Thursday, April 06, 2006

Info from Harold

Harold Dundee sent the following information.

The AARP Bulletin v.47, no. 4 (just arrived) carries an article about a
Florida pharmacist who says most prescription drugs are completely safe to use long after the stated expiration date. He says manufacturers set dates short so that they can make more sales. He has gotten the Florida
Legislature to tell the Florida Board of Pharmacy that it could no longer
require phamacists to use discard-after dates on prescription labels as it
had done since 1993.

The US Food and Drug Administration has determined that many drugs remain effective, often for many years after the stated expiration date. FDA does, however, warn against drugs stored in steamy bathrooms or hot cars. [I am aware of the recommendation that drugs be stored at temperatures below 76 degrees F. Accordingly, when I travel I keep my medications in a small styrofoan box with a bottle of ice in it so that the drugs will stay cool--HD]

I learned from my second wife who was a pharmacist that with aspirin, you can tell when it has aged beyond reliability. Sniff the bottle of aspirin. If it smells of acetic acid (vinegar smell) then it has lost much of it

Later Harold added this:

The recommendation is to keep drugs under 86 degrees F., not 76 as I
stated. Of course the cooler, usually the better.

One response that I had said, "When I have an expired medication I call
the pharmacist and he/she tells me if it can be used or not. I had some
things that were 10 years old and still good, just had to use a double dose because they weakened with time.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Music, videos, and wine

HAT held its first monthly Movie Night at the Bradleys last Saturday, April 1. About a dozen of us were there. We began with a piano duet. Gail and I played a Sonatina by Czerny.

Among the principles listed in The Affirmations of Humanism is this one: "We are engaged by the arts no less than by the sciences." Quite often in the past, we in HAT have neglected the arts, prefering instead to focus on the sciences. I would like to bring some emphasis to the arts within HAT. Performing piano duets is just one way of doing this. Another way of putting this principle into action is through the oral recitation of poetry. After hearing Mary McAnally's message Sunday at Church of the Restoration, I am inspired to bring more oral poetry readings to HAT events.

Following the piano duet, we listened to a portion of an audio program produced by The Center for Inquiry in Amherst, New York. We heard Daniel Dennett being interviewed by D. J. Grothe. The interview focused on Dennett's most recent book Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. We briefly talked about some of the points addressed in the interview. The book is to be discussed more thoroughly at this Sunday's Humanist Study Group.

Next we moved to the Bradley's media center where we viewed two episodes from the Penn & Teller Showtime series "Bullshit." One episode focused on the question of the accuracy of the Bible; the other looked at the creationist movement. Oft times the best way to deal with bullshit is just to laugh at it.

Being flexible and open to change, we substituted the Dennett interview and the Penn & Teller programs for the movie we had planned to show. But the movie is still available for showing at a later date.