Monday, July 27, 2009

Roadside Attractions

Stevie Coyle's recent email mentioned a roadside attraction not far for Alice's place in Virginia, Foamhenge.

The website Stevie cited seems to be a useful/cool way to find interesting things when traveling. I think we'll use this site to spontaneously plan our big American road trip. Check out this Auburn entry.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Auburn Journal Article

Check out the newspaper article about our house concerts. House concerts offer intimate show setting.

Our back yard neighbor saw it this morning and commented.     :)

I do like Auburn, it is our home and our town; we no longer feel like anonymous SF Bay Area residents.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rendezvous with Rama

I am listening to Rendezvous with Rama (1972) by Authur C. Clarke this week. You know it is a great book when I get to work in the morning and don't remember making the drive. Good solid old fashion science fiction that describes a future while instilling awe, wonder and optimism. Like 2001: A Space Odyssey, listed to it last month, he asks very intelligent questions and answers many.

I found these pictures (spoiler) inspired by Clarke's story.

These two drawing are from the wikipedia entry for the novel.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Rookie

The Rookie is my latest recommendation for an exciting read. A solid coming of age story set in a professional football future.

Now available in print, this science fiction novel was first available as a book tape read by the author. I like the related podcasts that others have done that fit into the story. You need to build your own play list to get the bonus material in the right sequence.

In a previous blog I recommend Scott Sigler with some reservations for the all but the toughest reader. The Rookie is recommended without those reservations. Start here and then when you get into Scott's stories check out his other fiction. The podcasts are how I access his fiction.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Trigosamine® smoke and mirors

Yesterday someone handed me an article they clipped from the Auburn Journal on a "powerful new" over the counter drug for the relief of joint pain, Trigosamine®. The article was glowing and they quoted a doctor and everything.

My suspicions were aroused when by the box ad at the bottom of the page, just above the article citations, telling how to order this new product with special limited time 48-hour "significant discount". Implying that my local drug store may not be able to stock the product in the foreseeable future because of the high demand. But with the special code, if I call after 8:00 AM (date not specified) I am guaranteed my order will be delivered directly to my home.

I googled for Trigosamine and found the company's website and pages of hits. Most of these hits seemed to be drug sales sites offing the product. Eight pages into the google hits I found this short article, Is Trigosamine® Really an Effective Drug for Joint Care? About the only none sales related hit I found. I then looked for FASEB J and found the Journals website. No articles on Trigosamine® or on Hyaluronate-13 published in 2004.

The one scientific sounding reference in the company's literature is bogus. Assume the other information if not wrong is misleading.

The Glucosamine Sulfate is known to help degenerating joints so maybe the product will help some people. But eating a joint lubricant, hyaluronate, isn't going to lubricant my joints any more than eating steaks, bovine muscle, is going to add more muscles to my abs.

While writing this blog I attempted to link to the article in the Auburn Journal but their search engine didn't find their own article. Hmmm??? Going back to the newspaper clipping I see in a smaller type along the top of the page that the "article" is a paid advertisement run by Universal Media Syndicate, Inc. for the product manufacturer. To quote Universal Media Syndicate's website, "Media buying is not just what we do, it's who we are".

Dr. Joseph Dietz, PhD works for the manufacturer. The other scientist quoted in the article, Dr. Philip Howren, is a medical consultant to the manufacturer, PatentHEALTH.

I will NOT include the URL for the product here because I do not want to endorse it or add search-engine-credibility to the company.