February 6th, 2008


Here's What Happened

Heath Ledger died from an accidental overdose of prescription medications including painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills, the New York City medical examiner's office said Tuesday.

"Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam, and doxylamine," the office said in a short statement.

"We have concluded that the manner of death is accident, resulting from the abuse of prescription medications."

I suspected it was an accidental overdose as soon as I heard there was no suicide note. (Also, suicidal people tend not to make future plans, like a massage appointment the next day.)

Yet the fact that his death was accidental makes it even more horrible.

I guess the lesson here is: Don't self-medicate. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure you're taking the right meds in the right dosage, and that they don't conflict.

Salesgenie Pulls Offensive Panda Ad

You may remember in my Superbowl entry I mentioned that the worst commercial of the game was Salegenie's Panda ad, with its ridiculously offensive pidgin English dialogue.

The sponsor is now pulling the ad. According to the New York Times:

Vinod Gupta, the chairman and chief executive of InfoUSA in Omaha, the parent of Salesgenie.com, said in a telephone interview Tuesday that a commercial featuring two animated pandas speaking with what were intended as Chinese accents would be withdrawn.

“We never thought anyone would be offended,” said Mr. Gupta, who developed and wrote both commercials himself.

“The pandas are Chinese,” he said. “They don’t speak German.”

Still, “if I offended anybody,” Mr. Gupta said, “believe me, I apologize.”

Apparently Mr. Gupta has never met a Chinese person who doesn't speak with a cartoonish accent.

He then goes on to say:

“People have been making fun of my accent for years,” said Mr. Gupta, who described himself in the interview as half-Indian and half-Jewish. “And I love it.”

Uh huh.

Still, he apologized and pulled the ad. Such is the power of my blog!

(Thanks to bev_vincent for pointing me to the article.)