this week i

respect dan savage's efforts to speak positively to young folks questioning their sexuality.

watched this eye-opening lecture about social network statistics and the power of computational social science.  epidemics, not just the bad ones, can be forecast.

attacked the new medicare advantage data.  we're updating this report detailing how the privatized medicare market has changed in the past year.

caught bobby parker at madam's organ.

had some pretty good shwarma at the antiochian greek festival.
noticed that kff is now a landmark.


(1) how dormitory life matches our social evolutionary need

(2) tea party people.  "obama's election was our pearl harbor.  we were now living in the third reich: the first two reichs were fdr's new deal and lbj's great society."

(3) "i prefer the edge: the place where countries, communities, allegiances, affinities, and roots bump uncomfortably up against one another"

(4) small-scale philanthropy "it is morally irrelevant whether someone who needs help is right in front of you or halfway around the world."

(5) physics education "science owes at least as much to its experimenters as to its theorists"

(6) reforms to stop prison rape "since 1980 the murder rate inside prisons has fallen more than 90 percent, which should give pause to those inclined to think that prisons are impossible to reform."

(7) john edwards behind the scenes "when rielle hunter arrives at a hospital in california to give birth to john edwards's child, it turns out she has no insurance at all."

(8) storytelling the superorganism "ants are a metaphor for men, and men for ants..wars among ants are like mini-epics"

(9) health reform and capitalism "lobbying is one business that appears to be 'recession proof.'"

(10) berlusconi's italy "ranked 84th out of 128 in the world economic forum's 2007 index of gender equality"

(11) corporeal labor "for the first few days i alternated between scrubbing diesel boilers and throwing up in the teeth of a north sea blizzard"

(12) a generation of courtship "clinton and blair-no less than bush, gore, brown, and so many others of my generation-are still married to their first serious date."

(13) a year and a half after the tarp "if banks don't lend when they get bailed out..what is the purpose of the bailout?"

(14) questioning the legality of movement within the european union


this week i

posted this snapshot detailing how employers' offers of health insurance vary by wage, industry, hours worked, and how a recession changes the game.

celebrated mexico's 200th.

immersed in fireworks.

ate famous desserts in front of famous buildings..

..freshly made, of course.

adore mexican fashion.

stood at attention.

lived on street food for a few days.

dressed up.

blocked the sun.

downed a quick snack..

..before the parade.

waved to the girls.

missed the memo to build your own periscope. most of these had a 'telescoping' feature, tambien.

snapped some photos.

shared the view.

stood en pointe to glimpse..
golden bazookas

fun. no two ways about it.


femmes fatales

accompanying airshows

camouflage for colorblind adversaries

checker-shaven horses' asses

would like to tell you why a mexican celebration is as good as any..
revelers unwittingly embolden literacy campaigns

families display reverence for their elders with redi-whip squirt guns

even the street urchins appear well-fed

regal fountains discreetly cloak marbled genetalia

wisps of deliciousness float near semi-broken cotton-candy machines

chicks dig confetti clinging to the scalp

all flags require an army-sized dismantling

a leash and a wrestling mask for your child can be bought at one convenient location

..and street performers garner the attention they deserve.

don't understand everything, but it's beautiful anyways. and hey, they have bikeshare.

agree with woody allen that 80% of success in life is just showing up.

read the spirit catches you and you fall down, a hipaa-violating story about immigrant cultural conflict with western medicine.

what is a good doctor?

hmong epileptics often become shamans

ten-year-old girls have had to translate discussions of whether or not a dying family member should be resuscitated..sometimes not even a child is available..i asked one doctor what he did in such cases. he said, 'practice veterinary medicine.'

if you want to know what a five-minute seizure is like, go stick your head in a bucket of water for five minutes and take some deep breaths.

'parents may be free to become martyrs themselves,' wrote justice robert jackson in a 1943 supreme court decision. 'but it does not follow that they are free, in identical circumstances, to make martyrs of their children.'

consensual reality is better than facts

the hmong have a phrase..which means that the truth will eventually come to light. literally, it means 'feces will be excreted.'


this week i

published a revision to our medicare advantage quality ratings paper, with county maps à la nathan yau.

am grateful that the quickest trip from northern somalia to brooklyn includes an ethiopia-dc nonstop, meaning i got to cook emma some sushi before the last leg of her trip home.

was stunned to find my coworkers' study featured in the onion.

spent friday, saturday, sunday, monday, and tuesday night in front of this.

usually like nate silver, but not right now.


this week i

released the toplines from our survey of disabled medicare beneficiaries.

summarize the problem with my field: health is boring when you have it but excruciating when you don't.

intend to spend one third of my life learning. doing. teaching.

touched down in little rock, conquered the ozarks - the full 900 miles.

can't tell you how proud i am to work for this foundation.

drove through the forest.

found a somewhat ironic farmer's market.

stood in line. had the best crepe ever. in bentonville, arkansas?

saw some new and different roadkill..

..and roadside decor.

hit the arkansan blues scene.

took a shortcut or two.

pulled into the carroll county fair. exactly what you'd expect of a northern a.r. county fair, which is to say, amazing.

walked across the white river.

toured a beautiful mountain cave, reminiscent of gaudi's sagrada familia.

found a truck stop gas station casino + tribal police in oklahoma..

..+ native american campaigning.

bought a snow cone at the powwow.

treaded lightly over the indian burial ground.

ducked through eureka springs, home of the original passion of the christ. part biker haven, part art colony.

drove historic route 66.

joined the fisherfolk on the roaring river..

..too bad they had to drag their dinners through the algae near the shore.

think it's clear from the abundance of almost-new, for sale & abandoned buildings that our society has overbuilt.

crossed paths with campers near diamond city, bull shoals dam, & norfork dam.

stopped for some fish hatcheries.

visited a ghost town.

discovered forested river mountain scenes like these everywhere i went.

tried watching tv, couldn't watch tv.

wish the ambulance station where i worked during college had similar lawn decor to the emergency responders' in galena, kansas.

drove home. to the airport, at least.

repeat. kill your cell phone.

ate some crabs on my apartment floor.

see that they banned smoking in greece.

support our troops by not burning the koran.

laughed out loud at mitch hedberg.

is a hippopotamus a hippopotamus or just a really cool opotamus?

i got a business card because i want to win some lunches. my card says, "mitch hedberg. potential lunch winner."

i feel that ducks' opinion of me is very much influenced over whether or not i have bread.