May 28, 2004 - It has come to this - a blog page... Blog is short for Web Log. Now that the Internet has become an almost indispensable part of our lives, many have started using it to keep an online journal of sorts. I started adding "Newsworthy Stuff" tidbits back near towards the end of 2000 on my What's New Page. I thought these tidbits would be more useful if they were compiled on one page. Therefore, all these tidbits will be compiled on this page after they've had their Net time on the most recent What's New Page, with the most recent entries at the beginning (so you don't have to scroll so much). Added links along the way will continue to be compiled on annual "What Was New" pages that you can access by clicking on year graphic. Thanks. Betty
Suggested Citation: Jung, B.C. (2006 - 2013). Betty C. Jung's 2006 Public Health Blog.
Web document: http://www.bettycjung.net/Blog2006.htm
- December 31, 2006 -
Herman's Hermits - Mohegan Sun
|| What a treat to end the year with a super concert from one of my favorite groups! Peter Noone, the ever consummate entertainer knows how to rev up an audience. Who would have ever thought that "Henry the Eighth" could be such a charmer for audience participation?
- December 30, 2006 -
Annual Web site Updates Well, I do try and do this once a year, and what better time than right before the end of the year! I have pruned the Web site of pages that have not been accessed that much during the past half year, and I have removed many course-related pages. This is to save me some time when I do my monthly statistics. This monthly ritual has become somewhat, or, should I say, has always been an arduous process because it requires that I access the statistics for EACH Web page on my Web site. At 250+ pages, this has become an 8 - 10 hour task EVERY month.
I was sad to remove my "Good, Bad and Ugly Page", which I was using to obtain feedback from my visitors. Unfortunately, the feedback I was getting was from people who had nothing better to do than to complete the form to advertise their Web offerings. It really got annoying to have to wade through this type of "feedback", which jammed up my E-mail box, along with all the other spam I normally get, simply because there are a host of obnoxious individuals who have nothing better to do than send out spam.
All in all, I am happy to maintain the Web site because I do get nice E-mails every so often from visitors who think they have found treasures on my Web site, to answer the burning questions they have about something of interest. I am thrilled that educators are asking if they can link to my Web site so their students will have a resource to expand their horizons. These are the joys of Webmastering.
Finally, I have decided to document how my Web site has been trying to be a "good" Web site, for those interested in rating the site, hence The Web site Information Page . Happy 2007, and glad that you have taken time to come and visit! Open 24/7, come by anytime and find something new to learn about....
- December 23, 2006 -
Yimou Zhang is one of the better film directors around these days. He knows how to make use of the visual grandeur that only a silver screen can do justice to. His "Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia" AKA "Curse of the Golden Flower," now playing, is a must-see. If you enjoyed his previous films, "Hero" and "House of Flying Daggers," then you will love his latest about palace intrigue in Ancient China.
- December 15, 2006 - The Marshall Tucker Band at Toad's Place The legendary band offered a 2-hour jamming session that got the audience pumping. At least they did "Can't You See," but it would have been nice if they had done "Heard It In a Love Song" ....
- December 13, 2006 - Scary Public Health Report In my December 1st entry I talked about the need for a National Preparedness Day. And, this is not too far off from the reality that we are not prepared for anything that may have a major impact on the Public's health. The just released "Ready or Not? Protecting the Public's Health From Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism" from healthyamericans.org, makes for scary reading. Comparing states on their "health preparedness," only one state was rated 10 (Oklahoma) on the 10 key indicators assessed, and one state rated 9 (Kansas). This should be mandatory reading for public health professionals to identify what needs to be done so we will be ready and the Public's health won't be compromised. You can find a link to this report on my Evaluation Resources Page .
- December 9, 2006 - Riders on the Storm (at New Haven's Toad's Place) is a super tribute band that pays homage to the Doors. Unfortunately, they didn't start up till 11:45 PM, and was still going strong at 1:20 AM, when we left. It would have been nice if they did LA Woman (which they may have, after we left). Other bands to stir up the audience were Odds N'Sods, another tribute band that brought The Who alive. Their best - "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again." The Nomad were okay and The Drama Kings had some good guitar and drum playing.
- December 8, 2006 - 2007, here we come!! Of course it's not 2007, but it's less than a month away, and during this time I have to get my Web site ready (no small task) for the new year. Yes, incredibly as it sounds, this is a one-person operation (although I can use the help of some elves all year round), so I need to plan ahead as to what I need to do, which is a lot. Happy Holidays, nevertheless!
- December 2, 2006 - Bad health behaviors and Death How many deaths can be attributed to bad health behaviors? In 2000, tobacco use was responsible for 18.1% of U.S. deaths, poor diet and lack of exercise for 15.2%, and alcohol use for 3.5%. Or, to put it another way, tobacco use was the underlying cause of 435,000 U.S. deaths, poor diet and lack of exercise for 365,000 deaths, and alcohol use for 75,000 deaths. These statistics underscore the importance of clinical preventive services in disease prevention and early detection. These stats, plus more useful information can be found in the National Business Group on Health's "A Purchaser's Guide to Clinical Preventive Services: Moving Science into Coverage". A link to this publication can be found on the Public Health Sites - Worksite Wellness Page .
- December 1, 2006 - National Preparedness Day is what I think we need. After listening to a keynote speaker talk about how so unprepared we are for the Avian pandemic, I realized that we are not prepared for any kind of disaster, Public Health or otherwise. I thought about what would I do if we had to evacuate right this minute (from a gigantic conference hall). I have no clue what I would do, or where I would go for information. Panic is the first thought that came to my mind.
So, I think a National Preparedness Day (how about September 11th of every year?) should be part of our calendar, in which we can devote one day to assessing our preparedness for any kind of disaster to occur. It could be a day in which government at all levels (federal, state, and local), each entity (employers, schools, organizations, etc.) and each individual (family, man, woman and child) would review their plans for disasters. It could be a day to actually do a dry run for an evacuation. Pick one type of disaster and carry out a plan to meet that disaster.
For example, what would a school do if an immediate evacuation was needed? What do we, as individuals, need to stock up, if we had to be homebound for an extended period of time? Do we have emergency communications available to us? What happens if we needed to evacuate people from, let's say a whole county? How would we get everyone out and get all the families back together?
The mission of such a day could be: Never be caught unprepared. The objective: Know what to do. The outcome: Reduce loss of life. Don't you think being prepared for a possible catastrophe is worth one day a year to really think about what we need to do, and do it?
- November 26, 2006 - Public Health Jobs E-list Celebrates its 5th Birthday! In the 5 five years that this listserv has been in existence, 140,444 jobs and 20,222 internships have been sent out to now 1,000+ subscribers! Thank you for your support!!
- November 22, 2006 - Check the status of your airline flight on this Web site! Are you traveling by plane? Well, you can now check the status of your flight on any airline on my Web site! Yes, Flightstats allows you to check your flight by route, flight or airport! You can find this handy tool on my Useful Sites for Day-to-Day Living Page and my Web site Search Engines Page Have a safe trip...
- November 21, 2006 - Public Health Jobs E-list Subscribers Top 1000!!! Just 5 days short of its 5th Birthday, the 1,000th and 1,001th subscribers joined today! I am so pleased that this free subscription Public Health Jobs E-list has taken off. Of course, I am still trying to find a way to see how useful this list is but can only go by such proxy measures as the numbers of people subscribing and occasional E-mails from grateful job seekers. If you have gotten an interview, or a job through this list, let me know!!!! For those who are looking for a job (and, who isn't these days), sign up on the Home Page , or visit the Public Health Jobs E-list Site .
- November 17, 2006 - The New Cars/Road Rage Tour at Foxwoods What a concert! The New Cars were originally set to play with Blondie as the opening act months ago. I was sorely disappointed when it was cancelled because Elliot Easton broke his arm in a bus accident. However, their return today was nothing less than spectacular.
The first time I heard The Cars, was on the radio, singing "My Best Friend's Girl," and immediately went out to buy their LP/album (pre-IPod, Net, etc.), and eventually bought all of them. When the switch to CD came, I got all the CDs.... The last time I heard The Cars live was in Toronto (~ summer of 1985), while I was on vacation. Though I didn't make it into the stadium, there were many, like myself, who enjoyed the entire concert, sitting in the park right outside, with the police officers on patrol....
Persephone's Bees opened the night and did a decent job warming up the audience. Relatively unknown, they did wow the crowd with a 40-minute set of good sounds. They will find themselves an audience, and probably signed on some tonight.
The New Cars, now fronted by Todd Rundgren, did a magnicient job with its 1 hr 40 min dancing-in-the-aisle mix of all The Cars big hits, with a nice mix of new songs from their new CD and Todd's personal favorites ("I Saw the Light" and "Bang on the Drum All Night"). Starting off big with "Hello", the momentum did not stop, all the way to the end with a 3-song encore that included "Just What I Needed" and "Let the Good Times Roll." Frankly, I wasn't sure what they would do for an encore since it looked like they covered everything (which goes to show how extensive their discography is). In retrospect, they did leave out one of my personal favorites, "Magic." Then again, "Magic" with its "Summer, summer's coming..." may have seemed out of place when winter is just around the corner.
Elliot Easton did not disappoint with his extended solo plays, and Greg Hawkes was at his finest, and wowwed the audience with a sax solo, and his lush synthesizers, the Cars' signature sound, from "Moving in Stereo," to the "Let the Good Times Roll." The two new guys (Kasim Sulton on bass, and Prairie Prince on drums) were very good. It was a treat to see Todd, a veteran performer, on stage, and his light-hearted cynicism is just about right to take over where Ric Ocasek left off. Amazingly, he pulled off sounding like Ric on many of the lead vocals, but managed to put in his take, nevertheless. By the end, most of the audience was on its feet, and you just knew Todd won over all the die-hard Cars fans, including myself. They should do well on tour, and their new CD should sell. You should try and catch them, if you can, for one fabulous evening "driving" where The Cars have been and continue to be in its new incarnation for one incredible evening of great music.
- November 15, 2006 - Adult Preventive Care Timeline Because we are all so busy, we tend to neglect what is most important to us, especially during the holiday season. One of the most important part of our lives is our health. Staying healthy requires work on our part, especially as we get older. Getting preventive health services should be a part of our busy schedule. Make sure you get what you should be getting when you see the doctor. AHRQ has put out a super chart, "Adult Preventive Care Timeline" that will provide you with a one-page timeline of when you should be getting what, in terms of preventive health services. Print it out and put it on your refrigerator, and make that appointment to see your doctor for your annual checkup. You can find a link to this very useful chart on my Healthcare Resources on the Net Page . Salud!!!
- November 9, 2006 - The Health Care Workforce Needs Our Attention Now Emergency rooms are overcrowded, the number of uninsured people continues to grow (along with the unemployed), the baby boomers are aging (along with millions of nurses), and the health care system is forever fragmenting ....
Yes, we are reaching a breaking point in the provision of health services. So, there is plenty to do. A new report from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation,"Workers Who Care: A Graphical Profile of the Frontline Health and Health Care Workforce" is a comprehensive study of what needs to be addressed in workforce development to ensure we will have the professionals we need to meet the health needs of the American people in the coming years. You can find a link to this useful document on my Healthcare Quality Issues Page , under Health Services Delivery.
November 3, 2006 - CDC's Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Legislative Database Here is a super resource for searching bills pertaining to heart disease and stroke prevention activities that have ever been introduced and/or passed in any state. Search by keyword, state, topic, bill, bill status or year. Now you can build a case based on what has been done, or need to be done. You can find a link to this resource on my Cardiovascular Disease Resource Page under Public Health Information.
- October 28, 2006 - Cirque du Soleil's Corteo in Washington, DC
If you have never been to any of these shows, you should, they are worth it. A modern day traveling circus that is more than just a circus, each offers over 2 hours of solid entertainment in which the art of dance and acrobatics is still alive and well. Yes, performance artists still thrive on the adrenaline dripping off the applause of an appreciative audience. My favorite, so far, is Dralion....
- October 18, 2006 -
Little Steven's Underground Garage at New Haven, CT's Toad's Place In a world of goth (blackness, darkness, halloween-365-days-a-year), and alternative (musical depression) music, it is nice to know that rock and roll lives!!! Three and half hours of solid rock and roll! The evening started off with The Mold Monkees, The Danglers and The Charms, warming up the stage for The Romantics (yes, the one and only), who shook the house with "Talking in Your Sleep" and a grand finale with "What I Like About You" and then came back to jam with The Shadows of Knight. SOK did a great cover of Crazy Elephant's Gimme Gimme Good Lovin', and brought the house down with, what else? G-L-O-R-I-A.
- October 14, 2006 -
(Graphic from Narda T., thanks!) Breast cancer still impacts many families today even though it is preventable through good self-examination by women themselves, and annual mammograms for women over the age of 40. Being aware of one's family health history is important, too, to identify those at greater risk for developing the disease. Encourage the women in your life to take care of themselves as well as they take care of others.... For more information, check my Breast Cancer Resources on the Net Page
- October 6, 2006 -
Health News You Can Trust Thanks to the Internet, information overload is an unfortunate reality of today. We are overwhelmed by how much news there is, especially health news, which is of interest to many people. Unfortunately, because health information is so broad in scope, and highly technical in many respects, it becomes susceptible to dumb-down tactics by the news media. If we rely on this information to make informed decisions, we would be in trouble. An academic journalist attempts to make health information accessible by having medical experts rate the health news stories of the day, and provide a review of the information presented, so we can get to the "meat of the matter". Of course, this has been done for years within the medical community (how else can physicians keep up AND still see patients?), but here is what I believe to be the first for the health consumer who wants to know the real story behind the headlines. Check out the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making (FIMDM) Project, Health News Review. You can find a link to this site on my Consumer Health Information Page
- September 27, 2006 -
U.S. Health Literacy Only 12% of the U.S. population is proficient in health literacy, and only 3% of those over 65 are considered proficient. Health literacy seems to have some relationship to how much education a person has; and women scored slightly better than men. These stats come from "The Health Literacy of America’s Adults: Results from the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy" published by the U.S. Department of Education. From a health education standpoint, this is problematic and compromises people's ability to take care of themselves, especially those who are older, at an age when health usually starts to fail. You can find a link to this report on my Healthcare Quality Issues Page .
- September 16, 2006 -
Familywatchdog.us - National Sex Offender Registry The '60s chant "The whole world is watching" comes alive on the Net. At this site you will be able to identify any sex offender who may be living in your neighborhood. Their locations are mapped and you can obtain further information by clicking on the map's marker. You can find a link to this site on the Useful Sites for Everyday Living .
- September 15, 2006 - Sooner than we think... By the time I have to update this page, it will be the end of 2006! Well, we're not there yet, but where does all the time go?
- September 1, 2006 - Web site Update Incredibly, ALL the Web stats are up!! I doubt I will be able to do this when school starts in about a week, but at least I know it can be done. Also, I found April printouts for the Web polls that went defunct in May. This is quite fortuitous, and I have posted the final totals for those polls on the Web site Polls Archives . Isn't it great we can relax on "Labor Day"?
- August 25, 2006 - Yes, indeedy, what a milestone. Let's have some calorie-free cake:
What stupendous years they have been! Who would have ever guessed that a Web site I developed on a whim seven years ago today would still be around seven years later with an average of 20,000 hits a month, and with almost as many visitors as well?
As I reflect on this, I am hoping that I am still keeping to my original Mission, which hasn't changed, as well as its goal, and objectives, which have changed to meet new Web quality standards. I hope that you will continue to celebrate with me throughout this year, and years to come, by coming by and visiting. Check out the almost 300 pages I have on this Web site. You will always find something new to learn. Have fun, and be well.
- August 18, 2006 - Domain Kiting/Domain Tasting I just found there is now a bettycjung.com. This domain was set up (just in May, 2006 no less) to ride on the popularity of my Web site. I have nothing to do with that site, so make sure, if you want to return to this site, bookmark it and remember it's http://www.bettycjung.net By the way, a class action lawsuit is in the works against these companies.
Apparently, this is a big problem, unsavory companies buying up domain names and then demanding money to release them. See the following for further information:
- Domain Registration Warning: wangleedomains.com
- Domain Tasting
- http://forums.dnsstuff.com/tool/post/dnsstuff/vpost?id=943423&trail=120 - WARNING: Somebody might be spying on WHOIS searches - mind blowing but true!!!
August 15, 2006 - Newsletters Update Public Health E-News #72 went out to 508 subscribers, and the latest issue of the Public Health Jobs E-list went out to 943 subscribers. I always look forward to getting input from people about these newsletters. Comments can be found on my Kudos Web page
August 8, 2006 - Herd Immunity 101 It is somewhat frightening how easily we have forgetten the benefits of preventive health practices. I grew up in a time when we actually experienced communicable diseases simply because we didn't have the opportunity to be immunized because the immunizations weren't developed yet. I still remember the boy in my elementary school who had the whooping cough and we all thought he was going to die. I know this sounds really ancient, but we are talking back to only 50 years ago (okay, maybe this does sound ancient to those who think the '80s were before their time...). Anyway, the point I am getting at is there is no reason for any kind of communicable disease outbreak these days because there are practically shots for everything that used to shorten the lives of people in the early 1900s. The mid-May outbreak of measles in Indiana (http://www.medpagetoday.com/tbindex.cfm?tbid=3856) would not have happened IF every child was immunized.
Herd immunity is defined as "Resistance of a population to spread of an infectious organism due to the immunity of a high proportion of the population." This means that disease epidemics can be prevented even though not everyone is immunized. Or, "non-immunized are in effect "free riders," relying on the efforts of more compliant peers to keep them safe." (http://www.healthinschools.org/ejournal/2005/may1.htm). However, in order for herd immunity to work, the percent of those immunized must be high enough to account for the few who may not be immunized, for whatever reason (e.g., immunocompromised).
Herd immunity has been studied and found to be important in controlling measle outbreaks (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=6879000&dopt=Abstract). In the UK, the percentage of those immunized should be at least 90% to prevent spread, and its National Health Service reports that with 95% coverage with MMW, measles, mumps and rubella could be eliminated. (http://www.immunisation.nhs.uk/article.php?id=81). A 1992 study in JAMA reported that US urban communities can prevent sustained outbreaks with at least 80% coverage (http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/267/6/823).
These days, people take for granted the disease-free lives we are living because immunization has been so successful in preventing infectious disease outbreaks, up until now. However, vigilance is needed now more than ever, because we are in danger of disease epidemics once again ("Measles Cases Rebounding in Affluent Society"  http://www.columbia.edu/itc/hs/pubhealth/p8475/readings/measles_wp.pdf). In keeping ourselves potected by getting the proper shots, we are protecting the public as well from deadly disease outbreaks. And, a healthy Public is everyone's responsibility.
August 7, 2006 - Dan Brown and his intelligent suspense thrillers While Brown has gotten a lot of publicity with this summer's DaVinci Code film, his books will attest to the power of the written word. Having read all of Dan Brown's books (starting with The DaVinci Code, and then reading his earlier works in reverse sequence), I can honestly say that he is one great author. If you are looking for some well-written, intelligent can't-put-down books, try Dan Brown.
Brown likes portraying strong women in his books, but with a slight vulnerable touch, and powerful men who are not always as stellar as their position might lend themselves to be. He does develop all his characters, which are usually complex, with tainted personalities that challenge you to question your ability to cheer for the right character for the right reason. Each book is extensively researched so you really get to learn something new about an eclectic area of fascination, whether it be modern technology, geology, religion or symbology. And, no matter how careful you read his books, you will never guess the endings, or the outcomes. I think I have found a favorite author in Brown. Read my reviews of his 4 books now in print.
August 3, 2006 - In Memoriam: Arthur Lee (1945-2006) I was so sad to hear of the passing of Arthur Lee, the inspiration of the psychedelic group, Love. Love made beautiful music. My favorite, "You Set the Scene" can be found on its 1967 "Forever Changes" LP (long-playing for those who think music comes only on CDs and iPods) is a fine example of a concept album, and worth your time to explore and enjoy. Given the short-lived existence of music groups today, it's a glorious tribute to still see "Forever Changes" on the store shelves. The '60s and '70s had some wonderful music worth exploring.
August 1, 2006 - Happy 25th Birthday, MTV!!! I do remember the early years of MTV and loved watching the music videos introduced by a super crew of veejays (all but one [who died] are now satellite deejays - which is ironic, given MTV's first video, Buggles' Video Killed the Radio Star). When it comes to music, the '80s decade remains my favorite, especially new wave and punk (which has evolved into punk pop).
Too bad MTV (which stood for Music TV) started catering to the new teens of the day, replacing videos with some of the worse programming on cable TV. Before this change, some of what MTV offered, like asking viewers to create their own videos for Madonna's True Blue (and then playing all of them for viewers to vote on), was innovative. Fortunately, VH1 has done a fine job of carrying on the original intent of MTV by actually showing music videos, packaged as cultural history lessons, from what happened to heavy metal to top lists of videos by some category, like worst love songs to one hit wonders. So, if you want music TV, check out VH1....
July 24, 2006 - Google Search Engine on Every Page is now a reality. Yes, you can search this Web site and/or the Web from every single page of this Web site. Phew....
July 23, 2006 - Google Search Engine on Every Page will become a reality once I have added the code on each page. I am pleased to report that my application to use Google's search engine to search my site and the Net was approved. This will be a wonderful service to visitors. Prior to this I was only able to have a site search engine on my main index pages. The ability to filter search results so that no porn sites show up is a feature in keeping with my goal to keep the Web site kid-friendly. As of this writing, half the pages already have the Google search box. So enjoy!!! This is how it looks like (and it's functional here as well, so try it out...
Site Search Engine and Site Index
July 22, 2006 - Web site Update Well, once again, I have completed another session of cleaning dead links off the site. It took 9 hours, and I am sure more links are dying as I write this...
July 18, 2006 - Bowling for Soup at New Haven's Toad's Place Yes, I do try and enjoy the up and coming groups! For $18.50, getting 4 hours of music from 4 bands is not a bad deal. Of the 3 starting groups, the Army of Freshmen sounds the most promising. I loved the Moog and keyboards! I even bought their CD!!Punchline was a bit too loud, and Lucky Boys Confusion may do ok in the long run, but sounded a bit uneven to me. Bowling for Soup was great, and most of the audience knew the lyrics by heart. They blew the house away with "1985"! I didn't care too much for the chit chat between songs, but hey, that's the band. I liked their rendition of Britney Spears' Baby One More Time, and their somewhat silly rendition of Ramones' I Wanna Be Sedated.
July 14, 2006 - Logic models & 1-page annual reports. The latest hot topic is logic models. Yes, more and more public health programs are expected to develop logic models, which are basically updates of the formerly hot flowchart schematic that was supposed to summarize, in a graphic (since a picture is worth a thousand words), a complex process. The concept behind the logic model is to summarize your program, on one page, showing all the different components of your program, what you are putting into it, and what you should be getting out of it, in a logical process, flowing from left to right. The exercise is actually very good because, if done correctly, it forces program planners to think pragmatically about what they want to achieve with the interventions a program is implementing to solve a problem.
Of course, if you can get your thinking down to this level, it will be only a matter of time before someone comes up with the idea of summarizing your program accomplishments on one page. If you got this far, why not show how your program is doing right next to your plan for the coming year? This actually struck me while I was attending a training conference, of which one session was about logic models. It is possible, and now you can save yourself having to write a 25-page annual report that most likely no one will bother to read (so why spend the time writing it?). To see how this can be done, check out my 2006-2007 logic model for the PHENOM program, and the 2005-2006 PHENOM annual report on the new PHENOM Logic Models and Annual Reports Page . Let me know what you think.
July 8, 2006 - Web site statistics Update. Web site statistics for the first half of 2006 are up. This took 7 hours because silly me lost the floppy disk with all the statistics. Fortunately, I was able to reconstruct all my databases from my paper records (See how I was when I was doing this on my June 23rd entry). I back up everything else, but seemed to have forgotten to back this disk up. Guess what I will be doing on a regular basis....
SCSU Alumni Chapter Statistics are finally completed for the 2005-2006 year!!! I have been trying to do this every July, thinking I would have time over the summer, but am finding summers are no different than the other seasons (sigh). After 3 hours, the page has been updated for the next 5 years (talking about long-term planning). Also up are PHENOM Directory demographic statistics , which is actually fun to do because all the work has been done already by the page tracker service....
July 7, 2006 - This is a Child-Safe Site I understand the concerns parents have today about Net safety, given all the press about online sexual predators. Well, any child can safely surf this site and not be exposed to compromising material. I have made a concerted effort to review all sites before placing links to them. Only 5% of sites sent to me for inclusion are accepted.
I have submitted my Web site to child-safe organizations to rate it for appropriateness, and I am happy to report that it is now branded as a Family Friendly site, ICRA rated, Safe Surf Rated, and ICCS certified and licensed by childsafe.com & iwatchdog.org.
July 4, 2006 - Global Warming Looking for a great Public Health movie? Well, check out "An Inconvenient Truth" that follows Al Gore around the world, as he expounds on the effects of global warming, which is no longer just an idea, but a reality. Remember last year's hurricane season (See 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season )? Did you know that you need an ocean temperature of 95 degrees to ferment a hurricane? And, how many hurricanes did we have last year??? Here's the NOAA map for the 2005 Atlantic season:
NOAA Map in PDF format
I don't know about you, but we have been having awful weather in the northeast US for quite some time. I don't ever remember having downpours of 3-4 inches of rain at a time, but we have had at least 5 such episodes, after a spring we thought would leave us with drought conditions. I think the climate is trying to tell us something, what do you think?
June 24, 2006 - Who are you? Tell me! I am attempting to add back the polls I have suddenly lost in early May from this Web site. It will take time (see graphic below...) as I can only create one new poll a day. The "Who are you?" poll is back on my Home Page , compliments of Globalguestpoll.com. As visitors vote, I will once again report the results on the Poll Stats Page . Thanks for your patience....
June 23, 2006 - Web site maintenance... (Thanks, Doris!!)
June 15, 2006 - Let's create a survey... How many times have you had to do that to collect data? Incredibly, it is more common than you would think. Unfortunately, many survey instruments are awful, which means the data collected are just as awful. And, regardless of how talented you may be in statistical analysis, there is no way to really compensate for a poorly designed survey. Researchers find this out fairly quickly, or along the way, when they think they have completed their data collection only to find data quality, or the lack thereof, has more impact on their work than anything else.
A fantastic research article, "A catalog of biases in questionnaires," was recently noted on a CDC listserv about this article, and I must say this is truly a useful guide to what you should watch out for when developing a survey instrument. Though it won't replace the need to really study survey research methods (Check my Annotated Survey Bibliography ), it will at least help you to develop an appreciation of the art of survey design needed to practice good science. You can find a link to this article on my Research Resources Page
June 11, 2006 - Summer, Summer I have decided to start this quarter a little early.
June 7, 2006 - NBC Dateline: To Catch a Predator Not a TV watcher, I have to say that this series is serious TV, a show that is performing a service to society by exposing and catching online perverts. Unfortunately, this is a fact of life these days, sick men preying on young boys and girls. If we care for our children, we should know what they are doing because they are too young to understand the implications of their actions. It is also sad that the Internet is being misused by such criminals.
June 7, 2006 - Web site Maintanence Update First off, thanks for your patience. The May Web statistics are up, amazingly. I am still trying to fix all the dead graphic links that resulted from developing that graphic subdirectory. While I am doing this, I had to remove the majority of my Web polls because the sponsor just went kaput. Yep, not one word of warning about his permanent hike to oblivion. And, with the ending of another school year, I had to remove all the old syllabi, and other related pages. Then, I discovered that my tracking company's switchover to a new system finally took hold in recent months. After comparing the two systems I discovered that my monthly stats since the beginning of the year has resulted in an undercount of over 7,000 hits!!! To add back all these hits I had to do a statistical adjustment so I could proportionately allocate these hits to the 280+ pages on this site. I certainly was not going to go back and recount 6 months' worth of pages. This may sound tedious to you, and, in fact, it was tedious to correct this. Nevertheless, I wanted to let you know that I am serious about maintaining this site and do try my best to be as accurate as humanly possible. Ah, that's the rub - human...
June 6, 2006 - Health Literacy There was a time we couldn't get the information we felt we needed to make informed decisions. These days, it's more like too much information. Actually, not all of what is referred to as information is really information. What we really need is some discriminating eyeballing of the massive data now at our fingertips. Being able to use the interpreted data (information) is basically what health literacy is all about. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has recently set up a great Webpage that consolidates what they have available about health literacy. Check out their page, which can be found on my Health Care Quality Issues Page , under "Health Literacy" along with other links on this hot topic.
May 26, 2006 - Valuing Donated Goods Are you cleaning out your closets? This annual exercise is a good time to give away what you haven't used for ages, things that others may be able to use. There is also a nice incentive, a tax deduction for donated goods. I've compiled 7 links to sites that will help you determine how much things are valued, for tax purposes. You can find these links on my Cool and Useful Sites, under Money - Giving (Yes, I just about cover everything that I think is useful....)
May 21, 2006 - How to create 1120+ deadlinks in a matter of minutes Unfortunately, it is very easy to do this just by creating a new subdirectory. When I first started working in the Geocities domain, it did not have subdirectory capability, so all my files were in one directory. This eventually caused a major clutter problem, which was solved when Geocities allowed for subdirectories. I was going to this do a little at a time, but found that taking the drastic approach was really the best way. So, I just moved all the graphics to a subdirectory all at once. Of course, I shouldn't have started this while class was coming to an end, but it had to be done, especially when I found that the sponsor for most of the Web site polls went out of business at the beginning of this month, and I had to take these polls off, and another year of PHENOM was coming to an end. It was like killing a whole flock of birds all at once (not literally, of course) ....
It was fun and easy to move like a hundred files with a couple of clicks, but the aftermath of having to fix 280 webpages, each with at least 4 deadlinks (though many had about 6 - 10 deadlinks), was horrendous. It took 2 weeks to fix all the main graphic links (while grading final exams), and not the minor ones, which I will fix along the way. Once again, all pages on this Web site are accessible. Do visit often, and thanks for your patience.
May 7, 2006 - Spring Cleaning Please excuse the appearance of some of pages, I am moving the graphics to a subdirectory, and I have to look into the polls - I think the company went out of business... (so, what else is new?)
May 4, 2006 - Disgusting Statistics "Most tested positive for skin organisms, including coagulase-negative staphylococci (100%), diphtheroids (80%), Micrococcus species (72%), Bacillus species (64%), and nonfermentative Gram-negative rods (36%)." [http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/531019?sssdmh=dm1.191382&src=nldne] What was tested? Twenty-five computer keyboards from one healthcare system. This confirms my suspicion that keyboards (and the mice) used in public places (like libraries, school computer labs, kiosks, etc.) are probably the most neglected sources of infectious disease. A few years back, I became grossly ill from contracting some bug. My only physical contact that day was using a computer in a university computer lab. Do you know of anyone who washes their hands before, much less after they use a computer?
Since then, I have observed how people using public computers were constantly rubbing their noses, picking on pimples, eating food (although this has been banned in many places, thank goodness. I used to see people nosh on gooey, sticky stuff, then look around for something to wipe their hands on, and when there was no tissue, would lick their fingers and then proceed to use the mouse and keyboard [this is really eeuww]), touching numerous objects, etc. I am sure that the keyboards are hardly cleaned the way they should be cleaned to prevent harboring organisms and spreading disease. This particular hospital study suggested that keyboards should be disinfected daily. Not a bad suggestion. Of course, handwashing with soap and water, before and after computer use wouldn't hurt either.
April 27, 2006 - Clinical Depression Did you know clinical depression affects 19 million people a year? While there is effective treatment available, those who are clinically depressed may not know they are and miss the opportunity to get better. I thought that depression was important to have its own section. You can find 16 links to depression self-assessment tools and resources under Mental Health on my Public Health Sites M - N Page
April 21, 2006 - America's Diabetes Health Guide Diabetes is a growing epidemic, fueled by another epidemic - obesity. Lifestyle changes that help to keep your weight down, blood pressure and cholesterol low will delay the development of diabetes. This super guide will help those who have diabetes to track what they need to do to keep the disease under control. You can find a link to this wonderful guide on my Diabetes Resources on the Net Page.
April 17, 2006 - Prevention is key... I just finished reading a great book by Dr. J. Abramson, Overdo$ed America. The Broken Promise of American Medicine. Read my review on the Annotated Great Books Bibliography, and then read the book yourself. It will be worth your while.
Of the many pearls offered by this book, Abramson offers a list of preventive practices that cuts to the heart of good health, and summarizes what Public Health is really all about. (pp. 238 - 239)
- Avoid tobacco
- Exercise moderately for at least 30 minutes or more on most days, engaging in activities such as brisk walking, biking, or gardening
- Consumer alcohol in moderation, if at all
- Eat a healthy diet
- Cut down on red meat in favor of chicken, fish (fatty fish once a week), and vegetable proteins
- Eat at least a pound of vegetables and fruits every day
- Limit salt to less than a teaspoon a day
- Cut down on sugar
- For cooking, use vegetable oils (i.e., canola and olive oil)
- Minimize intake of saturated fats and cholesterol
- Consume less than 2% of calories in trans fat (partially hydrogenated oil found in margarines, baked goods, cookies, crackers, candy bars, and breakfast cereals). None is optimal
- Keep your body mass index (BMI) from going over 25
- Use seat belts and bike helmets. Don't drink and drive. Work with your community to discourage those most at risk - ages 16 to 25
- Don't engage in unsafe sex
April 13, 2006 - Statistics Meta-search Engines I love one-stop Web sites! I try to be one for Public Health professionals, and I hope I am somewhat accomplishing my mission. WELL, I think I have come across two goldmines with StateMaster.com and NationMaster.com! Here are two Web sites that will provide you with virtually any kind of statistic you are looking for. StateMaster.com will compare U.S. states on hundreds of parameters - anything you can think of, easily accessible with an extremely easy-to-use drop-down menu interface. You can find links to this site on my US Federal Government Stats Page and my Evaluation Resources Page . NationMaster.com does the same thing, comparing countries on hundreds of parameters! You can find a link to this site on the US Federal Government Stats Page. Check these sites out and see how your state and/or country stack up against all the others. Of course, these Web sites are excellent resources for Public Health professionals of any persuasion.
April 7, 2006 - Health Insurance Medicare is such a great health plan for many, especially those over 65. But, I bet very few know what kind of health services it provides. Check out "The Guide to Medicare Preventive Services for Physicians, Providers, Suppliers, and Other Health Care Professionals" that provides info on coverage, coding, billing, and reimbursement. You can find a link to this great resource on my Healthcare Resources on the Net Page.
A recently released report from the California Healthcare Foundation, "Health Care Costs 101" provides an excellent overview of the status of health insurance in the U.S. There is definitely something wrong with the U.S. health care system. For sure, someone is making lots of money while millions are going without. For sure, we need some serious dialogue about what people are paying for in health insurance premiums, and the kinds of services they are getting. I am sure health insurance companies are not losing anything while the millions who are uninsured are being denied access to essential health services. Given that health insurance these days are tied to employment, what happens to the thousands who are losing their jobs and can't find another job? The economic downturn that followed the 9/11 tragedy, which resulted in thousands taking early retirement with health benefits then losing these benefits because companies can no longer afford to pay for retirees, is not good. There is no recourse, and I am guessing this trend will continue.
Finally, we probably need to re-evaluate what our expectations are for health services. The latest, newest, and extremely expensive therapies are not necessarily the best for what ail us. According to Dr. Abramson, the 30% of health care activity that is commercially driven have no demonstrable health benefits (Overdo$ed America, p. 51). Get informed and check the link to this report (and other health insurance reports) on my Public Health Documents & Reports , under Health Insurance.
March 20, 2006 - Spring Already? I started the second quarter a little bit earlier, but not as early as I would like. Anyway, the 2005 Blog is completed, and the 2006 Blog now includes all the newsworthy stuff since January 1st. I just finished cleaning off 124 dead links, once again. This seems like a neverending task, just like the Web is changes endlessly. I wonder if the Web will remodel itself every 7 years like our skeletal structure does...
February 17, 2006 - Managing Misinformation. While the World Wide Web offers a cornocopia of information, it has unfortunately fallen prey to hackers, phishers and unsavory elements of every shape and size. When knowledge was treated as a prized possession during the middle ages, we must now be cyberspace farmers who must separate the chaff from the wheat. Fortunately, there are a number of Web sites offering to do just that. I recently came across hoax-slayer.com, which offers a free monthly newsletter about the latest E-mail hoaxes and current internet scams. You can find a link to this site, and other similar sites on my Useful Sites for Day-to-Day Activities , under Debunking Hoaxes and Myths.... I've about had enough spam from rich Nigerian professionals and foreign lotteries that are looking to share their untold wealth with me.
February 5, 2006 - Health Promotion Resource. The National Cancer Institute has released an updated version of a wonderful resource called, "Theory at a Glance - A Guide to Health Promotion Practice." Here are 60 pages worth reading, providing you with the theoretical bases for what you should be doing in the most popular Public Health approach to addressing issues - Health Promotion. You will find a link to this on my Health Education Resources Page , another one of the more popular pages...
February 4, 2006 - Wikis - what's that? The latest craze are wikis. Definition - "A wiki (derived from the Hawaiian term for quick) is essentially a small piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit Web content using any Web browser and no other special tools. Or, in one simpler description, a wiki is "the simplest online database that could possibly work." No HTML or programming knowledge is needed to contribute to a wiki." (http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,1072779,00.asp). You can find a link on my Techie Page to Pbwiki, a site at which you can claim you own little piece of cyber-estate on the Web...
February 3, 2006 - Electronics, Briefly After being dazzled, for decades, by the wondrous inventions of electronically-talented minds, I am wondering if we haven't lost something along the way. Check out the watches you can buy these days. Not only do they tell time, they are multitasking, even as I write. Casio's Pathfinder can give you a barometric reading, altitude, temperature, compass reading (for the directionally challenged), serve as a stopwatch or timer, as well as give you time and date. There is a 70-page manual to help you set all the faces. Too bad you can't tile these faces so you get a virtual feel of a jet cockpit while you're at it. Then again, I do remember a time when getting a wristwatch was a must-have on my short wishlist when I was 12. I didn't need a manual. After all, there was only one knob to set the time for the hour and minute hands when pulled out, and to wind up the watch when pushed in.
Just last week I was totally floored by my new cell phone. I dreaded this moment because I finally felt comfortable using the old one for several years. The battery could no longer hold a charge and it was cheaper to replace the phone than get a new battery (Repair shops - who has ever heard of such places today?). Basically, it took me days to make a call. I no longer knew anybody's phone number by heart (like I used to, pre-cell phone days, nor, does it really matter, since it's not unusual for people to have at least 3 numbers - work, home and cell), and had to retrieve all the numbers off the old phone and re-enter them into this new thing, which was not intuitive to use at all. Come to think of it, nothing electronic is intuitive anymore.
There was, of course, the 170-page manual. While the new phone had super features, like I can actually type text messages with my thumbs (my 8th-grade typing teacher would die, if she hasn't already), I was wondering if I really needed the wonderful feature of the phone's ability to store 600 numbers. What I found absolutely cool was being able to give a different ring to any call made by people I know. Of course, when the phone started ringing, I had forgotten which ring I gave to whom. So much for cell phones.
The last piece of electronics I wanted to give an "Andy-rooney" treatment to is the computer, which has become an appliance, that, too, has become a multitasking machine of sorts. You can do about anything on the computer these days that you once probably needed at least 10 "appliances" to perform. You can listen to music, watch music videos, watch movies, write letters, do your finances, create a presentation or greeting cards, get online, send E-mails, burn CDs, DVDs, bla, bla, bla.
Every 6 months, a slew of new models come out, which immediately renders your computer obsolete. Each new series promise a controlled environment, right out of the box - completely idiot-proof (remember idiot boxes?). Each new operating system supports software that acts like a cancer cell. Once you install a software program onto to your computer, what does it do? It disseminates bits and pieces all over your hard drive, into numerous directories and subdirectories, with ambiguous file names that defy matchup to the software that spawn them. Delete one of these files and you will never be able to start your computer again. Try and remove a software program and you will know what I'm talking about. Oh, I miss the days of DOS!!!
Because of this sick system, end-users (that's us, folks) are virtually at the mercy of every computer tech around. We can no longer touch anything without doing further damage. Of course, bailing out any system will cost you many $$$$$, so it's much cheaper just to get another computer....
(One time I came across a computer quirk that I tried to fix (couldn't save files to the A drive). I reviewed 200 responses on 7 different computer forums from people having the same problem. There were at least 40 different solutions from 25 people who had different computer makes and models (not to mention a WIDE range of grammatical and spelling interpretations I didn't know existed in the English language). I eventually found the solution from a self-professed geek who found the answer on Microsoft's Web site, posted on one of its technical support pages. Did Microsoft ever thought of sharing that with the rest of us, or put the fix into one of its service packs??? Duh.)
It is somewhat ironic that such a wondrous work of electronics comes with NO printed manual, out of the box, since it's pre-installed on your hard drive, just like all the software that comes with the computer. Your computer dies, and there is no hope you will ever revive it (without the help of your friendly computer tech). And, for such an airtight system of technology, it is somewhat ironic that it succumbs so readily to numerous viruses, malware, spyware, what-have-you (Public Health, we need you...).
January 9, 2006 - Cell phones. Cell phones are ubiquitous, but that doesn't mean we should not be aware of the potential hazards of radiation exposure. Amazingly, radiation levels vary from phone to phone, and how far away you keep the phone can make a difference. Check out the 10 links I have added to my Useful Sites Page , under the new section - Cell Phones.
January 4, 2006 - Is it me? As I'm conducting my periodic maintanence of cleaning out dead links (before school starts again), I was sad to see PHRP fold. It was doing some good work. Here is the notice: "Welcome and thank you for your interest in the Partnership for Human Research Protection, Inc. (PHRP). As of November 15, 2005, the Partnership for Human Research Protection, Inc. was dissolved.
While PHRP, Inc. has been dissolved, the Accreditation status of the organizations remain in effect and valid." (http://www.phrp.org/). Think about this for a moment...
January 4, 2006 -
January is National Mentoring Month!!! I am pleased that mentoring is being honored for a whole month, the first month of the year! One of my passions in life is to pave the way for those who follow. This means sharing what we know with those who would like to learn from those who have gone before. I believe that this is one way we can truly give of ourselves, by providing information, encouragement, and insight. I felt this to be so important that I started up a volunteer mentoring program thirteen years ago, when I finished graduate school. As we were embarking on our professional paths, I thought it would be great to share the joys and pitfalls with those seeking to join us in the glorious field of Public Health!
Over the years, 93 public health professionals have come forward to share their professional lives and passions with those who want to know more about the field and what it's like to work in Public Health, by being part of the Public Health Expertise Network of Mentors (PHENOM).
Since 2002, this program has been on the Net, and to date, there have been over 7,400 hits to the PHENOM Directory . Find out more about the program on the PHENOM Program Description Page . Check out where the visitors are coming from on the PHENOM Stats Page. Last, but not least, read what people have to say about their mentoring contacts on the PHENOM Mentoring Comments Page . And, take the time this month to thank someone who played a significant role in your life by being your mentor....
January 1, 2006 -
Happy New Year!!!!
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Published on the Web: December 23, 2005; Renamed December 24, 2009; Blog links added 12/31/11 R89
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