Monday, November 30, 2009

The 99¢ Effect and Other Saver Thoughts

My article started out about pricing with regard to saving, particularly how 99¢ is such a popular price, a price ending, anyway. As I "scribbled" my streams of consciousness—besides 99¢—thoughts also included tenths of cents still anachronistically attached to gasoline per-gallon prices, coupons, before/after price changes indicated in print ads, sales taxes that no advertiser includes, and baked goods pricing.

As the seasonal buying rush is spiking around this time, …

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Dobbs looking for a new home?

Lou Dobbs told Washington's WTOP Monday morning that he is not ruling out a presidential run, and, according toPolitico's Glenn Thrush,that he will leave the final decision up to his wife. Asked by an anchor if rumors about his presidential ambitions were crazy talk, Dobbs repsonded, "What's so crazy about that?"

"For the first time I'm actually listening to [people who want him to run for office], " Dobbs said. "I don't think I have the nature for it . . . But we've got to do something for this country." He said a run for president was "one of the conversations we're having" and that he would receive "the best advice" about whether it was a good idea.

Dobbs recently left his position as an opinion anchor at CNN to pursue an activist role in politics.

Fifty Is the New Forty

Last week proved volatile in preventive health care for American women. On Monday, November 16, 2009 the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released new recommendations for screening mammography. The recommendations included a reversal of a twenty-year standard. The USPSTF's new recommendations increase the age for a first mammogram to 50 years old (up from 40) for women of average breast cancer risk. Further, the Task Force only recommends routine mammography screenings every two years for women ages 50 to 74 (decreased from annually). Later in the week the American College of OB/GYNs recommended that women in their 20s only get pap smears every other year (also decreased from annually).

The USPSTF) is a panel of experts that advises doctors on medical care. Just seven years ago the Task Force, comprised of different members, recommended that women have mammograms every one to two years starting at age 40. The USPSTF's, "Recommendations highlight the opportunities for improving delivery of effective services and have helped others in narrowing gaps in the provision of preventive care in different populations." The panel's current composition has sixteen members but does not include an oncologist.

The White House blog states that the USPTF would have no power to deny insurance coverage in any way. The Task Force's recommendations would be used to help determine the types of services that must be provided for little or no cost. Further, "The Task Force does not address insurance coverage and payment issues; it focuses on the science of the clinical services it evaluates."

According to Marisa Weiss, M.D., director of Breast Radiation Oncology and director of Breast Health Outreach at Pennsylvania's Lankenau Hospital, "These new recommendations could have a devastating effect on African-American women, African-American women are more likely to get breast cancer than white women when they're under age 40." Weiss, who is also the founder of leading online resource, believes that given the unique impact of the illness on black women, USPSTF's recommendations could prove "disproportionately harmful."

Fear and loathing of the dreaded mammogram will likely cause many women in their lower forties to blindly accept the new recommendation. You have rights and they can be found succinctly here and in depth here. Don't let a doctor passively steer you away from life-saving medical care or bully you into tests or procedures you are uncomfortable with. Stay informed and vigilant about your health and medical care. "Fifty is the new forty" is only a cute sentiment when discussing fashion and ageless celebrities, not bare bones medical care.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Menu, From a Language Perspective

Being someone who thinks about the English language a lot, I often think of associative terminology. In my topic about Thanksgiving Day food, I'm putting a twist on it and injecting some flavor into the discussion, language-wise. Turkey is at the top of the food list. For vegetarians and vegans, skip reading "turkey", or discontinue reading this article. Other items are (from the top of my head) potatoes, sweet potatoes (sometimes interchangeably called yams), cranberry sauce, dressing (aka stuffing), gravy, and pumpkin pie. What about veggies? They'll roll onto the scene. I'll bypass food discussion pertaining to all-day football, as that could be an entire subject by itself.

Turkey: Legend has it that …

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Monday, November 9, 2009

My Trip Over an Apostrophe

I created and continue to maintain the Austin Heart of Texas (AHOT) Designers Council website. (AHOT is a professional organization for printed circuit board designers.) The other day, I uncloaked a navigation link, then uploaded the javascript file, not expecting hiccups. Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Convenient Quiche

(Quiche pixstrip retrofitted into article May 18, 2010)

Yesterday, I baked a quiche that requires only 5 ingredients: …

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