Thursday, April 13, 2006


The best dialog in Saving Private Ryan, for my money, is about Vechio. Vechio is a character not actually in the movie, but remembered by Captain Miller and Sergeant Horvath at night in a church, not long after Private Caparzo was killed by a sniper.

The Vechio dialog is not very far at all from two rather artificial monologues, one in which Wade talks about his mother and another in which Miller talks about the moral arithmetic of sending men to die.

The Vechio dialog, however, seems much more natural:

Miller: What was the name of that kid, at Anzio, the one who was always walking around on his hands, you know, and he ... was singing that song, about the man on the flying trapeze?

Horvath: Vechio.

Miller: Yeah, Vechio, he was a goofy kid.

Horvath: Remember, he used to pee a "V" on everybody's jacket ... for Vechio, for Victory?

Miller: Vechio.

Horvath: He was so short. He was a midget. Most guys asked, "How'd you get to be a Ranger?" He got shot in the foot once didn't he, and he had to walk with his hands to the...?

Miller: Yeah. He could -- He could walk faster on his hands. [Unintelligible] faster on his hands. ...Vechio! ... Yeah ... Caparzo.

That's when you realize that Vechio, like Caparzo, is dead.


Scott points out this article. Good thing I don't have a uterus:

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Treatment with thalidomide or its analog lenalidomide prolongs life in mice with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), scientists report.
Lead investigator Dr. Mahmoud Kiaei told Reuters Health that small clinical trials are already underway in the US and in Germany "and we hope to set up a larger clinical trial in New York to examine the efficacy of these drugs in ALS patients."

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is an incurable progressive degenerative neurologic disorder in which nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord die, leading to muscle wasting and total paralysis.

In the Journal of Neuroscience, Dr. Kiaei of Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York and colleagues note that there is increased activity of inflammatory mediators including TNF-alpha in the spinal cords of patients with ALS and in ALS mice.

The researchers found that early treatment of such mice with thalidomide or lenalidomide, which attenuate TNF-alpha and like proteins, significantly increased mean survival from 130 days to more than 150 days.

Use of either agent also attenuated weight loss, enhanced motor performance and decreased motor neuron cell death.

The study of these immune-modulating drugs "showed for the first time they were effective in ALS transgenic mice," Kiaei said. "Due to a high percentage of survival extension, it does provide a high level of merit for these drugs to be taken into clinical trial."

SOURCE: Journal of Neuroscience, March 2006

Left grip is 24 pounds (20, 20, 24), right grip is 67 pounds (66, 60, 67).
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