10 strange ways to stay healthy [infographic]

January 18, 2013 2 comments
Categories: blogging

This is a wonderful travel list from Paul Theroux, pretty much speaks my heart.

January 16, 2013 Leave a comment
Categories: blogging

Use of Health Information Technology* Among Adults

August 18, 2012 Leave a comment
I found this very interesting information bit at the CDC MMWR (see the message below and the graphics). It’s quite obvious that most people surveyed actually “browsed” information rather than interact with the system in some way. The graphic drawn from a large systematic survey tells me that there is at least a 40 percentage point gap between browsing for information and “actually” making use of that information when it comes to health behaviour. 

What explains this?

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QuickStats: Use of Health Information Technology* Among Adults Aged ≥18 Years — National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), United States, 2009 and 2011†

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The figure shows use of health information technology among adults aged ≥18 years in the United States, during 2009 and 2011. Between 2009 and 2011, increases were noted in the proportion of adults aged ≥18 years who used the Internet to fill a prescription (5.9% to 7.1%), schedule an appointment with a health-care provider (2.6% to 4.5%), and communicate with a health-care provider by e-mail (4.6% to 5.5%). The use of online chat groups to learn about health topics also increased (3.3% to 3.7%). The percentage of adults who looked up health information on the Internet did not change significantly between 2009 (45.5%) and 2011 (46.5%), but in both years, looking up health information on the Internet was seven to 14 times as likely to occur as each of the other four activities.

* Based on responses to the following question in 2009: “Have you ever used computers for any of the following? …Looked up health information on the Internet …Refilled a prescription on the Internet …Scheduled an appointment with a health-care provider using the Internet …Communicated with a health-care provider over e-mail” and “Have you ever used online chat groups to learn about health topics.” Each question was followed by an additional question asking if the respondent had performed the particular activity in the past 12 months. In a supplement to the 2011 NHIS, the questions were slightly reworded to combine the measure and period (“DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS, have you ever used computers for any of the following …Look up health information on the Internet …Fill a prescription …Schedule an appointment with a health-care provider …Communicate with a health-care provider by e-mail …Use online chat groups to learn about health topics.”).

Estimates are based on household interviews of a sample of the 2009 and 2011 civilian, noninstitutionalized U.S. adult populations. Denominators for each percentage exclude adults who refused to answer or did not know.

§ 95% confidence interval.

From 2009 to 2011, increases were noted in the proportion of adults aged ≥18 years who used the Internet to fill a prescription (5.9% to 7.1%), schedule an appointment with a health-care provider (2.6% to 4.5%), and communicate with a health-care provider by e-mail (4.6% to 5.5%). The use of online chat groups to learn about health topics also increased (3.3% to 3.7%). The percentage of adults who looked up health information on the Internet did not change significantly from 2009 (45.5%) to 2011 (46.5%), but in both years, looking up health information on the Internet was seven to 14 times as likely to occur as each of the other four activities.

Source: National Health Interview Survey, 2009 and 2011 Sample Adult access to health care and utilization supplemental components.

Reported by: Robin A. Cohen, PhD, rcohen@cdc.gov, 301-458-4152; Patricia F. Adams.

Alternate Figure: The figure above shows use of health information technology among adults aged ≥18 years in the United States, during 2009 and 2011. Between 2009 and 2011, increases were noted in the proportion of adults aged ≥18 years who used the Internet to fill a prescription (5.9% to 7.1%), schedule an appointment with a health-care provider (2.6% to 4.5%), and communicate with a health-care provider by e-mail (4.6% to 5.5%). The use of online chat groups to learn about health topics also increased (3.3% to 3.7%). The percentage of adults who looked up health information on the Internet did not change significantly between 2009 (45.5%) and 2011 (46.5%), but in both years, looking up health information on the Internet was seven to 14 times as likely to occur as each of the other four activities.

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.

All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from typeset documents. This conversion might result in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users are referred to the electronic PDF version (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr) and/or the original MMWR paper copy for printable versions of official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to mmwrq@cdc.gov.

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Categories: blogging

Thoughts on olympic greatness

August 11, 2012 Leave a comment

11/08/12 10:30 PM Alice *Featured Arts & Leisure Classics & Archaeology Humanities Sports Ancient Greeks Caprus of Elis David Potter Euthymus Hercules Leonidas of Rhodes london 2012 Michael Phelps Milo of Croton Olympic Games Polites Summer Olympics Theagenes Timesitheus usain bolt milo milo’s pancration phelps greatness theagenes euthymus olympic

By David Potter


In a year when Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 medals, and Usain Bolt became the first man to win the 200 meters twice, it’s worth asking: What does ‘great’ mean in sports? We might gain perspective by considering how the Ancient Greeks determined greatness in athletes. Then and now, true greatness is as defined not by a single moment, but by the ability to build a record of extraordinary achievement.

Categories: blogging

Does Reading Fiction Boost the Brain?

July 6, 2012 40 comments
Very interesting article about how reading fiction “boosts” brain.

http://paloalto.patch.com/articles/fiction-books-give-a-boost-to-the-brain-sa…

Categories: blogging

Andrew Gelman’s advice on writing research articles

As they say here in NZ, good as gold.
 
Advice on writing research articles

From a few years ago:

Both the papers sent to me appear to have strong research results. Now that the research has been done, I’d recommend rewriting both articles from scratch, using the following template:

1. Start with the conclusions. Write a couple pages on what you’ve found and what you recommend. In writing these conclusions, you should also be writing some of the introduction, in that you’ll need to give enough background so that general readers can understand what you’re talking about and why they should care. But you want to start with the conclusions, because that will determine what sort of background information you’ll need to give.

2. Now step back. What is the principal evidence for your conclusions? Make some graphs and pull out some key numbers that represent your research findings which back up your claims.

3. Back one more step, now. What are the methods and data you used to obtain your research findings.

4. Now go back and write the literature review and the introduction.

5. Moving forward one last time: go to your results and conclusions and give alternative explanations. Why might you be wrong? What are the limits of applicability of your findings? What future research would be appropriate to follow up on these loose ends?

6. Write the abstract. An easy way to start is to take the first sentence from each of the first five paragraphs of the article. This probably won’t be quite right, but I bet it will be close to what you need.

7. Give the article to a friend, ask him or her to spend 15 minutes looking at it, then ask what they think your message was, and what evidence you have for it. Your friend should read the article as a potential consumer, not as a critic. You can find typos on your own time, but you need somebody else’s eyes to get a sense of the message you’re sending.

Also,
(a) Don’t write something unless you expect people to read it.
(b) This principle holds for tables and figures as well.

More at the above link.

Categories: blogging

Here are my thoughts about using Prezi for Teaching a Class

March 20, 2012 147 comments

Using Prezi for Classroom Teaching

I usually teach using powerpoint or the whiteboard. Today for a change I started using Prezi an online presentation creation and demonstration tool. I downloaded the presentation after creation to my notebook computer for presentation but this was not necessary. Prezi is a different implementation of a show and tell environment and I will be using this more frequently in my presentations.

In a sense, Prezi is more like a dynamic poster presentation than a presentation software that runs linearly through the slides. It is a flash based and browser dependent application, so that it can be shown nearly everywhere, and no additional hardware needs to be installed. In that sense, a prezi presentation is quite a nice and hassle free application; besides it is possible to embed images, videos, audio clips (I think through the sound bytes), and of course texts and images that then become dynamic entities that gain focus.

It takes a while to get used to create presentations in Prezi. Basically you need to start with an outline, and I found that you cannot think while you work on Prezi. Think about your presentation beforehand, lay it out on a mind map (which is what I usually do for any writing), then either transfer that mind map as it is on a word processor or text document (use textedit/textwrangler on mac or any other word processor/text processor on other platforms) and then work from there, i.e., copy and paste or write on the prezi template.

Basically the way it works is this:

  1. You develop the idea of the presentation first
  2. Populate Prezi using word boxes, add pictures, add voice or other files, video, etc
  3. Link the “units” using a path selector

The combination of your own boxes/text/image/multimedia and paths creates a unique pathway based or learning pathway based implementation of what you want to show and when. On screen the elements will keep on being exhibited according to the magnification you want them (in turn depending on what you want to highlight). You can highlight individual words or phrases, and you can play on them. Or you can dynamically link individual elements within picture units. They are not “slides”, as nothing really slides anywhere but display units glide around and it creates quite a unique effect. I am not sure how learners may interact (coming to it).

The first couple of times I tried to use the Prezi templates that were prebuilt, it did not work. First of all, the templates were somewhat complicated for me to use for a first timer, and second, it was a pain to identify and select the path. Second, understanding this path structure is quite complex. It seems that it is suited to edit and modify paths after creation, but it was quite difficult to do this in the first shot. So I ended up adding to the path component after every two to three element creation. There is a panel that will let you reorder your panels to show.

Did I like it? I think I did. It has almost all the interactivity and elements of powerpoint, but the paradigm is different. It is more of a dynamic story telling. You got to have a story first and then build the elements around the story. Some people may not like the way the screen rotates and refreshes (may make people dizzy). One of my students got confused in setting up the iPad in the middle of the presentation as it asked her to log in. She just downloaded the app on her iPad without registration. These need to be fixed.

Overall, good tool to work with. I quite like it. Need to figure out some more productive ways to use it.

Categories: blogging
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