Thursday, January 01, 2009

Coffee Stops and a New Look for 2009

New York Times: Drug Makers Cut Out Goodies for Doctors

Starting Jan. 1, the pharmaceutical industry has agreed to a voluntary moratorium on the kind of branded goodies — Viagra pens, Zoloft soap dispensers, Lipitor mugs — that were meant to foster good will and, some would say, encourage doctors to prescribe more of the drugs.

No longer will Merck furnish doctors with purplish adhesive bandages advertising Gardasil, a vaccine against the human papillomavirus. Banished, too, are black T-shirts from Allergan adorned with rhinestones that spell out B-O-T-O-X. So are pens advertising the Sepracor sleep drug Lunesta, in whose barrel floats the brand’s mascot, a somnolent moth.

But some critics said the code did not go far enough to address the influence of drug marketing on the practice of medicine. The guidelines, for example, still permit drug makers to underwrite free lunches for doctors and their staffs or to sponsor dinners for doctors at restaurants, as long as the meals are accompanied by educational presentations.

“Pens or no pens, their influence is not going to be diminished,” said Dr. Larry M. Greenbaum, a rheumatologist in Greenwood, Ind.

Christianity Today: Benedictine Wisdom - Quotations to stir heart and mind

IF WE COULD genuinely practice Benedict's brand of hospitality, welcoming each guest to our churches as the visitation of Christ, it might transform our guests as well as us. Instead of making the other into my image, I am invited to see the other as one who is made in God's image and for whom Jesus Christ died.
Dennis Okholm, Monk Habits for Everyday People

[W]E WILL ALWAYS be something of an exile in the present world. As lovely as it may be, it's not our final home, and worshiping God in spirit and truth always leaves us aware that there is more than what meets the eye.
Justin DuVall, from Praying with the Benedictines

Wired Science: A New Push to Turn Off the Lights in 2009


Astronomers are fed up. One fifth of the world's population cannot see the Milky Way because street lamps and building lights are too bright. So scientists are mounting a new campaign, called Dark Skies Awareness, aiming to reduce light pollution as part of the 2009 International Year of Astronomy.

"Reducing the number of lights on at night could help conserve energy, protect wildlife and benefit human health," astronomer Malcolm Smith of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile wrote in a commentary Wednesday in the journal Nature.

1 comment:

Morris said...

Well, I hate to see the pens and mugs and other stuff go. As the son of a peditrician, I looked forward to the drug company ad pens coming home. Some of them were really good pens ... or just really intersting in form.

I chuckled during our 40 Days of Community endeavor. My small group leader was an 80-something widow, one of my choir members, who had a Viagra pen on her back porch next to a potted plant. I never said anything about it (she would have laughed with a brilliant twinkle in her eye if I had). It was still there every time we met at her house ... and probably still is. I wonder how well it wrote ...