of iodinated contrast materials as an aid to a variety of imaging studies is associated with the development of acute renal failure (now typically called acute kidney injury). This nephropathy almost always occurs in predisposed patients. Risk factors include pre-existing kidney disease, advanced age (>75), diabetic nephropathy, and congestive heart failure. The…


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New Blood Pressure Guidelines – Think First

Tweet The press with an assist from the American College of Cardiology is trying to drive the American public crazier than it usually is. Here’s a quotation typical of those floating around the media: “Nearly half of Americans have high blood pressure under the new guidelines issued Monday by heart organizations and the medical community….


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How Go Completely Crazy in 25 Easy Steps

Tweet The first thing to accept is that you don’t have to do anything crazy to go completely crazy – a series of rational small steps will get you there. A to B seems at least OK. The same with B to C, all the way to Z. Twenty five rational, or semi-rational, steps and…


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Gene Therapy for Sickle Cell Disease

Tweet Sickle Cell Disease is a disorder of hemoglobin production secondary to an alteration in the hemoglobin gene on chromosome 11.  Specifically, there is a single amino acid substitution in “adult” β A -globin (Glu6Val) stemming from a single base substitution (A→T) in the first exon of the human β A -globin gene. The abnormal…


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Ostracism and “high Crimes and Misdemeanors”

Tweet Ostracism was an interesting feature of the Athenian democracy, if you can call a city-state which granted the suffrage only to adult male land owners a democracy. About 30 to 50 thousand of about 300 thousand Athenians were eligible to vote. Unsurprisingly, democracy in Athens lasted little more than a century. Ostracism derives its name from…


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