I know that this will shock you all, but smoking cigarettes with less nicotine still causes cancer!

Does anyone have any good suggestions for applications or utilities that’ll convert a folder of mail messages (all in RFC 822 format) into a single IMAP UNIX-style mailbox file? I found UniAccess today, which may do the trick; I was hoping for something that wouldn’t cost me $300 for a single-time run, though. Ideas?

How did I not know that all six “New York Miracle” ads were online? My favorites are the Woody Allen and Yogi Berra ones.

I’ve started as the senior resident on the general peds inpatient wards, and wow, is it more tiring than I’d ever thought it could be. It’s a blast, though — I have three interns and three third-year med students on my team, and managing a team (rather than a few patients) is a lot of fun.

Of course, it’s also a lot of work, and part of the work that I didn’t anticipate involves dealing with other services that — how can I put this — don’t put the wellness of the patient as their primary priority. One of the surgical subspecialty services had a kid on the floor Wednesday night that spiked a fever to 107.2, and the covering fourth-year resident took over two hours to come to the floor to evaluate the child. (I ended up contacting his departmental chairman the next day and transferring the patient onto my service.) Likewise, the emergency room sent an asthmatic up to the floor last week that had no business being on a semiacute floor — he was as tight as they come, moving little to no air, and it seemed that he was sent up more because it was busy in the ER and less because he was ready for less acute management.

All in all, though, it’s a great experience; I get to teach the interns about day-to-day management, but also spend time working on the bigger picture (long-term management and diagnostic dilemmas).

I could not disagree with Alan Cooper any more on his advice to Microsoft to dump the browser. His reasoning is that browsers are like remote interfaces to distant server-based applications… and that this is somehow a bad thing. As an applications designer (one of the few hats I wear, for those who don’t know), that’s precisely the thing I love most about the web. If I program my app correctly, I don’t have to worry about different platforms or different versions of an operating system. Granted, web-based apps aren’t right for everything, but they’re perfect for a huge chunk of the things that people need to do on computers these days. Could you imagine if Travelocity wanted you to use some custom application to interface with their sales engine? Or if you had to have eBay’s client on your computer in order to participate in an auction? Hell, web-based email alone is a great example of the goodness of the browser.

Oh, this could be good — it very well may be that the Al Qaeda nuclear plans that everyone’s so worried about are actually copies of the scientific parody “How to Build an Atomic Bomb.” (The Daily Rotten also has a little bit on this.)

I knew that my decision to hold out on actual, physical exercise would seem less moronic in the 21st century! Now, you’ll have to excuse me while I get back to my imaginary chin-ups and squats…

A few days ago, I mentioned a way to have Windows XP automatically log you onto an account. It turns out that the older way of doing it still applies, though, and allows you to not delete all the other accounts on your machine.

To me, there’s something so fitting about people who have no problem stealing music also bitching and moaning about their favorite music-stealing client moving to an advertising-based model. Don’t want their music artists to get paid, don’t want their programmers to get paid… they’re all probably tapping off of their neighbor’s power lines, too.

It always has to get worse before it can get better. Now, it has come out that the mother that I mentioned yesterday did not have legal custody of any of her children, due to prior incidents of abuse and neglect. The twins were supposed to be living with an aunt in Virginia, and authorities here don’t know how they came to be back with their mother; in fact, social services stopped tracking them in December of 1999, satisfied that their placement down south had gone successfully. Now, one is dead, and I’m sure that there are a few city agencies that wish that they could turn back the clock a little bit.

Last night was one of the slowest I can remember in the ER, but the last case I got this morning was one that there’s no way I could ever have anticipated, and one that’ll stick with me for a long time.

A small girl was brought into the emergency room strapped to a NY fire department stretcher, but she was talking up a storm, seemingly as happy as can be. The paramedics dropped her off with the triage nurse and then motioned me over to one of the empty bays to tell me the story. It turns out that they (along with the police) responded to calls for help from an apartment in the neighborhood, and when they got there, they found the four year-old little girl, soaking wet from head to toe. Then, in one of the beds in the apartment, they found her twin sister, dead from an apparent drowning, the water still overflowing from the tub in the adjacent bathroom. Their mother was delusionally ranting over her body, saying that the deceased twin had had evil spirits in her that she had to purge, and spraying some kind of aerosol bottle in her mouth in order “to give her air.” At that point, the police took the mother to the adult psychiatric ER, and the paramedics brought the surviving twin into me.

My job was to check out the girl for signs that she had been harmed in any way; she had not, but we still had to hold onto her until the various agencies could sort out where to place her. The paramedics never left her side for the time that I was there, even going so far as to have one of the police officers find the exact lollipop that she was asking for. When my shift was over, I went over to tell her that I was leaving and she gave me a huge hug and a kiss on the neck, and raging through my mind were thoughts about how hard her life will be from today onward.

Shannon has made my weekend — she and her friend schemed our way into tickets to Harry Potter this Friday night! God, I hope I’m feeling better (although honestly, who am I kidding… I’d need to be sedated and paralyzed to miss this opening night).

I’m feeling all crappy — congested, cough that can wake the dead, just plain icky — and all that I wanted tonight was to get out of the apartment and find a place that was serving tomato soup. Turns out that that’s not too easy… tomato soup isn’t a staple on any menus in my neighborhood. What’s so hard about keeping tomato soup on the menu? Am I the only person in New York for whom tomato soup is the ultimate comfort food?

I worked the overnight shift (8 PM to 8 AM) in the emergency room last night, came home, and then was just about to dive under the covers when I decided to turn on the TV quickly to see what TiVo had recorded overnight. That’s when I noticed that every single station had pictures of a huge plume of smoke rising from Far Rockaway, and I learned that there had been another airplane tragedy in New York. So far, this one doesn’t seem to have been a result of terrorism (notwithstanding the incredible speculation in the weblog world), but it did paralyze New York City for a little while. And it’s sure to paralyze my hospital’s community even more; we’re situated smack in the middle of the largest Dominican population outside of the Dominican Republic, and it’s hard for me to imagine that there weren’t people on that plane near and dear to my patient’s lives, or that at least one of my actual patients didn’t perish today. (NY1 has more from-the-scene images.)

First, women get the Wonderbra; now, men get Packit jeans, complete with “bulge enhancement.” (I’d link to the jeans on the Lee Cooper website, except the website is a godawful mess, and on top of that, I can’t seem to find them anywhere on it.)

Finally, an online image gallery that has a good reproduction of Milton Glaser’s redone “I Heart NY” graphic (with the smudged heart and “MORE THAN EVER” underneath). Now, if I could only get over the wracking guilt that I’d have submitting the image to CafePress and having them make me a shirt with it on the front. Does anyone know if Glaser has licensed the image to anyone who’s legitimately printing shirts?

There’s a group of telephone booth ads that I’m seeing all over the NYC right now that I love — they’ve been taken out by the CJ Foundation for SIDS, an organization set up to fund research and educate people about sudden infant death syndrome, and they all use funny stuffed animal poses to show parents the right way to help lower the risk of SIDS in their infants.

I so loved Monsters, Inc. — but I also so loved the animated short feature before the movie, For the Birds. (Incidentally, I’m trying to get all the Monsters, Inc. McDonalds Happy Meal toys — I have Boo (and her door), and I have Celia Mae (and her desk). I still need Sully, Mike, Randall, the Yeti, Waternoose, Roz, George, and the CDA agent. Anyone?)

Like I always tend to do when there’s a new operating system in my life, here are a few Windows XP tips ‘n stuff that I’ve accumulated over the past week or two.

  • Do you hate how Windows Messenger wants to be running at all times? Here’s the best thread I’ve found about how to stop that boorish behavior.
  • Windows XP finally has the ability to easily set the system time from Internet time servers, but by default, it only does so every seven days. If this doesn’t suit your fancy, though, you can change it.
  • Do you need your machine to automatically log into an account on startup? It seems that there’s a new way to do it with the Home and Professional editions; it’s not as convenient as in past versions (e.g., it won’t log onto a domain account), but it may be the only way.
  • Want to download the entire Internet Explorer setup package, but can’t figure out how to do it under Windows XP (or Win2K)? Here you go.
  • If you have a stubborn system service that won’t quit, you can use the Kill command-line utility to make it go away. (This one also works with win2K and WinNT.)
  • There are a slew of new command-line tools that come with Windows XP; learn them and love them.

Remember back on September 11th, when I asked everyone to go and give blood? Well, there’s always a need for blood in the U.S., and there’s always a shortage, and that’s why it’s just as important today to go give blood as it was nearly two months ago.

If you have a spare half-hour, go by your local blood donation center, or keep your eyes open for blood drives in your area. Give the gift of life.

I wasn’t the only one interested in the World Series this year — it turns out that game seven garnered the highest TV ratings for the event in the last 10 years. That’s just awesome. (And for those who aren’t sick to death of the Yankees, ESPN’s Jayson Stark has a great column from yesterday about just how amazing the Yanks have been over the past decade or so.)

I know it’s probably considered cliche to rag on Calista Flockhart’s rapidly-disappearing body fat content these days, but I’m actually hard-pressed to believe that she could possibly get any skinnier. She used to be cute; now, she’s just gross.

I’ve spent the last two weeks in the crankiest of cranky moods, and I’m just now starting to surface.

For me, this week is the second of two weeks of evening float weeks in the pediatric emergency room; that means that I’m there from 5 PM to 2 AM every day. And that’s a pretty popular shift for the kiddos — they’ve been horsing around on the streets after school for a few hours and injure themselves, or their parents are just getting home from work to discover that they picked something up at school. It’s busy, it’s hard to even get a chance to breathe for those nine hours, and I generally get home all worked up about something or another.

In addition, I got roped into doing an hour-long journal club presentation yesterday, after the people who manage the club realized that they had screwed up by scheduling someone to give the presentation who would be on vacation. I had a little over a week’s notice about it, and it meant that I spent my weekend in Washington D.C. with my need to prepare for the talk looming over me.

Lastly, I found out last week that I was not chosen to be one of the two residents (out of 21) that will stay on an extra year to be chief resident of the program, and it’s been hard to hide my bitterness about it. It was something that I had convinced myself I really wanted to do — a year of teaching, managing the residents, and helping improve the program — and I can’t deny that I still think that I would have been a better choice than at least one of the two that are going to get that opportunity.

Happily, though, the weekend in D.C. actually did a lot of good for me, getting away for a bit and spending some very nice time with Shannon and her friends. And then last night, I got home from the ER to find that Shannon had bought me a few awesome presents yesterday; that went a good long way towards pulling me back from my funk, and today, I’m feeling a lot better.

I ran away from NYC for the weekend, getting down to Washington D.C. with Shannon to visit some friends. It was nice getting out of town, but as always, it’s also nice to come back. It wasn’t nice to see the Yanks lose that nailbiter last night, though, but life does go on.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve stumbled across a few great archives of material related to the September 11th terrorist attacks.

First, the people behind the Internet Archive have put together september11.archive.org, which is a fully-searchable and -surfable archive of sites that reported on or relate to the attacks.

Next, there’s the Television Archive, which has archived video from dozens, if not hundreds, of television networks from September 11th, all of which is available for viewing.

Last, Columbia University has The World Trade Center Attack: The Official Documents, where official communications from the United States government are being archived for posterity.

I’m giving AntiPopup a try-out, and I have to say that I like it so far. It’s a little system tray applet that monitors your web browsing, and automatically closes the annoying pop-up (and pop-under) ad windows that have become the bane of any websurfer’s existence. The program’s caught the three that have attempted to launch in the last 15 minutes of my surfing; it it keeps working this well, it’ll earn a spot in my Startup folder.

This could be the funniest MetaFilter (or, to be technically correct, MetaTalk) thread ever. Talk about a thread hijack…

As expected, searchers have found and recovered most, if not all, of the $200 million in gold and silver which was secured in vaults in the World Trade Center.