Day: February 26, 2005

Two New Viruses Reported Belonging to AIDS Family

“American scientists said Friday that they had discovered two new human viruses in Africa that belong to the same family, retroviruses, as the virus that causes AIDS.

So far, the scientists said, the new viruses have not been linked to any disease, but they are being monitored out of concern that they or similar retroviruses might conceivably spawn another epidemic.

The viruses, found in rural Cameroon among people who hunt monkeys and other primates, were probably transmitted from the animals through blood from bites and scratches received in hunting, butchering and keeping the primates as pets, the scientists said at the 12th Annual Retrovirus Conference, which ended here on Friday.” (New York Times )

Sloshed in America

David Edelstein: “As someone who frequently contemplates the pros and cons of alcohol consumption, I’ve wondered why no one ever talks about out-of-control epicureans—why Alcoholics Anonymous people (at least in my circles) never tell horror stories of self-destructive Chateauneuf du Pape obsessions or ridiculous 150-mile trips to taste some acclaimed brewpub India pale ale or rent monies blown on bottles of 25-year-old Springbank. I admit that doesn’t sound as nightmarish as, say, waking up from a three-day blackout on a rooftop, naked, covered in vomit, with a needle sticking out of one arm and two cops pointing guns. But there is a class of addicts (and not always privileged ones) for whom the epicurean drive is closely allied with the drive to self-medicate. Epicures go sideways, too, big time.” (Slate)

Related: Is a Wine-Soaked Film Too, Er, Rosé?

“Critics for the most part found the movie delightful and described Miles as an oenophile, adult viewers flocked to the clever comedy, and the positive buzz bolstered tourism in the Santa Ynez Valley, where the movie was filmed.

But a much more critical appraisal is coming from alcohol treatment professionals, recovering alcoholics and others who say that while Miles obviously suffers from alcohol addiction, his illness does not seem to register with audiences, just as it is overlooked in the movie. Polly McCall, an alcohol and drug therapist in New York City, said many of her patients are appalled that all they hear people talk about is how funny the characters are in ‘Sideways,’ which has been nominated for five Academy Awards, including best picture and best adapted screenplay. Ms. McCall argued that there is a connection between all of Miles’s imbibing and his considerable troubles, from finding it hard to get up in the morning to his failed relationships and money problems.” (New York Times )