Friday, September 30, 2005

new flu pandemic could kill millions

A top U.N. public health expert warned Thursday that a new influenza pandemic could come anytime and claim millions of lives unless officials to take action now to control an epidemic in Asia.

Dr. David Nabarro of the World Health Organization called on governments to take immediate steps to address the threat at a news conference following his appointment as the new U.N. coordinator to lead a global drive to counter a human flu pandemic.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

the value of health IT

Floodwaters destroyed the medical records of thousands of evacuees from New Orleans, washing away orders for cancer and diabetes treatment and medication information stored in physician offices and clinics.

The Health and Human Services Department is trying to recreate some of the medical data electronically that was destroyed by floodwaters, in what is proving to be a test case for the government’s efforts to develop health IT systems.

Most doctors have no idea how to implement an electronic health records system and have little trust that the federal government does either.

One California doctor, for example, met with 200 vendors over five years trying to figure out exactly what hardware and software his office needed, to no avail.

The problems most physicians face is that implementing health IT is both expensive—some estimate the cost between $15,000 to $30,000 per doctor—and intimidating because of the changes technology brings, said Chuck Parker, DOQ-IT team leader and the director of health care IT for MassPro, a doctors’ office quality program.

Health and Human Services secretary Mike Leavitt has taken rapid steps to bring the public and private sectors together to address the technical challenges. Efforts are being launched to agree on needed common standards, develop the capacity for certification, and examine legal and business practice barriers. This effort also will support prototype projects. A new advisory group, the American Health Information Community, is intended to bring together the many stakeholders who need to share in steering this effort. And when standards are developed, federal health programs will adopt them to provide leadership and a sound foundation.

major hurricane likely in October forecasters say

Meteorologists examining the conditions that spawned hurricanes Rita and Katrina say there is a strong likelihood that another intense hurricane will occur in October. Researchers also warn that the country should brace for 10 to 40 more years of powerful storms because of a natural ocean cycle in the midst of the most active hurricane period on record.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Voice of the Caliphate

An Internet video newscast broadcast for the first time on Monday, purporting to be a production of al Qaeda and featuring an anchorman who wore a black ski mask and an ammunition belt. The anchorman, who said the report would appear once a week, presented news about the Gaza Strip and Iraq and expressed happiness about recent hurricanes in the United States.
The broadcast is called th VOICE OF CALIPHATE.

is there a media crisis?

There seems to have been stories of rape and murder that did not occur in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Was there a bias attempt to give false impressions about President Bush, FEMA, and the state of things in general? Maybe.

How can the media sent to report on the happenings of such an historical event allow unconfirmed stories out on the airwaves or in print? Relief workers said that while the media hyped criminal activity, plenty of real suffering did occur at the Katrina relief centers. Rumors of death were greatly overblown and some criminal activities reported never happened.

track kenneth

Hurricane Kenneth has been tracked.

Monday, September 26, 2005

blogger handbook

Bloggers get people going... news, opinion, theory..... those are just three blog items or ideas. Blogs are good for freedoms of expression. There is a new handbook out to help get your blog noticed. You'll also find help in setting it up.

Streisand says there is a global warming crisis

The summer's back to back superstorms are proof positive we have entered a new period of global warming emergency, according to Barbra Streisand. "There could be more droughts, dust bowls. You know it's amazing to hear these facts", said Streisand to ABC News Diane Sawyer.

Friday, September 23, 2005

gas at 5.00 per gallon?

Say it ain't so! But Rita has given us that very real possibility. So many refineries, but so little time. We are in such a hand-to-mouth situation with our energy consumption that problems with Katrina and Rita can hamper the entire process of getting the oil out of the ground and into our gas tanks.

The New Orleans levee broke again according to FOX news. READ MORE

rita update

The Category 4 hurricane was barreling northwest across the Gulf, with winds near 140 mph (220 kph), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Rita was expected to make landfall late on Friday or early on Saturday but its destination was unclear.

The growing violence of storms such as Katrina, which wrecked New Orleans, and Rita, now threatening Texas, is very probably caused by climate change, said Sir John Lawton, chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. Hurricanes were getting more intense, just as computer models predicted they would, because of the rising temperature of the sea, he said. "The increased intensity of these kinds of extreme storms is very likely to be due to global warming."

Thursday, September 22, 2005

can you hear me now google?

Now Google owns a network and offers telephone service and access to high-speed Internet connections. Google Inc. watchers say the search giant appears headed in the telephone company direction.

refinery, refinery, where for out thou refinery?

About 18 Texan oil refineries are threatened by Hurricane Rita.

On Thursday, September 22, 10 refineries in the Lone Star State and one in Louisiana were fully shut, including Exxon Mobil's Baytown, Texas refinery, the biggest in the United States. Three others were at least partially shut. A significant amount of oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico remains shut and reports of banged-up platforms and rigs continued to trickle in as companies conducted aerial inspections of offshore facilities.

higher oil

Rita has the oil patch in her crosshairs. Prices at the pump.... $4.00?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

indonesia flu update

The government of Indonesia said that an outbreak of the avian flu could become widespread. to the point of becoming an epidemic. Time might be well spent by attending to the animals rather than people at this time so that a pandemic can be kept from spreading.

rita track

Hurricaine Rita has been tracked.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Check out Energy Tracker to see how mother nature has impacted energy prices. Around the U.S. citizens will see higher energy prices with no reductions expected in 2005. Natural gas bills could easily be 20 percent higher.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

how big will the pricetag be?

Already 100 billion.... Katrina re-building efforts have the federal government thinking about all kind of new programs, and programs that aren't so new but have a new twist. That twist is big federal spending. How about school vouchers for students who are displaced because of the storm? That's just one example.

no more pillows, no more pretzels

Both Delta and Northwest Airlines declared bankruptcy. Delta and Northwest both filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York on Wednesday. Both companies said the timing was a coincidence.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

do the deal and move on to the next

Ameriquest says they are the sponsor of the American dream. But at what cost? The loan processors were tirelessly working on 15 loans per month when 3 to 5 loans a month was standard. Ameriquest has been paying the price, in court cases that have already cost it more than $100 million. And company officials have set aside another $325 million to settle other lawsuits on the horizon.

Monday, September 12, 2005

a new kind of war

In the new conflict in the 21st century, we must believe that information technology, computer viruses, financial tools and non-military technology can be used in combination to defeat an enemy.

Have other nations of the world given the new conflict priority? Planning counter-terrorism with terrorism may be the priority nations are looking for. Cracking down on groups with terror may become more common in the years ahead. Could the use of nuclear weapons be far behind?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

joe namath

The 2005 NFL season gets into full tilt on Sunday, September 11th. I am sure that there will be several tributes about the September 11, 2001 tradgedy of terrorist strikes. I know that we as gratefull Americans need to pay tribute to our fallen citizens. They should not be forgotten.

microsoft acquires Internet Voice startup

Microsoft Corp. said August 30 it had acquired Teleo Inc., a small San Francisco startup whose software lets people make calls from computers to traditional telephones.

Vonage said on September 6 that they had one million customers. Vonage has also managed to grow—it has doubled subscribers during the last six months—despite serious challenges from major U.S. cable operators Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications Inc., Cablevision Systems Corp. and Comcast Corp.

DOD to ship handhelds to the Gulf Coast

The Defense Department's Theater Medical Information Program will ship handheld devices to Federal Emergency Management Agency workers to help them treat Americans displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The handhelds will provide military medics with instant access to patient records and potential treatment plans.

Feds have mobilized Katrina recovery

President Bush has declared major disasters for impacted areas in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. In the near term, FEMA will concentrate on lifesaving and life-sustaining efforts.

The Homeland Security Department also announced today that it is sending a vast array of resources to the region.

Friday, September 09, 2005

LA gov blocked superdome aid

The Red Cross was told by agencies of the State of Louisiana not to go to the Superdome. The concern was that a magnet did not want to be created that would attract people to that facility. The state agencies ultimately wanted the people out of the facilities like the Superdome and the Convention Center.

more military in disasters?

The U.S. Government appears to be ready for talks on first response by the military during natural disasters. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld has not agreed to talks yet, but in the past he had reservations about the military role in natural disaster response.

The military may be asked to take the lead during responses which means that they may direct local and state authorities during disaster relief.