Tuesdays with Tim

Three years of blogging

I have been blogging now for three years.  Here are excerpts from ten of my favorite blogs: 

September, 2010. Stephen Hawking.  A few days ago I saw Stephen Hawking interviewed by Larry King.

Chick Koop


Fear Itself

The words “fear itself” have been sounding in my head ever since I saw a short piece of FDR’s first inaugural speech during the recent inauguration coverage.

Bazooka control in Bazikstan

In all the recent discussions about gun control here in the US the fascinating story of bazooka control in Bazikstan has received little publicity.  After WWII a shipping crate full of bazookas somehow found its way to Bazikstan.  Even under the era of political control by the Soviets, the Bazikstani elite developed a liking to their use, first for sporting to reduce wild yak populations, then later for use in contests to demonstrate skills in targeting distant structures that were to otherwise be razed.  A Bazik company was formed to produce a smaller sporting version of the

Is public health for men?

Last week I attended the Colorado Public Health Association annual meeting in Pueblo.  It wasn’t the Chili Festival but it was worth the trip. 

This year’s CPHA meeting was very useful – lots of good energy for public health and lots of great networking.  I was struck by the gender balance there – probably more than 80% female.  Public Health is becoming a largely female profession.  That same gender imbalance is quite evident here in the Colorado School of Public Health also, among both the faculty and the students. 

So what’s the problem? 

After Isaac: a cancer storm aims for the South

Some of the widest health disparities are seen in the American South.  A storm is brewing that might make that worse, particularly for cancer.

Over the past 20 years it has become clear that programs to diagnose cancer early and assure access to state-of-the-art treatment can drive down cancer mortality rates and can reduce cancer disparities by race, ethnicity, and poverty.  This is especially clear for cancers of the cervix, breast, and colon, for which we now have CDC-funded public programs to provide services for the medically underserved.  But a storm of change i

Drawing the line on gun control

Every time people are murdered by guns we hear a call for re-examination of our policies on gun control.  Even louder calls are heard from those advocating freedom to own and carry guns.  Their messages are mantras such as “guns do not kill, people do”; “if we restrict gun ownership then only the criminals will have guns”; and “gun control cannot prevent every incident”. 

I have been thinking about gun control in recent days.   It seems to me that the question is not about whether to allow gun ownership, but where to draw the lines.  We have already dec

Empty space and back to work

I haven't written for some time as I have been away from work.  Pretty far away - 10 days on a Michigan lake looking for bass and three days in LA at a friend's wedding.  I found some bass and all involved in the wedding seemed far too happy. All good. 

It is July 9th.  Now I am readying to board a flight from LAX to DC, listening to Bob Dylan radio - my favorite Pandora channel, people-watching to folk music.  They just interrupted with a commercial for a supplement to cure low testosterone.  Let there be no doubt that Pandora tailors its ads.

Red Helicopters

When Children’s Hospital first opened a few years ago and the red helicopters began flying over I recall a specific sequence of thought every time I heard one.  First was sorrow for the poor kid onboard.  Whether from an accident or an illness, that child and the family were having what might very well be their worst day ever.  Next came a sense of appreciation for the new perspective on whatever problem I might have been worried about in my own life.  The sound of the chopper always put my little problem into a clearer perspective.  Then, finally, came a sense of h

Insufficient glue and the sex of babies in Cuba

There is a remarkable bit of correspondence in this week’s American Journal of Epidemiology (volume 175, pages 973-974). 

In 2011 Fernandez et al published a provocative analysis of the trends in the ratio of males-to-females in Cuba across the time period of an economic depression.  Their observation was that shortly after the onset of the severe economic depression in the 1990’s there appeared about a 10% increase in the ratio of males to females in the Cuban birth records.   Neither selective abortions nor any other factor could easily explain that trend, lead

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