Tuesday, 25 September 2007

The Cartoon Laws of Physics

I've seen these floating around the Internet for a while. Not sure where they have come from, or who the author(s) are.

Cartoon Law I
Any body suspended in space will remain in space until made aware of its situation. Daffy Duck steps off a cliff, expecting further pastureland. He loiters in midair, soliloquizing flippantly, until he chances to look down. At this point, the familiar principle of 32 feet per second per second takes over.

Cartoon Law II
Any body in motion will tend to remain in motion until solid matter intervenes suddenly. Whether shot from a cannon or in hot pursuit on foot, cartoon characters are so absolute in their momentum that only a telephone pole or an outsize boulder retards their forward motion absolutely. Sir Isaac Newton called this sudden termination of motion the stooge's surcease.

Cartoon Law III
Any body passing through solid matter will leave a perforation conforming to its perimeter. Also called the silhouette of passage, this phenomenon is the specialty of victims of directed-pressure explosions and of reckless cowards who are so eager to escape that they exit directly through the wall of a house, leaving a cookie-cutout-perfect hole. The threat of skunks or matrimony often catalyzes this reaction.

Cartoon Law IV
The time required for an object to fall twenty stories is greater than or equal to the time it takes for whoever knocked it off the ledge to spiral down twenty flights to attempt to capture it unbroken. Such an object is inevitably priceless, the attempt to capture it inevitably unsuccessful.

Cartoon Law V
All principles of gravity are negated by fear. Psychic forces are sufficient in most bodies for a shock to propel them directly away from the earth's surface. A spooky noise or an adversary's signature sound will induce motion upward, usually to the cradle of a chandelier, a treetop, or the crest of a flagpole. The feet of a character who is running or the wheels of a speeding auto need never touch the ground, especially when in flight.

Cartoon Law VI
As speed increases, objects can be in several places at once. This is particularly true of tooth-and-claw fights, in which a character's head may be glimpsed emerging from the cloud of altercation at several places simultaneously. This effect is common as well among bodies that are spinning or being throttled. A `wacky' character has the option of self-replication only at manic high speeds and may ricochet off walls to achieve the velocity required.

Cartoon Law VII
Certain bodies can pass through solid walls painted to resemble tunnel entrances; others cannot. This trompe l'oeil inconsistency has baffled generations, but at least it is known that whoever paints an entrance on a wall's surface to trick an opponent will be unable to pursue him into this theoretical space. The painter is flattened against the wall when he attempts to follow into the painting. This is ultimately a problem of art, not of science.

Cartoon Law VIII
Any violent rearrangement of feline matter is impermanent. Cartoon cats possess even more deaths than the traditional nine lives might comfortably afford. They can be decimated, spliced, splayed, accordion-pleated, spindled, or disassembled, but they cannot be destroyed. After a few moments of blinking self pity, they re inflate, elongate, snap back, or solidify. Corollary: A cat will assume the shape of its container.

Cartoon Law IX
Everything falls faster than an anvil.

Cartoon Law X
For every vengeance there is an equal and opposite re-vengeance. This is the one law of animated cartoon motion that also applies to the physical world at large. For that reason, we need the relief of watching it happen to a duck instead.

Cartoon Law Amendment A
A sharp object will always propel a character upward. When poked (usually in the buttocks) with a sharp object (usually a pin), a character will defy gravity by shooting straight up, with great velocity.

Cartoon Law Amendment B
The laws of object permanence are nullified for "cool" characters. Characters who are intended to be "cool" can make previously nonexistent objects appear from behind their backs at will. For instance, the Road Runner can materialize signs to express himself without speaking.

Cartoon Law Amendment C
Explosive weapons cannot cause fatal injuries. They merely turn characters temporarily black and smoky.

Cartoon Law Amendment D
Gravity is transmitted by slow-moving waves of large wavelengths. Their operation can be witnessed by observing the behavior of a canine suspended over a large vertical drop. Its feet will begin to fall first, causing its legs to stretch. As the wave reaches its torso, that part will begin to fall, causing the neck to stretch. As the head begins to fall, tension is released and the canine will resume its regular proportions until such time as it strikes the ground.

Cartoon Law Amendment E
Dynamite is spontaneously generated in "C-spaces" (spaces in which cartoon laws hold). The process is analogous to steady-state theories of the universe which postulated that the tensions involved in maintaining a space would cause the creation of hydrogen from nothing. Dynamite quanta are quite large (stick sized) and unstable (lit). Such quanta are attracted to psychic forces generated by feelings of distress in "cool" characters (see Amendment B, which may be a special case of this law), who are able to use said quanta to their advantage. One may imagine C-spaces where all matter and energy result from primal masses of dynamite exploding. A big bang indeed.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Cycling Helmets

So, obviously I always wear a helmet when cycling? Erm, only sometimes. My head overheats when I am wearing a helmet due to my oversized boy-brain (sorry to any females reading) and it is so much more fun cycling with the wind whistling through one's locks. Plus, I tend to cycle the same route, which is almost flat, where I am more likely to be clipped by a car and crushed. A helmet would be of little use then. These two adverts are quite thought provoking, even though I suspect they are posed by models.

This letter in the BMJ states my opinion pretty well. I do feel safer wearing a helmet, but I do notice that I cycle more quickly which presumably negates part of the protection. Being a scientist I looked on Medline for any relevant studies on which to make an informed decision. Approximately half said that helmets prevented brain injuries and half said they did not. Hmm. Also, most of the studies were either very small, of poor quality, paid for by helmet manufacturers, or sponsored by road-safety charities with a vested interested.

What makes me laugh is seeing a gaggle of children helmeted-up on their bikes even though they have stabilisers and are moving at approximately two miles per hour. These tend to be followed by a "Yummy mummy" sans helmet. After all, a helmet would mess up her hair, wouldn't it? I'm not sure how that parent/child conversation would go,- "I do not want you to be brain-damaged, but I am older so I will risk it."

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Inappropriate name?

Rather an unfortunate name for a branded generic. A drug for the treatment of BPH. This is used as a treatment for men who have to frequently get up in the night to urinate. So, let's call it Petyme-"Pee time", get it!
That must have taken TEVA literally minutes to think of. I look forward to Urkidneedsasmak, the new treatment for ADHD; Milyfsamez , a new stereisomeric antidepressant and Formipupe,a new branded version of isphagula.

Geek T-Shirt

Interesting T-shirt. I'm not sure how many people would get it within a few seconds.

Can you remember how to integrate 2x?
If you cannot work it out you can either email me, or message a maths geek. Or go here.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

New Mr Men book released today.

With deepest apologies to Mr Hargreaves. There is humour in every situation-discuss.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

September 11th 2001


A report in The Times today.

"The ban on smoking in public places in Scotland is already beginning to have an impact on the nation’s health, a conference in Edinburgh heard yesterday.
The number of nonsmokers admitted to hospital after heart attacks fell by 20 per cent in the ten months after the ban came into force in March 2006, compared with the same ten months in the year before, Jill Pell, of Glasgow University, said."

So, after just a year fewer non-smokers are admitted? I suspect someone is jumping the gun to get media coverage for his unpublished paper. Lazy journalists, as always, are copying and pasting press releases without checking the facts.

I detest smoking as much as the next sane person. I suspect correlation and causation have become mixed up here. Yes, fewer people have been admitted, but is their smoking status necessarily the reason? I suspect it's something even more simple- the weather not being as cold this year as it was in 2006. We will see when the paper is published.

Pharmacy quiz

Match the drug with the warning label (US brands, but easy enough for us UKers to translate as generic names are also given)


I was bored, so I was trawling through my Google Blog statistics to see who was reading my blog, what country they were from, what operating system they were using and what screen resolution they were using. Hello to the one person using an 800x600 display still. Get in touch as I have an old monitor you can have.

Also listed are the search terms people use to find my blog in various search engines. Some are straightforward variations of my name MrHunnybun, Mr Honey Bum, etc. Others are variations of "Where can I buy Viagra plz." Many are particularly weird and those must be a post for another day. One of the top search terms was a name I had not even heard before. Nadine Jansen. I was not even aware the name was on my site-as it happens it was a comment on one of my previous posts.

These photographs are of Nadine, who can also be found here.

Nadine is a pharmacist. She is German and qualified in 2001.(No, I've never seen a pharmacist this busty before either.) A bust that size must surely hinder her label-producing speed?

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Great post from "The Angry Pharmacist"

Not to be confused with "The Angriest Pharmacist". There seems to be a lot of anger in the pharmacy world.

A post that everyone that has ever worked in a retail pharmacy can relate to. I particularly like the one below

  • When you call out a patients name to tell them their Rx is ready, the wrong person will come up and claim it. Then get pissed off because to them "John" sounds like "Steven".

At least twice a day this happens. I'll call "John Smith" and "Peter Jones" will come and try to grab the prescription. Okay, I mumble-but I do not mumble that badly. Luckily the address check normally means each person will get their correct medication. I'm not sure why it happens. Maybe people are sitting in their own little bubble, dreaming of being on "The X-Factor" and not listening. Maybe they are not listening at all. More likely each person is so full of their overinflated sense of worth that they think their prescription SHOULD be next, even if there are ten people, and thirty prescriptions, in the queue before them. Of course, they should not have to queue, they are special! Special-needs maybe but not many people get queue-jumping treatment.

Jacob and Rebecca

Shamelessy stolen from "Thoughts from the Pharmacy God"

Jacob, age 92, and Rebecca, age 89, living in Florida , are all excited about their decision to get married. They go for a stroll to discuss the wedding, and on the way they pass a drugstore. Jacob suggests they go in.

Jacob addresses the man behind the counter: "Are you the owner?"
The pharmacist answers, "Yes."
Jacob: "We're about to get married. Do you sell heart medication?"
Pharmacist: "Of course we do."
Jacob: "How about medicine for circulation?"
Pharmacist: "All kinds."
Jacob: "Medicine for rheumatism and scoliosis?"
Pharmacist: "Definitely."
Jacob: "How about Viagra?"
Pharmacist: "Of course."
Jacob: "Medicine for memory problems, arthritis, jaundice?"
Pharmacist: "Yes, a large variety. The works."
Jacob: "What about vitamins, sleeping pills, Geritol, anti dotes
for Parkinson's disease?"
Pharmacist: "Absolutely."
Jacob: "You sell wheelchairs and walkers?"
Pharmacist: "All speeds and sizes."

Jacob: "We'd like to use this store as our Bridal Registry "

Switch from Lipitor to Simvastatin and die?

Switch to Simvastatin from Lipitor and die?
Who sponsored the study-Pfizer. Who makes Lipitor? Take a guess.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

You being a fool=my fault?

Fortunately I am a fairly health chap. I'm middle-aged but everything still works as designed by evolution. If I was unlucky enough to be struck down by some sort of chronic malady then I am fairly certain I would be able to manage without running out of medications every month.

For the last couple of years the surgery that is attached to my pharmacy has been closed. This has been well advertised in the press, newsletters, etc. but still people come to "see the doctor". Now, my pharmacy may be physically attached to the surgery but I am not the gatekeeper to a secret tunnel leading into the bowels of the surgery. Even if I was I am fairly sure i would not feel obliged to route around because you "forgot" to collect your prescription for your drugs.

In the last few days I have had requests from patients for the following

Aspirin 75 mg tablets
Propranolol tablets
Levemir Flexpen
Simvastatin 40 mg tablets

Now, you may be a pensioner but 100 Aspirin currently cost about £1. Sure you'd be exempt from paying for the prescription, (if you'd managed to pull yourself away from "Cash in the attic" and had collected it) but I'm not going to give you them for free. The same principle with the Levemir request. In the UK diabetics are exempt from paying for their prescriptions. That exemption covers everything, not just their diabetes-related medication. An emergency supply is not an NHS service in England. So, that means you'd have to pay for the drug. On realising that the Insulin costs £39 a box the patient suddenly decided he'd be able to get some from elsewhere. But not before showering me abuse. Yes, it's my fault you are a fuck-wit who cannot order his medication properly.

I know Boots have an all-singing, all-dancing PMR that allows their staff to check the medication you have had dispensed from other branches, but I'm not Jack Bauer and I cannot crack into your records over the Internet. So, if you cannot manage to remember your medication (and it is not as if your life depends on your taking the correct strength or anything, is it!) then I'm not going to be able to magically work it out.

The propranolol guy was not even a patient of mine, and was not sure of how many tablets he took each day or what strength. So, what should I do? Just guess whether he takes the 10mg tablet or the 160mg capsule? I told him he'd have more luck trying the pharmacy where he normally had his medication dispensed.

I cannot off the top of my head think of too many classes of drugs that would cause you problems if you didn't take them for twenty-four hours. I guess the obvious ones would be something like NSAIDs where you'd suffer some sort of breakthrough pain, and missing some of the anticonvulsants might cause plasma levels to drop below therapeutic levels. But failing to take one Simvastatin tablet isn't suddenly going to cause your arteries to clog and your head to explode- but shouting at me in an apoplectic rage may well do.

Legally I can supply you with up to five day's medication if you jump through a few hoops and depending on what medication it is. But, this is the difficult part for you to understand-you are going to have to pay for it. I would not last long in business giving people free medication. Try asking Tesco for free food and see how far that gets you.

If you really cannot or do not want to pay then you have two choices.

1.Try your hard luck story in the next pharmacy down the road. You might be able to pressure a newly-qualified into supplying you with something for free.
2.Go and sit down at the out of hours centre amongst the geeks, the freaks, the timewasters and the occasional genuinely ill person. You might get a prescription for "free drugs" but you'll probably have to wait three hours for it.

How about you order your prescription when you'd got say, one strip of tablets left. Hey, I'll even collect the prescription from the surgery for you, dispense it and deliver it for free. That's not too hard, is it??

Okay, something went wrong.

You're The Handmaid's Tale!

by Margaret Atwood

An outraged feminist, you have been oppressed and even silenced in
your life, fueling your fury against the society as it stands. Your role has been
strictly defined by society and you are almost certainly unsatisfied with it. You
have some vague idea of how this has come to be, but insufficient power to stop it,
let alone reverse the trend. And somehow you blame yourself for everything because
people ask you to. Beware people renaming your nation a Republic.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Now that doesn't sound too much like me-the peril of being bored and taking internet quizes!