Sabtu, 31 Juli 2010

Great Deals on Chris Isaak Tickets at The O'Shaughnessy

Born in Stockton, California, Chris Isaak's musical career began when he signed a contract with Warner Bros. Records in 1984 and released his first album Silvertone. His best known song is "Wicked Game" which was released on the 1989 album Heart Shaped World. Chris Isaak has also done some acting and has appeared in numerous films and TV shows. His first film appearance was as a clown in the movie Married to the Mob. Since his debut, Chris Isaak has released a total of 14 albums and appeared on nine films and 13 television shows. Now is your chance to see him live at The O'Shaughnessy and get a GREAT deal on your Chris Isaak tickets from Ticket King!! The show is this Wednesday evening and we currently have tickets for just $95 a piece in the 8th row of the main floor! You won't find tickets this great anywhere else, especially not this close to the show. So get them now before they're gone!!

More troubles for Berwick?

Much of the recent criticism aimed at Don Berwick, the new CMS Administrator, is, in my opinion, unfair and politically motivated. Other criticism is legitimate, as some in the quality and infection prevention communities have disagreed with his willingness to vigorously pursue some strategies that lack strong evidence. This was discussed in a blog posting a few months ago by Bob Wachter. Now there's a new issue emerging. Sen. Chuck Grassley has requested that Berwick disclose the funding of the non-profit he founded, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. According to IHI's 2008 form 990, which can be viewed at the Guidestar website, Berwick's reportable compensation was $2.3 million in 2008. Regardless of the motivation behind Grassley's information request, whether Berwick has conflicts of interest is a legitimate question.

Addendum (8/1/10, 9:50 AM):  Click here for more.

Key to the Future Development of china education

The focus of China's education is to improve the country's intellectual outlook and bring about competent students in all aspects of China's development. China's future relies on the younger generation to take China into the new century.

Focus of China's education

The focus of China's education is to improve the country's intellectual outlook and bring about competent students in all aspects of China's development. China's future relies on the younger generation to take China into the new century.

China Students' Federation

The education system is under reform. The number of paid students increases dramatically in recent years. The trend may continue and the government may eventually adopt a pay system instead. China currently provides free university education. Students do not have to pay tuition fee and are provided with free on-campus dormitories. Grants or subsidies will be given to students whose families have financial difficulties. The dormitory, which forms an important part of university life, is run by the students themselves through the students' union under the China Students' Federation, to which all enrolled students belong.
The education system is under reform. The number of paid students increases dramatically in recent years. The trend may continue and the government may eventually adopt a pay system instead.

Living & Accommodation in university education in China

China currently provides free university education. Students do not have to pay tuition fee and are provided with free on-campus dormitories. Grants or subsidies will be given to students whose families have financial difficulties. The dormitory, which forms an important part of university life, is run by the students themselves through the students' union under the China Students' Federation, to which all enrolled students belong.
The education system is under reform. The number of paid students increases dramatically in recent years. The trend may continue and the government may eventually adopt a pay system instead.

centralized enrolment system in University admission in china

The nationwide examinations are held in the first ten days of July. Candidate can take the examination in either one of the two categories, humanities or sciences/engineering. They apply for the institutions and departments they wish to enter in order of preference. Enrolment is determined by the examination results. Brief investigation into their social behavior and moral character is conducted before students are admitted. In some faculties, specific physical requirements must be met.
University admission is operated on a centralized enrolment system, in which admissions committees at the provincial level are under the Ministry of Education. Admission is granted on the basis of academic, physical and moral qualifications. Special allowances are made for minority nationality and overseas Chinese candidates

overseas Chinese candidates for university level education

University admission is operated on a centralized enrolment system, in which admissions committees at the provincial level are under the Ministry of Education. Admission is granted on the basis of academic, physical and moral qualifications. Special allowances are made for minority nationality and overseas Chinese candidates
The nationwide examinations are held in the first ten days of July. Candidate can take the examination in either one of the two categories, humanities or sciences/engineering. They apply for the institutions and departments they wish to enter in order of preference. Enrolment is determined by the examination results. Brief investigation into their social behavior and moral character is conducted before students are admitted. In some faculties, specific physical requirements must be met.

Higher education in China

Higher education in China is to train specialists for all the sectors of the country's development. Universities, colleges and institutes offer four- or five-year undergraduate programs as well as special two-or three-year programs. Students who have completed a first degree may apply to enter graduate schools.

Senior high school education in China

Senior high school education is a continuation of junior high school. Students take up specific subjects in either science or humanity subjects. Many contests are organized annually in all levels to encourage their study. The "Olympic Series" are the most noticeable ones. The purpose is for them in preparation for the national college entrance examination. Examinations are designed separately for science and arts students.

High School Education in china

High school education has two parts, 3-year junior high school program and senior high school.
From junior high school, students begin to learn a variety of science subjects such as chemistry, physics and biology and other subjects such as history, geography, and foreign languages. Physical education is enthusiastically encouraged.

Six years primary school education in china

The primary school education requires six years. Pupils are required to take a variety of subjects such as the Chinese language, fundamental mathematics and moral education. They also take part in sports and extra-curriculum activities. Foreign languages such as English are optional courses in the senior year of the primary education

Pre-school Education & kindergarten education in China

Children aged from 3 to 6 will attend Cnear their neighborhoods, where they learn the basics of the native language and subjects. They play games, dance, sing and act. Children are taught from the early year the values of Truth, Kindness and Beauty. Chinese take children education very seriously since they know that a person's personality is mould in the early childhood.

Nine-year compulsory schooling system in China

China has adopted a nine-year compulsory schooling system, which means all children are required to attend school for at least nine years. Students have to complete both the primary school program and the junior middle-school program. Higher education is only for those students who have passed examinations of all levels. Student must pass the entrance examination for senior middle schools or middle-level technical schools. After two, three or four years, they have to go through national college entrance examination for admission to universities.

Institutions under local control in china

Institutions under local control
The bulk of the colleges and universities are in this administrative category and are generally multidisciplined universities, teacher training schools, and specialized colleges under the direct jurisdiction of the provinces, autonomous regions and the municipalities.

Key Schools in china

The designation of ``Key School'' exists for selected schools at every educational level in China: elementary, secondary and higher. In addition, there are various levels of the ``key'' designation itself: There are national key institutions, provincial or municipal key institutions, and county or district key institutions. Key schools all enjoy priority funding as well as the privilege of recruiting the best students. At the elementary and secondary levels, this concept is similar to that of a ``magnet'' or ``college preparatory'' school in the United States. Entry into such schools is based on examination and academic promise and achievement. For such schools, success is usually measured in terms of the percentage of its graduates entering colleges and universities, especially the key colleges and universities. The philosophy has been that giving a limited number of schools, colleges and universities priority in allocating limited resources, then the training of the needed top-level manpower for China's reconstruction can be carried out more efficiently.
In certain areas, the concept of ``Key School'' has come under fire. Indeed, the success of the Key elementary and middle schools has too often been measured solely in terms of college placement of its students, rather than on more objective measurements of learning. Furthermore, remnants of the same sort of elitism that shut down the key schools during the Cultural Revolution have re-emerged, leading to questioning by the educational authorities.

The Categories Within the Educational System in China

1. Primary Education.
Primary education includes pre-school education and elementary education. Pre-school, or kindergarten, can last up to three years, with children entering as early as age three, until age six, when they typically enter elementary school. Elementary school begins with the first grade, and then proceeds through either grades five or six, depending on the system.
The academic year is divided into two semesters, each consisting of 19 weeks, with a total of 38 weeks of instruction for the year. In addition there is one week ``in reserve'' (similar to ``snow days,'' in this country) for additional time as needed. The remaining 13 weeks are for vacations and holidays.

2. Secondary Education.
Secondary education is divided into regular secondary education and vocational and technical secondary education. Regular secondary education consists of junior middle school and senior middle school. Junior middle school will involve either three or four years of schooling, depending on the system (6-3 versus 5-4), and senior middle school is, in the vast majority of cases, a three year program, resulting in a 5-4-3 or a 6-3-3 system of elementary school-junior middle school-senior middle school.
The academic year for junior middle school consists of 39 weeks of instruction, with one week in reserve. The academic year for senior middle school is made up of 40 weeks of instruction, with one to two weeks in reserve.
Students in the vocational and technical secondary education stream will, upon graduation from junior middle school, enter a vocational or technical school. Vocational schools generally offer programs ranging from two to four years, and train medium-level skilled workers, farmers, as well as managerial and technical personnel. Technical schools typically offer four year programs to train intermediate technical personnel. There is a third category, called Schools for Skilled Workers, that typically enroll graduates from junior middle schools to train for positions involving production and operation skills. The length of training is typically three years.

3. Higher Education.
Higher education at the undergraduate level includes two-year junior colleges ({\em zhuanke daxue} ר¿Æ´óѧ), four-year colleges ({\em benke xueyuan} ±¾¿ÆѧԺ) and universities ({\em daxue}´óѧ ). Many colleges and universities also offer graduate programs, leading to the Master's or Ph.D. degrees. There is also a myriad of higher educational opportunities under the general category of adult education, as below.

4. Adult Education.
This category overlaps all three of the above categories. There is adult primary education, which organizes into Workers' Primary Schools, Peasants' Primary Schools, and Literacy classes. Adult secondary education includes radio/TV specialized secondary schools, specialized secondary schools for cadres, specialized secondary schools for staff and workers, specialized secondary schools for peasants, in-service teacher training schools, and correspondence specialized secondary schools. Adult higher education includes radio/TV universities, cadre institutes, workers' colleges, peasant colleges, correspondence colleges, and educational colleges. Most of the above colleges offer both short-cycle (zhuanke ר¿Æ) as well as regular undergraduate (benke ±¾¿Æ) curricula.

Increasing cost of education in China

In passing, it should be noted that the most important contributing factor the the drop-out rates at each level is the increasing cost of education in China. The schools are charged a variety of fees by the local authorities, which are then passed along to the students. One trade union study of primary and middle schools in Chongqing, a very large city in the Sichuan Province, revealed that the average cost of miscellaneous fees for primary students in 1994 was 95.9 yuan; for junior and senior secondary students, the average fees totaled 155.5 yuan and 257.3 yuan, respectively.

The Law of Compulsory Education in china

This law calls for each child to have nine years of formal education. To meet this requirement, a child will attend either five years of elementary education, followed by four years of junior middle school, or six years of elementary education, followed by three years of junior middle school. Today in China, the second system, or ``6-3'' system is the more commonplace. While the Compulsory Education Law calls for each child to have nine years of formal schooling, it is recognized that certain realities prevent this nine year standard to be implemented immediately. Therefore, a provision of the Education Law is that China shall be divided into three categories: cities and economically developed areas, towns and villages with medium development, and economically backward areas. In the first two categories, the nine-year standard has, in most cases, become universal. Estimates are that in areas comprising 91% of the population, primary education has become universal. Indeed, by a 1994 estimate, 98.4% of elementary school-aged children entered school, with a dropout rate of less than 2% per year. Of the primary school graduates, over 80% go on to junior middle school, which represents about 75% of the relative age cohort. However, in the ecomonically backward areas, which contains about 25% of China's population, a variable timetable for implementing compulsory education has been tied to each such region's local economic development. In short, the nine-year standard continues to be universalized, but in the strict sense compulsory education in China remains not so much a law as as aspiration.

Four categoriesof education in China

For the purpose of the present publication, it is convenient to divide education in China into four categories: primary education, secondary education, higher education and adult education. In discussing the various categories, especially primary and secondary education, it is important to keep in mind that China has a Compulsory Education Law, which went into effect on July 1, 1986:

Julian Opie portraits

Julian Opie (born 1958) is a contemporary English artist. Julian Opie was born in London and raised in Oxford. He is a graduate of Goldsmiths College (1979-82) and achieved some early gallery success, which was an incentive for slightly younger artists in the same college, such as Damien Hirst to do likewise.
His highly stylised work, involves the reduction of photographs (or short films) into figurative reproductions (created using computer software). In his portraiture, the human face is characterised by black outlines with flat areas of colour, and minimalised detail, to the extent that an eye can become a just the black circle of the pupil, and sometimes a head is represented by a circle with a space where the neck would be. In this way, Julian Opie tries to present the complexities of the human form by reducing it to its mere basics.
I must say that on a more basic level his portraits of have always reminded me of Hergé’s Tintin cartoons! Hergé:


Opie:

Julian Opie's style was brought into the public eye when he was asked to design the cover for the British band, Blur's best of album. On the cover, the band members Graham Coxon, Alex James, Dave Rowntree and Damon Albarn are transformed into Opie's style. Here they are in that order:





Other portraits:



Mainland China education

The People's Republic of China, sometimes referred to as Mainland China (but in the present publication shall be referred to simply as China ) has a land mass of 3,705,393 square miles and a population approaching 1.2 billion people. As such, China is the most populous country in the world and ranking third in land mass, behind Russia and Canada. Despite having an economy based primarily on agriculture, only 10% of the land is arable.

Overview of the Educational System of China

This document is still in a very rough state. Furthermore, in certain spots my information is either missing, incomplete, or just plain wrong. Often, you'll see a linked comment that when "clicked" will bring up an email box, addressed to me. Please comment as necessary. Furthermore, please understand that the overview is necessarily brief, since more detailed discussions will be provided in the individual sections.

Jumat, 30 Juli 2010

What's the origin of the word "gigolo"?

Search: gigolo etymology

Why
: I'm listening to "The Long Grift" from Hedwig and the Angry Inch (on the tribute album Wig in a Box [sung by They Might Be Giants], because that song isn't even in the movie [in its entirety]). The first / repeated line is: "Look what you've done, you gigolo."
Answer: It played out like this:
  • French gigue, "shank" or "fiddle"
  • gigoter, "to move the shanks, hop"
  • Mid-14th century Middle English giglot, "lewd, wanton girl" and gigletry, "lasciviousness"
  • 1520s - giglot, "villainous man"
  • gigole, "tall, thin woman; dancing girl; prostitute"
  • 1922 French - gigolo - male form of gigole
Source: Etym Online

The More You Know
: Once you've had a lover-robot, you'll never want a real man again.

Dodge Viper Str 10



REYKJAVÍK - sunna, sæbraut, 07/08/10




The photos of the two first days at LungA Festival in Iceland are up on my visual diary.

Kamis, 29 Juli 2010

CDC's recommendations for flu vaccine

CDC has just released its annual recommendations for influenza vaccination for the upcoming flu season. You can view the document here. There are very few new recommendations. The biggest change is that vaccination is now recommended for all persons 6 months of age and older. The publication notes the availability of high dose vaccine for persons 65 years and over but offers no recommendations regarding its use.

Anna G & Alessandro M

There's nothing more pleasing around the kitchen than utensils made by the Italian company Alessi. From the 1980s onward, Alessi has been particularly associated with the notion of "designer" objects - otherwise ordinary tools and objects executed as high design, particularly in a post-modern mode, from designers such as Philippe Starck. Most of the memorable "designer kettles," "designer toothbrushes," "designer graters" and so on were Alessi products. For some years we've had an Alessi "Anna G" bottle opener and it's always a pleasure to use, and it works. I do think that the "Anna G" and (her husband) "Alessandro M" range are great fun.


Alessi was founded in 1921 to produce crafted products in metal for eating and drinking, by Giovanni Alessi. In 1935, Carlo Alessi (born 1916), son of Giovanni, was named chief designer. In 1945 he ascended to chief executive and designed the coffee service Bombé, an industrial piece manufactured in four sizes. That same year Carlo's younger brother, Ettore Alessi, joined the company as a technician.



By the 1980s, Alberto Alessi took over the management of Alessi (which he still does today) and launched the Alessi company into the design decade through collaborations with designers and architects such as Alessandro Mendini, Ettore Sottsass, Richard Sapper, and Achille Castiglioni.





Rabu, 28 Juli 2010

My surgeon has S. aureus!

Don't panic! Just based on probability a surgeon would have a 30% chance of being colonized with MSSA and perhaps a 1% chance of being colonized with MRSA. Researchers at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases recently screened a total of 135 orthopedic surgeons for MRSA and MSSA nasal colonization. In the 74 attendings, 2.7% were MRSA+ and 23.3% were MSSA+. The story was a bit more interesting in the 61 residents with 59% MSSA+ and none MRSA colonized. Overall, 36% were MSSA+ and 1.5% were MRSA+, which is about what we would have guessed before the study.

These results are similar to Cecilia Johnston's report of healthcare worker colonization at Johns Hopkins a few years ago. She reported 28% S. aureus colonization (95% confidence interval [CI], 22%‐34%) and 2% MRSA colonization (95% CI, 0.04%‐4.0%). I pasted in Cecilia's results to highlight the fact that she calculated confidence intervals for each proportion. The NYU researchers were surprised by the high proportion of residents with MSSA colonization. Sure, the level was high, but if they would have calculated the 95% CI, which was 46%-71%, they might have been less excited.

It's possible that the long hours spent in direct patient care might be risk factors for MSSA colonization, as would frequently performing dressing changes, but these would not be unique to ortho residents. Perhaps they should repeat the study in the same residents at a later point to determine what proportion is transient vs persistent colonization. Of course, it would be nice to repeat the study in other cohorts of ortho residents and ortho nurses.

They also reported that patients screened prior to THR, TKR and major spine surgery at their hospital had 2% MRSA and only 18% MSSA colonization. It would have been nice to read more information about these patients, such as recent antibiotic exposure.

Schwarzkopf et al. in Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (America): PubMed or JBJS
Johnston et al. in December 2007 ICHE
Easy confidence interval for proportion calculator: link

I want to see a piglet squid


Search
: piglet squid

Why
: On CuteOverload:
If you think this is weird, you should see the piglet squid he has on his thumb.
Answer: Well, I never. This is the one from that link:
And here are some more:
How bizarre, how bizarre.

Source
: WeirdSeaMonsters.com, Google Images

The More You Know
: The piglet squid has a large funnel, tentacles over the eyes, and small paddle fins. It is about the size of an avocado, which happens to be my favorite thing on earth. These little monsters live near the surfaces of all the oceans, even in Southern California! The thing is that it fills its little body up with water. When not all bloated, it looks like this:

REYKJAVÍK - líf, gunnarbraut & elisabeth, grasagarðurinn, 07/11-12/10



Cheap Dead Weather Tickets!!!

Composed of Alison Mossheart, Jack White, Dean Fertita & Jack Lawrence, The Dead Weather is a very well-known alternative supergroup that formed in 2009. Since then, the band has released two studio albums, the first Horehound in 2009 and their latest Sea of Cowards released in May of this year. Dead Weather has also released one live album Live at Third Man Records West in 2009. They are currently on tour promoting their latest studio album and will be at First Avenue in Minneapolis tonight at 8 pm!! The band Harlem will be opening for them and I've heard they are also an amazing band. If you haven't purchased your Dead Weather tickets yet, call Ticket King now! We have Dead Weather tickets for just $50 a piece- what a steal for a sold-out show!! You won't find deals like this anywhere else so grab them while you can!

Selasa, 27 Juli 2010

Gossip Girl Season 4 Signature Looks

The cast of Gossip Girl has been filming some scenes for the tv show's 4th season in Upper West Side and they were spotted with their signature looks.
Chanel,Gossip Girl Style,Miu Miu
Blair Waldorf in a belted shirtdress paired, Miu Miu platform heels and Celine handbag.
Vanessa Abrams wore a clashing pair of tap shorts and printed blouse.

Serena in a berry-colored maxidress and Chanel shoulder bag.
Chanel,Gossip Girl Style,Miu Miu

New cast, Juliet Sharp, sported a business look with matching neutrals.
Chanel,Gossip Girl Style,Miu Miu

Vanessa in clogs and fringed messenger bag.
Chanel,Gossip Girl Style,Miu Miu

What's the origin of the word "pretzel"?


Search
: pretzel history; pretzel name

Why: I am eating some Honey Wheat Braids and thinking about what makes a pretzel a pretzel. It's not the knot or the salt or the twist or the hardness. And maybe you should try the jalapeno cheese pretzel at Disneyland (only at the Coca Cola Refreshment Corner).
Answer: Nobody is sure! Theories:
  • It comes from the Latin pretiola, "little reward," as a 7th century monk handed them out as a reward for children who learned their prayers.
  • It comes from preces, "prayers," after the shape of the pretzel, designed to look like hands in prayer.
  • The real German word is bretzel, from brezitella and brachiatellum, something like "bread baked in the form of crossed arms."
And the secret ingredient is lye! At least on hard pretzels:
In a bakery, pretzels are sprayed with a solution of lye, and the resulting alkalinity encourages their familiar dark brown color (fortunately, the caustic lye combines with carbon dioxide during baking and becomes harmless). Bakery pretzels are then baked for about half an hour -- pretty long for something not much thicker than a cracker -- to make them absolutely dry and hard.

and baking soda for soft ones:

Homemade pretzels and soft pretzels are often made much the same way as bagels, by poaching them in boiling water before baking, the difference being that bagels are usually poached in salt water rather than water and baking soda.
Source: LA Times, Auntie Anne's

The More You Know: If you love pretzels like I do, maybe you can use a pretzel as a marriage knot in your wedding like people did in 17th century Switzerland. According to the people in the food court:
The wedding phrase "tying the knot" got its start when a pretzel was used to tie the knot between two prominent families. The pretzel's loops stood for everlasting love.
Just make a wish and break it like a wishbone. And eat it. Or invite me and give out some of these things.

OSLO - marianne, hegdehaugsveien, 07/24/10