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Web-surfing helps brain; may fight Alzheimer’s!

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“What’s that, my sweet? No, sorry! Can’t help right now. Taking care of the old brain, you know.'”

clipped from www.msnbc.msn.com

For middle-aged and older adults, searching the Internet could be a boost to the brain, a new study suggests.

[Researchers studied] volunteers between the ages of 55 and 76 as they searched the Internet. Half of the participants had experience surfing the Web, while the others did not […]
All the study participants showed significant brain activity during the book-reading task […]
But Internet searches revealed differences between the two groups. While all the participants showed the same activity as during the book-reading, the Web-savvy group also registered activity in the frontal, temporal and cingulate areas of the brain, whereas those new to the net did not. (These areas of the brain control decision-making and complex reasoning.) […]
“Our most striking finding was that Internet searching appears to engage a greater extent of neural circuitry that is not activated during reading — but only in those with prior Internet experience,” […]

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Written by Monte

October 16, 2008 at 11:45 am

Web filter bypass for Persian sites

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I’ve benefited from meeting many phenomenally interesting Iranians on the web. (Talking with them will make you homesick for Iran, even if you’ve never been there! I’d love to go . . . But that’s another story.)

Today I stumbled onto this Firefox add-on and list it here, in case it could be helpful. Cheers!

FreeAccess Plus! 1.0.5

by MohammadR

Bypass filter of YouTube, del.icio.us, Flickr, Technorati.com, FriendSter.com, livejournal.com, MySpace, Hi5 and some Persian (farsi) sites in Iran and other countries that blocked this sites … Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

May 12, 2008 at 11:46 am

Posted in Iran

Frontline’s “Sick Around the World” is now on the web

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UPDATE: With a hat tip to GiannaKali, I discover that this outstanding investigative piece is entirely available for free on the web here. What I saw last night on PBS was just excellent. Full of memorable quotes and comparisons, the contrasts among five nations’ systems is, perhaps, the most informative discussion of health care possibilities I’ve ever seen. All five cost less and deliver more than what we’re used to in the USA, and all five happen in capitalist democracies, with varying degrees of government participation. Valuable!

We in the USA have heard much ballyhoo (mostly bad) about the healthcare systems of other countries. Here’s a chance to learn about what they’re really doing, good and bad. I’m hoping this will bring some light to our own national health care conversation. The trailer is just below.

FRONTLINE presents SICK AROUND THE WORLD

FRONTLINE TRAVELS … to find out how five other capitalist democracies–United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and Switzerland–deliver health care and what the United States might learn from their successes and their failures. … Reid turns up remarkable differences in how these countries handle health care–from Japan, where a night in a hospital can cost as little as $10, to Switzerland, where the president of the country tells Reid it would be a “huge scandal” if someone were to go bankrupt from medical bills.

Reid’s first stop is the U.K.- Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

April 14, 2008 at 9:02 pm

Posted in Politics

Resources for fact-checking health reform claims

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Nine websites for untangling fact from fiction

So you heard someone say something was a part of  health insurance reform, and you’re wondering if it’s true. Where do you turn? Here are some honest efforts to bring facts to the table and set rumors and speculations aside.  The list is quoted from a post of Nate Van Duzer.

Start with this regularly-updated site from the Kaiser Family Foundation that compares the different reform proposals on the table.

Factcheck.org is a trusted source of nonpartisan myth-busting and truth-telling. For the latest information about whether new advertisements, speeches, or e-mails tell the truth, visit this site.

A summary of factcheck.org’s research into several arguments surrounding health-care reform, published July 14, 2009.

“A Primer on the Details of Health Care Reform” from The New York Times, published August 9, 2009.

“10 Health Care Reform Myths” from CBS News, published August 6, 2009.

“Fact or Fiction? The Truth About Four Health Care Fears” from ABC News, published August 13, 2009.

8 Myths about Health Care Reform from the AARP Magazine, published July/August 2009.

A good source of current news, background information, and analysis all in one place.

Interviews and analysis of five capitalist democracies and how they each do health care.

Nate Van Duzer is the policy intern at Sojourners.

To learn more about health-care reform, click here to visit Sojourners’ Health-Care Resources Web page.

Truth is ever the friend of justice. Go get it.

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Iowa State Senators: “Grassley Should Start Listening to Iowans”

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The State Capitol of Iowa, featuring its golde...
Image via Wikipedia

The Des Moines Register:

“The will of Iowans and the rest of America is marching steadily toward reform.”

The following is a guest opinion on health care reform by State Senators Jack Hatch and Joe Bolkcom that appeared in Saturday’s Des Moines Register. [I encountered it as a reprint at Blog for Iowa – Monte]

As we head into August, a few Washington lawmakers are standing in the way of health-care reform that America desperately needs. While patients are denied crucial treatment and families go bankrupt from medical bills, Sen. Charles Grassley and a cadre of his Senate colleagues have provoked a stir by steadfastly refusing to support the most essential piece of President Barack Obama’s proposal: a public health-insurance option. We think it’s time for Grassley to start listening to Iowans and work with the president for real health-care reform.

A public health-insurance option would introduce much needed competition into the health-insurance market, extending quality care to as many as 300,000 Iowans, while providing incentives to insurance companies to offer their current customers a better deal. Unfortunately, in a July 30 Des Moines Register editorial, Grassley said he opposes giving Americans the choice of a public option “because it is a pathway to a completely government-run system.” Read the rest of this entry »