Sixty-five years ago, infamous Auschwitz doctor Josef Mengele removed Yitzhak Ganon’s kidney without anesthesia. The Greek-born Jew swore never to see a doctor again — until a heart attack last month brought his horrific tale into the open. >> Read the full article
Category: In the News
Renovating American Infrastructure
I was talking with Scott at lunch yesterday about our normal random things and somehow we got on the subject of America’s infrastructure. I was telling him I recently read a great article from Popular Science about renovating America’s infrastructure and wanted to share with everyone as well. The following is an excerpt: “Chicago road crews are scrambling to fill 67,000 potholes a month. Communities in Pennsylvania rely on 100-year-old water pipes made of wood. Squirrels still cause widespread blackouts. The country’s 600,000 bridges, four million miles of roads, and 30,000 wastewater plants desperately need attention. The solution isn’t patches, it’s an overhaul. Soon roads and power lines will fix themselves, and we’ll mine energy from sewage. America’s 21st-century tune-up won’t happen overnight, but we could start reaping the benefits (faster broadband! cleaner water!) within the next few years.” >> Read the full article
An Unusual Love Story (Email I Received)
Friends Forever – An orangutan was in a rescue and not doing well. This old hound wandered in absolutely emaciated and the orangutan snapped to like his buddy had arrived. He stayed with the hound night and day until he was well and in the whole scenario found a reason to live. Suryla and Roscoe are now inseparable.
Healthcare, Obesity, and Wikipedia Data, Oh My!
A former co-worker posted the above video about healthcare on Facebook, which brought up some discussions I have been having with people. Many people have been saying Canada’s healthcare is lacking, and according to the video above that seems to be the case. I think we instantly look to Canada’s healthcare because it is the closest socialized medicine nation to what we could compare ourselves with (besides, they are our friendly neighbors to the north). Any time someone has talked about Canada’s healthcare, I point them to the list of life expectancy by country on Wikipedia. The US is #50 and Canada is #8 (see below). Obviously, healthcare can’t be the only contributing factor, but what other factors can you think of?
|Entity||Overall life expectancy at birth|
|1||Macau ( China)||84.36|
|6||Hong Kong ( China)||81.86|
|34||Saint Pierre and Miquelon||79.07|
|35||U.S. Virgin Islands||79.05|
|39||Isle of Man||78.82|
|42||Puerto Rico ( US)||78.53|
|43||Bosnia and Herzegovina||78.5|
|49||Wallis and Futuna||78.2|
She (my former co-worker) pointed to health statistics on BMI which was smart, I never would have thought to do that. As you will see below, America is an overweight nation. The US is #1 and Canada is #11, but I don’t think there is too much of a correlation to show that correlation equals causation (my sociology professor would be so proud) here, which is exactly my point. If our healthcare is so great, and our BMI levels not that far off from other nations with much better life expectancy, why are we #50?
I’m sending this to a Canadian counterpart to get his take on healthcare as well. I mean, after all, “Canadians strongly support the health system’s public rather than for-profit private basis, and a 2009 poll by Nanos Research found 86.2% of Canadians surveyed supported or strongly supported “public solutions to make our public health care stronger.”
A 2009 Harris/Decima poll found 82% of Canadians preferred their healthcare system to the one in the United States, more than ten times as many as the 8% stating a preference for a US-style health care system for Canada while a Strategic Counsel survey in 2008 found 91% of Canadians preferring their healthcare system to that of the U.S.. In the same poll, when asked “overall the Canadian health care system was performing very well, fairly well, not very well or not at all?” 70% of Canadians rated their system as working either “well” or “very well”  A 2003 Gallup poll found only 25% of Americans are either “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with “the availability of affordable healthcare in the nation,” versus 50% of those in the UK and 57% of Canadians. Those “very dissatisfied” made up 44% of Americans, 25% of respondents of Britons, and 17% of Canadians
In November 2004, Canadians voted Tommy Douglas, Canada’s ‘father of Medicare'”) the Greatest Canadian of all time following a nationwide contest.
I want to open the conversation up to you. What other data can we look at to show why the US would have a lower life expectancy than our neighbors to the north if not obesity, or healthcare? If you send data, please site your sources for everyone to benefit from. Thank you!
400 Pound Snake
Hi everyone, it looks like this post is getting a ton of interest which is great. I’m getting some good comments on the post and don’t forget to check out the rest of my posts while visiting (come back and visit me at jeremyperson.com). I was looking at all of my snake postings and found I have quite a few so if you enjoy this one check these out. @WilliamsJoseph tweeted this out and I thought it was pretty awesome. Can you imagine running into this thing?
“A massive python named Deliah was moved by Florida wildlife officials to a temporary home after her chain-link cage near Apopka, Fla., was deemed unsuitable on Friday. The 16-year-old python measures 18 feet long and weighs 400 pounds.” Source: http://news.aol.com/article/400-pound-python-delilah-seized-from
Obama’s Speech to America’s Students
I just finished watching the President’s speech tonight and I liked it. I think the first part was a little weak but toward the end it had some real substance. I don’t know if it had much impact in student’s lives overall but I also don’t think it hurt anything either. I loved the examples at the end regarding failure. Everyone is going to stumble at one point in their life and you aren’t always going to be good at everything you try. I think people give up on things too easily. I had a preacher in Oregon who didn’t teach me much (sorry but you didn’t) but the one thing that did stick is every Sunday he would tell his congregation to “stick and stay and make it pay”. What he meant by that is you are going to get your feelings hurt at one point or another but if you let others take you away from your true purpose you will lose out on learning and fellowship.
Let’s take a look at America’s education system:
- American 12th graders rank 19th out of 21 industrialized countries in mathematics achievement and 16th out of 21 nations in science. Our advanced physics students rank dead last.
- Since 1983, over 10 million Americans have reached the 12th grade without having learned to read at a basic level. Over 20 million have reached their senior year unable to do basic math. Almost 25 million have reached 12th grade not knowing the essentials of U.S. history.
- In the same period, over six million Americans dropped out of high school altogether. In 1996, 44% of Hispanic immigrants aged 16-24 were not in school and did not hold a diploma.
- In the fourth grade, 77% of children in urban high-poverty schools are reading “below basic” on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
- Average per-pupil spending in U.S. public schools rose 212% from 1960 to 1995 in real (i.e. inflation-adjusted) dollars.
- In 1960, for every U.S. public school teacher there were approximately 26 students enrolled in the schools. In 1995, there were 17.
- The average salary of U.S. public school teachers rose 45% in real dollars from 1960 to 1995.
- In 1996, 64% of high school seniors reported doing less than one hour of homework per night.
My article with sources at the bottom of the page: http://www.freedomworks.org/
My Notes from President Obama’s Speech:
- Unless you show up, education doesn’t mean anything
- Put in the hard work it takes to succeed
- Education is the responsibility they each have
- Everyone has something they are good at and you have responsibility to yourself to find what that is
- You can’t drop out of school and drop into a good job
- Nobody has written your destiny, in America you make your own future
- You won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try
- Some of the most successful people in the world are those who had the most failures
- You can’t let your failures define you, you have to let your failures teach you
- Asking for help isn’t the sign of weakness isn’t a weakness, it is a strength
- Even if people give up on you, don’t ever give up on yourself
Everyone has been super quiet in “commentland” these days, what did you think of the speech?
Nikola Tesla was an inventor and a mechanical and electrical engineer. He is best known for many revolutionary contributions in the field of electricity and magnetism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. On his birthday last week Google dedicated a logo to honor his contribution to the world of science. In reading through the article they linked to I liked a quote from Tesla about Thomas Edison: “If Edison had to find a needle in a haystack, he would proceed with the diligence of a bee to examine straw after straw until he found [it]. I was a sorry witness to such doings … a little theory … would have saved him ninety percent of his labor”.
Did you see YouTube launched a “shows” channel? I personally think they should rename it “TV Shows” since it doesn’t have Internet only shows such as Diggnation, Tekzilla, and other Revision3 shows to Jim Lauderback’s point. No Revision3 shows = don’t need you and I’ll just go to Revision3.com and Hulu.com instead.
WalMart In America
This site has a really awesome visual timeline of every WalMart that has opened from 1962-2007.
Scientists Discover True Love
Reading some news feeds this morning and found this article interesting about true love.
“SCIENTISTS have discovered true love. Brain scans have proved that a small number of couples can respond with as much passion after 20 years as most people exhibit only in the first flush of love.
The findings overturn the conventional view that love and sexual desire peak at the start of a relationship and then decline as the years pass.
A team from Stony Brook University in New York scanned the brains of couples who had been together for 20 years and compared them with those of new lovers. They found that about one in 10 of the mature couples exhibited the same chemical reactions when shown photographs of their loved ones as people commonly do in the early stages of a relationship.