Monday, February 24, 2014

Don't believe all the research

A first glance at the weather map and the local forecasts would indicate we in Southern Maine, specifically the Greater Portland area, are in for a cool but rather dry week.  The only glitch right now seems to be Wednesday when we could get just a little dusting of snow.  The temperatures are a lot colder than those of last week, but certainly more tolerable than the ones of a couple weeks ago.

I'm starting here with the weather because I may have found a new "favorite" local weather presenter.  As you know I normally watch the news on Channel Six, partly because I worked part time at that station for 30 years.  The Thompson family and the management at the station always treated me very well.  I had retired before the station was sold.  There's nothing negative about that statement as I honestly don't know how the management treats its employees today, except one major hint would be that many of the people with whom I worked are still there some 19 years after I left.

But Sunday the Ch. 6 Morning Report was shortened to 30 minutes so the station could carry the Olympic hockey gold medal game, which, incidentally, Canada won.  I didn't watch and had explained why I don't watch much Olympic coverage over the weekend.  So, for the first time in many months, possibly years, I switched to the Channel Eight Morning Report.  The news/sports parts of the newscast didn't draw me into a need to try them again; but their weather forecaster went through several weather portions, perhaps all of them since none caused me to say, "Oh, no difference here," without my hated trite phrases.

Several posts ago, I ranted about weather folk using the very worn out trite phrases "out there" and "all is said and done."  The Channel 6 meteorologists, except veterans Joe Cupo and Kevin Mannix, both of whom were there when I was, use the phrases very infrequently.  The new ones average those phrases four to eight times in their short segments.  I counted 11 one time.  I do not know where "there" is.  These phrases are in the extremely trite, meaningless category that includes "You know" and "I mean."  Again, because of Olympic coverage, I watched Ch. 13 weather people recently and son of a gun, there was that triteness in its full glory.

My Fearless Friend who's living near Orlando, Florida, right now, sent me a message that the weather people down there must have gone to the same "out there" meteorologist school as the new forecasters on Ch. 6 and 13.

But I digress.  Sunday morning on the Ch. 8 news, Mallory Brooke did not use the trite phrases at all.  If one was slipped in, I certainly missed it.  How refreshing it was to hear a weather person with an AMS (American Meteorological Society) after her name have such good control of our language that she didn't have to resort to meaningless, boring phrases.  I salute Mallory Brooke for presenting the weather by someone who convinces me she actually knows her subject.

Unfortunately, the rest of the news presentation didn't scream, "Come here, come here for the news."

On another topic, my perusal of the world/national news through Google News found another story of  particular interest to me.  The New Britain Herald had a story that said Canadian researchers have concluded that regular mammograms are not necessary and that their research shows that mammograms really have little impact on saving lives, especially in young people.

Please, don't read that story and believe it.  The story also says their research is based on a 20-year-old study using outdated equipment.  However, the personal experience of my wife, and thousands or more of other women, have clearly demonstrated the worth of mammograms.  We're convinced that one saved my wife's life.

Five years ago a little question mark appeared on her mammogram which immediately caused her personal physician to involve a cancer specialist.  That was in October of 2009.  Early in December she underwent breast surgery and had that blip removed.  It was cancer.  She continues to have regular tests and checkups, but now, heading for her five years later, she remains cancer free, a true survivor.  She probably wouldn't like me to mention she's now in her 70s, so I won't.

She had done the regular self-testing procedure for years and had never found a lump or anything else.  It was that very alert mammogram technologist who spotted a suspicious spot and began my wife on her road to recovery.  We thank our God that we hadn't read about that Canadian research so it couldn't affect our decision.  As a result she lives.  She probably thinks she's being punished for something, though, as she also has to continue to put up with me.

And finally, a question I have about all the money the Republicans and Democrats both in Augusta and Washington D.C. want to spend on "training."  We're being told daily that the answer to our economic woes is more training so more people can get jobs.

What I fail to hear is training for what jobs?  This country has allowed just about all of our industries to leave for off shore or other continent countries where there's cheaper labor and material.  Have you bought anything major, like appliances, electronics, cars (don't be fooled by this one), that were made in the U.S.A. recently?  Where are all these jobs going to be created to prepare people for what? 

Most of the good companies in "the good old days" used to train their hires for specific jobs themselves.  People who wanted to move up the ladder were trained to do so.  Colleges and universities used to prepare people for many professional or management type jobs, but from all I read most now have studies in dead end or non-existent jobs.

So I simply ask, "What is this unspecified 'training' that we need to spend so much money for?"  I think we need a lot more answers before we simply pour money into . . . what????


No comments: