Sunday, February 20, 2005


More Gates Posted by Hello
The Gates Posted by Hello

Friday, February 18, 2005

Panel OKs Merck's Vioxx Return to Market

Feb 18, 2005 — By Lisa Richwine and Susan Heavey

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (Reuters) - Merck & Co. Inc.'s withdrawn arthritis drug Vioxx is safe enough to rejoin Pfizer's rival pain relievers Celebrex and Bextra on the U.S. market, an advisory panel said after concluding that all three medicines posed some level of heart risk.

The 17-15 vote on Vioxx's safety to go to market electrified Merck shares, which closed up 13 percent at $32.61 on the New York Stock Exchange. Pfizer Inc. gained 6.9 percent to close at $26.80.

It was a stunning turnaround for Vioxx, which was withdrawn in September by Merck after a study showed the drug doubled heart attack and stroke risk compared with a placebo in patients who took it for at least 18 months.

Celebrex and Bextra, which had been under the same cloud of elevated risks of heart problems, also could stay on the market, the panel said. Most members felt all three drugs should have "black box" warnings — the strongest warnings used for prescription drugs — explaining their heart risks.

Many urged restrictions if Vioxx is sold again, such as limiting sales to the lowest dose and recommending it be a second choice after patients try another pain reliever.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Giant turtle sightings set Vietnam capital abuzz

Google took me on an unexpected adventure across time and space as I rediscovered the legendary Vietnamese turtle in a 1998 CNN article.

West River Drive to be renamed


West River Drive will officially be known as Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, the Fairmount Park Commission unanimously agreed today.

In making the name change, the commission acceded to a request by Mayor Street in his budget address last month and fulfilled the dreams of many who have worked to memorialize the fallen civil rights leader.

Sonny Driver, editor of the weekly Scoop, broke into a broad smile when the commission acted. Driver has been pushing for a memorial to King for the past several years.

Radio talk show host Mary Mason, who represents City Council President Anna Verna on the commission, was also thrilled.

Street wrote a strong letter of support for the idea to Robert N.C. Nix 3d, president of the park commission.

"As one of America's greatest cities, I believe this is a long overdue and fitting tribute to the memory of Dr. King," the mayor wrote to Nix yesterday.

The commission directed that the new King Drive incorporate "west" and Kelly Drive across the river should incorporate "east," a nod to the geographically challenged, park officials said. The change would take effect when the signs are changed.

Two more months to NJ Marathon

Perhaps I'm the only American who looks forward to a trip to the Garden State. I will be running the New Jersey Marathon on April 17th. It will be my second marathon.
I'm pleased with my training progress the last eight weeks. I've set unofficial personal best in all distances between 5K and 13 miles. My training has been steady, and I'm getting stronger each week. The next 5 weeks will be gruesome as I set out to redefine my endurance limitation. I'll be taking Aleve every day.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

One celebration after another

I took Friday off to attend Jacob's graduation ceremony. Ran 15 miles Saturday morning before driving to my parents house for some Vietnamese New Year food.

My brother stopped by. He and I spoke briefly but we couldn't connect. I probably had an easier time talking to a stranger at the gym than to my own brother, who used to be my best friend. We just drifted apart. I'm a little sad about the situation.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Toilet Reading

As the Eagles' flirtation with winning a championship melt away, I turned my attention to politics. My favorite toilet reading the past week has been Bush's Social Security reform and federal budget proposals. Let's just say that the President and I are not in concert. While I recognize that it is easier to criticize than to praise, I feel that the President is over-reaching on his 2nd term proposals.

Let's talk about Howard Dean, the newest Comeback Kid! I'm excited for his new role as head of the DNC. The next four years won't be so bad after all.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Geologic Storage

In 1997, President Clinton signed the Kyoto Protocol along with leaders from most industrialized countries to reduce their greenhouse emission to a combined of 5% below the 1990 emission level. The reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere was hoped to slow down global warming.

In 2001, President George W. Bush withdrew the U.S. from the treaty, no doubt pleasing the energy industry and infuriating environmentalists.

I was surprised when I saw the Kyoto Protocol mentioned in a front-page article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. Energy giant BP operating in the Sahara desert (Algeria) is hoping to comply with the Kyoto Protocol by storing underground about 30 percent of CO2 produced by its natural gas-processing reactors.

Carbon dioxide burial, or geologic storage, was an idea which fascinated me when I was a chemical enginnering student. The WSJ article failed to convince me to change my opposition to geologic storage. First, I see this practice as a safety issue. If the compressed CO2 is leaked, we will see a man-made vocalno. Second, the storage capacity of the BP facility is only a drop in a bucket. Right in the same article, the author cited that the world releases 25 billion tons of CO2 compared to one million ton a year that BP plans to store.

Geologic storage is a temporary fix. The solution is still to find alternative engergy sources.

I'm Back, Baby! TrimSpa

Things are looking up. Fresh from my bowling victory last night, I went to Kelly Drive this morning and ran 13.5 miles. Overcoming blisters and black ice, I kept my pace throughout the course and finished at 2 hours and 2 minutes. I felt great afterward. It was my longest run since the Philadelphia Marathon last autumn. I'm Back, Baby! I need to stock up on my Nike Air Pegasus 2002. I don't think I could walk now without these shoes.

Bowling with Katie's Posse

This wasn't exactly how Stella got her grooves back, but an unexpected win in a bowling game certainly lifted my spirits. Lou was not too pleased to see my score of 150 points, beating him by 7. Jared couldn't find his zones. Lopa couldn't find her spares. Dave sucked, but he wasn't bad for his first time. It was also nice to see a guy hitting 9 strikes in a row, finishing his game at 298 points.

Jacob's visiting Lauren in New Hampshire for the weekend. I miss him already.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

This superhero might need to be rescued

The New Jersey Marathon is 10 weeks away. For the month of February, I plan to run 25 miles a week, which is a slight increase from last month. Speed training will be the secondary focus.

My class this semester does not interest me a bit. I think this is due to my overly familiar with the topic. I struggle to appear interested, since the professor is a director of my company.

Perhaps it's the cold weather. Perhaps I worry too much about Jacob and my finance. Perhaps I long to return to the city. Maybe I'm running too much. I feel a little down. This little superhero might need to be rescued today.