Posts Tagged ‘riding a wave’

Riding a Wave: “Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection”

June 23, 2014

The New York Times, Tuesday, Septembe 24, 2013


Striving to Have It All And Then Recalculating, by Patricia Cohen

“Wonder Women: Sex Power, and the Quest for Perfection,” by Debora L. Spar, is the latest offering from a high-profile woman with advice for her educated middle-and upper-class sisters on the possibility of having it all.  Publishing a book on a current debate is like riding a wave. Catch it too early, and the wave will sweep out in front leaving you behind.  Catch it too late, and miss the force needed to carry you to shore…

Feminism ‘lit the spark of my generation’s dreams,’ she writes, but it also ‘ironically and unintentionally raised the bar on women so high that mere mortals are condemned to fall below it’…

Ms. Spar embraces the differences between the sexes, whether attributed to nurture or nature.  Women are more risk-adverse, more collegial, more desirous of relationships, she says.  And the clincher: they bear children.  Accept these realities, she urges, and move on from there…”

Terrific use of an idiom, comparing publishing with riding a wave; have to catch a wave at the right time.  Perhaps Ms. Cohen, the author of the article is a surfer.  And the bar is high for women; it’s tough to do it all.


Goal Posts and The New England Journal of Medicine

March 21, 2012

  SCIENCE TIMES : The New York Times, Tuesday, March 20, 2012

PROFILES IN SCIENCE:  Arnold S. Relman and Marcia Angell

A Drumbeat on Profit Takers:  The former editors of the New England Journal speak in one voice against the commercial exploitation of medicine. by Abigail Zuger

According to this article, from 1977 to 2000 one or both Dr. Relman and Dr. Angell “filled top editorial slots at The New England Journal of Medicine as it grew into perhaps the most influential medical publication in the world…”   Beginning in 1980 Dr. Relman began writing editorials against profit-making hospitals, laboratories, and investor owned medical businesses.  He wrote, “…medicine must serve patients first and stockholders second.”   Later, in 1991, he thought that market forces were influencing doctors’ judgements.  He has continued to write articles and books on this subject.

Dr. Angell has critically focused on the pharmaceutical industry, their influence over studies validating their products, that manuscripts submitted often omitted any mention of a drug’s side effects, or were not submitted because the studies made the drug look bad.  One didn’t know what was suppressed, what selected, “whether the goal posts were changed so that good six-month data was offered for publication instead of bad one-year data.”  

Further on in the article Dr. Thomas H. Lee, a Boston cardiologist  and an associate editor at the journal states “They (Drs.Angell and Relman) were in the right place at the right time…They rode the wave.  They did a lot of good things.  The Journal became hugely prominent in their time…”

If goal posts are changed in a field game, such as football, it changes the game.   The comment about riding a wave, in this case is a surfing metaphor about the prestige and popularity of the New England Journal of Medicine increasing (the wave) and the editors who rode it.

“Santorum, Riding Wave, Sharpens Aim at Romney”

January 16, 2012

The Wall Street Journal, Friday, January 6, 2102

“Santorum, Riding Wave, Sharpens His Aim at Romney,”  by Patrick O’Connor and Janet Hook

This piece was written a few days after the Iowa election when Mr. Santorum was in second place behind Mr. Romney, who won by only 8 votes.  There was a “bump” in the national polls for Santorum before the New Hampshire vote, where he didn’t do as well, but at this point in the polls, Mr. Santorum had 11% support compared to 3% in late December.

Surfers ride waves and so do politicians when they catch good support.