Good Signs?

Yesterday there was a report on jobs and employment in the United States. And the news was good. In fact, the news was better than anybody expected! Unemployment is at a 7 year low. The economy is not just showing signs of growth, but robust economic growth.

Nor was this “growth only an economist could love.” Many things I’ve been harping on for years got better: wages grew faster than inflation; more people are working; there’s growth in more areas; more people are working full time! I’m not ready to say yet that the economy is all healed up — I know too many people who are unemployed or underemployed — but I’m willing to say that the light at the end of the tunnel is probably not a train.

Now all the Very Smart People are talking about how the Fed will now have an excuse to raise the interest rates banks charge one another when they meet next month. Some are saying that’s a bad thing. However, I think it’s long overdue.

 

Hindsight

Apparently, former Fed chief Ben Bernanke has a new book about how he saved Christmas the economy. That means a bunch of econ bloggers and Serious People have to say something about it. The NYT Sunday Book Review likes it, although they called it “a bit of a slog.” You can buy your own copy here.

In Closing: least of our worries; unfortunately I don’t see a way to solve this problem; I bet we laugh at this fashion trend a decade from now; yeah that’s a problem; breaking the rules; maybe you could have educated the patient up front?; and voting.

Meanwhile, in Arizona

Long time readers know that in the past, I have been critical of the Sheriff of Arizona’s Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio. Nor am I alone. And yet even Arpaio seems to think this guy is an idiot:

An Arizona grandfather has been arrested and accused of leaving his five-year-old granddaughter alone in the desert with a loaded and cocked .45-caliber handgun and the instruction to “shoot any bad guys,” authorities said on Monday.

[snip!]

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told Reuters by telephone… “I don’t know how a five-year-old can tell a good guy from a bad guy, but that’s what she said she was told.”

Here’s some other coverage of this fine, upstanding grandfather.

In Closing: Presidential candidates on money; Tokyo color.

If it bleeds, it leads…

And apparently, it can pay dividends: School shootings beget more school shootings. And unlike the days of Parkway South — which I bet you never heard of unless you knew somebody who was there — news coverage may be why. From the CNN article:

Researchers gathered records of school shootings and mass killings from several data sets and fit them into a mathematical “contagion model.” The spread they found was not dependent on location, leading researchers to believe that national media coverage of a mass shooting might play a role.

If you’re the kind of person who prefers to look at the research rather than the media coverage of it, good for you: here it is. Left to your imagination is whether other crimes might be subject to the “contagion model” described by the researchers. My guess is “probably.”

In Closing: dinosaur feathers; apparently he had a heart after all (no loss); stand and deliver all your ideologues.

Shorties Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

Hope everyone had a safe Halloween. Happy All Saints Day.

Dave Johnson Telling the Truth: on the economy; on secret trade deals.

Enough to drive you crazy: Meat is bad for you, unless it isn’t; calories are the only thing that matter, but what the study says depends on who is reporting. The researchers concluded “When compared with dietary interventions of similar intensity, evidence from RCTs does not support low-fat diets over other dietary interventions for long-term weight loss.”

Unlikely source: The Economist isn’t where you would expect to find a report on a new canid species.

All Asking For It: On average, police in America killed 3 people every day of October. ThinkProgress has some highlights of police brutality.

Damned Liberal Media: with their facts and bias.

Pretty In Pink: Even the editors of the Las Vegas Sun noticed the pinkwashing of girls Halloween costumes and toys, publishing this NYT article.

TIL: Some cultures have a “Toilet God.”

Gilligan!: 22 shipwrecks found off the archipelago of Fourni.

See everyone tomorrow for some Music Monday!

Music Monday: One Weird Costume Party

Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting the Men In Black Dance Team!

In Closing: This year’s Worst of Sexy Costumes; yeah, that’s part of my problem with Hillary; the plague!!!; pay no attention to the x-ray vans; the bare minimum; half a brain; invisible hand smackdown of pharma bro.

Things I Learned This Semester: Summer Nursing School

Another semester has ended, and that means it’s time for another set of interesting things I learned.

On Google Maps: When you notice Google suggesting a “short” route to an off-campus event that cuts through an historically bad neighborhood, it’s a good idea to assume that some of your classmates aren’t aware of that.

On Psych: I learned something important about myself: I am not cut out to work on a psych ward. However, mental health nursing does teach important skills that are needed in any nursing practice. There will always be patients and/or family members experiencing anxiety, grief, depression, or using ineffective coping mechanisms such as denial.

On Suicide Watch: Someone will tell the nurse almost anything if they think it will get them out of the legal hold. Oh, and these guys do important work.

On Assigned Groups: This semester I had the opportunity to work with people I would not have chosen. It was a good experience. You don’t get to pick your co-workers either.

On Florence Nightingale: Your brain is the most important tool you can bring onto your shift. Don’t forget to not only do your job, but leave the next nurse with the information she needs to do hers (please forgive my pronouns; most Med-Surg* nurses are still women).

On Alert: It is mentally exhausting to be paying close attention for long periods of time, even if you are mostly observing.

On Social Media: we say so much we shouldn’t online, that the Department of Health and Human Services can use Twitter to track potential emerging outbreaks.

On Nursing Specialties: Most people know there are jobs for nurses on hospital floors (Med-Surg = Medical-Surgical) and doctors offices. There are also nurses who provide home health, nurses who try to figure out how to reduce infections and other complications, nurses who work with the IT guys to make more effective hospital computing systems, and of course nurses who work in specialized areas of the hospital such as the emergency department, the operating room, or the catheterization lab.

More another day!

 

Tilting at Windmills

Today’s 2016 Election news — and remember, despite the clown car of candidates, the actual election is still over a year away — is perhaps the only time that Jim Webb will be the top story. He’s dropping out of the race. The next part is just bizarre. Reuters put this best:

Former U.S. Senator Jim Webb said on Tuesday he will drop his long-shot bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination and explore an independent run for the White House.

Yeah. Low in the polls, but he claims that’s because Anderson Cooper is a big meanie who let Hillary talk twice as long as him. So even though by his own admission independents don’t win, he thinks he’s got a shot.

Maybe he should invest in lottery tickets instead. They’re a better bet.

In Closing: Love this guy’s art; it’s in the stars; Bronies are now apparently a subject of scholarly research; at the very least, taxpayers should not be funding unsafe activities for children; I still think PreCheck is a bad idea if the TSA is really trying to stop terrorists (and a brilliant one if they are really trying to control the masses); on the economy; oops! and pizza alternatives — most can be made vegetarian, a few can probably be done vegan, some can be done gluten free.