Thursday, November 19, 2009

There was a time when we knew little about addiction treatment

That time was well within my own lifetime as well: those who were addicted were looked upon as criminals and treated as such. Fortunately for society (and innumerable individuals) our knowledge about addictions and drug treatment has improved. We now know that it is a disease, one with many causes and thus many possible treatments. Further, we've also learnt that what works for one patient may well not work for another: although there are enough treatments that we can find one or another to suit all.

This is part of a more general trend of course, it's not just restricted to drug treatment. Our whole society is now more aware that we are all individuals, that there are no one size fits all solutions to any problems. We all need to be treated holistically, as a whole person, rather than simply units in one plan or another.

So we find that at modern drug treatment centers like the Pat Moore Foundation there are many different treatment options. It's the patient who works with advisors to decide which is working the best for any individual. This might mean a program based upon therapy: trying to deal with an underlying psychology that predisposes towards addiction for example. Or it might be that such a dual diagnosis isn't quite right and it's more a case of a more medically driven intervention. Or perhaps the group work and support of the 12 steps program made famous by AA is more likely to work?

The advantage of having each of these (and others) all on the same campus is that if one is not working, another can be tried: or if one is working and it is time to move on then that can be done as well. But perhaps the most important point is that as we've learnt more so we've been able to better treat addictions: making the world a better place, one slow step after another.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Carrie Prejean sex tape

This is really most amusing, the kerfluffle over the Carrie Prejean sex tape.

Important update. The Carrie Prejean sex tape is child pornography.

Essentially, Carrie Prejean got thrown off the Miss California pageant because her Christian beliefs led her to give a less than PC answer to a question about gay marriage. She then sued the organisers. The organisers then sued her for the cost of her boob job that they had paid for.

Everything is stalemate until a lawyer turns up a copy of the Carrie Prejean sex tape. Worth clicking through that link to find out what happens next: although in short she folded.

The thing is, the tape had been doing the rounds for months so why did she think she could get away with suing over her blemished reputation in this manner? did she think that it wouldn't come out?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Tom Cruise Rumour

There's something naggling at the back of my mind: something about Tom Cruise. I'm trying to remember what it was that was said about the reason he didn't have children with Nicole Kidman. It could of course have been that he or she didn't want them, but then they adopted two.

I seem to remember (and this will make the Katie Holmes marriage look a little odd) that there was some mention of Cruise having an endocrine problem? That he was therefore infertile?

Note I said infertile, not impotent please. So both Nicole and Katie Holmes might be having fun. But if I'm right in remembering this, then how come Katie Holmes got pregnant? Is there something we're not being told?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Weird, Just Weird

The arguments over circumcision (I'm talking about the ale type, not the female) have been going on forever.

Does it lead to lower rates of STDs (yes), does it lead to lower sensitivity, (yes) and so on.

However, here's intriguing evidence that circumcision is actually a good thing.

For the ladies, at least.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Nice Ringtones Site

"Ringtones are undoubtedly one of the most popular features that somebody can download from the net. While searching for Ringtones I found a very cool site. is the best site to download free ringtones without restrictions. The information mail I received from the site says that the database is enriched with new ringtones every week. I decided to test it and download some ringtones (Rihanna’s Unfaithull is cool) and it works just fine.

I have to notice that the site offers free free MP3 Ringtones, Real Tones, Midi Ringtones. Every carrier is available. Get free Cingular Ringtones and free Sprint Ringtones.

Besides the site has an informative blog for mobile phones and a page dedicated to the famous Mosquito Ringtones. Do you know what a mosquito ringtone is? It is the new, cool weapon that children use in order to receive a call or an sms without being noticeable from the adults. This is due to the fact that the adults can’t hear some high frequency sounds.

Well, I suppose that Goldringtone is the ideal site for someone who wants to download one or more free ringtones, easily.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

More Climate Change Nonsense

We're at a tipping point on climate change they say, the Arctic ice is going:

A catastrophic collapse of the Arctic sea ice could lead to radical climate changes in the northern hemisphere according to scientists who warn that the rapid melting is at a "tipping point" beyond which it may not recover.

The scientists attribute the loss of some 38,000 square miles of sea ice - an area the size of Alaska - to rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as well as to natural variability in Arctic ice.

Ever since satellite measurements of the Arctic sea ice began in 1979, the surface area covered by summer sea ice has retreated from the long-term average. This has increased the rate of coastal erosion from Alaska to Siberia and caused problems for polar bears, which rely on sea ice for hunting seals.

However, in recent years the rate of melting has accelerated and the sea ice is showing signs of not recovering even during the cold, dark months of the Arctic winter. This has led to even less sea ice at the start of the summer melting season.

Mark Serreze, a senior glaciologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said the world was heading towards a situation where the Arctic will soon be almost totally ice-free during summer, which could have a dramatic impact on weather patterns across the northern hemisphere.

"When the ice thins to a vulnerable state, the bottom will drop out and we may quickly move into a new, seasonally ice-free state of the Arctic," Dr Serreze said.

Personally I think it's excellent. Think of all that oil we can drill for now the ice has gone!

Hotter, Smaller Sheep

Climate change is changing the size of sheep on a Scottish isle:

While every physics pupil knows that heat can usually be relied on to make objects expand, for the semi-wild sheep of the Outer Hebrides it appears to have the opposite effect.

Observations of Soay sheep on Hirta island have shown that the warmer temperatures associated with global warming allow more smaller animals to survive the winter. And with greater numbers of smaller sheep living through the cold months, the average size of the animals falls.

Research led by Imperial College London, published in the journal Science, is the first to establish a direct link between the genetic changes of an animal population and climate change. It indicates that mankind, on top of the ecological legacy of causing species to become extinct or vastly reduced in number, is leaving an evolutionary legacy by affecting natural selection.

On Hirta, the researchers used a combination of population data and field observations to track the size of individual sheep and how their survival rates influenced their numbers.

It's the mass to surface ratio there, smaller sheep just couldn't control their temperatures in the colder winters. So who says climate change is all bad then?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Microsoft and the patent damages.

Apparently Alcatel Lucent owns patents on MP3 files and players, which is why Microsoft has been hit with damages of over $1.5 billion:

A U.S. federal jury found that Microsoft Corp. (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) infringed audio patents held by Alcatel-Lucent (ALU.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) (ALU.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and should pay $1.52 billion in damages, the No. 1 software maker said on Thursday.

Microsoft said it plans to first ask the trial judge to knock down the ruling and will appeal if necessary. It said the verdict is unsupported by the law and that it had already licensed the technology in question from Germany's Fraunhofer.

Alcatel-Lucent had accused the world's biggest software maker of infringing patents related to standards used for playing MP3 digital music files.

If this judgement stands then Alcatel may well go after other people as well, like Apple: and any damages would be far more wounding to the smaller company which relies upon iPods in a way that Microsoft does not rely upon audio products.