I’m so old that my grown children had to actually explain texting to me when I got my new cellphone. As a longtime writer, my keyboard speed is impressive, but as a texter, I’m dismally slow with my thumbs. For any of you Boomers who share this challenge, here are a few shortcuts to help boost your texting speed: Continue reading
Did you know that your medical treatment may depend on where you live? It even has a name: doctors call it “practice variation”. A new U.S. study suggests, for example, that a person living in St. Cloud, Minnesota is twice as likely to undergo invasive back surgery as a patient with a virtually identical diagnosis living in Rochester. There are a number of reasons for this strange disparity, but one might be that Rochester is the home of the non-profit Mayo Clinic, where surgeons are paid a salary. No matter how many surgeries they do, they earn the same paycheque. But other physicians elsewhere who are paid per surgery may be inclined to do more surgeries.
Such “practice variation” is not just seen at Mayo. Medicare patients in Fort Myers, Florida, are more than twice as likely to receive hip replacement surgeries compared to their counterparts across the Everglades in Miami, according to Dartmouth Health Atlas researchers in April 2010. Continue reading
I remember the first time I tried a chilled bottle of lemonade-and-vodka at a backyard barbecue for our running group many summers ago. Fantastic! It was such a hot afternoon, I had another icy cold one immediately after the first. I may have had a couple more, in fact – they were that good. And, best of all, they didn’t even taste like real alcohol! Now a recent study* published in the January 2012 issue of the American Journal of Public Health investigates the sophisticated public relations and marketing strategies that industry is using to re-make the image of distilled spirits like my lemonade-and-vodka to specifically target underage drinkers. Continue reading
Before I start, a plea: don’t shoot the messenger. A study* reported in the journal Personality and Individual Differences last month has suggested that there’s a direct link between the number of friends you have on Facebook and the degree to which you qualify as a “socially disruptive” narcissist. Just for the record, in a previous 2010 study on college students, narcissism was explained as “a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration and an exaggerated sense of self-importance.”
Study participants who scored highly on something called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory questionnaire apparently had more friends on Facebook, tagged themselves more often, and updated their status and profile pictures more frequently. The research comes amid “increasing evidence that self-absorbed young people are becoming increasingly obsessed with self-image and shallow friendships.” I’m just saying . . . Continue reading