Mugshots at the Doctor’s Office and Other Biometric Poisonings

The NSA scandal has me thinking a lot about how other PRISM identifying marks of us — on the biometric side — are, in fact, also poisoning our privacy.  Here’s a comment I made in a recent article thread concerning the loss of our biologic privacy:

Yes, we’re all stuck! The fact that they now want our weight is a new metric. Our height rarely changes, so once they have that number they have us in adulthood — but weight can fluctuate like crazy for some people — so having our weight “re-evaluated” and remarked down with every medical visit is an important identification portrait for them. All of our doctors now scan our insurance card and also take a photo of us — to prevent medical fraud — uhm…. riiiiight… so our MDs now have our mug shots, height, weight… quite a lovely new arm of the NSA, eh? Some doctors even want palm scans!

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Obamacare Begins to Trickle Down

We are starting to see the aftereffects of Obamacare starting to trickle down to patients, and there are some things that are both odd and curious.  Obamacare goes full-blown in 2014, and in 2012 some doctors started the transition process by writing electronic prescriptions, but 2013 is already turning out to be the Big Obamacare Year of Change.

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A Gym Made For the Obese

Obesity is a frightening and dangerous — even deadly trend that has only gotten worse in the last thirty years. Yet far too often people who are obese go to seek help and are brushed off by being told that all they need to do is go to the gym and eat less.

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Should We Find Out Obesity Likelihood at Birth?

As Fall arrived, I noticed a lot more children taking the train in the morning, on their way to school. I could not help but notice that this year, as in years past, the number of heavier set children seems to be on the rise — and sadly it is not just my observation but a recorded trend of an increase in the number of children and teenagers that are considered obese. When I was a child it was considerably more unusual than it is today and I fear that trends are moving toward more overweight and obese children, not fewer.

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Can a Bar Prevent You from Dancing Because You are too Fat?

There are all kinds of amateur opportunities to prove your talent, many of which are provided free of charge, or sometimes in exchange for your having a drink or two at the bar. For example, there were many people who got to hear my lack of singing talent over the handful of years that I lived in Seattle and went on a regular basis to a handful of karaoke bars and belted out some of my favorite tunes. There were many other people who also sang, some of whom sang far worse than I and yet they were never prevented from doing so.

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Focusing on Facebook Timeline Body Image

There is a fantastic scene in the groundbreaking film Mean Girls (one of the last good films with Lindsay Lohan in it, as far as I am concerned) in which the characters are all looking in the mirror and criticizing themselves. Lindsay Lohan’s character, having lived in South Africa until that year, thinks to herself that she was only aware of girls being fat or thin and didn’t realize how many things could be wrong with someone as her schoolmates criticize their hairline, pore size, and bad breath. There is a whole new monster that has reared its ugly head in the world of self hate and its name is Facebook.

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Big, Black, and Curvy

In the majority power race to be rail-thin, Black women have, traditionally, preferred to have a more curvaceous silhouette, with the lower half of their bodies “rounder” than the top — “junk in the trunk” is perhaps the better known nomenclature.

Continue reading → Big, Black, and Curvy