Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kansas Doctor Killed for Providing Healthcare

and The Right Wing is spending their weekend celebrating the murder--what is wrong with these people? The Ten Commandments--the same Ten Commandments Christianists want displayed in every court house in the nation--explicitly forbid murder, and here they go murdering. In church, no less.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

X Prize in Healthcare

This is obviously a great idea: A $10 million prize for designing a better healthcare system. Thumbing through the website, this stuck out:

Consumer(1) engagement: Consumers must opt-in to any programs the teams offer. The assignment of people to a team makes high rates of participation a requirement for success.
And there's the rub: People do things that are harmful to themselves. And, just as infuriatingly, people irrationally do other things with no demonstrable benefit in hopes of protecting themselves. An X Team can tell people not to smoke, for example, but who hasn't heard that before? In fact, is there anyone in America who smokes but hasn't heard, at least a million times, that smoking causes lung cancer, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, bladder cancer, hastens heart disease, etc, etc, etc? Or food: who would choose hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, coronary artery disease, and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis over health? Everyone who eats beef more often than once a week, it turns out, and probably everyone who eats McDonald's more than once a month.

But on the other end of the spectrum are those who obsess over organic produce, ear candling, full body CT scans, executive physicals, and the like, who waste just as much effort from an overtaxed cohort of physicians, nurses, hospitals, and fellow insurance purchasers as the souls who indirectly choose tobacco, fat, and salt over health.

1. Healthcare is not a commodity for consumption. Medical care is the energy, skill, and literally care a physician or nurse uses to lighten the load carried by a patient, a sufferer, a fellow human being who bears a burden.

Monday, May 18, 2009

"As per..."

Can we all just agree not to say "as per..." ever again? It is annoying, because no one seems to know what it means. It is impersonal, shifting authority, blame, and responsibility to the cloud.

Next time you are about to say it, just ask yourself if you really need both the "as" and the "per," and since you probably don't, ask yourself if you wouldn't sound like an ass if you said "per." Since you would, and the "as" doesn't add anything, you sound like an ass when you say both together.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Free Chocolate!

From the Mars Real Chocolate Relief Program: A free candy bar to the first 250,000 people who sign up every Friday.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Espresso Book Machine

A souped-up copy machine to print books (trade paperbacks) on demand. Fun to watch it work.

Friday, May 01, 2009

$100 million