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Random thoughts of a Brit living in the Imperial Valley of California

Archive for December, 2004

Pfizer: Celebrex shows risk in study

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This story is the best Christmas present ever! As many may know my time working for Pfizer was as hateful as they come. Clueless managers, pointless projects and no direction from anyone, and I hear it gets worse. I read an article at the time Vioxx was taken off the market which said that, whilst Pfizer had made no studies public to this fact, it was to be anticipated that Celebrex could be similarly harmful. Their weasely CEO Hank McKinnell gloated at the time that their drug was safe, now he feigns surprise at this latest study. Give me a break – lawsuits are coming your way and I will laugh as your stock price plummets.

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving company.

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December 17th, 2004 at 8:59 am

Posted in General,Rants

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The Apprentice

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Well, its 10pm and I thought I’d be blogging my opinions of the Apprentice finale but the show is now into a third hour. Good grief, indeed, Charlie Brown. Jen is getting killed in the comments so, given how this series seems to go I am guessing that the Trump is going to pick her just to spite everyone.

Its now 10.15 and Kelly is the winner. He wouldn’t have been my pick over all the contestants but of the two I think he is the right choice. However, I would hate to work for either him or Jen, but then I’m just a slacker.

My final thoughts: Donald – how come we never hear about the casino failures huh??; the show is as contrived as every other ‘reality’ show; Raj was a great character and showed he was a great dancer, too; Ivanna taking off her skirt was the best part of the whole series and, finally, I don’t know how I got hooked on this dreadful series but I vow never to watch again!

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December 16th, 2004 at 10:57 pm

Posted in America

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Just Some Funny S#&t

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Titanic, Its a Wonderful Life, The Exorcist and more – all in 30 seconds and performed by bunnies. Click here to view

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December 14th, 2004 at 10:45 pm

Posted in General

Go Wildcats!

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Now I really don’t like (American) football and I think high school sports are treated way too importantly compared to things like, er, academic achivement but I wanted to give a shout out to the Brawley Wildcats football team. The local high school team is playing in their first CIF final today at Qualcomm stadium. So, go wildcats!

[Update] Sadly, the team lost but it was real close 36 – 39. Well done all round, though!

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December 14th, 2004 at 8:58 am

Posted in General

Shame on 927 Fifth Avenue

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For 12 years, a famous hawk has lived at the luxury New York City address of 927 5th Avenue. He has sired at least 25 hawklets from his nest perched under a ledge on the outside of the building and was a regular attraction for both residents and visitors to the city. But last week, the building co-op decided to evict the hawk, destroying it’s nest and, most importantly, removing the ability to rebuild it. News reports say the poor bird has been seen trying to rebuild but to no avail. The residents understandably don’t want to talk about it to the media, the whole city has protested against such a shameful act, and there have been daily protests outside the building. Hopefully the bird will be allowed to return but whatever the outcome this seems just another example of the selfish attitude of the very wealthy. If you’re in the area sometime, shout some abuse at them for me.

Good summary article with links here

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December 13th, 2004 at 9:48 am

Posted in General

New Moblog

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Just when you thought there was nothing more of me to share I am excited to announce my new moblog. Now, thanks to various state and federal laws there won’t be any candid shots from the Von’s cucumber department appearing there but if I see anything interesting I’ll snap it and post it.

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December 12th, 2004 at 3:07 pm

Posted in General

High Performance Flying

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Finally got my high performance endorsement yesterday, I am now legal to fly an airplane with an engine larger than 200hp. Almost didn’t make it though – very first landing attempt we were at probably 500 feet on final when my instructor said I should go around for another try. When I started to quiz on why, he had me look out of the window at the (non-existant) landing gear. Oops, I had forgotten to put the wheels down!!! Full power and away we go. I’d like to think I would have noticed before the metal hit the tarmac but I’ll admit that I didn’t look good for it. Next up: finish my Commercial rating early next year.

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December 10th, 2004 at 10:07 am

Posted in Flying

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No, Mr Trump, No!

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I missed the beginning of the penultimate Apprentice last night but was surprised – no, shocked – to see Jen in the final two. I don’t have a whole lot of respect for Mr Trump’s perception as it is but throughout the series Jen has been presented as completely clueless on every task. How then could he choose her for the final two? Of course, it may be that she has been mis-represented in the production of the show but they wouldn’t do that, would they? This is reality TV!

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December 10th, 2004 at 9:08 am

Posted in General

Careful With That Laptop, Guys

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From this entry at Boing Boing:
Laptops, which reach high internal operating temperatures, can heat up the scrotum which could affect the quality and quantity of men’s sperm. (…) “It is very difficult to predict how long the computer can be used safely,” [ Dr Yefim Sheynkin, an associate professor of urology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook] told Reuters. “It may not be at all, if the testicular temperature goes up high within a very short period of time.” Adolescents and young men who use laptops several times a day over many years face the greatest risk. Sheynkin fears that if laptop use is not curtailed, in 15-20 years when they want to start a family the men could face problems.

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December 9th, 2004 at 11:09 am

Posted in Computing

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Snow and Ice – in San Diego?!

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Last Thursday I had a flying lesson at 7am, when I got to the plane my instructor was already there “de-icing” the wings. Freezing temperatures overnight had left a thin, but bumpy, layer of frost across the top of the wing. Understandably, Bob didn’t want to take off with that on there so I spent 15 minutes fetching small cups of hot water from the office to pour over the wing. It was probably 25 minutes later that we got off the ground.

This afternoon I drive to San Diego, get on top of the grade in driving rain, which quickly becomes soft snow falling. All around it resembles an alpine scene – untouched white snow covering the ground and buildings, the road slowly disappearing in front of me as the snow settles where it was only just recently plowed. We all slow to about 35 mph, the temp guage on the MINI says 32F and I can hear ice crunch under the wheels. The dynamic steering control on the MINI even comes on a couple of times though I never felt any loss of control.

I know its ‘winter’, but this is the ‘So’ in SoCal, whats with the snow and ice??

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December 5th, 2004 at 9:33 pm

Posted in San Diego

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