Friday, December 25, 2009

Seattle > Pittsburgh > Boston > Cincinnati

Literacy pays off! Who knew?

Seattle topped the list of 75 major cities across the US!  Sorry, Crystal, DC came in second, despite a Facebook quiz telling me that DC should have been the city of my choice. :-(

As the Seattle PI tells me, Dr. John W. Miller developed his rankings based on six categories:

1: Number of retail bookstores/1000 people.
2: % of adults with HS diplomas.
3. Total weekday circulation of a city's newspaper.
4: Number of web page views per capita to a city's "internet version" of a newspaper.
5. Magazine and journal distributions per capita.
6. Library staff and library volume per capita.

So, remember that you local library is also important!

Interestingly,  smart cities usually ranks well against other quality of life indicators too!

"...Most active singles’ scenes (Boston, Seattle, Washington, and Atlanta), are safer (Minneapolis, Boston, Seattle, Portland, Denver, and Cincinnati), more walk-able (Seattle, Washington, DC, Portland, Boston, and Denver), and healthier (Washington, DC and Denver)."

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Google Alternates

Ever try Googleing yourself?  Some people find they have hundreds of Google Alternates (GA), while other find they have only very few.

I feel, I'm one of the lucky ones with very few GAs, and I come across myself quite often:

Finding my name in text across the web:

A Temple University School of Medicine 2005 Rebuilding New Orleans Trip that included a Philadelphia PSR write up about our experience, and a Temple Medicine write up and my personal journal entry (check out page #36.)

My IMDB actors page, where I started as "Redsin's Victim" in The Redsin Tower.

Cincinnati Kiwanis Club meeting minutes
 about my presentation of One Laptop Per Child.  Along with more Kiwanis meeting minutes 

When I was first starting to look for information about my family tree.

Alumni Listing of CCHMC residency graduates.

Penn State's NASA 2001 HEDS-UP Project: Mining the Foundation of the Future.

Honorable Mention in the Legible Script for Uncle Alex.

Delta Chi Quarterly write up about advising with the University of Cincinnati Colony.

Temple Times write up, along with a Fox Update write up about pursuing and MD/MBA dual degree program.

Don't forget to look through the images after you Google yourself, you might be surprised! 

Also, finding yourself in other peoples pictures and videos can be very enlightening. :-)

Taft with a Twist event with Ari.  Ariane, if you're out there - I still miss you! (Yes, that is a giant monkey sticker from Enjoy The Arts on my shirt.)

A Senior Roast video from CCHMC w/o sound.

Hitting up Club Bang! with Diane and Greg.

What's the deal with all the Kiwanis photos?  :-)

2009 Hyde Park Blast photo with Emily and Tom.

Finding myself through personal, friends, and networking  services:

Is Twitter ever going to learn how to make money?

My Google Profile.

LinkedIn profile.

Lastly, random comments on other blogs (#2, #3, #4, #5, #6)

Over the years, I've found my name bring great respect and honor to many communities, my first GAs has been a junior high honor student, a long jumper and a 400 meter relay runner.  After finding the wonders of  Google Alerts, I've found another GA that is a JHS/HS football champ (#2), also a long jumper and hurdler, a basketball player, and interested in science and soil research (something I did as well in high school!  However, I studied the viability of stocking trout along the Turtle Creek through researchers at IUP)!

What has your Google Alternate done today?

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ohhh.... poor, poor MTC

This is why the MTC (Midnight The Cat) is so great: She puts up with so much while I'm away...  I owe you big Midnight!

You can tell she doesn't like beer either.  I'm telling you - it's all the bubbles!

I know, MTC!  We'll never speak of this again!

Just a warning for those of you who pet sit, or ask people to pet sit for you!

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Volunteering in the Seattle

Rebuilding Together Seattle has become a regular group that I volunteer with, since moving out to Seattle.  Their 15-30 person outdoor, yard cleanup, and repair of homes in need projects remind me a lot of Give Back Cincinnati's Paint the Town annual project (#2).

Here in Seattle, RTS select homes at "no cost to low-income homeowners," and whom are often "elderly, disabled, or are families with children."

Originally named Christmas in April, the Rebuilding Together organization formed affiliates all over the US, and Seattle's chapter this summer celebrated it's one year anniversary of the Young Professionals Society with having close to 40 members volunteer at the RTS - YPS April event.

The YPS was founded in August of 2008 for the purpose of expanding the RTS "mission through community outreach, fundraising, networking, and volunteering on an annual basis to ensure the growth and strength of RTS."

Photos were taken from my second outing with the RTS-YPS group. Funny how I only seem to sign up for the rain day event.s :-)

Did you guys even get wet that day?

Our whole group at the end of the day (minus Margie Thirlby - who's taking the photo).

Seattle Works was the first group I volunteered with after moving to Seattle.  SW's goal is is to inform, connect, and inspire people in their 20s and 30s to take action in their community.

SW has a two pronged approached to engage the young minded by either focusing on one time volunteer projects called Hot Topics, or using a several week commitment of 15-16 people who work on 4 projects together called Teams Works.  Both are designed to help those connect to their community.

My first event with our Team Works team Blue Steal was for the Lettuce Link.  A program geared towards creating "access to fresh, nutritious and organic produce for low-income families in Seattle."  Our team stocked envelopes with seeds, that will allow families to start gardening as they "encourage people to grow food for their families." 

By the end of the event, even Shannon Murphy was in favor of my carrot cheer:

"We got carrots!  We got carrots!  Yes we do! Yes we do! How about you?"

 Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pittsburgh > Seattle > Cincinnati

Readers of the Medicine Man's Blog already know that Pittsburgh is much, much better then Boston from a previous post.

Now, Transportation for America ask "How dangerous is your city?"  A study was conducted to find and measure the Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) of 52 US metro areas with populations of greater then 1 million people.  "The PDI was developed to allow a fair comparison of metro areas according to their risk to pedestrians, relative to how much an ordinary person walks in that metro area."
Over all Pittsburgh was found to be the 4th safest city (based on PDI), Seattle the 5th, and Cincinnati the 7th.  Philadelphia is an abysmal #15 in overall pedestrian safely.  The worst city: Orlando (#52).

If you're over 65, the study finds that states such as Hawaii, California, and Florida are all the more dangerous for you!  TfA reports that the "the higher fatality rate for older pedestrians can probably be attributed to several factors: 1) older pedestrians have a higher risk of death than young people given the same severity of injury; 2) older pedestrians are more likely to have perceptual, sensory and cognitive impairments that decrease their ability to avoid oncoming traffic; and, 3) existing pedestrian infrastructure, such as the duration of crosswalk signals, ignores the needs of older walkers." 

I really think from point #2 that TfA is trying to say that older walkers are slower to cross the street, slower to react if they feel they are in danger, may not see the cars or trucks coming at time, may not hear the roar of the traffic coming at them, and may not know what to do if they feel they are in danger. 

Even if you are young and quick, you still have to be lucky.  This video just goes to show you that brightly warn crossing guard reflectors don't always avoid close contacts with cars either. 
Urban Cincy did a great recap of the findings and expanding upon how pedestrian traffic relates to safety in our fair city. 

At least Cincinnati > Cleveland.  :-) 

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How's my running coming along?

After running in the 2009 Run Like Hell 5K, I decided to find/track down my place and race times amongst the dozen or so 5K races I've done in the past (initially in Philadelphia, then to Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and now here in Seattle.) I know I'm missing a few bigger runs such as the Koman Race for the Cure and the Reggae Run, but here's what I've been able to find so far:

Run Like Hell 2008!

Dash For Donor Awareness 2.5 Mile Run, April 13, 2003, Philadelphia, PA
167 Alexander Hamling M 25 Philadelphia PA 22:59 9:12 90/152 M

St. Joseph Home 5K - Race for the Stars, August 19th, 2006, Cincinnati, OH:

Run for the Hill! - St. Joseph Home 5K

Freestore Foodbank Hunger Walk 5K, May 28th, 2007 at Lytle Park, Cincinnati, OH:
215 ALEX HAMLING 25 M CINCINNATI, OH 33:44 10:53 138/199 M

The Hyde 5 - St. Mary Church, August 16th, 2007 at Cincinnati, OH:
169 ALEXANDER HAMLING 26 M CINCINNATI OH 30:40 9:54 M2529 78/91 M

Emerald Mile 5K, March 15th, 2008 at Newport on the Leave, Newport KY:
198 ALEXANDER HAMLING 26 M CINCINNATI OH 30:55 9:59 112/158 M

Run For Life 5K, May 10th, 2008, at Winton Woods, Cincinnati, OH:
105 ALEXANDER HAMLING 26 M CINCINNATI OH 32:49 10:35 68/89 M

Ariane and I post Great Urban Race, Cincinnati 2008
OK, so a little bit longer then a 5K.

Kilgour Carnival 5K, May 16th, 2008 Cincinnati, OH:
109 ALEX HAMLING 26 M CINCINNATI OH 32:06 10:22 84/125 M

Freestore Foodbank Hunger Walk 5K, May 26th, 2008 at Lytle Park, Cincinnati, OH:
309 ALEX HAMLING 26 M CINCINNATI OH 33:38 10:51 183/772 M 

Cincinnati Bar Association - Young Lawyers Section - Run for Kids, 5K, June 6th, 2008, Cincinnati, OH:

Downtown Dash and Block Party, August 1st, 2008 Cincinnati, OH: 
134 Alexander Hamling Cincinnati 27 32:01 10:19

Emerald Mile 5K, Newport, KY, March 14th, 2009:
209 ALEXANDER HAMLING 27 M CINCINNATI OH 30:25 9:49 135/218 M 

Freestore Foodbank Hunger Walk 5K, May 27th, 2009 at Lytle Park, Cincinnati, OH:
396 ALEX HAMLING 27 M CINCINNATI OH 39:42 12:49 161/490 M 

Seattle Union Gospel Mission, One Meal, One Hope 5K, October 3rd, 2009, Seward Park, Seattle, WA
70 Alexander Hamling M 28 32:11

Run Like Hell, October 30th, 2009, Cincinnati, OH
200 ALEXANDER HAMLING  Seattle WA  28 32:44 10.34/M

Green Lake Gobble 5K & Mashed Potato Munch Off, November 22, 2009, Seattle, WA.
180 Alexander Hamling 28 M Seattle WA 195/271 29:58
Photo Finish at the end of the race!

Seattle Marathon 5K, November 28, 2009, Seattle WA
188 Alexander Hamling, 28, 28:39

12 Ks of Christmas Holiday Run, December 20, 2009, Kirkland, WA
661 Alexander Hamling, 28, 1:22:43, 11:06

Firecracker 5000, July 4th, 2010, Seattle, WA.
319 Alexander Hamling. 28. 28:30.  9:25

Seattle AIDS Walk & 5K Run Sept, 25th 2010, Seattle, WA - Volunteer Park
88 Alexander Hamling. 29. 25:11. 8:07

AAP NCE 5K Fun Run/Walk, Oct, 4th, 2010, San Francisco, CA - Golden Gate National Recreation Area
52 Alexander Hamling. 29. 26:33. 8:26

In graphical from here's my Run Chart (get it?)

Jenn and I, post race from the St. Joseph Home 5K !
She finished 3rd in her age category!

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex

Monday, November 2, 2009

500 Days of Summer

After seeing "500 Days of Summer" on my flight back to Seattle from Cincinnati, I got to thinking.

Just one day, I'd like this to happen to me.  Well... I can forgo the animated birds.

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex

Sunday, October 25, 2009

That's So Seattle - #3 and #4

Just the perfect way to end a wonderful Saturday!

Ahhh yes, my
second encounter with a dancing mob of Michael Jackson fans, in just as many months.  I guess, I just couldn't get enough from the first flash mob.  Or else I must attract friends who are closet MJ fans, and find myself stumbling upon such fun everywhere I go.

Thrill The World of West Seattle
 helped to host the second annual Michael Jackson Zombie Thriller Dance at Occidental Park in Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA. All part of a much larger Thrill The World idea.

My friend Sarah, a coworker of her's and their third friend became ghastly ghouls of the night and participated in this weekend's outdoors event for charity.

This year's recipients were
Seattle Children's Hospital (ahhh.. yes work) and Acts of Kindness Friends.

Also, the goal of year's event was to attempt to break the world record for the "largest simultaneous dance."  I'm not sure if they made it or not...  
Those Filipino inmates are quite amazing and know how to draw a crowd! 

From an unsteady and tired hand - here's what I saw from 4 rows back.

Be prepared for next year by joining the
Seattle Thrillers group on

After celebrating in the fun, we three wonders came across another scary site:

Crowds and crowds of absolutely livid fans cheering for the Seattle Sounders, all dressed in their greens scarves and herded towards Quest Field for that evenings match.

Watch for the hidden zombie in the middle:

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex

Friday, October 23, 2009

Princess Zombies

From long know Snow White to much awaited Princess Tiana, it's clear to see that the Disney Princesses can be idolized in a variety of manners (#1, #2, #3, #4).

Along slightly different lines then from an earlier post, the Fallen Princesses take a turn for the worst.  In Jeffrey Thomas's Twisted Princess, he invokes the Halloween spirit through his frightful compilation.

All in all these aspiring queens are a far cry, yet a far more interesting rendition, of the traditional view of these beauties.

Then again... they could all just have issues with each other.

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

That's So Seattle - #2

Seattleites are all human compasses! 
Amazing, No?

While in every other city I've lived in, street parking has always been well defined with signs that state "No Parking Here to Corner" or "No Parking Between Signs" (followed by cute little arrows pointing at each other).  Not here in Seattle!  For, Seattleites harness their inborn (or derived) compass to know the cardinal directions at all times.  

No Parking - West of Here

No Parking - North of Here

No Parking - East of Here

Who's sweet ass truck is that, with their Penn State stickers and paw magnet!   I think that sign should really read, "Do Not Block Driveway," but I'm no Seattle Parking planner

Both sides of the street have the same sign "No Parking - West of Here."

Funny, how they are placed both sings facing the SAME direction.  One in the flow of traffic, and the other against it...

Is this really needed?

If I wanted to park "East of Here," I'd be in the grass! 

No Parking - South of Here

I almost made the mistake of thinking this guy/gal parked illegally, but then my cardinal sense of direction kicked in and, I realized that South was behind me!  I must be feeling the flow from Magnetic North.

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex

Friday, October 2, 2009

Why We Walk

Seattle AIDS Walk

September 26th, 2009 marked the 23rd year of bringing together the Puget Sound to increase awareness and fight HIV and AIDS.  The Lifelong Aids Alliance (#2) was this years proud supporter of the walk and organized a great event through Seattle's Capital Hill, starting at Volunteer Park.  Any aptly named park, no?

Course for walk

I joined the University of Washington School of Medicine team, without knowing a sole.  From the lengthly list of e-mails, I learned that a group of highly motivated medical students could raise over $1001, including $138.30 from a "clandestine bake sale!"      

After a quick breakfast, the morning of, at one of the second year's houses we trekked through her back yard and up the hill to the registration tent.  For the day of the race, our team wore UW gear to show our support and cohesiveness.  The following Monday, in order to continue to show our support, we planed to wear our red AIDS Walk t-shirts.

Lifelong AIDS Alliance Video

So, why did I walk?  

During my month long, medical school rotation in Guyana, South America, I worked with HOPE House Orphanage in Enmore, Guyana.  Here, I became known as “Uncle Alex” to 42 boys and girls.

These children were full of life, yet so starved for emotional and physical attention.  Over the month, I visited the orphanage, working closely with the children, the orphanage staff, and outside physicians to provide much needed healthcare for these children and the staff that cared for them.

Dr. Alex and Vikash (4 months old)

There is an ever so common story in Guyana and sadly 4 month old Vikash lives it. Vikash was abandoned in a hospital, by this unmarried mother a few days after his birth for being born and infected with HIV.  Every year, there are hundreds of children disowned and forgotten because of their inherited infection.  Luckily, The Hope House Orphanage in Enmore, Guyana, saved Vikash and provided him with an opportunity to live, a new family of 40 brothers and sisters, and enduring love. Here Vikash and I are sitting and cheering on his brothers and sisters at the 2nd Annual Sports Day, sponsored by the orphanage to teach the children that “by working together we can accomplish so much more.”

Dr. Rebecca and Faith (3 years old)

Just two children out of many at the orphanage that where HIV positive and whom we were able to spend a day with; making their lives a tiny bit brighter. These photos were taken on August 2005 in EnmoreGuyanaSouth America.

Every child has a right to – Life, a Name, a Family, and to feel Loved (inscription from a monument in the Georgetown National Park, Guyana).

Our UW SOM walking team

And, yes there are manatees in the National Park, that will feed right out of your hand.

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex