Just had to laugh

The other day, a friend and I went to the Houghton Library (at Harvard) to see the Landmarks: Maps as Literary Illustration exhibit - I could name a few maps they should have included, but since everything came from their shelves, perhaps they didn't have copies of Nick Bantock's work, or the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant or any of the Discworld Mapps?

After, we went to MEM Tea (because tea).  And then, on our way to lunch, we saw this sign.


My favorite shark

When I was a freshman in college I started to make friends with the theatre crowd, first the unofficial group and then the "mainstage" group.  My first show with the latter was The Threepenny Opera (or 3PO as we called it, given that Star Wars was just being released).

This production decided to use the Manheim/Willett translation, which was done for the New York Shakespeare Festival's production with Raul Julia as Macheath.  And it's got my favorite English version of Mack the Knife:

It captures the ugliness that Brecht and Weill wanted from their creation.

Here's the original German, sung by Camille O'Sullivan:

Don't speak German? (I don't) The menace still comes through.

However, most people know the song better in the Blitzstein translation's jazz version:

(not as big a fan of this version or translation, but just look at the original cast at the Theatre du Lys!)

So tonight I'm heading to see the BLO's production, which is using the Michael Feinstein translation.  Reviews of the original production (with Sting?!) say that it's serviceable.  We'll see.


Physician, Treat Thyself

For the past 8 months I have been taking a number of medications designed to keep my CRION at bay.  These drugs (mostly Prednisone and CellCept) have serious side effects, like trembling hands and bloating and headaches and, well, read about them here and here.

When I tell my doctors about this, their response is usually an acknowledgement that they know, they know, but there's nothing they can do or recommend to help.  Gee, thanks.  While they may be helping with one thing - and yes, it's a serious thing - my quality of life is seriously diminished.

What if all drug makers and doctors had to take these drugs themselves?  Just to experience what we, the patient and consumer, experience?  So they can understand exactly how difficult it is to drive when you're shaking... or walk because your knees are too bloated to bend properly... or to feel incredible weakness when you stand up... or any of the other things we tell them about?

At my last school, in Connecticut, the security people were all armed.  There was a rumor that they also carried tasers.  I asked one if that rumor was true, and the response was that in Connecticut, to be licensed to carry a taser you had to agree to be tased first, to see what it felt like so you knew this wasn't a toy or to be used lightly. 

What if we applied that to some of these drugs?  It might not help mitigate the side effects, but at least the doctors would have a personal understanding of them.  And maybe pressure drug manufacturers into figuring out a way to counteract them while keeping the benefits.