PES Friday: This Week’s Recommended Reads – 8/24/2018
You may (or may not) have noticed that I missed last week’s PES Friday. I was busy celebrating my son’s four-year-old birthday and just didn’t get around to it. I did manage to finish a story, but I’ve mostly been working on scoring music and mixing audio for my wife’s next short film. All in all, staying creative one way or another!
I’ve started writing the next story as well. As they don’t say, but should, ABW–Always Be Writing!
In addition to my PES regimen, I managed to finish Stephen King’s Langoliers. Loved it, but I’ve heard the movie is awful!
When I Have Fears that I May Cease to Be by John Keats
When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-pilèd books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;
… and the beat goes on.
America’s War on Pain Pills is Killing Addicts and Leaving Patients in Agony by Jacob Sullum in Reason (April 2018)
But the truth is that patients who take opioids for pain rarely become addicted. A 2018 study found that just 1 percent of people who took prescription pain medication following surgery showed signs of “opioid misuse,” a broader category than addiction. Even when patients take opioids for chronic pain, only a small minority of them become addicted. The risk of fatal poisoning is even lower—on the order of two-hundredths of a percent annually, judging from a 2015 study.
Despite such reassuring numbers, the government is responding to the “opioid epidemic” as if opioid addiction were a disease caused by exposure to opioids, a simplistic view that ignores the personal, social, and economic factors that make these drugs attractive to some people. Treating pain medication as a disease vector, the government has restricted access to it by monitoring prescriptions, investigating doctors, and imposing new limits on how much can be prescribed, for how long, and under what circumstances. That approach hurts pain patients by depriving them of the analgesics they need to make their lives livable, and it hurts nonmedical users by driving them into a black market where the drugs are deadlier.
It’s amazing what happens to a simple narrative when you take a hard look at the data.
The cistern staircase struck me as being exceedingly curious, with its elegant spiral. The bushes bristling in the fissures at every step, the deserted aspect of its surroundings, all harmonized with my sadness. We descended, and soon the luminous point of the opening, which seemed to contract more and more, and to take the shape of a star with curved rays, alone sent us its pale light. When we attained the very bottom of the cistern, we found a superb sight was to be had of all those steps, lighted from above and cutting off their shadows with marvelous precision. I then heard the hum of which I have already spoken: the immense granite conch had as many echoes as stones!
This was an unexpected gem from one of the horror anthologies I’ve been reading. Brilliant concept and well told!