Sunday, March 30, 2008

Why Blog? A Book Deal

Today everyone can be a journalist with the blogging medium. But not everyone can get a book deal from creating a blog.

Christian Lander, an Internet copy writer, did just that. He started a blog called "Stuff White People Like." The site contains a list of cultural totems, including gifted children, marathons and writers’ workshops, that a certain type of moneyed and liberal American might be expected to like.

March 20 Random House announced that it has purchased the rights to a book by the blog’s founder. The Price? About $300,000, a sum that many in the publishing and blogging communities believe is an astronomical amount for a book spawned from a blog, written by a previously unpublished author.

Barbara Fillon, a Random House spokeswoman, said her office mates were laughing about the content on White People for weeks before they heard there was a book proposal in the offing.
But it will be difficult for the publisher to make a profit, said Sara Nelson, editor of Publishers Weekly. She figured Random House would have to sell about 75,000 copies, a total that would likely land the book on best-seller lists, to earn back its $300,000 advance.

Random House is not worried about racist accusations. They said it is a book in which almost anyone can relate.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wine at home teaches responsibility?

Is introducing wine at the dinner table earlier than 21 a way to prevent binge drinking later in life? Some scientists thing so.
Paul Steinberg, a psychiatrist in Washington, who is the former director of counseling at Georgetown University, said the attitude of forbidding adolescents to even so much as touch a drop of alcohol is almost counterproductive.

“The best evidence shows that teaching kids to drink responsibly is better than shutting them off entirely from it,” he said. “You want to introduce your kids to it, and get across the point that that this is to be enjoyed but not abused.”
He said that the most dangerous day of a young person’s life is the 21st birthday, when legality is celebrated all too fervently. Introducing wine as a part of a meal, he said, was a significant protection against bingeing behavior.

In 1983, Dr. George E. Vaillant, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard University, published “The Natural History of Alcoholism.” His study concluded that teenagers should be introduced to wine with meals. More than 25 years later, he still stands but the results.

But both men say sips of wine are key; they are not endorsing an entire glass.
“If you are taught to drink in a ceremonial way with food, then the purpose of alcohol is taste and celebration, not inebriation,” Vaillant added. “If you are forbidden to use it until college then you drink to get drunk.”

Not everyone agrees with this school of thought. Recent studies have shown that heavy drinking does more damage to the teenage brain than previously suspected, while the part of the brain responsible for judgment is not even fully formed until the age of 25.
But is it again naive to think teens won't experiment with alcohol until they are at least legal, let alone 25?

European Travel to be Cheaper and Easier

Traveling to Europe is about to get easier and cheaper. March 30, the "open skies agreement" will be effective. This agreement allows airlines based in the U. S. as well as European airlines to travel to any two airports in either region.
Before the agreement, the trans-Atlantic flights were governed by different agreements; one between the U. S. and separate European regions. The pacts required airlines to take off or land in their native countries, and limited which airlines could serve certain airports.

Before this new agreement British Airways flights headed for the U. S. had to take off in Britain. And only two U. S. carriers could land at Heathrow Airport (London), United and American.

When this agreement goes into effect Continental, Delta and Northwest will be able to serve Heathrow for the first time.
Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, the Irish no-frills carrier, has said he plans to start a new airline that will fly from secondary European markets like Liverpool or Birmingham to a half-dozen American cities like Baltimore or Providence, R.I., for a base fare as low as 10 euros, or about $16 at $1.59 to the euro.

Air France will begin operating a daily flight between Los Angeles and Heathrow on March 30.

This agreement is said to be a blessing for most travelers. Currently there is no direct flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Heathrow. This forces passengers to fly from Dallas to Gatwick or Luton, other London airports, even if they have a connecting flight out of Heathrow. The passengers then have to haul luggage through passport check points, take a cab or bus to the other airport and check in again, a process that could take more than three hours.

Aside from making things easier on the traveler, this new agreement should put pressure on airlines to reduce fairs. United will begin flying between Denver and Heathrow on March 30, with introductory fares starting at $570 round trip for travel before May 15. British Airways, by contrast, has been offering that same route for $1,461, according to an online search.

Consumers are warned not to expect great deal yet. With the price of fuel sky-rocketing, this will have an effect on ticket pricing.

Trans-Atlantic Flights for Air France and Delta

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Coruption and Liquid Lunch

A street team in China is exposing government officials who drink copious amounts of alcohol during lunch and then return to work or worse, don't return at all.

Li Bin, retiree on special assignment for this city’s Communist Party boss, boldly strolls into the offices of some of the highest powered officials of the Chinese Communist Party and orders them to take an impromptu sobriety breath test. "Blow" he tells them.

Some of the party's officials have been fired on the spot for being drunk at work.

The officials take long lunches, usually partaking in abundant amounts of baijiu, the fiery Chinese liquor that lubricates nearly every banqueting experience.

The worst part? The tab, more often than not, is picked up by the public.

Bin's task force is getting noticed. Other countries are mimicking his efforts and starting forces of their own.

Wang Tie, the Xinyang Communist Party chief and architect of the crackdown, estimated that the policy saved his government almost $6 million in six months.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Dirty Needles and Hepatitis in Las Vegas

Every outpatient surgery center will be checked for the next month because a Nevada endoscopy clinic put over 40,000 people at right for hepatitis.

The Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada is closed now because of practices that were not exactly hygenic. The clinic reused needles and drew medicine from the same vials for more than one patient.


This center, along with all others, should be checked by the state every three years. This clinic has not been monitored for over seven.

Some of the new inspection have already yielded scares at other clinics; again with unsafe practices.

More states are expected to pick up inspections so this incident does not happen again elsewhere.

NY Hepatitis Scare

Nurses Turn in License , Hepatitis scare

Las Vegas Contamination

Friday, March 7, 2008

Something in the Water

Don't drink the water. At least that is what scientists are starting to say.

Traces of over the counter drugs are turning up in drinking water.

How you ask? A fraction of every dose passes through the human body unmetabolized. The waste product exits the body into the sewer. The sewer water is treated at a plant but even plant officials say the water is only tested for familiar chemicals and toxins, not things like naproxen, Ibuprofen or other sedatives.

The problem is there is not much scientific evidence on the long-term effects of exposure to the drugs in this form.

But scientists say just because there is not enough research to know how if will affect humans, doesn't mean there is not a problem.

Research done on wildlife has found results somewhat unsettling. Pharmaceuticals in river and lake water are being blamed for “feminized” male fish and other changes observed in earthworms and zoo plankton.

Scientists are conducting further research to try to determine it is harmful to humans.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Drunkorexia - Lastest Trend Disorder

Drunkorexia, it is the latest trend eating disorder. This ailment involves consuming little or no food to offset the calories of ingesting an alcoholic beverage.

The illness mainly affects college-age women who are binge drinkers.

“There are women who are afraid to put a grape in their mouth but have no problem drinking a beer,” said Douglas Bunnell, the director of outpatient clinical services for the Renfrew Center, based in Philadelphia.

About 25 to 33 percent of bulimics also struggle with alcohol or drugs, according to a study published last year in the journal Biological Psychiatry. Between 20 and 25 percent of anorexics have substance abuse problems, the study found.

Psychologists say patients with eating disorders usually develop them for a need to numb emotional pain stemming from distress such as sexual abuse or childhood trauma.

Drink Never Eat

Eating Disorders 101

Avoiding Alcohol Abuse