Whither the crutches

So, my lovely wife severely sprained her ankle on Friday.  The doctor at the urgent care actually diagnosed at as a cracked fibula, but the othopedist today said that there was not actually any fracture.   Thus, she’s sporting this lovely accessory you see here:

This got me to thinking… in my experience it always seemed that a moderate or worse ankle sprain always meant somebody on crutches, but does not seem to be that way anymore.  I see people in these walking boots all the time, but almost never crutches any more.  I’m assuming there’s been some sort of revolution in orthopedics/sports medicine where they have figured out that this approach is actually better.  Heck, even if Kim’s ankle were to heal a bit slower, this still way beats the idea of trying to navigate our house (walk in and face a choice of up or downstairs; family room and kitchen/bedrooms on different levels) on crutches.  This approach just seems way more livable.  Anyway, just an observation.  If any of you have any more insight, do share.

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Chart of the Day

Via Gallup:

1969-2011 Trend: Support for Making Use of Marijuana Legal

That’s right– for the first time we see more in favor of legalization than opposed.   Not that different from Pew data I linked to back in Spring, but surely these specific numbers carry some psychological weight.  I’m no big fan of marijuana, but I have a hard time seeing how its any worse than alcohol and I certainly don’t think we should be wasting law enforcement resources on it.  We should tax it and make it part of the above-ground economy and not ruin people’s lives (deny student loans, etc.) because they smoked a relatively mild drug.

Photo of the day

Via Seth’s FB Feed

Conservative media bias!

Check out this chart from Pew summarizing positive vs. negative media coverage of Republican presidential candidates and President Obama:

Now, if one were to take the common conservative approach to media criticism, this is where you would yell, “conservative media bias– they hate Obama!”  Instead, we’ll take the political science approach.   Does journalists hate Obama?  Of course not.  Do presidents who face a struggling economy and cannot get anything they want through Congress because of an intransigent opposition party in control of one of the houses receive a lot of negative coverage?  You betcha.   That’s a lot of negative stuff to talk about in reference to Obama.  Surely numerous instances of the negative coverage are in reference to how the poor economy is bad for him and about his low approval ratings (which, of course, largely stem from the poor economy).

On the flip side, it would be absurd (and following the standard path of conservative media criticism) to assume the media loves Rick Perry.  What the media loves is the story of a candidate who dramatically enters a presidential race, and who quickly climbs to the top of the polls.  There’s another chart that tracks coverage over time and you can see the recent decline of Perry’s coverage.  Did the media decide they hate him?  Of course not.  They decided to report the fact that his campaign has been struggling– which it has, and which is a negative thing.

Short version: you should always be skeptical of claims of ideologically-based media bias– chances are it’s almost always a different form of bias driving coverage.  Also, the whole Pew report is quite interesting if you click over to it.

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