Category Archives: In the News

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.

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Where you lead, I will follow...best friends Suryia the orangutan and Roscoe the Blue Tick hound.

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Doggy paddle's the order of the day here for the couple who live at the Tiger's Sanctuary in Myrtle Beach , SC.

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Suryia and Roscoe spend hours together every day - they're particularly keen on swimming.

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There's always time to chill.

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For once, Roscoe's letting it all hang out.

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A dog's not just a man's best friend, he's an orangutan's too.

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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.  Lots of people have been saying Canada’s healthcare is lacking and according the 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?

Rank by
entity
Entity Overall life expectancy at birth
1 Macau ( China) 84.36
2 Andorra 82.51
3 Japan 82.12
4 Singapore 81.98
5 San Marino 81.97
6 Hong Kong ( China) 81.86
7 Australia 81.63
8 Canada 81.23
9 France (metropolitan) 80.98
10 Sweden 80.86
11 Switzerland 80.85
12 Guernsey 80.77
13 Israel 80.73
14 Iceland 80.67
15 Anguilla 80.65
16 Cayman Islands 80.43
17 Bermuda 80.65
18 New Zealand 80.36
19 Italy 80.2
20 Gibraltar 80.19
21 Monaco 80.09
22 Liechtenstein 80.06
23 Spain 80.05
24 Norway 79.95
25 Jersey 79.75
26 Greece 79.66
27 Austria 79.5
28 Faroe Islands 79.44
29 Malta 79.44
30 Netherlands 79.4
31 Luxembourg 79.33
32 Germany 79.26
33 Belgium 79.22
34 Saint Pierre and Miquelon 79.07
35 U.S. Virgin Islands 79.05
36 United Kingdom 79.01
37 Finland 78.97
38 Jordan 78.87
39 Isle of Man 78.82
40 South Korea 78.72
41 European Union 78.67
42 Puerto Rico ( US) 78.53
43 Bosnia and Herzegovina 78.5
44 Saint Helena 78.44
45 Cyprus 78.33
46 Denmark 78.3
47 Ireland 78.24
48 Portugal 78.21
49 Wallis and Futuna 78.2
50 United States 78.11

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 afterall “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.”[4][5]

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[6] while a Strategic Counsel survey in 2008 found 91% of Canadians preferring their healthcare system to that of the U.S.[7][8]. 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” [9] 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[10]

In November 2004, Canadians voted Tommy Douglas, Canada’s ‘father of Medicare'”) the Greatest Canadian of all time following a nationwide contest.[11][12]

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!

obesityByCountry

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_obe-health-obesity

Posted in In the News | 1 Comment

400 Pound Snake

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400LbSnake

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

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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?

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Golden Gate Bridge Suicides

goldenGate

OK this isn’t the most joyous of blog posts but according to Wikipedia the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is the most popular place in the United States to commit suicide. The fatality percentage is a whopping 98% but again according to Wikipedia one young man survived a jump in 1979, swam to shore, and drove himself to a hospital.  The reason I’m saying all of this is I read an interesting article in my news feed this morning from SFGate.com which talked about ironworkers who try to talk people out of jumping.  The sad one in the article is the guy who decided to commit suicide but threw his two year old daughter off the bridge before he jumped.  I’ll never understand those types of people but thank goodness for the iron workers who try to help those in need.  I know a few people who have committed suicide but luckily nobody close to me.  A kid who sat next to me in my technical business writing class in college committed suicide.  I remember he rarely showed up for class and didn’t seem to try much and after finding out he died I remember being shocked even though I hardly knew him.  People who commit suicide seem to be incredibly selfish to me but I know it is easy for us to judge.  Life is never so bad that you have to take your own life.  If life gives you lemons make some lemon-aid!  I like lime-aid myself…on sale at Safeway this week for $3.99…plug! I think if I was trying to talk someone down from the Golden Gate Bridge I’d break out my guitar and sing “Jumper” from Third Eye Blind.  Wait, then again that might make them jump not prevent it!

In all seriousness this is an interesting article and if I can ever help anyone through a tough time just let me know any time.  OK my next post is going to be more positive!

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