David Ancell's Virtual Home

Don’t Let This Kid Near Your Computer

  /   Wednesday, September 20, 2006   /   Comments(0)

I really laughed when I read this story in the category of worst things that a family member has done to one’s computer. The worst I’ve had anyone do is clutter my computer with junk. I don’t know what I would have done if I had something like this done to my computer.

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  /   Monday, September 18, 2006   /   Comments(0)

In light of recent events, I thought it might be handy to have this article about the Crusades and what really went on. Many of us learned history from Protestants who, whether wittingly or unwittingly, were turned against the Catholic Church. Truthfully, the Crusades were pretty much a defensive war. Most of the brutality that occurred was not endorsed by the Church herself. If only people would read the other side of the story.

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Wifi Networks

  /   Saturday, September 16, 2006   /   Comments(0)

I found a plug in a wall after a wifi network at a local bakery/sandwich shop didn’t work. I really like having wireless access when I have my laptop with me. I’m grateful that people supply us a hot spot. However, I wish they’d give their employees some clue as to what to do with them.

I have been in a few lines and asked how I get on the network. I am often met with blank stares. Granted, I wouldn’t expect them to be technological experts, but they can at least be told if the network requires a password. If the network doesn’t work, I’d hope that someone could at least know how to reset it. Otherwise, I go somewhere hoping to be able to use my computer to get something done, and I can’t.

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Experts . . . . Really?

  /   Saturday, September 09, 2006   /   Comments(0)

I have been somewhat known and often criticized for being rather doubtful of the work of so-called “experts.” Having spent quite a bit of my time in situations that required evaluation of academic literature, I have an idea of some things that can affect one’s research. That’s why I wrote this article when I was in pharmacy school and had to make more use of medical literature.

This article by James Fitzpatrick
captures the problem well. People tend to look for things that support their ideas. Many of the people who sponsor studies, by the way, have some kind of interest (possibly financial) in a certain outcome. They may not publish the study if they don’t achieve it. Also, the literature in general has a tendency of “publication bias.” This means that studies with positive results are more likely to be published. Few want to read mountains of studies saying that “Drug X doesn’t do anything.” It is often not a big deal, but if there are studies that contradict the positive results that are being published, then we really need to know about them.

Also, the study results in clinical trials can vary by the kind of patient used. One study may show a drug as a miracle worker. A second study may show that people who get the drug die just as much as people who don’t get the drug. However, it may be that the patients in the second study were sicker than the ones in the first.

Finally, the endpoint of the study, the very thing one is trying to find out (to simplify the definition), may not be as significant as it appears to be. For example, drug X may have superior results to other drugs on the market for lowering blood pressure. However, it may turn out that the drug is rather toxic, and it kills people faster than the high blood pressure would have. So, looking only at blood pressure wouldn’t give a complete picture. How do people get away with this? Well, mortality studies are usually long and very, very expensive to conduct, so people have to do what they can to see if the drug has an effect that we believe correlates with longer and healthier life. In the fictional example I cited, we were wrong.

So, I am not particularly eager to embrace the latest trend cited by “experts.” Our culture seems to think that whatever is newest is always best. However, new does not always mean improved. Expertise does not mean that the knowledge one gains is correct. After all, how many people do you suppose have advanced degrees in theology from schools that are Catholic in name only. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t assume that they know their stuff.

Category: Posts imported from Danger! Falling Brainwaves, Uncategorized

Illinois Pharmacists’ Lawsuit is Not Dismissed

  /   Saturday, September 09, 2006   /   Comments(0)

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s executive order requiring pharmacists to dispense the morning-after pill has been met with a lawsuit claiming (rightfully, of course) religious discrimination. He tried to get the judge to dismiss the suit, but but the judge didn’t go for it. Judge Scott realized that this order issued as an “emergency” may very well have been intended to target pharmacists who object to dispensing these pills, which can easily be abortifacient.

This lawsuit may well have far-reaching effects. I hope and pray that the pharmacists win the suit. It will go along way towards stopping a potential trend that may make it nearly impossible for anyone with sincere moral convictions, especially Christian convictions, to practice in any health care field. The last thing we need in this country is a health care system that admits only those who are at least willing to comply with the Culture of Death, if not outright supporters of it.

Category: Posts imported from Danger! Falling Brainwaves, Uncategorized

Where’s the Logic?

  /   Tuesday, September 05, 2006   /   Comments(0)

Could someone please tell me the logic in saying that Pope John Paul II is an assassin because he rejected condom use. Granted, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. I remember one columnist in a nationally-known newspaper who said that the teaching amounts to genocide. We all know that people who are committing fornication and whatever else they might be doing are avoiding condoms for fear of sinning, NOT!!

It seems that people treat condoms as the magic bullet. Nevermind that the only country in Africa to reduce the incidence of AIDS advocated abstinence and faithfulness first. I see people all the time saying that “abstinence doesn’t work.” That just isn’t so! If you abstain, your likelihood of being infected decreases dramatically. The only way you have of getting it is some kind of accidental exposure, like in health care. Of course, abstinence works.

Category: Posts imported from Danger! Falling Brainwaves, Uncategorized

About My Podcast

  /   Monday, September 04, 2006   /   Comments(0)

Some of you may recall that I’m having a hard time doing a podcast now. It is taking more work than I expected, especially this next one. I have it mostly scripted, and I hoped I’d be done before the weekend. Well, it doesn’t look like this is going to happen, but hopefully before next weekend I’ll be done. This will probably be a bit longer than normal. By no means will I be able to tell every trick of the trade, but I’ll do my best. If you haven’t unsubscribed yet, I appreciate your patience.

Category: Posts imported from Danger! Falling Brainwaves, Uncategorized


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