Don’t bother reading this


Rare kudos to FOX News.

A German retiree is taking a hospital to court after she went in for a leg operation and got a new anus instead ….

The rest of that sentence, in fact, is, “the Daily Telegraph is reporting”. The FOX version is nothing more than a slightly edited—for vernacular—version of the Australian newspaper’s short article. But the thing is that I picked this up from David Schmader at Slog, who noted that The Sun had the better headline. Indeed, the British tabloid’s staff reporter simply edited the four sentences of the Australian version.

So let’s do a headline comparison:

  • Daily Telegraph: “Pensioner gets bum’s rush on op”
  • The Sun: “Leg op woman gets bum deal”
  • FOXnews.com: “Woman Goes for Leg Operation, Gets New Anus Instead”

The headline says it allAnd, yeah. I have to go with the FOX headline. I mean, you don’t need to make any joke about it. The simple fact of the story is the joke. Well, sort of. As long as you’re not the pensioner who still needs the leg operation.

Well, that and even without the typographical omission, there’s something about the phrase, “Click hear Dr. Manny talk about medical errors” that strikes me just so. They ought to just give it up and go find themselves a doctor named Nick.

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The news on drugs


I’m not entirely sure what to make of these. First, FOX News (?!) reports:

Certain marijuana components may suppress the tumors of highly invasive cancers, a new study finds.

In laboratory tests, cannabinoids, the active components in marijuana, were found to slow the spread of lung and cervical cancer tumors, according to researchers Robert Ramer and Burkhard Hinz of the University of Rostock in Germany.

Proponents of medical marijuana believe that cannabinoids reduce the side effects of cancer treatment, such as pain, weight loss and vomiting.

The study, published in the Jan. 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, finds that the compounds may also have an anticancer effect; however, more research is needed to determine whether the laboratory results will hold true in humans, the authors wrote.

If, like me, you shook your head while reading that and thought, “FOX is having one over on me”, you can try getting it from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Robert Ramer and Burkhard Hinz write:

Increased expression of TIMP-1 mediates an anti-invasive effect of cannabinoids. Cannabinoids may therefore offer a therapeutic option in the treatment of highly invasive cancers.

In other strange drug-related news … are you ready for this? DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, has apparently invented something we never could have imagined: a drug that you snort in order to feel more awake.

Right. Alexis Madrigal brings us this news for Wired:

A nasal spray containing a naturally occurring brain hormone called orexin A reversed the effects of sleep deprivation in monkeys, allowing them to perform like well-rested monkeys on cognitive tests. The discovery’s first application will probably be in treatment of the severe sleep disorder narcolepsy.

The treatment is “a totally new route for increasing arousal, and the new study shows it to be relatively benign,” said Jerome Siegel, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA and a co-author of the paper. “It reduces sleepiness without causing edginess.”

Orexin A is a promising candidate to become a “sleep replacement” drug. For decades, stimulants have been used to combat sleepiness, but they can be addictive and often have side effects, including raising blood pressure or causing mood swings. The military, for example, administers amphetamines to pilots flying long distances, and has funded research into new drugs like the stimulant modafinil (.pdf) and orexin A in an effort to help troops stay awake with the fewest side effects.

The monkeys were deprived of sleep for 30 to 36 hours and then given either orexin A or a saline placebo before taking standard cognitive tests. The monkeys given orexin A in a nasal spray scored about the same as alert monkeys, while the saline-control group was severely impaired.

Perhaps it is a side note, but Madrigal’s article brings up one other point, and since this entry led off with a bit about marijuana, it only seems fair to mention that, while pot smokers have for years noted that other drugs are legal, including nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine, including the latter on the list often brought scoffing responses. However, as the article notes:

…. [UCLA psychiatry professor Jerome] Siegel said that Americans already recognize that sleepiness is a problem and have long treated it with a variety of stimulants.

We have to realize that we are already living in a society where we are already self-medicating with caffeine,” he said.

FOX News: Too hot for Digg?


Okay, trivia time:

What could possibly be so crude as to be banned from Digg.com as “adult” material?

Are you ready for the answer?

FOX News.

Seriously. No joke.

Yes, that submission was Adult content. Yes, it was against our TOS, even though it was broadcast on FOX. Unfortunately the domain will not be unbanned. As stated before, if you agree not to submit anything that breaches our TOS, we will reinstate your account.

A group called Brave New Films compiled footage from FOX News into a satirical two-minute video called “Fox News Porn”. Consider yourselves warned.

After what seems to be a Digger uprising, site administrators reconsidered and relented. (Note to Digg administration: Thanks for doing the right thing.)

Dominic Holden noted, at Slog:

We act surprised that the Republican lawmakers and evangelical priests who have railed against a sexualized culture are turning out to be the most sexualized among us. We’ve had the clues for years—demand begets supply.

Get used to this theme. It’s about time people started thinking about the fact that the prudes and moralists who complain most loudly about sexuality and the sexualization of the culture are, in fact, obsessed with sex.