I Would Watch That!: I have been given permission to share my son’s brilliant idea for a new TV show: he calls it “Law and Order and Batman.”
Dumbasses: There are plenty of vegan parents out there who manage not to starve their babies to death.
Leia: 20 facts, 20 pictures, one princess.
Startling: The amount of data that cell phone companies might have.
Pope Francis: I could like this Pope.
Coincidence, I’m Sure: The Feds cut off Vegas’s counter-terrorism funds (whatever) the same day a “suspicious package” forced evacuation of Nellis AFB’s hospital and the day after a suspected pipe bomb was left by the side of the freeway.
Sheila Bair Sounds the Alarm: the banks are getting ready to screw the economy again.
On Expanding War: “[Our leaders] should not casually initiate conflict with only limited understanding of complex situations. It’s past time for greater caution in commitments of U.S. military forces, particularly in the Middle East.”
Here Comes the Sun: Sunshine turns out to be good for humans.
Let’s Get Physical: So is exercise.
Imagine: Today and here are the important things.
What?: A man and his bike and his cat.
What Would Bryan Boitano Do?: Bacon restaurant and bacon cocktails (check the slide show).
Extremism and Understanding: Turns out they don’t go together well.
About Time: Costa Concordia captain finally facing a trial. Hey, let’s not rush into anything, it’s only been a year and a half.
Dave is Right: Let’s fix the real problems.
German Efficiency: Not always a good thing.
Valjean’s Confession: Right, because preventing desperate people from feeding their families will totally solve the problem of crime. I’ve said this about Megan’s Laws and I’ll say it about this: if we have decided that some people will always be criminals, they should be put in prison for the rest of their lives, but then we need to have a serious discussion about what that means.
Recently, I received two ads for two different hospitals, and of course their emergency departments.
The first hospital’s ad arrived in the mail. It included a map, labeled “You’re only 6 miles from EXPERT ER CARE,” and the actual route I would need marked with a nice bold, blue line. Oh thank goodness, otherwise I might have had no idea how to get to that big hospital building clearly visible just off the freeway.
The second hospital left a card hanging on the door hyping how close they were. It included a refrigerator magnet with “IN CASE OF EMERGENCY,” the address (including which freeway exit to take), a phone number, and even a web address. Because when you are having a medical emergency, you really want to check their website before going to the hospital. Right?
Now here’s the problem: to get to either hospital, I have to drive by a third hospital that is probably within walking distance of my home. Well, maybe not walking distance if I am having a medical emergency. Heck, the kids who hung the magnet on my door probably drove past the third hospital as well. Why on earth would I go to a hospital that is further away if I actually need the services of an emergency department? In a medical emergency, I need help now, not 6 miles from now.
The point is that both hospitals completely wasted money printing and delivering advertising to me. That money didn’t help a single patient. That money didn’t pay for a single doctor, nurse, medical assistant, or even janitor. That money didn’t buy any medical equipment or medications. That money didn’t keep the lights on in an operating room. That money didn’t even line the pockets of a hospital executive… unless his wife owns a printing company.
Cutting worthless ads won’t solve the issue of health care costs, but it’s a painless first step.
By the way, data released by the makers of the ACT confirm what I saw in person: many students simply aren’t ready for college. And it looks like I am not the only one who thinks some people should reconsider whether college is a good idea, especially if it means a mountain of student loan debt.
Life got in the way of full posts, so let me give you the Short version.
In Public Speaking class I learned:
In Sociology I learned:
In Biology I learned:
No in closing today.
Last night, I completed my first semester of for credit college classes in a couple decades. Over the next few days, I will be sharing a few of the things that I have learned. Let’s start with generalities:
Next, we talk about my classes.
In Closing: book; or, we could admit that something that needs wheels is by definition not a carry on; or, we could enforce existing law; yeah I remember those days; blood pressure; what?; is this going to be what reins in drones?; 97% of scientists agree; and truth… Truthdogg.
Alright, by now everybody and his or her dog has heard the latest about Angelina Jolie, right?
Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a 65 percent risk of getting it, on average.
Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex.
On April 27, I finished the three months of medical procedures that the mastectomies involved.
Needless to say, this has sparked much online discussion. Here’s a featured item on BlogHer by a woman considering the same decision. Here’s one from a Professor of Pediatrics (is he also a doctor of medicine? probably?) who points out that this sort of surgery comes with risks and without promises of a cancer free life.
And do you know what I don’t see mentioned much? Time and money.
Most of us don’t have the ability to be in and out of surgery and recovery for three months — more if there are any sort of complications. Heck, many of us can’t really afford to take 2 days off from work (or school, or taking care of family…). Ms. Jolie is truly blessed that not only could she free up her busy schedule to do this, but also that her loving husband Mr. Pitt was able to be there by her side, and further that they were able to arrange adequate childcare for their six children — ranging in age from 5 to 12 — during this stressful time.
Another area where Ms. Jolie is truly blessed is money. Many women can’t justify spending the “approximately $3000” to see if she has the 1 in 100 chance of ridiculously higher breast cancer risk. In a time and country where it can be difficult to figure out exactly how much any given hospital service is going to cost, she didn’t have to worry about it. She knew that the money was in the bank. Perhaps she did get her insurance company to pay for it; after all, this has to be cheaper than cancer treatments followed by reconstructive surgery!
Some people simply have more options than others.
In Closing: transparency and accountability, and why big brother won’t work; it wouldn’t be a bad idea to retire these; austerity, unemployment, and job creation (for the record, I am currently not in the workforce and not officially “unemployed,” more on that later in the week); mobility; interesting point; the law of supply and demand (and why we desperately need a public option).
I’ve mentioned MC Lars before, but it’s been a while. He still rocks.
Trying really hard not to wade in the pond scum of the Rescued Cleveland Girls story, but WTF, abduction day cake? Thankfully, their lawyer (singular?) has announced that they will give NO public statements about what happened until the criminal case is done. Please, please remember that this is all over the news because it’s unusual! Young people don’t go missing every day. Stranger abductions happen maybe 15 times a year in the US; far more common is abduction by a family member, running away, or just plain getting lost.
Hmmm, a whole section of oatmeal! Unless of course you want plain old fashioned instant oatmeal. In that case, enjoy your grits!
In Closing: Crap like this is one of many reasons Congress should read out loud every bill they vote on; I guess the sequester is working =/; for pity sake, do not jaywalk in Vegas (all those pedestrian overpasses are there for a reason!); if I may use a one word answer, no; this sucks; Rolling Jubilee is back in the news; and inspirational.
Sorry for the little hiatus. Finals are coming Real Soon Now and my writing has been monopolized by a paper on Henrietta Lacks and HeLa cells. Fascinating stuff. For a minimally sciencey version, check out this biography.
Depending what day it is, the world news front is likely to say something about Iran, North Korea, and/or Syria. Iran is developing nuclear technology, and probably weapons. North Korea is more open about their weapon development. The US is warning Russia that they had better not send Syria better missiles, particularly since Syria is accused of using chemical weapons.
Now make no mistake. I don’t think anybody really wants Iran or North Korea having nukes. I don’t think most people think a better armed Syria is a good thing. But here’s the thing: who gave us the right to enforce our opinion?
Who is the United States to tell another sovereign nation what weaponry it can or cannot have? Under what authority? What if some other country decided that the United States shouldn’t have nukes? Or aircraft carriers? Or [insert fancy piece of military technology here]?
I know a lot of people in the West don’t think much of Al Jazeera as a news source, but they are right to point out that the American bargaining position regarding Iran — and truly, all 3 nations — is a lot like trying to negotiate with Republicans: the only possible option is “do it our way or else.” Or, if you prefer to be more patronizing
if not outright racist, “everything would run so much better if you brown people would do it our way like civilized people!”
Maybe, just maybe, international issues could be resolved more smoothly if we treated other sovereign nations like big boys and girls rather than little children who need our guidance.
In Closing: soda; I suspected as much; Jesus is coming, look busy; the Borgias are coming, look busy; um yeah, you can’t do that; student loan debt is officially bad for the economy; consumer spending is up and late mortgages are down (good news!); eVerify; Too Big To Fail must be Too Big To Exist; side effect; don’t forget that Federal law always trumps state law; and riiiiight, exactly where I want to go on Mother’s Day. Not.
In the wake of Newtown and the failure of Congress to “Do Something Do Anything” about gun laws, various people have suggested bulletproof backpacks or even uniforms for school children, saying ”It’s no different to having a seatbelt in a car.”
No, it’s very different from a seatbelt in a car.
First off, car crashes happen much more often than school shootings. If you live in a major metropolitan area, there was a car crash in your city today. I can almost promise that. I can also almost promise that there was not a school shooting in your city today. School shootings are rare; car crashes are not. It’s reasonable to take a routine precaution against injury for something that is unfortunately an everyday occurrence.
Further, I’d like to point out that we call them automobile accidents. Almost nobody intends to get into a car crash! While accidental shootings happen, nobody accidentally takes a loaded gun to a school. That’s premeditated. Always.
I might have bought “It’s no different from having a fire extinguisher.” After all, school fires are rare, but we’re awfully glad fire extinguishers are there if they happen. Oh, but we aren’t talking about equipping every student with a $269 fire extinguisher, now are we?
Don’t dare get on the “don’t you care about the safety of the children” high horse. If we really gave a darn about the children’s safety, we wouldn’t let schoolboys play football.
Speaking of schools and gun safety, I hope this disabuses anyone of the notion that armed teachers are an answer. I fully support your right to own a gun. I just don’t support your right to have it on campus.