Monday, July 13, 2015


I know ladies aren't supposed to talk about fashion, it is just distraction from real topics but I have an issue! I am giving away every pair of heels I have basically. I can't get rid of my wedding shoes because they are beautiful just to look at. But I have accepted that I truly can't deal with putting all of my weight on the ball of my foot. Fine, I can wear flats to work right? NO! I can't even find flats to wear! I have read internet reviews about how to deal with them cutting into the back of your ankles. I can deal with that by putting on bandaids and/or just lining the shoe itself with moleskin. What I can't fix or deal with is the blisters or just straight cuts that I get on my toes. Sometimes my pinkie toe is squished. Sometimes it just rubs the top of my foot raw. I get cuts on the top of the ball of my big toe. Do I have abnormally fat feet? Are they too tall to wear flats WTF! I have tried comfort brands like Naturalizer, Dr. Scholls, Aerosoles no luck! My best bet is wearing rocketdog stupid silk flats which have no bottom. Even my pair of crummy flat ones from the Gap fit-ish but the ribbon they used on the edges rub. So really my only option is to carry shoes with me. I like an actual bottom to my shoe so I won't feel every rock I step on. My best flat ever was probably Chinese Laundry Varsha Glacier and they don't have them anymore. The sole is a big giant hole in my pair. I didn't realize it was such a problem otherwise I would have just bought more. I refuse to even try any pair of flats with elastic. I don't want my shoes to come curled up because that means there is no bottom.
At this point I am up for trying anything. I am starting to look at the uglier end of the spectrum at these types of flats with almost sneaker style soles.
I can't wear booties with a skirt all summer otherwise I would just do that but it isn't a good look.

After I find a pair of flats, I can go back to hunting for a pair of leather sandals with a strap. Ugh I can't even remember how many pairs I have sent back to Zappos at this point.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

How to buy a car

Because you don't want to be the 45 year old dragging your father out to do your car negotiating for you. Or a 70 year bringing your son- here is how to buy a car.
1. Figure out your monthly payment from your budget. Use the internet to figure this out. If you do not budget, don't buy a car.
2. Multiply your payment by your maximum term. Do you want special financing rates? Those generally max out at 60 months. 72 months is common but stretching the value. Looking at used only? How long your term can be depends on a combination of the year of the vehicle and the mileage.
Example: I can afford $200 a month payment for 72 months= I am paying $14,400 with tax and interest.   200X72= 14,400
3. Realize that this amount isn't going to get you very much car. Weigh your options-
a- lease!- I will write a separate post about how nice leasing is.
b. up your budget.
c. settle
4. Okay lets use a reasonable amount now- $350 X 72= $25,000- (I took some off for fees) again with tax and interest.
So how much can the VEHICLE cost?
EX. Total amount- tax= Cost X 1- tax rate= 25,000 X 1-.07= 25,000 X .93= $23,250.
- Interest rate
5. Interest? I can always get 0% financing.

No you can't. Really. Lets plan for 2%

On $20,000 of vehicle you are looking at around $2,000 of interest. Just go with it. The formula is complicated.

So moral of the story is really for a $250 payment you should be looking at cars right around $20,000.

6.Now you get to do some research! What kind of vehicles are in this price range?
Sticking with the $250 payment- small cars or used. Were you hoping for more? Lots of options?
Now again you have the option to increase your budget or settle.

Serious research questions-
A. Reliability and cost of ownership- What are the real costs of service?
B. How long are you planning on keeping this vehicle?
C. Capability- Do you live in snowy CT or bone dry AZ?

Now I am going to divide this into 2 more blog posts- NEW purchases vs. USED purchasing tips

Monday, June 9, 2014

AI in healthcare AWESOME

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Deadly choices review

This is a great book. Quick, easy read. I didn't know that the anti-vaccine movement has existed for so long. It really seems to be growing and picking up steam in this era of social media but it was all started in 1982 by a television program.

This book seems to really tie in with an article I read the other day- The end of expertise. Social media is allowing everyone to shout their "informed opinions" from the rooftops. Who should you listen to about your child's health- the other parents you know on facebook, or little ole' me without kids but with a degree in public health? You should listen to me. I know how to read scientific articles and I have done so and examined the evidence. The internet is chock full of information. A lot of it is wrong. Many people still quote the very discredited Andrew Wakefield. Every anti-vaccine movement seems to anoint one doctor to be the crowning researcher to discover the horrible side-effects. That was Andrew Wakefield was to the autism- thimerosal crowd. At this point, his doctors license has been removed and his articles have been redacted from the journals that published them. Now the people that are anti-vaccine are conspiracy theorists so they believe that this is because the medical establishment is HIDING them. Instead, this is the standard that scientists hold each other to, they found that he had changed his data which is completely unacceptable. Yes, that is right, I called anti-vaccers conspiracy theorists. I put them on the same plane as people who think 9-11 was a conspiracy or that the JFK assassination was a set-up.

Now you may ask what is the real danger of some parents making bad choices for their own children? Well the problem is the kids that can't get a vaccine. AV have even twisted this to show that it implies that vaccines don't work. The problem is that vaccination rates are now really really low in some areas. The flu strain this year is a resurgence of H1N1. This strain can kill young, healthy people aka the people least likely to get the vaccine.

Paul Offit

Friday, February 22, 2013

Birth Control and Breast cancer- The jury is still out.

Most women will use some form of birth control for the majority of their adult lives. However, the side effects are not always clearly communicated and there are few effective alternatives to estrogen based contraceptives. Much has been done to study the relationship between oral contraceptives and breast cancer as the rate of breast cancer increases.

 The meta-analysis by Kahlenborn, Modugno, Potter, & Severs (2006) looked at 34 studies conducted before 1980 involving oral contraceptive use and breast cancer detected before menopause. Across all of the studies there was a strong correlation between contraceptive use and breast cancer. They found that there is no effect on length of time taken for risk of development for women who do not have children. However, risk decreased among women who gave birth if they waited until after their first child to take oral contraceptives. There are known problems with using meta-analysis for confirmation, studies may be picked in a way that introduces bias and there is publication bias. Also, the doses of hormone in birth control has varied significantly when the women studied would have been taking it. This study demonstrated that there is a consistent relationship. The women involved in these studies ranged across SES, race and many other factors.

A Swedish case-control study by Jernström et. al (2005) was conducted using questionnaires and chart readings. They focused on women who had started birth control before age 20. They found that for every year before 20 that women had taken birth control, their was a significant increase in cancer risk. They acknowledged the possibility of recall bias but they confirmed their findings with the available medical history. This study demonstrated temporal causality.

This does not mean this hypothesis is universally accepted. The study by Westhoff (1999) accepted the opposite of the hypothesis in the other articles even though they had almost the same results. She associates the increased incidence of breast cancer with population growth instead of the popularity of birth control. Although increased risk of breast cancer is gone after 10 years of being off oral contraceptive, it does not diminish the effect that it could possibly have during those years. Also some women take contraceptive for reasons other than contraception even after menopause. When women develop breast cancer who are still using oral contraceptives, they have less serious diagnoses. This could be a surveillance effect since they have more routine checkups in order to obtain the contraceptives.
None of the studies I reviewed touched on specific types of contraceptives used and dosage levels. Further evidence in this area would support or could disprove the hypothesis if it indicates a plausible or coherent argument.


Friis, R. H. (2012). Essentials of environmental health. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.
Jernström, H., Loman, N., Johannsson, O. T., Borg, Å, & Olsson, H. (2005). Impact of teenage oral contraceptive use in a population-based series of early-onset breast cancer cases who have undergone BRCA mutation testing. European Journal of Cancer, 41(15), 2312-2320. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2005.03.035

Kahlenborn, C., Modugno, F., Potter, D. M., & Severs, W. B. (2006). Oral contraceptive use as a risk factor for premenopausal breast cancer: A meta-analysis. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 81(10), 1290-1302. doi: 10.4065/81.10.1290

Westhoff, C. (1999). Breast cancer risk: Perception versus reality. Contraception, 59(1), 25S-28S. doi: 10.1016/S0010-7824(98)00134-6

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Summer Driving Around Music

Honestly, this version is 50X better than the original

this is also way better than the more well known bassnecter remix, its FASTER!