Friday Links: Costumes, Ghost Towns, Healthcare & Gender, Asthma Photos, Tai Chi Therapy

What with Halloween today, the election on Tuesday, and the normal weekly asthma and health news, I’ve got so many links today that I’ve divided them into sections:

Halloween Links

5 Costume Types
This is hilarious. Read the whole thing and ask yourself: which one am I?

WebUrbanist’s Ghost Towns and Abandoned Homes
A little spooky, a little poignant, a little historical, all awesome.

Election Links

People in the Middle for Obama
I love this ad campaign, and Bob Courtney in particular nails it:

Women Pay More than Men For Individual Health Insurance Plans
So the NY Times reports that women aged 19-55 pay more than men in the individual insurance market, and according to insurance companies it’s because of childbearing and all the expenses that go along with it. Which is disturbing enough, as far as justification goes.


Women are still paying more than men even if their plans don’t include maternity coverage. As things stand now, health care reform that relies on tax credits (read: McCain’s plan) won’t therefore help these women much, considering how high their premiums are.

Asthma Links

DIY Photos Can Provide Cheaper In-Home Environmental Assessment for Asthma, Allergies
The basic premise: take photos all around your house and then bring them in to your doctor, who can help you identify triggers.

Tai Chi for Asthma Patients
Tai chi incorporates breathing and body exercises, sort of like yoga, and appears to help adults with persistent asthma. Patients in this study even experienced better peak flow results after doing tai chi, but please note this article calls the exercise a possible adjunctive therapy, meaning don’t stop all your meds and join a tai chi class instead.

100 Kids’ Health Blogs
This one’s totally a little self-pimpage, if you’ll notice which blog takes the top slot under “Specific Childhood Illnesses and Disorders.”

9 responses to “Friday Links: Costumes, Ghost Towns, Healthcare & Gender, Asthma Photos, Tai Chi Therapy”

  1. GeorgeandWheezie says:

    Not only does the tax credit do very little for women, it does very little for anyone. Most middle-class Americans basically use tax credits as a way to maybe increase their returns by a few dollars.

    Tax credits do not equal cash in your pocket. In order for working Americans to actually realize $5000 in their pocket, they would have to increase their withholdings on their W4 to REDUCE the amount they pay into their federal income taxes pm each check. Then, with the extra tens to maybe $100 per paycheck they would have to figure out a way to SAVE $5000 over the course of the year. Additionally, the increased withholdings they used to achieve this increase in their check, puts them at risk of owing taxes at the end of the year. Best case, their tax return is diminished to the point of being a pittance.

    Basically, working Americans would be taking the long way around to paying taxes for a $5000 tax credit. How? The $5000 they would have to save would be post-tax income. All of that for an amount that wouldn’t even pay half of their annual premiums.

    Sorry Amy. I know your point was on the discrimination against women. But I had this discussion with my parents last night and it still gets me riled up what a non-solution McCain’s plan is.

  2. Andie says:

    Congrats on being named in that blog list!!! It’s nice to get some recognition that you are changing the world :)

    In that list of costumes I fit under the “sad mechanicals” – I like being totally transformed for a day into something else … reading is a way I can escape into other worlds too!

    Although some of my past costumes would fit the “nerdy” definition too. Like the time I was a hydrogen atom, with my one electron out in orbit around me :)

    No costume for me this year, though I’ve seen some good ones out there – probably the best is “the little white lie” – a girl dressed all in white with a halo, and little sayings like “the dog ate my homework” stuck all over her!

    Happy Hallowe’en to you & your family!

  3. Amy says:

    GandW, Good to hear from you again–it’s always okay to go off-topic in the comments, particularly if your point concentrates on picking apart McCain’s health “plan.”

    Andie, Thanks! I suspect I’ve been each of those categories at one time or another, but this year–like you–I fit the Trick-or-Treating-Chaperone category this year.

    When my girls are teenagers and don’t want their mom around them too much anymore, I’m totally taking Halloween back.

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