Member since: Sun Jul 31, 2011, 05:36 PM
Number of posts: 2,805
Number of posts: 2,805
Under the category “Summer Rentals That Have Gone Terribly Wrong,” there are perhaps few parallels to the experience of Charles Henry Warren, a Manhattan banker who, in 1906, took a house in Oyster Bay on Long Island’s North Shore. By the end of the season, Mr. Warren’s young daughter had developed typhoid. She was soon followed in illness by Mr. Warren’s wife, a second daughter, two maids and a gardener. At the time, typhoid, a bacterial illness spread through contaminated food and water, was largely a disease of the urban poor. The property’s owner, George Thompson, concerned that the house, on which he relied for rental income, would become associated with tenement filth in the minds of wealthy New Yorkers, invited a sanitary engineer to determine the source of the outbreak.
What the medical investigator, George Soper, discovered was that the Warrens’ cook, Mary Mallon, an Irish immigrant, had left an imprint of malady in other quarters of upper-class Manhattan and its summer enclaves. Typhoid, he wrote, had erupted in every household in which Mallon had worked over the previous decade. An asymptomatic carrier of the disease, Ms. Mallon would be known to history as Typhoid Mary and spend most of the remainder of her life quarantined on North Brother Island in the East River, having failed to abide by a promise to cease working in the city’s kitchens.
The events supply the narrative of “Fever,” a new novel by Mary Beth Keane, which arrives at a time when we are once again debating the parameters of public health policy’s encroachments on our behaviors. Last week, a State Supreme Court justice in Manhattan used the words “arbitrary and capricious” in striking down the Bloomberg administration’s efforts to limit the size of sugary drinks (which pertained to certain sweetened beverages but not others, and some retail environments but not all). The phrase, though, could have been similarly applied a century ago to the city’s treatment of Ms. Mallon, given that officials were not in the habit of isolating other healthy carriers whom they had identified as ignoring ordinances against the spread of the disease.
I wonder why poverty is ignored .....
Posted by MindMover | Sun Mar 17, 2013, 04:47 PM (2 replies)
Obesity prevalence has increased significantly among adults and children in the U.S. over the last two decades. A new study appearing in the journal Nutrition Reviews reveals that characteristics of neighborhoods, including the area’s income level, the built environment, and access to healthy food, contribute to the continuing obesity epidemic.
They found that neighborhoods with decreased economic and social resources have higher rates of obesity. They also found that residents in low-income urban areas are more likely to report greater neighborhood barriers to physical activity, such as limited opportunities for daily walking or physical activity and reduced access to stores that sell healthy foods, especially large supermarkets.
In order to organize the different approaches to assessing neighborhood-level determinants of obesity, the authors present a conceptual framework. The framework is intended to guide future inquiry by describing pathways through which neighborhoods might influence body weight.
Consisting of three inter-related layers, the framework includes the influence of social factors, access to quality food and exercise, and individual factors including behavioral intentions. Each level has indirect and direct influences on behavioral choices and may ultimately impact weight.
So we complain about our healthcare costs which are directly related to obesity which is directly related to income, DUH ....
Posted by MindMover | Sun Mar 17, 2013, 04:24 PM (3 replies)
President Obama poked fun at the Washington press corps, Republicans, and himself at the annual Gridiron dinner. Here are some of the best jokes from his comedy routine:
On the sequester: "I know some of you have noticed that I'm dressed a little differently from the other gentlemen. Because of sequester, they cut my tails. My joke writers have been placed on furlough. I know a lot of you reported that no one will feel any immediate impact because of the sequester. Well, you're about to find out how wrong you are."
On Marco Rubio (after pausing to drink from a glass of water): "That, Marco Rubio, is how you take a sip of water."
On mixing up Star Wars and Star Trek references: "After a very public mix-up last week, my communications team has provided me with an easy way to distinguish between 'Star Trek' and 'Star Wars.' Spock is what Maureen Dowd calls me. Darth Vader is what John Boehner calls me."
On Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward: "I know that some folks think we responded to Woodward too aggressively. But hey, when has -- can anybody tell me when an administration has ever regretted picking a fight with Bob Woodward? What's the worst that could happen? "
On his special someone: "Now I'm sure that you've noticed that there's somebody very special in my life who is missing tonight, somebody who has always got my back, stands with me no matter what and gives me hope no matter how dark things seem. So tonight, I want to publicly thank my rock, my foundation -- thank you, Nate Silver."
On his new administration: "With all these new faces, it's hard to keep track of who is in, who is out. And I know it's difficult for you guys as reporters. But I can offer you an easy way of remembering the new team. If Ted Cruz calls somebody a communist, then you know they're in my cabinet."
On Joe Biden: "Look, it's no secret that my Vice President is still ambitious. But let's face it, his age is an issue. Just the other day, I had to take Joe aside and say, 'Joe, you are way too young to be the pope.'"
Read full transcript here ; http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/barackobama/a/Obama-Gridiron-Speech-2013.htm
Posted by MindMover | Thu Mar 14, 2013, 10:57 PM (8 replies)
CHAPTER 2: Review of Related Literature
The recognition that substance use among American Indian youth often begins at an early age has resulted in a growing emphasis on prevention rather than treatment efforts. Research detailing epidemiology, etiology, and domains of risk and protection can provide the basis for developing prevention programs and identifying intervention targets. These preventive interventions are designed to reach children early and limit the initiation of substance use and/or the later development of substance abuse and related consequences.
Prevention services are widely characterized as primary, secondary, or tertiary (Caplan, 1964). Within the health field, primary prevention programs are aimed at reducing the incidence of a particular disorder or risk factor. Secondary prevention programs target early identification and treatment to reduce the prevalence of a particular problem. Tertiary prevention programs focus on reducing the severity or impact of an established condition. Because this framework assumes dichotomous categorization (i.e., present and absent), using this classification system often makes it difficult to distinguish between primary and secondary prevention. Instead, mental health and substance abuse problems tend to be conceptualized as spectrum disorders, with attention focused on the level and severity of functional impairment rather than the strict presence or absence of a disorder.
In 1994, the Institute of Medicine proposed a new model that divides the continuum of care into three categories: prevention, treatment, and maintenance. The prevention category distinguishes between three classifications of prevention programs: universal, selective, and indicated. In a universal program, specific individuals are not singled out for an intervention; rather, all individuals within a defined area or population are offered the service. Examples of this include high school health education classes and anti-smoking media campaigns. Selective prevention targets groups of individuals considered at higher than average risk because of the presence of one or more risk factors. A program designed for children of alcoholics or an after-school mentoring program for youth experiencing behavioral problems are examples of selective prevention. Indicated prevention programs are aimed at specific individuals who have already begun engaging in high-risk behaviors but who do not meet criteria for a substance use disorder. Examples of this kind of intervention might include youth screened for problems at school or a physician’s office, or those mandated to treatment. Selective and indicated preventions are also often referred to as forms of targeted prevention.
Universal and targeted prevention programs both have their advantages and disadvantages (Offord, 2000). Universal programs tend to cast a wider net and can, therefore, potentially influence more people. They also tend to be less stigmatizing, as no one individual is singled out for attention. However, they are often expensive usually have a smaller effect on any one person, and may have the greatest effect on those at lowest risk. Targeted programs have the potential advantage of efficiency, as available resources are directed only at the high-risk group. In addition, they tend to be more intensive and may have greater impact on an individual level. A common difficulty in indicated interventions, though, is the cost and commitment necessary to screen individuals to determine risk status. Furthermore, risk factors are usually fairly weak predictors of future pathology, so screening may not accurately target individuals in the most need. Finding the balance between sensitivity (the ability to accurately detect those who are at risk) and specificity (the ability to correctly identify those who are not at risk) often presents a challenge for clinicians and researchers.
Posted by MindMover | Thu Mar 14, 2013, 04:39 PM (0 replies)
No Exit? Greece's Ongoing Crisis
When the New Year kicked off in Athens, a pall of smoke hung over the city. Steep hikes in fuel prices had pushed people to burn wood to stay warm, and even discarded Christmas trees were being fed into the fires. At the same time, a series of small explosions targeted the offices of the two major parties, New Democracy and Pasok, as well as the residences of several prominent journalists. Most shocking of all was a series of brutal beheadings across the capital that quickly became fodder for headlines, with the victims including a former central banker, a Dutch credit ratings executive and the CEO of a small debt collection agency. Well, not quite—the beheadings are described in Lixiprothesma daneia (Expiring Loans), the first novel in a new crisis trilogy by the leading Greek crime writer, Petros Markaris, whose detective hero, Inspector Costas Haritos, is as shrewd a reader of the mood in Athens as anyone. Greece is now sunk in its sixth straight year of recession, and with social and political disintegration reaching extremes not seen since World War II, it is no longer easy to separate fact from fiction.
Hard though it is to believe, around four years ago commentators and politicians were expressing relief that Greece, like the rest of Europe, had managed to escape the worst of the financial crisis. There were good reasons to be cautiously optimistic: the country’s ratio of debt to GDP had worsened a bit but not substantially, and levels of personal indebtedness were relatively low by international standards. There was no looming mortgage crisis on an American or even a Dutch or Irish scale. (The growth in housing prices in Greece between 1996 and 2008 was only 80 percent compared with 170 percent in Ireland, for instance.) Yet in the six months following the summer of 2009, everything unraveled with bewildering speed, catching the Greeks—and the rest of the world—by surprise. Following the elections that autumn, the incoming government of George Papandreou’s socialist Pasok party announced that the books had been cooked and the country’s plight far worse than anyone had foreseen. Then the credit ratings agencies piled in, downgrading Greek bonds and helping to send the government’s borrowing costs through the roof. As the panic spread, negotiations got under way among Greece, the European Union and the IMF, and the first in a series of bailouts was negotiated in exchange for the imposition of austerity.
Since then, Pasok has fallen from power and all but imploded. The government is now headed by the center-right party New Democracy; meanwhile Syriza, a coalition grouped around the old Euro-communist left (and once a happy member of the radical fringe), finds itself occupying the unaccustomed role of official opposition, and a thuggish neo-Nazi party called Golden Dawn sits third in the polls. Greece remains a member of the eurozone, but at an exorbitant cost: three years into the austerity regimen, the country’s unemployment is likely the highest in the EU at 27 percent, with youth unemployment exceeding 60 percent. Reports suggest that one out of three Greek households is living in poverty. Greece has become the epicenter of the worst crisis of capitalism since the interwar depression.
Rather in the spirit of Neville Chamberlain, who in 1938 expressed consternation at the prospect of a really important nation like Britain being plunged into a European war because of a “quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing,” commentators outside Greece have been alarmed that the debt problems of a country whose GDP makes up less than 3 percent of the entire eurozone could become an international issue of such consequence. But how could they have been surprised? What’s happening in Greece is the dark side of the extreme globalization of finance that began in the 1990s and accelerated in Europe with the creation of the euro. Their surprise is part of a more profound ignorance exposed by the crisis: as financial globalization has accelerated, our knowledge of the world and its interlocking parts—political, financial, economic—has failed to keep pace.
And some of our politicians want to lead us down this merry path ...
Posted by MindMover | Thu Mar 14, 2013, 12:32 PM (1 replies)
Here’s a graphical view of one of the most controversial aspects of hydraulic fracturing: the enormous amount of water it uses.
Posted by MindMover | Thu Mar 14, 2013, 12:20 PM (3 replies)
Cosmologists peering into distant, dust-enshrouded galaxies have found that they are far older and more numerous than previously thought.
Their findings, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, push back the birth of these massive star-creation engines and add more precision to the model of how our expanding universe evolved.
“It doesn’t say when the universe began,” said Joaquin Vieira, an observational cosmologist at Caltech and lead author of the paper. “What it does change is when the most massive galaxies in the universe were born. It pushed it back by a billion years.”
Dusty starburst galaxies are extremely difficult to observe, but astronomers can focus on faint radiation signatures with wavelengths of less than a millimeter. Much of that ability is owed to an antenna array in Chile, known as ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter Array.
Posted by MindMover | Thu Mar 14, 2013, 12:06 PM (0 replies)
Posted by MindMover | Thu Mar 14, 2013, 11:34 AM (1 replies)
Source: Washington Post
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill banning almost 160 specific military-style assault weapons Thursday after a heated exchange between senators about the scope of the Second Amendment.
The Democratic-controlled panel approved the bill on a party-line vote of 10 to eight — all Democrats voted yes, all Republicans voted no.
In the past week the committee has approved four Democratic-backed proposals to limit gun violence in America, all introduced in the wake of the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. that left 20 elementary school children dead — and occurred three months ago Thursday.
Debate over gun control now shifts to the Senate, where the chamber’s divide between liberal, urban-state Democrats and Republicans and moderate Democrats weary of infringing on the rights of gun owners makes passage of the four proposals more difficult
Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/03/14/assault-weapons-ban-passed-after-heated-senate-hearing/?wprss=rss_election-2012
Posted by MindMover | Thu Mar 14, 2013, 11:30 AM (16 replies)
During his State of the Union address, President Obama unexpectedly called for a hike in the minimum wage to $9.25 an hour, and Congressional Democrats are calling for an even higher hike to $10.10.
The importance of boosting the minimum wage was highlighted earlier this week when the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released a report showing how difficult it is for low-income Americans to get affordable housing.
The report notes that there is no state in the country where a minimum wage worker working 40 hours a week can afford a two-bedroom apartment for their family. In the cheapest state, a worker would have to work approximately 1.4 jobs to afford such an arrangement, and in Hawaii, a worker would have to work 4.4 jobs at the minimum wage.
The report then follows up with this shocking fact:
Like we didn't know this.
Posted by MindMover | Thu Mar 14, 2013, 11:21 AM (22 replies)