Thursday, March 22, 2007

Exploring my Web...


Have you ever realized that there is just no end to the web? I search and search and search and I never seem to have a day when I won't turn up something interesting. Like today, I just uncovered this great website called I'm listening to artists I've never heard before, I get to tag my music and listen to other music. It's all very very polished and nice, and considering how messed up my iTunes player has been running on Windows Vista lately, I'm happy to see that at least listen to radio online.


On the other hand, I've begun merging all of my disparate websites (Flickr, Live Spaces, Yahoo 360, Blogspot, Tumblr, etc.) into one cohesive website on my domain. Since most will let me use custom domains or other site integration features, it's a great way to merge my life back onto my one page, rather than designing everything from scratch and trying to make it work that way. But who knows, given how much I like tinkering with my website, it might only be a matter of time before I start taking WordPress and Gallery and hosting things on there anyway!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

How to find the cure for AIDS

It occurred to me last night while I was sleeping that there will never be a cure for AIDS until it is not longer profitable for drug manufacturers to dole out these supposed "treatments". I think this could even be made a broader argument. In the last 50 years the number of cures has dropped dramatically, but now everyone has chronic illnesses that have plausible treatments but absolutely no cure. Billions of dollars a year are made by pharmaceutical companies by these treatments and the loss of revenue a cure would represent would be akin to slashing their wrists with the proverbial knife.

So let me suggest a solution to this problem. There needs to be an economic incentive to make the drug companies stop developing treatments for arthritis and AIDS and even cancer. This would probably be a two pronged approach. First, you have to cut the time in half that drug patents are allowed to held. For example, if a company holds a patent on a "treatment" for the until that patent or trademark or copyright (whatever it is) runs out, only that company can make that specific drug. After that time any company can make the drug, usually at a considerable savings. So if the company got 20 years to milk in the profits from their little invention before, I suggest they only get 10 years. This method will encourage companies to invest in the creation of treatments still, but that they will not be allowed to do so for very long without heavy competition.

I also suggest there being a cap to the amount of money that a company is allowed to gain from any particular drug produced. I think that it's reasonable for companies to get a nice tidy profit from making the drugs, but I feel that if it cost them $1B to bring to market the should only be able to reap about $10B in profit from it. Any profits beyond that are placed in a holding account. This leads me to my second prong: The cure windfall profit.

This is how I think cures will start getting created and it all comes form an idea that came out of the Northridge Earthquake of 1996. After the earthquake a major overpass on Interstate 10 collapsed and traffic in Los Angeles was at a standstill. Since this was such a critical project in terms of time, and construction companies are renowned for stretching out their contracts, the city of Los Angeles offered a bonus for completing the contract under budget and under the estimated time.

So this is how my system works. A holding account for a particular disease (let's take AIDS) is established. All profits in excess of the cutoff amount are placed into this account. Since many different companies produce drugs that work on the same disease this means that companies are paying into the fund. Now the company who effectively cures (and the definition of cure would have to be one in which people can no longer transmit the infection or are no longer affected by the symptoms without a permanent reliance on a drug treatment) the disease or illness receives the entirety of the money in this account. This can amount to a hell of a lot of money. Especially if you start involving governments and charity groups who would also be putting a portion of their budgets into the fund.

Now that we've made it economical again to have cures instead of treatments it's only a matter of time before their found... right?

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

My First Buckeye Game!

From My First OSU Football Game

::Lee pretending to be an announcer in his most announcer-like voice::

Ladies and Gentleman it's a beautiful day here in the Columbus area where we are about to embark on our first sojourn journey into Buckeye country. That's right folks, we're going where WorldLee has never gone before, into Buckeye Stadium at the Ohio State University campus and watch his very first football game along with other members of the GLBT Alumni Association.

It's a proud moment for Lee, gays and football fans everywhere since it's about time that the GLBT community is visible not only at a major university college football game, but that they can do so in great seats and without fear of being assaulted. How many years ago was it that when I, a high school football player, had to go so deep into the closet when I played sports that it was laughable to those who knew me. Not very long at all.

::Back to regular voice::

It was wonderful to see people like Ryan (who I played softball with this summer) and Mark, both of whom made me feel welcome at my first game, and even more wonderful to see the shining Buckeyes win a victory 37-7 over the Cincinnati Bobcats. Despite the fact that it took me 30 minutes (and two touchdowns) to get money out of the ATM, and that my ticket to the tailgate party was pilfered out of my back pocket (someone must've thought it was a ticket to the game) , and a horrible sunburn, I still had a wonderful time cheering and learning the songs of my alma mater. There is something to be said about being a Buckeye...

Pictures, are of course, in my gallery from today's game. And I think next year I will be buying season tickets! I should make note the the GLBT organization that helped give me a scholarship to go to school has been instrumental in giving me some much needed school spirit... even if the students in the organization can sometimes be annoying beyond belief.

::Announcer voice, one last time::

This is Lee webcasting to you on a slight delay, from his apartment with a view of the stadium, signing off...

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