Translation from English

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Kips Bay Side Streets

While I don't think Kips Bay is quite as interesting as Murray Hill, there is nothing wrong with it.

There is a lot of variety of old and new architecture and nice residential side streets like the one shown. ( This is below 34th Street).

It's an expensive place to live, of course, -- have seen some really nice brownstones that are just as nice as anything in the Village or out in Park Slope.

More pictures of Kips Bay soon.

The Real Murray Hill

As I've noted before, people in the area which is closer to where I live, which is really Kips Bay, like to say they live in Murray Hill.

Here are some photos of the real Murray Hill area, up on Lexington in the high 30's, which give you an idea of the feeling of the place.

Kips Bay is nice, but it somehow lacks the distinctiveness of the real deal.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Radiation and Thyroid Cancer

I blogged once before about the link between radiation and thyroid cancer, but deleted the posting for some reason.

Maybe I thought it was too much of a downer and too personal.

The story is, basically, that like a lot of other children of the baby boom generation, well meaning doctors gave heavy doses of X-rays to my tonsils as a cure for chronic tonsilitis.

And, like tens of thousands of other people who had the same treatment, I eventually developed thyroid cancer and had to have my thyroid gland removed.

Now, if you're going to get cancer, thyroid cancer is probably one of the "best" ones. It has an extremely high cure rate. The thyroid gland encapsulates tumors and takes forever to metastasize, by which time the sufferer has become extremely symptomatic and is usually accurately diagnosed quickly.

You do, however, have to start taking synthetic thyroid hormone, which has skyrocketed in cost since I had my operation back in the 1960's. Drug companies justify this kind of gouging in all kinds of ways.

Interestingly enough, part of the reason for the X-ray approach was that it was pushed by General Electric --which made the equipment.

GE used to always say, "Progress is our most important product," a message conveyed to the public by a smiling Ronald Reagan.

When Chernobyl happened, I knew exactly what the outcome would be. Scores of thousands of people in the then Soviet Union and Eastern Europe eventually developed thyroid cancer.

Scientific "progress" often, it seems, has hidden and potentially dangerous costs.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Manhattan's Elegant Apartment Buildings

I remember as a child always being fascinated with the wonderful old apartment buildings on Chicago' s Lake Shore Drive.

Manhattan is full of great residential buildings like these...for a price, of course.

Let's face it, those pre-war buildings almost always look so much better than later ones.

Not all of them are in the best of repair of course. Rent control was not the best policy for making sure landlords kept up a lot of the great apartment buildings on places like Riverside Drive.

Weather was sunny and nice today and a long walk cheered me up ( and got my mind off the long drawn out battle with cimex lectularis, i.e., the common bed bug.

Supposed to be final exterminator treatment tomorrow, then have new mattress and box spring ( which have arrived) into protective cases and replace all the up new comforter my sister sent me for instance.

In case you didn't know, bed bugs are epidemic in NYC right now. Asked exterminators and yes, they are very, very busy.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

So This is Avatar

I didn't see the movie "Avatar" under the best possible circumstances. Partly I was out killing time while waiting to go back to my apartment which had been sprayed (again) for bedbugs, which I am slowly getting rid of. Have found through research it takes a lot of work to get totally free of damn bugs...

I really enjoyed the 3D effects in Avatar but that was about it.

The story is not a new one and as everyone keeps saying is "formulaic."

To give you an idea of the lowest-common-denominator nature of the script, the precious mineral being mined on this far-away planet Pandora is called--get this-- "unobtanium."

Who thought that one up, a ten-year old? Someone has said to me that the movie is probably geared towards the mind of a ten year old to help make back all the money that went into making it ( hundreds of millions of dollars).

In other words, "cinema history" is made by deliberately making a movie that's fun for the feeble-minded, thus allowing huge amounts of money to be spent on special effects that would not otherwise have been possible.

Not that I have anything against ten year olds, I should add. I have a niece who is ten years old and I am told that she loved Avatar. So it wasn't a complete waste, after all.