Don’t Scratch that Itch – Poison Oak

It was a beautiful evening picnic in the hills overlooking the bay and city of San Francisco. Good friends, good wine and, little did I know, poison oak. Two days later I woke up in the middle of the night thinking I had a mosquito bite. But I when I turned the lights on and looked at my leg my heart sunk. I clearly didn’t catch it early, so I was going to be in for some painful itching.

I’ve had poison oak so many times that I keep a bottle of Technu soap in my shower (a true live-saver). But I was amazed at what I didn’t know about this nasty plant and its insidious urushiol oil. I had always thought that scratching spread the stuff. I also thought that the oil “got in your system” and popped out in other spots. None of this is true! Click on the binder below to get the real story about poison oak from sources such as the FDA and the American Academy of Dermatology.

Marketing Genius

I have worked with many marketers from the pharmaceutical industry and I have to admit that they really are some of the best and the brightest. The pharmaceutical industry, as a whole, works really hard on tracking metrics and they have a detailed understanding how each commercial and each sales initiative impacts their bottom line. The more I learn about the industry the more I am in awe of their marketing power.

But what happens when you harness that marketing genius and add to it the pressure of running a public company – where quarter-to-quarter profit growth is the only judge of a company’s performance? What happens to ethics when you will lose your job if your don’t show quarter-over-quarter growth? It is clear that this is where regulation needs to come in to play. But just how do you regulate companies that can spend more on lobbyists than any other industry? Do you know that the United States and New Zealand are the only countries in the world that allow pharmaceutical companies to advertise?

Click on the binder below for some interesting videos on the marketing tactics of the pharmaceutical industry. Some of videos are funny and others are more deeply disturbing, but they are all very insightful.

We’re green…

that is to say we’re naive about this whole environmental awareness, save the world, go ‘green’ thing. My daughter’s 4th grade class has been spending the last month becoming aware of the global effects of pollution on the environment as they get ready for ‘Focus the Nation’ day – today. Our family has been in the process of changing the way we get to school, how we pack lunches and what we set the table with.Of course we’ve used the web as a resource to find out things – lots of things that we didn’t know about. For example, the students have been told to replace plastic snack bags by using plastic containers – but that sure makes for a very large lunch box. We thought about wax paper bags – except we didn’t know if they were biodegradable and neither did the teachers.That is how our research began. We then looked into replacing plastic water bottles with those colorful water bottles that you can re-use. From what we could find out, they could be potentially toxic, too. Looks like we might have to go back to those old thermos bottles we used to use – the ones with the glass inside that always shattered and made funny noises in your lunch- remember those?Its pretty interesting stuff wondering what is better for the environment and balancing that with what is healthy or convenient for you. You can’t just assume that the popular method is the way to go.If you’d like to find out if wax paper bags are an alternative or what types of plastic are safe for your kids – click on the livebinder below: