Category Archives: funny

BlockChain is the new XML

There’s an amazing amount of noise running around the healthcare about Blockchain.

Blockchain! Blockchain! Yay for Blockchain! 

Blockchain is a great solution for a set of hard problems to solve. But I’m not entirely sure which of those problems is related to healthcare. But that doesn’t seem to matter – BlockChain!

So I’m holding a contest – please make suggestions for useful ways to leverage Blockchain in healthcare. I’ll award a whole Blockchain to the person who makes the most outrageous use.

If Hospitals ran like Restaurants

Yesterday, I gave a lecture about Healthcare Interoperability – and the lessons learned from FHIR – to a group of master’s students at Melbourne University HaBIC. In passing, I mentioned the danger of using bad metaphors to describe healthcare interoperability, and compared this to the danger of the whole “healthcare should be like the airlines”… and then today, I saw this (h/t HISTalk)

These things are basically pretty stupid – one day, I really want to see someone do this backwards, and do “what if a hospital worked like a restaurant?” – limited menus, shallow service, variable quality… healthcare is not like a restaurant.

On the other hand, the way the financials work in the USA.. that is pretty stupid; they sure have a point about that.

p.s, for a much more serious comparison, see Atul Guwunde’s Big Med

Caption Contest

I don’t get humorous stuff on this blog often enough. However, my attention has just been drawn to this picture of one the followers of this blog posing with a projection of the RIM:

Caption Contest

I’ll buy a beer at the next (HL7 meeting, HIMSS, or whereever) for the person who nominates the funniest caption for this picture.

p.s. be funny. I’ll moderate these comments if I have to

Setting the Hay on Fire

Quoting from Australia’s Birthstain: The Startling Legacy of the Convict Era, by Babette Smith (Amazon Kindle link):

In 1847, John Hobbs set fire to a haystack as a means to change his life.

In a statement to the police, Hobbs said that he and his mates, Tom Webster and Robert Lewer, had to beg the money for the toll to cross Kew Bridge on London’s outskirts that morning. They spent the day wandering around the farmland on the other side. Hobbs did not say whether they were looking for work. Nor did mention whether they had spent the balance of their begging on a pint at the put, although he was to claim later that he was drunk that evening. Whatever their real purpose, as dusk fell they converged on a farm they had passed earlier in the afternoon. There, to the puzzlement of the farmer, Frederick Piggot, and others who testified to what happened, they laid some faggots under a large haystack, then used Hobbs’ pipe to light three lucifers so each could participate in in setting it ablaze.There was no personal grudge involved. They were unknown to Farmer Piggot, and neither he nor any of the witness had ever seen them in the parish of Richmond before.

The local police sergeant who had been called to the fire found the trio waiting at the police station for his return. “We’ve come to give ourselves up for setting fire to the hayrick’, they told him. “I’m willing to hear anything you might have to say’, he replied, but cautioned that it could be used in evidence. Nevertheless, they insisted. So, as the sergeant put it, ‘They were all three together – as one made a statement, I asked the others if they agreed with it, and they said “Yes”.’

‘We were the whole day in Richmond without anything to eat’, said the three young men, after first describing how they begged for a bridge toll to cross the river. ‘Our lives for some time past have been spent in such misey and poverty we were determined, when we left London this morning, to do something to alter it.’

They were shipped to Van Dieman’s Land (Tasmania) – twenty years for Webster, fifteen for Hobbs, and ten for Lewer. There, John Hobbs would meet and marry an Irish girl shipped for the same crime. in fact, many of the convicts shipped to Australia were transported for the same grounds. Check out, for instance, the passenger list from the Dalhousie, a convict ship from 1863, where an unexpectedly high number of convicts were shipped for Arson, or “Firing a stack”. (Some, in fact, had to investigate themselves since the local police were too lazy).

Btw, this has nothing to do with Healthcare Interoperability – I posted this to provide more information relating to the picture that David Hay just posted, and his terse comment in his first blog post. Meanwhile, I spent yesterday afternoon having fun setting Serrated Tussock (not quite hay, but close) on fire on a farm in King Valley:

Serrated Tussock

p.s: Most of the convicts were real criminals (as you can see from the crimes listed for the Dalhousie), but often many were trapped by poverty and unemployment. Initially, being shipped to Australia was a truly terrible punishment, but by the time Gold was found near Ballarat, the only downside was dislocation from family. You got hard labour either way, but in Australia, after your sentence, then you could be free in a land of full employment…

p.p.s: For my English friends – after visiting England, my question became “Your predecessors shipped the criminals out here”?

Turtles all the way down

It’s a common pattern in IT: recursion, where a pointer for what to do next brings you back to where you already are.

Of course, there’s recursion in programming:

Procedure DoSomething(a)

But it occurs elsewhere. One of the most frustrating is when you are troubleshooting some network problem, and the instructions end up saying:

“To solve this problem, contact your network administrator”

Err, I am the network administrator, and I already consulted myself….

This is called Turtles all the way down (see!).

Well, today, I’ve found a new form of it. I’m reviewing a clinical document, and the example medication instructions in the patient advice reads:

“Use as directed by the Doctor in your notes”