Online Insights with Steve Davis on FIVEaa, Sunday, May 03, 2009

May 3, 2009

Hello Health

Here’s something for Australia’s medical fraternity and legislators to get involved in – online integration with your doctor! I would love a doctor’s surgery to have online booking systems so you don’t have to wait until 8.30 or 9 am to get the engaged signal while everybody tries to call at once to make appointments. How hard could it be for a simple email device or, heaven forbid, an online booking system that gets you a rough time (doctors’ times are rough estimates anyway) so you know you are in and can plan your day around that visit?

Well, over in Brooklyn, New York, one forward-thinking practice has a revolutionary system that allows you to take up a monthly subscription for healthcare, giving you access to your own doctor and the ability to have email and online chat visits!

For $35 a month, you get email access to your doctor, then pay $100 per quick online, IM, video or real visit, $150 for moderate and $200 for long visits.

I like the way they explain the monthly fee: It “goes directly toward those wonderful emails, quick questions, and all the time your doctor spends keeping you well between visits. Small price to pay for keeping the doctor away.”

They really look after you with free generic medicine for urgent problems and the big winner – online prescription refills. How common sense is that!

Unfortunately, they only deal with locals, but you can visit and drool at Hello Health.

Listen to us discuss Hello Health here:

Evil corporations in Science Fiction

Screenshot from Soylent Green

In honour of Free Comic Book Day yesterday, I thought we would dig out this fun page highlighting the history of the “evil” corporations in science fiction stories.

There’s not much you can say about this, other than highlight some of the quirks of these conglomerates:

  • LexCorp (DC Comics) Hailed as one of the largest, most diversified multinational corporations in the world, it also happens to be founded by Lex Luthor, who runs it with his characteristic ruthlessness. The list of cities and countries where the corporation has holdings is basically as long as the list of cities and countries on Earth, and the number of companies controlled by LexCorp is almost as long and just as varied. The “No Helping Superman” rule still applies to all employees, however.
  • Merrick Biotech (The Island) Merrick Biotech’s business is keeping clones of their customers around, just in case said customers should need a transplant of some kind. Basically like the ultimate life insurance, right? Except for the fact that it’s illegal to allow the clones to be conscious and sentient, which, of course, Merrick Biotech lets happen and lies to their clients about. Therefore, the corporation has an entire population of fully-conscious human beings living totally unaware of the fact that they’re basically just an organ farm. And that’s just not cool.
  • Omni Consumer Products (Robocop) Described as dystopian and inhumane, Omni Consumer Products (OCP) is an example of military capitalism taken to the extreme, until the corporation no longer cares who gets hurt or killed as long as the PR stays good. One of their strokes of genius comes from running both criminal organizations and a private police force, thereby ensuring a continued demand for both crime and justice.
  • Soylent Corporation (Soylent Green) It’s 2022 and the world is overpopulated and hungry. Who better to step in than the Soylent Corporation with their rations of tasty wafers known as Soylent Red and Soylent Yellow? Well, okay, they aren’t that tasty, but thankfully, Soylent’s come out with a new flavour: Soylent Green. Much more delicious. So what’s the catch? Well, we all know what Soylent Green is – its’ people! (You have got to watch the video clip on the website).

Listen to us discuss the evil empires here:

Click here to read the list of 15 evil corporations from science fiction.

Stirring the Possum

Here’s a little gem of a “movement” in Adelaide that I had no idea about until I saw someone suggest the link in a tweet to a Londoner who is moving to Adelaide and asked about support networks for growing your own food.

It is Stirring the Possum and it is organised by South Australia’s Department for Environment and Heritage. From what I can gather, the department organises an ongoing series of community forums in which locals can gather, hear from a special guest, and discuss all manner of issues surrounding gardening, landcare and environmental issues – the last event on April 28 attracted 700 people! The group has spawned a Ning community (Ning is a web 2.0 service that allows users to create their own online community similar to facebook without needing to be part of an existing community) in which Adelaideans are uploading pictures and videos and engaging in discussion about all manner of things such as:

  • Book reviews – there is a review of the book Continuous productive urban landscapes – the title of which seems to sum up the ethos of Stirring the Possum.
  • Videos – Hugh Kneebone from Parkside takes us on a tour of the Windsor Street linear reserve
  • Discussions – there is one just getting underway on the topic of Freeganism, which was in the Sunday Mail a couple of weeks ago – it is an interesting movement in which the argument that food is going to waste justifies taking fruit and veges from other people’s properties. Not that there is too much to fear at the moment – the article estimates there are 20 fregans in Adelaide at the moment. I think it is a much more justifiable philosophy is permission is asked or if it involves food and produce that has officially been thrown away such as being placed in a bin by a household or a retailer/producer.
  • And news of upcoming forum gatherings.

Listen to us discuss Stirring the Possum here:

You can find our more at Stirring the Possum.

Fascinating cat facts

This minisite about cats is run by a cat lover in Poland – a friend recommended it and I yawned, but as I looked further down the long list of “facts” the site became strangely intoxicating. Here are a few that caught me by surprise:

  • Cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw.
  • A cat cannot see directly under its nose. This is why the cat cannot seem to find tidbits on the floor.
  • A cat can jump even seven times as high as it is tall.
  • Cats can’t taste sweets.
  • Tylenol and chocolate are both poisonous to cats.
  • Cats must have fat in their diet because they can’t produce it on their own.
  • Cats do not think that they are little people. They think that we are big cats. This influences their behaviour in many ways.
  • Cats can get tapeworms from eating mice. If your cat catches a mouse it is best to take the prize away from it.
  • Has your cat ever brought its prey to your door? Cats do that because they regard their owners as their “kittens.” The cats are teaching their “kittens” how to hunt by bringing them food. Most people aren’t too delighted when a pet brings in their kill. Instead of punishing your cat, praise it for its efforts, accept the prey, and then secretly throw it away.

Listen to us discuss these cat facts here:

You can read plenty more facts at Fascinating Cat Facts.

Sean’s Snapshot

Here is a lease opportunity too good to refuse. Hmm, “as-is” or “redevelop”? In this case, location is EVERYTHING!

Location is EVERYTHING!
Location is EVERYTHING!