December 2, 2003

Failure Does Not Concern Me; the Condition of life is defeat

* A hate Bush event organized by Larry David's wife, Laurie.

* Ten best black comedies, by Neil LaBute.

* Ecstacy research flawed:

"A primate study it published in 2002, with heavy publicity, warned that the amount of the drug Ecstasy that a typical user consumes in a single night might cause permanent brain damage.

"It turned out that the $1.3 million study, led by Dr. George A. Ricaurte of Johns Hopkins University, had not used Ecstasy at all. His 10 squirrel monkeys and baboons had instead been injected with overdoses of methamphetamine, and two of them had died. The labels on two vials he bought in 2000, he said, were somehow switched.

"The problem corrupted four other studies in his lab, forcing him to withdraw four other papers.

"It was not the first time Dr. Ricaurte's lab was accused of using flawed studies to suggest that recreational drugs are highly dangerous. In previous years he was accused of publicizing doubtful results without checking them, and was criticized for research that contributed to a government campaign suggesting that Ecstasy made 'holes in the brain.'"

"Dr. Ricaurte, a 50-year-old neurologist at Hopkins since 1988, is probably the best-known Ecstasy expert in the war on drugs. He has received $10 million from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than any other investigator of the amphetamine analogs known as designer drugs, club drugs or diet drugs, including MDMA, better known as Ecstasy, and its close relative MDA."

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