A Roman uprising?


Since it’s almost April, seemed like a good time to update the top countries for the week and for all-time!

For the week: The top five for the week are once again almost identical to the top five all time viewers.  The Latin contingent returned with Mexico popping back on the list, while the Eastern Bloc represented with Romania and Russia.  Only Sweden represented Scandinavia this week.

For all-time: While Indonesia briefly held a spot in the top 30, it fell hard from grace in the last two months.  That said, the Asian-Pacific group continued to represent with Philippines, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia all in the top 30.  The Latin Contingent lost Argentina as it fell out of the top 30, but Brazil gained three spots and Mexico held steady.  The other big mover this time around was Italy (paisano!) also up 3 spots.  Finland joined its Scandinavian neighbors on the list, although Norway and Denmark both slipped one spot.  The Eastern Bloc held steady with Croatia up two spots and Romania rejoining the list, though Poland continued its slide by falling two.

As always, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all my viewers.  It’s been a crazy few months, and I hope to get back to blogging a lot more soon!

Past week:

  1. United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Canada
  4. Australia
  5. Germany
  6. Philippines
  7. Italy
  8. Mexico
  9. Netherlands
  10. Switzerland
  11. Belgium
  12. India
  13. South Africa
  14. Romania
  15. Malaysia
  16. France
  17. Sweden
  18. Spain
  19. Maldives
  20. Russia

All Time:

  1. United States
  2. Canada
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Australia
  5. Germany
  6. Netherlands
  7. South Africa
  8. India
  9. France
  10. Belgium
  11. Sweden
  12. Philippines
  13. Mexico
  14. New Zealand Italy
  15. Spain New Zealand
  16. Denmark Spain
  17. Italy Denmark
  18. Ireland
  19. Malaysia Brazil
  20. Singapore
  21. Greece Malaysia
  22. Brazil Greece
  23. Norway Switzerland
  24. Poland Norway (tied with Switzerland)
  25. Austria
  26. Switzerland Poland
  27. Indonesia Finland
  28. Turkey Croatia
  29. Argentina Turkey (tied with Croatia)
  30. Croatia Romania

MBTA late night service starts tonight


Yes, I’ve gone on the record as saying that late night service on the MBTA is a horrible idea until the system is better funded.  Yes, I still contend that it’s a terrible idea, especially considering the MBTA just announced another potential round of fare hikes.

But I also fully support the idea of extended hours. albeit with a well-funded system that fixed many of the current problems that plague the MBTA.  Therefore, I fully intend on supporting the expanded hours when I’m out and about in the city late at night.

Bostonians, the MBTA asked what you wanted, and you told them extended hours.  For once, the MBTA listened and is giving you a one-year trial period.  If ridership is lackluster, the program will get the axe next March.  In the words of the great sociologist RuPaul, “Don’t fuck it up!”

Marriage equality in the Great Lakes State



A federal judge in Michigan today ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.  In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman wrote that “The court finds the Michigan Marriage Amendment impermissibly discriminates against same-sex couples in violation of the Equal Protection Clause because the provision does not advance any conceivable state interest.”

Citing similar rulings in Texas, Kentucky, Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia, Friedman’s ruling affirms that Michigan’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage violates the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, keeping in line with the Supreme Court’s decision on the Defense of Marriage Act.

Unlike the rulings in states like Texas and Virginia, Friedman’s ruling has not been stayed pending appeal, meaning same-sex couples in Michigan would likely be able to marry relatively soon.  Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Friday evening he’s filed an emergency request for Friedman’s order to be stayed and appealed.

michigan gay marriage ban

Colorectal cancer mortality


While breast and prostate cancer screening have come under fire in recent years, one bright spot in the prevention world has been colorectal cancer.  The incidence of the disease, already on the decline since the 1980′s, fell a further 30% during the last decade for Americans 50 years of age or older.

Why?  More colonoscopies.  The number of Americans who are up-to-date on recommended colon-cancer screening rose from 55% to 65% during the past decade.  The increase in screening has led to increased rates of detecting polyps, thus preventing future cancers.  In fact, increased screening has translated to a drop in deaths from colon cancer as well, falling 3% per year between 2001 and 2010.

Yet there is a lot of work to do.  Colon cancer remains the third most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, after lung cancer and breast/prostate.  More than 136,000 new cases, and 50,000 colon-cancer deaths, are expected this year.

colon cancer screening


travel pet-peeves


I previously posted that I’ve been traveling a lot for fellowship interviews and commented on some of my travel habits and was curious if anyone else has any flying rituals.

Well, after traveling a lot, I’m feeling less than warm and fuzzy toward my fellow travelers and am now on to the things that drive me absolutely crazy.

  1. People slowly walking in the airport.  Um… hello!?  It’s an airport; people have places to go!
  2. The security line – the TSA doesn’t actually bother me at all.  Frankly if they are keeping me safe, I’m all for whatever you need to do.  What drives me crazy are the people in the security line who don’t realize they have to take their laptop and toiletries out and their shoes off.  All of which means that the security line takes long.
  3. The confused look on people’s faces as they try to find their seats.  Um… the seats are in numeric order…
  4. Passengers who put their coats in the overhead bin… immediately after the flight attendants ask passengers NOT to put their coats in overheard bins.
  5. Having to check your carry on baggage at the gate, and then discovering there is ample room in the overhead bins.

I’m sure there are more.  Feel free to chime in!

jerk of the week


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It’s no surprise that I’m not a fan of Michele Bachmann (R-MN).  Her misinformation regarding the HPV vaccine during the last presidential race pretty much destroyed her credibility for me as a physician and public health practitioner.  Her controversial opinions on same-sex marriage, the Constitution, and the President are really just adding more water to the sinking ship that is my taste for Bachmann.

And then… she became the jerk of the week.

During last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Bachmann sat down with radio host Lars Larson and discussed the recent veto of Arizona bill SB 1062 by Governor Jan Brewer.  Bachmann wasn’t happy with Brewer’s decision and was quick to blame the gay community and LGBT activists for the downfall of the bill.  She states,

There’s nothing about gays in there. But the gay community decided to make this their measure.  I think the thing that is getting a little tiresome, the gay community, they have so bullied the American people, and they’ve so intimidated politicians. The politicians fear them, so that they think they get to dictate the agenda everywhere.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the LGBT community is a group of bullies, going out there stealing lunch money from the American people and scaring politicians.  The group as a whole is SO powerful that politicians are shaking in their boots, therefore the gay community can walk all over them.  No folks, the LGBT community are not a victimized minority but rather an intimidating minority dictating the political course of our country.

Which definitely explains why so many states were able to pass laws and constitutional amendments banning marriage equality.  And it definitely explains why Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act were done away with oh so long ago in our nation’s political…

traveling to the United States


I’ve been traveling around the country a lot recently for fellowship interviews, and all that travel got me thinking about vacations.  If you’ve ever been somewhere out of the United States, you’ve likely purchased a travel guide for your destination – something like Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, or Rick Steeves.

If you’ve ever read these guides, you’ve no doubt noticed that they often warn Americans about some particular local customs, or to be “wary of pick pockets” even in the safest of European cities.

I’ve always wondered what a guide to the United States would say written from the perspective of a foreigner.  Well… I saw this on a friend’s Facebook timeline and I got a chuckle.

Here you go folks.  11 French Tips for Visiting America. I think #11 might be my favorite.