Tweak 'em, don't freak 'em

A new study from the British Economic and Social Research Council and reported today in the Washington Post finds that fear and guilt are actually poor motivators when it comes to getting people to change unhealthy habits.

The idea seems to be that fear and guilt may do nothing more than produce more fear and guilt — and, worse, defeatism. A far more effective approach, the researchers say, is to give people concrete suggestions on how to change their behavior and confidence that they can do things like quit smoking or start a daily exercise program.

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Being poor increases poor health

Poverty a key determinant of ill health.

We stand accused of ignoring the poor among us — with horrendous potential for dramatically increased healthcare costs not too far down the road. Full Story

Common killers

Data from 140,000 patients suggests that some common pain killers double the rate for a heart attack.

Dr. Joe and bookofjoe says,

“One thing that has confounded me ever since I was in medical school is how easily doctors — people whom you’d think would know better — are bamboozled into prescribing and using, not only for their patients but for themselves and their families, new drugs.

Motrin, Advil, Vioxx, Celebrex, the parade never ends.

They cost many times what the old stand-bys do and don’t work as well, yet because of powerful advertising they somehow insinuate themselves into the medicine chest.

I’ve never taken anything but aspirin and/or Tylenol for the aches and pains of everyday life, nor do I believe anyone else should.

Here’s my foolproof remedy for almost anything that hurts, be it a headache, sore muscles, joints, you name it:

Three (3) regular aspirin tablets and two (2) extra-strength (500 mg apiece) Tylenol.

Repeat every 3-4 hours as needed.

It’s that cheap and easy.

Don’t be fooled into believing newer is better — in this case, it’s not even as good.”

Speeding up the economy, not

I saw this headline and remembered that when America was booming during the Industrial Revolution, cocaine was legal and popular. As Asia booms,

Asian Amphetamine Abuse Is Worst In World

Gucci has gas


Jackie O
Princess Di
Peter Sellers

Profit in the first half of 2006 was up 39 percent. The recent increases are also due to the buzzing American market where…”our customers are pretty immune to gas prices.” There is a strong aspirational aspect … waz goin’ on?

Diamonds in the web

An online service set for launch early 2007 will perpetually mine the Internet for gems useful to sophisticated financial investors.

“Monitor110” promises to continually sift and sort information from nearly 40 million online sources to uncover business trends or developments before word reaches mainstream media.

It can monitor alternative news websites, government websites, regulatory sites, blogs, union websites, local newspapers. It looks at the type of people linking to the blog and the people that link to the people that link to the blog. [story]

Eric Schmidt Warns Politicians That Elections Will Forever Change
Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, warned politicians at a Tory party conference in Bournemouth that the outcome of general elections will be changed “within five years” by what Eric Schmidt calls “truth predictor” software.

The return from your work must be the satisfaction which that work brings you and the world’s need of work. With it, life is heaven, or as near heaven as you can get. Without this—with work which you despise, which bores you, and which the world does not need—this life is hell. —W.E.B. Du Bois

All are identify us

Pick a brick.

One day you’ll be able to point your mobile phone at a train station, click and download a timetable, or point it at a museum to download a list of exhibits, researchers say.


Medical tourism

Trend in healthcare?

Our website is our vision for seeking out medical care at affordable cost in countries where price is minimal and care is abiding.

Our Patient Escort Service is an attempt to cut costs and save lives. We will liaise with the patients in the United States looking for cost effective medical care and refer them to hospitals in India.

Not limiting ourselves to a particular place, we also link ourselves to agents who refer patients to different destinations so that the best dental care can be obtained in Hungary, cosmetic surgery in Malaysia, cardiac treatment in Singapore and knee surgery in India.

optic nerve speed

human eye nerve overlayResearch from Penn’s School of Medicine on how the human eye communicates with the brain.

Earlier studies on vision have focused on what kind of information is sent from eye to brain. The Penn team wondered how fast and how much of that information is transmitted. Recording ‘spikes’ of electrical impulses, the human retina can transmit data at 10 million bits per second—Ethernet speeds, which reach 10 to 100 million bits per second.

Baby talk is sophisticated

Children learn their native language, says this UPenn linguist, by unlearning every other language.

Children do say the darnedest things. But the next time you chuckle at a toddler insisting “I weared my jacket,” consider the possibility that her grammar is perfect, just in another language.

In his new book, “The Infinite Gift: How Children Learn and Unlearn the Languages of the World” Charles Yang argues that children learn their native language through a process of trial and error, searching for the correct grammar by trying out other grammatical systems and discarding the ones that don’t fit. Double negatives, for example, while not commonly used in English, are de rigueur in Greek and Spanish, not to mention Chaucerian Middle English.

Be still married ego

Short Sufi tale:

A lover came to the dwelling of the Beloved and asked to be admitted. “Who is there?” the Beloved asked. “I am here,” the lover answered. The Beloved refused to admit the lover. After wandering in grief and longing for years, the lover returned to the Beloved and begged to be admitted. “Who is there?” The lover responded, “You alone are there.” The door opened.

This is a human edited blog

I didn’t write the Amazon review in the sidebar although it looks as if I did. It was originally posted by an Amazon staffer before Amazon brought in Alexa. It later reverted to my account — and I haven’t any idea why.

But it’s true. I use the One Stop Thought Shop to “provide education and insight about breakthrough science, technology and our modern world.”

And this is true: “This is a good site for learning new things.”

I am human.
My blog is edited.
This is a human edited blog.
Putting some healthy bran in the brain to help filter information congestion, I post what I think is important, interesting and good for you.

Humans and algorithms and humans
Geeking with Greg, a blog that is’exploring the future of personalized information’, brings us a link to John Battelle’s interview with Googler Matt Cutts. Some interesting excerpts from Matt on algorithms based on user data:

When savvy people think about Google, they think about algorithms, and algorithms are an important part of Google. But algorithms aren’t magic … quite often … [they] are based on human contributions in some way.

The simplest example is that hyperlinks on the web are created by people … Google News ranks based on which stories human editors around the web choose to highlight. Most of the successful web companies benefit from human input, from eBay’s trust ratings to Amazon’s product reviews and usage data. Or take Netflix’s star ratings … [they] are done by people, and they converge to pretty trustworthy values after only a few votes.

Findory is similar in that its recommendations are based on what humans find and discover. The knowledge of what is good and what is not comes from readers; it is people sharing what they found with each other.

Most of my posts point to further information outside my blog, so generating inbound links can be tough.

I’d appreciate your help.

Would you take a moment to give me a link?