Outsourcing our guinea pigs

Clinical trials go global where the guinea pigs are cheaper. (from Science News)

DURHAM, N.C. – Top-tier U.S.-based pharmaceutical companies are moving their clinical trials overseas at warp speed, raising questions about ethics, quality control, and even the scientific value of their findings for people back in the U.S.

Many of the trials are taking place in developing countries in Eastern Europe and Asia where study participants are often poorer and less educated than are study participants in the U.S., according to researchers at Duke Clinical Research Institute

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Thomas Friedman on USA's international status

From his recent column titled, “Paging Uncle Sam.”

For all the talk in recent years about America’s inevitable decline, all eyes are not now on Tokyo, Beijing, Brussels or Moscow — nor on any other pretenders to the world heavyweight crown. All eyes are on Washington to pull the world out of its economic tailspin. At no time in the last 50 years have we ever felt weaker, and at no time in the last 50 years has the world ever seen us as more important.

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In Greenville, Ohio, tonight

Like wine, dessert, and listening to yours truly discuss WAIW??

Come to the Montage Cafe tonight in Greenville, Ohio at 7:30. I’ll be the one talking about my underwear!…

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Customer service is dead; long live customer service!

Call me jaded, but customer service is dead.

How often do you walk into a store or restaurant only to be ignored? Not a single “Howdy, can I help you within earshot.” (I’ve worked in retail so I feel that I can complain about such things – kind of like making ethnic- or religious-toned jokes when you are a member of the ethnicity or religion you’re poking fun at.)

I’ve always believed that even if you’re doing a crappy job, you might as well smile. Smiling makes it seem less crappy. Lying to yourself makes the job more bearable.

It’s to the point now when, on the rare occasion, I stumble upon a smiling someone who is good at their job and glad that I chose to patronize…

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Palm Beach Recap

The Palm Beach Democrats flew me down to talk to them about WAIW? on Monday. It was an interesting time.

* I walked on the beach for 1 1/2 hours. Nose got a little burnt; I blame TSC for not allowing me to bring on a bottle of sunscreen. Of course, everyone knows that any lotion higher than SPF 15 is highly explosive.

* My host was a 93-year-old woman whose husband acted as pediatrician to RFK’s (yes, that RFK) kids. She also recalled seeing JFK (yep, that one) cruising around Palm Beach in a convertible. She bought her home after WWII for $35K. Today, it’s worth millions. It’s an art deco home and one of the few in the area that doesn’t have…

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Good magazine interviewed me for their website.

I’ve been slacking with the posts the last few days, but I’ll be updating soon. I’ve got some great posts coming: I have a good source that validates the multiple shooters theory in the JFK assassination, the best mint sales lady in the world, James Patterson on book signings, and a 93-year old woman who walks circles around me. All of that’s from one day in Palm Beach. Interesting place….

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No appearance in Coral Gable; in Palm Beach Tomorrow night

Apparently, I was scheduled to speak at Books & Books in Coral Gables tonight. There’s just one little problem: no one told me. Bummer. I would have loved to work in two events in south Florida.

If you know anyone that lives in or near Palm Beach tell them to come HERE:


Special Guest Speaker/s: Kelsey Timmerman, author of “Where Am I Wearing? A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories and People that Make Our Clothes”.

Program: This is a topic closely related to environmental issues and our loss of manufacturing capability with its loss of jobs, and is vital to the economic turnaround promised by President Obama.

Time: 7:30pm.

Location: Kravis Center Cohen Pavilion at Okeechobee Blvd, WPB.

Public welcomed. No Admission…

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A question

Is it acceptable for an author to show up at a reading wearing the same shirt that they are wearing on their book jacket?

I did at my reading in Louisville, but the whole time I was wondering if anyone would notice. I hate to think that I can never wear the shirt again, but I also don’t want folks to think that it’s my only shirt.

The shirt in question was featured by American Apparel. Here it is…

At all my speaking events I try to wear clothes that I’ve bought since I’ve converted to engaged consumerism so I can refer to them as ways that I now shop. Tonight I’m doing a reading at Indiana University where I’ll be wearing a Patagonia shirt I got half off at…

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