Monday Stuff

Monday Mentions

Kevin and I watched “Word Wars“. It’s a documentary about the world’s best Scrabble players.

Warning: If you’re not feeling too good about yourself, then don’t watch this because these dudes? Are freaking smart!! It’s really quite amazing.

And impressive.

But mainly intimidating. I only thought I was halfway decent at the game – um, no, I’m like a new-born babe compared to these dudes.

But if you’re a word nerd and you like this sort of stuff, it’s a really interesting watch. (If foul language offends you, then you might not want to watch it).

I thought this was an interesting article:

When the Best Rx Is No Rx
In Treating Ear Infections, a Push to Avoid Antibiotics; Persuading Parents to Wait and Watch

Apparently, more and more doctors are trying to persuade parents with children who have ear infections to try the “wait and see” method before resorting to antibiotics. The doctors say that a lot of times, the body will heal itself and the ear infection will heal on it’s own.

A growing number of studies have shown that most children with ear infections recover well without antibiotics, with little risk of more serious complications. Research in the journal BMJ in June even suggested that children who got antibiotics might be more likely to have recurrent infections.

If, after a few days, the child is not feeling better, the parent can call the doctor’s office and they will prescribe an antibiotic over the phone.

My first reaction, when reading this, was WOOT! ‘BOUT TIME! I mean, our bodies are pretty amazing machines – they’re equipped to fight off things like this.

Allan S. Lieberthal, a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles who is chairman of the current guidelines-writing effort, tells parents that the chance of a child getting better within a few days without an antibiotic is about 80%, while with the drug it is around 90%.

However, thinking back to the time period when MY boys were little and suffering from an ear infection? I’m not sure I would have gone for this option. It’s hard enough to watch your child suffer from something, it would be DOUBLY hard to allow them to suffer.

Some parents say that once a bacterial infection has been diagnosed, they’re not comfortable leaving it untreated. Some also push for the quickest possible recovery so their children can return to school or day care. In a survey of primary-care doctors published in 2007, 65% said parents’ demand for antibiotics was the most important barrier to holding off on prescriptions.

So, are parents relying on drugs to heal their children so they can hurry up and resume life? Probably. Who has time for a sick kid?

Anyway, I found this article interesting because in a day and age where there is a pill for everything, and people have sort of expected to be prescribed a pill every time they go to the doctor (whether it’s truly justified or not), I thought this approach was rather “radical.”

I wonder if parents will go for it?

Would you?

Here’s another interesting article I stumbled upon this past week:

Eliminate senior year of high school? Utah lawmaker says the move would save money

Would students miss much if the state eliminated grade 12 to save money?

State Sen. Chris Butters, a Republican representing an area just west of Salt Lake City, is getting some national attention for a plan that would provide incentives for students to get the necessary graduation requirements completed by the end of their junior year.

“There are some [students] that really have a great 12th grade, but you talk to 100 kids and their parents, and I believe the majority of them will say, ‘Well, my kid didn’t do much in the 12th grade,’” Buttars told Schencker. “Everybody wants to talk about change … But to tell you the truth, they’re scared to death of it.”

About half the state’s high school seniors would have to leave early for the state to save the $60 million.

Wow. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this – even a week later. My very first reaction was like, “Are you kidding me?! No way!”

But then I thought, “Well. The only required course Dude has to take his senior year is an English class – everything is else is cheese.”

Granted, important and interesting cheese, but cheese, none the less.

I can see why Utah would consider eliminating 12th grade. And it would save them a lot of money.

But at the same time, are kids mature enough to hit the real world running at 17? I’m pretty sure Dude’s not ready, but then again, if he had been mentally prepared for it to happen, he probably would be.

I just don’t know how I feel about this proposal.

What say you? Were you ready to graduate when you were 17?

Yet another article …

The $555,000 Student-Loan Burden

Holy. Freaking. Bank. Balance. Batman.

Can you imagine, I mean, really imagine, owing half a million dollars JUST in student loans?!?

I honestly can’t fathom it. Let’s be real, will this woman EVER get this loan paid off?


Granted, she didn’t have to keep deferring her loans, (which is really what got her into trouble), but let’s say she hadn’t …

should it really cost $250,000 to go to med school?!

THAT right there is where our education system fails us, I think: the cost. That’s insane. And it discourages people to go into the field, or to further one’s education – who wants to graduate from school owing that much money? Oh sure, you can get a job paying the big bucks (which is really the reason anyone goes into medicine – the crazy salary. Yes, some go into the business because they truly want to help people, but let’s get real – the money doesn’t hurt), but think how long it would take for a loan that size to get paid off.



If we want more people to pursue an education then we honestly need to do something about the COST of said education.

Don’t you agree?

It is so refreshing to read a POSITIVE story about weight gain and athleticism for a change.

Ice dancer Belbin has put on weight, and she couldn’t be happier

It’s about time and kudos to Belbin.

And speaking of weight …

The Cost of Being Fat : $100,000 Over a Lifetime

The Council on Size & Weight Discrimination cites several studies in the last decade that show the financial affects of weight discrimination in the workplace. Here are some of the more shocking figures:

* Heavier workers earn $1.25 an hour less than their average-weight peers, adding up to a $100,000 difference in a 40-year career.
* Additional weight hurts women even more—slightly overweight women can expect a 6% pay discrepancy, whereas more obese women make 24% less.
* A survey of people 50% over their ideal weight showed that 17% were fired or pressured to resign because of their weight.

A 2009 Weight Bias Study from Yale (PDF) showed that a job applicant or employee’s weight had a considerable effect on employment decisions such as hiring, placement, and coworker evaluations. According the study, “it was demonstrated that overweight job applicants and employees were evaluated more negatively and had more negative employment outcomes compared to non-overweight applicants and employees.” []

Perhaps the most shocking fact of all is that weight discrimination is almost perfectly legal. Only one state (Michigan) features legislation against weight discrimination. There have been individual cases where employers’ policies have been ruled against, but the standards that protect individuals’ rights against age, race, religious, and gender discrimination offer no such shelter to the obese. Obviously, we have to ask . . . should they?


And one last thing …

You know what I don’t get? How this administration rallies against the elite & yet they ooze elitism. How ironic.

Seriously. Click over and tell me what you think.

It REALLY makes my blood boil.

I have many more links / articles to share with you, but I think I’ll save them for another time.

I’ve posted these, and so many more, on my Twitter account if you want to keep track.

2 thoughts on “Monday Mentions”

  1. #1. Time to start memorizing the scrabble dictionary!

    #2. I love that doctors are trying to be more responsible with antibiotics. If only parents understood. I do get antibiotics when my kids have ear infections, but but ONLY if the ear is infected. If they say it’s a virus, but should take antibiotics anyway, I start looking for a new doctor. Also, I don’t take them to the doctor until they’ve been sick for several days (with fever) and are not getting better.

    Also, I like the previous comment about giving meds for fever. I don’t give meds until it’s 101.5 or more because the fever is what kills off the infection. The problem with fever is when it’s high and long lasting – then you’re slow cooking your brain and that’s not good.

    #3. I did graduate when I was 17. I have a summer birthday; that’s why. 🙂 Anyway, I think some kids are ready to graduate a year earlier, but not most. I remember my freshman year of college. There were so many people that were so not ready for the responsibility of college – and that was kids that went a full four years of high school! My senior year was half fluff, half not, but then again, the fluff was still good fluff (well, except the class where I ended up as an office aide. Basically, I sat around and talked with the secretary the whole time, and shot rubber bands at the other guy there. That class was because the school screwed me over with scheduling and had to find something for me to do.) Yes, it may save money, but I don’t think the ends would justify the means in this case.

    #4. I’m worried about when I have 3 kids in college at the same time. Hopefully, they’ll get full scholarships like I did.

    #5. GOOD FOR HER!! Good for focusing on HEALTH and not the number on the scale!

    #6. Some group will always be discriminated against. Always. Since discrimination based on race, religion, gender, and age are now illegal, the next group to focus on is the overweight. Yes, it’s a reality that overweight people are discriminated against. However, most of the time, I don’t think people realize that they are biased. Some might admit to it, but most, probably don’t even realize it. But even if you outlaw discrimination based on weight, then some other group will pop up. I’m sure of it.

    #7. Yeah, I agree. That’s one of the things I really liked about Bush – his willingness to mingle with us “common folk”.

  2. #2- Even more, our doctor when we lived in Alaska recommended against taking (or giving) anything for a fever LOWER than 102 degrees. He said that fevers are the body’s way of fighting infections and by not allowing even a low grade fever, we’re interfering with our body’s own defense mechanisms. So, we don’t. Well, unless I’m simply so miserable that I can’t move. He said that was ok in those circumstances. Since doing this, my family’s need for antibiotics in general has decreased.

    #3- I didn’t do much my senior year of high school, HOWEVER, I participated in events and activities that gained me scholarships towards college. And, I think it set me up for adult life much more. I had choices to make since there was less of a “to-do” list. Plus, I think it optimized my time allowance in transitioning from teen to adult social skills, something that is easier to gain in an environment where you can test the waters. Senior year is important. It’s the last bridge to cross that gap between childhood and adulthood.

    #5- She looks great! I’m glad she’s being a positive role model for teen girls everywhere!

    #6- I’ve felt the discrepancy. It sucks, is unfair and biased. Losing weight didn’t seem to make a difference much either. And how I was treated in that circumstance varied between the two offices I worked for in the same company! In Alaska, there was flat out more acceptance and less discrepancy. In Washington State, way more! Even though my boss was morbidly obese! So, clearly, fat people hold bias against their own kind as well!

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