QR Codes 101
QR (Quick Response) Codes are two dimensional bar codes that were created in Japan by Denso Wave corp. QR codes hold data that can be quickly read and decoded by QR code reading applications.
The fine folks at Clockwork Active Media Systems explain what they are and how they’re being used. There are multiple QR code reading apps in the iTunes store. QR app [iTunes link] is one such app and it is free. I’ve seen one QR code in the wild (on a movie poster) but of course my phone battery was dead. If you’ve ever used Northwest Airlines’ E-Boarding Pass, that’s a QR code that you scan at the security gate.
How to Get More Bicyclists on the Road
“If you want to know if an urban environment supports cycling, you can forget about all the detailed ‘bikeability indexes’—just measure the proportion of cyclists who are female,” says Jan Garrard, a senior lecturer at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, and author of several studies on biking and gender differences.
Women are considered an “indicator species” for bike-friendly cities for several reasons. First, studies across disciplines as disparate as criminology and child rearing have shown that women are more averse to risk than men. In the cycling arena, that risk aversion translates into increased demand for safe bike infrastructure as a prerequisite for riding. Women also do most of the child care and household shopping, which means these bike routes need to be organized around practical urban destinations to make a difference.
They also cite ridership studies in Portland and New York City showing that more protected bike paths (completely set apart from car traffic) have much higher proportions of women and that women will more often go out of their way to take a safer path to their destination.
Minneapolis doctor gives artists a health care option
This is seriously a great story. I love this guy.
A big problem with the health care system according to Doctor Sam is that the costs, though enormous, are not clearly defined or understood. And, they’re negotiated by three different entities, the insurance industry, doctors and patients, each with different interests and motives. Health care the Doctor Sam way largely removes insurance companies from the equation.
Doctor Sam’s patients are from communities who are often out priced by the health care system — transgender people, the self-employed and artists. Folks with ongoing health concerns can become members of the practice for just $60 a month, and pay $36 per visit. Compare that to workers with comprehensive insurance who pay on average $400 to $600 a month.
Doctor Sam’s patients can also opt to forego membership and pay $100 per visit.
I think this — perhaps aside from the appeal of an art gallery/doctor’s office to artists — is the most important part.
Doctor Sam handles routine visits and simple lab tests at his office. For patients with more complicated issues, he’s painstakingly set up a network of like-minded physicians, specialists and even alternative medicine practitioners to refer to.
Father Of The ‘Public Option’ Defends His Big Idea
In case you weren’t sure what exactly the public option is, this is the best explanation you’re going to get. The whole show’s less than 18 minutes.
From NPR’s Planet Money podcast, which I highly recommend. I’m not really into economics, but this show is fascinating. They translate the country’s and the world’s financial news into laymen’s terms. It publishes Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
The Detroit Blog – A special Time Inc. project.
This is a piece of Assignment Detroit, also a special Time Inc. project. Also, follow on Twitter at @TheDetroitHouse. I’m hoping there will be more to the tweets than just dumping the blog’s RSS feed.