Despite having the most expensive health care system, the United States ranks last overall compared to six other industrialized countries—Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom—on measures of health system performance in five areas: quality, efficiency, access to care, equity and the ability to lead long, healthy, productive lives, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report.
While there is room for improvement in every country, the U.S. stands out for not getting good value for its health care dollars, ranking last despite spending $7,290 per capita on health care in 2007 compared to the $3,837 spent per capita in the Netherlands, which ranked first.
A prostitute is more likely to have sex with a police officer than to get officially arrested by one.
via An Empirical Analysis of Street-Level Prostitution
With the fixation on shrinking the budget deficit, why is over $700 billion in annual defense spending almost always off-limits for discussion?
A majority of scientists who dispute global warming lack the climatological expertise to do so.
In the unconvinced camp of climate change, 908 researchers publishing in scientific journals from around the world are less expert in the field and also less likely to be trained in climate science.
Scientific American; June 21, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
To inject some emotion into an emotionless corporation, interact directly with customers, show us a sense of humor, make grammatical mistakes in tweets, or even apologize for a mishap, we suddenly see the corporation as more than just a monolithic organization.
Joshua Knobe and Jesse Prinz wanted to understand which psychological concepts people were willing to apply to corporations.
“Acme Corporation believes that its profit margin will soon increase,” or “Acme Corporation intends to release a new product this January.”
However, the vast majority of people refused to allow companies to have feelings or subjective experiences, so that sentences like this were deemed ridiculous:
“Acme Corporation is now experiencing great joy,” or “Acme Corporation is getting depressed.”
What would you say about a latex sheath of razor-sharp barbs?
The victim looked up and said, ‘If only I had teeth down there!’
Tear-filled eyes and extreme vulnerability of rape victims is what sparked the design of this modern day invention. 30,000 were given away free at the World Cup!
Vulnerable meets its match.
72% of telco lobbyists are former government officials,
100s plucked from the federal government,
including eighteen former members of Congress.
Not in the news via Mike ‘They Took Our Spectrum’ Masnick
The very last line is worth it I promise.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste.
White House bumps lobbyists from advisory boards and commissions – of which there are thousands throughout the executive branch.
For too long, lobbyists have wielded disproportionate influence in Washington.
It’s one thing for lobbyists to represent their clients’ interests in petitions to the government, but it’s quite another, and not appropriate, for lobbyists to hold privileged positions that enables them to advocate for their clients from within the government.
Deforestation bumps up malaria by almost 50%.
Mosquitoes love the sunlit pools and puddles in a clear cut.
Patterns in the sea breaking on an Alabama beach more than 90 miles from the BP oil spill. The mess is four to six inches deep on parts of the shore.
Media pundits tooth reactions to Obama’s oil spill speech. What do CEO think?
Jack Baron, CEO of Sweetwater:
If we can resolve the energy problem then clean water isn’t far behind. And if you’ve got inexpensive renewable energy worldwide, and if you have clean water, once you take those major problems away for the planet there’s a lot less to fight about.
… from an impact standpoint I’d much rather be able to play on a world stage with literally thousands or tens of thousands of locations and impact energy production in those locations, and make energy production local.
It’s going to happen with renewable energy in general. Historically energy has not been local. It’s been produced by large utilities and piped to places.
To this day, children are born grotesquely disfigured with webbed hands and feet, weak immune systems, stunted growth, and congenital disorders.
A lethal plume of gas escaped in the early hours of December 3, 1984 killing thousands instantly as they choked to death.
“Mr. Warren Anderson, today you are known only for your role in the disaster, your name is met only with hatred by hundreds of thousands of Bhopalis, and people all over the world.
“The only way that you can change that, to clear your name, is to make a moral statement for justice in Bhopal.
“And then, you can live the rest of your life in peace, with your head held high, knowing that you made a difference.”
A child activist group “Kids For A Better Future” led a siege on Dow Chemical in New York challenging its top executive Warren Anderson who was arrested in India after the accident but fled the country.
The BP spill could have powered 40,000 cars for a year. [link]
Whale poop removes the carbon emissions of 40,000 cars each year. [link]
Were there any things that you weren’t expecting that turned out to be problems or learning experiences? Is there anything that you wish you had to move things along in ways that you’re not able to now?
Emergency Shelter Coordinator:
I had not expected so many layers in decision-making.
Coordination, support cells. There are military coordination meetings. There are presidential meetings. There are inter-cluster meetings. Humanitarian camp committee meetings — all on the national level.
Some layers in decision making could be avoided. We could cut down that to some kind of major meeting where we do these major decisions. If you have the President of the country in there and the main UN bodies, the cluster coordinators of the different sectors, that would be sufficient. But to have another one with military another one with the UN another one with the President, another one with ministers, that’s a bit tricky.
You know, I just came from one meeting where half of the meeting contained with reporting what happened in the other meetings.
For every single person in a city you need 2 lbs of grains a day.
You can go to the historical record, you can research in China, in India, in the Near East, and you will still be talking about 2 lbs of grain-based food for every person in the city every day.
Always the largest customer:
All cities require fuel: oil, gas, electricity, and so on. What I want to talk about today is the energy that fuels the people in the cities—food. Without food energy, a city is nothing. A city is nothing without the people who work and play and enjoy or suffer through the city, and they require food.
What do cities need in terms of food?
There’s only one way to feed a city, at least historically, and that’s to feed it with grains—rice, wheat, maize, barley, sorghum, etc.. You can go round the world, and there just aren’t cities that aren’t fed on grains, except for possibly in the high Andes.
Basically, to maintain a city, you’ve got to get grains into it. Be it Bangkok, be it Guangzhou, be it London, or be it Rome—throughout history, grains and cities are two sides of the coin.
And what do you need in terms of grains? For most of history—really, until about 150 years ago—most people in most cities, except for the very wealthy, lived almost exclusively on grains. They got about ninety percent of their calories from grains.
63.4 million Americans volunteered last year, giving more than 8.1 billion hours of volunteer service worth an estimated $169 billion.
Long war and political heat upset people. Doom arrives.
Homo rapiens is only one of very many species, and not obviously worth preserving. Later or sooner, it will become extinct. When it is gone Earth will recover. Long after the last traces of the human animal have disappeared, many of the species it is bent on destroying will still be around, along with others that have yet to spring up. The Earth will forget mankind. The play of life will go on.
Can you get Legionnaires’ disease from your car?
Legionella bacteria grow in any standing water and have recently been found in one in five windshield washer reservoirs that did not use cleaning fluid.
The Health Protection Agency calculated that about 22% of infections could be attributed to driving or being a passenger in a car.
A rare background on the players behind the unsurprising but alarming development in the long campaign to discredit the established scientific fact that burning fossil fuels is causing the world to warm.
This latest escalation fits seamlessly into a decades-old pattern of attempts to deny the reality of environmental ills — smoking, acid rain, ozone depletion, and global warming. Similar or even identical claims have been promoted for decades by other free-market think-tanks, including the American Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute, the Heartland Institute, and, most persistently, the George C. Marshall Institute.
These think tanks all have two things in common: They promote free-market solutions to environmental problems, and all have long been active in challenging the scientific evidence of those problems.