Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day 2011

Apropos thoughts from the great American poet given the giant’s recent stirrings:

“I thought, on the train, how utterly we have forsaken the Earth, in the sense of excluding it from our thoughts. There are but few who consider its physical hugeness, its rough enormity. It is still a disparate monstrosity, full of solitudes and barrens and wilds. It still dwarfs and terrifies and crushes. The rivers still roar, the mountains still crash, the winds still shatter.

“Man is an affair of cities. His gardens and orchards and fields are mere scrapings. Somehow, however, he has managed to shut out the face of the giant from his windows. But the giant is there, nevertheless.”

– Wallace Stevens (1904)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Why Being a “Patient” Patient Can Be Fatal

Last week, I attended yet another conference on social media in healthcare: “The Role of Social Media in Engaging Patients, Employees and the Media.” This event in Seattle had some of the standard fare for these kinds of gatherings, as well as some stimulating, insight-providing highlights.

One of the standouts, came from a different perspective than most of the other presentations, which featured either social media gurus, forward-thinking hospital communicators or social-media savvy physicians. What I’m referring to was a presentation by a a fellow known as ePatient Dave. Dave deBronkart is a celebrity in these circles, but this was the first time I'd heard him speak. And it was quite a revelation.

Even if you have no interest in healthcare communications, this video has plenty of food for thought for anyone who will ever need healthcare for something major – which, sooner or later, will most likely be all of us. Suffice to say, this Ted X talk by ePatient Dave might just contain the germ of an idea that could save your life someday.

Dave actually showed this lengthy (17-min.) clip to kick-off his hour-long presentation in Seattle, something you would’t think would work (I didn’t think so either, initially at least), but in hindsight it was hard to top. Take the time to watch this, someday you might be glad you did.

I love the comment just below the video on YouTube.

Equipped, engaged, empowered, enabled ... good words to live by no matter what the circumstance.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wreck on Time

The Old 97’s put on an energetic show full of ebullient twang, spit, sweat and whiskey last night at Boston’s sold out Royale club.

The set of alt-country pop originals at times recalled Uncle Tupelo, The Rev. Horton Heat and even Soul Asylum, but retained plenty of the Texas train fanatics’ own brand. They threw in a couple of choice covers (a manic version of R.E.M.’s “Driver 8” and Rhett Miller’s solo rendition of The Pixies’ “Wave of Mutilation”) to reinforce their indie influences. Overall stand outs of the evening’s performance included: the rockin’ opener, “The Grand Theatre”; the honky tonk of “Barrier Reef”; the propulsive “Please Hold on While the Train Is Moving”; the plaintive atmospherics of “Let the Whiskey Take the Reins”; the Dylan re-write, “Champagne, Illinois”; and the new song featured below:

I shot flip-cam videos of a couple of songs. I was pleased to get this new one, slated for Grand Theatre Volume Two, which the band announced will be released in July.