Archive for November, 2013

Comedian Tom Rielly’s perspective of TED 2006

November 20, 2013

Originally posted on my old blog, Monday, 14 January 2008

About this Talk

Satirist Tom Rielly delivers a wicked parody of the 2006 TED conference, taking down the $100 laptop, the plight of the polar bear, and people who mention, one too many times, that they work at Harvard. Watch for a very special moment between Tom and Al Gore. Impossible to summarize, pointless to explain, ladies and gentlemen, Tom Rielly …

Note: This performance is intended for “advanced” viewers only. If you want to get the jokes, you’ll need to brush up on your 2006 TEDTalks, including Jeff Han, Hans Rosling, Al Gore and Tony Robbins, Rick Warren and Dan Dennett, David Pogue, Larry Brilliant, Cameron Sinclair, Joshua Prince-Ramus, Neil Gershenfeld, Michael Shermer, Robert Wright, Helen Fisher and Aubrey de Grey.
About Tom Rielly

Each year, Tom Rielly closes the TED Conference with a merciless 18-minute monologue, skewering all… Read full bio »

I emailed Tom Rielly, and got an immediate reply:-


It’s great to get fan mail!

I’m really glad you liked it. I’m hoping we’ll have another year up soon.


Tom Rielly Partnership Director TED Conferences LLC
TED Conferences, LLC

55 Vandam St. 16th Floor NY NY 10013

TEDTalks: Ideas worth spreading. Watch and listen to TED speakers on your computer, iPod, or iPhone for free. Brought to you by the generous support of BMW”

1 comment:

Tom said…

No, really, it’s great to have fans.I hope some of the other satires will get up on the site soon.


4 February 2008 08:28

NHS Scotland e-library:- Free Access to Toll Access for members of the public

November 20, 2013

Originally posted on my old blog Friday, 4 April 2008

As some of my readers know, in some of my spare time, I am involved in Patient Advocacy work.

Since I am not part of any Institution, I don’t have an Athens login so have limited access to Toll Access scientific/medical literature but have broad access to Open Access literature.


One condition that I’m actively involved in in research/patient support terms is Motor Neurone Disease (MND) also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. In Open Access (OA) terms, please refer to this entry 11th April 2007.

I recently came across this really useful/comprehensive (76 pages) round-up of recent MND research compiled by a Medical Librarian at the Scottish Motor Neurone Disease Association.

“These clinical journal articles are retrieved from a Medline literature search of published research within the last month. If you wish to receive this current awareness bulletin regularly by email contact the Information Officer. It is also available to download from the charity’s website on the library and publications page and also from the web portal, the NHS Scotland e-library
( If you work for the NHS in Scotland you can register for an Athens password and the full-text of many of the research articles will be available to you online. Contact your nearest NHS clinical library or the MND Library & Information Service to obtain full-text of any articles unavailable on the e-library).”

Out of curiosity, I contacted the Librarian in question by telephone. Yet again, what an incredibly helpful individual. Medical Librarians rock !!!

I now have access to a wealth of literature with an Athens login. (It takes 72 hours to kick in so I’ll update this post once “I’m in”.)

How did this happen ?

I was directed towards this page.

From the blurb:-

Registering with the e-Library gives you the following benefits:

For ALL registered users – facilities to:

* Customise the e-Library homepage e.g. have your own list of favourite resources
* Save searches you want to repeat
* Share resources and communicate with colleagues through the e-Library Knowledge Exchanges and Shared Spaces.

For registered “NHS Scotland staff, students and partners”:

These groups have access to the password-protected content licensed from book and journal publishers (over 5000 online journals, over 80 major databases, over 5000 electronic books, Good Practice collections of management tools and techniques.
Full details of subject coverage are available.

Who are “NHS Scotland staff, students and partners”?

* Staff – anyone who works directly for or is a contractor with NHS Scotland, including those providing training to NHS staff.
* Students – undergraduate or postgraduate students working or training with the NHS. (Many students may have registered for ATHENS accounts from their university or college; these will give access to a different selection of resources.)
* Partners – all individuals and organisations that provide services and support to the work of NHS Scotland, including local authority staff, Scottish Executive, voluntary health sector, health care staff working in the armed forces, prison service, nursing homes, hospices, schools, etc, emergency services staff, members of the Scottish Royal Colleges, patient / public representatives on NHS groups.

I appear to have qualified since I genuinely am involved in Patient Advocacy here in Scotland. I am advised that this service in UK terms, is currently only available in Scotland. ++UPDATE See the comments thread++

IMHO this means that anyone in Scotland who for example is providing care/help/ support to a relative/friend/patient etc. should, like any other member of the public, also qualify for an Athens login, cut through “Toll Access” red tape and gain access to publicly funded research etc. that they have already paid for.


But of course, better and much simpler still, in this day and age, is of course to make such material OA in the first place and rid ourselves of an unnecessary and unwanted “password only” Draconian System !



PA said…

Seems like it might be possible to volunteer at the local hospital one Saturday and walk out with an Athens login then?
Glad you got access to the literature you’re looking for, but this is a prime example of why OA would be a much better system.
4 April 2008 07:04

McDawg said…

Thanks PA !

This has shades of the following. One of the leading lights in the world of Patient Advocacy remains Sharon Terry MA – President and CEO, Genetic Alliance.

In one of her online talks, she recalls the story of how she started getting round TA 10 years ago by “borrowing” passwords to help her and her Husband access relevant literature in relation to their childrens condition. I certainly would not recommend doing anything of this nature.

OA as you say is indeed a much better, simpler and logical system in this day and age.

4 April 2008 07:50

Drew’s Journey Back said…

great stuff, graham
stamford, ct
4 April 2008 08:47

Health Perspectives said…

There’s a similar system for the NHS in England. It’s been running for the last 5 or 6 years, and is funded by the National Library for Health

6 April 2008 13:38

McDawg said…

Thanks a lot HP’s.

Looks great and I’ll have a proper look around tomorrow.

Thanks for dropping by and the alert =)

6 April 008 14:16

PLOS’s HQ in the UK is a house?? Surely some mistake.

November 15, 2013
Originally posted on my old blog

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

McDawg had three scheduled meetings yesterday whilst still in London after attending Science Online London 2009.For my final meeting, as planned, I took the express train from King’s Cross Station to Cambridge and then took a cab to the offices of the Public Library of Science (PLOS).

I was rather perplexed however at what I saw:-

In the centre of the above street view photo, you will see two blue doors. The one on the left is number 7. PLOS are based at number 7 Portugal Place. According to the Google map of that area that I printed off a week ago, I was indeed standing in Portugal Place:-

So, I was left thinking that PLOS HQ (UK) is not an office, but instead, a small terraced residential house ???? Confused? I sure as hell was. For a nano-second, I was tempted to ring the bell of number 7 but my brain told me, “there’s something not right here”.

Placed a short call to PLOS. Essentially, I was extremely close to where I was meant to be, “stay where you are and I’ll come out and get you”. “I’m wearing a PLOS ONE t-shirt”, I said. The above map is slightly misleading in that I was standing in Portugal STREET not Portugal Place.

Whilst sitting in a meeting room (within PLOS), I couldn’t help but notice a stack of colourful, in-print copies of PLOS Journals. I had no idea that PLOS used to publish in paper format several years ago. Interesting.

Very much enjoyed the discussions I had with Ginny Barbour and Theo Bloom. Thank you both kindly for taking the time out to speak with The International Man Of Mystery and Patient Advocate

Before I left, I asked if it would be OK to take a couple of photos inside PLOS HQ (UK). Since there were no objections from PLOS staff……