Death panels, swine flu due, clever crows, big trains, juvie disaster

Massive feature finished, should be in print this November … but more on that later. By way of returning to blogdom, a few of the few notables I’ve had time to read lately:
Effect Measure, usually quite restrained about predictions, joins quite a few others in predicting the swine flu will hit us pretty hard this fall. (The U.S. has already had 6,506 hospitalized cases and 436 deaths, despite it not being flu season. And while we’ve been tracking health-care debacles debates and pondering Palin, the flu has been hitting the southern hemisphere pretty hard.) Now, not later, when you’re sick, might be a good time to get that hand sanitizer and a few surgical masks, and know who you’re gonna call if you live alone.
Mike Madden, in Salon, wishes to remind Sarah Palin that the death panels are already here.
Replicated study dept; Crows, replicating the behavior of one of their ancestors in Aesops fables, figured out how to “raise the water level in a lab container by dropping stones in it to retrieve a tasty worm floating on the surface.”
Kottke reminds us how much value public transportation provides. “You’d need the equivalent of a 228-lane Brooklyn Bridge” to replace the NYC subway lines into Manhattan on Monday morning rush hour.
The Times reports on, and WSJ Health Blog and Philip Dawdy ponder, the thousands of youths diagnosed with mental health disorders and incarcerated in America’s juvenile justice system. Something — several things — badly broken here.
All for now.

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