Monday, December 13, 2004
Doctors cite need for prosthetics as more lives saved
US troops injured in Iraq have required limb amputations at twice the rate of past wars, and as many as 20 percent have suffered head and neck injuries that may require a lifetime of care, according to new data giving the clearest picture yet of the severity of battlefield wounds.
The data are the grisly flip side of improvements in battlefield medicine that have saved many combatants who would have died in the past: Only 1 in 10 US troops injured in Iraq has died, the lowest rate of any war in US history.
But those who survive have much more grievous wounds. Bulletproof Kevlar vests protect soldiers' bodies but not their limbs, as insurgent snipers and makeshift bombs tear off arms and legs and rip into faces and necks. More than half of those injured sustain wounds so serious they cannot return to duty, according to Pentagon statistics.
Much attention has focused on the 1,000-plus soldiers killed in Iraq, but the Pentagon has released little information on the 9,765 soldiers injured as of this week.
"The death rate isn't great compared to Vietnam, Korea, and World War II. But these soldiers are coming back to their communities and people are seeing just how high the price is that these young people are paying," said Dr. G. Richard Holt, a head and neck surgeon at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and a retired US Army surgeon who served as a civilian adviser in Iraq earlier this year.
Responding to the large number of amputations, scientists at Brown University in Providence and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology yesterday announced a $7.2 million research program to design more functional prosthetic limbs. The US Department of Veterans Affairs is paying for the work.
Data compiled by the US Senate, and included in the 2005 defense appropriations bill in support of a request for increased funding for the care of amputees at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, reveal that 6 percent of those wounded in Iraq have required amputations, compared with a rate of 3 percent for past wars.
According to Brown Medical School's Dr. Roy Aaron, the current VA medical system "literally cannot handle the load" of amputees.
Aaron is heading up the Brown-MIT effort, which will also include the Providence VA Medical Center.
"Amputee research has never been a high priority because it's not . . . fashionable," said Aaron. "Iraq has changed that."
Complete Article here
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Sunday, December 12, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Missouri's most violent criminals can no longer play video games that simulate murders, carjackings and the killing of police officers, a decision reached after prison officials were told about the content.
"We didn't closely review these," Dave Dormire, superintendent of the Jefferson City Correctional Center, told The Kansas City Star. "We were told these games had more like cartoon violence."
The Star reported Thursday the state's new maximum-security prison pulled dozens of violent Sony PlayStation 2 games from its recreation center on Wednesday, after officials were alerted to their content by a reporter. Inmates had been using them for months.
In fact, the prison's PlayStation offerings included one of the most violent games on the market, "Hitman: Contracts," in which players use everything from meat hooks to silencer-equipped pistols to carry out brutal contract killings.
In all, 35 of the facility's more than 80 games were removed. Others remain, including science fiction and sports games.
The games were paid for from inmates' purchases mostly of snacks at the prison canteen. The canteen generates up to $20,000 monthly and a committee of corrections officials, prison staffers and several inmates decides how to spend it.
Much of the cash is used for weightlifting and exercise equipment. Video games are a new purchase in Jefferson City; prison officials say other facilities have done the same, though it doesn't appear to be the norm.
"It has a good effect on helping us run the prison and make sure they're busy and not trying to work on ways to escape or harm others," Dormire said. "That's kind of our bottom line public safety."
Some corrections experts were shocked that violent games would be allowed in the hands of violent prisoners.
Jacqueline Helfgott, a professor at Seattle University who has studied the effects of violent movies and video games on criminal behavior, said such media can have a negative effect on inmates.
"You get people in a maximum-security prison who have already gone over the line," she said. "They're not afraid to engage in violence, unlike the nerd sitting in front of his computer."
Jim Houston, a professor of criminal justice at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich., agreed.
"These kinds of games reinforce a criminal lifestyle that caused them to get into prison in the first place," Houston said.
Mary Still, a spokeswoman for Gov. Bob Holden, said the governor believes violent games are inappropriate for prisoners. The governor does not oppose nonviolent video games for inmates, but says they should not come at taxpayer expense.
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Saturday, December 11, 2004
That's right. We're tired of having to listen to your loud, obnoxious conversations. We don't care about yer new haircut or what "he" might have said to you the night before. (We couldn't believe it either!) It doesn't interest us in the least whether or not you are going to attend the company Christmas party or when you need to pick up yer ugly kids from soccer practice. Nope. Don't want to hear it.
We're fighting back.
Simply download this PDF, cut 'em out, and "politely" hand them out to whoever is "spinning a yarn" next to you in the checkout line.
---The Draplindustries Design Co. and Coudal Partners: Concerned about garrulous public chatter, and gosh-dang-it, we're doing something about it.
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Friday, December 10, 2004
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
1931- Model-A Ford Discontinued:
The last Ford Model A was produced on this day. The Ford motor works were then shut down for six months for retooling. On April 1, 1932, Ford introduced its new offering: the high-performance Ford V-8, the first Ford with an 8-cylinder engine.
1934 - Jet Stream 'discovered'
Wiley Post is credited with discovering the jet stream when he flew into the stratosphere over Bartlesville, Oklahoma. With the financial backing of Oklahoma oil pioneer Frank Phillips, Post planned flights to test the "thin air" in the stratosphere above 50,000 feet. The Winnie Mae, made of plywood, could not be pressurized so Post developed the pressurized flying suit, forerunner of the modern space suit. Made by B.F. Goodrich, it was of double ply rubberized parachute fabric, with pigskin gloves, rubber boots, and aluminium helmet, pressurized to 0.5 bar. In Mar 1935, Post flew from Burbank California to Cleveland Ohio in the stratosphere using the jet stream. At times, his ground speed exceeded 550 kph in a 290 kph aircraft.
1965 - A Fleet Of Chevys
Chevrolet produced its 3,000,000th car for the year. It was the first time Chevrolet had produced an annual total surpassing 3,000,000 vehicles.
1972 - Last moon mission
Apollo 17, the sixth and last U.S. moon mission, blasted off from Cape Canaveral. Flight Commander Eugene Cernan was the last man on the moon. With him on the voyage of the command module America and the lunar module Challenger were Ronald Evans (command module pilot) and Harrison H. "Jack" Schmitt (lunar module pilot). In maneuvering Challenger to a landing at Taurus-Littrow, located on the southeast edge of Mare Serenitatis, Cernan and Schmitt activated a base of operations from which they completed three highly successful excursions to the nearby craters and the Taurus mountains, making the Moon their home for over three days. The mission returned on 19 Dec.
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Monday, December 06, 2004
Friday, December 03, 2004
In 1967, in Cape Town, South Africa, Dr. Christiaan Barnard, with his team of 20 surgeons, performed the first human heart transplant on a South African businessman, 54-yr-old Louis Washkansky. At the Groote Schuur Hospital, his diseased heart was replaced with the healthy heart of a 25-year old woman who had died in a car crash. Washkansky lasted only 18 days before succumbing to double pneumonia, contracted after destruction of his body's immunity mechanism by drugs administered to suppress rejection of the new heart as a foreign protein.However, the next patient, Philip Blaiberg, lived for nearly two years. Since then, many thousands of human heart transplants have been performed.
First permanent artifical heart - 1982
In 1982, doctors at the University of Utah Medical Center removed the respirator of Barney Clark, one day after the retired dentist became the world's first recipient of a permanent artificial heart, the Jarvik-7. Surgery was performed by Dr. William DeVries in cooperation with the inventor, Dr. Robert Jarvik. Clark had actually visited the veterinary laboratory at the University of Utah and watched calves that had received the artificial hearts. Near death, with his own heart practically useless, Clark agreed to the experiment. He said, "It may not work that well for me. I'll do it for the next patient." He lived 112 days on the artificial heart. Of the next four implants, the longest survivor was William Schroeder, who lived 620 days. Image: Clark and DeVries.
You think this was planned?
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