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Sunday News Round-Up: *Why* Is It Sunday Already? Edition

July 25, 2010

Some things that captured my attention or otherwise delighted me this week:

Zen Habits has 20 ways to eliminate stress that I should really pay more attention to.

Via Siobhan at Bringing Health Information to the Community, I learned about DeafMD, which provides health information in video form using American Sign Language. It includes videos on numerous diseases, understanding laboratory and imaging tests, and a searchable database of doctors they consider deaf-friendly (submitted by readers; no criteria for deaf-friendliness described).

Pam’s House Blend has the video and transcript of Dan Choi’s appearance on The Rachel Maddow Show. I have to admit, I teared up a little watching this segment. Pam has been covering Choi’s case pretty extensively, including his appearance at Netroots Nation.

Maddow has also been covering the Shirley Sherrod case extensively – not health-related, but important. There are plenty of good commentaries out there about the media, politics, and race aspects of this story, but I would also point out that it’s an important example for those of us in information work as a media literacy teaching tool. In other words, although video may seem to get us as close as possible to the truth of what a person has said or done, it’s still possible that a video snippet is not providing the whole story or the truth of the context. Smart teachers of information and media literacy will use this case as a perfect and unfortunate tool for illustrating this point.

The New York Times has a piece asking Should Patients Read the Doctor’s Notes? I say yes, regardless of physicians’ apparent fears of being sued, of being bothered with questions about their notes, of having to actually think about how patients might react to these notes *about their own bodies and medical care.* Aside from which, it’s the law that they’re able to. I’ve accessed and reviewed my own medical records fairly regularly compared to most people, I guess, and as a result have read the notes from my own partial thyroidectomy, found out the results of an allergy test the provider never bothered to get back to me about, and pondered the weirdness of a note that “patient refused breast exam” from a provider who never offered me one (and I can’t think of any reason why they would have). It’s both weird and awesome and I recommend it to everyone.

Via Culture Conductor via Derrick, I learned about Genderfork, “a supportive community for the expression of identities across the gender spectrum.” Somehow I got from there to this list awesome list of recommended reading to explore; there are book posts on the site itself, too.

Relatedly, Lee Wind at I’m Here I’m Queer What the Hell Do I Read? has a post on where one should buy their books and the effect that choice has, including a plug for local libraries and their interlibrary loan services.

While we’re on libraries, my OBOS co-blogger Christine also posts for the MacArthur Foundation’s Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning (which has some really cool info). One of her recent posts has a nice libraries focus, PLAYBACK: Why Libraries? Why Books? And Why Study at Harold B. Lee?

Over at OBOS, we’ve had posts this past week on Avastin, DCIS, and early breast cancer detection, ACOG’s new VBAC recommendations (which place an increased emphasis on informed decision-making and patient autonomy), a new microbicide discussed at the recent International AIDS Conference, shackling of incarcerated women during labor, and a book review of “Willing and Unable: Doctors’ Constraints in Abortion Care.”

There’s a new Cochrane review on the efficacy of hormonal contraceptives in overweight or obese women. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my list.

Robin Marty at RHRC reports from the The View from Under the Bus: The Search for Common Ground on Abortion panel at Netroots Nation.

In horrifying news of the week, Uzbek women accuse state of mass sterilizations. There are no words.

Via Deeply Problematic, Vaseline Issues “Skin-Whitening” App for Facebook. Unilever’s response to CBS News was apparently basically, “but it’s for the Indian market!”

The GAO released a new report, Direct-To-Consumer Genetic Tests: Misleading Test Results Are Further Complicated by Deceptive Marketing and Other Questionable Practices. The New York Times’s Prescriptions blog also has some notes/coverae on this story.

Locally, I’m hoping to go see the play “41” – a reflection on the Stonewall riots – at the Darkhorse Theater in Nashville next weekend. Out & About has more.

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