Links to Think: 08.20.12

August 20, 2012

The summer of books – An interesting article about a college student who read 94 books (one book a day) during his summer break. Not only did he meet his reading goal for the summer, but it appears he also made helpful observations and learned valuable lessons along the way.

Ear buds in, rocking with the speeding metro, they were oblivious to the fact that “they were both entering the same fantasy world, while only a few feet apart,” Johnson said. “I often wondered what might happen if people simply looked around at other readers and discussed what they were reading.”

Although Johnson’s fellow commuters never would have guessed it, the young man who carried a different volume to the train every day hated reading as a child. By the time he was just 6 years old, he thought reading was a “dirty word,” Johnson said. But over time, as he discovered George Lucas’ Star Wars novels and the epic adventures of Jules Verne and C.S. Lewis, Johnson developed a deep love for reading.

“Reading as much as I did taught me the value of using time wisely in pursuit of a goal,” he said. “Books keep our minds nimble and open to new concepts. But they can also detract from the purpose of life, which is to live in community with the people that we find in our lives.”

Aetna Urges Moms to Avoid Cesareans Births to Reduce Risk – An article written specifically about the relationship between a specific insurance company and C-sections, but one that makes some very insightful and telling statements on the procedure in general.

“C-sections and inductions have risen for a variety of reasons. Women are giving birth later in life, patients and doctors are seeking more convenience and payment systems often favor intervention. There’s also been a growing sense — false, based on recent research — that cesareans offer a risk-free alternative to natural birth, said Patricia Stephenson, a senior medical director at Bloomfield, Connecticut-based Cigna.”

“”Society is becoming increasingly convenience-oriented,” said Stephenson, a former obstetrician. “If there’s any concern about the pregnancy, if the mom is uncomfortable, it’s been, ‘Sure, why not? Just suggest an early delivery.’”

“The procedures, of course, make sense when the health of the mother or baby is at risk. C-sections, for example, may be necessary for breech babies improperly positioned in the birth canal or when women suffer from severe high-blood pressure, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (50995MF).”

Still, such cases can not explain the rise to a record 33 percent of U.S. babies delivered by cesarean in 2009, the latest figures available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Induction rates rose to 23 percent that year, doubling over two decades, the Atlanta-based CDC said.”

“Arnold, 38, was persuaded by doctors to schedule a cesarean in 2005 after being told her baby might be too large, she said. She went into labor before the operation and delivered her daughter, Maggie, normally and without incident.”

 “Inductions can lead to longer, more painful deliveries that studies show are twice as likely as spontaneous labor to end in a C-section, said Main, the San Francisco doctor.
Among obstetricians, “people are worried” about the early births, said Joshua Copel, a Yale University professor and former president of the U.S. Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. “For anything elective, most of us believe that 39 weeks and zero days is the absolute earliest any delivery should occur.”
“We schedule everything,” said Rogovoy, who’s based in Portland. “We’ve just become complacent. And it’s only recently that it’s become clear how much of a difference a few weeks can make.”

Related: “Early Epidural Doubles C-Section Risk After Induction”


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  • Chelo August 20, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Pretty impressive reading goal accomplished. I agree with his conclusion 🙂