Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Do You Want the Good News or the Bad News First?

The bad news is that I have my cheerios at my new apartment and so I couldn't have my real breakfast this morning. The good news is that Emily hadn't moved the oatmeal up north yet.

The bad news is that the apartment complex water is shut off for the day. The good news is that I don't stink today.

The good news is that the mechanics finished putting my car together yesterday. The bad news is that they found out that there was damage to two of the valves.

The bad news is that a new head costs $1200. The good news is that they found a used one for $150, and they can take it to a machine shop and grind it down or something so that the surfaces will be nice and smooth.

The really bad news is that the extra repairs will cost an extra $800. The less bad news is that I would still owe them the $1200 for all the repairs that they did do on the vehicle and so I won't have lost $1200. The less bad news is that the mechanics lowered the estimate on how long the car may last from 40-50K to 20-40K. The good news is that I don't have to go looking for a new/used car. The really good news is that I bought a scooter and that will help extend the life of the car.

The bad news for Connor and Duncan is that their flight has been delayed out of Asheville, so they'll probably miss their connection in Atlanta. The good news for me is that this gives me some more time to mess with stuff here at the apartment.

The bad news is that I can't seem to be able to raise the movers to reschedule the move from Thursday until Friday. The good (?) news is that there are supposed to be bad thunderstorms in town tomorrow, so I'm hoping they will be motivated to reschedule, too.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Piper's Signature

[url=]Piper Wilson[/url]

gets this:

Piper Wilson

Monday, November 3, 2008

Improve 101 & 201

This is a video/slide show that I made up last night when I was messing around with a program that I bought. As videos go, it won't be very interesting to the average Joe, but those of us in it should enjoy it at least once.

There was a song with it. It was a stupid song, but it was there. I don't know why the music won't be heard. I reckon y'all will just have to trust me on this one.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Leapfrog - Should Pregnant Women Take Antidepressants?

This is what I tried to get leapfrogged on Helium to take the place of my earlier article on this subject. You can find the original posted down below. This new one was rejected. If you have comments or suggestions about the two articles and can help me figure out why it failed, please leave them here.

Thanks, Piper

Is it safe to take antidepressants through pregnancy?

It is a simple decision for a pregnant woman to forgo things like cold medicine, caffeine or alcohol in order to protect her baby from potentially harmful substances. The effects of those decisions are short term and not harmful to either mother or child. However, almost 20% of pregnant women experience clinical depression. Left untreated clinical depression can be deadly. Fortunately, there are several options available to treat depression, including psychotherapy, medications, bright light therapy and combinations of these. *[See note]

A study published in the April issue of Pharmacotherapy analyzes the choices available to patients and their doctors. This particular study evaluated the results of several other studies that focused on newer antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephiren reuptake inhibitors. While "information is available on the safety of antidepressant use during pregnancy, it is limited by the small size of most trials and by trial designs that often did not use mothers with depression as control subjects and could not, for ethical reasons, be randomized and double blinded." That paucity makes the decision whether or not to use medication to treat depression during pregnancy that much more difficult. Pregnant women "are subject to the same adverse consequences of depression as are non-pregnant women, including social withdrawal and even suicide."

Pregnant women frequently receive unsolicited and unwelcome advice; even from complete strangers. In addition, pregnant mothers often find themselves on the receiving end of harsh criticism for decisions that they make during their pregnancy. Some decisions can be debatable. For example, is it a good idea for her to take a vacation in the wilderness? In the case of major depression, however, the mother needs to be able to take care of herself and her child without suffering society's condemnation.

Untreated clinical depression during pregnancy has been associated with preeclampsia, miscarriages, and premature labor. "In addition, pregnant women with depression are less likely to attend regular obstetric visits and may have lower than normal weight gain, may lack compliance with prenatal care, and may be more likely to smoke, drink alcohol, or use cocaine."

While data about the gestational pharmacotherapy is sparse, most of the data is encouraging. For example, "preliminary evidence suggests that SSRI exposure in utero does not have significant long-term effects on cognition or behavior." In the end, society needs to realize that a clinically depressed mother-to-be is just like any mother who would do whatever it takes to save her child's life. It is for this reason that doctors and women should weigh all the factors to decide on an appropriate treatment plan. This includes acknowledging the fact that the life of both mother and child may depend on her decision.

*Electoconvulsive therapy is another option, however, it is only used when other therapies have failed to provide relief.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Memorable Superbowl 2007 Commercials

There are many people who tune in to the Superbowl every year, not to watch the game, but to watch the commercials. In addition to paying advertising agencies and production costs to produce their commercials, companies pay millions of dollars for 30-second slots simply to air the commercials. Superbowl commercials are to the advertising world as the Christmas shopping season is to retail markets.

Especially when one takes into account the time and effort that is invested in each commercial, it is essential that companies find a way, preferably objective, to analyze the success or failure of each commercial. Objective evidence is hard to come by if the only measurement available comes from polling consumers. An emerging industry, neuromarketing, "the study of the brain's responses to ads" (1), is beginning to change that.

The first neuromarketing research study was published in the October 2004 issue of "Neuron." Scientists use fMRIs to study the brain activity of people during an activity, as in people watching Super Bowl commercials, and comparing that data with subjective information provided by the participants.

Three years later, "FKF Applied Research, with the help of UCLA's Ahmanson Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, said that Coca-Cola's "Video Game" ad-a 60-second animated spot that promotes random acts of kindness-scored this year because it elicited the most positive emotions in subjects' brains." (2)

The most successful ads for Superbowl 2007, were:
Coca-Cola: "Video Game"Doritos: "Live the Flavor"Bud Light: "Hitchhiker"

The least successful ads for Superbowl 2007, were:
Emerald Nuts: "Robert Goulet"Honda: "CRV Crave"Sprint: "Connectile Dysfunction"

(1) ders/etc/neuro.html
(2) Bowl/2100-1008_3-6156330.html