Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Health Care Statistic of Note!

There are tons of statistics floating around during the current debate over health care reform. One statistic, however, leaped out at me while reading this month's AARP Bulletin. In a pie chart showing how most people are currently covered by an insurance policy, either by government or private providers, there are today more people without health insurance than there are covered by Medicare, 46 million versus 43 million.

I don't know why this one statistic particularly caught my eye but it told me in stark terms that there are an awful lot of people in this country who scramble everyday to avoid being sick, getting sick, or are sick.

Yes, I was aware of the uninsured numbers but for some reason I thought there would be more folks on Medicare than those who don't have insurance of any kind.

Current debate about extending Medicare to those below the age of 65 says about 13 million more people would be covered by Medicare if the age were lowered to 55, fully 17 million more if lowered to 50.

Is it possible that we could lower the number of uninsured to zero by extending Medicare to All? Now that would be health care reform worthy of "change we can believe in."

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Yes, Let's Have More Guns!

The AZ Republic ran two stories in their paper on Saturday that I'm sure they didn't intend for the public to "connect the dots." The first story was a continuation of the death of a police officer shot and killed when the murderer was pulled over for a routine traffic stop. He leaves behind a family and several children. The second story was about how the Republican legislature is entertaining a new bill that will abandon the requirement for either a concealed weapons permit or a background check if someone wants to carry a gun. 

Yes, that's right -- no permit and no background check on those who want to carry a concealed weapon. I don't know the exact number of police officers shot and killed in the last few years in Arizona but there are, seemingly, always stories in the paper about another police officer dying in the line of duty. 

Now, the Republicans want more guns with fewer restrictions on the owners so that no one will know exactly who is carrying one (or more) of them. Brilliant!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012


A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences, a teacher of high rank. In much of the world, including most Commonwealth nations (such as the United Kingdom) and northern Europe professor is reserved only for the most senior academics at a university, typically a department chair, or an awarded chair specifically bestowed recognizing an individual at a university. A Professor is a highly accomplished and recognized academic, and the title is awarded only after decades of scholarly work. In the United States and Canada the title of professor is granted to all scholars with Doctorate degrees (typically Ph.D.s) who teach in two- and four-year colleges and universities, and is used in the titles Assistant Professor and Associate Professor, which are not considered Professor-level positions elsewhere, as well as for Full Professors.

Thursday, 18 August 2011


Alocasia is a genus of broad-leaved rhizomatous or tuberous perennials from the Family Araceae. There are 78 species  of Alocasia occurring in Tropical & Subtropical Asia to Eastern Australia and widely cultivated in Oceania and South America. The large cordate or sagittate leaves grow to a length of 20 to 90 cm on long petioles. Their beautiful araceous flowers grow at the end of a short stalk, but are not conspicuous; often hidden behind the leaf petioles.

The stem (a corm) is edible, but contains raphid or raphide crystals of oxalic acid that can numb and swell the tongue and pharynx resulting in difficult breathing, and sharp throat pain. The lower parts contain more of the poison. Prolonged boiling before serving or processing may reduce the risks but acidic fruit such as tamarind will dissolve them.