Typically, "Missed Connections" on Craigslist are pedestrian affairs. Literally: "Sunday 22 around 3:30pm. We got off at union square and you were following me, then you went to whole foods." And so on. But the New York Times turned up a handful of more colorful "Drunk Connections" this weekend, and helpfully chopped them into some reasonable found (if inebriated) poetry, including this gem:
To Jennifer the Chinese Girl Who Drank and Passed Out
Jennifer the Chinese girl
who passed out.
You met me
the tall european guy
and I invited you for a drink.
I bought the half pitcher of sangria
You downed those three drinks
and I told you
you were drinking too fast
and to sip them
O.M.G. you passed out in the bathroom
and the owners called an ambulance
I feel so bad...
I never got your number
and I want to know
that you are OK.
Drunk Irish Guy to the Girl in the Red Tights on the Subway to Queens
drunk irish guy
to the girl in the red tights
on the subway to queens
i really hope
I did not creep you out...
I was so drunk
and you were so hot...
I wish I could have met you
at a different moment
and a different place.
Don't we all? The Beats would be proud.
Acid-tongued talent show king Simon Cowell has finally committed to changing one of the most worrying things about him. It's not the butt cut, or the pokey nipples or the cruelty to children—it's his cigarette addiction. A smoker since the age of eight, 52-year-old Cowell has finally committed to kicking the habit. To help him get it done he's enrolled in a program at a London addiction treatment center where he's undergoing treatment, including hypnosis. Cowell was reportedly pushed to seek treatment by his mother and friends because of a family history of smoking-related illness—his grandfather, a heavy smoker, died of lung cancer, and his father had a heart attack. Cowell himself is totally healthy; last year, he admitted that he "equates smoking with having a good time." Still, he thinks the time has come to give up his 15-cigarette-a-day habit. After that, he can take care of those other issues.
Both Tennessee and New York have legislation pending which would require physicians to access drug monitoring databases whenever they write prescriptions for controlled substances. In Tennessee, State Senator Ken Yager and Governor Bill Haslam proposed bills to require physicians to check the database for every patient before prescribing a controlled substance; prescribers and dispensers would have to report information to the database within 24 hours, far more promptly than the monthly reports most states currently require. In New York, the bill drafted by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would require the Department of Health to establish and maintain a database capable of real-time information capture. “That’s a highly controversial move. But it tells me that the seriousness of the prescription drug problem in some states is reaching a level of people feeling like ‘We have to do something and this is the approach we are taking,” says Sherry Green, executive director of the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws. Of the 80,000 professionals licensed to prescribe meds in New York, only 47,000 have opened state database accounts and just 2,200 have used them. Scrips for narcotic painkillers in New York increased from 16.6 million in 2007 to 22.5 million in 2010. The National Institutes of Health reports that 20 million Americans over age 12 have misused prescription drugs.
The famous and infamous recommend fast food (Michael Phelps in Subway ads), get paid to tweet about vehicle hire (Tori Spelling used 140 characters to rave about a car rental website) and plug liquor (most rappers you ever heard of). Now TV chef Paula Deen’s announcement to Today Show weatherman Al Roker last week that she's both diabetic and set to be the spokeswoman for Novo Nordis’ non-insulin injectable medication, Victoza, puts the focus on pharma endorsements. There have been plenty: Desperate Housewives actress Marcia Cross not only uses her fame to back the GalxoSmithKine drug Imitrex, but actively uses her personal experiences to describe the effects of the drug and the allaged improvement to her lifestyle. For seasonal allergies, "You like me" actress Sally Field put her noggin on Boniva. One particularly notable pharma campaign, was Bob Dole’s 1999 promotion of the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra. And Olympic ice skater Dorothy Hamill and track star Bruce Jenner were both lined up to endorse arthritis and pain relief product Vioxx, prior to Merck’s 2004 withdrawal of the drug.
Director Gerardo Naranjo’s new Spanish-language film Miss Bala is ostensibly about the bloody Mexican drug war—through the eyes of an aspiring beauty pageant contestant—but plays out more like a David Lynch-ian descent into hell for its female lead, played by Stephanie Sigman. Miss Bala (“Miss Bullet”) is based on the true story of former Miss Hispanic America Laura Zuniga, aka “Miss Narco,” who made headlines in 2008 when she was busted on drug trafficking charges.
Laura is first seen at home in Tijuana with her brother and father, who expresses reservations about her getting involved with “those people” at the pageant. She goes anyway, meeting up with a friend who eases her path—and who later gets caught in up in an attack on a nightclub by a group of ragtag cartel warriors. Seeking to find out what happened to her friend, Laura gets handed over to the gang—led by the malevolent Lino Valdez (Noe Hernandez)—and forced to participate in a variety of crimes and reprisals against the DEA and the Mexican army and police. Not a bump of cocaine or a bud of weed is seen; rather, the somewhat context-free violence takes place against the backdrop of daily civilian life in Tijuana, as the cartels execute military-style maneuvers. One of the best scenes depicts Laura hiking home, with bombed-out Tijuana buildings ablaze in the distance. But the film gets weirder from there: The pageant crowning is surreal, and the depredations to which Laura is subjected grow more lurid. A pre-credits summary of the costs of the drug war (36,000 dead, a $25-billion-a-year industry) attempts to tie the movie back to reality. But by then, things have gone too far off the deep end to mean much.
Researchers have devised a new questionnaire that they claim can predict the likelihood of cocaine addicts' success in rehab. The psychological test—drafted by Professor of Psychology Dermot Barnes-Holmes, of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth—measures the strength of addicts' beliefs about the positive effects of cocaine prior to treatment. The more positive these beliefs, the less likely study participants to turn up for rehab, and the less likely their systems were to be cocaine-free in a later test. The questionnaire was trialed on 28 people in New York who'd been using cocaine for around 15 years. "Our system has far-reaching implications for the treatment of drug addiction," says Barnes-Holmes. Participants' beliefs about their substance abuse and the negative or positive consequences that follow, appear to have an impact on the success of their treatment—and these beliefs aren't currently being identified through standard drug abuse treatment."