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July 15, 2008

BehindTheMedspeak: "Online Doctor Stalking: America's New Pastime'


Just in from Shawn Lea, head of my crack research team, this nifty guide to stalking doctors on the Internet.

Interestingly, it's by Kathryn MacKenzie, technology editor of HealthLeaders magazine.

Her intended audience is physicians who might find themselves the object of individuals less than 100% satisfied with their patient experience — and ready to take matters into their own hands.

Everybody who's not a doctor, stop reading now.

Once you've stopped laughing, go ahead and find out what "they" don't want you to know.

Wait a minute... I'm one of "them" — what's wrong with me?

Not enough time left till the universe burns out to say.

Here's the article, published today on healthleadersmedia.com.

    Online Doctor Stalking: America’s New Pastime?

    We hear a lot about patient privacy and rights. With high-tech heavyweights like Google and Microsoft getting into the online personal health records game, it's likely that publishing medical information online will become the norm, rather than a futuristic pipe dream. Of course, patients will still want to know that their private information won't be accessed by the prying eyes of bosses, friends, neighbors, or relatives. And, through advertising pushes, test cases, and studies, the industry is working very hard to prove to patients that their medical data will remain private.

    But what about the healthcare provider's right to privacy?

    Many providers, especially those of a certain age, may not have any idea just how much of their personal information is easily accessible online to anybody—including their patients.

    Anyone who comes into contact with patients, whether it be a physician or hospital executive, is accustomed to the dependency of patients in a clinical setting. Yes, we look to our doctors to cure what ails us, but we also want them to offer us comfort and support when we're feeling scared or sick. Some of us also want to know a little about our primary caregiver's history. Where did she graduate from, what do other patients think of her, where else does she practice? With the click of a mouse and few keystrokes, it's a breeze to get that information online at sites like ratemds.com and physicianreports.com. Unfortunately, it's also that easy to access far more personal information. Just by entering my doctor's name in Google or one of the dozens of other search sites, I can find out everything from where my doctor lives to her marital status to how much mortgage she pays.

    Researchers at the Journal of the American Medical Association warn that just finding out where you live may not be the worst that can happen when a patient plumbs the Web for dirt on his doctor. Since anyone can write a Blog or create a Web page, including a disgruntled patient, there is the potential for some serious damage to your or your hospital's reputation.

    "There may be slanderous information about a physician on the Web, published in a Blog or on a Web page, by a vengeful patient, colleague, or ex-lover," Tristan Gorrindo, MD, and James E. Groves, MD, wrote in an article published in JAMA.

    Although you will never be able to completely control what is published about you on the Internet, there are some steps that you can take to control the information that is readily available. The JAMA article recommends that physicians Google their own names regularly to see what's out there, and if you do find slanderous material, be aggressive about getting it removed. Also, create your own Web page. Include basic information about your practice, such as services, address and hours.

    "Such information may satisfy a patient's desire to find some digital connectedness to his or her physician, thereby discouraging deeper online probing,” say Gorrindo and Groves. If you are a member of one of the social networking sites out there, like Myspace or Facebook, set your profile to private.

    Finally, you can always fall back on the old talking method by asking your patients about how they are using the Internet. "If a physician suspects that an Internet-savvy patient is engaged in seeking personal information about him or her, we recommend that the physician talk with the patient about the garnered information," they write.

    Being knowledgeable about the information published regarding you in the virtual world can help keep even the most persistent cyber-stalker from invading your private life.

July 15, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Cork Shell Chair


Created by Michigan designer Paul Julius Martus.

I want one.

July 15, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Unclaimed Baggage Center — 'Lost treasures from around the world'


From Adam P. Knave comes news of the website of the only unclaimed baggage merchant in the U.S., located in Scottsboro, Alabama.

From the site:

    There Is Only One Unclaimed Baggage Center

    Our store is unique in that we are the only one in the country that sells unclaimed baggage. This original concept began in 1970 when founder Doyle Owens had an innovative idea, 300 dollars, and a used pick up truck. Today, our one-of-a-kind store offers you a unique shopping experience and the opportunity to discover lost treasures from around the world.

    Our store is huge! It has to be to accommodate all of the great finds that await you. Over the years we have been continually expanding and now occupy a 40,000 sq. ft. building covering more than a city block.

    Throughout the day, over 7,000 items will be introduced to the store's shelves. This gives you huge possibilities that range from practical everyday items to the bazaar. You'll want to keep your eyes peeled and the creative juices flowing. The merchandise in the store moves quickly and the inventory is different from day to day.

    We strive to deliver our customer a quality product at an amazing value. In order to do this we have expert buyers that specialize in every category who know the market prices for everything from cameras to fine jewelry, and even that trendy designer bag you might want. We price our merchandise anywhere from 20-80% off the retail value.

    We operate the busiest laundry and dry cleaning facility in the area. Before any item ever reaches the floor to be sold you can sure it has taken a visit to our laundry facility to be washed, pressed, and repaired if necessary.


Much more here.

July 15, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Organs of Wool


Knitted by Berlin


art director and stylist


Sarah Illenberger.

[via streetanatomy and Heather Tompkins]

July 15, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Virtual solar cells


If virtual computing offers a way to dramatically enhance the power of silicone in a box, then why shouldn't a comparable approach offer the same kind of enhancement to silicone on a roof?

Just a thought.

July 15, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Finger Scissors


Designed by Efrat Gommeh.

"Finger Scissors are worn on the fingers and resemble the gesture people make to express 'cutting with scissors.'"


[via tolin.cn]

July 15, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Woodies of Basra — 'Iraqi girls don't want to ride in these'


Who knew?

Long story short: Basra, the second-largest city in Iraq, is home to about 90 woodies — 1959 Chevrolet Apache pickups (above) converted by local carpenters into buses used for public transportation.

They sell locally for about $2,300, though they'd bring about $25,000 apiece in the U.S. with minor refurbishing.

Iraqi woodie owner Ali Hussein Yacoub, unable to fathom a place across the globe in which his beaten-up relic is lionized as a babe magnet, told Charles Levinson in a story that appeared in yesterday's USA Today, "Our countries are very different. Iraqi girls don't want to ride in these buses."

Here's the article.

    Surfers can have them: Iraqis unimpressed by 'woodie' buses

    This is definitely not what the Beach Boys had in mind.

    Iraq's second-biggest city is the surprising home to one of the world's biggest fleets of "woodies" — the iconic wood-paneled vehicles that have for decades been an icon of California surf culture.

    In Basra, about 90 woodies — actually 1959 Chevy Apache pickups that were converted into buses — are used as public transportation.

    Their Iraqi owners are oblivious to the fact that their aging vehicles, considered unfashionable here, might be worth $25,000 or more to collectors in the USA.

    Then again, today's Iraq is a long way from the dreamy beach world chronicled by the Beach Boys in their 1962 breakout hit Surfin' Safari. "We're loading up our woodie with our boards inside," the song goes.

    The Beach Boys assured fans that inside every woodie you'd find "some honeys," turning the car into an expression of cool sought by nostalgic aging surfers and other car enthusiasts.

    What a weird country, says Iraqi woodie owner Ali Hussein Yaqoub, who can't fathom a place an ocean away in which his half-century old relic is lionized as a babe magnet.

    "Our countries are very different," Yaqoub says. "Iraqi girls don't want to ride in these buses."

    Basra's woodie fleet dates from the 1950s. Iraq's lone auto company imported the Chevy Apaches because pickups were cheaper than buses, Yaqoub says.

    Local carpenters were enlisted to build wood sidings to convert the trucks' beds into compartments suitable for passengers and cargo.

    The vehicles don't look exactly like the hardy station wagons the Beach Boys were singing about. But just about any vehicle with wood siding — whether factory-installed or added later — can be considered a woodie, says Manny Cool, a classic car dealer in Pompano Beach, Fla.

    Cool examined photos of Basra's buses and guessed he could sell them for $25,000 each after a little refurbishing.

    "These buses are a crude piece of history," Cool says. "Some rich surfer guy in California would buy it, put three surfboards on the top, put a hot blonde in the front and go to the beach."

    Iraqis pay 500 dinars, or 45 cents, for a trip on one of Basra's woodies. Instead of hula girls suctioned to the dashboard as you might find in a woodie in California, Yaqoub's woodie is decorated with pictures of the Imam Ali, the revered Shiite martyr.

    Though an estimated 150,000 woodies rolled off American assembly lines in the first half of the past century, according to Hans Halberstadt's book Woodies, there are only 10,000 woodies left in the world — not counting the ones in Basra. A woodie in mint condition can fetch well upward of $100,000 at U.S. car shows.

    There's a National Woodie Club that has 3,000 members and chapters across the USA, a monthly magazine called the Woodie Times, and dozens of woodie shows across the country including last month's Woodies on the Wharf in Santa Cruz, Calif.

    Despite their cult status, the vehicles went out of fashion in the USA because the wood was more difficult to maintain than steel-bodied cars. Similarly, police in Basra are pushing the old woodie buses off the streets because they lack seat belts and fire extinguishers.

    The expert wood craftsmanship needed to repair and rebuild the buses is a dying art in Basra. There are only three carpenters left who can do it, says Oday Hatem, another woodie bus owner and driver in Basra.

    A Basra woodie bus sells locally for about $2,300, depending on its condition, according to Yaqoub.

    That's not much more than the cost of a fake woodie kit American car owners glue on to their metal-bodied cars to give them the "woodie look."

    It's a fraction of the $20,000-$30,000 Chris Messano Woodworks in San Pedro, Calif., charges to restore a woodie's woodwork.

    Maybe it's time for Basra to come up with a new export other than oil: "If these were shipped to the U.S., I bet they would all sell," Cool says.

July 15, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack



Designed by


ünal & böler.









[via Milena Castulovich]

July 15, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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