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Homegrown Democrat quote 1

The top 1% holds nearly half of the financial wealth, the greatest concentration of wealth of any industrialized nation, more concentrated than at any time since the Depression. In 1980, on average, CEOs earned 42 times the salary of the average worker, and these days they earn about 476 times that salary. Since 1980, the rich have been getting richer fast and furiously and hard-working people in the middle are sliding down the greasy slope who never imagined this could happen to them. The concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few is the death knell of democracy. No republic in the history of humankind has survived this. The election of 2004 will say something about what happens to ours. The omens are not good.

That's a quote from p. 20 of Homegrown Democrat: A Few Plain Thoughts From the Heart of America by Garrison Keillor.  I read it during our get-away trip to the UP.  Get yourself a copy or ask to borrow mine.


Headphones exacerbate hearing loss

A friend at work gave me his ipod, and now I hardly ever listen anything but podcasts (This Week in Tech, Diggnation, Slate, ESPN radio, Science Friday, Security Now!, etc.).

So I can relate to the trend that is exacerbating hearing loss: "It's a different level of use than we've seen in the past," says Robert Novak, director of clinical education in audiology at Purdue University in Indiana. "It's becoming more of a full-day listening experience, as opposed to just when you're jogging."

African childbirth deaths

This requires action.

It's old news, but I was shocked when I read it recently.  African women are 175 times more likely to die in childbirth than women from western nations and have a 1 in 16 chance of dying in childbirth.  Since many women deliver alone or with unskilled attendants, so better access to skilled health care workers and emergency care are required.

Chance of death in childbirth and pregnancy:

  • Sierra Leone, Afghanistan: one in six
  • Angola, Malawi, Niger: one in seven
  • Nepal: one in 24
  • Pakistan: one in 31
  • India: one in 48
  • Malaysia: one in 660
  • China: one in 830
  • US: one in 2,500
  • South Korea: one in 2,800
  • Britain: one in 3,300
  • Japan: one in 6,000
  • Sweden: one in 29,800

Trip to See Elijah

The Moores took a road trip this weekend to visit Eli and the rest of the Sullivans weekend.  Elliot also got new shoes and some "orthotics" to help him with his "twinkle-toes" habit.  You can see them in the third picture below (of Matt and Elliot playing video games - Elliot's favorite activity when visiting the Sullivans). 

Hand Sanitizer Gel Works

According to a study of 292 Greater Boston families, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer gel significantly reduces the spread of gastrointestinal infections in the home.

"Although handwashing with soap and water is effective in reducing the spread of most infections, it requires access to a sink. In addition, there is evidence that rotavirus, the most common GI infection in the child-care setting, is not removed effectively by soap and water but is reliably killed by alcohol."

Alcohol based gels may be preferable to chemical-based anitmicrobial soaps that may lead to bacterial resistance.



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