When Outliers heard that the famously bland Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning would be making a joint appearance with acting Surgeon General Steven Galson, our first thought was that this would be one of those rare occasions when a Washington bureaucrat actually outshines a sports hero.
Turns out, we were right.
Manning and Galson, along with workout guru Denise Austin, were on hand last week at the National Press Club to promote a nationwide, six-week physical fitness challenge thats part of the Presidents Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. The idea is to encourage all Americans to walk, bike or do other exercise for up to an hour a day to help stanch a growing obesity epidemic. Manning, a council member, later visited the White House.
Despite facing a crush of media before and after he led the New York Giants to an improbable Super Bowl win last month, Manning was eclipsed by Galson, who proved the more comfortable, knowledgeable speaker.
Whether youre a Super Bowl champ or an armchair quarterback, this is for you, Manning told invited guests and reporters at the National Press Club. You can do this. Anyone can do this.
While the statistics are dauntingGalson said more than 12.5 million U.S. children, almost 1 in 5, are overweightOutliers was more concerned by the overuse of football-related puns at the news conference.
Youve given me a great opportunity, Eli, Galson, who spoke after Manning, said. I can finally tell my teenagers at home that I took a handoff from Eli Manning. I didnt fumble. I succeeded in making the point after.
Shopping for discounts may make patients financially healthier, but when it comes to curing what ails them, the costlier the drug, the better it is.
In a study published earlier this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that cost perception made a difference in patients responses to pain treatment. For the study, 82 volunteers were recruited under the guise of testing a new Food and Drug Administration-approved pain reliever. The volunteers, who were split evenly and randomly assigned to one of two groups, were each given electric shocks to their wrists both before and after receiving a placebo pill. One group, however, was told the drug was a pain reliever that cost $2.50 a pill, while the other was told it was pain reliever that cost 10 cents per pill. Eighty-five percent of patients who were told they received the expensive pill said they had a reduction in pain from the shocks compared with just 61% of those who believed they received the cheaper pill.
The experiment may shed light on why some high-cost medicines, such as prescription painkillers, are popular even while inexpensive generic and over-the-counter alternatives are available, researchers say.
It was clear from the studies that people had no idea that price was actually influencing (the treatments) performance, says Baba Shiv, associate professor of marketing at Stanfords business school. You might get 10% off an over-the-counter medication, but the net result is that you could get less effect than if you bought the medication at full price.
A horse is a horse, of course, of course, but the one brought to visit a patient at Wilcox Memorial Hospital in Lihue, Hawaii, was the wrong one.
A drunken man brought the horse to visit an ailing relative earlier this month, thinking it would cheer up the patient to see his stallion, says Lani Yukimura, a spokeswoman at the hospital on the island of Kauai.
The man and the horse rode an elevator up to the third floor, where they were met and stopped by security personnel, Yukimura says.
Thats not my horse, the patient said when he was brought out to see it. Security then managed to get the visitors, including the four-legged one, out of the hospital, with just a few scuff marks, Yukimura says.
The hospital has a pet visitation policy, but its for dogs and cats only, she says.
West Virginia mental health advocates are decrying the fate of a former state mental hospital turned recreational facility.
Groups such as the Statewide Independent Living Council and Mountain State Direct Action Center take issue with the fact that Weston (W.Va.) State Hospital has reverted to its original name, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, thanks to its new owner, asbestos demolition contractor Joe Jordan. In addition to tours of the since-renovated main buildinga national historic landmarkthe new owner is holding what he calls Psycho Path dirt bike races and haunted-house-type tours.
What is most upsetting is the name change, and the terminology of the new name, says Ann McDaniel, executive director of the Statewide Independent Living Council, a not-for-profit corporation that plans and monitors independent living for people with disabilities. The words lunatic and asylum are negative terms, and takes us back to the days when people were tortured and imprisoned because they were mentally ill, she says. She hopes public pressure will force Jordan to change course.
Weston State Hospital operated as a psychiatric hospital from 1864 to 1994. It was sold last summer for about $1.5 million to Jordan, who invested millions in the main buildings renovation.
Jordan was unavailable for comment, although family members have told local media that they are merely trying to preserve the sites history.
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