How did you find me?

Out of morbid curiosity, I every once in a while look at which search terms people use to find this site. Here are some of the results.

h4. Most popular searches
* Unbelievable photos
* Random topics
* Virginity for sale
* Barak Obama (though this has abated, for obvious reasons, since the election)
* Getting high legally

h4. Other searches
* No name calling week
* High school sex (I hope searchers are not expecting to find a porn site)
* A collection of yoga searches: _pincha mayurasana_, anyone

I hope you enjoy getting high legally. It takes more time and effort than purchasing and taking drugs, but it is safer and has the potential to be much more rewarding. I’ve commented on the other popular searches “here.”:http://www.ibiblio.org/smiley/blog/pivot/entry.php?id=74

If you’re one of the yoga searchers, well, why don’t you leave a comment with some good yoga links? I hope you find my ramblings useful.

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Electronic medical records

So Bush is wanting “medical record keeping to be updated to the 21st century.”:http://www.wral.com/health/3243106/detail.html Fine. Electronic medical records have great potential:
* Joe wants to get high by using Oxycontin. He goes to 5 different doctors complaining of intense pain. Electronic records could prevent this, as doctor number 2 sees that Joe already has a month supply.
* Say I get in a car wreck in California. Trauma doctors can easily see that I have a history of penecillin allergy, and choose another antibiotic instead, potentially avoiding a fatal reaction.

However, it’s the following scenario that concerns me.

bq. Fred gets laid off, and, before his health insurance expires, decides to go in for a physical. The doctor gives him a clean bill of health, but, instead of coding 43 for “Clean bill of health,” the assistant codes 443 for “metastatic lung cancer.” He goes to a few job interviews, and prospects look good. But he gets mysterious dismissal letters: “Thank you for your time. Our position has been filled.” Not even a “resume is on file,” etc.

bq. One year and fifty failed interviews later, Fred is depressed and broke. He sells his house and moves in with his brother. There, on a Friday afternoon, he stubs his toe so hard it breaks and has to go to the doctor. The doctor pulls up his record, gets a funny look on his face, looks at Fred, looks back at the computer, and asks Joe what he has been doing for his cancer. Fred emphatically states that he does not have cancer, but the doctor orders a biopsy. Fred’s sister-in-law comes in, holds his hand, and says that it’s ok to talk about his cancer. His brother says that they’ll help cover the cost of the biopsy, which, because Fred has been out of work and can’t afford health insurance, he’ll have to pay out of pocket. Two weeks later, again on a Friday afternoon, the biopsy results are negative and everybody breaths a sigh of relief. The doctor’s assistant issues a correction. Of course, Fred could have told you that two weeks before.

bq. With renewed vigor, Fred interviews for jobs again, but still gets rejected. Because the correction went in on a Friday afternoon and the government clerk left early that day, the medical record never got approved and changed. But Fred, not knowing that, starts thinking that he’s unemployable, goes to live on the streets, takes up smoking, and eventually dies of — you guessed it — metastatic lung cancer.

Somehow, I don’t think that electronic medical records are going to solve all the problems that Bush says they will.

I have a question

How do you lose “$9 Billion”:http://www.wral.com/news/4145414/detail.html?

Stumbling Merck struck again

A federal court has “dealt another serious blow”:http://www.wral.com/health/4141067/detail.html to Merck. Not only did they withdraw their largest moneymaker due to serious side effects, they lose a patent on another big moneymaker. I don’t know the circumstances, but let’s just say I’m glad I’m not working for Merck right now.

Firing people for lifestyle choices

One healthcare benefits company is taking an aggressive stance toward healthier lifestyle choices:
* It has “fired”:http://www.wral.com/news/4125477/detail.html employees who refuse to submit to a smoking test (and presumably who smoke during off-hours)
* It is “strongly encouraging”:http://www.wral.com/health/4134754/detail.html its obese employees to go through diet and exercise programs (including monetary incentives to join health clubs and meeting goals)

I have a few comments on this. At first, I thought it was nobody’s business what employees do after hours. However, this is never true. As an employer, I would be suspicious of the employee who works at a competitor after hours. Selling trade secrets or exposing confidential client information is never ok anytime. Contacting clients outside of work is odd behavior. The point is that the employee isn’t completely free of consequences from the employer for off-hours behavior. Apparently, we are further exploring where to draw the line.

Second, related to the first, is that employment is a contract between the employee and employer. Employment is contingent on the integrity of that contract, and our economy is dependent on the maintenance of the contract process. No one has a right to work at any particular company in such a way that supercedes the contract process. Federal and state laws do restrict what may be put into those contracts (hours worked, nondiscrimination, etc.), but still recognizes that employment is a contract process. And, since smoking is a lifestyle choice despite its addictive qualities, I think it is reasonable for a company to expect its smoking employees to at least be going through a process to quit smoking. It looks like the company gave its employees sufficient notice. I don’t know if they provided smoking cessation support.

I say as long as the policy is based on behavior, it’s ok. I don’t think such a company as Weyco is right for everybody, but hey, there are more companies out there that will probably allow smoking even on the job.

I wonder how the 14 or so who quit smoking between the announcement and enforcement of the policy feel.

Om – a cure for blood pressure woes

This “study”:http://www.wral.com/health/4134400/detail.html suggests that meditation practice is highly effective in reducing blood pressure. I view this as a confirmation of what I already knew.

My blood pressure used to be 140/90 — high enough to warrant blood pressure medication. However, after some lifestyle changes including meditation and a rich yoga practice, I’m down to 116/79. I still lead a relatively sedentary lifestyle.

When sex is torture

Bits an pieces of a report have come out about how female soldiers and civilian contractors have used “sex as a torture tactic”:http://www.wral.com/news/4136414/detail.html at Guantanamo.

Nothing really to say except just shake my head. And I really think we’ll be seeing those men who were “tortured by prostitutes” again, probably driving car/plane bombs.