Archive for April, 2010

Prostate Cancer – Good New, Bad News

The FDA approved Dendreon’s (DNDN) novel prostate cancer treatment yesterday, sending shares of the biotech firm flying up. It will be the first ‘therapeutic vaccine’ for cancer to reach the market after decades of efforts by pharmaceutical firms and researchers, and works by prompting the body to attack prostate tumors. At $93,000 per patient, however, the treatment is expensive, and some insurers may balk at covering those costs.

Source: Source: Seeking Alpha’s Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News

MORE INFO: I was confused if this was a preventative vaccine or for someone who already has prostate cancer. After more research, I found out that this is for men with advanced forms of the disease. This also has potential as a new approach for treating all sorts of cancers.

Rather than target the cancer like a drug, this treatment stimulates a patient’s own immune system to attack the tumor, and works the same way as a preventive vaccine.

How does a vaccine work?
Vaccines help a body prepare in advance to fight illnesses and potentially deadly diseases. Essentially, vaccines give the body a preview of a bacterium, virus, or toxin, allowing it to learn how to defend itself in advance. If the body is ever invaded by that particular pathogen after the vaccine has done its work, the body’s immune system is ready.

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Duh Survey: Teens Prefer Texting to Calling

A Pew research survey, made public last week informed us of some shocking news:

* Most teens prefer texting, than talking on their cell phones!

 * Girls use cell phones more than boys do.

 * One in three teenagers send more than 100 text messages a day.  Girls are doing most of the texting… on average, girls send/receive about 80 texts a day, while boys send/receive about 30.

 * Although teens make/receive about five calls a day, they primarily use their phones for calling when it comes to talking with their parents.

 * 75 % of 12 – 17 year olds have a cell phone [up from 45 % in 2004].

 * 83 % of teens use their cell phones to take photos.

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Baby Names

Guess which baby was NOT born recently in Bend:

A. Tyrah Harbour

B. Amyah Tien

C. Polaris Dahlon

D. Liston Clement

E.  Ann Marie

F. Levi Waldo

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Duh Survey: Soldiers Who Killed Enemy Troops More Likely To Suffer Later Stress

A new study shows that soldiers who say they killed enemy troops in combat, are at a greater risk of suffering combat stress and having emotional problems.  Those soldiers often pay a profound psychological and emotional toll. 

NO sh*t.

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Cycling More = Buying Less Gas

I'm partial to semi-submersibles!

I know…brilliant deduction.  Before I bought my ebike, I bought gas every 12 days.  Since I’ve had my ebike, and have consistently been riding it, I’ve only gotten gas once…and it was after 23 days.

I calculate that somewhere between year 2 and 3 my ebike will have paid for itself in gas savings!

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Painted Hills, Oregon

The Painted Hills are simply spectacular!  The Hills are located around 2 hours NE of Bend, and are FREE.  GO and take a bunch of photos!

The colors come from different soil types [and the metals in them], depending upon the moisture levels.  With the various textures, colors and elevations, the area looks like a patchwork quilt.

Since the tones and hue appear to change from one visit to another, depending upon time of day [light] and moisture levels, we need to go back after it has rained, to see the difference in colors.  Ralph said the last time he visited, there were more reds and yellows, this time more greens.

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Book: The Reluctant Spy [My secret life in the CIA’s war on terror]

By John Kiriakou with Michael Ruby.  I’ve always enjoyed true life spy “stories”. This is a quick 200 page read.  I recommend getting this from the library and spending a couple days reading it.

Several years ago I watched a show on The History Channel that dealt with torture techniques and “breaking” suspects.  They had about 20 volunteer participants … all kinds of people: professors, students, small business owners…and told each one a small portion [1 or 2 tidbits] of a “secret spy mission”.  During the mission, each person would get caught and would have to undergo “simple” torture techniques, such as loud music/noise pumped into their room, the room being too hot/cold, sitting/standing in an uncomfy position for a long time…  This was a 24 hr exercise.  Just about each one said “all I have to do is keep quiet for 24 hours…how hard can that be?”.


The instructors broke everyone within a few hours, and closed down the mission early. 

What I learned:

* The sound that will break a person faster than any other sound?  A baby crying. [New parents take note.]

* Never under estimate the power of a compassionate female guard with a candy bar.  Yep, send in a compassionate female guard with a candy bar, and the prisoner will sing like a bird!  Who knew?

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Book: Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang

By Chelsea Handler.  I’ve tried to like her…to think she’s funny.  I keep getting her books [from the library] in the hopes that I too will find myself “laughing out loud”, as just about every reviewer writes.  Unfortunately, with each book, I’m bored and don’t see anything funny about her.  This one is the worst of the three.

I do NOT recommend.

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Starbucks Has Changed Up Their Mocha Frappe Recipe!


Why mess with a good thing?  Anyone who knows me, knows that I am addicted to Sbux’s mocha frappes.  Each morning I go to a Sbux to work and/or read the paper, but more importantly, feed my addiction.  That is my thing.

I only like Sbux’s mocha frappes and Ice Rages, which is a mocha frappe made by Big Train [located only at the crepes place downtown and at one drive thru kiosk].  I like mocha frappes made from a “mix” [with secret ingredients], NOT the kind made from just a shot of espresso, milk with ice blended in.

Bottom line: I’m NOT keen on Sbux’s new frappe, which tastes VERY watered down.  Kind of like cool water with a hint of chocolate thrown in.  I can’t believe I’m doing this, let along putting it in writing: Starting tomorrow, I will go cold turkey in cutting these out of my life!

OF NOTE: the people at the downtown Sbux did a fine job of making several concoctions in an attempt to make it tastier.  But even the tastiest one was NO where near as yummy as the now “classic”.

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That is the Coolest Bike EVER!

This is what an outdoorsy looking woman said to me as I was going into Juniper.   A little later, I was eating pineapple outside of Safeway, under a tree and near my bike, and a man came up and said he has a bike just like mine…except his is a mountain bike.  He got his last fall, and LOVES it!  We then commenced a meeting of the Mutual ebike Admiration Society!

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