Dream of the Dragon

Health Care Wha?

by lbej

Americans are funny about government.  I understand that we were once a people into frontiering and mountaineering and engineering and all sorts of eerings, but now we’re mostly into the sitting and the staring and the eating.  In the past we didn’t need so many things taken care of for us but now we do.  Civilization is also very complicated now.  You could treat your own bear-inflicted wound in 1810, but you’re not very well going to give yourself a heart bypass in 2010.  The health care debate has been bothering me, because I think it’s silly.  I hear something to the effect of “I want to make my own decisions about health care.”  Really?  Do you really?  Then it’s a good thing you have all that medical training and oh yes the finance and statistics knowledge that helps you to weigh costs against benefits.  It’s also a good thing that 300 million people can make uncoordinated, arbitrary and contrary decisions about health care and force the consequences into a single system that then doesn’t fail catastrophically.  Otherwise you’d need people with actual knowledge to administer the system. Read the rest of this entry »


by Justin

Images cranked out by Hubble or other impossible pieces of space technology tend to set the bar for mind-blowing. NASA just released images from one of its latest, and maybe most practical initiatives:

SDO: The Solar Dynamics Observatory is the first mission to be launched for NASA’s Living With a Star (LWS) Program, a program designed to understand the causes of solar variability and its impacts on Earth. SDO is designed to help us understand the Sun’s influence on Earth and Near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time and in many wavelengths simultaneously. Read the rest of this entry »

‘Let’s do it.’

by Justin

I can’t imagine any death-row inmate choosing lethal injection. Sure, if the choice is between the notoriously unreliable and undeniably painful electric chair or some fatal cocktail I’d leap for the syringe. But what if one of the choices is to stand in the open air and brace against a bullet through the heart? Maybe it’s the romantic in me, but I’d take the instant and dramatic gunshot over feeling my life ebb away in the cold, sterile air of an indoor execution chamber.  Not to mention recent accounts of botched injections that required additional doses or observable pain in those last breaths.

This article in the Times about the last bastion of firing squad executions made me imagine the scenarios for the first time since Colonel Aureliano. Read the rest of this entry »