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August 24, 2005


Enormous thanks to the kind reader who snagged me The World's Banker from my Amazon Wish List. Not only will I be more informed on global trade, but I now know the feature works, too! And so do all of you! In any case, I really do appreciate it when folks take the time to buy me things. I try not to ask for donations on this site, largely because the world has far better causes for your money than random tips in my jar, and since I occasionally ask you to donate to those better ends, I don't feel I should be constantly playing Santa with the bell. But the Wish List is, to me, a bit different.

All the books in there will make this site better, either by leaving me educated on a subject was embarrassingly ignorant on or adding more context and information to something I already know a bit about (that's why, incidentally, I put so little fiction on the list). It also allows you to be targeted, so if you like my health care work, you could get me One Nation, Uninsured, and if you wanted me to write more about Labor, you could pick me up The UAW and the Heyday of American Liberalism, and if you wanted to steer me towards something else entirely, you could always e-mail me with a "suggestion" of a book I'd be smart to add on. I figure, then, that the whole thing is very logical. If you like what I say on certain topics (or think that you would), you can put up some cash to improve my commentary on those topics. Seems like a good way of doing things.

So, in conclusion, thanks to my secret santa, and buy me books because I've rationalized them differently than donations.

August 24, 2005 in Books | Permalink


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I tried to buy you a book, but it looked like it was going to send it to us. Please clarify.

Posted by: Rebecca Allen, PhD | Aug 24, 2005 3:03:45 AM

Ezra, can you weigh in on Gary Hart's op-ed today in the Washington Post? Do you think he should run for prez again?

Posted by: Gari Heart | Aug 24, 2005 10:28:37 AM

My pleasure. I hope most people with a job try to hit the tip boxes of their favorite blogs.

While wallets are open, I'd like to urge anyone who reads this to do some money-where-your-mouth-is supporting of the troops. Whatever you think of the war, the burden should not be so heavy on so few. Maybe try:

www.aerhq.org (Army Emergency Relief)
www.afas.org (Air Force Aid Society)
www.nmcrs.org (Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society)

'nuff preaching.

Posted by: Judy | Aug 24, 2005 10:51:17 AM

My suggestion for your favorites is "The Law" by Frederic Bastiat. It is a certainly a staple so you might have already 'Been there, done that". I buy this book for most of my friends who haven't been exposed to it. So, if you will had this to your list, I will buy it for you, too.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Aug 24, 2005 11:47:09 AM

OK, I'm convinced. From now on I will use the 'preview' feature.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Aug 24, 2005 11:50:23 AM

Rebecca's post is a good one: what you do is you put the book in the cart, go to check out, and when you choose address, one of the options will be Ezra Klein's Wishlist address (or something similar). Choose that and it goes straight to me.

Oh, and Fred, Amazon doesn't seem to ship that book anymore. I think it's out of print?

Posted by: Ezra Klein | Aug 24, 2005 2:03:34 PM

Oh, and Fred, Amazon doesn't seem to ship that book anymore. I think it's out of print?

Oh, they've got it all right. I have it in my cart but cannot get it to ship to you. Rebecca is correct in that the only choice I have is to ship to myself or type in another address. I have searched this page throughly and cannot find your wishlist address shipping option anywhere.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Aug 24, 2005 3:10:53 PM

Hi Ezra, I just tried again, and like Fred above, I can't find your address. Either we're both being dense, or you need to have a little chat with Amazon...

Posted by: Rebecca Allen, PhD | Aug 24, 2005 3:13:51 PM

are you guys picking books off the wishlist?

Posted by: Ezra Klein | Aug 24, 2005 3:27:14 PM

I just tested this out on Brad's wish list and it worked. I added something from his wish list page to my cart. Then, when it took me to my cart, I pressed checkout. Then, on checkout, his J.B DeLong (address hidden for privacy) was the first button on the top right. Are you guys doing it differently than that?

Posted by: Ezra Klein | Aug 24, 2005 3:30:55 PM

I deleted THE LAW from my cart and it has also diappeared from your list. I tried it with ONE NATION UNINSURED and it worked. I saw what you see.

Put THE LAW back on your list and I will try it again.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Aug 24, 2005 3:42:42 PM

Found how to buy it for you anyway. Here is the message I got when I tried to ship it to you.

*** We're sorry. This item can't be shipped to a Wish List or gift registry address. ***

I have chosen another book. It is the least I can do for your generous hospitality on your board.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Aug 24, 2005 3:52:35 PM

OK, got THE LAW after all. It was the cheap version that they wouldn't ship to you.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Aug 24, 2005 3:56:24 PM

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11.06 The erectile dysfunction drug Viagra may have found a new, potentially life-saving use in hospital pediatric intensive care units, researchers report.
10.06 Viagra Helps COPD Patients Control Pulmonary Blood Pressure
10.06 Could a widely used treatment for depression be a remedy for osteoporosis?

Australian researchers gave the drug to 15 babies with congenital heart disease who were being weaned from inhaled nitric-oxide therapy, a treatment that ICUs use to help these infants survive.
The researchers found that a dose of Viagra prevented a common life-threatening complication called rebound pulmonary hypertension. They also found that it significantly reduced the amount of time the babies spent on mechanical ventilation and in the ICU.
"Rebound pulmonary hypertension is a very common problem," said Dr. Steven Abman of The Children's Hospital in Denver, who was not part of the study. "This is the most rigorous study that's ever been done to demonstrate that Viagra can prevent this complication."
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The study results were published in the November issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Viagra is useful for treating both erectile dysfunction and preventing rebound pulmonary hypertension because it affects pathways involved in both conditions.
"Viagra enhances the body's levels of cyclic-GMP, a naturally occurring substance that relaxes arteries and reduces their pressure, which is why its primary indication is for men with erectile dysfunction," explained the study's lead researcher, Dr. Lara Shekerdemian of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne.
"However, cyclic-GMP is abundant in the lungs and is the molecule via which nitric oxide acts as a dilator of pulmonary arteries," Shekerdemian said. "That's why its use was explored in the setting of pulmonary hypertension in the newborn."
In the study, Shekerdemian and colleagues gave a single dose of Viagra to 15 infants with congenital heart disease who were undergoing withdrawal from nitric oxide, which is used to relax pulmonary blood vessels in mechanically ventilated lungs. Another 14 infants undergoing withdrawal were given placebo.
None of the Viagra-treated infants developed rebound pulmonary hypertension compared to 10 of the placebo-treated infants. After more than 24 hours, all of the infants who developed rebound hypertension were given Viagra during a subsequent and successful attempt to wean them from nitric oxide.
The Viagra-treated infants also spent less total time on a mechanical ventilator than the placebo-treated infants -- a little over 28 hours compared to 98 hours -- and had a considerably shorter stay in the intensive care unit (47.8 hours vs. 189 hours).
"Although we expected to see an avoidance of rebound, we were not expecting to see these additional benefits," Shekerdemian said. "Any intervention that smoothes their course in the intensive-care unit would have at least a short-term positive influence on their recovery from their underlying condition."
Unless there's some reason for not using Viagra, Shekerdemian said that it should be routinely used as infants are weaned from nitric oxide. "We certainly do so now in our pediatric intensive-care unit," she said.
Many hospitals are already doing just that. "I think it already has become standard clinical practice, because the idea of using Viagra for this is not new," Abman said. "What's new is that this is the first study to look at it with a nice protocol in which they randomized patients and controlled in a blinded way. So it verifies what we've already been doing in clinical practice."
Shekerdemian and her team are now conducting a similar study in the Royal Children's Hospital's Neonatal Intensive-Care Unit to see if Viagra can prevent rebound pulmonary hypertension in premature infants.
Viagra Helps COPD Patients Control Pulmonary Blood Pressure
The drug sildenafil, popularly known as Viagra, may help people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease control the illness-related blood pressure spikes in the heart's pulmonary artery, a new study found.
The medication, in addition to its use as a popular treatment for impotence, has already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of the chronic version of such blood pressure spikes,
known as pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The drug has been marketed specifically for this purpose under the trade name Revatio. Another drug -- bosentan -- is also approved for similar purposes.
The new research suggests that sildenafil may help all chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients -- even those not diagnosed with full-blown PAH -- who experience potentially dangerous pulmonary arterial blood pressure increases both at rest and following exercise.
The research was led by Dr. Sebastiaan Holverda of the department of pulmonary medicine at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Holverda and his VU colleagues were to present their findings Wednesday at a Salt Lake City meeting organized by the journal Chest.
According to the American Lung Association, COPD is actually a catch-all for two lung diseases that often strike in tandem -- chronic bronchitis and emphysema. In both cases, airflow is obstructed, impeding normal breathing.
Smoking is the leading cause of COPD, responsible for between 80 percent and 90 percent of all cases in the
United States. More than 11 million Americans are estimated to have the illness, and more than 122,000 die
from it each year. Women appear to be slightly more at risk than men.
There's no known cure for the disease, and medications primarily take aim at symptom relief and slowing the progressive disability the illness brings.
Pulmonary hypertension -- the incurable condition of continuous high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery located in the right ventricle of the heart -- is one of many serious complications that can strike COPD patients.
PAH causes the artery, which is responsible for delivering blood from the heart to the lungs, to work harder
than normal. A weakening of the heart muscle can ensue over time, increasing the risk of heart failure and even death.
The authors concluded that the drug may help COPD patients -- whether they have developed PAH or not -- quickly control their pulmonary blood pressure in some situations.
Dr. Bartolome R. Celli, chief of pulmonary care at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Boston, applauded the Dutch study but called for more research.
"Pulmonary arterial pressure -- when it is elevated -- is a poor prognostic sign and reducing its levels should be
of help," he said. "However, more testing is needed to see if those changes in pulmonary arterial pressure are
translated into better clinical outcomes and not into any unwanted side effects."

Viagra may help some women
Women can benefit from taking the impotence drug Viagra, scientists have claimed.

Research by a team from the University of Boston has found that the drug can benefit women who have had a hysterectomy or who have gone through the menopause.
In both cases, women experience a loss of production of female hormones that can lead to sexual problems, such as loss of sensation and lubrication.
Dr Jennifer Berman tested the drug on 17 women who had either had a hysterectomy or gone through the menopause.
Each woman got either Viagra or a dummy pill, and three months later the women who got Viagra were switched to a placebo and the women who had been given sugar pills got Viagra.
Dr Berman and the patients did not know which woman got which pill until the end of the study.
Viagra, whose technical name is sildenafil, works by increasing the effects of nitric oxide, a common body chemical, which in turn gets more blood flowing into the genitals.
Dr Berman, who will present her findings to a meeting of the American Urological Association, said: "Sildenafil did appear to significantly increase blood flow and pH and pH is an indicator of lubrication."
"Subjectively, with regard to lubrication, sensitivity, the ability to have orgasm, and satisfaction, the women noted a significant difference."

Emotional problems
Dr Berman has carried out another study at Boston University with 48 women, aged 22 to 71.
While not so carefully controlled - the women all got Viagra and knew it - there was a statistically significant difference.
She said: "It does appear to be Viagra because there are physiological changes that can't be faked."
However, Viagra failed to work for women in the second study who had psychological problems with sex.
These included poor body image, a history of sexual abuse, or marital trouble.
Dr Berman said: "Those women don't respond to Viagra or any drug.
"Although there are physiological, medical reasons why women have sexual complaints, there are emotional and relational consequences to sexual dysfunction that are relevant to women."
She added that it was more difficult to tell if a woman had sexual problems.
"While men can define their sexual function in terms of rigidity, for women it doesn't work that way," she said.
Pfizer, the manufacturers of Viagra, say that seven million prescriptions have been written for the drug worldwide since its launch last year.
10 Apr, 2006 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/special_report/1998/viagra/default.stm
Viagra improves sex for postmenopausal women

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