Time for the ” Question of the week “

Does better insurance affect quality of care?

We have all been there, sitting in a Hospital waiting room – waiting, and waiting, and waiting…Where it feels as though we are living every minute in dog years. We sift and skim through the pamphlets, magazines, and what’s left of the daily paper….

On to the vending machines we go, rummaging through our purses, wallets and pockets in hopes of having just enough.

Finally the TRIAGE doors swing open. The clipboard-clad nurse decked out in flowery scrubs looks down at the list of hope and devastation, scrupulously giving it a twice -over.  As she looks up…. breaths are held…hope is high….fingers are crossed….And then……Nope instead of you, and your feverish, achy, flu ridden self……She has the AUDACITY to summons “Mr. Snazzy sniffles Fancy pants”!

……………??? WHAT???………………

What makes him so special?, He got here after me, didn’t he? He looks fine to me! Everyone mumbles, grunts, and complains….including yourself.

Now perhaps he was the last one to join in the wait, maybe he was far less critical than others waiting, he may have even been non- emergent completely…

So poses the question of hospital protocol, and politics.

Was he indeed called, triaged, treated, and sent on his merry way simply because:
HE HAD BETTER INSURANCE???

At Here and Sphere we would love to hear from you. Give us your thoughts,opinions, and feedback….

Drop us an E-mail at Here_and_Sphere@yahoo.com. Make “Question of the week” its subject. Maybe your response will be featured in the follow-up…

—- Heather Cornell

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MEEK AT THE MOVIES : “AFTER EARTH” FAILS THE TEST — 1 STAR

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Sure, I like Will Smith. I do. Still, I can’t say I am liking his choice of films as of late. Sure, the upcoming “Winter Tale” has a ton of fire power to it, but purportedly, Mr. Smith turned down the role of Django because he felt the role wasn’t a lead. Then there’s that rumored remake of “The Wild Bunch” that has the Peckinpah faithful hearing fingernails on the chalkboard. Now comes this ill-advised project with M. Night Shyamalan, who’s made exactly one quality film, a few intriguing follow ups and done a disastrous slide ever since.
If you’re wondering why the actor, who holds an obvious penchant for sci-fi, would jump into water with a man on his last breath, the answer is likely “his son.” “After Earth” is not a Will Smith movie but a Jaden Smith movie. The young thespian held his own with Dad in the underrated and wholly affecting, pull-yourself-up drama, “The Pursuit of Happyness” and was effective in “The Karate Kid” reboot; but this film ? It’s  Jaden’s coming out party, a big screen bar mitzvah for Papa Smith to declare to the world, “My son is an actor.”
Well not so fast Will.
Jump ahead one thousand years. Man no longer lives on Earth but some far away planet where the bane of his existence is a beast called the Ursa. Sounds like a bear, but it’s a giant hell-bender salamander with pincers and an “Alien” appetite for humans. They’re blind, but can easily pick off peeps because of fear pheromones. Will and Jaden fittingly play father and son. Dad is Cypher Raige — highly regarded Zen general who has all the stoicism and success of Phil Jackson while junior checks in as Kitai, a cadet in dad’s army.
The pair along with a legion of military personnel set off on a training mission aboard a ship carrying a cocooned Ursa in its hold. Why is scantily explained, but then again not much makes sense 1K years into the future. They have warp drive space ships but fight with double bladed pole arms that retract crisply like a light saber — yet they wield no cool semi-automatics or laser blasters? Or how about the man who lost a leg in a battle with an Ursa and is confined to a wheelchair–no bionics or even a blade runner?
Such questions abound throughout and become increasingly aggravated by the stiff direction, hokey futuristic sets, inert dialogue and equally unimpressive acting. Yes, Will too.
In any case, after a meteor storm, the ship crashes and Cypher and Kitai are the only two who survive–well the Ursa too. Cypher’s legs are broken, so he must sit in the fuselage while Kitai treks four days to get to a critical communication module that landed a hundred clicks away as the ship broke apart on entry.
Oh yeah, the planet they landed on is Earth. It’s not really explained why, but we no longer live on Earth, it’s become a bit of a hell hole even though it looks lush, verdant and inviting. Somehow, somewhere along the line Mother Nature got angry (for us mucking up the scenery and souring the seas?) and kicked our ass, mutating giant eagles and swarms of ravenous man sized baboons; and the temperature sways between tropical and sub-freezing each day, even though the flowers bloom and the buffalo roam as if it’s a stable climate. As Cypher says, “every life form has evolved to kill man.” Say what? You can build a spaceship with a nuclear fusion drive, but you can’t take out a troop of oversized baboons?
There’s also the weird notion that man can only sort of breathe on the new Earth. I won’t even go into it, but the bulk of the film is Cypher sitting in a chair–a burnt out game console if you will–shouting commands into the earpiece (well actually, a wrist-piece but you get the idea) of his charge as he evades the local fauna and the Ursa.
Never have I seen Will Smith so stiff and inarticulate, and I wonder now, if all that early praise for Jaden was premature. And, for such a high powered concept, I was amazed at the degree of fluctuation in FX which ranged from brilliantly seamless to a gooey slathering of Cheese-Wiz.
In the wake of such wreckage, who knows if Shyamalan will ever make a feature again? I hope he gets a chance at redemption. as for Will, he’ll be fine. He’s been here before with “The Wild West” and proven to be bulletproof. Then there’s Jaden. He’ll get another shot and he should use it wisely.  He’s got an in, and Will shouldn’t push too hard. I appreciate the parenting instinct, I truly do, but don’t give into nepotism or the egotistical desire for legacy. You’re making bad picks for yourself Will, don’t do your son the same disservice.
—- Tom Meek

FROM PURIST HOUSE MUSIC TO EUROPOP CONCERT : ERIC PRYDZ @ OCEAN CLUB MARINA BAY 06.02.13

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For the first hour of his 90-minute set at Ocean Club Marina Bay on Sunday night, Eric Prydz unfurled a house music sound as basic as it gets. there was a bottom beat — free of gimmickry and arena-rock scrim, a fiercely focused saunter and stroll similar to the minimalist claw and creep that Popof, an underground DJ, spun at RISE Club two weeks ago. Coming from a DJ/producer famed for the polished pop of “Every Day,”  Prydz’s bling-free beat and rhythm presentation surprised. At Ocean Club one is used to hearing acrobatic burp — hair band music on a mixboard, or slats of grunge, or the child’s play crayoning of “electro.” Prydz did none of these.. What he did do was funk and blues — Prydz loves 1980s funk — and, at times, a sigh of soul. It worked. The Ocean Club crowd packed itself shoulder to hip and head to back and, as if one body, it  pulsed, it stomped, raised hands; it swayed and cheered.

Prydz — full name Eric Sheridan Prydz, according to his bio; he comes from the suburbs of Stockholm —  has a full crate of such defiantly pure tracks — six or seven years of it. There’s “Woz not Woz,” (honoring 1980s cult band Was not Was); a re-mix of Switch’s “A Bit Patch,”; “Genesis”; and the in-your-face body bump that is re-mix made of M83’s “1983.” A similar history could be applied to many DJs who play pop-dance venues like Ocean Club; but few such DJs  play their purist music there. Not so Prydz. For an entire hour he played his early purist music and shaped it to a purist standard, too, on two channels and a mixboard.

The crowd loved it. “This is why i am here tonight !” exclaimed a well-known local DJ who rarely goes Ocean clubbing.

Though Prydz loves 1980s funk, he also likes 1980s-1990s glam-rock — has remixed tracks by Depeche Mode and Pink Floyd, among others. It shows. In the manner of these bands, his anthems not only shine, they breathe  — think “Midnight City,’; which Prydz used — exquisitely — at Ocean Club as a bridge from low funk to high polish.

As for “Every Day,” it delivers the most convincing message any pop song of this decade has spoken : “if every day is like this, how can we survive / working days on the night shift trying to stay alive.” It’s a working-class message; and Prydz’s fans at Ocean Club were every bit that: unhip haircuts, attired in tacky tops, last year’s bling, sports logos, and cheap heels. Still, being hip isn’t everything…

The final 30 minutes of Prydz’s set lifted his sound from road-noise house to an orchestrated Europop as flossy as any concert  today’s Paris to Moscow dares stage.  Prydz regaled his song in orchestral brocade; necked it in sonic jewelry; tiara-topped it with a ring of techno;  The audience could feel what was coming next: the hit.

It came. Like a working-class hero king, “Every Day” read out its charter of exhaustion’s right to survive; to be listened to.  A grand finale “Every Day” had to be; and was. Grand and final, a magnificent last word.

—- Deedee Freedberg / Feelin’ the Music

IN VIRGINIA : VOTING RIGHTS RESTORED

photo : courtesy CNN

VIRGINIA, MAY 31st, 2013 —- On this day Governor Bob McDonnell (R) by decree restored immediately the voting rights of some 100,000 Virginians with anon-violent felony on their record but who have completed their sentences and have no criminal charges pending against them.

We at Here and Sphere strongly support Governor McDonnell’s action.

Nothing is more basic to citizenship in America than the right to vote. It should be assured by all lawmakers and executives and by those who administer our laws and work at our politics. To the powerless, especially, who need the vote most — because in many cases it’s all the lawful power that they have — should the right to vote be aggressively assured.

The right to vote has commanded the courage of generations; in the Civil war, hundred of thousands of Union soldiers died to bring Black slaves out of slavery and into citizenship. The right to vote was then assured to women, and then to citizens age 18 to 20.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 — secured only after years of protests and brutality inflicted upon the protesters, including murders on the part of its opponents — gave the Federal government full power to enforce and safeguard the right to vote, and to this day the Justice department oversees that guarantee in many Southern states — and elsewhere.

Nor is this enforcement a mere leftover rom settled history. During the period 2010 to 2012 right wing groups — such as “true the Vote” — and, regrettably, many red-state governments sought to suppress voting by persons whom they figured would vote “blue.” early voting hours were cut, “voter ID” laws were rushed through and True the Vote sent poll watchers to polls in “blue” precincts to challenge and, so they hoped, intimidate voters whose likely vote choice they opposed. The cry of “vote fraud’ w raised to justify all these measures, even though actual vote fraud is a crime already, with heavy, felony penalties and is actually quite rare. Very, very rare.

t did not work. Our “blue” President was passionately re-elected, and the “red’ candidate’s party was reduced to almost non-existence among groups targeted for vote suppression — groups whose members turned out to vote in record numbers. as they should have. Threaten an ametican’s right to votes, and he will definitely exercise that right if only to spank you.

In Florida, where Governor Rick Scott secured legislation severely cutting back on early voting, only to see his approval ratings fall to the basement, he now advocates repealing his own legislation !

And now, in VA, Governor McDonnell has, on his own, restored voting rights to persons who did not have them even without “vote suppression” moves.

Hopefully it’s a trend. And that during the 2016 presidential election we will see candidates competing to see which of them can assure voting rights the quickest and the easiest to the most Americans.

—- the Editors

 

MASSACHUSETTS : PULL BACK THE CAP ON CHARTER SCHOOL OPENINGS

The Charter School debate has been brought to the fore recently two events; ( 1 ) new legislation filed in January had its General Court committee hearing yesterday and ( 2 ) a candidate for Boston mayor, John R Connolly, has made raising the cap an issue in his campaign, and has garnered editorial support from Boston Globe columnist Scot Lehigh.

The issue is not a simple one. Massachusetts school laws don’t just address school openings or curriculum. Funding goes first to standard public schools; and teachers in standard public schools generally belong to either the BTU or MTA, two very powerful teachers’; unions. The involvement of union interests arises because most charter school teachers are not union members. that’s because the teachers’ unions discourage members from working in charter schools. Indeed, the teachers’ unions opposed the creation of charter schools from the beginning, and they still do oppose them. They oppose the cap-lifting legislation that we at Here and Sphere would like to support. 

Funding is also an obstacle, because money directed to new charter schools that the new legislation seeks to allow is funding taken away from standard public schools. This matters, because even if this legislation is adopted, most students will continue to attend standard public schools — the very schools with the poorest record of learning achievement. We are not comfortable with taking money away from schools that often need more of it, per pupil, than better-performing schools. If you are familiar with the boggling problems such schools face — equipment theft, assaults on teachers, school security, and more — you’ll know why.

That said, we favor lifting — but not yet abolishing — the current cap on how many charter schools will be allowed to establish. The argument for doing so is pretty conclusive:

!. Massachusetts charter schools way outperform stabdard public schools in standardized test results — tests that decide a child’s opportunity to attend a great university or college.

2.Massachusetts charter schools offer much more challenging curricula, with greater flexibility, than does the curriculum offered in standard public schools.

3.Just as important as the above, parents have lined u in huge numbers to enroll their children in charter schools. The statewide waiting list, according to reports, stands at ,000 and is growing daily. If parents want charter schooling for their children — and if they are right to do so — how can we in good conscience refuse them ? We shouldn’t.

4.Charter schools work especially in urban areas where standard school performance ranks among the lowest in the state. We strongly support the right of urban children to get schooling as strong as that commonly available to students in wealthier communities.

The current legislation seeks to abolish the cap on charter Schools. We wont go that far just yet. Our position is a middle one: the state should adopt the currently filed legislation and lift — but not yet abolish — the cap limits on how many charter schools can open.

— the editors

ROAD NOISE —- June 1, 2013

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WELCOME TO THE FIRST EDITION OF ROAD NOISE —- WHERE YOUR ROAD/MOTORING INTEREST AND THE AUTO WORLD MEET.

FROM FORMULA 1 (BZZZZZ) TO ELECTRIC VEHICLE (MMMM) AND ALL ROAD NOISE IN BETWEEN.

ROAD NOISE NEWS : AS AMERICANS DROVE ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, THE “ROAD NOISE” HEARD AROUND THE WORLD TOOK PLACE AT THE MONACO GRAND PRIX — WHERE NICO ROSBERG WINS, IN HIS MERCEDES, WITH AN AVERAGE SPEED OF 113.378…… SOON FOLLOWED BY THE 97TH RUNNING OF THE INDIANAPOLIS 500, WITH THE AVERAGE SPEED OF 187.433 AND A HUMAN INTEREST STORY — OF TWO BRAZILIAN, CHILDHOOD GO-CART FRIENDS, KANAAN AND HELIO CASTRONEVES, WHO, AS ADULTS DID THIS :

HELIO BECAME A 3 TIME INDY WINNER, WAS TRYING FOR HIS 4TH, ONLY TO WATCH HIS BROTHER KANAAN SUCCEEDS , AFTER 12 TRIES (PERSISTENCE !) , IN FINALLY WINNING THIS YEAR’S INDY 500 — AND GATHERING A 2.3 MILLION EARNING.

ALSO, FOR NASCAR FANS, THE CHARLOTE COCA-COLA 600 RAN UNTIL ON LAP 122 A FOX OVERHEAD TV CAMERA CABLE SNAPPED ALLOWING AN UNUSUAL TIME OUT INTERFERENCE FOR CAR REPAIRS.

ROAD FEATURE VEHICLE : THIS WEEKS SPECIAL INTEREST VEHICLE IS A SMALL ELECTRIC- POWERED VEHICLE SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR WHEELCHAIR USERS. ASSOCIATES OF MINE IN ATLANTA ARE DEVELOPING THIS VERSION. THIS VEHICLE TRANSFORMS A STANDARD MANOEUVRABLE AND EFFICIENT LOCAL CAR INTO AN OPEN INTERIOR SPACE LSV, BUILT TO HOUSE THE DRIVER’S OWN WHEELCHAIR.

ALL HE/SHE HAS TO DO IS SIMPLY TO OPEN, WITH AN ELECTRIC REMOTE, THE EXTRA LARGE REAR HATCH DOOR, THEN ROLL IN, UP TO THE STEERING WHEEL, THE WHEELCHAIR LOCKS INTO PLACE WITH EASY REACH OF THE CARS CONTROLS.

ROAD HISTORY WEST LYNN, MASSACHUSETTS IS KNOWN AS THE HOME OF GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY’s AMERICAN JET ENGINE WORKS. BUT DID YOU KNOW IT WAS ALSO THE HOME OF ONE OF THE FIRST GASOLINE DRIVEN MOTORIZED VEHICLES ?

AS THE STORY GOES, IN 1894 HIRAM MAXIM, A THEN RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATE, HAD INTEREST IN APPLYING AN EARLY 3 CYLINDER GASOLINE POWERED PISTON ENGINE TO HIS ADULT SIZED 3 WHEEL BiCYCLE. CREATING ONE OF THE FIRST MOTOR PROPELLED VEHICLES. MOST PARTS PUT TOGETHER FROM THE WELDING COMPANY WHERE HE WORKED, HE, FROM HIS GARAGE AT HOME. AFTER NUMEROUS TRIES FROM HIS GARAGE IN WEST LYNN, MASSACHUSETTS HE SUCCESSFULLY RAN THE ENGINE, PUT HIMSELF ON THE 3 WHEEL BIKE UNTIL IT TOOK OFF AT A GREATER SPEED THAT HE IMAGINED UNTIL HE FINALLY FELL OVER THE FRONT, LANDING SCRATCHED AND BRUISED BY PROUD OF IT ALL.

HIRAM MAXIM WENT ON TO PLACE 3 AUTOMOTIVE PATENTS CREATING SOME OF THE WORLDS FIRST MOTOR DRIVEN ROAD NOISE.

ROAD MUSEUM & EVENTS : NOW THE LARS ANDERSON MUSEUM IN BROOKLINE MASS IS RE-OPENED, ITS NEW EXHIBIT ‘PATINA, PROVENANCE, ORIGINALITY’, A TRIBUTE TO THE RESTORATION OF THE COLLECTIBLE AUTOMOBILE, LOOKS TO BE AN INTERESTING VIEWING.

ROAD SAFETY :  And according to the ‘National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’, ‘many people call them car “accidents”, but really the correct term is “collisions” or “crashes”. In a vehicle collision someone was acting in a way that caused the crash to happen which could have been prevented had they acted differently. If it could have been prevented it is NO accident’**. You decide.

ROAD ECONOMICS   ROAD NOISE NOW LEAVES YOU WITH THIS SESSION’S QUESTION FOR NEXT TIME:  IS THE CHINESE CAR COMING TO THE USA WITHIN FIVE YEARS?

THANKS FOR JOINING US !

TILL NEXT TIME MAY YOUR ROAD NOISE LEAD YOU TO YOUR BEST GOALS.

—- Charles Barris / Road Noise

*The Roads We Traveled/Waitley

** NHTSA

ROAD NOISE — JUNE 1st 2013

photo (1)

WELCOME TO THE FIRST EDITION OF ROAD NOISE —- WHERE YOUR ROAD/MOTORING INTEREST AND THE AUTO WORLD MEET.

FROM FORMULA 1 (BZZZZZ) TO ELECTRIC VEHICLE (MMMM) AND ALL ROAD NOISE IN BETWEEN.

ROAD NOISE NEWS : AS AMERICANS DROVE ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, THE “ROAD NOISE” HEARD AROUND THE WORLD TOOK PLACE AT THE MONACO GRAND PRIX — WHERE NICO ROSBERG WINS, IN HIS MERCEDES, WITH AN AVERAGE SPEED OF 113.378…… SOON FOLLOWED BY THE 97TH RUNNING OF THE INDIANAPOLIS 500, WITH THE AVERAGE SPEED OF 187.433 AND A HUMAN INTEREST STORY — OF TWO BRAZILIAN, CHILDHOOD GO-CART FRIENDS, KANAAN AND HELIO CASTRONEVES, WHO, AS ADULTS DID THIS :

HELIO BECOMES 3 TIME INDY WINNER, TRYING FOR HIS 4TH, ONLY TO WATCH HIS BROTHER KANAAN SUCCEEDS , AFTER 12 TRIES (PERSISTENCE !) , IN FINALLY WINNING THIS YEAR’S INDY 500 — AND GATHERING A 2.3 MILLION EARNING.

ALSO, FOR NASCAR FANS, THE CHARLOTE COCA-COLA 600 RAN UNTIL ON LAP 122 A FOX OVERHEAD TV CAMERA CABLE SNAPPED ALLOWING AN UNUSUAL TIME OUT INTERFERENCE FOR CAR REPAIRS.

ROAD FEATURE VEHICLE : THIS WEEKS SPECIAL INTEREST VEHICLE IS A SMALL ELECTRIC- POWERED VEHICLE SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR WHEELCHAIR USERS. ASSOCIATES OF MINE IN ATLANTA ARE DEVELOPING THIS VERSION. THIS VEHICLE TRANSFORMS A STANDARD MANOEUVRABLE AND EFFICIENT LOCAL CAR INTO AN OPEN INTERIOR SPACE LSV, BUILT TO HOUSE THE DRIVER’S OWN WHEELCHAIR.

ALL HE/SHE HAS TO DO IS SIMPLY TO OPEN, WITH AN ELECTRIC REMOTE, THE EXTRA LARGE REAR HATCH DOOR, THEN ROLL IN, UP TO THE STEERING WHEEL, THE WHEELCHAIR LOCKS INTO PLACE WITH EASY REACH OF THE CARS CONTROLS.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CARS AND CARTS ATLANTA GEORGA

ROAD HISTORY :  WEST LYNN, MASSACHUSETTS IS KNOWN AS THE HOME OF GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY’s AMERICAN JET ENGINE WORKS. BUT DID YOU KNOW IT WAS ALSO THE HOME OF ONE OF THE FIRST GASOLINE DRIVEN MOTORIZED VEHICLES ?

AS THE STORY GOES, IN 1894 HIRAM MAXIM, A THEN RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATE, HAD INTEREST IN APPLYING AN EARLY 3 CYLINDER GASOLINE POWERED PISTON ENGINE TO HIS ADULT SIZED 3 WHEEL BiCYCLE. CREATING ONE OF THE FIRST MOTOR PROPELLED VEHICLES. MOST PARTS PUT TOGETHER FROM THE WELDING COMPANY WHERE HE WORKED, HE, FROM HIS GARAGE AT HOME. AFTER NUMEROUS TRIES FROM HIS GARAGE IN WEST LYNN, MASSACHUSETTS HE SUCCESSFULLY RAN THE ENGINE, PUT HIMSELF ON THE 3 WHEEL BIKE UNTIL IT TOOK OFF AT A GREATER SPEED THAT HE IMAGINED UNTIL HE FINALLY FELL OVER THE FRONT, LANDING SCRATCHED AND BRUISED BY PROUD OF IT ALL.

HIRAM MAXIM WENT ON TO PLACE 3 AUTOMOTIVE PATENTS CREATING SOME OF THE WORLDS FIRST MOTOR DRIVEN ROAD NOISE.

ROAD MUSEUM & EVENTS : NOW THE LARS ANDERSON MUSEUM IN BROOKLINE MASS IS RE-OPENED, ITS NEW EXHIBIT ‘PATINA, PROVENANCE, ORIGINALITY’, A TRIBUTE TO THE RESTORATION OF THE COLLECTIBLE AUTOMOBILE, LOOKS TO BE AN INTERESTING VIEWING.

ROAD SAFETY :  And according to the ‘National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’, ‘many people call them car “accidents”, but really the correct term is “collisions” or “crashes”. In a vehicle collision someone was acting in a way that caused the crash to happen which could have been prevented had they acted differently. If it could have been prevented it is NO accident’**. You decide.

ROAD ECONOMICS   ROAD NOISE NOW LEAVES YOU WITH THIS SESSION’S QUESTION FOR NEXT TIME:  IS THE CHINESE CAR COMING TO THE USA WITHIN FIVE YEARS?

THANKS FOR JOINING US !

TILL NEXT TIME MAY YOUR ROAD NOISE LEAD YOU TO YOUR BEST GOALS.

—- Charles Barry

*The Roads We Traveled/Waitley 

** NHTSA