Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mangled and what-not...

If the world was a frog, would you kiss it?

*dude, dude - that is so way less deep than you thought. dude; common.

Arright; I'm outta 'ere. I used up all my writing last night on a stupid EOM paper that was due last day. It was all about the nature of violence. I took the stance that asking whether violence was learned or innate is a stupid question built on vague and moral presuppositions about an ambiguously defined term which at its essence describes not a moral but a bio-social phenomenon.

Since I didn't read it I can't be sure how it'll go over. I'm thinking good...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

for what it's worth

"Judge orders FDA to lower Plan B age restrictions for over-the-counter sales.

USA Today (3/24, Rubin) reports that US District Court Judge Edward Korman ruled Monday that "the Food and Drug Administration should immediately lower the age cutoff for over-the-counter sales of Plan B, the 'morning-after pill,' to 17..." (see below)


For what it's worth I like this decision. The thing about pregnancy is it takes a whole freaking year to pop out that parasite, and parents shouldn't write ethical checks their kids are gonna void.


Now I think the whole birth control debate is bunk, but let's be pragmatic. Let's say seventeen year old Little Miss Phermone's abstinence-only "sex"-"education"* curriculum says condoms don't work, and Billy McDaterape asks her out after class. She says yes. They go out. She says 'no.' He says 'yes.' If she doesn't want that people-culture to germinate she can either Plan B that sperm in its wiggly tracks (often before any DNA mingling takes place) or wait 3 months until she turns eighteen and can legally get a late 1st-trimester abortion. (I like the first option better.)

On the bunking of contraceptive rights... The Russian doll, kiddo-in-kiddo, legal rights work like this: the enwombed progeny of pregnant minors is the responsibility of the grand parents until the point when Dr. So N Sew cuts Little Miss Pheromone's cord. From then on the 14 year old mommy is in charge. And while she still can't legally get birth control for herself, she can give the OK for treatment, drugs and even elective surgery on her little ankle biter. Hell, she can even sign for it's birth control!

The crux of the matter is that an ever expanding adolescence (earlier puberty and later financial independence) creates entitlement gaps in our supposedly ethical legal system. Such obvious gaffs in our world of clean breaks and self-evident categorization tends to poke a few air holes in our black-n-white neo-christo-conservatism. I like the air holes. It gives the few of us who aren't dead from the neck up a chance to breathe. It helps us see the world for what it is: not black and white - not even gray - but technicolored.


Judge orders FDA to lower Plan B age restrictions for over-the-counter sales.

USA Today (3/24, Rubin) reports that US District Court Judge Edward Korman ruled Monday that "the Food and Drug Administration should immediately lower the age cutoff for over-the-counter sales of Plan B, the 'morning-after pill,' to 17 and consider making it available without a prescription at any age." Following a December 2003 recommendation by "an FDA advisory panel...that Plan B go over-the-counter, or OTC," the agency "took the unusual step of allowing OTC sales to consumers over 17 while still requiring prescriptions for those younger." But, because "the agency didn't act until August 2006," Judge Korman noted that the FDA "repeatedly and unreasonably delayed issuing a decision on Plan B for suspect reasons."

The Wall Street Journal (3/24, Mundy) reports that the FDA's 2006 decision came after "a battle with Democrats and abortion-rights supporters," and that "Bush administration officials at the time argued that teenagers wouldn't be able to make rational decisions about their reproductive health." Judge Korman "criticized current and former FDA officials for using 'political considerations, delays and implausible justifications' to hold up [the] nonprescription sales."

The New York Times (3/24, A12, Singer) reports that the agency moved "only when members of Congress threatened to hold up confirmation hearings on acting FDA commissioners," according to Judge Korman, despite endorsements from "five dozen public health groups," including the American Medical Association, "to make Plan B available over the counter." He also "wrote that agency officials had improperly communicated with White House officials about Plan B," and that "FDA employees sought to influence decisions by appointing people with anti-abortion views to an independent panel of experts reviewing Plan B for the agency." In doing so, "the FDA had acted without good faith or reasoned decision making," Judge Korman wrote.

The Washington Post (3/24, A2, Stein) reports that according to Susan F. Wood, "who resigned from the FDA because of the agency's delays...several officials involved in the decision are either still at the agency or in other key government positions, including Janet Woodcock, who heads the FDA's drug approval office."

Bloomberg News (3/24, Hurtado) reports that Judge Korman also wrote that "Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach 'wrested control over the decision-making on Plan B from staff that normally would issue the final decision on an over-the-counter' application" by deciding "to deny non-prescription access to women 16 years and younger before FDA scientific review staff had completed their reviews." And, although the agency's advisory committee "voted 23 to 4 in 2003 to approve Plan B for over-the-counter status without age restrictions," the "request was the only one not approved after the committee recommended it" amid "nearly two dozen applications," the AP (3/24, Neumeister) notes.

CQ HealthBeat (3/24) reports that the agency must "within 30 days" comply with the ruling. Meanwhile, Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the suit against the FDA, said, "The message is clear -- the FDA should put medical science first and leave politics at the lab door." The New York Post (3/24, Cornell), the New York Daily News (3/24, Marzulli), and the New York Law Journal (3/24, Fass) also cover the story.


*I realize that "sex"-"education" is a little cumbersome, but I couldn't think of a better way to show that I find most of America's Sex-Ed courses involve very little sex and even less education.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Great Shot

Here's a great shot taken just minutes before Uncle Steve (left) recited his vows.

I (right) was a groomsman.

With any luck, this photo will distract you from the fact that I haven't done much writing over break. On the other hand, I do have a good excuse...

Here's how it happened:

Fri 5:00pm - Classes end for break.
Fri 5:09pm - Jon hurts his back at the gym.
Sat 2:00pm - Jon's brakes feel a little splashy on the highway.
Sat 2:15pm - One of Jon's rear brakes shoot a piston through its sleeve, leaking all manner of power Out.
Sat 2:16pm - Jon loses hydraulics and calls on the forces of friction, gravity and the down-shift to guide him safely to the home of his nearest maternal relative (mom).
Sat 2:21 - Present - Jon is camped out waiting for his Meineke overlords to release his vehicle and accept his generous bribe of no less than 32 Score and 10 dollars.
Present - Jon is a sleepy, creativeless, accumulator of smells which he collects in the same pair of clothes he's been wearing for 4+ days.

Thanks for your continued patience.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Tonight, I stayed up past my bed time. No! Don't leave! It's not a trite turn of phrase that hearkens back to Days Gone By more cheaply than the snow-globe effect they use on those dating shows where you wonder if the camera-guy just had the lens on auto-focus the whole time or what he was doing when there were probably way more qualified people just chomping at the bit for their artistic break-through onto the Hollywood scene. I really have a bedtime.

It's 10:30.

LAME. My capital 'S' Someone and I realized that I go to bed no less than four hours later than she does on an average night. Assuming we both get a full night of sleep, that's a whole shit-ton of time to make up for when we hang out on the weekends. Eight hours difference in consciousness lost per day is a lot, so we're working on this sleep diet (not kidding) where you go to bed at the same time every night (10:30) and wake up at the same time every morning (6:30) and not have time to make food for the pal who's allergic to his fillings!

Actually, that's why I'm cheating: the Fillings Guy. I'm still awake at 11:56 because at 9:47 this guy needed dinner (two days from now on Thursday) and I was the only one (5) who was going to make it! I garnished garbanzo beans with frijoles negros and 3 different colors of peppers; I doctored corn, tomatoes and the like; I roasted the potatoes and steamed the broccoli and made the hearty mix of black rice, sticky-rice and quinoa. There was no wheat, no dairy, no Bourbon in a flask (though I thought about it), and nothing tummy-twisting.


upon finishing, I read the email again:

"[Supa Guy's] dietary restrictions are : no wheat, almonds, or peanuts; minimal sugar and dairy, including cheese; and minimal hard-to-digest things like lentils and wild rice."

I'm sorry, but whathefuckareyoutalkingabout? Hard-to-digest-things like beans and rice? Sugar's all I can think of that's simpler, but that's off the list too. [Supa Guy], maybe you should try fletcherizing. That's right:


Horace Fletcher (1849-1919) was known in his day as "The Great Masticator" (not kidding) and would, as expected from the moniker, chew the shit outta food before doing the dirty deed of swallowing. Whatever this did for his jowls it did wonders for his constitution, as I'm told his leavings had no odor. His daughter, Ivy, wrote all about it in her memoirs, Remember Me, which is hands down the most accurately titled autobiography in history.

Fletcherizing was thought to break down food stuffs to their most basic components while eschewing any nasty proteins that found their way into the oat-bran.

The next time you're whining about food being too rich, too spicy, too dairy or too wheaty (I was being sarcastic in that last one. Gluten intolerance is real.), just work those jaws and chew the nasty right out of 'em.

That's right, [Supa Guy], you're getting the beans, the oh-so-wild rice and the over-seasoned everything (because I burnt my tongue like 3-minutes into starting your meal). Suck it up. What're you gonna do? Sick on me?

And, bedtime.

I stayed up because of [Supa Guy], yes. But I also stayed up because Someone said I had to write tonight. Well, I wrote. It's 12:49, but I wrote.

Bedtime starts tomorrow.


Christians are funny. My silly little house-church is so progressive in so many ways, but when it comes to illness, we're just the same as 1st Presbyterian on Main Street: from a light cold to heavy metal poisoning, the best way to help a sick friend is with large quantities of home cooked food.

Tonight, I like being a Christian.*


*I go back and forth on the whole "Christian" thing. My politics, personal hygiene and stance on oral antibiotics are all wrong. For all the Christians I offended in that lat aside, I'm sorry. I may never again be truly one of you, but I like your Jesus. And, I like your belief in the power of food.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Xanthan Gum...

Xanthan Gum: we hate's it precious. I've got the brown rice flower, the tapioca flower, eggs and what not for what will be, perhaps, the greatest pizza dough ever, but I lack this simple ingredient: Xanthan Gum. What is it, the only gluten-free stickiness in nature? Really? In 50+ online recipes, only one calls for no xanthan gum or gluten. This medium sized crust, though, uses no less than 6 eggs. Six!

Fortunately, I'm back on the beer - beginning to work it back into the mix after this month long pseudo-elimination diet. Thus far the results are not promising: 2 hours later, my belly is still aching from the glutany goodness (or giant bread-free pub burger and fries; whichever). Oh well; we had a good run, Beer. And I have been enjoying the bourbon lately. But where was I? Oh yes, back to the search...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Said and Done

This round of tests is said and done. While my anatomy profs pull out their respective anatomy to compare whose is bigger, those of us fortunate to have taken the Head and Neck exam twice wait in the wings - wondering if we too should be booking rooms near UVM for the summer...

This week was a sad one for the System. There was one heart-braking story, a few mortal sins and a pissing contest between-- probably people who have the Internet, so I'll stop there. My head is too spinney for any real revelation just yet, but this weekend I'll try to rub two thoughts together long enough to make something happen. I'm working on a ''Medical School::Predatory Lender'' metaphor and a ''Why the UAAO Fund-Raising Auction Shows Capitalism's Calcaneal Tendon'' (Vaughn would love that.*). I'll get back to you on those.

I feel like I've been writing to apologize for not writing more than actually writing writing these days. For that, I'm sorry. It seems writing is like a muscle that needs to be ex-

Fuck it.

When I don't write, writing's hard.

I'm starting to write again.

Thanks for your patience.

*Dr. Vaughn is a PhD at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine's Bacteriology Department and chair of the curriculum committee. He likes all things classics (Latin, Greek, Yiddish) and is an all around irreverent guy. I like him. He would think "Calcaneal Tendon" is a great way to say "Achilles' Heel."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wrting writing writing...

Hey all,

Apologies for the lack of creative writing and what not recently. After tomorrow's shenanigans all that will change...



(Oh, and I raised the most money in the moustache growing contest! Thanks to all who contributed.)

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ahhhh The Economy


The Daily Show on CNBC's Economic Specialists - Click here for more free videos


When I'm feeling bored or uninspired, I often turn to google for a breakthrough. Just now I searched for "creepy" and the results were funtabulous!

Here, now you try.

The Retake...

Well, Head-n-Neck didn't go so well for me this time around, so I'm retaking the final Wednesday Night. Talk about giving me time to study... It's nice to know that the bulk of my medical school efforts for the last 8 months will be determined by a sadist whose life's ambition is to be the perfect body donor. Awesome.

On the upside, here's a shot from Osteostache. I've got some video from the night and a few more pics, but that'll hafta wait till the insanity is over. Until then, happy Springtime.

(Oh, in case you missed it, I went as an interviewing UNECOM student and the same student after the interview. Funny, right?)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Papya Sale!

Religious views and political affiliation aside, this is at least a little funny. One of the groups at UNECOM was bringing in a doctor to do a workshop on performing 1st trimester abortions. They bought a bunch of extra-large papaya fruits to cut open and use to mimic scraping out the endometrium. The doc had to cancel, so the club sent out this email:


MSFC is hosting a

Cancelled Papaya Workshop PAPAYA Sale!!

Due to a Trainer’s family emergency, the workshop had to be rescheduled, but the fruit has already been bought! Help us afford to offer this opportunity again by purchasing a GIANT papaya!! Only $3 a piece!


Funny how changing a food's use even theoretically can make it unappetizing. Brains are neat...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Can't Sleep? Watch This:

stumpy_version1 from ze frank on Vimeo.

Moustache Contest

Well, here I am: Poorly lit but snappily dressed.

Why the Two-Face? I'm glad you asked. The left half of me was dressed as a UNECOM medical student here on his interview date. My right came as an actual UNECOM student. I had props and everything. It went like this:

Card 1:

Card 2:
"At the Interview"

Card 3:

Card 4:
"After the Interview"

Card 5:
"Sorry RSAS..."*

I thought it was funny, but alas - no awards. I may have raised the most money, though, which is what counts. More to come later. For now, I have to turn in a patient interview due last block.

Much love.

*RSAS = Recruitment, Student and Alumni Services. They were the ones who accepted me!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Jon is Back! but rusty...

Pals, today I made a go at my first real writing since before the hell-storm began two weeks ago. I thought I'd have motivation; I thought I'd have wit; I thought I'd have two weeks of material just dying to break free.

I had nothing. I wrote for like a half hour about a moose named Fluffy who chased me on my bicycle-pilgrimage to Canada a few years ago when I rode to our neighbor to the North looking for green licorice. It sucked. Though true, the writing was worse than any EFP I've put up in the few months I've been blogging

So I canned it - in the trash: no thanks, no way, no problem. Tomorrow I mustache my way to the top at Osteostache and use that momentum to get right back on the horse.

("Right back on the horse?" Seriously? I am RUSTY.)

See you tomorrow.

(And there's this:)