Jwatch.org Review:

NEJM Journal Watch: Summaries of and commentary on original medical and scientific articles from key medical journals - NEJM Journal Watch reviews over 250 scientific and medical journals to present important clinical research findings and insightful commentary

Country: North America, US, United States

City: 94305 Stanford, California

  • Just plain ole me - Too late for far too many people!

    Glancing through these reviews, I've seen smug comments saying "I'm glad I live safely in the Midwest", I'll "stay out of salty water", etc. Well, folks, I have lived in OHIO my entire life... And I grew up with the very real threat of HUGE SHIPS. You may have recently seen or heard advertisements of "The North Shore" and the delights of Great Lakes beaches, amusement parks, etc. This carefree life has not always existed because of the very real threat of Huge Ships.

    For those of us living in Ashtabula County, Ohio, the 70's was a hard time. We were confused by the revolution in society: woman's lib, disco, and Nixon. We were downstream from Cleveland and its infamous "burning river" pollution. We teetered on the border of Pennsylvania, and Canadians were but a few miles North of us. The government identified us as a prime target for Soviet nuclear warheads. Fierce blizzards swept down on us from the Arctic tundra. And we lived with the knowledge that Huge Ships were always nearby.

    I grew up with 7 brothers and sisters in a big rambling house; Lake Erie was quite literally in our backyard. We were poor in money but rich in spirit. I have happy memories of playing in the woods and fields nearby. Our family would spend hours at our beach, collecting shells and sea glass and pebbles, having cookouts at sunset over driftwood fires. However, our innocent play was often interrupted by shouts of "FREIGHTER!" Everyone would instantly freeze-- like other small mammals we were aware there was danger -- but where? Scanning the horizon, we would see the Huge Ship prowling the waters. But which direction was it heading? was it coming or going? At times there would even be two off shore at once. We could never quite forget about Huge Ships... at night we'd see their lights, and on beach walks we'd find their spore (deep purple ballast glass) washed up on the shore with the beer cans and dead fish.

    Unfortunately, there was no practical instruction book for avoiding Huge Ships available for the layperson at that time. Like most families, rather than talking plainly about sex, Grandpa's blonde 30 year old girlfriend, Huge Ships or other such topics, ours turned instead to scary stories to keep younger children safely away from true peril. My parents warned us to never, ever go to the beach alone. Sternly, they talked about the dangers of the fierce dogs that would bite us if we ventured "over the hill". Older brothers whispered about the sharks and alligators living in the waters past our own patch of sand. (My best friend was told a troll lived by the water and would eat you if you were alone.) Countless nightmares and permanent psychosis resulted for many children. I vividly remember having night terrors about sharks, and to this day I have a difficult time swimming past "O'Brien's pier" aka Alligator Alley.

    My father -- who was a thrill-seeking adventurer who raced cars and flew small aircraft -- was fascinated by the Huge Ships, to the extent of travelling on board once. He would drive us to the harbor to watch them docked and restrained: high on the bluff overhead, behind the protective fencing, we shivered at the brute power, intricate workings and silent grace of the behemoths. At night he told us lurid tales of the lost ships which plunged their valiant crews beneath the icy waves... The bad luck ships, cursed and foul, ruining the lives of all who came in contact with them... The ice-covered lifeboat found drifting with a load frozen sailors... The wicked ships who went rogue and snapped their tow line (or even worse!) sank while being towed, dragging the tugboat to its doom. As a child I found his first edition copy of Boyer's "Ghost Ships of the Great Lakes" on a high shelf and secretly read it in the dark, chills running down my spine. At night I would hear the lonely moan of the lighthouse to the north, reminding me of the ships slipping by silently in the night; from a mile south the harsh whistle of freight trains rushed. We were fenced in, with the east-west ribbon of old Route 20 pouring roaring semi-trucks, motorcyclists, and liberals upon us.

    But that was many years ago. Life has greatly improved in the two decades since Captain Trimmer's fine book was published, and since reading it, I no longer have nightmares and have even been able to go on a vacation cruise in the Caribbean. My mother still lives at the old family homestead on the shores of Lake Erie. Huge Ships are much less frequent on the Great Lakes now, and we tell children stories of the big ones of days gone by. My siblings and I chuckle over our youth, and when I visit Mom I sleep peacefully despite the howl of the lighthouse and the wail of the train. I even take my children to the public beach and out on the harbor wall -- a feat incomprehensible when I was young.

    As I gaze over the water, past the screaming sunburnt tourists, I still feel a chill knowing that Huge Ships are out there -- all around the world. I have my copy of "How To Avoid Huge Ships" and feel safe in the knowledge my family will be safe. Will yours? I urge you to read "How to Avoid Huge Ships" and protect yourself and the ones you love!

    BTW, for you thrill seekers and fanciers of the macabre: Wrecks of dozens of these beasts litter the floor of the Great Lakes. At the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum you can learn about many Huge Ships struck and sunk by other Huge Ships. To name just a few: the Samuel Mather, the Comet (which itself rammed and sank two other Huge Ships), the Vienna, and the John B Osborn. Many a poor sailor met his watery doom because he didn't have Captain Trimmer's fine volume to guide him. NEVER TRUST A HUGE SHIP.

  • Susmita - My first tablet

    A little about me, I'm not a gadget hound, I don't like to jump on the latest and greatest newly released technology. I have a DroidX which was my first smartphone just a year and a half ago. I didn't get an iPhone because I didn't want to use AT&T, and when Verizon picked it up, I decided I wasn't going to change phones and stick with Android. It's funny, but some friends were sooo excited to get "new" things on their iPhones recently and it was stuff I've had on my DroidX since I got it. I don't get the hype. I know PCs like the back of my hand, and we have a MAC at home which drives me nuts sometimes because I can't clean it up or really find where files are stored (and what's up with not being able to copy cd's?).

    So I finally really really wanted a tablet, but which one to get? Here's what I was looking for:
    1) Wanted the 10.1 size, not the "mini" 7"-8" tablets that are out there. I have a smartphone, so I don't need a slightly larger one.
    2) WiFi only, did not want another phone/data plan.
    3) Front facing camera so the grandparents could Skype with the granddaughter and not be tied to the desktop computer. So this ruled out the Kindle Fire.
    4) Removable/upgradable storage. I like having an SD card on my phone to transfer photos and stuff, and wanted to have the same option on my tablet. Also allows to upgrade from 32GB to 64GB without spending the extra $$ for it internally. Sorry iPad, I guess this rules you out. The thought of having to sync through iTunes made me cringe, I like to be able to just select what files I want and copy to a thumbdrive or SD card and move it over.

    I was originally looking at the Xoom2, but when it finally released it was 3G only and pretty expensive. In reading reviews for that one I found out about the Transformer Prime. I knew of Asus only because I had bought my husband a netbook a couple a years ago by them because of great reviews.

    So I read the early reviews for the Transformer Prime and waited patiently to order (this was early December). Finally ordered on the 19th and waited patiently again. I received my Prime on Jan 21st, which was ok with me since all the updates were rolled out (like Ice Cream Sandwich) while I was waiting.

    I love my new tablet, it's bright and sharp and quick. It did it's upgrades right away and Ice cream sandwich is great. I never used Honeycomb but I like ICS better than Gingerbread. I don't have any WiFi issues, always have 3-4 bars in my house. I haven't even turned on the GPS yet because I have my phone for that when I'm out. For those Apple versus Android people who love to do comparisons, the iPad2 doesn't even come equipped with GPS on the WiFi only model.

    What makes this tablet great compared to others is that you can buy the dock and turn it into a "laptop/netbook" and also get an extra battery. This was really cool to me since I get tired of pecking/Swype. The USB port is also a bonus for transferring stuff off my thumbdrive.

    I'm not concerned about the 700T tablet with it's HD display, 2Mp camera . Don't think I need that for an extra $100. The battery life will probably take a hit, and there will always be something better a few months later. I'm sure after HD tablets they will start making 3D display tablets.

    So there's my 2cents for what it's worth, now I can start wondering what phone to get with my "new every 2" on Verizon.

  • Adam Schulz - A VERY Important Book

    1) Police agencies are being transformed into an organized army with military-style gear, weapons, tactics and man-power the size of which is unprecedented.

    2) In many places such as NYC, a civilian cannot own a taser and must fill out police forms in order to purchase pepper spray (let alone a rifle). One mayor even banned gas masks. Domestic disputes and pot use will result in immediate arrests. Police are using exaggerated and fabricated threats of terrorism as an excuse for more power.

    3) The job of a police officer is actually very safe. They manipulate public opinion by making it appear as if it is a dangerous job. In truth, civilian injury and death from police is a bigger problem.

    Small police departments are being militarized and grown for no reason, civilian rights are further limited, jail terms and fines are increased, police are more intimidating and intrusive for no reason, the good guys won't want to be cops and the bad guys will. Both Conservative and Liberal politicians are to blame as everyone involved in government seems to want more and more power. Military-style SWAT teams are being used for pot. There are good cops out there, but the policy is going in the wrong direction.

    It's almost as if the police is being run as a private business; the more arrests the more money. The more money, the more things to buy.

    "Each drug related arrest brought in $153 to each local police department, the drug arrests quadrupled...."

    I hope citizens realize that criminals will not be the only ones affected by the militarization of our police. The US is gradually turning into an oppressive police state. Changes have to be made quickly.

  • Kathleen Fasone - Best Hairdryer I've ever owned....

    Absolutely LOVE this product... I first learned about this dryer as my hairdresser has one exactly like it..
    My husband who has some slight hearing issues had complained about the horrific noise my other hairdryers made,
    They really irritated his ears. So when I thought I'd give this dryer a try at home... and purchased through Amazon..
    I was and remain just delighted. It is so quiet--- yet dries my hair quickly and the shine that remains in my hair is amazing.
    Highly recommend this product. You will NOT be disappointed.