Monday, March 9, 2009


Saturday night I saw the highly anticipated movie Watchmen. I really enjoyed it.  Not everyone I went with felt the same way though.

Here are the few cons I have heard from people so far. Its about 2 hours and 45 minutes long. The movie is also all over the place as it tries to tell its story through an interweaving path of past and present using retrospective flashbacks.  

Before I mention all the things I liked I just wanted to point out that this movie is based on a graphic comic strip series/novel.  Zack Snyder, who also directed another graphic novel known to everyone as 300, supposedly used the comics as his bible for making this flick. He did the best job he could to interest your average movie-goer, while still trying to satisfy the comic afficionado that will be sure to knit-pic every detail of the movie.  Synder also made sure he didn't pull any punches with blood and gore.  The comic was filled with fighting, blood, and that's how the movie goes as well.  The action sequences are amazing, filmed with that 300 and Matrix style of mixing stop-action photography with real-time frames to make even the smallest detail of the fight choreography seen by the audience.  

As for the long running time, I can see how some people could get a little agitated after sitting in the same place for so long, but for me the time flew by. The beginning starts a little slow for a few minutes as they introduce the characters and some of the back story, but they make up for it.

 I really love talking about it, but I definitely don't want to give anything away for those who have not seen it. I will just say that I like that they are able to make a super-hero movie that is a little different than the rest. Are they heroes? Are they vigilantes?  I can promise you one thing though, the movie will not go to where you think it is taking you.  

Will it win an Oscar? Not in one of the major categories, but it definitely is a visual and auditory cinematic experience to see.  Enjoy!

How Can You Say Scientific and Medical Progress Is a Distraction?

Parkinson's Disease. Diabetes. Cancer. Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis. These are some of the most debilitating and prevalent diseases of our time.  They are also some of the disease or injuries that could possibly be reversed or even wiped out if stem cell research progresses as we hope.  Now there are no promises, but without trial there can be no success.  Some of the greatest medical discoveries ever, such as penicillin, were discovered by accident or by tinkering towards another goal. 

What am I babbling about? Today President Obama overturned President Bush's law that limited stem cell research to only the 60 embryonic stem cell lines that were currently available. This was never enough.......not nearly enough.  Now I know the theological and ideological argument about using and creating embryonic stem cells for research. I can appreciate the argument against it, the same way I can appreciate someone's pro-life arguments. For me though, it's all about the science.  

My grandfather Morton was one of the biggest influences in my life. I look like him, I got my humor from him, and to this day he still inspires me.  Unfortunately, Morton was taken from us WAY too early by complications from Hepatitis C. What he really needed to keep him around was a new liver. With a SEVERE shortage of livers to be transplanted, lets just say a 70+ year old male was not high on the national list. What if we could just have grown him one?  And that's just one example of my own personal family experiences with such diseases.  With almost 24 million Americans with diabetes, 1.5 million Americans with Parkinson's Disease, and almost a half of million US deaths from Cancer alone just last year, we NEED this! And this is just the US!

Is stem cell research the answer?? I don't know that yet.  I do know that some amazing things have already been done with stem cells that nobody thought was possible.......see my previous post. If you could keep a loved one healthy, if you could keep Alzheimer's from degrading someone's mind to the point of being unable to recognize their own child or spouse, if you could give back the power to walk to someone who feels trapped by a wheelchair..........wouldn't you?

I know the issue is about it being embryonic stem cells and not just stem cells in general, but for now this is our best chance for such advances. So if you are just totally against this, then there is nothing I can do and I hope for everyone's sake that you never find yourself in one of those horrific positions that might change your mind.  However, to Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia who said, "Why are we going and distracting ourselves from the economy? Let's focus on what needs to be done"................I say we are trying, stop trying to get in the way.  You know what's distracting...... death and disease and losing the ones we love. Look around man, nobody is saying the economy is stable or secure and that it should be ignored. In fact, it's safe to say IT IS our national #1 priority.  But since the economy and money seems to be the only thing on your mind Mr. Cantor......this act will even bring new jobs as well. 

Friday, March 6, 2009

Finally, Doctor on the Rise!

Nope, not a physician yet. I still have two years (plus a few months) before I can throw the D.O. behind my name and start to actually be considered a doctor. However, this semester has definitely made me feel better about the path chosen.......that there might actually be a light at the end of the tunnel, one that leads me out of the classroom and library and into the hospital.  

The first great experience this semester was the autopsy. We did not get to actually perform one, as most of them are government/county positions, but we did get to watch four or five performed.  It's not pretty. In fact, it's actually pretty gruesome. I have colleagues who claim to have the most steel-lined of stomachs who had to take a few moments and head outside. It could be the smell, it could be the way the bodies are cut up to find the pathology behind the death, or it could be that they had loved ones who had to go through the same thing. All valid reasons to be a little queasy. For me though, it just made things seem all the more real. You hear about all the ways that people can be killed, or kill themselves, but when it's posted on CNN or heard on the radio it seems very removed.  We saw deaths from motor vehicle accidents, drug/alcohol overdose, suicide, and many more. Please careful, be doesn't make you lame.

The next experience was the trigger point lab.  A trigger point is a hyper-irritable place on the body, related to the musculoskeletal system, that usually manifests as a palpable nodule made up of taut muscle fibers. A trigger point injection is usually a combination of an anesthetic and steroid that lasts in the body for about 3 months or so.  Now I have a lot of experience giving shots when I was a medical assistant, but this is slightly different. You have to give about 4 or 5 injections, all around this trigger point, without taking the needle back out of the body. So the key is to take it out of the muscle, but still leave it in the skin.  This was no big deal with the huge lumbar back muscles, but when you have to do it into the muscle or ligaments around an ankle or elbow joint things get a little more tricky. However, musculoskeletal pain is so prominent that this will be a great tool to have in the 'ole doctor arsenal. 

The most recent experience was getting to draw some blood from my fellow classmate. Phlebotomy is something that I, and I am sure most people, take for granted. Nobody likes giving blood, but when you go to the doctor to do so, you never really think about what is involved. Most of the lab technicians, medical assistants, or physicians are quite good at it, but most people have had that one experience where they cannot find a vein and you get stuck multiple times. I was able to get it on the first stick on my partner, but he had some very prominent veins to use. It is going to be a scary experience that first time I have to do it on a hospital patient who is extreme pain or discomfort or a someone whose veins are hard to find.

The best experience of all though is when we go to IGC. It stands for something silly, but basically it is when we go shadow a doctor once a week. Depending on who your doctor is, you might get to do most of the patient exams. And my doctor is the shit. He basically hands me a chart and I get to do everything from the exam, to the diagnosis, and even start writing the prescriptions. Sure he checks my work and makes any changes he needs to, but when those patients leave the office, they tend to thank me as much as the doctor himself. That feels good.

So starting in July, I get to start rotations. This will be a month or two in each of many specialties in medicine including: Internal, Pediatrics, Family Med, ER, Surgery, Psych, Rural med, OB/GYN, etc.  I might even get to work at a prison for a month or so. This is when the real education will start.  I will keep yall updated about stuff, like delivering my first baby. Well, not MY baby.......oh you get it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New (old) Favorite Show

I will go ahead and admit it. I am addicted to Most Extreme Home Makeover. This show is the shit!!! I had heard about the show previously, but I actually saw It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia mocking it with their "dream boards" before I actually saw the show itself.  It took only a single episode and I was hooked. 

This show works on multiple levels for me.  First of all, there is almost always a great back story to why this particular family is getting this second chance. With almost 15,000 applications per week, I am sure it is not hard to find that tear-jerker of a story.  I have seen an episode involving a LAPD police officer who is shot and paralyzed only 12 hours after running a charity race to support police officers hurt in the line of duty....Ironic!!! I just saw an episode where they brought amazing technology (and a new house) to a family where BOTH parents are deaf and they are raising two of whom is blind and autistic.  There was another episode where they changed the life of woman who raised three orphans with AIDS who had been left to die in the government system.  On the same note, they built a HUGE house for a single woman who has adopted multiple children with disabilities including: two who only have torsos, one with fetal alcohol syndrome, one with brain damage from trauma, and one with a bone disease where she cannot flex her elbows or knees.

The next reason I am so addicted to this show is the amazing houses they build. Sometimes it might be a more modest duplex to house two homeless families, and other times it might be the most lavish castle because the families' father who died was obsessed with the renaissance era and they wanted to honor him.  No matter what the exterior or size, all of the designers spend days (and I am sure weeks of research prior) to make sure each member of the family gets a themed room and the newest technology available to make their lives easier. If a child likes the outdoors, you can expect them to get a bed amongst a canopy of trees. If someone wants to be a pilot, they end up with a mock up of a part of a planes fuselage in their room to hold the flight simulator.  I just saw one episode where the main focus was a 22 year old who was recently paralyzed due to a case of mistaken identity from a gang member, and he was given a full voice activated house. He just makes commands to "Anderson" and the house will even send a machine to come lift him out of his chair and carry him to the bathroom or his kitchen.

Finally, I love the designers they picked for the show. While I really like Paige and Tracy, it's the male designers who steal the show.  My personal favorites are Paul, Ed, Michael and Preston.  Of course I like watching Ty as well, but he is the host so of course he is amazing. It doesn't hurt that he is a good ole Georgia Boy as well.  Yes, all of these people are going to be well known for their efforts, and yes they are probably making bank. However, unless they are some amazing actors as well, you can generally see the care and concern they have for each family for which they are working so hard night after night making custom beds, desks, and murals to fit each room.  They all are really talented as well. They have their, contruction, fashion..........but they have no problem hanging dry wall or planting some tulips if that is what the project calls for. 

The show also has helped me out with issues I may be having as well. If there is a day where I am tired of studying the library, or I am lonely or sad for some reason, it helps me to realize how much better off I have it than so many out there. No I didnt really need a show to know that, but it can never hurt to get the reminder every once and awhile. It makes me want to go out and help as many people as I can.  Speaking of which......I am finding out it is actually not as easy to volunteer for certain things as I thought. Six month wait for habitat for humanity!!!

Don't get me wrong. I know I have fallen for scripted banter, the directors' editing of the episodes, and the well composed music that goes along with each tear jerking story. I know some of these people end up losing these houses anyways due to the immediate property values rising through the roof. I don't care.......I am hooked. It's like watching an emotional, super-size version of Monster House.   So keep on keeping on Most Extreme Home Makeover......and Move That Bus!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


As if we Americans need any more reason to gather together in drunken debauchery, I just got back from my first experience at Gasparilla.  Before actually seeing the festivities, this event was described to me as a pirate mardi gras. I believe it actually lived up to its description. The one I went to was supposedly the "alcohol free" childrens' parade. Ha Ha. Yeah right. I saw more high schoolers passed out in the lawn than anything (no surprise there).  The "adult" parade is this weekend I believe and if they plan to take it to the next "adult" level then I am not sure I would be prepared for it anyways. There is some background history to the event, which I am sure you can google if you are truly interested. Mostly it is just a bunch of rowdy drunks who plan on dressing like a pirate, but end up looking like they got dressed in the local Salvation the dark.  To carry the booze, many people steal shopping carts from the local grocery store and then dress them up to look like pirate ships. 

There are many parts to the event: the ship parade, the staged attack on tampa bay by the some locally famous pirate ship, the float parade, VIP parties, etc.  However, without getting up super early or having a huge cash flow to be a VIP, you really only see the float parade through its 10 mile+ journey. The entire parade rout is barricaded and people are standing on both sides just grabbing beads as they fly out into the crowd. I actually saw a set of beads fly perfectly onto some guys head and around his neck while he was just standing there talking to his friends. Pretty rad. At least it was at the time.

The rest of the weekend my roomate Aaron and I were basically pampered with food by our buddy Chris' parents. Friday night was Super Lasagna night followed by homemade strawberry shortcake. And after Gasparilla, we arrived back to his house for a feast including filet mignon, homemade Au Gratin Potatoes, fresh bread, and for dessert......another strawberry shortcake, cherry cheesecake, and Italian chocolate decadence cake. 5 months of working out undone in one weekend. But a great weekend it was!

Only 5 or so more exams to go before boards and rotations!!! Here we go!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Kavorkian may want to use his own machine!!!

So for the past few weeks, I had been pretty excited to see Dr. Jack Kavorkian speak here at Nova. He is a well-known, controversial figure who has created some of the biggest medical ethics questions of our time........a patient's right to die.  I have never really taken a stance on the matter, instead relying on federal and state laws to guide my train of thought. I went to this lecture expecting to hear a mix of theological, judicial, and cultural points of view. Instead what I heard was a bitter 81 year old man whose sole argument was that America is the second coming of Nazi Germany.  It was like listening to someone with tangential dementia (thoughts all over the place).

It started off, for the first two minutes, as if we were going to get what we came to see. He started listing his three main projects, or causes. They are Patient's Right to Die, Prison Reform, and Education Reform.  Then he started giving examples of how America has made decisions and chosen to uphold laws via the supreme court in such a way that we are not a democracy, but a tyranny.  I will admit, while I don't agree with that, he made a few intelligent points to back his bold statement.......At This Point!!

Then it goes downhill. For the next 40 minutes, he basically kept trying to prove how America is like Nazi Germany. He found some list of 14 things that defines fascism, and then went through each point to try and correlate how America fits each one. They were such far stretches from anything realistic or logical that people started just leaving by the hordes.  It didn't help that this old man couldn't figure out how to use the microphone in front of him and nobody in the back could hear what he was saying for half of it.

One main point that really pissed me off though was when he said that we need to stop calling our American soldiers heroes.  I could understand if he meant that just because you are in the military, it does not innately make you a hero......but that was not the case. He thinks that the military is just our U.S. version of S.S. officers, which is amazingly insulting. Well Dr. Death, if they aren't heroes, they at least deserve our respect and praise for doing the tough jobs that my friends and I sure don't want to do.  

After a short question and answer section, Dr. Kavorkian ended his not so amazing lecture by raising the American flag. That would be a nice sentiment, except instead of the stars being there to represent the 50 united states........there was a swastika!!!  

So there it is folks. A bitter, unorganized, elderly man ranting (mostly incoherently) about how much he hates America.......the country of his residence.....because they  put him in prison. This is my favorite, ironic part. Kavorkian was present for over 130 assisted suicides. He set up the machine and let the patients themselves press the button to start the death process. However just once, that we know of, HE DECIDED to press the button to kill the patient. And it was this one time that he decided to videotape it and send it in to 60 minutes.  This is what convicted him. So basically, he screwed himself.  Way to go Jack, Way to go.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Jurassic Park 4 - Invasion of the US!!

Someone hacked this traffic warning machine in Indiana. That's hilarious. More so if someone actually changed their course to avoid the Raptors Ahead.

More blogging to come soon.......I am going to see Jack Kavorkian, AKA Dr. Death, speak on campus this Thursday. And yes, he is still alive and not in prison. Should be pretty damn interesting!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wisence and Wegistwation Pweeeze!

This is actually pretty amazing. The new story to shock this guy is the one that broke yesterday about a troubled 14 year old boy in chicago who decided to play cop. This 14 year old had originally taken part in a youth program called "police explorers", put on by a division of the chicago police department that allowed interaction between said youths and what we would have hoped were slightly more intelligent police officers. Well yesterday this 14 year old walked in to the police department dressed from head to toe as a cop. The only thing he appeared to be missing were his police stars, an actual gun in the holster, and he had newspaper in the place of a ballistic vest (which was covered by a real vest). Everything else was straight up police-issued. 

Now I give the kid credit for having the balls to dress up like a cop and then walk right into the belly of the beast. But it gets better.....................HE WENT ON PATROL. Yes, not a single police officer figured out this kid did not belong. Or maybe they just were too busy or lazy to actually look into their gut suspicion. His reason for being the new guy was that he was transferred for the day from another precinct. Nevertheless, this 14 year old checked out a police radio and a ticket book and then was assigned to another police officer as his "partner" for the day.  While he apparently never got behind the wheel or had a chance to write any tickets, he did participate in a full day of traffic stops AND got back to the department to end his shift before anyone finally caught on to his shenanigans.  

I don't know what to say about this one. I have the utmost respect for the police (S. Florida cops excluded), but they severely dropped the ball on this one. And as for the 14 year old....I want to say that he made some egregious lapses in judgement, but what he was able to pull off here is pretty amazing. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Beg of You Hollywood, Please Don't Do it

Name some good movie sequels......I dare ya!  Yeah, I can think of only a few as well. Alien 2. Terminator 2.  Maybe a few others. 

Ok. Now name good remakes of classics!  Psycho with Vince Vaughn? I don't think so. The Day the Earth Stood Still with Keanu?  While it was perfect for him as an emotionless alien, it too was nowhere near as good as the original.

So what would you say if I told you that they are ALREADY thinking of remaking one of the finest movies ever to hit the big screen.....The Karate Kid.  

Is Ralph Macchio coming back? No of course not, that would be as ridiculous as remaking the movie.  Right now they are thinking about Jaden Smith for the role. That's right, Will Smith's 11 year old son.  And who would play Mr. Miyagi for the deceased, but brilliant Pat Morita........I am ashamed to even say it.......they are thinking of Jackie Chan.

I could go off on how hollywood has run out of creative ideas, or the many ways in which this would soil the classic version of the movie, but there is no need. So now that I have brought it to your attention I ask you to pray with me for this remake to NEVER be made. 

Just to add to this, here are the comments from the karate kid himself today from IMDB:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

He is so Cute.....Oh Dear G-D He is Eating My Legs!!

  If anyone has read this morning there is a story about Beijing Zoo's own Gu Gu the Panda attacking yet his third victim.  Honestly, I do not blame the panda at all.  The first two victims are what I like to use as examples of social darwinism. The first attack occurred when a 15 year old climbed into Gu Gu's pen to "get a closer look."  Now if this was a toddler, or even a child 10 years old, then I could maybe understand how the panda was only seen as a cute and cuddly teddy bear urging their presence for a long needed hug.  However, this was not the case. The second attack came when a drunken tourist decided he wanted to give the panda a hug. No comment needed on this brilliant move.  The final attack, of which the article is reporting, came when a father actually just fell in while trying to grab a toy that his young son had been tossing back and forth with him. The toy..........wait for the irony..........a stuffed panda.  Like I said, I don't blame the panda as apparently the Beijing Zoo needs to do something more than a five foot barrier to keep people out. Maybe even put some security guards in the area.  The most amazing thing about all of this was how the father reacted once he fell in the pen. Since Panda's are considered a national treasure and icon for the country, he didn't want to disgrace himself by hitting Gu Gu or fighting his way out of its clutch. Instead he just sat there and watched as the panda started eating one leg..........then the other.......all the way until zoo authorities used tools to open its jaws and free the poor man.  Now that's some national pride.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A little Bit Ironic, Dont Ya Think?

A colleague of mine, posted this article on facebook for all to see and I could not believe what I was reading. To summarize, there was a pro-palestinian rally held in Ft. Lauderdale in which members of the organization known as ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) was calling for another holocaust. They dont wan't to end racism, or stop war. They want to become the second coming of the nazi party and exterminate the Jewish people and destroy Israel as a whole.  

Now I may not be an intelligent guy......Oh wait, Yes I am............but that does not seem to be the sentiment of peace and love. In fact, it's the actual definition of Hypocrisy. It's also a good definition for evil, racism, hatred, and stupidity.

So let's talk about the Hamas-loving, pro-palestinians that these people are throwing their support to. These are people who are shooting rockets off from schools, knowing that any retaliation will be directed back at their own people.  These are people who are using these same children as human shields.  These are people that are sending rockets into Gaza hoping it will hit Israelis, even if it just kills more palestinians.  If you feel this strongly that you and your country are doing the right thing, then move there......stand on the front lines.......look around at the "Peace" you claim you are working towards.  

Obviously I want the fighting to stop. I think everyone in the region needs some serious air conditioning, a cold beer, and a cease fire, but to start calling for the complete extermination of the Jewish people equates you with Hitler. And must I remind you that while he may always be remembered in history, it was not for something noble. Germany, his own country, is ashamed of what happened. And you should be too.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places!!

Since I have been single for way too long, and I have no idea why, I am posting this next piece in hopes that you women come to your senses. If you are one of those ladies who has always dated the wrong guy.....the bad boy......the hottie with nothing upstairs.......than I have the solution to BOTH of our problems......

The Top Nine Reasons Why You Should Date A Nerd!!!

To see said reasons why you should be dating me: click here

I know, I know, you are thinking to yourself, "This guy does not seem that nerdy."  I get that a lot. I think its my boyish good looks, but believe me I am a nerdy medical student who loves to learn the sciences.  So there.  I will be taking applications shortly.