Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Research on coffee, brought to you by Dunkin Donuts

I love this, Dunkin Donuts and CareerBuilder funded a study to look at coffee habits in the workplace.  Interestingly, health professions are at the top with nurses followed by physicians.

The hospital I go to next year actually has a 24-hour Dunkin Donuts in the basement, next to the cafeteria! I can just see a Dunkin Donuts board meeting: Agenda item #14: Hospitals, time to perk up those who are feeling down (or working there).  

Also, not surprisingly, government workers at #12 on the list.  They go on to say that coffee consumption correlates with productivity, so draw your own conclusions... :-)

The List:

1)     Nurses
2)     Physicians
3)     Hotel workers
4)     Designers/Architects
5)     Financial/Insurance sales representatives
6)     Food preparers
7)     Engineers
8)     Teachers
9)     Marketing/Public Relations professionals
10)   Scientists
11)   Machine operators
12)   Government workers

Thoughts on the Bears (so far) undefeated season

People are making excuses for the Bears wins (that they are mainly based on penalties) but a win is a win. And there is a definite momentum and energy to being undefeated in the NFL, no matter how you got there. 

These 3 wins were crucial for the confidence of the team moving forward and the proof is the re-emergence of skills that we used to take for granted (defense and special teams).

We need a better run game, because Cutler is no Vick and him out-running Forte is a sad testimony to Forte's lack of skills. In the mean time, the offensive shoot outs that the passing game offers is fine, if the defense can come up big like it did last night.

Lastly, an opposing team often starts committing penalties when the other team has gotten inside its head or somehow has it off kilter. So I don't buy all those, "Green Bay beat itself arguments"

Having a sure-thing FG knocked down does something to you. Messes you up. You'd rather jump off sides than see that happen to you again.

If we keep winning this way, that's fine with me.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lobby quite empty at night! 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pioglitazone (Actos) under FDA review

The FDA is now reviewing pioglitazone (Actos), a popular drug for the treatment of diabetes, for a possible link to bladder cancer.  Pioglitazone has been gaining in popularity after a rival drug, rosiglitazone (Avandia), had been shown to increase cardiovascular risk.  Pioglitazone sales top $3 billion annually, while rosiglitazone has fallen to less than $600 million annually due to the negative data on myocardial ischemia.    

So far, the FDA is not recommending discontinuation of pioglitazone, as the association with bladder cancer comes from an interim analysis of a 10-year study being performed by the drug's manufacturer, Takeda.

The entire drug class of TZDs has come under increasing scrutiny over safety.  I am beginning to think that the entire class of medication should be avoided and other means of controlling hyperglycemia in diabetics should be pursued.

Will be interesting to see what future data will reveal about pioglitazone.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Eid Mubarak!

Muslim Americans Find their Voice Amid the Shouts

Story via NPR:

No one's really sure how many Americans are Muslim. The estimates range anywhere from 1 million to 7 million. But what's clear is that over the past few weeks and months, almost every poll that's been taken on Muslims has pointed to one conclusion: anti-Muslim sentiment is on the rise.
Image on NPR site via

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Muslim 'Day of Dignity' Observed in Baltimore

Nice story from the Baltimore Sun about Islamic Relief USA's Day of Dignity in Baltimore:

Under a printed head scarf and the warm sun, Candice Abdal-Rahim served hundreds of strangers food and drink that she could not sample until sundown.

She was observing the Muslim holy month of Ramadan by fasting and performing an act of charity at the annual Day of Dignity, a national effort organized by Islamic Relief and the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Serving others "makes the day go quicker," said Abdal-Rahim, a city schools administrator.

Image via Baltimore Sun

American Muslims Ask, Will We Ever Belong?

Interesting piece from the NY Times:
For nine years after the attacks of Sept. 11, many American Muslims made concerted efforts to build relationships with non-Muslims, to make it clear they abhor terrorism, to educate people about Islam and to participate in interfaith service projects. They took satisfaction in the observations by many scholars that Muslims in America were more successful and assimilated than Muslims in Europe.
Via NY Times

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Indonesian Fashion scores Ramadan Hit

Via AFP:

JAKARTA — This Eid al-Fitr Muslim holiday, Malaysian Sharifa Ahmad is determined to make heads turn in her "Made in Indonesia" outfit -- a black flowing chiffon robe with embroidered neckline and matching headscarf hand stitched with Swarovski crystals.
"The dress is perfect for the holy day -- modest yet elegant. I'm definitely going to rock my little black Islamic dress," the 35-year-old civil servant told AFP.
Image via AFP


The chairman of the FDA's advisory committee, Dr. Clifford Rosen, finally comes out to say that rosiglitazone (Avandia) should either be restricted to compassionate use or taken off the market. It's about time! Numerous studies have reinforced the risk of myocardial ischemia with Avandia, yet there continues to be robust use of the drug in the United States.

UK regulators have already recommended pulling rosiglitazone off the market as well.  If you are a patient, or know a patient, who takes rosiglitazone (Avandia), you should talk to your physician about switching to another agent.  Pioglitazone (Actos) is a drug that is similar to Avandia but does not have the same cardiovascular risk.  

Of course, everyone's medical situation is different and you should make any decisions about treatment in consultation with a physician who knows you well. You should not discontinue any medications without consulting your physician.  I do not have any conflict of interest or ownership in either company.  

Ramadan 2010

Via Boston Globe's, The Big Picture, wonderful pictorial essay of Ramadan around the world:
Muslim men and women across the world are currently observing Ramadan, a month long celebration of self-purification and restraint. During Ramadan, the Muslim community fast, abstaining from food, drink, smoking and sex between sunrise and sunset. Muslims break their fast after sunset with an evening meal called Iftar, where a date is the first thing eaten followed by a traditional meal. During this time, Muslims are also encouraged to read the entire Quran, to give freely to those in need, and strengthen their ties to God through prayer. The goal of the fast is to teach humility, patience and sacrifice, and to ask forgiveness, practice self-restraint, and pray for guidance in the future. This year, Ramadan will continue until Thursday, September 9th.

Via Boston Globe's The Big Picture

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Islam Spiritual Center takes root in downtown Santa Rosa

Nice story of a Muslim community in Santa Rosa, California, via the Press Democrat

The call to prayer, “Allahu Akbar” — God is Greatest — is delivered by a gray-robed man in a black skullcap facing northeast into one cinder-block wall of the mosque, toward Mecca.
Outside, traffic moves along Mendocino Avenue a few blocks north of Old Courthouse Square.
Image via Press Democrat

Reignited ire buffets Muslim students

News story from Boston Globe:

WELLESLEY — Laila Alawa fiddled with her cellphone, pretending she hadn’t heard what an apparently intoxicated man near her on the MBTA had said about “her people’’ wanting to build the “ground zero mosque.’’

Growing up in a large Muslim family in upstate New York and New Hampshire, Alawa had often drawn stares because of her headscarf, and sometimes endured harassment from neighborhood children. But this summer, as she shuttled between research jobs at Wellesley College and MIT, the looks and questions from strangers about where she was from seemed to come more often, and with a sharper edge.

Image via Boston Globe

Monday, September 06, 2010

American Muslims Gather to Break Fast

Via VOA:

The holy month of Ramadan is marked by fasting from dawn to dusk. Muslim Americans end each day of fasting with a festive meal known as Iftar. After a long day, they relax and share the rituals of Ramadan from sundown to the predawn hours.


Local Muslim families mix Ramadan's rituals with American culture

Story from Detroit Free Press:

In front of the fireplace in their Canton home, the Ahmed family has four shoeboxes, one for each of their kids, packed with small toys like "Star Wars" figures and Hot Wheels. They call them Ramadan boxes, an idea the parents came up with after noticing Christmas stockings.

Image: Detroit Free Press