Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Affordable Healthcare in Rhode Island

A group of Rhode Island doctors have decided to combat the rising costs of primary healthcare with their HealthAccessRI plan. HealthAccessRI is a monthly subscription service to a primary care physician for “‘less than the cost of a cell phone, less than the cost of cable TV, less than the cost of high-speed Internet,’” according to founding doctor Michael Fine. Fine and a group of likeminded doctors have setup a system that allows for affordable doctor visits without insurance or government involvement.

HealthAccessRI solely covers access to primary care physicians and does not cover other things such as hospital stays, x-rays, or other more serious procedures. Arguing that these are the things that should be covered by the insurance companies Dr. James M. Schwartz contends:
Today’s health-care financing perverts the original concept of insurance, which was supposed to pay for catastrophes, he says. “No auto insurance sells you a plan that covers oil changes and tune-ups,” he says. The current system has also harmed primary care, Schwartz argues, by paying doctors per visit, making it financially difficult to give patients the attention they need. HealthAccessRI gives doctors a steady, predictable income to cover predictable costs.

I think that HealthAccessRI is an interesting experiment that requires further investigation. I would love to have the option to pay for such a service while holding a significantly cheaper health insurance policy which would be reserved primarily for catastrophes and things other than primary care.
You can read the full article here.
Also posted on Marketing College
& Living Large on Less

Monday, January 28, 2008

Inclement Weather Alert

The University of Washington Bothell has canceled all classes and suspended operations for Monday, January 28. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors should not be on campus until this suspension is lifted. This message will be updated as conditions change. Please check back for updates.

As you can clearly see from the picture of my front yard, there is so much snow on the ground that school officials have decided that it is too dangerous to risk our lives by attempting to travel to/from school. This is only annoying because I woke up early to finish a paper before my first class. Since there is no class (due to snow) I have an extra 3 hours to get it done and email it to the prof.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Today’s Idiot is Brought to You by the Letter “D”

Technically last Thursday’s idiot… a congresswoman in the US House of Representatives, Democrat Representative Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, was attending a hearing where the committee was interviewing Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Unfortunately for her, she thought they were interviewing Treasury Secretary Paulson. This lead to some questions thought to be unusual until she started asking about his roll in a former job, where Bernanke pointed out that she was confusing him with the Treasury Secretary. Oops.

Read the whole story here if you wish.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Most Popular Vehicles of 2007

Despite the record gas prices, Americans still prefer their trucks with Ford’s F-series taking the #1 spot for the 26th straight year.

1. Ford F-series – 650,589

2. Chevy Silverado – 618,257

3. Toyota Camry – 473,108

4. Honda Accord – 388,826

5. Toyota Matrix – 371,390

6. Dodge Ram – 358,295

7. Chevrolet Impala – 311,128

8. Honda Civic – 298,520

9. Nissan Altima – 276,362

10. Honda CR-V – 219,160

With the exception of their trucks, Americans still prefer Asian-designed vehicles over domestic designs.

Source: The Detroit News

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Logitech Likes Me

A year and a half ago I bought a pair of wireless Logitech headphones for my mp3 player. After a few weeks the band managed to snap on them, which was a sad day as I had come to love these headphones. I tried to fix them but the fix didn’t last and they broke permanently with the wires snapping inside. I started shopping for a new pair and found the ipod version on eBay for around $35. These were the same except that they were white and grey instead of black, and they had a weird plug so that you could control the ipod through the buttons on the earpiece. Thankfully I have an adapter so that I can plug the little wireless transmitter into my Zen, making them even better than my previous pair since the colors better matched my player, plus the battery lasted a little bit longer.

This pair also broke on me shortly after buying them, but I successfully fixed them and they have lasted for quite a while now. Sadly, this pair too met a tragic end when I moved them out of harm’s way while I was arranging stuff by the downstairs TVs, only to have my sister sit on them and snap the band in a new place where I couldn’t fix them. Looking online I found that these models of headphones were notorious for having fragile headbands that would snap soon after they were opened. I emailed Logitech about them and they have decided to send me a new pair. Since the versions I had had too many band problems they were discontinued and replaced with a newer model that should be more comfortable to wear and much stronger with a spring-steel band instead of the brittle, plastic one. This version also sells for more than I paid for my first couple of pairs combined.

If these new headphones are as good as the reviews I’ve read I’ll be very happy. Here’s the link on them.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Something new

I'm currently in the process of building my first computer powered by an Intel processor. The goal was a sub-$200 machine good enough for Word and web surfing. The final cost will be about $214 after buying copies of Windows Vista Business and Office 2007. This computer is definately overpowered for this purpose with a 2ghz dual core Pentium, but underpowered in every other area. We went to Fry's and literally bought the cheapest components they had. I was shocked that the most expensive part was the $65 320GB hard drive. I was hoping for an 80 or 120GB drive like they sell in most of their computers, but they didn't have any for sale individually.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Still Won't Vote for Him

A news report today claims that Huckabee is trying to get votes from conservatives:

Mr. Huckabee, who won last week's Republican Iowa caucuses, promised Minuteman Project founder James Gilchrist that he would force a test case to the Supreme Court to challenge birthright citizenship, and would push Congress to pass a 28th Amendment to the Constitution to remove any doubt.

A: Thousands of constitutional amendments have been proposed for every one that actually gets ratified.

B: I don’t think a President has the power to tell the Supreme Court what cases it will hear.

C: A President doesn’t have the power to force the ratification of an amendment.

D: I don’t want a President that thinks he has that kind of power.

E: I don’t want a President as liberal as Huckabee, even if some of his campaign stuff is pretty funny.

Monday, January 07, 2008


If you can read this I should probably congratulate you on surviving 2007. Since my last post of substance we’ve had quite a lot of news:

A report by the United States Senate Committee on Environment & Public (a mouthful isn’t it?) about “global warming” gave a list of over 400 well respected climatologists and other scientists who decry the so-called consensus on the issue of “man-made global warming”. Many of these scientists were or are on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and disagreed with the findings. If you have a ton of free time and interest here’s a link to the report itself. It is over 160 pages long. Anyone who claims consensus on ANYTHING in science is obviously ignorant or lying. There’s never consensus on anything. Everything is constantly questioned and retested in new ways to create new theories. Scientists who disagree with the current models of gravity can present their hypotheses and receive funding to test their models with the latest tools to try to prove or disprove their original claims; this is how real science works. Scientists who disagree with the popular claims on “global warming” are shouted down and called puppets of the oil companies;
this is dogma.

The government has once again decided to get into my bedroom saying what I can and can’t use to illuminate it.  Incandescent light-bulbs with light outputs between 310 and 2600 lumens (so generally 40-150W) will be illegal to buy or sell starting 2014.  It doesn’t matter that there are incandescent bulbs that are 4x more efficient than standard bulbs; research funding is going to completely dry up for these new bulbs since they now have a very limited time before they’re made illegal too.  They want us to use the TOXIC compact fluorescent bulbs instead.  I refuse to use those because the color temperature is ugly, they rarely last more than a few months in my house before burning out, and they contain mercury vapor.  They claim you don’t have to worry though, since small quantities of mercury are only dangerous if inhaled.  Since this mercury is in vapor form is just scatters into the air…where it can be inhaled…
I think I should try calling the ACLU to ask them to fight to keep the government out of my bedroom when it comes to my illumination choices. They didn't do anything to protect my right to privacy in the bathroom when the government decided it could regulate how much water got flushed down the toilet so I really don't expect the ACLU to do anything to protect my liberties.