Category Archives: Uncategorized

One of My Favorite Paragraphs from Being Mortal

Atul Gawande has received appropriate praise for his new book. Read it if you haven’t. Meanwhile, here is one of my favorite paragraphs from the book, to whet your appetites: Even as our bones and teeth soften, the rest of … Continue reading

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The Hepatitis C Epidemic in One Picture

Hepatitis C has been in the news lately, because of amazing (and amazingly expensive) new treatments that promise to cure their life-threatening illness. While we ought to debate the expense of these treatments, we should also remind ourselves of how … Continue reading

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Great Writing through Analogy

Every once in a while on my blog, I like to highlight great writing. In part, I guess, because my own writing has yet to rise to such a level. Anyways, here’s Robert Ballard in the Smithsonian trying to help … Continue reading

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Why We Cannot Trust Political Pundits, or Ourselves

Take a look at the image below and decide what you are seeing: Some of you might have seen a “B.” Others might have seen the number 13. The image, after all, is ambiguous. For that reason, in fact, it … Continue reading

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Tobacco is Taking Over the World!

We’ve done a lot of things in the United States over the last few decades to curb tobacco consumption. We’ve warned people cigarettes will kill them, created persuasive ad campaigns to scare people away from cigarettes, and added a hefty … Continue reading

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Heart-Wrenching Words from Beethoven on Deafness

It is an awful irony that Ludwig van Beethoven, who I consider the greatest composer in the history of the world, experienced deafness from an early age, a disability that did not seem to interfere with his musical productivity one … Continue reading

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Clever Graphic to Stop Public Urination – Yes, Urination

Let’s face it – us men are disgusting. So public policy experts are left to figure out how to keep us from behaving in our normally disgusting manner. Here’s one approach (thanks to Geoff Riley for bringing it to my … Continue reading

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Are Some Life Saving Treatments Overkill?

Thanks to the popularity of medical television shows, most people have witnessed hundreds of fictional cardiac arrests in their lifetime. In most of these scenes, the patient loses consciousness, and the medical team rushes to the bedside: “He’s in V-fib.” … Continue reading

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Health Insurance Prices Declining under Obamacare

One year does not a trend make, but it does look like prices for health insurance under Obamacare next year will decline, on average. Ezra Klein, over at Vox.com, produced a nice picture of these prices: Who knows: in the … Continue reading

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Power of Analogy

From time to time in this blog, I take a moment to celebrate fine writing. Here is an example I came across in an article in Smithsonian magazine from May 2014. The author, Corey Powell , was trying to explain how astronomers … Continue reading

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