Posts Tagged ‘art’

What’s at Stake?

What's at Stake with Humira?

Drug companies maximize the sales of new drugs by hyping their benefits while downplaying significant risks. In 2010 the European Medicines Agency began releasing patient-level data from the clinical trials used to approve new medicines in Europe – a development hailed by American, and European researchers and researchers around the world as a major step towards drug safety.

This process has been shut down by a lawsuit taken by two American corporations – AbbVie, makers of Humira, the number one selling medication in the world with projected sales of $10 billion in 2013; and InterMune, whose pulmonary-fibrosis drug Esbriet has recently been approved in Europe at a cost of over $40,000 per year.

Sign the petition here: Let us see Drug Data! Drug hazards are not “trade secrets”!

Read Dr. David Healy’s post here: Letter to Stacy London

The posters are being translated into many languages including French, Dutch, Hindi, Kannada, Spanish, Mandarin, Italian, and German as part of RxISK‘s world-wide campaign for open data on pharmaceutical research and drug safety trials.



Diabetes Type 2: Sweet Lies

Blood Sugar Pills: The Cure that Kills
“High blood sugars won’t kill rapidly like diabetes does. Very severely raised blood sugars over a prolonged period can raise the risk of heart attacks or strokes just as very high blood pressure or cholesterol levels can in some people. Very severely raised blood sugars can lead to thirst, hunger and infections but very few people with type 2 diabetes experience this. For most people type 2 diabetes is a disease of numbers not of symptoms. For most people there is no good evidence that treating these numbers with the latest diabetes drug improves health.”

See Full Article: Great White Lies by Dr. Dee Mangin

Posted: September 19th, 2013
Categories: Creative
Tags: , , , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

And you thought high blood-sugar was dangerous…

And you thought high blood-sugar was dangerous… Meds for Diabetes Type 2: Reduce your blood-sugar levels and life expectancy. There have been over 83,000 Heart Attack Deaths from Avandia.

For more info see Dr. David Healy’s post: Swimming with Great Whites? If you’ve got “Diabetes” look away now.

Posted: August 5th, 2013
Categories: Creative
Tags: , , , , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

Put-Me-to-Sleep Pills

Put Me To Sleep Pills

My poster for Dr. David Healy’s post “Marilyn’s Curse” about medication, Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs), and the way medical research uses “randomization” to hide dangerous side effects.

See More: Marilyn’s Curse

Posted: June 5th, 2013
Categories: Creative
Tags: , , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

Pills of Hope

pills of hope

My Portrait of Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK), as Frankenstein. for Dr David Healy’s post, Brand Fascism, which tells the story how pharmaceutical marketing seems to be perverting, or limiting, the power of medical science, because it places the interests of corporate investors, before the health of their customers.

“The 100,000 people who work for GSK are just like you, right? I’m sure everybody who reads the BMJ has friends who work for drug companies. They’re normal people… Many of them are doctors”. Sir Andrew Witty


Posted: June 5th, 2013
Categories: Creative, Science
Tags: , , , , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

Glaxo Buys Open Science

Glaxo Buys Open Science. Patents Sharing. Promises Full Access. In a surprise move, drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced a secret takeover of Open Science Federation for a purchase price rumored to be almost $500,000 USD. GSK CEO, Sir Andrew Witty, said that the takeover was part of a strategic response by the company to release all its clinical trial data. With questioning, Witty admitted that he, and the company’s board of directors, were initially resistant to the suggestion they should “open the kimono”, and show their jewels. However, with many voices calling for openness, and wincing from  a $3 billion USD fine for illegally promoting antidepressants to children, the company decided to look at the idea of openness more closely.“When we realized how little money there was in Open Science ... well, that was when the light went on.” Within the company, the Open Science take-over was pitched as the perfect, cost-effective, solution to their current woes. By buying the whole kit and caboodle, GSK could refurbish its image as a good corporate citizen, prop up its sagging stock price, and most importantly find a way to meet the public demands for the sharing of its data, without sharing anything at all. “Open Science is perfect for GSK. But we’re bringing something to the table too. Our patented Sharing Information Technology System (ShITs), will completely turn things upside down in the open science community.

Illustration for Dr. David Healy‘s post about the vagaries of diving, fishing and looking for real data in the murky world medicine and pharmaceuticals.

See: April Fool in Harlow: Anecdote Fishing in Harlow

And sure, this is an “April Fool’s” thing, but it’s actually based on some truth… If you want to find out more about the GSK approach to “Open Science” and the “sharing” of research data, you can actually sign up for the GSK Clinical Study data program. Once you’ve signed off off on their legal stuff (caveat emptor), you can request access to their trial data. Currently they have about 220 trials listed… a extremely small fraction of the total trials they’ve done. Your request will be reviewed by independent panel who will decide whether or not you can actually see the data. No promises of course! But why don’t you give it a try… I’ve signed up! ;-)


Posters: OpenGSK.pdf, OpenGSK.jpg or OpenGSK.png.

The Doctor’s Nightmare (from Fildes)

The Doctor's Nightmare (from Fildes) Thalidomide & Zoloft, 2012 © Billiam James

Revisiting Luke Fildes painting, the Doctor, with a ghost of Matt Miller, who at 13 year was fatally medicated with Zoloft, while the voodoo from a MHRA/FDA continues to confound our doctors.

Read Dr David Healy‘s metaphorical story about the state of modern medicine:
The girl who was not heard when she cried wolf

Posted: January 16th, 2013
Categories: Creative
Tags: , , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

Shipwrecked by the Cure

shipwrecked by the cure . Created by Billiam James

Dr David Healy writes that “The unsolvable problem medicine faces is that each of us is shipwrecked in the singular.” We are abandoned, floating alone in a health care system that has been trussed in guidelines, and narrow-minded “quality improvement programs”, and an incredibly bureaucratic management pot.

Our only hope is that the basic humanity of people in the system will assert itself. That the doctors, nurses, and support staff will start to look at their “clients”, not as units to be processed, but as individual human beings who need to be listened to, respected and treated with personal care.

Read Dr David Healy’s complete post: The Shipwreck of the Singular

Posted: January 16th, 2013
Categories: Creative
Tags: , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

Betting Your Brains on Antidepressants

Effexor: Betting your Brains on Antidepressants? Billiam James

“Uninhibited behaviours” is listed as a possible side effect for Effexor by it’s manufacture, Pfizer. But what is uninhibited behavior? Is it problematic? Well, yes… According to Pfizer, compulsive gambling and sexual misconduct are covered by the term, “uninhibited behaviours”.

A warning… But is it enough? A patient responds:

“How am I supposed to know what an ‘uninhibited behaviour’ was?” he said. “What a cloaking of an evil thing is that? That could be me parachuting or hang gliding or running down the beach with Speedos on! How was I to know it was going to be the type of addictive behaviours that would ruin my life?”

Efexor, first introduced to the American market in 1993, is now well established as one of Australia’s most commonly prescribed anti-depressant medications with more than 1.2 million prescriptions serviced in Australia in the past 12 months. At low and moderate doses, it acts only on the brain’s mood control neurotransmitters, serotonin and norephinephrine. But at high doses of over 300mg a day it also effects a third neurotransmitter called dopamine, which is responsible for reward-driven behaviours and has been associated with risk-taking behaviour and addiction.

It’s this dopamine effect that can cause problems, according to world-renowned psychiatrist, psychopharmacologist and author Dr David Healy. “When Efexor is taken at high dosages it triggers a flood of dopamine and becomes what we call a ‘dopamine agonist’. This can be responsible for the types of dangerous impulsive behaviours.”

Read the full story on Gambling With Antidepressants

Posted: January 16th, 2013
Categories: Creative, Science
Tags: , , , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

I’m medicating you because I love you…

Sympathy & Pills: I'm medicating you because I love you

One of the hardest things for people, who suffer from illnesses/disabilities, is getting good information and support. The health care system doesn’t seem to provide it, and so many of us join community support groups where we can share our experiences and support each other. (I go to Epilepsy Toronto and know many who use Fluoroquinolone support groups. The FQ groups are certainly not supported by any Pharmas, but my epilepsy group gets funds from UCB, the people who sell us Keppra and Vimpat.)

The pharmaceutical industry is very aware of this, and lends their financial muscle to support all kinds of community support groups — particularly if group members are potential “customers” for their meds. And this can create a Conflict of Interest, and subvert the group’s mission to serve its members.

This appears to be what has happened to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. My friend Julie Wood, a suicide survivor, decided to attend a local support group this month, only to find that they were promoting medications as the only way to reduce suicide risk, and trying very hard to ignore the well-documented links between suicide risk and psychiatric meds.

What I find particularly bad about this practice, is that pharmaceutical industry is preying on the weak and sick, offering them hope (a pill?) wrapped in sympathy and support, when in fact they don’t seem to care about whether the medication works or not, or whether it actually helps the patient…

Read Julie’s full story on (Data Based Medicine):

The Myth of Floxing

Fluoroquinolone: The Myth of Floxing

Fluoroquinolone: The Truth of Floxin

The Myth of Floxing
We all like to believe that medicines work like a single magic dart that’s focused and targeted on the primary therapeutic effect.

But with most drugs, it’s more like you shooting yourself with hundreds of poisoned arrows. Some hit the target, but many, many others will hit and attack other parts of your body’s vital systems — some of which, as first glance, seem to be completely unrelated.

The Fluoroquinolones class of drugs may be the worst offenders that have ever been approved by the FDA. Branded with names like Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox, they provide a horrific example of how a medicine can cripple and affect every system in the body. And what’s worse, the side effects causes by Fluoroquinolones do not end when you stop taking the drug, leaving many people crippled for years, and even decades after taking just one pill. Read more about this in Dr. David Healy’s post on The Myth of the Magic Bullet: Flox Tox

The idea behind the illustration: When Venus (by Bouguereau) takes Levaquin (by Ortho-McNeil), she gets transformed into St Sebastian (by Il Sodoma) and martyred with a thousand arrows.

About Fluoroquinolones: by the Quinolone Vigilance Foundation

Quinolones (fluoroquinolones) are a class of antibiotics that are currently one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics in the world, given out in hundreds, if not thousands, of prescriptions daily. They are very powerful medications prescribed to treat a wide variety of infections but were never meant to be used as a first line of defense against routine infections, which is how they are often prescribed today. Like all antibiotics, quinolones, have the ability to cause side effects. However, what differentiates this class of antibiotics from others is that quinolones can cause severe adverse reactions that can disable the healthiest of individuals creating long lasting injuries.

For more info on Fluoroquinolones visit: Quinolone Vigilance Foundation

If your doctor is recommending a Fluoroquinole class antibiotic, read these victim survivor stories before taking even one pill: The Fluoroquinolone Wall of Pain

The Artist’s Interactive Toolbox

Computer Crash

A message for interactive artists from the Harvard Business Review. You’re art is competing with fridges! So if you want people to look at, you’d better make it smart…

Your paintbox should include these tools:

  1. Microprocessors: Your art is competing with the phones, computers and even refrigerators. Make it smart. Put a computer chip in it. (Arduino!)
  2. Sensors: Motion detection. Location detection. Face recognition. Sensors are cheap. Use them to make your stuff responsive.
  3. Wireless Connectivity: Make it social. Make it mobile. Make it work anywhere.
  4. Databases: Store the data. Then turn the data into a story.

See the Harvard Business Review: The Four Technologies You Need to Be Working With by Adam Richardson

Posted: September 29th, 2011
Categories: Creative, Science
Tags: , , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

D. Nile: Money and other things

Way back when Billiam James was known as D. Nile… 1986-1989 Multimedia Video/Computer Installations.

“I want to be a credit card to my society”

~ Billiam James

Laurie Brown looking through Money, an interactive sculpture created by D. Nile (a.k.a. Billiam James) for A Space exhibition Guerrilla Tactics, 1987
Laurie Brown and Money, an interactive sculpture created by D. Nile (a.k.a. Billiam James) for A Space exhibition Guerrilla Tactics, 1987
Money, an interactive sculpture created by D. Nile (a.k.a. Billiam James) for A Space exhibition Guerrilla Tactics
Money ATM (Art Technology Money)
An interactive sculpture with real-time video integration of user input, consumer profiling, and electronic commerce — it delivered a customized print-out with real money to every user. Created by D. Nile (a.k.a. Billiam James) for A Space 1987 exhibition Guerrilla Tactics.

Printout from Money ATM, an interactive sculpture created by D. Nile (a.k.a. Billiam James) for A Space exhibition Guerrilla Tactics
Printout from Money ATM

“‘Money is the center of our culture’ says Nile… ‘and technology represents our dreams.’ The two come gloriously together, he says, in the automated teller machine. I have the horrible feeling he is right.” Christopher Hume, Toronto Star
See full story: Art Exhibit gets a laugh out of technology

“An effort to subvert the economic system” Lisa Rochon, The Globe and Mail
See full story: High-tech works takes their cues from computers

Canadian Cultural Center

Canadian Cultural  Center, created by D. Nile (a.k.a. Billiam James) for Edmonton Art Fesitival, 1989

Canadian Cultural  Center, created by D. Nile (a.k.a. Billiam James) for Edmonton Art Fesitival, 1989
Canadian Cultural Center
Installation mixed media, created for Edmonton Art Fesitival, 1989

Teeter-Totters: Bank Balance

Bank Balance, created by D. Nile (a.k.a. Billiam James) for White Water Gallery exhibition Teeter Totters
Bank Balance
Electronics/Mixed Media, White Water Gallery exhibition Teeter-Totters, 1986

“A satire of the banking system giving people a ‘different perspective’ on that segment of every day life.” Kieth Howell, North Bay Nugget
See full story: White Water features contemporary works

Image Conscious

Image Conscious, an multimedia sculpture created by D. Nile (a.k.a. Billiam James) for Etobicoke City Hall
Image Conscious
Multimedia sculpture created for Etobicoke City Hall, 1986

“Artwork’s rude, lewd slogans irrate Etobivcoke aldermen. Visitors to Etobicoke city hall are being told to ‘pick your nose’ and ‘spank your baby’ by a piece of mirrored electronic art hanging at the Civic Centre Gallery hall. …But the moving billboard, created by artist using the pseudonym D. Nile, is raising the most reaction so far from local politicians.” Bob Mitchell, Toronto Star
See full story: Artwork’s rude, lewd slogans irrate Etobivcoke aldermen

Mud is Motivation

Multimedia Exhibition, stArt Gallery, Kitchener by D. Nile (a.k.a. Billiam James)
Mud is Motivation
Multimedia Exhibition, stArt Gallery, Kitchener, 1988

Grass and Sand, electronic/mixed media, stArt Gallery, Kitchener by D. Nile (a.k.a. Billiam James)
Grass and Sand

Really Visual, mixed media, stArt Gallery, Kitchener by D. Nile (a.k.a. Billiam James)
Really Visual

Watch your Step, mixed media, stArt Gallery, Kitchener by D. Nile (a.k.a. Billiam James)
Watch Your Step

Concrete Desire, electronic/mixed media, stArt Gallery, Kitchener by D. Nile (a.k.a. Billiam James)
Concrete Desire

“Although Toronto artist D. Nile has fun parodying the imagery of pop art, his art is essentially concerned with content (social commentary) rather than form.” Robert Reld, Kitchener-Waterloo Record

See full story: Nile’s multimedia show prefers content over form