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Dominique is an Associate Professor in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University. His research work aims at reducing the negative effects associated with motor vehicle crashes. When he's not developing mathematical and statistical models, he devotes some of his time to blogging about stuff.
When you're betting someone's salary, it's time to reassess
The obvious problem here is that for the fabled 1% (or even the 0.5%) income earners, 10K is easy money. They can afford to lose it if someone grabs their purse or if they think they have a better health care system than they actually do. But for a frightening number of Americans, this same amount of money is what they earn in an entire year.
Thursday, November 17, 2011(14 comments)
Medicare is not a single-payer system, get it?
I've noticed among various discussions on blog posts and in the media that several people were referring to Medicare as a single-payer system. It's not only the general population who believes this, but also well-known journalists and politicians. Using the characteristics of the health care system in Canada, I show that Medicare is not an insurance program based on a single-payer system.
Sunday, August 7, 2011(1 comments)
Spike's Deadliest Warrior: Are the winners true victors?
But if you look carefully at the stats, the pairing results are very, very close. In fact, the greatest difference is about 3.5-percent. As someone who uses statistics all the time in my research, I can tell you that the difference in percentages between all but the Joan of Arc versus William the Conqueror is actually statistically insignificant. In other words, most of the time both warriors are deadliest.
Monday, January 31, 2011(13 comments)
Does Global Warming mean the fall of the US Empire?
What's more interesting is that the researchers were able to link significant weather patterns (climate changes caused by natural forcing like volcanic activities among others) and with major historical events, such as the Black Death in 1347 AD, the Thirty Years War, and the fall of the Roman Empire. The researchers believe that climate instability or variability may have helped in the demise of this mighty empire.
Monday, January 10, 2011(1 comments)
Arizona shootings: The Song Remains the Same... Deadly
And in every one of these mass killings, the discussion always comes down to the mental state of the culprit and how did he or she get access to legal firearms in the first place? Why didn't the system flag this person? It seems like almost no one ever asks the right question: Would this same 'emotionally disturbed' person have mowed down the same number of people with his or her bare hands, or with a knife?
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Major security breach! Did China highjack global internet data?
On that alarming day in April, the national telecommunication company owned by the Chinese Government sent a fake signal to anywhere between 35,000 to 50,000 servers around the world, saying, in effect, "hey, guys! Over here!" and making it look like the shortest paths passed through China Telecom's servers or routers. Suddenly there was a wolf on the way to Grandma's house.
Sunday, November 28, 2010(32 comments)
Without health care, the U.S. will lose the perpetual war
And yet, this is the same US government that believes providing health care of any kind for the rest of the population--which would allow everyone the same opportunity to be as productive as a "warfighter"--would damage the country! What's up with that?
Monday, September 20, 2010
"Check Your Package': Public information about cancer too racy for Facebook!
But Facebook rejected the ad. Apparently, the picture of a guy from the bellybutton down wearing boxer briefs is far too explicit for the delicate sensibilities of Facebook members. In addition, because the public service message emphasized the need for men under 35 to make sure they don't die of testicular cancer, Facebook said it discriminated against older people.
Monday, August 23, 2010(8 comments)
Pursuit of Happiness: Do hens get more rights than same-sex couples in California?
Don't get us wrong--my wife and I are very, very much in favor of animals being treated gently and with compassion. But all the same, here we have a state where chickens have the right to the Pursuit of Happiness (freedom to be comfortable), but same-sex couples don't (freedom to be married). Who would have thought that Arnold believes hens are more important than people?
Monday, August 9, 2010(17 comments)
Seriously, who the hell would name their kid that?
Soon after the semester began I had to grade the first assignment. Finding the name, "Adolf Hitler" on one of the title pages sure as hell brought the excitement back however, so to speak. At first I thought it was a joke. I mean, how could this not be a joke? "Adolf Hitler"? No one, I thought, could possibly have ever wanted to doom their kid to a youth of ridicule (or at least gaping incredulity) and limited job prospects.
Saturday, July 31, 2010(1 comments)
Is the Tea Party movement the product of ignorance?
Like so many Tea Baggers who like to toss the word socialism and communism around like rice at a wedding, The A&M grad--who has claimed to hold a master's degree in history, no less--has no clue about the historical contexts of the words he's using. Can it get any dumber than this?
Wednesday, June 23, 2010(2 comments)
The day I was almost abducted and killed by a child predator
Now here's where I started to get scared. While I was still walking towards the Miracle Mart's exit, I checked over my shoulder. The guy was actually following me--one aisle to the right and a few steps behind. From what I could tell, he was watching my every move.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010(1 comments)
Living Dead: 'Lost' versus 'Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes'
So, whether by karma, fate or simple coincidence, ABC's 'Lost' and, in my opinion, the superior BBC's 'Ashes to Ashes' (the continuation of the brilliant British 'Life on Mars') ended their respective series on the very same weekend. I realize that this, while tragic for me, is not particularly noteworthy. Except that the theme of these otherwise entirely different shows ended up being exactly the same.
The case against the U.S. health care system
This post shows that when you include everyone into a single insurance pool, you not only manage the risk by minimizing the payout when your initial estimate is wrong, but you also save the U.S. society billions of dollars in direct, indirect and societal costs. A detailed example is shown to illustrate this point.
Let's Compare Universal and Private Health Care Out-of-Pocket Costs, eh?
This article presents an out-of-pocket costs comparison analysis for a hypothetical hospital visit for someone who either has no medical insurance, or has a private medical insurance or is covered via Universal health care. In this example, the results show that out-of-pocket costs for Universal health care are almost half those of the private medical insurance and three times less when we include employer contributions.
Advocating personal responsibility in health-care reform: Bullshit!
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey recently indicated that many of the health-care problems in the U.S. are self-inflicted and about 70% of all health-care spending is preventable. This article describes the limited impact personal responsibility will play to solve the current health care problems, especially when more than 13 million people suffer from a genetic disease and another 66 million citizens are injured every year.