Daily Reads

Thursday, September 11, 2003

And you *really* want a British style health system?

If you want to read something rather horrifying go here: 90 week wait for a hearing test

I hate to think what would have happened to my two daughters with their ear infections, and hearing loss due to fluid buildup if we had been stuck with a system like this. The probably results would have been permanent hearing loss for both of them, due to the scarring from numerous ruptured ear drums, considerable pain for many years, and serious educational delays. And my youngest probably would never learn to speak properly (she has a developmental delay in her ability to control some of the muscles of the tongue, and at 5 1/2 (and with 3 years of speech therapy) she is still over a year behind where she ought to be in her ability to make various sounds.

I know that these year-plus delays are for non-urgent cases, but I doubt that it's really that much better for anything except an actual true emergency. Chronic infections will probably get you in to see the doctor faster than a general "dullness" in one ear, but there's still going to be a long wait. I recall reading recently (in Lancet?) about a cardiac catheterization and stenting which, due to a 6 month wait from the original imaging study, resulted in the death of the patient. His other arteries had developed severe blockages in the months between the original angiography and the procedure. If the procedure had been performed within a week or two of the study this would not have occured. Our system has its problems, but delays which kill the patients aren't one of them.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Strange place to find Saudi propaganda

Tonight as I was removing the umpteen pounds of spam from my mailbox, I found one of those free gift offers. It was a fairly small item, and something that I might be interested in depending on how much the shipping and handling for the "free" item is. So I went through their several screens of offers, happily checking no on all of them, and then, at the last screen before the "Choose your gift" section I was presented with this:


Welcome! Take advantage of these special offers.1. Select your offer(s), complete all required fields, then click "Submit".2. Otherwise, click "No Thanks".

The Investment U E-Letter: {snip} More Info

Sign up for FoolWatch Weekly, a FREE Investment Newsletter from The Motley Fool. {snip} More Info

Get a Tasty Schwan's Dinner for {snip} More Info

TRY AOL 1,045 HOURS FREE FOR 45 DAYS - {snip} More Info

Get over $30 in organic E-Coupons!{snip} More Info

VeriSign Secure Site Solutions {snip} More Info

PC World’s Daily Computer News {snip} More Info

Lose Weight Now at the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - {snip} More Info

History Is Fun!Take hold of America's beginnings in two centuries with 1 ticket to Jamestown Settlement & the
Yorktown Victory Center. {snip} More Info

Learn about Saudi Arabia's fight against terrorism.How is Saudi Arabia fighting terrorism? How are they partnering
with The US? Receive FREE email updates that answer these questions and provide other official updates and
public statements from the Saudi Embassy. You can unsubscribe at any time. More Info

Expect the future. Get WIRED: {snip} More Info

Register to Win a One-Week Vacation Rental!{snip} More Info

I agree with the Terms And Conditions


They must be getting pretty worried about their image if they're resorting to this.

Monday, July 28, 2003

Slow day

Today's been very slow, probably because it's July, and too hot inside given the decrepitude of our A/C. I haven't seen anyone in over 2 hours up here.

I've spent the day doing some ILLs, which allow me to play with my new scanner, and getting up the gumption to do some cataloging.

Cataloging is probably the most universally unliked part of librarianship. I actually think it's fun, but then I've never been normal either. I was one of those who thought the library school fundraiser T-shirt with a "Top-10 reasons to become a librarian" was funny. Especially the "I love to alphabetize" entry.

It's pretty easy most of the time too. Much cataloging has already been done by the Library of Congress or (in my field) the National Library of Medicine, and you can download the stuff straight off the web. But you have to double check all of it, because sometimes what they've done is just .. weird.

One of the current batch of books is on medical statistics. "How to report medical statistics" to be precise. NLM thinks it should go under "History of Medicine", subsection "Medical writing and publishing. Historiography."


I've recataloged it into "Public Health" (not the best place, but closer than history, and the only section with statistics as a subsection), "Statistics and surveys", further breakdown to "Theory or methods of medical statistics". This just seems a more natural place to put a "how-to" book on this subject, not to mention that in my small collection, I want to keep all the stuff on a given subject together. That's how my patrons search for it.

So it's time for my afternoon snack, and to download some more catalog records while checking them for sanity....

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Thoughts on date rape

Finally got to reading Critical Mass yesterday and saw the post from Friday on date rape Ireland meets campus PC. Back many years ago, I read an historical novel by Dorothy Dunnett, which had portions of the old Irish Brehon law as chapter headings. One of the portions she used dealt with just this subject. If I understood it right, sex at a planned encounter was never rape, because the woman had agreed to it by making the assignation and then showing up. If the encounter is not the result of a previous arrangement then the sex is legal until the woman screams. If she doesn't scream, she can't go back later and say it was rape, just as today, it's not rape (supposedly) until one party says "No". The difference is that with the requirement of a scream, the law is saying that to say "No" one must say it is such a a way that a reasonable third party would agree that it was indeed a "No". Seems pretty simple and elegant to me.

If anyone out there knows more about Brehon law than I do (not that that would be difficult) please let me know if I've got it wrong!

Monday, July 21, 2003

More humor, (sort of legal)

Another cute piece of legalese, though not a legit opinion. Courtesy of Overlawyered:


Read carefully, and at the end click the "I do not agree" link.

Friday, July 18, 2003

Legal humor

For those who need a good chuckle on Friday morning, two legitimate legal opinions.

Hyperphase vs. Microsoft

Bradshaw vs. Unity Marine Corporation, Inc.

I especially would like to meet the judge who wrote the latter opinion. Overlawyered's description of SOP to the contrary, this fellow didn't turn in his sense of humor when he sat his LSAT.