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2009 August 24 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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On The Fringe

The BBC says Hedgehog joke wins comedy prize

Comedian Dan Antopolski has won a prize for the funniest joke of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

The funnyman, who has previously been nominated for the Perrier award, picked up the trophy from TV channel Dave.

Nine comedy critics sat through thousands of jokes before choosing 27 for viewers to vote on.

The winning joke was a one-liner from 36-year-old Antopolski’s show Silent But Deadly – “Hedgehogs. Why can’t they just share the hedge?”

I also liked:

5. Jack Whitehall – “I’m sure wherever my dad is; he’s looking down on us. He’s not dead, just very condescending.”

7. Marcus Brigstocke – “To the people who’ve got iPhones: you just bought one, you didn’t invent it!”

August 24, 2009   2 Comments

What About Health Care Providers?

For obvious reasons most people have focused on the people who are left out of the system by the NME, the un- or under-insured, but what about the doctors?

A former nurse/office manager for a solo practice physician is writing a three-part post about what a doctor goes through to get paid in the current system. Part one and part two are up at The Confluence, with part three to come.

After you read these posts you will understand why so many doctors are joining group practices, and see the potential for cost savings by simplifying the office procedures with a single payer plan.

The problems described in part one are on display at my Mother’s primary physician with a list posted by the nurse’s desk telling people which lab they have to visit for tests based on who their insurance company is. On Medicare my Mother goes where she wants, and changes labs if they annoy her.

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August 24, 2009   5 Comments

Some Success In Athens Fires

FireThe BBC reports that calmer winds and the assistance of other countries has slowed the spread of fires in Greece.

From the main points below the map at the bottom of the article:

  • The fires began late on Friday, 21 August in the rural area of Grammatiko to the north-east of the capital, Athens.
  • Driven by high winds, flames reached the villages of Varnavas, Marathon and Agios Stefanos on Saturday, cutting them off from the road.
  • Later that day, residents in wooded Athens suburbs such as Pendeli, Pikermion and Pallini were told to leave as fire threatened the capital.
  • Overnight between Saturday and Sunday, BBC correspondent Malcolm Brabant evacuated his home in Drafi “with maybe five minutes to spare”.
  • Fires are also burning on the islands of Evia and Skyros in the Aegean Sea, in Zakynthos in the west, and near the Porto Germeno coastal resort.

France and Italy have sent water tanker aircraft to help in the battle which involves towns and forests. Many structures have already burned because of the high, changeable winds which have frustrated attempts at establishing fire lines and spread spot fires with flying embers.

The terrain is wooded hills and groves with narrow, winding roads to ancient villages and towns, and well as newer suburbs of Athens. I spent a lot of time in Glyfada, southwest of Athens proper, and have made trips into the affected region. Souvlaki, feta, olives, and retsina under the groves was a good way to cool off during the summer. Fires have pretty much deforested the hills around Athens.

August 24, 2009   Comments Off on Some Success In Athens Fires

Busy Day

It’s the first day of school for most of Florida, including Okaloosa County, so time to watch for the buses, the School Zone signs, and the kids wandering around lost.

It’s the last day for “Cash for Clunkers”. It is good economic stimulus, helps the the environment, cost effective, and reduces oil consumption, so it obviously had to be stopped quickly.

If you need a break, try US ‘may take military action’ to liberate Britain from the NHS, or Bush still struggling to explain eight-year gap on CV.

August 24, 2009   Comments Off on Busy Day

Extra-Tropical Storm Bill Final

Extra-Tropical Storm BillPosition: 48.6 N 50.2 W [ 4 AM CDT 0700 UTC].
Movement: East-Northeast [060°] near 40 mph [65 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 70 mph [120 kph].
Wind Gusts: 80 mph [145 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 315 miles [510 km].
Minimum central pressure: 980 mb ↑.

It is 190 miles [305 km] Northeast of Cape Race Newfoundland. Bill is an Extra-tropical storm.

Bill passed over the eastern tip of Newfoundland as a minimal hurricane or maximum tropical storm. A swimmer in Florida and tourist in Maine were drowned as a result of Bill’s wave action. This is the final NOAA advisory.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

August 24, 2009   Comments Off on Extra-Tropical Storm Bill Final