Archive for September 7th, 2006
Back when President Carter asked us all to conserve—and we did, saving millions and millions of barrels of oil—I turned my hot water heater down so that pure hot was just right for a shower. I also got a low-flow showerhead, which I’ve used ever since, bringing it along from domicile to domicile. I really like it, since it aerates the water and gives a very nice fine blast.
Out here, the tap water is rather smelly and has quite a bit of chlorine, so I also use a shower filter. (The one at the link comes without a showerhead—since presumably you’d use a showerhead like the above.) I reverse the filter every month and change it every two years. (It says to change once a year, but I’m the only person using the shower, and I use a low-flow showerhead, so I figure it’s good for two years.)
Thrifty and pleasant: that’s the way to go.
UPDATE: I’m pleased to report that the shower filter I use beat the field (along with one of equal effectiveness) in this review.
The Sunbeam Hot Shot, which brings a pint of water to the boil in about a minute, is in the kitchen now. I’ve changed the shave routine somewhat and no longer need it in the bathroom. So I’m dragging down my small teapot so I can enjoy a little pot of tea in the autumn afternoons. I have some very nice Lapsang Souchong that I got from QED, which sells tea as well as shaving supplies. But my best source of tea is Upton Tea Imports: great supplier.
The NY Times reports:
The Pentagon’s top uniformed lawyers took issue Thursday with a key part of a White House plan to prosecute terrorism detainees, telling Congress that limiting the suspects’ access to evidence could violate treaty obligations.
Their testimony to a House committee marked the latest time that military lawyers have publicly challenged Bush administration proposals to keep some evidence — such as classified information — from accused terrorists. In the past, some military officials have expressed concerns that if the U.S. adopts such standards, captured American troops might be treated the same way. Read the rest of this entry »
Driving home, I verified that the red stoplight on Foam at Reeside goes crazy for about 3 seconds after it turns red, flashing brightly in concentric circles. It definitely gets your attention. It’s the only one I’ve seen so far, but it seems like a good idea. This is one of the LED lights, which now seem to be the rule.
From the Marijuana Policy Project:
You know those anti-marijuana TV ads that feature outrageous scenarios like stoned teenagers driving over a little girl on a bicycle, one stoned teenager shooting another in his parents’ den, another stoned teenager date-raping another, and a teenager who gets pregnant because she smoked marijuana? A new independent report — commissioned by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — finds that the ads not only fail to reduce teen marijuana use, but in some cases actually increase teen marijuana use!
The White House drug czar — whose office runs those ads — is coming under heavy fire with the release of the report … which was kept under wraps for a year-and-a-half until the Marijuana Policy Project pushed for its release.
USA Today, The Washington Post, CNN, Fox News’ Web site, and newspapers around the country have all covered this damning new evidence of the drug czar’s failure. Read some of the coverage here.
Someone remarked today about the importance of patience and the difficulty of its practice. Impatience is not, I think, the same thing as impulsiveness. With impulsiveness, the issue of patience does not arise: one acts on impulse not because one is impatient but because one has poor impulse control. Controlling impulses is important, and developing that skill may require patience, but the two things—impulsiveness and impatience—are difference.
I see two ways of dealing with impatience. One is through a greater understanding of the process at hand, so that one understands the rate of progress to expect and also is able to see the signs of progress—to see that things are indeed happening.
Example: One wants to extinguish some particular bad behavior. Understanding how a change in behavior occurs helps one be more patient regarding progress: first you are unaware of the behavior at all; then you are aware of the behavior only as you look back; then you are aware of the behavior shortly after you do it; then you are aware of the behavior even as you’re doing it; and, finally, you become aware of the behavior as you are about to do it, so that you can avoid it. Read the rest of this entry »
It is now well known that patients in the VA hospital system receive the best healthcare in the US, and at the lowest cost. This fact irritates free-market conservatives, who believe that the government should not be providing healthcare (or much of anything else, except protection for large businesses and extremely wealthy people).
But the Wall Street Journal today reports another reason the free market doesn’t work well in health care:
It’s fashionable these days, particularly in Washington, to argue that the best way to improve the quality and restrain the cost of health care is to make the market for health care more like the market for everything else.
The theory: Give consumers more information, let them choose the best provider and the resulting competition will help to squeeze out costly waste and ineffective care. After all, markets work pretty well for other goods and services.
The notion has some appeal, and a dose of market medicine would help some of what ails the nation’s health-care system. But as a cure, the approach rests on the belief that health care is — in most respects — like any other product.
An intriguing new comparison of patient-satisfaction surveys and medical records suggests one big way in which health care differs. The bottom line: Just because patients say they’re very happy with their doctors and the care they’re receiving doesn’t mean they’re getting good care, as defined by medical experts. Read the rest of this entry »