Thursday, January 15, 2009

My dad is going to the Inauguration in case of emergency

ELTON STRAUSS, MD, has been selected by the Department of State as a member of an elite team of trauma specialists to care for any orthopaedic surgical emergencies during the inauguration of president-elect Obama, in Washington, DC, January 18 through 20

Dr. Strauss is Chief of Trauma and Reconstructive Surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and has been a member of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) since it's inception six years ago. He looks forward to bringing his abilities to the nation’s Capitol.

“Because of the expected record-setting crowds, our team is being deployed from throughout the Northeast so we will be in position in case there is a need for emergency medical care,” explained Strauss.

“It will be exciting to witness this historic inauguration in person. We’ll be out there with the masses, in our government issued uniforms, in the cold, eating our MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat), and ready to help if called on.”

The population of Washington, DC is expected to swell by the addition of over 2 million visitors for the inauguration festivities; Dr. Strauss and the rest of a 40 member International Medical Surgical Response Team (IMSuRT) will be mobilized to provide a 60 bed field hospital in the event of a mass casualty event. The temporary hospital will be located on The National Mall.

The complexity of today’s mass casualty incidents has increased the need for specialists in disaster care. The NDMS responded to this need by creating rapidly deployable world-class medical/surgical teams for the treatment of disaster victims under the sponsorship of the US Government (Department of Health and Human Services).

Contact Information
Mount Sinai Newsroom
Telephone 212-241-9200

Monday, January 12, 2009

War on "Honica"

Occasionally as a Producer at ABC News Magazines I write to people in jail. I inquire about hearing their side of the story and sometimes request a meeting. Few prisons allow on camera interviews and many inmates see little benefit of speaking to the media. Most of my letters sent on ABC letterhead go unanswered.

So, I was initially surprised to learn that my requests live on well past our interest in the story. My attempts at printed persuasion are passed from inmate to inmate as reading material - year after year - along with my salutation and return address that was meant for another.

The newly inspired inmates send me respectfully worded ramblings. Some notes arrive hand-written and some typed, but they often follow the same rhyme and flow; declaring their innocence, inviting me to follow up with someone on the outside and often sending me blessings.

Today I received a note from such a stranger and at the end of the note - after the part about being innocent - I was wished "Merry Christmas or happy Honica. (SIC)"

I have some advice for future inmates writing to journalists. Because Hanuka /Hanukkah / Chanukah can be spelled multiple ways correctly (and incorrectly) and because sometimes the choice between Christmas or Chanukah can be answered many ways (ONE/NEITHER/BOTH) I suggest we all wish each other Happy Holidays and call it a day.

Parallels Tech Support Works

Computer tech support departments historically blame problems on the user, deny the problem is their fault (contact your computer maker) or re-direct the user to unhelpful online literature. That is why I would like to give a gold star to the team at Parallels for admitting to me my problem was real and having their developers fix it!

Parallels ($49.99 at Amazon) makes software that allows you to run Windows on your Mac. I had a friend who set up webcams at his house and the software that came with it (Nubix Eclipse Security) required an Active X component. Active X only runs in Internet Explorer and only on a PC. We set up Parallels in a flash, installed Windows XP, downloaded the Active X component, connected to the webcams three states away and .... Black screen. Parallels could not render the images even though they could be seen on a physical PC. (For the record VM Ware's Fusion could not render the images either.)

I wrote to technical support and expected to be dismissed. There were some standard suggestions about checking security settings and some other back and forth that might have been helpful to non-advanced computer users, but I knew this was a limitation of the software.

Imagine my surprise when I was told the issue was confirmed by the technicians and that the developers would work on the problem and repair it in the next free update. I waited a few weeks, and when I was notified I downloaded the free update and my problem was fixed. Operational Active X Nubix webcam software on an iMac running Windows XP with the help of Parallels 4. Thank you.