Newborn Denied Coverage By Ruthless Health Insurance Company, Dies
Boston (SmartAboutHealth) – A ruthless health insurance company denied coverage to an ill newborn baby in Texas, resulting in the death of the young boy.
Houston Tracy was born in Crowley, Texas, and unfortunately only lived for a total of 10-days after he was denied coverage by BlueCross BlueShield of Texas.
The baby boy was born with a condition that is known as d-transformation. This is diagnosed when there is a transposition of the heart’s great arteries.
This can be fixed, but a major surgery is needed, one that the insurance company would not pay for.
The baby boy was born on March 15th with what BlueCross BlueShield of Texas deemed a pre-existing condition.
Huh. I guess BCBS thinks the stork brought the kid?
(from Time; about a month ago) School Lunches in France: Nursery-School Gourmets
I finally saw the system in action earlier this month. Caught short by a sick nanny, my son, who was accustomed to eating leftovers from the refrigerator, sat in silence with his 25 classmates at tables in the nursery-school cafeteria, while city workers served a leisurely, five-course meal. One day, when I arrived to collect him, a server whispered for me to wait until the dessert course was over. Out in the hall, one of the staff shouted for “total quiet” to a crowd of 4-year-olds awaiting the next lunch seating. “I will now read you today’s menu,” he told them. “First, you will begin with a salad.”
Americans struggling with obesity epidemics have for years wondered how the so-called French paradox works: How does a nation that ingests huge quantities of butter, beef and cakes keep trim and have such long lives? It could be the red wine, as some believe. But another reason has to be this: in a country where con artists and adulterers are tolerated, the laws governing meals are sacrosanct and are drummed into children before they can even hold a knife. The French don’t need their First Lady to plant a vegetable garden at the Élysée Palace to encourage good eating habits. They already know the rules: sit down and take your time, because food is serious business.
Cells That Read Minds
(NYT, January 2006)
On a hot summer day 15 years ago in Parma, Italy, a monkey sat in a special laboratory chair waiting for researchers to return from lunch. Thin wires had been implanted in the region of its brain involved in planning and carrying out movements.
Every time the monkey grasped and moved an object, some cells in that brain region would fire, and a monitor would register a sound: brrrrrip, brrrrrip, brrrrrip.
A graduate student entered the lab with an ice cream cone in his hand. The monkey stared at him. Then, something amazing happened: when the student raised the cone to his lips, the monitor sounded – brrrrrip, brrrrrip, brrrrrip – even though the monkey had not moved but had simply observed the student grasping the cone and moving it to his mouth.
The researchers, led by Giacomo Rizzolatti, a neuroscientist at the University of Parma, had earlier noticed the same strange phenomenon with peanuts. The same brain cells fired when the monkey watched humans or other monkeys bring peanuts to their mouths as when the monkey itself brought a peanut to its mouth.
(another link) http://www.mindpowernews.com/MirrorNeurons.htm
The Spider Awards: Wired.com’s Arachnid Hall of Fame
We admit it. Spiders have become an obsession at Wired Science. It started in September when we reported on a spider-milking machine that was built to extract silk from a million golden orb-weavers, two dozen at a time, to make a 44-square foot cloth. After that, we were hooked, and we’ve found ourselves writing about an inordinate number of arachnids, and googling plenty more. But, really, who could blame us?
We wanted to share the fruits of this spider frenzy with you, so we’ve created a Hall of Fame for our eight-legged friends. Who’s the biggest, meanest or most stuck-up spider around? Read on to find out, but be forewarned: Some of these photos are guaranteed to give you the heebie-jeebies.
Exploring the future of the free press
By Gerald L. Baliles
I know you are busy, especially after looking on your Web site at the long list of legislation in the General Assembly you’ve been working on recently. Something else caught my eye on your Web site – your mission — to champion “the ideals of a free press in a democratic society.”
I, too, believe that a free press is vital to our democracy.
But given the current state of the newspaper business, I share the concerns of many about the future of the free press — and especially about the potential impact that this could have on the governance of our country.
How will our leaders act when there are fewer journalists watching to hold them accountable? How will our citizens inform themselves when there is less reporting on the issues? Will new media be able to fill the void?
Editor’s note: Former Gov. Gerald L. Baliles, director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, delivered the keynote address at the Virginia Press Association annual meeting on March 20 in Roanoke. Mr. Baliles’ speech also served as the official release of the Miller Center’s interim report of the Project on Media and Governance, a year-long investigation into the future of journalism and its effect on governance.
(all from DailyProgress.com, Charlottesville, VA)
Action Required: Prisoners Mental Health Deteriorating at Wakefield
Naveed Bhatti is 30 Years old, and currently serving a 20 year sentence in the United Kingdom at Wakefield Prison after being found guilty of terrorism offences. Since his incarceration, his condition has deteriorated to such an extent that his family fear for his safety.
He suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a psychological condition that worsens if left untreated or subjected to extreme stress. The sufferers of this condition which is classified as an anxiety disorder, frequently may appear psychotic, paranoid and withdrawn. In Naveeds case, when his father attended a visit, he felt that his condition had deteriorated, fixated with cleaning and washing repeatedly after such innocuous actions as opening a door.
Despite all this. The prison service instead of being sympathetic towards his condition and arranging for psychological treatment, they seem to almost take a delight in antagonising it. He is subjected to repeated cell-searches with dogs, in which the dog saliva already recognised in Islam as being impure, causes Naveed intense stress and grief. In addition the guards often direct abuse towards him, throwing his Qu’ran on the ground and cursing at him as he walks past or during the searches.
Due to this treatment, he has become completely irrational and suicidal. In a phonecall to his father earlier this year, he stated that he no longer wishes to live. He feels impure all the time, and as a result has been neglectful in his prayers and has even begun to question his belief.
Drought in southwestern China caused by climate change: experts
Colombo Times, Sri Lanka, Mar 28
Meteorologists have attributed the once-in-a-century drought parching southwest China to climate change.
The drought has left more than 18 million residents and 11.7 million head of livestock suffering drinking-water shortages over a region encompassing the southwestern provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and the municipality of Chongqing, data from the Ministry of Civil Affairs showed.
“The direct reason for the drought is light rain and high temperatures,” Ren Fuming, a leading expert at China’s National Climate Center, told the latest edition of Outlook Weekly, a well-known magazine in China.
Ren’s opinion was echoed by Zhang Peiqun, also a meteorologist with the center.
Zhang said the rainfall in worst-hit Yunnan since September last year is the lowest in about 50 years while the average temperature since the beginning of winter is the highest.