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Whitney Houston: Reflecting on a Life Cut Short

When I was a child, I was a fan of Whitney Houston. Then again, it seemed like most everyone I knew was a fan of Whitney Houston. She achingly expressed pain and heartbreak and was superb at putting into words how to best communicate love to someone. By the time she was portraying a singer in need of a bodyguard in 1992’s The Bodyguard I think much of the world was deeply enamored with her.

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The Jack of All Ills: How the Internet Democratized Medicine

I’m old enough and just craggy enough to remember the pure disdain medical doctors had  for the internets in the early 1990’s when the web was growing by bounds and grabbing the brains of any and every eager mind.  The reason doctors hated the internet was because open access to information diluted their expertise by egalitarian dissemination of research and the democratic propagation of information; and they resented it when patients knew more about a drug or a condition than they did.  Eager patients are hungry for information and becoming the master of a single pill or a defined diagnosis is much easier than having to worry about every single chemical condition and biological solution studied at medical school.  Patients are the masters of their ailments; doctors are the jack of all ills.

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No Sympathy for Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse is dead.  Is anyone surprised?  Or did we all sense the inevitability of it all across the arc of her short, and tortured, wasted, life?  Does it matter that she’s now a member of the 27 Club?  Or that she becomes yet another exemplar of the Mozart Syndrome?

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Could Amy Winehouse's Death Have Been Prevented?

On occasion I am reminded of something that happened when I was in high school. I had a friend who was chronically late to class on account of the fact that he sometimes didn’t properly set his alarm clock. He was asked not to return to that school the following year — it was the Peddie School and they expected excellence from their students and that included showing up to class more often than not. I felt as though it was something that I could have helped prevent and that I failed him as a friend by not helping him get to his classes on time. A friend of mine at the time told me that this was not the case and that I could not be responsible for his choice to set his alarm properly.

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Manny Strikes Out

Drugs are bad business for baseball.  Manny Ramirez announced his retirement from the game last week because he didn’t want to serve a 100-game suspension as a second time offender of Major League Baseball‘s drug policy.

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The Madding End of Mad Mike Bloomfield

One of the greatest Blues guitarists to ever live — and die much too young — was Mike Bloomfield.  He was born into a wealthy, North Side Chicago family and grew up a “Good Jewish Boy” — until he hit the age of 14 and discovered the guitar and Southside Chicago Blues.

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Male Menopause Limps into Your Life

We know if you’re a man — you’re already dying of prostate cancer — but the more recent news-that-makes-us-go-limp from the BBC — is that if you’re male, you also stand a 2 percent chance of going through your own sort of “menopause.”

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