Recommended Reading for January 17th

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Philippa Willitts at The F-Word: Let Go [also at incurable hippie]

It was pretty precarious. The city centre pavements were worse than I’d anticipated, but I did most of what I had to do, then waited for my bus home.

It was when the bus arrived that the presumably well-meaning man grabbed me. From behind. By the shoulders. The jumping-out-of-my-skin which resulted was far more likely to make me lose my balance than any amount of ice, and his holding onto my shoulders was hardly going to help with that.

It was only when he said, “Here, let me help you on the bus” that I knew I wasn’t being mugged.

jonquil at Rosemary for Remembrance – Doctor, doctor, tell me the news

Photophobia has been a diagnostic marker of migraine at least since the second century, when Galen described it. Yet it isn’t real until somebody finds the associated brain anatomy; until then, you might just be making it up. Chronic pain isn’t real until the doctor can see it.

Pfeh. Haitian doctor takes 100 patients into his home

Somehow, the house wasn’t damaged in Tuesday’s quake, which leveled nearly all the other houses in the hillside neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Soon after the shaking stopped, neighbors started showing up at Claude Surena’s doorstep.

Now, he’s running a triage center, treating patients on his shaded patio with food and supplies salvaged from ruined homes.

The Seattle Times: ORCA transit-card renewal for elderly, disabled not so simple

For most people, the switch to an ORCA transit card is simple. They either apply online, get a subsidized card at work or tap the screen at any ticket-vending machine at any Sound Transit rail station.

But far more effort is demanded from people who are elderly or disabled.

Since December, thousands have had to find their way to a King County Metro customer-service counter downtown. Earlier this month, they waited in lines up to an hour or more to prove to the next available customer-service representative that they qualified for a discounted fare pass.

Ajith C. S. Perera at the Sunday Times (Sri Lanka): ‘Enabling elections’ for disabled persons: Accessible polling booths

The way a country treats its ‘dis-abled’ population and the extent to which they are fully-fledged respected citizens in attending to day-to-day normal life, is a realistic, internationally recognized, true measure of a country’s good governance and a far more telling indicator of society’s development than GDP. […]

Of the estimated 14.5 million eligible voters, around 2 million are physically dis-abled persons.

However, I am personally aware of many people and, that includes persons with debilitating ailments or conditions that often go unnoticed, persons with restricted mobility and/or visually impaired on the basis of short term or long term physical/sensory disability, elderly and even the pregnant, who although very much desired to go and cast their valuable votes have been reluctantly compelled to refrain from exercising this right, due to potential safety hazards and/or physical barriers either in approaching their polling stations and / or accessing their polling booths – i.e. the right to access, another vital public facility.

Time: The 50 Best Inventions of 2009: The $20 Knee

Now a team of Stanford engineering students has designed a knee that’s not only dirt cheap — just $20 — but also mimics the natural joint’s movements. Developed with the Jaipur Foot group, the JaipurKnee is made of self-lubricating, oil-filled nylon and is both flexible and stable, even on irregular terrain. The device is being tested in India; more than 300 people have been fitted so far.

The JaipurKnee comprises five pieces of plastic and four nuts and bolts. It requires no special tools and takes just a few hours to manufacture

More information in the Stanford University News: $20 artificial knee for patients in the developing world

One thought on “Recommended Reading for January 17th

  1. The credit to Stanford for a “new invention” with the Jaipurknee is misplaced. LEGS at LeTourneau University has been doing this for 5 years and Stanford has cribbed the design. Check out: and below.

    Dec. 1, 2009 Longview News-Journal Editorial, “Credit Due: LeTourneau deserves acclaim for prosthetic knee”

    Dec. 2, 2009 FOX News by John R. Quain, “David vs. Goliath: Colleges Battle Over Prosthetic Knee Invention”,2933,578994,00.html

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