Monday, October 23, 2006

And on the 7th Day, God Said "Let There Be... Boredom???"

:: Sunday boring Sunday ::

Day of relaxation. Day of recuperation. The Lord's day. Church day. Sundays mean many things to many people. To me though, Sunday brings about something else to me: boredom. Now I'm not a crazy party animal or a Paris Hilton-esq socialite, but I am a social creature by nature. Alone time seldom does me any good, and true to my extroverted ways, I find I thrive on human interaction and adventure. But in comparison to the chaos and activities on the work week, and of course Friday & Saturday nights, Sundays come off as anticlimactic. Granted I do find myself sleeping half the day away, but the remainder is a painstaking ordeal to get through. Redundant cable tv programming doesn't help either, nor does the temperamental ADSL connection which decides to stick it to me and not function on a whim. Digging into a book is not an option, cos
I have a steadfast policy of juggling just one book at a time, and Sun Tzu's Art of War isn't really post-night-out-debauchery reading material. So there I am, fellow with ADD, left alone sans-stimulation. eek!

Damn opponent process theory...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Pharm-town shenanigans

:: I got my mind on my money, and my money on my... Pharmaceuticals? ::

While I was catching up on my weekly Daily Show binge, I came upon this awesome piece (no sexist puns intended!) on some of the practices of the pharmaceutical industry, particularly the use
attractive (female) sales representatives to push their more expensive branded drugs on doctors & patients. Having friends who are pharm reps themselves (coincidentally, attractive females), as well as friends who are strong critics of the industry, this vid certainly caused a lot of interesting discussion, banter, and eventually, name calling (all in good spirits though). Argument were made against generics, claiming them to be a rip-off of the the "toilings and hard work" of the patent owner. But the convoluted debate also brought up (by yours truly) the international implications of generics. I've copy&pasted the following from some of the emails (edited for context):
Just to throw in an international perspective... An overwhelming majority of the "Rest of the World" region strongly relies on, and NEEDS, generic drugs. Medicare, co-pays and "assistance program for broke ass patients" are all fine and dandy in the US, EU and Japan, but for the rest of the world (where interestingly, a majority of the population resides), such wonderful opportunities do not exist to the people. A real pity too, considering just how much pre-clinical and clinical testing does go on in said regions.

Check out this and this. National Pharmaceutical policies have resulted in awesomely low cost drugs to the countries that subscribe to such protocols. An observed example is with cholesterol lowering meds. A once daily pill that will set you back two bucks and change a day in the US is available here in Sri Lanka for 13 cents (or Rs. 13) a day. That speaks volumes in making the drug affordable to people without the monetary means. And I wouldnt count the $2 difference between the branded and generic as a potential loss or an opportunity cost to the branded drug manufacturer, cos in an economy where an average monthly wage is a bar tab for some of us when we go out in the states, even the 13 cents a day might be making some of those taking the meds choke. And I'm not talking about an ancient statin compound developed eons ago either - I'm talking about atorvastin, a US block-buster more commonly known as Lipitor.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Daily Show

:: Just in case you didnt know ::

The Daily Show with John Stewart is quite possibly one of the funniest dailies on US cable TV. Airing on Comedy Central the Daily Show is a hilarious satire that poses as a news source. They work is pretty much no holds barred (wait for the end on this one!), and they have repeatedly pissed off many politicians, corporations and tv stations (Fox news, anyone?). Check it out on YouTube for yourself - but I warn you, its addictive! Oh, and its also worth your time to check out how one of their former correspondents, Steven Colbert (who was spun off in his own show "The Colbert Report"), pretty much tore up Bush & company (verbally) at the 2006 White House correspondent's Association dinner (watch them in parts: one, two & three). I bet 5 bucks that the person who sent Colbert an invitation got fired the next day...

Update on the Blood Drive

So... after some deliberation, I decided to keep the blood drive corporate focused. It just makes life easier, in that I I have fewer people to convince (company's PR chap vs the masses), and don't have to actively deal with media and publicity (just pass the buck on that to said company's PR chap!).

I could still use your help in the form of company big-wig contacts, so feel free to send them my way!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

I want YOUR help!

:: Blood drive ::

So I was thinking of doing something to (a) help people, (b) help increase my karmic bank balance, and (c) give people something good to do (those who'd like to contribute positively anyway...). Interested? Good! Cos this operation sure needs your help.

I'll need help in the following departments:
- Manual labor, organization & logistics
- Soliciting local business for help in terms of funding and/or promotion
- Media contacts & connections
- Spreading the word, and actually donating blood

I'll be talking to a couple of hospitals/blood banks to get trained personnel to actually do the bleedin' job (sorry, couldnt resist the pun), so please, all you phlebotomy enthusiasts who got excited by this post and wanted to take a stab (ack! another pun!), thanks but no thanks.

And yes, I am serious about doing this. If you'd like to join, please be serious about getting things done as well.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 13, 2006

*sigh* I am le n00b

Forgive me, I'm a "n00b" when it comes to blogging. So all the seasoned vets in the audience, I warn you, this is going to be a real "duh" post for you. And to the fellow n00bs, this might help you guys out a bit.

Ok, first off, I'm using blogger. Now I did a bit of homework on the blog host sites out there, and while some seemed to be favored more than others, I went with blogger for two main reasons:

1. I am a google whore
2. I *heart* Picasa

So #1 doesnt require too much explaination. I dont consider myself a geek, but somehow I am in awe of google and most of the things they do. And not just in the IT side of things... google has some fantastic business strategy behind it: the launch of gmail, their diversification, the IPO... all rather top end in terms of planning and execution. Regarding #2... I take a lot of pictures, and I've found Picasa to be a fabulous tool in managing, archiving and sharing pics. Its also very well integrated with gmail and blogger, so emailing pics to friends or posting it on my shiny new blog is a snap. Oh, and they are also part of the google family too, so... :-P

Another thing I'm learning about is cascading style sheets. I used to dabble with HTML ages ago when it was also cool to do the macarena (though, I maintain, I never really got down and did it in public!), but I havent really kept in touch with my internet programming since. But I'd like to *someday* have a decent looking blog, so I'm trying to teach myself CSS. Thus far, I've found blogger's own help section to be rather crappy, but the
W3 Schools web site has been a great help.Anyways, I'm done messing around with this blogish for tonight. The night's activities are starting early, so I'm off!

PS: the pic is for the sake of trying out Picasa's blooger upload feature, and to have a pic to post on my profile

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A token Hello World!/Baby's 1st Blog Post entry

And here I am... about 12 years behind the curve of blogging, but bright eyed and bushy tailed nonetheless, making my first entry into the blogsphere. Yes, I've "lurked" around many others' blogs for a while, getting bolder in my interaction with time (I made my first comment on a blog about 3 months ago *gasp!*), but never have I had it in me to make the next step. Its not that I dont have anything to say - those who know me in well real life will be quick to quip that I seldom suffer from a lack of words or opinion. But while I've previously imposed my mental drivel on said people who do know me well in real life (aka good friends), a recent geographical relocation has led to my untimely seclusion (or their salvation, whichever way you look at it). And so I turn to you my dear reader, offering my thoughts, rants, raves, opinions, and whatever else I chose to post. In return, I ask that you take a moment to relfect on my garble, and hopefully respond with coments, criticisms and banter.

Onward into the blogsphere I go...