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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Access Copyright Hemorages Cash

Access Copyright was defrauded of $60,000. They involved the Toronto police, provided them with the information they uncovered so that they could conduct an investigation of their own. Earlier today, the police announced that two arrests had been made.

The individuals charged with committing the fraudulent activity are a former employee and a person not connected with Access Copyright in any way. Because this activity was uncovered at an early stage the financial damage was limited to $60,000. This is a fraction of their annual distribution to affiliates of more than $20 million and they claim it does not have a significant impact on the Access Copyright or its affiliates.

Access Copyright has decided to make it harder on the authors. They now require a valid Social Insurance Number or Business Number from all affiliates before royalty payments can be made. The affiliation process has also been updated and includes a requirement that, in addition to a works list, new affiliates need to submit for at least one photocopy of the bibliographic page or masthead. Both of these measures should help them verify authorship and ensure that only those who are entitled to royalties receive them.They have also put in place a rigorous screening process for all new employees.

If you don't like how I drive, stay off the sidewalk

Victoria has to be one least of the least pedestrian friendly cities in Canada. Other locations are poor because of poor weather but Victoria is ideal from that perspective.
I have ranted too much about bicyclists who mow down pedestrians. So I will not do so again here.
Pursing snatching and swarmings are rampant. Some cases are reported to police. If you are brave enough to walk during the off hours, you're taking your life in own hands. One stretch of Lampson Ave has seen over a half-dozen vicious swarmings in the last five years.
Your average commerical truck A strategic hodge-podge of zoning has led to office, residential and industrial zones nuzzled up to one another. Because commercial vehicles are large, police are less likely to pull them over because of the traffic disruption and the heat they would take for delaying vehicle on its way to doing its business. This is what I found a few years ago when we were returning from Vancouver. We were driving toward the turn off into the Sidney. We hit a red light and stopped. A freight truck off of the ferry did like red lights, so he sounded his horn and blasted right through the middle of the red light. Shocked, we phoned 9-1-1 to report this. 9-1-1 operators passed us from the Sidney RCMP to the Central Saanich RCMP to the Saanich Police. All of them didn't know how to deal with a report of a vehicle running a red light, when furnished with only a description, a license plate number, and a real time account of the vehicle's position. Eventually Saanich Police caught up to the truck. While we were watching, the police cruiser paced the truck then drove away: no pull over. Nothing. When I challenged the cop on the report desk, he said it was hard to tell if this was the vehicle and it appeared to be operating properly. A little over a year later, on the same stretch of highway where Saanich police went to sleep over this speed Mack truck, a very similar truck struck a woman while she was pushing her infant in a stroller.
When was the last time you saw a speeding commercial vehicle? Or when was the last time you saw one breaking the law? How about the last time one was pulled over by police? I can't think of a single time.
This is my message to the police: WAKE UP. There are too many people with camera-equipped cellphones, Youtube and Flickr accounts. If you sleepwalk through your job with a sense of impervinous, your days are numbered. Police will not be embarassed by public displays of their failures, but this material can become fodder for legal battles. Legal battles that could find police liable for their negligence and dereliction of duty.
Yesterday, a Van-Kam freight truck turning the corner from Blanshard to Bay St, climbed the curb and crushed a six year old boy under his back wheels. Police are uncertain if charges will be laid. Defacto permission to drive on the sidewalk and grind children under the wheels of commerce. Literally. If the truck driver is not charged, it will lay bare the police attitude toward commercial vehicles.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Hotels in Victoria


Hotel in Victoria
Originally uploaded by dewolfe0001.
Come to Victoria BC! We have the best accomodations in the world. Tourist attractions, beautiful gardens. Stay at Barnard Park close to Victoria's inner harbour, the Empress, Government Street.
For a special unlimited time, Victoria is offering FREE accomodation. Single, twin, double, queen? You decide.
When I phoned the police to report that our park has become a campground, the report desk said that they would be quite a while before they could get to this. "There had been an emergency."
I don't know what has me more concerned:
A) An emergency like a traffic accident or similar can completely tie up the entire police force? If so, that means an earthquake, large scale fire or similar will lead to lawless pandemoneum.
B) Victoria doesn't care about the beginning of a squatter's camp because it's far from the Empress Tea Room, The Legislature lawn, Hatley Park, Butchart Gardens (or is it Butchard Gardens?), the Greater Victoria Trade and Convention Centre and the Royal BC Museum. Maybe calling it the beginning of a squatter's camp is hyperboly, but last time I checked, the police were supposed to enforce the law.
That reminds me: cities can have high crime and low crime rates. Three hours after I asked the police to evict this squatter, they phoned back and asked if they were still there. Three hours and they ask for my input and investigation. This is community policing taken too far. The community is good for only two things, their own policing and paying for the police.
At noon I went outside to see my daughter off. I went down the same walk she was about to use to find a crack whore jitting and fumbling through her purse. Her jacket was on so she had yet to shoot up. I yelled at her until she moved off of the property and followed her until she took a side street and went out of sight. I feel Mayor Alan Lowe, head of the Victoria City Police Board, has no problem with this situation. His office has carried out the most important task: keep the crack whores away from the downtown core and out of sight of the tourists. Junkies ride the bus into Esquimalt, tourists ride out to the scenic Saanich Peninsula. It's very easy to keep these two worlds separate. That is, until one of the junkies comes into town into one of the City of Victoria parkades, spies a Washington State license plate. Thinking the traveler in from Washington via the Blackball Ferry or Coho will have lots of easy to steal gadgets (iPods, camcorders, MP3 players, etc.) they may target their vehicles, break in and make off with plenty of stuff they can turn into cash at the Hotel Dougie on Pandora and Douglas. That intersection has an equally infamous neighbour: City Hall.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Counter Chinese Blocks and Censorship

Amnesty International has launched a new campaign (http://irrepressible.info/). They are asking that website owners republish material on your site that the censor prone nations would rather keep away from their population. While Google is in collusion with China and like-minded countries, you don't need to be.
The problem with this concept: they're delivering censored material via JavaScript. As soon as censors see this, they can block the Amnesty International domain and the JavaScript won't load. How they need to do it is to allow website holders to grab censored content on the server-to-server side then publish that material. You can do this with XML. You can do it with so many tools available to programmers.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Sony: Home to PS3, PSP and Spyware

Did you buy a BMG/Sony CD then put it into your computer to play it? If so, Sony gave you a bonus. A bonus so profound they didn't even mention it. They installed a rootkit on your computer to counter copying. If they make you angry, join the class action settlement vs. BMG. The settlement isn't worth much, but it's worth more than nothing.

Sign up here:
https://secureweb.rustconsulting.com/sonybmgcdtechsettlement/Claim.aspx

If you bought one of these CDs:
Artist Title UPC
40 Below Summer The Mourning After 79301828982
A Static Lullaby Faso Latido 827969277225 or D161263
Acceptance Phantoms 696998901629 or D161429
Alicia Keys Unplugged 82876674242 or 82876731662 or D165215
Amerie Touch 827969076323 or D161365
Amici Forever Defined 82876688832 or D161495
Angie Stone Stone Love 82876562152 or D153051
Anthoney Hamilton Coming From Where I'm From 82876521072 or D150669
Art Blakey Drum Suit 827969363720 or D162083
Babyface Grown & Sexy 82876705682 or D162090
Backstreet Boys Never Gone 82876696112 or D165187
Backstreet Boys Never Gone (Target) 82876705342
Backstreet Boys Never Gone (Walmart) 82876702442
The Bad Plus Suspicious Activity? 827969474020
Bette Midler Sings the Peggy Lee Songbook 827969510728 or 828767481524
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Howl 8287671601 or D162369
Bob Brookmeyer Bob Brookmeyer & Friends 827969429228 or D162087
Britney Spears Hitme - Remix 82876740622
Buddy Jewell Times Like These 827969287323 or D161532
Burt Bacharach At This Time 827969773420
Cassidy I'm A Hustla 82876687072 or 82876680732
Celine Dion On Ne Change Pas 827969773628
Charlie Wilson Charlie, Last Name Wilson 82876694292 or D162168
Charlotte Martin On Your Shore 82876606762
Chayanne Cautivo 037629681921 or 37629681822 or 37629588626
The Chieftains Live From Dublin 82876671372 or D160913
Chris Botti To Love Again 827969482322
Chris Brown Chris Brown 82876733222
Citizen Cope Clarance Greenwood Recordings 82876521142 or D154185
Clay Aiken Merry Christmas 82876626222 or D161935
Cook, Dixon & Young Volume One 82876673342 or D162089
The Coral The Invisible Invasion 827969474723
Cyndi Lauper The Body Acoustic 827969456927
Dave Matthews Band Stand Up 82876687962 or D165167
David Gray Life In Slow Motion 82876710682 or D165217
The Dead 60's The Dead 60's 827969445327
Deniece Williams This Is Niecy 827969381427
Dextor Gordon Manhattan Symphonie 827969358122 or D162084
Dido Dido Live 82876658099
Dido "White Flag" W/Enhanced Features (Maxi Single) 82876603552-0
Dion The Essential Dion 827969267028 or D161439
Earl Scruggs I Saw The Light With Some Help From My Friends 827969279328 or D162399
Elkland Golden 827969203620 or D161431
Emma Roberts Unfabulous And More: Emma Roberts 827969395028 or 827969768426
Faithless Forever Faithless/ENH 82876710142 or D162102
Flatt & Scruggs Foggy Mountain Jamboree 827969280126 or D162400
Foo Fighters In Your Honor (Bb Version) 82876705282
Foo Fighters In Your Honor 82876680382 or D265002
G3 Live In Tokyo 827969768525
George Jones My Very Special Guests 827969256220 or D200250
Gerry Mulligan Jeru 074646549827 or D162086
Horace Silver Silver's Blue 827969385623 or D162082
Imogen Heap Speak For Yourself 82876725322
Jane Monheit The Season 827969772126
Jim Brickman Grace 82876679792 or D161456
Jim Brickman Grace (Provident Version) 82876687952
J-Kwon Hood Hop (Edited) 82876583672
J-Kwon Hood Hop (Ex) 82876576132 or D152470
Jon Randall Walking Among The Living 827969208328
Judd & Maggie Subjects 82876692492 or D161949
Kasabian Kasabian 82876664282 or D161062
Keith Anderson Three Chord Country 82876662942 or D161674
Kings Of Leon Aha Shake Heartbreak 82876645442 or D160912
Leo Kottke/Mike Gordon Sixty Six Steps 82876689092
Life Of Agony Broken Valley 827969351529 or D161228
Maroon 5 Live 82876709742 or 82876699522 or D200606
Mary Mary Mary Mary 000768353721 or 827969294826 or D162005
Montgomery Gentry Something To Be Proud Of: The Best of 1999-2005 828767532424 or 827969498224
My Morning Jacket Z 82876710672
Natasha Bedingfield Unwritten 827969398821 or D162095
Neil Diamond 12 Songs 827969477625 or 827969781128
Nivea Complicated 828766715620 or D161353
Nodesha Get It While It's Hot (Maxi Single) 82876566902
Our Lady Peace Healthy In Paranoid Times 827969477724
Patty Loveless Dreamin' My Dreams 827969448120
Pete Seeger The Essential Pete Seeger 827969283523 or D161441
Raheem Devaughn The Love Experience 82876537232 or D161600
Ray Charles Friendship 827969456422 or D161917
Rosanne Cash Interiors 827969365526
Rosanne Cash King's Record Shop 696998699427
Rosanne Cash Seven Year Ache 696998699724
Sahara Hotnights Kiss & Tell 82876626892 or D153473
Santana All That I Am 82876597732 or D165199
Sarah McLachlan "Fallen" W/Enhanced Features (Maxi Single) 82876601432
Sarah McLachlan Afterglow Live 82876644942 or D260346
Sarah McLachlan Afterglow Live 82876645432
Sarah McLachlan Bloom (Remix Album) 82876697982 or D162345
Shel Silverstein The Best Of Shel Silverstein 827969472224 or D162100
Shelly Fairchild Ride 827969035528 or D161531
Silvertide Show & Tell 82876644022
Silvertide Show & Tell (Ex) 82876609892 or D154573
Soundtrack Xxx: State Of The Union 82876679222 or D161437
Soundtrack Xxx: State Of The Union 82876681092
Stellastarr* Harmonies for the Haunted 82876688812 or D162194
Susie Suh Susie Suh 827969244326 or D161094
Switchfoot Nothing Is Sound 827969653425 or 827969643723 or 827969458129
Syleena Johnson Chapter 3: The Flesh 82876610932 or D162447
Teena Marie Robbery 827969381724
Tha' Rayne Didn't You Know (Maxi Single) 82876566882
T-Pain Rappa Ternt Sanga 82876734472 or 82876732002
Trey Anastasio Shine 827969642825
Van Zant Get Right With The Man 827969350027 or D161459
Various So Amazing: An All Star Tribute To Luther Vandross 82876624722
Various Songs Brown Hotel 82876714112
Various Relaxation: A Windham Hill Collection 82876629422
Velvet Revolver Contraband (Bb Version) 82876665102
Velvet Revolver Contraband (Ed) 82876605242
Velvet Revolver Contraband (Ex) 82876597942 or D153163
Vivian Green Vivian 827969076125 or D161824
Wakefield Which Side Are You On? 82876685072 or 82876681352 or D161648
YoungBloodZ Everybody Know Me 82876733402 or 82876731752
Yung Wun The Dirtest Thir(Ex) 82876607672 or D154246
Yung Wun The Dirtiest Thirstiest 82876609492

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Xena Day Spa: A photo essay...




Driving by the Xena Day Spa on Fort Street, what does my wife see? Bailiff's Sale signs. HUGE signs on the windows of the spa that was run by a certain local figure (2). Ah... so nice. I don't know the circumstances of the closure. Or, if his other location has shut down as well. Or, what happens to those Xena Day Spa Gift Certificates purchased just before Mother's Day.

I guess nothing is going right for the character behind this "spa" gone wrong [2]. I have two things to say to that: Tee. Hee.

From the "good news out of bad news category": this location is now used by the Victoria Hospice.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Worth 1000 is Great!

This site, Worth1000.com, has excellent contests. This one, is right up there. Horror movies images worked in renaissance classics.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Boats, Buttheads and Buses Don't Mix

Before noon today, a bus T-boned a boat on Lampson Ave. in Esquimalt. A boat. From the looks of the aftermath, it seems like a butthead with a boat trailer peeled out with so much speed he wiped out another vehicle and threw his boat from the trailer. The fact that the boat is in one piece and there is no major damage to bus, tells me that the bus likely stopped in time.
Enough of the text: a picture is worth a 1000 words. Here's 3000 words (+/-):
boat V bus
butthead review
reverse_angle

Sunday, May 21, 2006

I Want A Death Ray!


The march of technology continues. A company called "Wicked Lasers" (http://wickedlasers.com/) has a variety of lasers, including lasers that will:
  • Open-cut healing power (remember Logan's Run ?)
  • Cut black electrical tape (remember Red Green's Back to the Future episode?)
  • Ignite wooden or paper matches (I think they did this in the cantina scene of the Star Wars)
  • Pop dark colored balloons (like in Black Sunday)
  • Melt Plastic (uh... remember Westworld)
Let's face: these aren't lasers, they're death rays and I WANT ONE! But, I'm not going to spring for one myself. Help me get one of these wicked lasers (my favorite is the Extreme 95mw [retail: $369.99]). Here are my daffy rules:
  1. Donate $5 to this cause via Paypal. I will keep track of the donations and list your name with thanks if desired.
  2. Once I have $370, I will buy a laser and do cool stuff with it. I'll make videos and I'll post them to YouTube.
  3. If I receive more than $740, I will give a second laser to one of the people who donated.
  4. If I receive more than $1110, I will give a third laser to one of the people who donated.
To donate:


To track my progress, add code to your page:



I emplore you. Help me get a death ray. Please: I won't use it as an actual death ray. I won't ransom France. I won't even aim it at James Bond in jest. I swear. However, if I get it, I may also get a monacle for my good eye.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

My Inner Geek

My inner geek-- what a misnomer. I do everything but wear a Star Trek T-Shirt. Today I catered to my inner geek.
We are going to the Victoria Toy Show next week to flog a bunch of our toys and collectibles: not the creme of the crop, not those that hold special memories. We're getting rid of the stuff we have either enjoyed and we're getting rid of; or we've lugged around and we're done carting them around. What sort of stuff are we shedding:
- Beatles figures (from McFarlane Toys)
- $6 Million Man figures (a beat-up Steve Austin; and a most of a Maskatron-- sorry I am keeping the vaunted Oscar Goldman)
- A lot of Star Wars toys
- Many comics: (highlights)
  • Incredible Hulk #110
  • Marvel Team-Up #53
  • Micronauts #11-40
  • ROM #17-18
  • Spider-Woman #37
  • Star Wars #42-63
  • X-Men #149-170

In digging into my comics, I rediscovered that I had parted with most of my X-Men comics. My nephew helped me sort through comic books. We went through the Hulk and the original appearance of Wolverine... I had it and sold it. Then I looked at the Wolverine mini-series: worth about $300 for mint copies. For the record, to buy them new would have cost $3-- a 1:100 increase. Sad.
While I tossed collectibles and I am about to do so again, I found that there two jewels in my comic book collection: Sam & Max Freelance Police (one of the funniest books out there); and Stig's Inferno by Ty Templeton. Ty Templeton went onto my radar a couple of weeks ago when he was flogging his work in the Simpson's comics-- namely a Hank Scorpio plotline. He is really excellent. If you don't believe me: he's published Stig's Inferno online! It's like getting Free Comic Book Day two weeks late.
If you'll excuse me: I'm off to play a night game of fizzball. And yes, I'll be aiming your direction...
Oh, and I've been watching the Trekkies documentaries. Good films about sad people. People like me. On a tangent, I found the original Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan script. I have come to the sad realization that this is my favorite film. Sorry, Orson.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Superman I Must Say!

We have the copy of Entertainment Weekly with the new Superman, Brandon Routh, on the cover. When I looked at the cover, I was thinking: "Hey, he's looks familiar..."


Then it me: He looks like Martin Short aka Jiminy Glick aka Ed Grimley aka the Unfunniest Canadian in History (trust me: Alan Thicke, Sir John A. McDonald-- they're much funnier).

Monday, May 15, 2006

Luke and Boba: Together Again...

Two origins:
The first appearance of Luke Skywalker:


The first appearance of Boba Fett:


Thanks to Chuckchat for finding the Luke Skywalker clip!

Lastly, I do have more videos on YouTube.com
I'm not alone with getting on the YouTube wagon:
Clever, Witty & Quick: The CJP Blog: CJP Behind the Magic

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Your Virtual Seller

Everquest came out several years ago. Soon after it's release I heard of people buying and selling items-- magic items they acquire in the game. Fake items sold for real cash (in some cases $1400+) and buyer isn't pissed! I like the irony that these guys who are handing out four figures probably pirate software thereby paying through the nose for a thing generated by a piece of software than the software itself.
Soon eBay became a venue to sell these virtual goodies. I found another place online that peddles unreal wares for Star Wars Galaxies, Everquest, World of Warcraft, City of Villians and most of the other MMORPGs: Your Virtual Seller
My favorite concept for online peddling. Get a cool magic item. Post it for sale. Set up the meeting to exchange the magic item. Leave. Then a bunch of your online buddies show up, mug the buyer, take his new magic item and leave with your friend's magic item. You get the cash; your buddies get to sell your item on their own.

Tilt-A-Whirl Gun Camera

Have you ever wondered what it looks like to ride on a tilt-a-whirl? Wonder no more:



After I took this, I went on the Zipper-- a sadastic device that spins you 360° at points. More than once, I had to dodge coins from my pocket.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Templars, Sion and Da Vinci's Code

I read "Holy Blood Holy Grail" in the 1980s and thought it was a wild read. My problem with the Bible is that thousands of years of history are packed into this small book. Large sweeping events are condensed into a couple of paragraphs. That means that events like the life of Christ as so abbreviated that Christ could have father 100 children and that would be entirely snipped from the gospels like a footnote of a footnote. In the original Greek, the phrase "Virgin Mary" (never with a man) is synonmous with "Maiden Mary" (never married a man). Because a virgin cannot be pregnant, the incongruence is the miracle of immaculate conception. The brevity of the Bible plus 2000+ years of rewrites has set up a troubling bias. Priests take the vow of chastity. The mother of Christ is a virgin. So, Jesus would have to be a virgin-- or at the very least fathered no children. The Bible didn't mention the children of Christ-- well, the version of the Bible we have right now. The Bible also omitted the lineage of Mary and Joseph. It doesn't clarify if this Jewish spiritual leader who-- by all actions seemed to be a rabbi-- was a rabbi. No matter how important someone is, if they are weird and unlikeable, they are often unpopular. Gandhi was benevolent and resolved. If he were only resolved, I doubt he would have had his impact on history. All people, especially rabbis, were supposed to have children-- be fruitful and multiply. A chaste rabbi would have been ahead of his time-- six centuries ahead of his time. Everything except the letter of the Bible says that Jesus would have had children. Children have children. Common people have children. Kings have children. Kings and their concubines have children. Wherever Christ's children would have gone they would have been fruitful and multiplied in their own right. That carries a loud and resounding echo. If Christ was divine because of his lineage, divinity has spread into our gene pool. If Christ was not divine... well, that means the core belief of the most popular religion ever to touch this planet has a hollow center. Maybe because I was raised Christian, I have a bias; but I prefer to believe the former. Divinity is now in our genes-- and it has been for almost 2000 years. One hundred generations. Start with two children who have two children per generation and that means
1,267,650,600,228,230,000,000,000,000,000 offspring by today. While 20 years seems a little young by today's standards, for the first 1800 years people were having kids younger than 20 years. While two kids per generations seems a little presumptious, until the 20th century, most families had more than two kids.
As there are only 6,000,000,000 people on Earth, there is an opportunity for overlap. 211,275,100,038,038,000,000 times over. What does that say about our world and its people?

So, if this happened, what does this say about our world? If the blood line has spread to almost all of the population then what does that say about the state of our world? Shouldn't a thread of divinity make us more noble? How would this juxtapose the last two millenia of genocide and cruelty delivered by man against man; and man against nature. Maybe the state of humanity is the best evidence that we are anything but divine.

Links out:
http://www.danbrown.com/secrets/bizarre_facts/davinci_code.html
http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/14665.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priory_of_Sion

tags: Da Vinci Code, Templars, Tony Robinson
PS: if my math skills suck, please tell me what 2^100 is.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Happy Meal Loses Little Mermaids

When Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Cars comes out McDonald's Happy Meals will have reached a milestone. After this movie, McDonald's and Disney's cross promotional agreement of ten years is coming to a close. Happy Meals sales are driven by Disney tie-ins. Get the burger and lite-up toy. That connection had Disney worried. The little Disneyland patrons have had a hard time getting through the turnstiles. Childhood obesity rates have skyrocketed and fast food is likely to blame. Kids like their nutritionally devoid meals and they can't be expected to enjoy chicken wraps and carrot sticks. So, if McDonalds can't mend its ways, Disney is parting ways.
McDonalds is putting a positive spin on this: they say they're looking forward to non-exclusive agreements (Ice Age 3 Ice Cream? Shrek 3 Green Burgers?). The truth is: fast food used to be greasy to the touch. Now it's becoming increasingly more greasy in its reputation.

tags: McDonald's Disney Happy Meal Ice Age Cars Pirates of the Caribbean

Ugliest Man Alive

Every time I turn on the TV, I'm hit with an image of Steve Nash: the NBA 2006 MVP. Because he lived in Victoria for a while, he's the local hero. That also means he's the the spokesman for MDG Canada. Why? Why is Steve Nash the spokesman for a computer company? Is Washoe going to become the spokesmodel for Cingular?
Maybe I've been spoiled by all of non-hideous athletes out there, but Steve Nash looks like he lost a bet and hopped face first into a mix master. Every time I see him, I compare him to two other less terrifying countenances. I think he does so well in Basketball because when he closes in on opponents, they recoil in terror.

Please: please fashion some sort of a bag to go over Steve Nash's head. Or, go back to broadcasting games solely on the radio.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Hospitals Don't Kill People: Doctors Kill People

Nanaimo Regional Hospital has come under fire for letting an old man die cold on a guerney in a hallway. Word came of a man's wife who was diagnosed with sinus infection when she actually had a brain aneurysm. The media lept on top of this story. Clearly, the government run hospitals were hurting people. The media put the blame on the government. The government responded with $7 million in quick-fix funding. Unfortunately, that won't do anything.
1/3 of the time, doctors cure their patients. 1/3 of the time, doctor's directions do nothing. 1/3 of the time, doctors harm their patients. Think about how your boss would react if you had this batting average? You'd get tossed out on your ear. Doctors get a raise. Years back, I had this really bad cough and fatigue. I saw my doctor. He said I should take Nyquil. A couple of weeks later, my cold was still really bad. I went to a clinic and that doctor said I may have an ear infection. A couple of weeks after that I almost passed out at work: shortness of breath, cold sweat, uncontrollable cough. I went across the street to the nearby clinic. They took an x-ray (wow, x-rays? That's really cutting edge). Yep: one lung was a solid mass of pheglm. I had advanced pneumonia. I had one of the more common ailments and two out of three doctors missed it.
How many people have similar stories of physician incompetence? I bet every reader has a misdiagnosis story: you were prescribed prozac for a weight problem; you were given blood pressure medication because of your blood pressure spiked during physicals; your dad was told that his heart attack was a torn muscle, so he died later on. There is too much to know-- too many options for a doctor to consider in their diagnosis. "I don't know" is a valid defense for doctors. But they are the last people alive to call uncle. Doctors are infused with confidence: they're force fed sureity like they were in a veal fattening pen. When they give you a diagnosis-- even if it's wildy incorrect-- they deliver it with confidence. While hospitals might contribute to pressures through overcrowding and budget cuts, doctors are solely to blame for misdiagnosis. If a doctor misdiagnoses a patient, they will come back. As long as the patient doesn't die as a side effect of imcompetance, they could come back several times and themselves create a backlog: if an emergency ward can treat 500 cases in a night and 50 (1/3 of the 1/3 who were mistreated) came back once, then misdiagnosis alone accounts for 10% of the cases.
We will never know how bad physician incompetance is. Patient reviews only happen if something dramatic happens (death or great harm). Doctors and the BC Medical Association largely manage themselves: the inmates are running the asylum. Because of doctor-patient confidentiality we can't ask for a stack of files and do a review as taxpayers and patients and next-of-kin.
In the media reports on the Nanaimo crisis, they focussed on the hospital. That was safe. Hospitals beg for money. They roll into a ball to defend themselves from litigation. They are poorly equipped to defend themselves from assault. In the same way, rattling government can get good results. Ministers can put up barricades if need be. When cornered, the government can spend all the cash they want-- after all, they have all our cash.
On the other hand: doctors earn six figures. They have lawyer friends. They give donations to the Liberal candidates they like. They have malpractice insurance. They are also viewers and readers. If the reporters went into the hospital pointed at the idiot doctor(s) who let a women leave with a ticking time bomb in her brain and shouted, "J'Accuse!", they'd be alienating viewers, opening themselves up to a defamation lawsuit, and pinning the blame exactly where it belonged.

tags: Nanaimo, hospitals, malpractice, BCMA, NRGH

Monday, May 01, 2006

Best Buy Gets Overrun

This is great. A whole bunch of people show up at a Best Buy in blue shirts and khakis. Where are the staff? Why was that guy surly? Is everyone here a Best Buy employee? These are only a few questions that these guys would stir. Greaat...!


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