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Sherman A1

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Gender: Male
Current location: U.S.
Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 07:37 AM
Number of posts: 34,098

Journal Archives

Consumerization of healthcare: why the hearing aid market might be the next to feel disruption


With hearing aids starting at about $1,400 each and going up and up and up in price, the hearing aid market is at least worth $5 billion. Now, it turns out that, as with many medically-dispensed devices, hearing aids come in a huge variety, based on patient need -- from those that just sit behind the ear and magnify sound to those that are surgically installed inside the ear for a direct tech-to-bone connection.


As it turns out, there's a category of devices that help hearing but aren't allowed to be called hearing aids. According to the FDA (which is the agency that regulates hearing aids in the United States), these are Personal Sound Amplification Devices (PSADs). A 2009-vintage Web page on the FDA site describes "Hearing Aids and Personal Sound Amplifiers: Know the Difference."


Choosing a PSAP as a substitute for a hearing aid can lead to more damage to your hearing, says Mann. "It can cause a delay in diagnosis of a potentially treatable condition. And that delay can allow the condition to get worse and lead to other complications," he says.

Clearly, any discussion of anything medical should include the suggestion to see your doctor. So I dutifully remind you that I'm not a medical professional and suggest that you go see your doctor.


Interesting piece which takes a look at the potential of newer consumer electronics to drive down the cost of expensive hearing aids.

September 24

National Cherries Jubilee Day and

Punctuation Day (please practice safe punctuation today and everyday)!

September 23:

National White Chocolate Day

and National Voter Registration Day

September 22

National Ice Cream Cone Day

Look Back • Race hatred, workforce tensions explode in East St. Louis in 1917

EAST ST. LOUIS • Land was flat and plentiful. Cheap coal was just up the hill. Low-wage workers were easy to find.

Once a quiet ferry landing on the east bank of the Mississippi River, this town burst with growth in the late 19th Century. Industrialists built sprawling factories across the formerly swampy expanse of the American Bottom. Workers lived in drab houses nearby. It was a gritty town, but there was plenty of work.

East St. Louis, briefly called Illinoistown after its incorporation in 1859, was home to only 5,600 people in 1870. Then came the National Stockyard in 1873 and the Eads Bridge one year later. The city became a tangle of 22 railroads connecting St. Louis to the north, east and south.

By 1910, with 58,000 residents, the city and environs were home to many industries that burned mountains of sooty coal from nearby Illinois mines. The big payrolls included Aluminum Ore Co., American Steel Foundry, Republic Iron & Steel, Obear Nester Glass and Elliot Frog & Switch (a frog was part of a railroad switch).


All's Fair In Love And (The Rubber Used To Make) Condoms

Finding the right condom just got a little bit more like finding a good cabbage.

Picky shoppers might notice labels on condom boxes these days that say fair trade, non-GMO and all natural.

Condoms don't just fall off trees, but most of them do start there. The major ingredient in most condoms is natural latex, which comes from rubber trees. A lot has to happen to make tree sap into a Jimmy hat. A number of companies are trying to make that process more ethical, from tree to ... well, you know.

There are Sir Richard's, GLYDE, Fair Squared, Condomi, L. Condoms, French Letter and now Sustain, which hit U.S. stores this summer.


US take Guatemala to arbitration for anti-union violence

It took over six years of a tortuous and hard fought legal battle, but Guatemalan workers have finally reasons to celebrate.
Today the United States has agreed to take Guatemala to international arbitration for violating workers´ rights under the DR-CAFTA (Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement).

It is the very first time in history that one country has sought international arbitration against another for a violation of labour standards.

The dispute started back in April 2008, when six Guatemalan unions and the AFL-CIO filed a complaint with the US Office of Trade raising a number of serious concerns, including trade union violence.

The petition argued that Guatemala failed to enforce its own labour laws and its commitments to respect, promote and realise core worker´s rights.


State still owes city $2.5B for school funding

The UFT joined public school parents, advocates and elected officials on the steps of City Hall on Sept. 18 to put the state on notice: the $2.5 billion that it owes the city’s public schools from the 2007 settlement of a landmark school-funding lawsuit is past due.

“We can’t wait” is the rallying cry and the hash tag for a social media campaign spearheaded by the Alliance for Quality Education to remind state officials of what the billions of dollars could provide for public students across the state: everything from smaller class sizes and science labs to after-school programs and AP courses.

“As a parent and an educator, I’m here to tell you we have waited too long,” said Karen Alford, the UFT vice president for elementary schools, at the rally. “Our students deserve smaller classes, afterschool programs, arts and music programs, and community learning schools.”

Alliance for Quality Education is asking people to make a #WeCantWait sign and write why they can’t wait for New York State to fully fund public schools and then share that picture across social media with #WeCantWait and at @AQE_NY on Twitter.


Charleston fast food workers strike shortly after Labor Day

On Thursday, September 4, the largest fast-food-worker strike in United States history took place in more than 150 cities, including: New York, Detroit, Chicago and even our very own, Charleston, SC. At 8 AM, workers, organizers, and activists, gathered outside of the Taco Bell on James Island, demanding a fair wage of $15 an hour and the right to form a union. Mid-day, they regrouped at Brittlebank Park and marched to the McDonald’s downtown holding banners and signs, chanting: “forward together, not one step back,” as printed on the back of their shirts. Twenty-five brave fast food workers blockaded all four lanes of the high-traffic Spring St. for over an hour. It was the largest civil disobedience event in Charleston since the November 2011 occupation of Marion Square, when 10 Occupy Charleston protesters were arrested.

Cherri Delesline, a mother of four, currently employed at a McDonald’s in North Charleston, was a dynamic ringleader leading chants such as,
“I believe that we will win,” and “we can’t survive on $7.25,” keeping up energy within the group. Earlier that week, Cherri spoke at the CofC Annual Labor Day Celebration as a part of a panel about labor laws and unions. Cherri spoke about her struggles surviving off of a $7.25 minimum wage and remarked, “Everyone should be a part of a union. When I wasn’t, my voice wasn’t being heard.” This and other struggles, resulting from working in a Right to Work state that scorns labor unions are shared among other fast food workers in South Carolina.


Failure to Heed Concerns of Workers Playing Role in Walmart’s Poor Sales

Recently, some Wall Street analysts have predicted that big box stores like Walmart will meet their demise.

Why? Not only are customers turning increasingly to online retailers or smaller, more convenient stores—which cut into the market share of big box retailers—but also because business practices like those of Walmart continually disregard the well-being of their workers, which is also bad for business.

Walmart began seeing a real problem with keeping its shelves stocked last year, as they continued to cut more and more hours from their employees’ schedules. Not only does this mean that workers continue to struggle to get enough hours and pay to make ends meet, but also that customers get angry or frustrated and turn elsewhere—which many weren’t shy about expressing on social media with photos of empty shelves, or even expired food.

Walmart workers have been talking about this issue for quite some time now, but that has not stopped America’s largest retailer from continuing to try to put profits above the well-being of the hard-working people they employ.

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