Wednesday, February 28, 2007

HealthCentral Preys on Cancer Patients

According to their about page, the Health Central Network offers "timely, in-depth, trusted medical information, personalized tools and resources". This site offers insight from Dr. Dean Edell - "America's Doctor".

And at first glance it seems loaded with quality information from the Doctor himself. Edell lends authority to the web page. His name also doubles as the site's header.

A person unfamiliar with the web who stumbles upon Health Central - say by typing in the words "just diagnosed with cancer" in Google - for which Health Central ranks #2 - might mistake the contents of the page as factual and unbiased, and representative of Dr. Edell's opinions. The site is optimized for search engines - it ranks well and has a high readership according to Alexa.

While Health Central does differentiate content that is paid for from content that is not (although visually, sponsored content has a much stronger impact), the site makes claims related to the quality of their sponsored links. The worst offender is a section entitled, "What's Hot"

What's Hot??

According to Health Central: Chronic Pain, Cancer, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Vascular Disease.

Clicking on one of these links brings you to a page with a sponsored solution. eg: Medtronic, for pain relief, or Remicade, a drug for arthritis.

Perhaps when they say, "Trusted and reliable" they are referring to the amount of traffic they regularly send their sponsors. Camouflaging advertising as editorial and making statements related to the quality of the advertiser is extremely misleading and potentially dangerous - especially among sick patients who are vulnerable.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Russian Roulette - No Longer The Exclusive Domain of Adults

I'd like to recognize Ilz for sending me this.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Super Human Powers

While at a recent birthday celebration an acquaintance asked me, “What’s new?”

It’s a loaded question, especially for me. Last year, I might have told him what I’ve been up to lately. Or, perhaps, if something exciting had happened in my recent past. But lately, the answer is not so simple.

You see, for the past few months I’ve been plagued by a rapidly developing superpower.

I informed my friend hoping he would ask me no more. But
as is the nature of my beast, when questioned further I chose the course of full disclosure.

“Bluntness,” I replied. “I’ve killed lesser men with mere speech.”

It’s a dangerous weapon, bluntness. At any moment I'm liable to spout out some truth in too direct a manner, reeking utter havoc on those around me.

You might compare me to Cyclops from the x-men—when he doesn't wear sunglasses lasers shoot out of his eyes and people get their heads blown off .

There are no sunglasses for bluntness. My power is starting to grow beyond me.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Old lady sitting beside a window OR a lawn chair and a bucket??

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Shaking the foundations of home fitness.

Looking for an easy way to help get rid of your "love handles"? Aiming to flatten your abs and shrink your waist in this low-riding, short-cropped fashion world — without thousands of grueling abdominal crunches? LoveHandler™ is your answer!

This simple-but-brilliant new machine is the brainchild of Dan Isaacson — renowned fitness expert and the personal trainer to dozens of Hollywood's "A-list" stars.

With the handlebars locked, swing your lower body comfortably to the left and right 20 times — go as far as you can. Then lock the lower kneepad part and release the handlebars; now swing your upper body back and forth 20 times. That's it — just a few minutes a day.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Who is Samuel Pepys?

"Saw a wedding in the church. It was strange to see what delight we married people have to see these poor fools decoyed into our condition. "

-Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys lived in England during the 17th Century. For ten years he recorded a daily account of his life. The Diary is available in its full text online. I had the good fortune of finding an unwanted copy of his biography (by Claire Tomalin) in my building's lobby. The ability to relate so easily to a man who lived hundreds of years ago is the mark of a good biographer and the sign of a timeless individual. Pepys' Diary has striking stylistic similarities to my own 'Recounting of Daily Activities'. Granted, Pepys wrote with a candor which would not transfer well to online media (unless of course, I wrote under a pseudonym). He also lived during a time of social uheaval. A period in English history when Cromwell went out of power and Charles returned to the thrown.