Thursday, June 28, 2018

What has Scott Pruitt done with EPA Climate Change Webpage?

This morning I wanted to check out an issue I'd come across in the news about Antarctic ice melting.

So I googled the EPA + Climate Change.

This is where I landed.
How did I miss this!  This site apparently has been under construction since April 2017!

In a news release (4/28/17) EPA explains the changes in ominous language -
      "..... changes that reflect the agency’s new direction under President Donald Trump and    Administrator Scott Pruitt. The process, which involves updating language to reflect the approach of new leadership, is intended to ensure that the public can use the website to understand the agency's current efforts."

Not to worry. 
Just a bit of Wordpress tweaking. 
I don't think so......

Let's keep in mind  EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has stated that he's not convinced that carbon dioxide from human activity is the main driver of climate change and he actually sued the EPA more than a dozen times as Oklahoma's attorney general. 

A)  Just what is taking so long? 
B) What will climate change look like on the 
"updated" site?

 In my current worst daydreams about the new webpage I envision something like this. (forgive my total lack of design skills)

* In a quick look, if you use "Advanced Search" you can still easily find the archived presentations, talks and actions EPA has taken over the years. 

Monday, June 25, 2018

AHA nutrition campaign: painfully tortured messages

I’m still fretting over the obtuse messages of a nutrition campaign we saw in E. Harlem recently. E. Harlem has high rates of obesity, other chronic diseases and poverty and poor access to good food.  So the campaign is designed and targeted to reach the folks who live here.

In the last post I whined about the problem but I didn't name it. 
Here's one of the fixable problems of this cute but painfully tortured campaign.

Really Bad Advance Organizers*
* don't rush for the exits yet.  I'll explain what I mean. 

There is a thing in reading that really helps us read what something is about – a lead in.  
A title, a header….
A good lead in serves to tell the reader “Hay get ready to read about….”
For you techies, it’s called a “superordinate pre-statement” or “advance organizer”.

Example ripped from today's Fox News headlines: 

You know it's not going to end well!

Now, notice the headlines for 3 of the lead-ins in the AHA campaign.
Do they help the reader get ready?  

Is this going to be about vegetables angry about a world with too many plastic straws?

"Good Food Goes Bad – Avocado Fights Back"
Is this going to explain why avocados go bad and donuts don't?

Good Food Goes Bad - Lemon Takes a Sour Turn

So why you shouldn't use bad 
lemons in your soda?

A moral to this painfully tortured campaign is ......well...please sacrifice the word puns and give your reader some way to understand what's coming and maybe even be interested in it. 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

American Heart Association:Obscure by Design?

Another installment of ......
Language Acting Badly

My friend Joslyn snapped this Ad in Harlem yesterday and sent it to me with the question “Isn’t this strange?”

It was late.
I was tired.
YES it was strange.  
I couldn’t make sense of it.

This morning I checked out the AHA website attached to the Ad.
(American Heart Association with sponsorship from Mount Sinai Hospital)
The animated video sort of explained the Ad. (couldn’t find it on Youtube)  #gonebadforgood

How does this Ad go off the rails?

Let’s unpack it.

"You give crunch a bad name"

When you “give X a bad name” this means you make something look bad or ruin the reputation of something...
Carrots are crunchy
The carrot seems angry
Cheetos are crunchy
The carrot is putting air in the bag.
   Is the carrot trying to make the bag look bigger?
   Is the carrot trying to blow up the bag?
   Is it showing that's there's just a lot of air in a bag of chips?

Who writes this copy? 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

NIH New Herbal List App - quick health literacy audit

NIH's new Herbal App - the reading level is fine. 

The health literacy it requires - its "health literacy load" is still high.

Can you name how many domains of health literacy are required to understand the following?

 My list of some of the fundamental health and science literacies*embedded in the statements:
  • Medical studies yield results.
  • Results can vary from study to study.
  • Experts compare results from study to study to see if there is "evidence".
  • Medical studies can be over a short time and over a long time. This matters.
  • Scientific evidence is very different than anecdotal person results.
I'm sure you can identify more.   Please share what you'd put on this list. 


* Zarcadoolas, C. (2011) The simplicity complex: exploring simplified health messages in a complex world. Health Promot Int.  26(3): 338-50

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