April 27, 2013 |
Robert Greenberg got tired of hearing from senior engineers that it wasn't possible to build his product idea: a bionic eye that gives sight to the blind. "A lot of the folks straight out of school didn't know any better, so I hired them instead," quipped Greenberg, chief executive of Second Sight Medical Products Inc., a Sylmar biotech company. "They didn't know how hard it was going to be, that it was impossible. And so they tried. " Greenberg can laugh now that he once thought developing the device would take a year and $1 million.
April 16, 2013 |
If abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell is found guilty of homicide, he will be unique among murderers-for-hire: He set his fees based on weight. "The bigger the baby, the more he charged," a grand jury explained. It recommended he be charged with eight counts of murder - one patient, seven babies. Despite what amounted to a blackout at many media outlets until last week, you've probably now heard at least some of the details. According to the grand jury report, Gosnell's Philadelphia "clinic" was a filthy abattoir.
HOME & GARDEN
April 13, 2013 |
Sadly, I'm here to report that even vodka has its limitations. To lap it up much before 7 a.m. still carries a certain Victorian stigma, and the better octanes seem beyond my pocketbook. I consider it both a health food and a holy water, and it bothers me to see vodka used recreationally, as it so often is these days. It is also overpriced, raising my innate sense of injustice and causing me to rant at two of my favorite targets: farmers and politicians (both dirty). Now what do I do with my life?
April 6, 2013 |
What's a healthful food and what's a healing food? Is there a difference? At least since the mid-19th century, when the Battle Creek Sanitarium opened its doors and people flocked there to follow John Harvey Kellogg's regime of whole grains, nuts and frequent enemas, many Americans have sought food as medicine. I have a shelf of books with titles such as "Food - Your Miracle Medicine" and "The Food Pharmacy," and my smartphone is filled with snapshots of the "super foods" on display at a trade show: acai and goldenberry, chia, coconut and flax, goji berries and hemp, maca root and other berries, nuts, seaweeds and roots I've never heard of (yacon, lucuma, camu, maqui)
March 27, 2013 |
Just how has Red Medicine's outing of its no-show reservations played out in the restaurant world? It seems to be mixed. On my Facebook page, Santos Uy, of the wonderful and very tiny Papilles Bistro gave a standing ovation. He said he usually responds to no-shows with “Cursing, a lot of f-words and other kitchen-speak. It's the equivalent of being stood up. Not that I've ever been stood up. But I can imagine how it feels with how many no-shows and last-minute cancellations we've gotten.
March 26, 2013 |
Red Medicine is undoubtedly a fine restaurant. But the way things are going, it may wind up better known for its antics than its food. The Twitter and Facebook worlds are abuzz about its latest stunt. Over the weekend, the Beverly Hills restaurant vented its frustration over no-show reservations by tweeting and Facebooking the names of offending customers. “Hi Kyle Anderson (323), I hope you enjoyed your gf's bday and the flowers that you didn't bring when you no-showed for your 815 res. Thanks,” one such tweet read.
March 25, 2013 |
Bob Toomajian worked for 16 years as Kaiser Permanente's drug purchasing manager for Southern California, giving him an insider's knowledge of how medications are priced before reaching consumers. When it comes to patented name-brand drugs, he told me, pharmaceutical companies try to get away with the highest prices possible. On the other hand, they're typically recovering millions of dollars in research and development costs, so those sky-high prices are perhaps understandable. It's a different story for generic drugs, Toomajian said.
March 18, 2013 |
Wanda Ferrin fills her husband's prescription for the generic antibiotic doxycycline at a Target in Simi Valley. For years, the medication has cost her $6 a month. In February, however, the price tripled to $18 for 30 pills. And this month, it skyrocketed to $133. This is noteworthy enough. But what happened next makes the entire business of drug pricing a study in lunacy. "A pharmacy clerk at Target suggested running the prescription through the company's discount program," Ferrin, 61, recalled.
March 15, 2013 |
America's future doctors are increasingly interested in become primary-care physicians -- good news for America's future patients. Friday was “Match Day,” the day when fourth-year medical students find out where they'll be doing their internships and residencies. The process resembles sorority rush week: Students and teaching hospitals first try to impress each other, then they rank each other in order of preference. A computer sorts through all those preferences and spits out the matches, which were made public at 1 p.m. Eastern time.
March 13, 2013 |
The 911 call last month that led to an emergency dispatcher begging workers at a Bakersfield senior living facility to perform CPR on a woman captured the attention of the public. A staff worker told the dispatcher it was against the facility's policy to intervene. The woman, Lorraine Bayless, died. It is difficult to understand how liability concerns could dissuade anyone from helping a person in distress. However, this stark event should awaken us to another question: Should we be performing CPR on 87-year-olds in a community setting such as a senior home?