Category Archives: News

A Boy Went to a COVID-Swamped ER. He Waited for Hours. Then His Appendix Burst.

Jenny Deam, for ProPublica:

Before, localized COVID-19 hot spots led to bed shortages, but there were usually hospitals in the region not as affected that could accept a transfer. Now, as the highly contagious delta variant envelops swaths of low-vaccination states all at once, it becomes harder to find nearby hospitals that are not slammed.

“Wait times can now be measured in days,” said Darrell Pile, CEO of the SouthEast Texas Regional Advisory Council, which helps coordinate patient transfers across a 25-county region.

Recently, Dr. Cedric Dark, a Houston emergency physician and assistant professor of emergency medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said he saw a critically ill COVID-19 patient waiting in the emergency room for an ICU bed to open. The doctor worked eight hours, went home and came in the next day. The patient was still waiting.

Holding a seriously ill patient in an emergency room while waiting for an in-patient bed to open is known as boarding. The longer the wait, the more dangerous it can be for the patient, studies have found. Not only do patients ultimately end up staying in the hospital or the ICU longer, some research suggests that long waits for a bed will worsen their condition and may increase the risk of in-hospital death.

That’s what happened last month in Texas.

Even if you are vaccinated, any other kind of medical emergency will now be impacted by an unvaccinated COVID-19 patient occupying the hospital bed you needed. Theses difference in outcomes are the direct costs, both in lives and dollars, willfully and narcissistically incurred on our society by those who choose to remain unvaccinated.

Comedian Norm Macdonald Dies

Jordan Moreau, writing for Variety:

Norm Macdonald, the deadpan comedian, actor, writer and “Saturday Night Live” star, has died after a battle with cancer, Variety has confirmed. He was 61.

One of my favorite jokes of all time is Norm’s moth joke. Norm knew delivery, and delivery is everything.

Cookie Monster Mural Puzzles Artist and Enrages Property Owner

Maria Cramer, in the New York Times:

Joshua Hawkins said the request seemed “pretty weird,” but the dark-haired man who made it was offering cash, and a lot of it.

The man said his name was Nate and he wanted Mr. Hawkins, a local artist, to paint an enormous Soviet-style mural of Cookie Monster — the voracious, pastry-loving “Sesame Street” creature — and three Russian words on a commercial building in Peoria, Ill.

When the job was done over Thanksgiving weekend, the man paid in full and Mr. Hawkins, 33, proudly displayed the mural on his Facebook page.

But Mr. Hawkins learned C can also be for Caper.

Less than a week after the mural went up, Mr. Hawkins said he received a call from the real Nate Comte, who said he had never commissioned the Cookie Monster mural.

The mural was short lived, but as Cookie Monster likes to say, “No cry because cookie is finished. Smile because cookie happened.”

Everything to Know About Nike’s “You Can’t Stop Us” Film

From News.Nike.com:

Its action shares a dynamic split screen series detailing 36 pairings of athletes and relating the kinetic movement of one sport to another. Developed through research of more than 4,000 pieces of footage, the resulting montage underscores commonalities shared by athletes around the world.

This is jaw-dropping video editing. Truly remarkable. I would expect nothing less from a company that has a long history of making a statement with its advertising.

The Truth About Dentistry

Ferris Jabr, in an extremely well researched and written piece for The Atlantic:

Whereas a typical dentist might perform root canals on previously crowned teeth in only 3 to 7 percent of cases, Lund was performing them in 90 percent of cases. As Zeidler later alleged in court documents, Lund had performed invasive, costly, and seemingly unnecessary procedures on dozens and dozens of patients, some of whom he had been seeing for decades.

Absolutely appalling.

It’s easy to see how dentists, hoping to buoy their income, would be tempted to recommend frequent exams and proactive treatments—a small filling here, a new crown there—even when waiting and watching would be better.

When you’re a hammer, the world is your nail. I’ve had my fair share of unnecessary medical work. To this day, I’m extremely skeptical of any proposal from any doctor, especially when there is no perceived problem or pain and the issue is discovered on a routine checkup. There is a significant and inherent conflict of interest when consumers don’t have the ability to understand the recommendations and repercussions of the medical work proposed to them by private doctors whose income is intrinsically linked to the number of procedures performed.

Every Building on Every Block: A Time Capsule of 1930s New York

Really neat article, photos, and interface from the New York Times with pictures spanning almost 90 years from the same spots and perspectives. Definitely worth your time if you haven’t checked it out.

Oxford Comma Dispute Is Settled as Maine Drivers Get $5 Million

For those who don’t use the serial comma, consider the matter settled.