May 30th, 2006 at 12:47 pm (Bioethics, Ethics, Healthcare)
From USA Today May 24, 2006
“Retiree benefits grow into ‘monster’
Taxpayers owe more than a half-million dollars per household for financial promises made by government, mostly to cover the cost of retirement benefits for baby boomers, a USA TODAY analysis shows.
Federal, state and local governments have added nearly $10 trillion to taxpayer liabilities in the past two years, bringing the total of government’s unfunded obligations to an unprecedented $57.8 trillion.
That is the equivalent of a $510,678 credit card debt for every American household. Payments on this delinquent tax bill must start soon if financial promises to the elderly are to be kept.”
This is an absolutely amazing statistic! How on earth can we puth this kind of burden on the future generations to enhance our own well being? Our parents generations had a graduadually increasing standard of living but can we expect that to continue by billing our children? Most of this cost is due to the cost of health care for the baby boomers. There may have to be drastic change to our current system to reduce or control that cost. Can we make inprovements while still maintaining the high standards that we have now? Is there a way to reduce the paperwork and administrative cost of health care without trimming research and development and education? I hope and pray that we can because I am not certain what is the correct path to take but I am certain that we cannot continue as we are right now.
May 26th, 2006 at 3:08 pm (life)
I am certain the life is not fair. Last week before I left for my conference we had a flood in our basement, like much of New England. But we recovered, we pumped, we dried, we steam vaccuumed everything we were set and then today, my first day home. Flood pt.2. Our water heater seems to have sprung a leak! water everywhere again. The cleaned carpet is underwater again. At least we had not taken most of the stuff back to the basement yet. Life is strange this way I guess, you never know what will befall us but we make the best of it and move on. At least I have a home and happy kids and family so I am really blessed.
May 25th, 2006 at 8:05 pm (Knitting)
Many people are very concerned about bringing knitting on planes or in the airport. As I sit here waiting for the plane, I thought I would point out that I have travelled often by air since 9/11 and have not had a problem with my needles or other equipment. Although once a TSA Agent used a ruler to make sure that my scissors were short enough to be allowed but that is OK with me. Heck I want to be safe too.
Here is the official TSA Scoop as I took from the TSA site today:
Transporting Knitting Needles & Needlepoint
Knitting needles are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage. However, there is a possibility that the needles can be perceived as a possible weapon by the TSA screener. TSA Screeners have the authority to determine if an item could be used as a weapon and may not allow said item to pass through security. TSA recommends the following when bring knitting needles on an airplane:
- Circular knitting needles are recommended to be less than 31 inches in total length
- We recommend that the needles be made of bamboo or plastic (Not Metal)
- Scissors must have blunt points
- In case the screener does not allow your knitting tools through security it is recommended that you carry a self addressed envelope so that you can mail your tools back to yourself as opposed to surrendering them at the security check point.
- As a precautionary measure it is recommended that you carry a crochet hook with yarn to save the work you have already done in case your knitting tools are surrendered at the checkpoint.
Most of the items needed to pursue a Needlepoint project are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage with the exception of circular thread cutters or any cutter with a blade contained inside. These items cannot be taken through a Security Checkpoint. They must go in your checked baggage.
Nothing surprising here!
I have been knitting the sleeves of a baby sweater here in the airport and so far three people have come over to ask what I am making. It is kind of nice that it can be a way to talk to people in situations where we do not know each other. When i travel without knitting I rarely talk to anyone. It is an amazing theing the power of needles!
I am using two circular needles to make the sleeves and I have never done that before but I have seen it online and in books. So far everthing is going OK but keeping the tension correct is really hard for a beginner like myself. Sometimes I tug it too tight and its hard to slip the stitch up on the needle from the cord the next round and other times there is a little gap. I have been able to massage out problems so far but It is getting harder!
May 24th, 2006 at 6:49 pm (Knitting)
I am a knitter but I am still a beginner. I knit when I have time and I love it. I love the creation, the craft I even love buying yarn, but alas I do not have alot of time to devote to the craft. When I go to conferences I find that I have more time that usual to actually sit and knit. Particularly onplanes or in the airport where I am disconnected from the electronic world. I have been knitting for about 2-3 years but still consider myself a beginner. I am mostly self taught although my grandmother showed me the basics more than 30 years ago. I have learned a great deal from books and from the web but I have been reluctant to actually ask for help. In fact, I have been reluctant to even enter a yarn store because I know that they have a culture of their own and, as a male knitter, I do not fit real well into that culture. Until recently I have gotten yarn from yardsales and big craft centers like Michaels or JoAnne fabrics.
But I am getting really into it and had to get nice yarn and lately have ventured into a few shops and loved every minute in them. I picked up a baby sweater pattern at one of my local shops. I was cruising through the pattern as I listened to conference presentations when it happened; I was stuck. I had to add the neckband and the instructions said to "pick up" x number of stitches and I remembered my last sweater. It looked great except the neckband which was full of gaps and looked awful. I scanned the web and a few books and there were multiple recommendations to use a crochet hook to pick up stitches but I could not find illustrations! I looked around the hundereds of people at the meeting and saw another knitter and steeled myself to ask for help. In most things I have no problem asking for help and freely announce my ignorance but this was hard for some reason. But she was most graceous and kind and showed me how to do it and it looks great! So I hope to finish the sleeves and the sweater soon. I will probably post a pick here. I also confirmed that many people who knit are more than willing to share their knowledge.
May 24th, 2006 at 6:33 pm (Bioethics, Healthcare)
So today is the last day of a conference. We are learning about integrating health information into Electronic Medical Records (EMRs). It is a very interesting and vital topic to our field and more importantly to the health care of Americans. The problem with these presentations is that there is little movement HL7 (the integration standard) is slowly be adopted but I've been hearing about it for years. If the information is there at hand our health care providers can use it in our care and educate patients easily. A patient who understands and knows alot about their condition are more likely to continue there care and comply with healthcare instructions. It is too bad that clinicians will only take this step if it is convienient to them and thrust in thier faces but I guess that with the pressure to see more patients in shorter time it is hard to take the extra step for patients. Atul Gawande's book, Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science, was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2002 and is published in more than 100 countries. A very insightful presentation.
Earlier in the meeting we heard how working on improving the quality and adhereance to known standards will improve healthcare more than new discoveries but that the money is now on development. As the insurance companies learn and change I suppose healthcare will too.
May 23rd, 2006 at 11:27 pm (Academic Libraries, Bioethics, Ethics, Global Health, Introduction, Knitting, Libraries)
I have many interests that might guide me to start blogging but to be honest I do not know why I have. I spend time pondering the World of Ethics and Global Health. I think about knitting and the world of knitters. I am a librarian and I think alot about the world of publishing and information literacy. So I hope that over time, as my thoughts come together in a more coherent fashion, I can present them to you and get your comments and opinions. I look forward to hearing from you.