Tag Archives: United States

Menopause

New Dresses from Gayle <3
Image by betsyjean79 via Flickr

I’ve heard that women going through menopause experience changes in their hormone levels that cause mood swings. Since I’m a recent inductee to this club I can say from my own personal experience that this is rubbish. It isn’t the hormone levels that cause us to be crabby, we’re just pissed off because  we dressed and undressed all night long…on the hour, every hour and we don’t have any new clothes to show for it.

***I’ve nixed the automatic link that appeared below my post… skip going to the doctor, skip the prescription for hormones instead try increasing your soy intake. Asian women don’t experience hot-flashes and the reason is thought to be dietary. For other natural cures visit my favorite online resource at http://www.earthclinic.com

 

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How I’d Improve the American Education System

My daughter is immune deficient and has been an online high school student for about 2 years. I think the best and most cost effective solution to improving the American education system is to build a hybrid that blends the best online education has to offer in a public school setting.

Here’s how it could work:

Each student is provided a laptop computer to work off of  and they independently study digital textbooks, watch podcasts on  subjects they are studying and complete assignments, all within an online learning environment.

At first blush it doesn’t sound earth shattering but consider these net impacts:

The use of podcasting would allow the US Dept of Education (DOE) to hire the worlds best and brightest educators to deliver the curriculum because the person doesn’t need to be in each classroom to teach students. (Imagine  Stephen Hawking podcasting a high school physics course.) Such a change in the delivery of material would allow the US DOE to establish uniformity in the quality of instructors and instruction being provided to all schools EVERYWHERE regardless of the communities financial health. On site teaching staff can then focus on the students who are struggling and need additional instruction.

An education hybrid of public and online education would also allow the US DOE to offer a huge variety of courses to ALL schools everywhere regardless of who is available in that geographic location to teach. As a public school student my daughter could choose from a couple foreign languages, as an online student in rural Minnesota she studied Mandarin Chinese.

Even more important, these courses are self paced, students can move through coursework as quickly as they like or they can take the the time they need. Unlike the current industrial model of education, a 9th grader could work well above grade level while remaining grouped among his or her peers, students could even graduate early and or start college from the very same classroom environment. This would mean that the best and the brightest in our country would no longer have to wait for average learners to catch up and it can all be done within the confines of a single classroom.

Individual schools could allow rural students  the option of attending in person or online cutting the need for additional space and busing. Students with health problems, like my daughter, could still attend their local school by attending online when they are sick. School districts could eliminate the need for home-bound tutors, substitute teachers and even snow days.

Digital textbooks are cheaper to produce than standard textbooks and easier to update without mowing down a forest. They are also hyperlinked to dictionaries and wikipedia’s should students needs more information to grasp a given concept. Whereas a standard textbook might have offered a photo of an Egyptian tomb, in online schooling teachers can podcast an actual tour inside a tomb where students can pan the interior of the tomb right from their computer.

As as a parent of an online student I can log on and see the teachers grade books, I can see how my student scored on each assignment and I can see how much time she is spending studying each subject. This allows me as a parent a clearer view of daughter’s education and more importantly, her work habits.

The post-industrial model I’m suggesting also relieves the pressure on overburdened instructors and quells the issue of classroom size by allowing the human resources within our education system to concentrate on the areas they are most needed.  Even better, this model would allow the US to deliver the highest, most uniform standard of education to learners everywhere regardless of how wealthy or impoverished their community. Equal education could truly mean equal quality and an equal opportunity regardless of geography and its highly likely we’d save money doing it.

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Filed under Education, Fiction Writing, Government, Life, Science, Technology, United States

More People Died From the Swine Flu Vaccine than Swine Flu

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Image by johnmuk via Flickr

I’ve followed the opinions of Dr. Mercola for over a decade,  he does a good job of separating industry driven hype from consumer-centric need-to-know facts. Since I found the information helpful I’m passing the link on to you.

Critical Alert: The Swine Flu Pandemic – Fact or Fiction?

American health officials declared a public health emergency as cases of swine flu were confirmed in the U.S. Health officials across the world fear this could be the leading edge of a global pandemic emerging from Mexico, where seven people are confirmed dead as a result of the new virus.

On Wednesday April 29th, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised its pandemic alert level to five on its six-level threat scale,1 which means they’ve determined that the virus is capable of human-to-human transmission. The initial outbreaks across North America reveal an infection already traveling at higher velocity than did the last official pandemic strain, the 1968 Hong Kong flu.

Phase 5 had never been declared since the warning system was introduced in 2005 in response to the avian influenza crisis. Phase 6 means a pandemic is under way.

Several nations have imposed travel bans, or made plans to quarantine air travelers2 that present symptoms of the swine flu despite the fact that WHO now openly states it is not possible to contain the spread of this infection and recommends mitigation measures, not restricting travel or closing borders.

Read the full story

***update 10.22.2009 There is no compensation for individuals injured by the current swine flu vaccine and you can’t sue your doctor even in instances of gross negligence.

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Filed under Education, Government, health, Life, Travels, United States, World News

American Banking Oligarchs: Bill Moyers Journal

PBS Transcript:
February 13, 2009

BILL MOYERS: Welcome to the Journal.

The battle is joined as they say — and here’s the headline that framed it: “High Noon: Geithner v. The American Oligarchs.” The headline is in one of the most informative new sites in the blogosphere called: baselinescenario.com. Here’s the quote that grabbed me:

“There comes a time in every economic crisis, or more specifically, in every struggle to recover from a crisis, when someone steps up to the podium to promise the policies that — they say — will deliver you back to growth. The person has political support, a strong track record, and every incentive to enter the history books. But one nagging question remains. Can this person, your new economic strategist, really break with the vested elites that got you into this much trouble?”

Full story and podcast

Related Media from PBS website:

James Galbraith
Bill Moyers sits down to talk about the economic future with James K. Galbraith, Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr. Chair in Government/Business Relations at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Galbraith is the author of six books, the most recent, THE PREDATOR STATE: HOW CONSERVATIVES ABANDONED THE FREE MARKET AND WHY LIBERALS SHOULD TOO. (October 24, 2008)

George Soros, photo by Robin HollandGeorge Soros
Bill Moyers talks with one of the world’s most successful investors George Soros about the global capital meltdown, how he saw it coming, and what can be done now. (October 10, 2008)

Kevin PhillipsKevin Phillips on BAD MONEY
Bill Moyers sits down with former Nixon White House strategist and political and economic critic Kevin Phillips, whose latest book BAD MONEY: RECKLESS FINANCE, FAILED POLITICS, AND THE GLOBAL CRISIS OF AMERICAN CAPITALISM explores the role that the crumbling financial sector played in the now-fragile American economy. (September 19, 2008)

Joe Nocera, photo by Robin HollandJoe Nocera
JOURNAL guest-host Deborah Amos speaks with NEW YORK TIMES business columnist Joe Nocera about the bailout mania in Washington and who’s next in line to get federal assistance. (November 21, 2008)

HeadlinesWinners and Losers
NEW YORK TIMES business and financial columnists Gretchen Morgenson and Floyd Norris discuss who wins and who loses in the financial turmoil. (September 19, 2008)

FBI Domestic Spy PosterFacing up to the Economy
Bill Moyers talks with economist Dean Baker and journalist Bob Herbert about the economic challenges facing the government and the populace. (August 8, 2008)

FBI Domestic Spy PosterMortgage Mess
THE JOURNAL travels to ground zero of the mortgage meltdown — Cleveland, Ohio. Correspondent Rick Karr takes viewers to Slavic Village, one of the hardest hit neighborhoods in the nation when it comes to the spate of foreclosures caused by the subprime mortgage crisis. (July 18, 2008)

References and Reading from PBS website:

“Geithner Said to Have Prevailed on the Bailout”
By Stephen Labaton and Edmund L. Andrews, NEW YORK TIMES, February 9, 2009.

“Bank Test May Expand U.S. Regulators’ Role “
By Eric Dash, NEW YORK TIMES, February 11, 2009

“Bailout Plan: $2.5 Trillion and a Strong U.S. Hand”
By Edmund L. Andrews and Stephen Labaton, NEW YORK TIMES, February 10, 2009.

“Congressmen Hear from TARP Recipients Who Funded Their Campaigns”
by Lindsay Renick Mayer, CAPITAL EYE, February 10, 2009.

“So what is the plan?”
By Mark Thoma, THE ECONOMISTS VIEW, February 10, 2009.

“Special Report: A World of Trouble”
Get up-to-date international news and perspective from GlobalPost.

Simon Johnson

“Axelrod And Emanuel Were Right (On The American Bank Oligarchs)”
By Simon Johnson, THE BASELINE SCENARIO, February 10, 2009.

“High Noon: Geithner versus the American Oligarchs”
By Simon Johnson, THE BASELINE SCENARIO, February 8, 2009.

“Baseline Scenario for 2/9/2009 (11pm edition, February 8)”
By Peter Boone, Simon Johnson, and James Kwak, THE BASELINE SCENARIO, February 9, 2009.

“Global Economic Outlook (Senate Testimony)”
By Simon Johnson, THE BASELINE SCENARIO, January 29, 2009.

Published February 6, 2009.

Related Links:

Financial Crisis for Beginners

Naked Capitalism

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Filed under Government, New York, Politics, United States, World News