Um, this is just embarrassing. "Younger Americans die earlier and live in poorer health than their counterparts in other developed countries, with far higher rates of death from guns, car accidents and drug addiction, according to a new analysis of health and longevity in the United States," The New York Times reported today. "....The rate of firearm homicides was 20 times higher in the United States than in the other countries, according to the report, which cited a 2011 study of 23 countries."
Jack Lew looks likely to be the next treasury secretary, replacing Tim Geithner in Obama's second term. Lew, who currently serves as Obama's chief of staff, adds to the list of key cabinet positions expected to be filled by white men. Having sat next to him on a plane from Charlotte, N.C. to New York following the Democratic National Convention, I can also say he has some very interesting ideas on management and the value of intellectual and cultural diversity in the workplace that came up during the trip. Wonder if he'll share with his boss?
Reality TV fans, fear not. Now that the Jersey Shore is gone, realty show producers have developed a new crop of programs that aim to shine, "a light on a genuine, region-specific American subculture," according to the New York Times. Is that what is happening on my screen? If you are interested in televised ethnography, or something like it, last week MTV debuted "Buckwild," a show about a group of you Americans living in rural West Virginia. On Wednesday "Washington Heights," a reality show that focuses on the lives of Dominican-Americans living in the upper Manhattan neighborhood for which the show is named. And on Monday VH1 will begin airing "Black Ink Crew," yet another reality show entry. This one is set in a Harlem tattoo parlor. Of course there's also "The Sisterhood", a reality show that follows five Atlanta pastor's wives, and "The Best Funeral Ever," about events in and around a Dallas funeral home. Both gems air on TLC.
A little more frightening health news. A new study found that most teens who attempt of contemplate suicide have had some mental health care. One wonders if that is also true for young Latinas. Latina suicide rates are climbing so quickly its become the subject of CDC alerts. A 2011 analysis found that as many as 14 percent of teenaged Latinas have attempted suicide. That's about two times the suicide attempt rate among white teenage girls and nearly three times the share of black teenaged girls who have done the same.
Tyler Perry may be the man with his own studio and distinctive brand of often-debated humor. But today, he also became a man with four Razzie nominations. Razzies recognize what award organizers describe as deplorable and simply terrible films and performances.
While I am not terribly interested in baseball, I took note today when the sport's Hall of Fame rejected Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Does this signal an official embrace of steriod-free competition or just an institution willing to pass on two men who are less than popular human beings due, at least in part, to their alleged steroid use. Sammy Sosa also did not get the nod. There's certainly real diversity in that rejected line up.
Black viewers may be driving MSNBC's recent ratings success, according to The Grio (an NBC-Universal-owned company).
Finally, Carl Berner -- a German immigrant, toy and toolmaker and former factory owner -- died this week in Queens. He was 110 years old and just 20 days short of his 111th birthday. Berner was believed to be the oldest living man in New York City. Before his death, Berner shared this helpful habit: "Even though life is disgusting sometimes," he said, "I'll get up again."