aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Gay marriage? Yawn.
A couple years ago-say after the Massachusetts marriage debates-anti-gay marriage sentiment reached an all-time high, as much as 63 percent. People were furious, and they were fighting.
But in this most recent poll, what percentage thought gay marriage was extremely important?
Only 22 percent, or about one in five.
Thirty-six percent said that gay marriage wasn’t an important issue at all, and 11 percent called it only “slightly important.” Fifteen percent thought it was “moderately important”; 5 percent called it “very important.” One percent of respondents weren’t sure. [...]
These adults weren’t all Northeastern liberals, either, or secular city Dems. Most of them described themselves as conservative or moderate; slightly more respondents came from the South than from other areas of the United States; more of them were from the suburbs or rural areas than from cities; the large majority identified as Christian.
I’m on her side
But I wouldn’t have minded if he had been the one who quit:
Marital sniping may have led to the departure of Brit Hume’s wife, Kim, from Fox News last week.
Kim Hume’s imminent exit as Fox’s D.C. bureau chief was announced Thursday. The buzz out of Washington is that she and the anchorman had been tattletaling on each other to the chairman and CEO of Fox Television Stations.
“They’d been calling Roger [Ailes] in New York separately,” reports our source. “They’d complain to him about each other.”
The dumbest non-believable use of an iPod
Harrison Ford plays a security expert at a bank. He falls prey to a scheme to steal money for a gang that has taken hostage of his family. The film tried very hard to keep it a rollercoaster ride of thrills. From the beginning, you have Harrison Ford typing furiously to stop a hacker by writing new firewall rules. At least this time, these rules didn’t float around in a rainbow of colors ala Hackers.
What really puts Firewall at the top of the list, is the dumbest and non-believable use of an iPod to date. This is 2006, not 1995, you can’t just make stuff up like this anymore. In the middle of the film, Harrison Ford happens to not only be a security expert, but an Apple hardware developer too. He takes his daughters iPod and hooks up a scanner to it. This contraption is supposed to get taped onto a computer monitor in the server room and take ‘images’ of bank account records. The scene is sealed with the awesome line: “10000 songs, 10000 accounts, it won’t know the difference.”. Amazingly, iPods have the ability to interface with a scanner and be recognized by the bank’s computer instantly. Steve Jobs, please hire Harrison Ford.
I was sorry to see 1983’s WarGames at #10, “it is laughable in this day and age.” Well, I loved it then. And its use of the tech-savvy no-space-capitalization still holds up today.
At 1 a.m.
There’s only one difference I see in this story from what I knew to be true 10, 20, 30 years ago:
The crowd strolls toward the Hudson River and Pier 45, where the gay teenage crowd practices vogue moves (runway poses immortalized by Madonna), flirts, and gossips. But at 1 a.m., when the pier closes, the crowd strolls back up Christopher Street. Its screaming and music drive the locals nuts.
“The young people… are raising holy hell,” said David Poster, 68, president of the Christopher Street Patrol, a neighborhood watch group. “We pray for rain and snow.”
Forget the image of the Village as a gay haven; forget the gay-liberation movement that rose from its cobblestone streets. The scene has moved north to Chelsea, and the Village is a gay neighborhood grown older, wealthier and stodgier. Some in the area of $4 million townhouses and lofts say it is under siege by gay kids of color who bring loud talk, drug dealing and prostitution.
When I was young, the pier didn’t close. New York never sleeps. But the parks close at 1.
Darshak Sanghavi on the “number needed to treat.” Here he parses the 31% reduction in the risk of heart attacks among men treated with the statin pravastatin:
Suppose that 100 people with high cholesterol levels took statins. Of them, 93 wouldn’t have had heart attacks anyway. Five people have heart attacks despite taking Pravachol. Only the remaining two out of the original 100 avoided a heart attack by taking the daily pills. In the end, 100 people needed to be treated to avoid two heart attacks during the study period-so, the number of people who must get the treatment for a single person to benefit is 50. This is known as the “number needed to treat.”
Developed by epidemiologists in 1988, the NNT was heralded as a new and objective tool to help patients make informed decisions. It avoids the confusing distinction between “relative” and “absolute” reduction of risk. The NNT is intuitive: To a savvy, healthy person with high cholesterol that didn’t decrease with diet and exercise, a doctor could say, “A statin might help you, or it might not. Out of every 50 people who take them, one avoids getting a heart attack. On the other hand, that means 49 out of 50 people don’t get much benefit.” [...]
When a therapy is extremely effective-like surgery for acute appendicitis or insulin for juvenile diabetes-no one worries about NNTs. But most interventions aren’t home runs, and so NNTs are often the only way to tell if they may be worthwhile, medically and economically. Is your shoulder painful and stiff? The NNT for a cortisone shot is three, which is pretty good, but that also means two out of three patients won’t feel any better after the needles. Does your child have an ear infection? Your pediatrician obliges with a bottle of amoxicillin, but the NNT for antibiotics to shorten the duration of fever is more than 20; thus, at least 19 out of 20 parents force the stuff down their toddlers’ throats for no reason. Is your prostate enlarged? The NNT to avoid surgery is 18 if you take Proscar for four years. The drug costs $100 per month per person, so an insurer spends $86,400 to prevent a single surgery for enlarged prostate. Are you thinking of taking aspirin to help avoid a heart attack? The NNT is a lousy 208. Keep in mind that none of these figures include the risks of side effects.
Imagine if this were on every drug container, like the unit price on food. Now that’s a recipe for controlling prescription drug spending!