Archive for February, 2007


Very little, very late…but at least it was enough for the kids to have some fun!

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Cancer “stem cells”

This article is very interesting – not only for the potential advance that this may represent, but also for the helpful use of analogies (stem cells, dandelion roots) that make the general concept more clear to the reading public.

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Pharma News 2_23

Ed Silverman over at Pharmalot features the story that came out in the Wall Street Journal this week, about Genentech’s Lucentis competing with its sibling drug, Avastin, in the treatment of macular degeneration. The NIH is planning to sponsor a head-to-head trial.

More interesting stuff on Avastin – indications that it may be effective with brain tumors. Then of course there’s the late breaking news that half the recommended dose of Avastin seems to be just as effective as the full dose in treating lung cancer.

I’m sure there have been other interesting news tidbits this week, but I’m in a hurry today!

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After Hours 2_22

Classical guitar music – not for everyone, but occasionally, you can’t beat it. Here are some artists you may want to try out; some are “old friends,” others more recent discoveries (links lead to pages where you can hear samples):

Phil Keaggy

Christopher Parkening

Don Ross

Dave Beegle

Brooks Williams

…and, of course, the old master, Andres Segovia.

Reader Keith Cox also recommends Rodrigo Y Gabriela, whose music can be described as “flamenco with attitude”!

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Answer: What is it?

Village residents from the Rostov region of Russia caught a weird creature two weeks ago after a strong storm in the Sea of Azov. The shark-looking creature was producing strange squeaky sounds. The fishermen originally believed that they had caught an alien and decided to film the monster with the help of a cell phone camera. The footage clearly shows the creatures’ head, body and long tail. The bizarre catch was weighing almost 100 kilograms, the Komsomolskaya Pravda reports.

However, UFOlogists and scientists were greatly disappointed when they found out that the fishermen had eaten the monster. They said that they were not scared of the creature so they decided to use it as food. One of the men said that it was the most delicious dish he had ever eaten.

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You can Havidol!

Are you suffering from Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder (DSACDAD)? Some people actually think they are…and now there’s new treatment – Havidol!

Great spoof on a fake drug and condition, dreamed up by Australian artist Justine Cooper.

The website promoting Havidol is well-done and almost convincing. I enjoyed doing something similar with some colleagues a few years back, with Tranquel, a theobromine-based treatment for lots of mood disorders. But my favorite fake drug of all time is Delinqua, a product a few of us came up with for chronic tardiness.

Who says you can’t Havidol?

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Canadian press release here (Vitesse had merged not long ago with Canadian provider Provinent).

I had a high opinion of the original U.S.-based VitesseLearning team, and enjoy collaborating with them. After the merger, and a major departure of personnel here in the U.S.  last year, things apparently went downhill rapidly.

Leadership Matters. And that’s all I have to say about that.

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Viagra, the sexual dysfunction drug marketed by Pfizer, returned to its original roots as a cardiovascular treatment recently, when a doctor in England used it to help a preemie gain enough lung function to survive (sildenafil helps open up blood vessels – in this case, allowing better oxygen uptake in the lungs).


Parents Jade Goodfellow and John Barclay, from Walker, Newcastle believe the drug – more usually associated with anti-impotence – saved his life. “They were just clutching at straws basically. They explained it was experimental and may not have any effect at all.”

Story from BBC here.

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After Hours 2_16

There are movies that are watched and easily forgotten.

There are movies that you like well enough to recommend to your friends.

Then there are movies that become so embedded in your mind and affections that you don’t mind seeing them over and over again, and you find yourself quoting certain phrases from it as part of a secret code with your fellow movie-watchers.

Such a one is The Princess Bride. A hilarious spoof of adventure flicks, this movie has so many memorable moments that it’s impossible to list them (my favorite: “Oh, you mean this gate key?”, followed closely by the Miracle Max visit). In my house, you’ll regularly hear Princess Bride phrases bandied about (“…and that other thing!” “GENTLY!” “So it’s to be torture, is it?”). If you haven’t treated yourself to this classic, remedy the situation right away!

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Are you working on any eLearning initiatives for 2007? Are you dissatisfied with current eLearning offerings or suppliers? Here are the ways Impactiviti can help…

1. Strategic planning – this requires asking the right questions – from the point of view of the learner, the business, the training dept., and the IT folks. That’s what Impactiviti does best – knowing what questions to ask, before any design or development begins.

2. Solution design– we’ve worked on enterprise eLearning platforms, virtual universities, webcasts, interactive courses, virtual preceptorships, and on-line testing. Through it all, we seek to maintain a real-world eLearning design philosophy that emphasizes a mix of creativity and pragmatism.

3. Vendor recommendations – whether you are making your first foray into eLearning, or looking to find a more optimal supplier for existing initiatives, Impactiviti can help. We have partnerships and collaborative relationships with top companies in the industry.

4. RFP creation – one major key to success is making sure that requirements are clearly documented and communicated. This requires a well-crafted document that is created with both the client and the vendor perspectives in mind.

Give us a call (973.402.2150). We’re easy to talk to, and like nothing better than brainstorming around your needs and coming up with solutions!

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