Monday, August 25, 2008

Ben Affleck at the Democratic Convention

Ben Affleck will be doing the samething I will be doing over the next several days, playing poker:
Ben Affleck is upping his stake in politics – with poker. The Oscar winner, 36, will be in Denver this week for the Democratic National Convention, where he'll be celebrating at more than one political party. Among his official duties: performing at a roundtable event for SeaChange Ideas Forum, packing food for the needy and playing poker to benefit paralyzed veterans.

Of course, I won't be in Denver- I'll be playing in Vicksburg.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Another Narcissist

Maureen Dowd has a great collumn today on the Breck Girl (aka John Edwards):

The stunning admission Edwards made to ABC’s Bob Woodruff, and in a written statement from Chapel Hill on Friday afternoon, was that he’s a narcissist.
He admitted that wallowing in “self-focus” out on the trail and thinking you’re “special” can result in a solipsism that “leads you to believe you can do whatever you want, you’re invincible and there’ll be no consequences.”

Even in confessing to preening, Edwards was preening. His diagnosis of narcissism was weirdly narcissistic, or was it self-narcissistic? Given his diagnosis, I’m sure his H.M.O. would pay.
The creepiest part of his creepy confession was when he stressed to Woodruff that he cheated on Elizabeth in 2006 when her cancer was in remission. His infidelity was oncologically correct.

I'm glad Edwards lost the Democratic primaries, bad things can happen when a narcissist comes into power. On the other hand, maybe someday he'll bring balance to the country.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Neuropsychiatric explanation for Alien Abduction

Current Psychiatry has an article about Alien Abduction Experiences, which can be caused by several pscyhiatric and neurological conditions. Some cases are hypothesized to be secondary to sleep paralysis combined with hypnagogic or hypnopompic hallucinations:

Full-body paralysis normally accompanies rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which occurs several times a night. Sleep paralysis is a transient state that occurs when an individual becomes conscious of this immobility, typically while falling asleep or awakening. These experiences can be accompanied by hypnagogic (while falling asleep) or hypnopompic (while awakening) hallucinations. An estimated 30% of the population has had at least one sleep paralysis episode. In one study, 5% of sleep paralysis patients had episodes that were accompanied by hallucinations.

During sleep paralysis episodes, individuals typically sense a threatening presence. Patients have reported beastly and demonic figures of doom: devils, demons, witches, aliens, and even cinematic villains such as Darth Vader and Freddy Kruger. Others have described this presence in terms of alien visitations or abductions.

Sleep paralysis and associated hallucinations can sometimes be treated by treating any underlying sleep disorders. Treatments for cataplexy, such as tricyclic antidepressants, are often effective for sleep paralysis.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Die Endlosung

This comment was posted on the Wall Street Journal Health Blog today:

Die Endlösung must be applied to individuals who chronically do not participate in the production and consumption of commodities.
Comment by DM - August 4, 2008 at
9:42 am

I posted this comment 11 hours later:

I’m surprised that the first comment promoting The Final Solution (Die Endlosung) hasn’t been removed by the moderators of this blog yet. I would think that a statement arguing that the chronically unemployed should be killed would be considered offensive.
Comment by Michael Rack, MD - August 4, 2008 at
8:56 pm

DM's comment, in addition to being offensive to both Jews and the chronically unemployed, doesn't make sense. While not everyone produces commodities, everyone consumes commodities.

Update (8/5) DM's comment has been removed from the Wall Street Journal Health Blog. Mine has been too- I guess the Wall Street Journal is trying to cover up the lax monitoring of their blog.