Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Friday, September 30, 2005
Русские - здесь!
Добрый вечер Балтимор, мои российские друзья прибыли, и я очень, очень занят!!

That would be: Good evening Baltimore, my Russian guests have arrived and I am very, very busy!

So busy in fact that I did not have a moment until now to check my blogroll and read all the reviews from last night's fabulous Blogger Happy Hour. I'm telling you what - you peeps are just a fine, fine bunch of happily sick and twisted individuals and that is about the highest compliment I can pay y'all. I'm glad I got out to see everyone since I've been laid up and under the radar from the blogging community for the last few weeks, and I have a couple more busy weeks to go, so it was nice to talk to folks in person.

I'm very glad to have gotten to know some of you better, see my good friends again (and their lovely spouses - and even their progeny!)

Thanks VERY much to Snay for being my good sport and designated driver (and giving my usual designated driver, the loverly Zenchick - the night off).

I'm just not gonna have time to properly link to everyone as blog etiquette normally requires today, so I apologize in advance and let me just say, it was fine, fine, fine, seeing: Fruit Loops and Porn, DaBrettman, mokiejovis (and his mail order bride), Jason J. Thomas (who is really gonna have to eat some crow over the Steeler's comments he made - and we haven't even STARTED hockey season yet!), Jennetic, (they're BROWN boots sweetie), Seadragon, Tracy (minus his beloved Moose and Squirrel), Sally (you are a brave, brave woman re: skid marks, and have the greatest giggle/snort/laugh I have ever experienced), Rachel, Jessica, and the absolutely delightful Dedalus, who I made a special effort to link to in order to promote his solitary post in English. Thanks for the killer Italian accent. Ciao baby.

Probably the best turnout we've had, and all for a good cause. Next month, Happy Hour is within stumbling distance of my very own back yard thanks to my neighbors Cara and Tracy. So join us at Dougherty's for a few!!

PS: We have to quit holding these things on a school night. I'm not as young as I used to be, and going to some Country Club in the boonies to attend an executive retreat at 7:00 AM this morning and spend 5 hours on "Service Excellence" was painful.
posted by Broadsheet @ 7:00 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Oh, this is just hilarious!
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:13 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
And the looting in Louisiana continues
An editorial in today's WaPo regarding the shameful behavior of Louisiana's Looters.

The state's representatives have come up with a request for $250 billion in federal reconstruction funds for Louisiana alone -- more than $50,000 per person in the state. This money would come on top of payouts from businesses, national charities and insurers. And it would come on top of the $62.3 billion that Congress has already appropriated for emergency relief.

Like looters who seize six televisions when their homes have room for only two, the Louisiana legislators are out to grab more federal cash than they could possibly spend usefully.
It's a damning editorial, and I suspect we all need to pay closer attention.
Rather than grappling with the lessons of Katrina, Louisiana's representatives are demanding an astonishing $40 billion worth of Corps of Engineers projects in their state. That is 16 times more than the Corps says it would need to protect New Orleans from a Category 5 hurricane.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:35 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Banned Books Week
Yep - all week. Be an anarchist!! Go read some literature that someone other than your Mom thinks is a bad idea.

Is it just me, or is it just completely sad that there even is such a thing as Banned Books Week?

The Top 10 most frequently challenged books?

1. "The Chocolate War" for sexual content, offensive language, religious viewpoint, being unsuited to age group and violence.

2. "Fallen Angels" by Walter Dean Myers, for racism, offensive language and violence .

3. "Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture" by Michael A. Bellesiles, for inaccuracy and political viewpoint

4. "Captain Underpants" series by Dav Pilkey, for offensive language and modeling bad behavior.

5. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky, for homosexuality, sexual content and offensive language .

6. "What My Mother Doesn't Know" by Sonya Sones, for sexual content and offensive language .

7. "In the Night Kitchen" by Maurice Sendak, for nudity and offensive language
8. "King & King" by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland, for homosexuality

9. "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou, for racism, homosexuality, sexual content, offensive language and unsuited to age group .

10. "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck, for racism, offensive language and violence .

Unbelievable. Just. Unbelievable.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:58 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Monday, September 26, 2005
You know you're getting old when......
You go to a posh housewarming barbecue for the brand new McMansion your cousin built out in the burgeoning provinces of Bel Air. A place where the circular driveway is crowded with BMWs, SAABs, Lexus, Mercedes, SUVs, and other mid life bourgeois trappings of success, and by FAR the hottest girl at the party, the one turning all the heads, the one that everyone wants to be near, the one that could topple empires with a giggle and a twinkle of her blue eyes, the one with a personality that makes Paris Hilton seem shy and awkward, the one that even the married guys make no secret of oggling and wanting to hold.....

.....Is an adorable 4 month old named Meghan.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:19 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Badgers' win drawn to perfection
Are you ready for some football???!!!

It's fall my football peeps, and that means Badger football. We're off to a glorious start with a 23-20 nail biter over long time rival, the Michigan Wolverines. SCHWEEET! This brings us undefeated at 4-0 in our first Big Ten Conference game. Can you smell the roses????

83,022 fans attended the home game, the second-largest in stadium history. UW tied the modern school record with nine straight home wins. It was the first win over Michigan since 1994.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:39 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, September 24, 2005
'Invasion,' downgraded to a 'Visiting,' will hit city
An update on the filming of what is now being called 'The Visiting' . Looks as if the entire movie will be set in Baltimore, and that filming will take 45 days (so much for parking in my neighborhood!).

As for potential Nicole Kidman sightings?

Kidman, who lived near Washington for a few years when she was a young girl, said this is her first time back to the area since she was 3. The shooting will mark her first visit to Baltimore, and she said friends urged her to be sure to eat some crabs while in the area.

Unfortunately, the actress said, her schedule will keep her too busy to enjoy much more of what the city has to offer.

"But," she promised, "I'll be out and about."

posted by Broadsheet @ 11:05 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
The Russians are coming!
Dear internet: Я огорченн я не вывешивало в промежуток времени

I am sorry I have not posted regularly lately, but two things have conspired to pretty much occupy ALL my time during the last 2 weeks once you combine them with a demanding job. The first is this stupid health setback which landed me back in the Emergency Room on Monday and pretty much took all week to clear up, and then I had another minor procedure yesterday which sent me straight back to pain mode on the couch last night.

But even more than that, I agreed months ago to co-chair a cultural exchange through the League of Women Voters and the Open World Foundation which involves hosting a delegation of Russian politicians and diplomats for a week here in Baltimore beginning this coming Friday. I'm responsible for organizing everything with the help of a wonderful co-chair. From hiring an interpreter for the week from the State Dept., to arranging their housing in host homes (one is staying with me), to setting up meetings with them in the Governor's office, Mayor's office, City Council, State Delegates, Congressional Candidates (thank you Peter Bielenson!!), the Chairman of the Political Science Dept. at Hopkins, etc. Then there are the luncheons, dinners and cultural events: The Aquarium, The Walters Art Museum, lunches at the Hamilton Club, Center Club and the Hopkins Faculty Club....

It has been a constant stream of phone calls and emails trying to pull all the details together and organize the volunteers to drive them, put together gift baskets, get tickets, make reservations..... Logistics are hard.

I am very glad I am not an event planner for a living. This was like pulling off a celebrity wedding for 300 people with 2 weeks notice.

So, bear with me one more week or so, and I'll try to get back to more routine posts. And if anyone out there is interested in volunteering next week and meeting some interesting political leaders from Russia, contact me.

Lastly, I would be very remiss this morning in not offering my deepest condolences to my good buddy Jwer, on the loss of his beloved Zoe. Hang in there sweetie - our thoughts are with you.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:14 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
'I love you because you have a BMW'
I'm moving to China. Stuff like this never happens to me!
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:11 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Paging Martha Stewart.....
"Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist , a potential presidential candidate in 2008, sold all his stock in his family’s hospital corporation about two weeks before it issued a disappointing earnings report and the price fell nearly 15 percent."

I hope somebody out there is questioning exactly how "blind" the trust that these shares were held in actually was.....

Tres convenient Bill. He should never have held these shares in the first place. Family business or not, HCA has been one of the most controversial for-profift hospital chains for years.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:09 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Here's what we're being told about the filming schedule in my neighborhood, Bolton Hill, for the movie "Invasion" starring Nicole Kidman:

FILM LOCATION: 1519 Bolton Street

September 23rd
September 26-September 30
October 3-4
Parking: There will be reserved parking in front of the residence for set dressing and paint trucks.

Filming Dates
Oct. 4th- filming during the day
Oct. 5, 6, 7
Interior Filming at night
Time: TBD

Parking: All essential tech trucks will be parked on the north and south side of the Mosher Street from Park Avenue to Bolton Street and from Bolton Street to Mason Street during filming. All non-essential trucks and crew vehicles will be parked off-site.

FILM LOCATION: 1300 Block of Bolton Street and 200 block of W.Lanvale Street (that's the corner of my street!)


October 18 and 19
Filming will take place at night
Time: TBD

The neighborhood has been flyered and visited. Residents have been very supportive of the project.
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:07 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Monday, September 19, 2005
Secret Identity
I am a con artist. A complete sham. I've been leading my colleagues to believe I'm senior management material with lots of experience, when in truth, I was hired by the CEO to infiltrate their web of complex medical services, and test their health care delivery systems from the patient's perspective and report back to them.

Early this morning, I decided to test their Emergency Room Services. Or should I say, the full on body hives and a rash which started yesterday made me decide to test it. The rash spread quickly and by 2:30 in the morning, I was pretty darn certain that if I could just scratch off my entire outer layer of skin, I would almost certainly feel much better. I was looking for a secret skin zipper so I could just peel the whole thing off and step out of it and send it to the cleaners to be washed and disinfected. At best, I needed to test the ER lest small children run screaming from the ugly lady who looks like she has leprosy with a second degree burn on it for color enhancement.

Funny thing is, when you present in an Emergency Room looking and feeling like I did this morning, they take you very seriously indeed. In a matter of about 10 minutes, I found myself in a treatment room with a whole host of people who promptly began asking me a lot of questions, while sticking IV tubing and other sharp things into me.

So, after an IV bag with a cocktail mix of steroids; coupled with mainlining some antihistamines and pain medication, things started to finally calm the eff down.

At 12:00 PM or so, they decided they had tortured me enough, and sent me home with even more bottles of pills to replace the pills that caused the systemic allergic reaction in the first place.

All in all, I'm feeling much better, and I'm sure I'll start to look human again in a day or three. I just hope this isn't a "drug cascade", where, by treating the original problem, you suddenly find yourself three degrees of separation from it in terms of other / additional drugs to treat all the wonderful side effects produced by the original "cure".

As for grading the experience. In all honesty, I have to give the system an A-, it's been pretty darn good overall. But now that I haven't found any major weaknesses in the system, I'm hoping my current assignment is over, and I can return to my undercover work as senior management.

Shaken, not stirred.
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:36 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Coyote Ugly
I woke up ugly today.

No real reason. Yesterday, I had the very real pleasure of attending a lovely BBQ Housewarming Party at ACW and ACWF'S to celebrate their first home. It was my first outing since the sudden health care crisis of last weekend, and I was beginning to feel better, and on the mend in general. Had a lovely time with ACW and ACWF's friends and relatives. Especially ACW's Dad and his Grandma, who at the age of 87, really, really, really, hates France and the French. Be afraid President Chirac, be very afraid. More on that, and the mysterious bungalow in the backyard later.

Today, I was supposed to go to the Irish Festival at the Armory across the street from my house with This guy and his family, but I awoke to a strange, alien rash on my chest, and when he called saying that the dear wife also did not feel well, I had all the excuse I needed to thankfully beg off.

I'm glad I did. The sunburn I woke up with has progressed to a full-on hive / itchy / nasty / ugly / scale of inflamed blisters across my entire torso, back, and thighs. Benadryl and Cortisone cream have had no effect. I'm sure it's a side effect from a week of high dose, high end, high tech antibiotics, but it has left me itchy, miserable and wholly uncomfortable. I called my neighbor, a doctor, to come over and take a look, just to be on the safe side. A deep whistle from your neighbor/ doctor is not a comforting response. She wrote me a scrip for a steroid, and I'm doubling up on the Benadryl (per her OK), but - I can't remember the last time I was this uncomfortable. Everything is sore, itchy and painful beyond belief. And it looks just....just......ewwwww.

I feel pretty, oh, so pretty......
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:43 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Can't even dress himself right

What a complete doofus.

HT: Wonkette
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:07 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Star Gazing
A remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", simply titled "Invasion", is currently in production, due for release in 2006. The film will be directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, and stars Daniel Craig and none other than Nicole Kidman.

Why is this post worthy? Because they are filming it in my neighborhood this fall!! That's right Bolton Hill will apparently appear as a substitute for Georgetown, and perhaps NYC. Kidman plays a Washington D.C. psychiatrist who discovers the body snatching epidemic's origins are extraterrestrial, and then fights to protect her son, who may hold the key to stopping an imminent invasion.

Watch this space for updates and possible star sightings....

Not looking forward to all the street blockings and production trucks though.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:55 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Tongue-eating bug found in fish
In this week's episode of ewwww!.

The bug has the scientific name cymothoa exigua, and eats the fish's toungue down to a nub, attaches itself, and serves as a replacement toungue. That is just gross.

HT: boing boing
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:32 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Friday, September 16, 2005
Natural Disaster
Zellweger ends marriage. What began with the tsunami, seems wrecked by the time of Hurricane Katrina. Zellweger filed for annulment on the grounds of "fraud". Could be interesting.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:45 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Nepal Women hail menstruation ruling
Good Lord. I had trouble believing this, but I also struggle to understand how they intend to enforce the new law, if this situation happens, as they say, "in far western districts of the country". Add this to women throwing themselves on the funeral pyres of their husbands and being sent to jail for life for abortion.

When you try to apply the rules and strictures of modern culture to societies that still operate in 16th century conditions and cultures - how exactly do you enforce new laws on these peoples? More importantly, should we?
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:30 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Remember the little day trip to Toronto I took back in July in trying to get to the Canadian Maritime Provinces for some R&R?

Well, after multiple phone calls, faxes, certified letters, more phone calls, and being placed on hold interminably many times over the last 2 months, guess what showed up in my bank account today????

Yep - the electronic refund from my tickets!!! Woot! So aside from one night's lodging at the B&B which they charged me for less than 24 hours cancellation notice, and some minor security and transaction fees, I got the whole amount of the trip refunded.

Damn right.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:15 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
I'm emerging from my Vicodin Vacation to tell you about this month's "Blogger Happy Hour with a Cause", brought to you by the beautiful Zenchick and Jennetic.

Where: Slainte' - Fell's Point
When: Thursday, September 29 from 5:00 - 9:00 - second floor
What: Portion of the evening's proceeds goes to the American Red Cross Hurricane relief fund.
Why: Because you should. All the cool kids will be there.
Who: Everyone. Bloggers, lurkers, commentors, tormentors and friends.

PS: Happy Birthday ACW!!! (zenchick told me. She might have told the internet too.)
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:16 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Monday, September 12, 2005
Daytime TV

I am stuck at home recuperating for one more day, and I was going to live blog the debut of Martha's new show, which premiers here in Baltimore at 4:00 this afternoon on ABC.

Luckily for you, Nick Denton's folks over at Gawker, saw the show live this morning at 11:00 and have already live blogged it. Hil - ar - ee - ous. Some exerpts:

11:03 Opening with a monologue. “I am unfettered, I am free, no ankle bracelets.” Explains that all producers and staff have fake ankle bracelets, which comes off more uncomfortable than funny.

11:24 Martha is teaching Marcia (Cross) to scramble eggs. Watching the two of them furiously beat yolks is strangely erotic.

11:25 Martha, Marcia. Marcia, Martha. MarciaMarcia, MarthaMartha.

11:26 Martha demonstrates some strange egg cup technique, which strikes us as far too complicated for any meal served before 7pm. “You’re impressive!” laughs Marcia. “Yes, I’m very impressive,” concurs Martha.

11:38 Time for Italian card games. Martha sits at a card table, covered with a plastic cloth, and plays with some old men. It’s the most awkward thing we’ve ever seen.

11:39 “I grew up next door to a bunch of Italians,” she notes, which gives her about as much cred as a hipster who rents in Astoria.
And be sure to tune in Thursday when "Martha (W)raps": Sean "Diddy" Combs teaches Martha how to rap, and Martha returns the favor with a lesson on how wrap gifts perfectly. Also, Martha visits The Rickshaw Dumpling Bar in New York City to learn how to wrap delicious dumplings.

I'm not making this up. It's like watching a train wreck in slow motion
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:06 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, September 10, 2005
First and foremost, thanks for the emails, phone calls and well wishes. Seriously, you guys are great! I almost had to turn off the phone for a couple of hours just to get some rest this afternoon. I'm doing OK, but this literally knocked the wind out of me, and will take a while to get back to normal.

I've created a command post for recovery in the living room. I cleared the coffee table and filled it back up again with prescription bottles, bottles of water, my favorite mug for tea/coffee, a stack of books and magazines to be read, the phone, pillows from the bed, favorite blanket, heating pad for warm compresses, sterile gauze and tape, and the most important thing of all - the TV remotes. All within easy reach.

Now, if I could just teach the cats to make coffee, get ice, and cook - I'd be completely self sufficient.

Back to the nest....
posted by Broadsheet @ 6:59 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Snowball is found!
One small, happy item in a litany of horror and bad news.

U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinarian Terry Conger said Tuesday that Snowball, a small white dog taken by police Thursday from a sobbing little boy as he boarded a bus at the Superdome, has been located at the Gonzalez shelter and will be reunited with his owner.
Pets rescued from the storm can be reunited with their owners at

Thousands and thousands of pets and animals have and will perish from this disaster. Many are being turned in to shelters by their owners who have no homes and no way to care for them. Please try to help if you can.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:48 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Sleepless in Baltimore
And if you're wondering why I'm up and blogging at 4:30 AM on a Saturday morning, it's because I had to undergo an emergent surgical procedure late Friday afternoon. The situation had been developing all week, and took a real turn for the worse today. Thankfully, I work in a hospital with immediate access to doctors and surgeons, so it was caught in time and will turn out for the best, but it has left me in a lot of discomfort and finding a comfortable position in which to sleep is next to impossible. Thanks to Vicodin and Motrin, the pain isn't as bad as it could be, but the cocktail of antibiotics I'm taking isn't helping the sleep thing either.

Oh yeah, that's gonna leave a scar.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:30 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Friday, September 09, 2005
Flying Spaghetti Monster - The Game
Go ahead and waste some valuable time all you Pastafarians!
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:27 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, September 08, 2005
All Creatures Great and Small
New banners are up folks - please click on them to make a donation if you haven't already. Given the size and scope of this disaster, we all might want to think about setting aside 10% or some other substantial portion of our paychecks for some time to come. This is going to take a while.

I'm creating a post for a comment from my buddy Erin out in CO. Erin is a Ph.D. Field Biologist for the US Geological Survey.

All we're hearing about is the people situation--obviously horrific, but what about all of those pets, zoo and aquarium animals who were left (or forced to be left like Snowball)? Go to the following websites to help the animal community:

1) The Lincoln Park Zoo is coordinating efforts: To make a donation, people can visit the Lincoln Park Zoo web site and click on hurricane relief, or mail a check, made out to The Lincoln Park Zoological Society, and send it to: Lincoln Park Zoo, P.O. Box 14903, Chicago IL 60614, Attention: Hurricane Katrina Relief. All donations will be channeled directly to aid the zoo [The Audubon Zoo]and aquarium and their staff members in New Orleans. The Executive Committee of the AZA Board of Directors will handle the distribution of these funds.

2) The Humane Society of the United States
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:03 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Peter Beilenson for Congress: :
His website is UP, and they have an office in place. Volunteer with me!!
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:47 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Andy Borowitz
I just love this guy!
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:39 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Monday, September 05, 2005
Fire Brown Now!
Fire Brown Now!

posted by Broadsheet @ 8:46 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, September 03, 2005
What he should have said.....
Instead of lamenting the loss of Trent Lott's plantation estate, this is a simply brilliant alternative speech. Read the whole thing and realize what we're stuck with instead.

My fellow Americans, it has never been my policy to lie to you, neither to exagerate the dangers we face, nor to minimize the challenges that lay before us. Two days ago, with almost biblical force, the Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, including Mississippi and Lousiana. The damage was no less than what a war would have caused - a millon are left homeless, and millions without power and the other sinews of modern life.

As importantly the oil wells and refineries are out of commission. The port of New Orleans, vital for bringing goods in and out of the United States, is out of commission. This is a disaster which has hit in one place, but which reaches out to the rest of the nation, and indeed the world.

In the wake of September 11th, Americans pulled together to face the crisis, and willingly set their personal interests aside to meet the dangers we faced then. I am going to ask them to do the same now, so that a temporary disruption does not grow out of proportion. I ask all Americans to act out of restraint and be mindful of what they use, so that there will be enough to support the vital reconstruction effort that we are about to embark upon.

Therefore, I am taking the following steps immediately, and will follow with others shortly:
Continue reading the link for an inspired list that a true leader might have come up with.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:07 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Friday, September 02, 2005
National Preparedness Month
Irony knows no boundaries.......
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:01 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
The reports get worse:

"At the front of the line, the weary refugees waded through ankle-deep water, grabbed a bottle of water from state troopers and happily hopped on buses that would deliver them from the horrendous conditions of the Superdome.

At the back end of the line, people jammed against police barricades in the rain. Refugees passed out and had to be lifted hand-over-hand overhead to medics. Pets were not allowed on the bus, and when a police officer confiscated a little boy's dog, the child cried until he vomited. 'Snowball, snowball,' he cried."

That has got to be one of the saddest things I've ever read.
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:50 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Just do it
If today is payday, before you pay your rent, mortgage, car, utilities, groceries or beer money, take 10% off the top and sign it over to the Red Cross, Salvation Army, or other relief charity of your choice.

If Bush won't do anything, let's shame him by showing more support than any other time in the history of the US.

Why they can have Chinook military transport helicopters doing Berlin drops of food and water in a tsunami region halfway around the world within 48 hours of a major disaster and we have to watch our own citizens die before our eyes on live TV is something that no one will ever be able to explain to me in any reasonable manner. There is no excuse for this and whoever dropped the ball should be criminally prosecuted.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:33 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, September 01, 2005
It'll cost you an arm and a leg
For the next 8 days, I am busy helping to host our annual Limb Deformity Conference with a pre-course which begins tomorrow on Reconstructive Surgery and Osteomyelitis. Yeah - I know - exciting stuff.

It is a big deal though. A couple of hundred orthopedic surgeons from around the world come to Baltimore for a week every fall to attend this conference, and this is my first year in my new job as Director to be involved and make sure things go smoothly. Luckily for me, we have an amazing full time event planner on my staff who has everything covered down to the smallest detail so I'm kind of like the parent of the bride. I show up, participate, have fun, schmooze, and pay all the bills.

This week there were a lot of bills related to the course crossing my desk. Printing, moving expenses, course materials, supplies, renting the National Aquarium for a night for a reception, buying a box at an O's game, etc.

As part of this course, we are offering a couple of lab courses for the surgeons to practice what they learn during the conference. Hands on experience you might say. Since we can't have surgeons from Italy, Brazil, Chile, Australia and the UK performing practice surgery on live patients, we have arranged for the use of the cadaver labs at the Univ. of MD, and have shuttle buses between the hotel and the hospital.

So the next time someone tells you that something costs "an arm and a leg"? Guess what? That's $200 for an arm and $300 for a leg (including the foot). I just bought about 3 dozen of each.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:00 PM   1 Editorial Opinions - housing database is doing a very, very noble thing, but I rather think it's pretty futile when the people most affected cannot even get food, water, or sanitation, let alone internet access. Collecting the information is one thing, getting it to the people that need it most is another.
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:56 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
10,000 Patients and Staff Members Await Evacuation From Barely Functional Hospitals
My worst nightmare come to life.

"In a lot of ways, we're functioning as if we were in a developing country at this point," said Dr. Kiersta Kurtz-Burke, a physician at the hospital, reached yesterday on one of its few working land lines."We're doing the best we can, but it's a new experience."
Between the hospitals, the looting, the abject misery, and the anarchy, New Orleans is beginning to resemble Haiti, a soweto in South Africa, or a barrio in Brazil, than the USA. I could never imagine this happening - ever.

This article paints an even more dire picture of the situation that staff, physicians, and patients are facing in the hospitals. Literally being held captive by armed gangs vying for evacuation on hospital helicopters ahead of the patients and staff. What has this world come to??
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:08 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Maybe Next Time....
Maybe the next time a major American city calls for a "mandatory evacuation", with a population of almost 28% living below the poverty level, and with more than 100,000 people without personal transportation, they'll actually provide "mandatory" evacuation ahead of the storm and not afterwards.

Maybe next time, they will have transport ships, military personnel, and National Guard Units, on stand by and ready to deploy BEFORE a Category 5 storm hits. Not 3 days afterwards.

Maybe next time, they will stage warehouses full of Meals Ready to Eat, water, and generators BEFORE a storm hits.

Maybe next time, we will plan to utilize our major cities' stadiums, schools, and other arenas built to hold thousands of people as refugees. And also , to plan for upwards of a week, and build and equip them that way in advance.

Maybe next time we have more than 5 days advance warning of a killer storm - we'll do something about it.

Maybe next time, we won't be allowed to rebuild areas below sea level, in flood plains, or barrier islands.

Maybe next time, thousands of impoverished, marginalized American Citizens and human beings could be saved.

Thanks to Katrina, killer hurricanes have taken a lot more American lives in the last decade than all the terrorist attacks and loss of military life in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. They are a fact of life, and yet we act surprised over and over again at the devastation and destruction they cause.

Maybe next time, we'll learn.
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:53 PM   3 Editorial Opinions

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