Friday, March 11, 2011

Speed Linking

  • For the first time, a high school baseball game featured two female starting pitchers. They represent just 2 of the 1000 girls playing high school baseball. For a great look at how girls and women have been excluded from the national pastime I recommend Stolen Bases: Why American Girls Don't Play Baseball by Jennifer Ring.
  • Wondering how gas prices are set? Here is a little primer, although from my perspective it does not answer all of the questions.
  • A drug which has been shown to help prevent premature birth has now been centralized to production by just one company. As a result, the cost of the drug has sky rocketed from $10 to $1500, which means that rather than the 20 injections needed to make sure the baby makes it to term costing $2000 they will now cost $30,000. Since a large portion of the women needing these injections are minorities and poor that means that fewer may actually get the medication they need. The CEO of the pharm says that the cost is justified because the average cost associated with a preemie with birth defects for the first year is $51,000, so by their calculations these women are saving $21,000 by taking the shots. The costs for developing this drug were paid by others so it's not that they are having to pay off investments. Instead this is just out and out greed.
  • Is the 30-year-mortgage a thing of the past? Maybe if Congress pulls the plug on government backing of mortgages.
  • The GOP is working on making it more difficult for young people, students in particular, and minorities to vote. Voter suppression has obviously taken place before, but it's usually a little more covert. The speaker of the house in New Hampshire said the problem is that young people "just vote their feelings" and end up "as a liberal," and of course that must be stopped.
  • Erin Brokovich is back at it again, and in the same town, where PG&E has allegedly polluted the water table again.
  • For those interested in reducing government expenses, the GAO has made a recommendation that would save the government 5.5 billion over the next 30 years. All we would need to do is to eliminate $1 bills and replace them with coins. Interested?
  • There are certainly things in my house that have been damaged by my young children, but this story is a reminder why you don't give valuable things to toddlers, especially your new Oscar.
  • One of the great lines from the movie Big is when Susan is complaining about her assistant and says, "She spent the last three months writing down her married name. "Mrs. Judy Hicks", "Mrs. Donald Hicks"; "Mrs. Judy Mitchellson Hicks", sometimes with a hyphen, sometimes without a hyphen. Sometimes, she spells the hyphen." That was 1988, and apparently the debate still rages, with some 86% of brides taking their husband's name.
  • Justice Sonya Sotomayor reports that she was offended by some of the questioning she received from Senators during her confirmation hearing and believes she was treated very differently then male candidates, especially about her personal life.

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