Blogging since 1998. By David Wertheimer

Month: November 2009 (Page 2 of 2)

It’s not you, it’s the feed

For some unknown reason my most recent links post, which is pushed to my blog from once a day, won’t stop posting. I went so far as to turn off the notification stream this afternoon, but it’s still showing up. Apologies to folks whose RSS feeds are choking with my repeats.
I’m not sure how to fix it–suggestions are welcome (@djacobs, hint hint).

Startling U.S. healthcare statistics

I really don’t know what to make of the healthcare political arguments as they happen, but I am firmly in the system-needs-fixing camp. Nicholas Kristof’s op-ed in Thursday’s New York Times clarifies why.

The data he cites is so startling, it bears repeating. According to recent surveys by organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:

  • the United States ranks 31st in life expectancy, tied with Kuwait and Chile
  • the U.S. ranks 37th in infant mortality and 34th in maternal mortality–an American woman is 11 times as likely to die in childbirth as a woman in Ireland
  • a child in the United States is two-and-a-half times as likely to die by age 5 as in Singapore or Sweden
  • an African-American in New Orleans has a shorter life expectancy than the average person in Vietnam or Honduras
  • Americans take 10 percent fewer drugs than citizens in other countries–but pay 118 percent more per pill that they do take

Read the entire piece for more detail and context. (Bullet points above are quotes from the editorial.)

On trendiness

Nathan has this new coat for fall that Amy picked up somewhere. It’s a hip brand, and a nice coat, all corduroy and fleece and fluffy soft and cute in its big-people-style-little-people-size way.
Of course, distressed clothing is in these days, and Nate’s coat is skidded with white. On both sides of the front of the jacket, and covering most of the back, is a big, pale streak.
This, we’ve discovered, is the end limit for distressing clothes. Because while we know it’s intentional, other people think it’s, well, shmutzy. “Did Nate sit in paint?” is a line we’ve heard more than once. Concerned looks become a different kind of concern when we say, “No, that’s the style.”
Oh well. He’s warm and he’s still cute. But now I know why I’ve never wanted to buy jeans with a hole in the knee.
(As an aside, I love Rafe’s thoughts on modern aesthetics, which have stuck with me for a long time.)

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