Humanities

With the future of the Affordable Care Act still up in the air, most of the news coverage has gone to insurance coverage, premiums and Medicaid. And rightly so. But also included in the massive health reform law were a number of innovative measures to improve the quality and value of the medical care we actually get in the doctor’s office. With repeal still on the table, those measures are at risk too.

Yesterday we had a guest entry from Lars Amréus, the Director General of the National Heritage Board about the signage with fringe theories at a much-visited archaeological site in southern Sweden. As I read it, the main take-away message is ”Sorry, I know this used to be our job but it isn’t any more”. So…

The Director General Responds

It seems that my comments yesterday on the small issue of signage at Ales stenar touched a nerve regarding something bigger, having to do with the National Heritage Board’s overall societal role in relationship to archaeology and public outreach. Lars Amréus is the Board’s Director General, an archaeologist and Qaisar Mahmood’s boss. He has kindly…

Bob Lind has yet again managed to get the National Heritage Board to abdicate its responsibility at Ales Stenar, a beautiful 7th century AD burial monument near Ystad in southern Sweden. Bob has self-published odd interpretations of the site that have found no traction among professional archaeologists. He has kept vigil at Ales stenar for decades, lecturing…

Two global unions, four labor rights organizations and 23 apparel brands and retailers agreed in late June to extend the ground-breaking Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety that has led to safer working conditions for 4 million garment workers. The legally-binding agreement came about following the 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse that killed 1,138 workers in Dhaka.

1776 by David McCullough is not a new book — it was published in 2006 — but I just got around to reading it, enjoyed it, and wanted to say a few words about it. But first my David McCullough story. You probably don’t know Scotty MacNeish (aka Richard Stockton MacNeish), but you should. He…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Uber’s new insurance plan won’t do much to protect its injured workers; investigation finds 1,000 additional black lung cases in Appalachia; Washington state welcomes a new paid family leave law; and St. Louis workers face a pay cut after state legislators overturn the city’s minimum wage hike.

Hiking In Abisko

Abisko national park is in the mountains of extreme northern Sweden, Sámi country, reindeer country, where half of the year is lit by constant sun and the other half is frigid darkness and aurorae. Getting there takes 17½ hours by train from Stockholm Central. There’s a sleeper train with no changes, so if you only…

Vacation Update

So, when last I posted an update on kid stuff, we were about to embark for a week in Mexico with family. As you would expect, I have a huge pile of pictures from this, but most of the cute-kid shots feature the kids with their cousins from Illinois, and I try to avoid posting…

Affluence Without Abundance

My father in law is an excellent amateur mixologist. I don’t drink alcohol very often, but we’re all up at the cabins, so last night I had a paper plane. And I believe this is what led to a night of strange and extensive dreams, and in my dreams was my recently deceased PhD adviser,…