Saturday, July 25, 2009

Reading Material

I'm knee deep in some crazy other projects right now. In the meanwhile, here's some good stuff I've read lately for you to check out at your leisure!

Since I had the pleasure today of reading a diatribe by someone insisting that health is not a human right, and that health care reform would impinge on the rights of Americans to keep their money, I present to you a document for which I (and probably every other public health nerd) have the greatest respect, the constitution of the World Health Organization. A snippet:
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and
not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the
fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race,
religion, political belief, economic or social condition.
The health of all peoples is fundamental to the attainment of peace and
security and is dependent upon the fullest co-operation of individuals
and States.
The achievement of any State in the promotion and protection of health
is of value to all.
Perhaps one needs to really be sick once or twice before realizing that someone telling you that "it is not your right to get better" (if possible) is pretty cruel. I sure as hell wouldn't be here without the proper health care, would you?

On the same topic, Jentry posted a very well-written post about health care in Germany, if you're interested. I'm always going around about how great it is, but yet people seem to think there is no solution to the problems of the US. Why not? This system works really well. Well, it may have a flaw or two, but what's that compared with the flaws of the current American system?

Ever check out There are some fun lists of 10 this and 10 that!

Some funny stuff I starred in Reader recently:
Why I Became a Professor - For all the poor saps who still think academics pay.
A recent post from Dr. Grumpy's blog
Toothpaste for Dinner: Vegetarian Weekend
What Women Hear and How Often They Believe It
Men and Women Have Totally Different Criteria for Attractiveness
Five Atrocious Science Cliches to Throw Down a Black Hole
Results of Searching YouTube for my Favorite Song
PhD Comics: Nature vs. Science
PhD Comics: Great Tweets of Science - Among the best, for those who don't want to click: "watson @crick It's a double helix! sck it, @pauling !!!!! 5:15 PM Feb 28th 1953 from"

Just interesting stuff:
Where American TV Broadcasts Are in Space Now
Euro Like Me rants about disrespect for 70s music
Nude playtime for German babies
From German Joys: Differences between universities in the US and Germany - Love this one. I was complaining about some uni-related thing here and a coworker asked me, "Is it really so different in the US?" Emphatic yes.

That is enough for now, I could do this all day. I have a compulsion to collect links. :/


  1. On the health care thing, coming from a country that does have socialized medicine I can say that it can be poor at times. I also received health care in the US (free, thanks military health care) and while the care received in the states was amazing, I would fight to the death to have and keep socialized medicine. Because for all its flaws there's something there I can't believe anyone would argue with, the fact that everyone no matter their class or wealth deserves to be able to receive health care when needed.

    It makes me sick to my stomach to think what would have happened when my son was born prematurely if we had not had the free military healthcare, as we certainly wouldn't have been able to afford his $90,000 NICU bill ourselves... not by a long shot.

    It's something that is quite close to my heart (if you couldn't tell!)

  2. The WHO's constitution is wonderful, I remember reading it over for a class in grad school (Health Care Policy). I can't believe that someone actually said that Health is not a human right! It is hard to even try to get into a civil conversation with them about the topic (or probably any other controversial topic) since they'll just come back with with some highly uneducated excuses.

    Oh, a good book on the topic of health care in the US, if you're interested, is called "Dead on Arrival" by Colin Gordon. It is really good, and it takes a look as to why the US is basically alone among industrialized societies in not having universal health insurance/universal health care. It is highly political...I did read it for my grad class in Health Care Policy...but it is also super enlightening and super interesting. So, just a little something more to add to your pile of reading :).

  3. I think it's still a sad fact that the US ranks 27th in the world in its health care, according to WHO. After our recent experience with the German system, I can report that it works quite well.


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