Rising Food Costs Will Affect Public Health

Up for the seventh month in a row, the closely watched Food and Agriculture Oganisation Food Price Index on Thursday touched its highest since records began in 1990, and topped the peak of 224.1 in June 2008, during the food crisis of 2007/08.  Several factors contribute to this rise in costs.  We now use food stocks such as corn to make ethanol to burn in our cars.  The logic of using food to make fuel is dubious at best.  The other major factor has been a year fraught with severe weather phenomena from floods, to droughts to frosts which have all decimated crops in many parts of the agricultural producing world. With the price of food skyrocketing, people all over the world will struggle with less food in terms of both quantity and quality.  The effects of a global population eating less (and less nutritious) food and more of their diets being comprised of filler and processed ingredients will have a definite impact on health.

Medical Billing/Coding – Cutting Edge Job

Need more convincing that a career in medical billing and coding is a wise pursuit?  Kiplinger’s released a list of 10 jobs that didn’t exist ten years ago.  These are jobs that have been enabled to a large degree by information technologies and the Internet.  These are positions that are just now coming to the forefront of the career world and are not in any danger of being outsourced or downsized out of existence.   Sure enough, medical billing and coding jobs made Kiplinger’s top 10 list.  Click here to see the full list and marvel at the other careers on the list alongside yours.  Give yourself a pat on the back for being such a trendsetter.

How to Promote Yourself

With so much competition for jobs these days, a good resume and cover letter alone aren’t enough to seal the deal with a hiring authority.  You may have studied to become a medical billing and coding professional, but what you really need to be a salesperson.  Your product?  Yourself!   Here’s a link to some excellent advice on how to sell yourself to employers.

Motivation and Success

Tal Golesworthy's Invention - A New Artificial Heart Valve

A favorite song of mine has a lyric that says, “You ain’t gonna learn what you don’t wanna know”.  Isn’t that the truth?  Nothing is as essential to success as motivation.  Case in point, check out this engineer who suffered from a congenital heart defect.  He knew his heart would one day fail.  So he struck out to find a better alternative to the existing, mechanical heart implants on the market.  With his very life as the motivating factor, he engineered a solution that saved his own life and the lives of others who suffer from the same defect.  What do you think you could achieve if failure was not an option?

All Nighters Make Your Pants Tighter

As an online student, chances are you have lots going on besides studying.  This is why you likely chose online education in the first place.  But between work, family, friends and studies, it can be hard to get everything done.  As a result, we often find ourselves having to pull an all-nighter to get caught up.  Now, this is ok once in a great while, but if it becomes your regular habit, you may be in for a rude awakening (well, if you’re up all night, you’re already awake, but I digress).  University of Colorado researchers have completed a study that shows burning the midnight oil actually prompts your body to STOP burning calories.   Chronic all-nighters can have an explosive effect on your waist size.  Click here to read the details on why it probably makes more sense to go to sleep tonight and pick up the work where you left off the next morning.

Wired’s How-to Wiki – An Excellent Resource

Need to know how to supercharge your resume?  Use Skype?  Learn how to speed read?  Get paid more for your work?  Open a bottle with a cigarette lighter?  You should know about an excellent resource I recently found.  Propellor-head that I am, I love reading Wired Magazine every day online.   It always has lots of interesting information about science, technology and tech culture that appeals to my inner nerd.  Well, imagine my delight when I found the Wired How-to Wiki pages.  A wiki is a site where the users generate and moderate the content.  Famous wikis include Wikipedia, the user-maintained, online encyclopedia and the infamous Wikileaks in the news these days.  The Wired How-to Wiki is home to numerous articles on how to do many useful and interesting things.  Have a look and learn how to do things you’ve always wondered how to do (and even some things you’ve never even thought about doing).   Lots of great information for students to be found there in the “work” category especially.   Enjoy!

Tips For Making a Good Impression at Your New Job

Staffing company, Robert Half International published this excellent article on how to start a new job off on the right foot.   The five suggestions are:
  • Get a read on the company.
  • Pay attention to the unwritten rules, too.
  • Practice proper diplomacy.
  • Pace yourself.
  • Finally, cut yourself some slack.
Click the link above to read the detailed recommendations for each of these tips and be prepared for your first day on the job as a medical billing and coding worker.

Tone It Down! Folks Are Getting Killed Out There!

As a blogger and a regular contributor to the online dialogue in this country, I would call on our leaders to tone down the violent, angry, hateful rhetoric they have engaged in over the last few years.  As the famous saying goes, “Politics ain’t beanbag” and as President Harry Truman once quipped, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”  So we know its bare knuckle brawling.  But, when rhetoric overheats and calls for violence (even if meant metaphorically) those with a loose grip on reality – like this Jared Loughner maniac – are encouraged to take it seriously.  Today, this blogger’s thoughts are with those gravely injured or killed and their families in the Arizona shootings.  Remember, in life, in the job hunt and in workplace interactions, in family matters and in friendships, at work, play and school, words have meaning and often, consequences.  Let’s all dial it back a notch and deal with our undeniably difficult national differences without calling for violence.  Its not the American way.

2010 Tax Deductions for Students

Its officially the beginning of tax season and with that in mind the Allen School Blog will be including some posts on ways that students can maximize their returns.  In the post, we link to a a short piece explaining how students between the ages of 19 and 24 can take advantage of the Hope Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit.  Click here for more detailed information on how to claim these deductions and hopefully recuperate a portion of your tuition expenses courtesy of ehow.com.

Growth in Jobs & Economy: Illusion or Reality?

By academic measures, the US economy has been technically out of recession (defined as two or more quarters of consecutive GDP decline) since the end of 2009.  Tell that to all the folks who remain unemployed through 2010 and now into 2011.  However, there are several recent signs pointing to the more tangible kind of recovery that can be seen and felt by the average worker.  Follow me past the jump for the promising details. Continue reading…