August 23, 2016 |
Pennsylvania this week is at last going to launch what is frequently described as one of the most effective public policy tools to rein in out-of-control opioid overdose rates. Starting Thursday, the statewide prescription database will allow medical providers to check for evidence that their patients may be abusing or selling drugs - getting the same oxycodone scripts from multiple doctors and filling them at different pharmacies, for example. The benefit of knowing is so obvious that 48 other states already have databases accessible to health practitioners.
July 27, 2016 |
What's hot in high-tech political tools, designed to get disaffected citizens off their duffs? A Kickstarter-like project for viable independent candidates. Crowd-sourced dossiers on politicians, detailing their true actions and agendas on important issues. Open-source software that crunches and charts public records, making governmental agencies accountable. Electronic alerts and pre-stamped mail-in ballots that jog would-be voters when election day approaches and explain all the issues, eliminating the "gee, that name sounds good" guesswork that often takes over in the polling booth.
July 18, 2016
Name: History Here. What it does: Provides nuggets of history about thousands of locations across the United States, including famous homes, battlefields, museums, and more. It can be used to prepare for a trip or to discover what's around you on a current trip. You can keep your own to-see list in "My Places. " Available: In the App Store, requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. In Google Play, requires 4.0 and up. Cost: Free.
July 9, 2016 |
The recent Regional Rail delays have turned riders' commutes into a guessing game of "when will my train come?" But these online and mobile tools can help take the uncertainty out of your travel plans and show you new ways to get to your destination. Transit apps. Transit Tracker, Transit App, Citymapper, and the SEPTA app all provide similar information on train and bus arrival times based on GPS data, where available. This means that the apps will tell you where your train or bus is, but typically with a three-minute delay.
June 20, 2016
If there's a hard-to-reach place - the sliver of space between the car seat and center console, under the hotel mini fridge, behind the dresser - I will inadvertently send a key, credit card, coins, my cellphone, or some other important item into that void. Retrieval can be a painful and futile reach for fingers too fat, short, or klutzy to do the job. Hello ODii, my new ace weapon for tight-space recovery maneuvers. The slim, 13-inch-long plastic cylinder houses a flexible metal rod that telescopes out an additional 7 inches, with a four-pronged claw at the tip. Squeeze a spring-loaded mechanism in the handle, and the claw grabs tightly onto your prey, contracting to just a quarter of an inch for withdrawal.
May 22, 2016 |
When Kelly Hidleburg's confounding case of anemia was traced to heavy bleeding due to uterine fibroids, she faced the same tough choice that confronts thousands of American women every year. She could have her uterus or just the fibroids surgically removed, or she could try one of several newer procedures aimed at shrinking the usually benign but troublesome tumors. At 46, she could try waiting a few years to see whether menopause, with its natural decline in hormones, would solve the problem.
May 2, 2016 |
Are pesky deer chomping your plants? Dandelion weeds making you daffy? On a recent tour of the Philadelphia Flower Show with my old pal "McGrath" - that's Mike to you, the strictly organic host of WHYY radio's You Bet Your Garden - we got to chatting about useful gardening gizmos that the horticultural hero swears by (but never at). "They're miracle workers!" McGrath bellowed (loud and enthusiastic being central to his charm). "These things can save your garden, but don't harm the wildlife or the environment.
April 25, 2016 |
Iowa State may not be an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision powerhouse, but the Cyclones do play in one of the BCS conferences and do have recruiting advantages even over an elite Football Championship Subdivision program such as North Dakota State. Carson Wentz's first collegiate start came at Iowa State in front of 55,000 fans - a number significantly greater than the 19,000 that regularly fill the Fargodome to watch the Bison. It wasn't quite like Hickory High School walking into an Indianapolis arena for the state championship in Hoosiers - "I think you'll find the measurements the same as our gym back in Hickory" - but it had to be daunting for the quarterback.
March 25, 2016
By Shoshana Feiner I am bombarded by the prescription drug abuse epidemic. As a parent, I've attended programs at our local high school. As a citizen, I read about it in our local papers. As a daughter of elderly parents, I've watched them be casually handed prescriptions for Percocet every time they complain of arthritis pain. And as a primary-care physician, I've interacted with many drug-seeking patients. Some have come and gone quickly when they didn't get what they wanted; others faced their addiction with honesty, professional help, and a lot of hard work.
March 20, 2016
The Kelvin Super Tool is classified as a multi-tool, but it's more like a whole toolbox that just begs to be taken along on car trips, cycling and boating excursions, or anywhere, just in case. Don't picture a Swiss Army knife. Picture instead a carbon steel hammer, a multi-position screwdriver with 15 interchangeable drive heads, a six-foot retractable metal tape measure, an LED flashlight, a liquid level, and a powerful alloy magnet to keep loose screws at hand - all compactly integrated into a 51/4-by-2-inch-by-1-inch-thick "mother" base.