Saturday, May 31, 2008

McCain blissfully ignorant on Health Care Issues

McCains healt care plan
John McCain believes that the private sector can provide health care sufficiently for all Americans.

Ideally, I would love for that to be true. Unfortunately, most companies are in the money making business without regard for the clients they serve.

One can only conclude that John McCain is either...

1) not in touch or blissfully ignorant of our growing healthcare issues in America

2) he just doesn't care about our health (survival of the richest doctrine) or..

3) he is protecting big business moguls following the example of many other republicans (survival of the richest doctrine)

One of the obvious problems is that McCain's plan will allow insurance companies to cross state lines, which means that they could move their home office into states that have weak consumer protection laws, which translates into fewer services provided with increasing premiums.

However, the insurance companies will increase their profits, which is in keeping with the survival of the richest doctrine.

Currently, 44 states have protection laws in place, forcing insurance companies to provide such things as emergency room care. Deregulation of these state laws will result in higher premiums for less medical care.

State protections that could be overridden by insurance companies who move their home office into states without consumer protection provisions include:


  • Emergency Room Care (currently required by 44 states)
  • Direct Access to OB/GYN (44 states)
  • Diabetes (47 States)
  • Colorectal Cancer Screening (23 States)
  • Mental Health Parity (45 States)
  • Post-Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction (33 States)
  • Off-Label Prescription Drug Use (36 States)
  • Chiropractors (46 states)
  • Clinical Trials (20 States) [US Newswire, 10/11/2007]


In 2006, fewer than half of all small businesses offered health care coverage to their employees; and overall, the percentage of all employers who offer coverage to employees dropped more than 9 percent, from 69% in 2000 to 59.7% in 2006.
View report by KFF.org (pdf file)

McCain’s Plan Does Nothing to Control Escalating Health Care Costs – and Could Make Costs Increase According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, insurance premiums rose 78 percent between 2000 and 2006.

During that same time period, wages only rose 19 percent. But John McCain’s plan does nothing to stop the cost of health care from continuing to rise out of control.

[Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research and Educational Trust, Employer Health Benefits 2007 Annual Survey]


Read the full report (pdf file)

Find out how your state ranks in providing health care for children. View the state rankings here. All states are visible.

Americans for Health Care Site


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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Free Slide Presentation Software

My daughter is a junior in high school and she has been working on two projects, both of which required Power Point Presentations in addition to the written papers, logs and reports. We have been using a demo or trial copy of Office 2007 and we were on our last permission to use it yesterday. No problem, we'll just leave the software running so we can finish tomorrow, right? Wrong.

During the night, my updates or virus software which are scheduled for about 3am, and I'm not sure which one did it, but one of them rebooted the computer.

In case you didn't know, once the program expires you can't even copy anything out of it. You can look at them, but you can't do anything with them. Since we left the project open, we couldn't burn it to a cd either.

So tonight, I was feverishly searching for slide presentation software in the open source arena or a trial version, but I couldn't find one without watermarks. Then I saw Google Docs in the search results.

I thought Google Docs was all about word processing documents and spreadsheets, but I was wrong.

Google Docs can also create ppt files, which is the same as a power point presentation - HOORAY! You can save it to your hard drive too.

It also creates a link so you can have others view the presentation online, and you can create a presentation to embed in your website or blog. How cool is that?

Did I mention that all of this is FREE?

You can also save your documents as a pdf file, and then attach them to an email. You can create spreadsheets too.

This is such a valuable tool for students and teachers.

It's also a collaboration tool, if you need to have several people working on the same file. Editing the files is much easier that power point too.

It even keeps a history of each edit.

You could even use it to store files that you need when you're away from your computer, or use it to store important files as a backup option.

You could create a presentation for your service or product to share with others, or you could keep your service contracts there so you could print them out when you need them, from anyone's computer! No more lagging that laptop around, your files are online thanks to Google Docs.

Try it, it's easy to use, and it's FREE!

http://docs.google.com



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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Vonage Reviews Requested

My brother has been using Vonage for about 4 months and he is happy with it. One of his favorite features is that he can add a number from a different area code to allow his clients to dial a local number. Pretty cool feature, and it's only a few dollars extra, around $5, I think (don't quote me).

I'm interested in getting some feedback about Vonage because I am trying to cut back on expenses and the land line telephone bill is just ridiculous. My daughter has a cell phone for her personal calls, but I still need a number where I can be reached - a home phone number.

C/Net reports that Vonage is back on the upswing, after a little slackness during which time customers were reporting poor quality.

Vonage is also entering into the broadband business, which should make things better.

The new service, called Vonage Broadband, will offer speeds of 3 megabits per second to 6 Mbps to residential and small-business customers. It will allow Vonage to bundle its Internet telephony services with broadband services. Until now, customers using Vonage would get their own broadband service from a cable company or phone company and then add the Vonage service on top.


If you use Vonage, are you happy with it?

Read the full story here.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Suggestion for a Sign

Sign over a Gynecologist's Office:
"Dr. Jones, at your cervix."

In a Podiatrist's office:
"Time wounds all heels."

On a Septic Tank Truck in Oregon:
Yesterday's Meals on Wheels

On another Septic Tank Truck:
"We're #1 in the #2 business"

At a Proctologist's door:
"To expedite your visit, please back in."

On a Plumber's truck:
"We repair what your husband fixed."

On another Plumber's truck:
"Don't sleep with a drip. Call your plumber.."

On a Church's Billboard:
"7 days without God makes one weak."

At a Tire Shop in Milwaukee:
"Invite us to your next blowout."

On a Plastic Surgeon's Office door:
"Hello. Can we pick your nose?"

At a Towing company:
"We don't charge an arm and a leg. We want tows."

On an Electrician's truck:
"Let us remove your shorts."

In a Nonsmoking Area:
"If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action."

On a Maternity Room door:
"Push. Push. Push."

At an Optometrist's Office :
"If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place."

On a Taxidermist's window:
"We really know our stuff."

On a Fence:
"Salesmen welcome! Dog food is expensive!"

At a Car Dealership:
"The best way to get back on your feet - miss a car payment."

Outside a Muffler Shop:
"No appointment necessary. We hear you coming."

In a Veterinarian's waiting room:
"Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!"

At the Electric Company :
"We would be delighted if you send in your payment.
However, if you don't, you will be."

In a Restaurant window:
"Don't stand there and be hungry, Come on in and get fed up."

In the front yard of a Funeral Home:
"Drive carefully. We'll wait."

At a Propane Filling Station ,
"Thank heaven for little grills."

And don't forget the sign at a Chicago Radiator Shop:
"Best place in town to take a leak."

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Firefox and Opera

The blogosphere is teeming with interesting blogs. I knew that. But, Entrecard and other blog networking sites such as BlogCatalog and MyBlogLog have enabled me to actually find some really interesting blogs.

Problem is, I've been spending so much time READING blogs that I haven't been POSTING.

One of the problems I have come across is the freezing of my browser. This happens when I come across a blog with more widgets and gadgets than content. It happens, believe me.

The good thing about using the Firefox browser is that I can just click on the big red X at the top of the window, and ouila!, the busy blog stops dead in its tracks yet continues to load the textual content. Three cheers for Firefox!

Other browsers just get stuck, frozen in la-la land and force you to end the task via the Ctrl+Alt+Delete window. Not a good thing.

Yes I have DSL, but my poor computer is 8 years old, but still running great! I have Windows XP and an ok hard drive, but my ram is sorely lacking which prevents me from running all of those danged gadgets everyone loves.

I have used IE, Maxthon, SlimPeak, Opera and Firefox. Firefox is my first choice, but my daughter prefers Opera, so we use them both.

Opera doesn't have Roboform as a plugin (Firefox does), but it does save passwords. If you enjoy tabbed browsing, these two are the best. They both have cool right-click features that allow you to share and blog from the site you are viewing. Firefox has a separate Scribefire plugin that loads in the bottom half of your screen for easy posting to Blogger.

Opera had a "Speed Dial" interface (page) that allows you to choose your favorite sites and then just load the page and click on the desired site. It's quicker than bookmarks, which is why my daughter loves it.

There are loads of plugins for both browsers, but I don't have time to go through all of them. Suffice it to say that I think both are at the top of the list of the best all around browsers.

You can get Firefox here - it's free.


Download Opera here - also free.


As you can also see below, I use a really small, really cool technorati tag generator that's also free. I guess I love gadgets too. *grin*

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Blogging Friends Around the World

An experiment - what will happen if bloggers start a friendship train?

Thanks to YennyGirl we're about to find out.

Note: Depending on your blogging platform, you may need to click "View" at the top of your browser window, then "Source" to properly copy and paste the code into your blog. Otherwise, you'll just have blog titles without the url, and that would defeat the purpose.

Friendship around the world



Rules:

1. Copy code from http://yennygirl.com/?p=1896.

2. Add your blog to the bottom of the list. Feel free to add all your blogs. Just make sure to post this to each of the blogs you added in the list.

3. Tag other online friends you know. You don't need to be tagged in order to join. If you want to join just post this one in your blog.

4. Let me know your blog’s name and url by leaving me a comment HERE. I will add you to the master list. That way, everyone is happy and can meet new friends too!

5. Come back once in a while to get the master list! Let's see how this makes our Technorati and PR go up! :D

6. DO NOT REMOVE THIS: scrap page made by Yen. Using alphas and tapes from Kate H., flowers from Ida,paper by Catrine.


Have fun and let me know when you’re done so that I can add you in the master’s list ;-)



1. Me and Mine 2.Creative In Me 3.Little Peanut 4. Pea in a Pod 5. Sugar Magnolias 6.Because Life Is Fun 7. Piece o’Kaje 8. Mon a Bric 9. Celebrate Life 10.My Journey11. Deeply In Love 12. Pink and Brown Diaries 13. Happyheart 14. Wilstop 15. Fun|Fierce|Fab 16. Nita’s Random Thoughts 17. Nita’s Corner 18. Thomas Web Links 19. Thomas Travel Tales 20. Make Money Online 21. Great Finds and Deals 22. PRC Board Exam Results 24. My Wandering Thoughts 25. Nita’s Ramblings 26. Just Me.. Eds 27. Etc Atbp 28. When Silence Speaks 29. Juliana’s Lair 30. Juliana’s World 31. Juliana’s Library 32. Blessed Chic 33. Can of Thoughts 34. Hailey’s Domain 35. Hailey’s Beats and Bits 36. ISL family 37. Arbitrary Thoughts 38. D’ Cooking Mudra 39. My Big Picture 40. Dancing in Midlife Tune 41. Blessings In Life 42. My Colorful World 43. Dare to Blog 44. Life Realities 45. WebGeek Journal DotNet 46. WebGeek Journal 47. Let’s Travel Philippines 49. MY DAILY THOUGHTS AND MOODS 50. A Sweet Taste Of Life 51. My Life in this Wonderful World! 52. Denz Techtronics 53. Denz Recreational 54. Surviving Deplyoment 55. Ester’s Raptured Dreams 56. Nipa Hut 57.Picture Clusters 58. My Wanderings 59.Maiylah’s Snippets 60. EuLehKulit 61. Life Quest 61.Being a wife. Being a Mom. 62. MoMie SPace 63.Woman Xplore 64. PinayWAHM 65. Agring’s Simply Digital 66. Agring’s Home & Garden 67. Agring’s Homecooking & Baking 68. Agring’s Electronics & Entertainments 69. Scrap Addict Sundays 70. Mommy Talks 71. Aggie Scraps 72.Teacher’s Corner 73. My Drift 74. lancernews 75. My so called Life 76. See Me for what You Will… 77. kathycot.com 78. buhaymisis.com 79. All about Mye life 80. Everything has a Reason 81. Life’s Impression 82. Some Thoughts I have 83. Life’s Lessons 84. Just Let Go 85. Pieces Of Me 86. Winding Creek Circle 87. BOTH SIDES NOW 88. Happy Life 89. Blessed Sanctuary 90.Confessions of an Army Life 91. moms….. check nyo 92. Mommy’s Little Corner 93. Wanna Be SuperModel 94. Gandacious 95. Jo-Jo’s Place 96.My Quiet Zone 97. Proud PINAY 98. Simply Jen 99. Jenny Said So 100. A Slice of Life 101. My Blog 102. TIP OF AN ICEBERG 103. Coffee Cup Princess 104. Deranged Insanity 105. Just Another Day 106. Stev & Emz Journey 107.Runaway THoughts of Emz 108. Heart of Rachel 109. Nora’s Notes 110. In the Life Of Mne 111. In my Kitchen 112. Nyumix’s Blog 113. Everything’s Here 114.Out of Nowhere 115. My Simple World 116. Seek Health. Feel Great 117. Smile Puppies 118. Almanacqueen 119. The Life of an Outback Pinay 120. Dancing With Butterflies 121. My Treasures 122. Everything Green 123. 124. Memoirs of a Filipina 125. The Pit Gadgetry! 126. My Daily Life Experience 127. Married and Happy About It 128. My Discoveries 129. iCreate+iDeas 130. My Healthy Living Journal 131. Busy Moms Cook 132. Christian Weekends 133. Reflexes 134. Caramel Corn 135. Sunny Side Up Foodie 136. A Mothers Horizon 137. Bits and Pieces 138. Whats Up! 139. Simply Me 140. Life and Me 141. A Handful of Surprises 142. Anything and Everything in Between 143. from here and beyond 144. The Nameless Blog 145. Exploring Asia 146. Malaya 147. Swan Portraits 148. BUSYNESSWORLD 149. Sprawt 150. Thinking Consciously? 151. BLOGSILOG 152. Cherry’s Comfort Zone 153. DigiScrapz: Captured Memories 154. Buzzy Me 155. Thinking Out Loud 156. Wishing and Hoping 157. Jobs for Davao 158. Jobs for Cebu 159. Filipino Jobs Abroad 160. PRC Board Exam Results 161. Nakedminds 162. Personal 163. Interesting 164. squeeshies 165. Shenzee’s World 166. Geekyology 167. Swanportraits 168. Rumination Under the Clouds 169. In My Home by Ria aka Msculit 170. It’s my Party (and I’ll cry if I want to…) by Ria aka Msculit 171. Malaya 172. Cheese: Jherson84 173. Beans: Jherson 174. EP Treasures 175. Republic of A 176. Nora’s Family Treasures 177. Points of View (Discussion Blog) 178. Gala Tayo! 179. Lucky Peso 180. Buhay Pinoy 181. Pinay Mommy’s Love Blog 182. MOMEMO 183. OnlineBiz and Resources 184. Lourdes’ Mia 185. Pinay Mommy’s DigiScrap and Musings in Life 186. Pinay Mommy Online 187. ‘nna 188. My Sweet Escape 189. The Next Chapter 190. Painted Life 191. Petty Ramblings of a Petty Queen 192. The Real Deal 193. My Beautiful Life 194. Berry Blog 195. A Tsinay Blog 196. A Celebration of Life 197. My love.mylife.my everything. 198. Gamay and Dako Adventures 199. Ester’s Daily Thoughts 200. Choc Mint Girl 201. I AM KCAT 202. RanZ-Goodies"> 203. Surviving the Circus of Life 204. YOUR BLOG HERE!




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Friday, May 23, 2008

Entrecard bloggers are great

Entrecard is a social network of bloggers who "drop" by member blogs and help promote each other, while also reading some great blogs and making new friends.

I just joined a few days ago and am literally amazed at all the great blogs I have discovered. I have found myself participating more by posting comments on other blog posts and subscribing to my favorite ones so I don't miss anything.

Once you join (free), you can link up ALL of your blogs and create a 125 by 125 pixel card that promotes your blog titles. Then you just copy the snippet of code and paste it into your blog template. The easy add-a-blog feature makes it simple to switch between blogs and you can keep track of your "droppers" by selecting your Inbox.

When another Entrecard member visits your blog, they just click on the "Drop" button and you earn credits for advertising your own blog. Once you click the "drop" it changes to "Thanks" which I think is cute *grin*. Blog owners cannot advertise on your blog without your approval, which is another great feature.

Download the free pdf ebook explaining Entrecard here.


It's a great service!

Just click here to join us!



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Why we aren't safe in America

the face of bioterrorism
Browsing through blogs today I stumbled on the National Review Online and read an article by William J. Bennett & Brian T. Kennedy about "Securing the Future" of America.

The article outlined 10 recommendations for the next president as a national-security policy for 2009.

Some of the recommendations were literally shocking. Not because they were outrageous, but because it is barely believable that these points are not already being implemented.

America has some huge safety issues that need to be addressed.

My question is why haven't they been addressed?

For instance:

MILITARY SPENDING


I was shocked to find out how little we are spending on the military, especially when compared to previous times of war.


Today, we spend less than 4 percent of our GDP on the military. That number pales in comparison to peacetime military spending in other eras. In 1961, for example, GDP spending on military was over 9 percent. In 1971, it was over 7 percent. In 1981, it was over 5 percent and reached as high as 6.2 percent during the decade. We advocate a military spending budget that is at least as high as it was in the 1980s and that our military be rebuilt based on the wide array of threats that we face now and into the future.



PREVENTING MISSILE ATTACKS


Equally stunning was the fact that we are not equipped to handle missile attacks by destroying the missile before it hits us. Today's technology can create such devices, but we are only taking very small steps toward this much needed defense. This topic has been debated for the past two decades, and yet it still hasn't happened.

We can achieve this goal within three years with a financial commitment of under $30 billion per year, as outlined by the Independent Working Group on Missile Defense.


Maybe the powers that be are betting that whenever we are faced with this problem, the missile will not land in their backyard. I guess it would be a good way to control the population too. Or maybe they haven't attacked the issue whole heartedly because some Americans might criticize them for spending the money when we have never had a missile attack on our soil. But some things are bound to happen and it doesn't take a missile scientist to bet on it happening sooner rather than later.

GIVING AID TO COUNTRIES THAT ARE NOT FULL ALLIES

This one wasn't so surprising. Saudi Arabia is at the top of the list. Another good point was to encourage our citizens to not invest in countries who are not loyal to us. Seems like a no-brainer to most of us, but the rich just want to keep getting richer.


PROTECTION AGAINST BIOLOGICAL WARFARE


Giant steps should be taken to provide antidotes and treatments for all known methods of biological and chemical warfare. Then a system should be in place to distribute such treatments in case of an emergency.


There are other recommendations that are also important, but the ones above seemed to be the most severe and yet the easiest to remedy if we would just "DO IT." Let me say again, for those of you who might not know me, I am an independent voter and do not align myself with any party. I look at the individual, not the party, because when things go wrong and they certainly do go wrong, it is the President who takes the blame, not the party he/she represents. Matter of fact, I don't think the party system works, at all.

God Bless America!

Read the full article here.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Women living in their car

One day, when I'm rich, I want to have a boarding house for abandoned wives. I have a real heart for them because I am one of them. Too many of these ladies are ending up homeless through no fault of their own. I realize that marriage is two way street, but it's a dead end street for women when a husband just walks out without notice and without an ounce of effort because he wants a newer version.

CNN did a spot a few days ago interviewing a couple of ladies who are living in their cars. These are not dead beat women, they work, but it's not enough to live on.

It's quite interesting to me how America either isn't aware or doesn't care how many people are being forced into homelessness these days.

Every time I see a clip like this, I thank God that I am not that person, yet.

The sad truth is that I, and many more like me, am barely hanging on. I owe so much money I can't even begin to contemplate how I will ever be able to pay it back.

Meanwhile, life goes on and we seem to manage one day at a time. I am thankful to still have my humble abode, which is in dire need of repairs.

Full story at CNN.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Join Moms at Home Group


There's a new group for Moms that is just getting started over at LilaGuide.com, a place for real parents and local advice on the best pediatricians, clothing suppliers, photographers, and much more.



Looking for advice?


Want to share your expertise on one of the many and varied parenting issues?

Then this is the place for you!

Great new place for Moms who WAH or just SAH to talk about anything you'd like. Thinking about becoming a SAH or WAH mom? We've got tips and a helping hand when you need it. We'll cover work at home companes, Great Blogs written by moms for even more tips and even places on the web where you can make a few extra dollars. Join Now and get in on the fun.


Join me and Nessa (the brain behind the group who is offering a contest for new members) at Lilaguide!


Click Here to Join!

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Make People like you

Six ways to make people like you


  1. Become genuinely interested in other people.

  2. Smile.

  3. Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

  5. Talk in terms of the other person's interests.

  6. Make the other person feel important - and do it sincerely.


Believe that you will succeed, and you will.
Dale Carnegie, 1888-1955

MOre on Dale Carnegie - Click here.


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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Trashy Handbags, the newest fashion trend

Recycling is great, especially when the recycled products make the original producer of the product just a wee bit angry.

Apparently Target stores didn't like the use of their logo on the handbags, but who cares? Target and their legal department care so much that they have forced the handbag designer to remove all bags with their logo, which is copyrighted material. Not to mention that it kind of "hurts" their reputation to be throwing away so many plastic bags just because they didn't quite turn out right.

You can see a picture of the offending handbag using the CNN.com link below. I decided not to post it here - don't want to infringe on any copyrights.

American companies produce 7.6 BILLION tons of waste each year.

During the past four years, Ecoist said, it has sold more than 100,000 accessories created by its designers in Peru and Miami, Florida. The bags -- some of them one-of-a-kind -- are priced from about $30 for smaller versions to about $180 for larger ones.


Full Story at CNN.com

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Friday, May 16, 2008

New Treatments for Depression

depression
This first new treatment for depression is still in trials, but if you're desperate, you might can get into a clinical trial. It sounds too risky to me, but only time will tell.

Option 1 requires surgery.
Option 2 uses magnets
Option 3 also requires surgery and is approved by the FDA
Option 4 is the once dreaded electroconvulsive therapy

These treatments are for those who have seen no improvement using traditional antidepressant medications.


1) deep brain stimulation.

It's sort of like a pacemaker for the brain. It requires two surgeries to implant the device.

Researchers theorize that certain regions deep within the brain influence mood and depression. They believe that the areas associated with depression may be overactive in certain people. Sending electrical impulses to these areas may "reset" them to normal functioning, researchers speculate.


Who may benefit from deep brain stimulation

Because deep brain stimulation is experimental, it's available only through participation in clinical trials. In addition, because of the risks involved, its use is limited to people who have severe, debilitating depression that has not improved with other treatments. Talk to your doctor to see if it may be an option for you.


Full story at the Mayo Clinic website.


2) transcranial magnetic stimulation

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an experimental procedure that uses magnetic fields to alter brain activity.

There are different ways to perform the procedure. But in general, a large electromagnetic coil is held against your scalp near your forehead, often on the left side. An electric current creates a magnetic pulse, or field, that travels through your skull. The magnetic pulse causes small electrical currents in your brain. Those currents stimulate nerve cells in the region of your brain involved in mood regulation and depression.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation doesn't involve surgery, and you require no anesthesia. You also don't need to be hospitalized. Transcranial magnetic stimulation can be done on an outpatient basis in a doctor's office or clinic that's running a clinical trial for the procedure.

During transcranial magnetic stimulation, the magnetic coil is held against your head while electric current is switched on and off. You may feel a slight tapping or knocking sensation on your head. Although transcranial magnetic stimulation is generally painless, it may cause the muscles of your scalp or jaw to contract. The procedure lasts about a half-hour.


Full Story at the Mayo Clinic


3) Vagus nerve stimulation (approved by the FDA)

With vagus nerve stimulation, a device called a pulse generator is surgically implanted in the upper left side of your chest. The device is about the size of a stopwatch. A lead wire is connected to the pulse generator. The lead wire is guided under your skin from your chest up to your neck, where it's attached to the left vagus nerve.

Electrical signals travel from the pulse generator, through the lead wire and to the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve delivers those signals to the brain. But precisely how stimulation of the vagus nerve may improve depression remains unknown. Research indicates that vagus nerve stimulation alters the functioning of brain areas involved in mood regulation and depression.

The pulse generator can be programmed to deliver electrical impulses to the nerve at various durations, frequencies and currents. Stimulation typically lasts for 30 seconds and occurs every five minutes. The device is meant to be a permanent implant. It runs on battery power. The stimulation doesn't typically cause any sensations in your body.


Full story at Mayo Clinic


4) Electroconvulsive Therapy

Yeah, just like in the movies. It's a lot safer than it was years ago, but it still seems like an eerie procedure to me.

Many people begin to notice an improvement in their symptoms after two or three treatments with electroconvulsive therapy. Full improvement may take longer, though. Response to antidepressant medications, in comparison, can take several weeks or more.

No one knows for certain how ECT helps treat severe depression or other mental illnesses. What is known, though, is that many chemical aspects of brain function are altered during and after seizure activity. Researchers theorize that when ECT is administered on a regular basis, these chemical changes build upon one another, somehow reducing symptoms of severe depression or other mental illnesses.

That's why electroconvulsive therapy is most effective with multiple treatments. Most people who receive ECT have treatments three times a week, usually for two to four weeks. ECT is effective in about 80 percent of people who receive the full course.

Even after your symptoms improve, you likely will need ongoing treatment to prevent a recurrence. That ongoing treatment doesn't have to be ECT, but it can be. This ongoing treatment is known as maintenance treatment. It may include antidepressants or other psychiatric medications or psychotherapy.


Full Story at Mayo Clinic

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The Rich ARE Getting Richer

I've been saying it for a long time, but now the statistics are proving it to be true. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It's a trend that has been developing for decades.

So how does American feel about it?

So what should be done about income disparity? In an April Gallup poll, 68% of respondents said wealth "should be more evenly distributed" in the U.S. — the highest percentage saying so since Gallup started asking the question in 1984. A smaller majority, 51%, agreed that "heavy taxes on the rich" were needed.


Reference... the full story...

How the Next President Should Fix the Economy - TIME:

INCOME -$991

THE OTHER 99% OF AMERICA COULD REALLY USE A RAISE

If you feel as if you've been going backward, you haven't been imagining it. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median American family made $58,407 in 2006. That's $991 less, when you adjust for inflation, than the median in 2000, and indications are that things haven't gotten any better in 2007 or this year.

Recessions — like the one in 2001 and the one we might be in now — always reduce incomes. The problem since 2000 is that even when the economy was growing, the fruits of that growth landed almost exclusively in the pockets of the wealthiest Americans. According to economists Thomas Piketty and Emanuel Saez, 75% of all income gains from 2002 to '06 went to the top 1% — households making more than $382,600 a year.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ants won't die!

This is getting weird - ants that won't die!

An exterminator said the ants are getting easier and easier to find, but are impossible to get rid of.

Crazy Rasberry ants eat fire ants and like to suck the sweet juices from plants, feed on such beneficial insects as ladybugs, and eat the hatchlings of a small, endangered type of grouse known as the Attwater prairie chicken.

They also bite humans, though not with a stinger like fire ants.

The Texas Department of Agriculture is working with A&M researchers and the Environmental Protection Agency on how to stop the ants.



Full Story: New Type Of Ants Invade Pearland - Houston News Story - KPRC Houston

CSN Webcast (Shoutcast mp3)

Listen to some of the best Bible teachers online from CSN International. My favorite is Jon Courson.

CSN Radio Webcast (Shoutcast mp3)

Friday, May 09, 2008

Torturing the poor in America

torturing the poor
Have you ever noticed that our society in the USA is a society favoring the wealthy and torturing - or at the very least, tormenting, the poor?

Think about it. Those who cannot afford to pay their utility bills on time, but have to wait for the next paycheck, usually end up paying exorbitant late fees. Even worse, their utilities can be cut off, costing them a reconnect fee. So, the poorest in America end up spending MORE for utilities than the wealthy.

Is this fair?

If this is fair and right, then I guess maybe Hillary and Obama are correct to want to ban payday loan companies.

Why help the poor keep their lights on?

After all, they DO have other options...

1) They can try to float a check, in other words, write a bad check and pay the bank's insufficient fund fees. Of course, some of them don't even have checking accounts and even if they do, the bank will catch on sooner or later and start allowing the checks to bounce.

2) They can let the lights get cut off and have to pay a reconnect fee. Their kids can't take a hot bath for a few days, but who cares?

And ummm.... I guess that's it, there are no other options.

Get real politicians. Poor people would rather pay the interest fees and KEEP their utilities ON!

They tried this in the state of Georgia.. and here's what happened...

The study found that bounced-check fees grew by $36 million and Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings rose by almost 9 percent in Georgia after payday lending was banned. What's worse: Bouncing checks and wrecking your credit rating, or paying a lender $15 for a $100 advance on your paycheck?


Full Story at CSM

Friday, May 02, 2008

Government Assistance

The Federal Government has programs to help certain individuals and groups, but many people do not know how to access them, which is why the grant books are so popular. I have not purchased or seen a copy of the grant book, but I have found the government website for these programs which details the qualifications and the contact information for applying for help.

Here are just a few of the programs available...

Supplemental Security Income
Social Security Disability
Pension to Veterans Surviving Spouses, and Children
Crop Disaster
Livestock Assistance
Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program

The table of contents will lead you to each program, an explanation of the program, the qualifications to be a recipient of the program, and instructions for applying for each program.

Here's the link, and if that doesn't work, try the home page at CFDA.gov and look to the left "Features" menu and click on "Types of Assistance," then click on letter "D" (Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use).

If you're looking for a federal grant, try http://www.grants.gov/

Learn how to develop and write a grant proposal (provided freely by the government) - click here.

For more info, see Barbara Cubin's website, currently the Republican congresswoman from Wyoming. Thanks to her for this information.

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