30 April 2012

Is health-care tourism sustainable?

Is it sustainable?  Well, do the local citizens have access to health care.  Let us explore that a bit.

There are no reliable records of the numbers on non-medical health care professionals globally, so the data on the number of physicians per 1,000 citizens in each country from the World Health Organization (2011) will be used to identify and quantify health provisions.  Globally the median density of health care professionals is 1.15 physicians per 1,000.  

Cuba (6.4 doctors per 1,000) and Greece (6 doctors per 1,000) are found next in physician density. Cuba should come as no surprise since this country has had a long and strong history of health tourism (Goodrich 1993b; Van Wilkinson 2008).  Likewise Greece, long known for the medicinal properties of its mineral springs has the benefit of the climate and bioclimatic conditions (Didaskalou et al. 2004). Progressing down the physician density list are two other countries, Malaysia and India, both known for health tourism.  Malaysia is one of the primary destinations in southeast Asia that has had the benefit of a deliberate marketing strategy by both the private and public sectors (Leng 2007).  And we find that the density of health care professionals in Malaysia (0.94) is comparable to Grenada and Peru (0.98, and 0.92 respectively).  Further west, India’s ranking of 0.60 is similar to the availability of doctors in Iraq, Morocco and Honduras (0.69, 0.62, and 0.57 respectively).

29 April 2012

Glaciers retreating, not if, but when


Glaciers are retreating.  Many will be gone in the next 100 years.

This one is found in Glacier Bay, Alaska.

27 April 2012

Happy Birthday Dad

Today my dad would have celebrated his 95th Birthday.

Happy Birthday to to all dads out there.

26 April 2012

Confusion with Carbon Calculators

So, we are trying to calculate the carbon footprint for the annual Westfield River Canoe Race. Using two online calculators we get two different emission for the same car.  What gives?

For example from


I get this

7,768 lbs CO2 per year

Carbon Footprint Ltd.

I get this
3.73 metric tons: 12000 miles in a USA 2005 TOYOTA COROLLA 1.8, Auto(L4)

22 April 2012

International Mother Earth Day

22 April is International Mother Earth Day!

What did you do the help our planet, our people and our neighbors?

How well are we protecting out natural resources?

21 April 2012

Westfield River Canoe Race 2012

They made it through Hill and Dale Rapids and just after I stopped the camera, the guy in the bow jumped into the cooooool water.  Air temps were in the 70s so it was a warm race despite the chilly water.

I had 10 Westfield State students interview paddlers and spectators this morning and we get over 80 surveys!  The purpose was to determine where folks came from, some background racing history and regular paddling and some basic demographics.

We also collected info about the respondent's car so we can calculate the carbon emissions.

18 April 2012

Spring means Tornadoes

and then tourists chasing them. I call this "risk tourism" since getting caught in a F5 storm ain't fun. To get some (dated) information about the Storm Chasing industry, see this link.

BTW: Western Mass had a tornado last 1 June 2011 that folks are still cleaning up from. My colleague Dr. Karl Leiker gave a paper at the AAG meeting in NYC in February this year and you can see his abstract at this link.

16 April 2012

Summer Travel and best $ exchange rates

Travel to Turkey might make the DP list, but the dollar is up 18% compared to last summer. More bang for the buck you might say (sorry for pun).

Southern hemisphere in the plans? Try South Africa (17%), Brazil (16%), or India (15%).

Even if the Olympics are in sight, you'll get a bit more of the British Pound when you exchange the green backs.

See the latest rates at this link.

14 April 2012

Virtual Tourism

What is your favorite site to visit prior to a trip? The Anticipation Phase of the Recreation Experience is important.

It provides a "virtual view" of the anticipated destination and someone may change their behavior based on what they discover. See some thoughts at this link.

12 April 2012

2012 Westfield River Whitewater Canoe Races

A week away is the oldest continuously run whitewater race in North America. Yeah, that's right the Westfield River in Massachusetts.

Next Saturday 21 April will be the annual race, held since 1953! See this link for more info.

10 April 2012

Check out these Appalachian Trail projects

A great bunch of volunteers are helping make the AT a more enjoyable experience. See a report at this link.

08 April 2012

Spring time Movie and Food Drive

This week, we are hosting the annual GARP Movie and Food Drive. Showing the classic international sci fi film "Latitude Zero", we hope also to collect canned goods for the local food pantry.

Tuesday 10 April 2012, 8 pm in the Ely Campus Center at Westfield State University.

Can't make it? Start collecting food for the annual US Postal Service food drive in May. Contact your local Post Office for details.

05 April 2012

5:45 AM roll call

This morning I was awakened by the ROAR of war planes. The local air base Barnes Airport has fleet of F-15 Eagle's that need periodic testing and this morning it happened to be one of those dates.

To hear what woke me up visit this site and crank the volume up.

For more information about noise pollution see this one.

02 April 2012

01 April 2012

Presidential Hopeful Mitt pledges $100,000,000 to Animal Group

Attempting the counter the growing campaign of Mutts Against Mitt as a result of his transporting the family dog on top of their automobile, Mitt has pledged $100 Million to support the animal group. When asked about his generosity, Mr. Romney replied he has always loved dogs and that even poor people can love dogs. Further he noted, $100 Million is a drop in the bucket. “I earn that much in interest every 23 minutes from my off-shore accounts.”

Questions have risen since it is only a pledge and a Society spokesperson reports that no check has been received in the local Cayman Island office, “not even a bag of kibble!”