Thursday, September 19, 2013

Politics is a Double Edged Sword, Don't Let It Cut You Down - by Lauren Campbell Kong

Jin and I recently took a vacation due west, a 3 week long endeavor. We stopped and camped in as many parks as we could, marveled at the beauty that surrounded us, and took in sights that we have never before seen. I had never been to the northwest, so seeing the forest and conifers was on my bucket list. We spent a night in the Hoh Rainforest, a beautiful forest lush with moss and vegetation. It is so lush that life is layered throughout; moss is so thickly covered among the trees that they actually provide a ground network, a soil, for other land dwelling insects and small animals. Located in the Olympic National Park, it is a sight to be seen and an experience to be had.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Chinese Brand

Yesterday, the Chinese government announced a plan to curb air pollution by limiting coal usage and taking some heavy polluting vehicles off the road. The new plan is a response to the steady stream of criticism of the country’s environmental problems; released by the State Council, the plan acknowledges some of the basic causes of the country’s air, water, and soil pollutions and sets out specific air quality goals by region. The plan also calls for the removal of all heavy polluting vehicles registered before the end of 2005. High standard gasoline and diesel vehicles will be provided in certain cities to help with the transition but the plan did not set targets for new vehicle emissions standards.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Reverse Innovation – why would a rich man want a poor man’s technology?

We have an unsustainable healthcare problem here in the United States. By now, it is common knowledge that we as a nation spend much more money on healthcare than any other developed nations; our return on investment compared to other developed nations is dismal. According to a 2012 study, the U.S. spends on average $8,233 per year per person on healthcare. This is close to three times more than most developed nations in the world, including rich European countries like France, Sweden and the United Kingdom. As a nation, the U.S. spends around 18% of our GDP on healthcare; this is twice the OECD members’ average.

But how do we stack up against the other 33 member nations of the OECD?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

(We took a break from writing. I had graduated from law school in June and took two months to study for the bar. Lauren was preoccupied by our move from Indianapolis to Cincinnati and is trying to discover her ways in a new place amongst new friends. When I finally finished my three-day bar exam in August, we put everything on hold, tossed a few change of clothes in a trunk, and drove off with our dog Moe to explore the great American landscape. We drove from Cincinnati to Seattle, drove down the 101 highway along the Washington and Oregon Coast, cleared the Colorado mountains and through the straight ways of Kansas to come back home; we saw the Badlands, the Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Olympic National Park and its rain forest; we met with the Trees of Mystery and we stopped to savor the Garden of the Gods. Old friends were our destinations and they treated us to nostalgia we could not escape. Finally, we are back. 

Moe in Oregon
 I dreaded our return. I knew that once we came home, and have time to reflect on things, I would be forced to write about the mundane. I couldn’t decide what I would write, or that if I would write at all, and nothing seemed relevant to the last four years of our lives and nothing seemed important enough to be put into prearranged letters for you to ponder. In fact, after seeing much of the amazing places of this land of the free, I have come to realize that my words are insignificant. What is important is not what I have to say, but what I have learned. So fear is one thing and moving forward is another; although coexisting, they are mutually exclusive. For the fear of having nothing good to say, I reserved my words until now; but in order to grow and learn, I knew that I had to confront that fear and say something. What follows is my rant and rave so that I can get back into the swing of things. Please excuse the mess and enjoy the upsurge of my unsolicited doggerels. )