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Georgia's New State Health Plan Is Google 105

theodp writes "In yet another case of life imitating Dilbert, the State of Georgia has issued a press release touting how helpful Google products will be in getting Georgians to go outdoors. According to the release and a follow-up Yo-State-So-Fat Official Google Blog post, this includes AdWords, Analytics, Maps, Earth, Picasa, Gadgets and a branded YouTube channel for the GO Georgia initiative 'We're thrilled that Google has joined us in the effort to help everyone in the state lead a healthier life,' said Sally Winchester, a manager for Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites. 'At Google, we are committed to helping our employees lead healthy lives,' added Maureen Schumacher, a Google regional sales director. 'We are very excited that Google products will be used as part of this effort to improve the health and well-being of all Georgians.'"
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Georgia's New State Health Plan Is Google

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  • Misleading Much? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by conner_bw ( 120497 ) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @04:51PM (#23897189) Journal

    Looks a lot less like a health plan, a lot more like a powerful promotional partner for Georgia's Parks, Recreations and Historic Sites i.e. tourism?

    Or is FOX TV a "health plan" because they run Viagra advertisements?

    On second thought it has Google in the title and it's Sunday so it must be a debacle! Unleash the Flash rectangles! The captain goes down with the PageRank!

    • so what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CaptainNerdCave ( 982411 ) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @05:09PM (#23897317)
      so what if it's shameless promotion? the important thing is that the georgia administration is going against the status quo and admitting there _is_ a problem. i hope this gives other states (particularly southern states) the courage to go forward with health initiatives. with 1/4 of its adult population considered obese (as of mid-late 2007 []), this will hopefully start opening eyes and turning heads
      • Re:so what? (Score:4, Funny)

        by Quasimodem ( 719423 ) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @07:34PM (#23898187)

        . . . this will hopefully start opening eyes and turning heads
        If they require someone else to open their eyes and turn their heads, they must REALLY be sedentary!
      • How come you say "particularly southern states" I moved to Austin from Philly and let me tell you, those in the North ate worse, went outside less and were obviously much larger. I find your comment insulting. I mean if you ask me Pat's or Geno's Philly cheese steak are going to take you out just as fast as brisket served with a side of TexMex queso and chips. But when you toss in scrapple and hoagies (extra mayo), clearly the City of Brotherly love wins hands down as the phattest city in the country. U

  • I don't know about you but my guess is that Georgia's too busy sitting on their front porches proclaiming that people "git off ma property befo' I shoot yo ___".
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Is this a variation on 'Naw you kiahds git off ma lawn!"?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by MrDERP ( 1004577 )
        I am from GA (not originally )and this got me laughing pretty hard! That's how it is in very rural areas[South Carolina is much worse IMO], people are very friendly just really "country" Savannah is kind of half redneck half random people that moved here and country club like art college kids.I wouldn't say in this town there are more fattie's than Pittsburgh, Cleavland, Houston, Buffalo, Illinois, Detroit ([places I lived) or other "blue collar" type cities. When you go out into more rural reads yes, but
        • by zip_000 ( 951794 )
          Also in Savannah, GA - and originally from GA as well (unfortunately), and I agree. People in the cities tend to not be nearly as heavy as people in the more rural areas. Also, I visited the mid-west not too long ago, and I remember walking through the airport amazed at the obesity of the people there. Of course maybe the airport has its own demographic separate from the area.
    • by Seoulstriker ( 748895 ) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @05:39PM (#23897485)
      Georgia is in the "Stroke Belt", with high rates of obesity (soul food), diabetes (sweet tea), and heart disease. The citizens of Georgia really need all the help they can get to decrease long-term health costs.
      • by halivar ( 535827 ) <bfelger AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday June 22, 2008 @06:29PM (#23897775)

        You will pry my Georgia sweet tea (kept ice cold so it can be super-saturated with sugar) from my cold, dead fin-- *urk* *THUD*

        • by chillax137 ( 612431 ) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @07:00PM (#23897951) Homepage
          In order to super-saturate the tea, it must first be mixed at a higher temperature (where the equilibrium concentration of sugar is higher). Cooling it down brings the mixture out of equilibrium, but no precipitation occurs, resulting in a kinetically controlled metastable state (super-saturation). Allowing the tea to warm up won't change the sweetness level.
          • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 22, 2008 @08:15PM (#23898483)

            Unless of course something we're to disturb to tea sufficiently or a suitable condensation nuclei we're introduced causing the sugar to come out of solution, in which case the only suitable solution is to reheat the tea.

            Posting anonymously so I can still mod you up

          • by halivar ( 535827 )

            Wow, I never expected to be taken seriously, but you know... you are supposed to put the sugar in while it's still piping hot. There have been occasions where a particular sweet tea I like to call "Hepzibah Tea" (named after the podunk Augusta satellite town it comes from) leaves the container coated in rock candy when you take it out of the fridge. That is the good stuff you can't get up north.

          • There you go trying to teach chemistry to Georgians... haven't you learned?
        • by Thaelon ( 250687 ) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @09:13PM (#23898839)

          Actually you can only super saturate water with dissolved solids such as sugar at high temperatures. It's gases that dissolve better at low temperatures.

          So you're not only fat, but a dirty, dirty liar!

      • by Tmack ( 593755 ) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @07:50PM (#23898303) Homepage Journal

        ...high rates of obesity (soul food), diabetes (sweet tea), and heart disease....

        Having just moved from there, to the Bay Area, Ca....
        Yes, Ga is unhealthy. Alot of the blame can also be put on the government of the state, which continues to push for more and wider highways (as if 16 lanes [] isnt enough), continue to allow and support [] the majority of power plants [] running on fossil fuels, mainly coal and including 3 of the dirtiest [] in the US, with two in the top 3 of that list. This, combined with naturally high humidity [], ultra high pollen counts and high temperatures makes the air quality suck, putting Atlanta in 4th [] for most challenging place to live with asthma and consistently in the Top Ten [] smoggiest cities. This keeps people inside. Going anywhere basically means driving there as sprawl [] and the resulting proliferation of more roads without increased mass transit or even bike lanes(again, gvmt sponsored), reckless drivers in large vehicles thanks to (previously, and relatively) cheap gas and the whole "southern/redneck" bit that leans towards F250s with 12"lift on mud tires, and the horrid air make it difficult to impossible to walk or bike anywhere (outside of Down/Mid Town Atl) for fear of your life. So people tend to sit on their fat asses in their offices all day and eat at one of about 20 McDonads [] or Waffle Houses [] in the 2mi radius of their home (after driving there of course)... not that I miss having a 24h eatery nearby (I miss my WaHo and Marietta Diner!). Add to all that that NASCAR is a "Sport" in Ga, and as such, "exercising" consists of sitting in bleachers (or on the sofa), smoking, drinking budweiser and eating chilli cheese dogs while watching cars go in circles.

        Alot of this could be fixed by improving mass-transit, curbing Sprawl (which is what really caused the drought) and improving Atlanta's Bikability []. Generally getting people out of their cars and walking or biking places. MARTA's subway line only goes to about 3 useful places []: the airport, downtown, and perimeter mall, while a majority of people live in Cobb County, which rejected having anything to do with a Marta rail line (think: "It will bring in the colored people to steal our TV's!").

        Ga is way behind in most rankings of things as well: the Gov'ner has repeatedly struck down [] attempts to allow Sunday sales of any alcoholic beverage (outside of a restaurant), the most recent time saying it would teach "better time management," thus keeping Georgia one of 3 states still having such arcane blue laws. The state is kept in the past though laws like this, as well as the control the churches [] have over it and its citizens, which al

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Llamalarity ( 806413 )

          MARTA's subway line only goes to about 3 useful places []: the airport, downtown, and perimeter mall, while a majority of people live in Cobb County, which rejected having anything to do with a Marta rail line (think: "It will bring in the colored people to steal our TV's!").

          Racism was only a tiny part of the issue. Money for example was much larger. The real reason Cobb rejected MARTA was lingring bitterness over Atlanta killing the trolley lines back in the 1950s. When MARTA was first pro

          • by 0xdeadbeef ( 28836 ) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @09:06PM (#23898797) Homepage Journal

            Oh, please. Gwinnett rejected it too, and "crime" was the primary excuse. Because, you know, criminals would commute from Atlanta and haul their phat booty back on the trains. It had nothing to do with the race of those most likely to need rail service into the city. Oh no, not that at all.

            The delicious irony of it all is that Gwinnett is now the most ethnically diverse region of the state due to immigration, and had to start funding its own bus service just like Cobb.

            • I moved to the Indian Trail area in 1998. It was booming.

              A year or so ago we were in the area and decided to drive around the area, including Gwinett Place Mall up on Pleasant Hill.

              The whole area, particularly the area east of I-85 on Jimmy Carter is a disaster. The mall was desolate. The whole area just looks run down.

              If this is what having an ethnically diverse region does for your community it's no wonder they resisted mass transit to speed its coming.

              I have friends on the Norcross Police force. They

              • What do you expect would happen when the biggest mall [] in the Southeast opens 10 miles down the highway?

                Do you believe that non-white people make land cheap, or is it that non-white people live on the land no one else wants to buy?

                Anyway, I laugh at the white flight. Those peons were OTP to begin with, and they're even more OTP now. Enjoy the commute.

                • What do you expect would happen when the biggest mall in the Southeast opens 10 miles down the highway?

                  That might explain the mall, but not the entire area. Basically everything east of I-85, south of Pleasant Hill, North of I-285 and east of Lawrenceville Hwy has gone way downhill since I lived there.

                  Do you believe that non-white people make land cheap, or is it that non-white people live on the land no one else wants to buy?

                  I believe that for whatever reason, predominantly black or predominantly mexican

            • by digitalgiblet ( 530309 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @08:15AM (#23901809) Homepage Journal

              The delicious irony of it all is that Gwinnett is now the most ethnically diverse region of the state due to immigration...

              This is one of my favorite things about Gwinnett. I have friends on my street from Nigeria, Liberia, China, Mexico, Korea and India (and there are only about 20 houses on our street). We have a very close knit neighborhood and my kids get play with kids with very diverse backgrounds.

              I work in the city of Atlanta and we hear a lot about "diversity". Their definition of "diversity" is African Americans working with Caucasian Americans. Pretty narrow view of diversity in my book...

        • which also causes the health of the state to remain in the past.

          because the past was so unhealthy.
          • which also causes the health of the state to remain in the past.

            because the past was so unhealthy.

            Actually, yes. The overall measure health seems to be measured by is life expectancy. It is significantly higher now than in the past for most parts of the US, and continues to climb as medicine and health issues are solved. Take a look at this Map [] (and RTFA!) and make your statement again. As Georgia (and its neighbors) remain in the past, so does the avg life expectancy relative to the rest of the US. One of the main suggested causes is health education, something most other states have improved upon y

        • ...glad Im gone from there, though I do miss alot of the natural features of the area

          West Nile virus bearing mosquitos? []
          If they get out of their cars it might be unhealthy too.

        • Yeah, Atlanta is a minority-majority city. Being from the Bay Area, you've probably never lived around so many black people in your life. You can go ahead and say that you just plain don't care for black people, intstead of veiling your criticisms in terms of "arcane blue laws", (which are not arcane at all, they are very easily understood). But feel free to keep practicing your bigotry against whites, that is perfectly socially acceptable.
        • You gotta love a chain that puts a restaurant on both sides of a freeway exit.

        • by Dr.Seuss ( 94326 )

          Good grief. Apart from suggesting that WaHo is a good experience, I couldn't find one thing positive in any of your posts on this subject. Odd that you would mention them in a post about how unhealthy the State of Georgia is, but I'll just disregard that part - WaHo is a guilty sin. At any rate, I'm sorry your time here was so awful.

          I've lived in a number of different cities through the years (Denver, Syracuse, St.Louis, LA, ...) Outside of New York City, I've never found a domestic public transit syste

      • Co Coller and biscuits have much more to do with diabeetees than sweet tea. Less you are talkin' 'bout sweet tea from Arby's or McDonalds. (I am from GA, and still here)
      • I don't know if that life style would contribute to any LONG TERM health costs.
        I think that would contribute to early health care costs but you save tones on social security when they die young. I for one applaud Georgia's efforts at alleviating the social security crunch. This just in .. smoking is cool again.

    • I resemble that comment, you insensitive clod!
    • I don't know if you've been to Atlanta lately, but its completely yankee town now. I correct that, Damn yankees because they won't leave!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 22, 2008 @04:57PM (#23897231)

    Let's just say Steps 3 from 5 involve Google buying Georgia, rebranding the state Googlia (still GA), and eventually enslaving.... err.. emoploying the populace to work for the Google AI. Remember, the AI needs healthy people to carry out its will.

  • Ballmer wet dream (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fyoder ( 857358 )

    Wow, that summary reads like a dream of Ballmer's, except with Google instead of Microsoft being the indispensable tech partner.

    I guess there's nothing to worry about, because Google is good, right?

  • cutting corners (Score:4, Insightful)

    by icepick72 ( 834363 ) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @05:16PM (#23897369)
    Sounds like Georgia wants some free hosting and free tools and will only have to pay a web integration salary instead of a developer ... why the hell not?
  • Cut the BS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 22, 2008 @05:39PM (#23897489)
    I wish they'd just drop the bullshit and come out and say "You want to turn into a lazy fatass and die an early death, that's your problem. Just don't pretend like it was anyone else's fault and don't burden the taxpayers with your poor decision-making and we're cool." I'd have much more respect for our esteemed leaders if they were honest about it.
    • I wish they'd just drop the bullshit and come out and say "You want to turn into a lazy fatass and die an early death, that's your problem. Just don't pretend like it was anyone else's fault and don't burden the taxpayers with your poor decision-making and we're cool." I'd have much more respect for our esteemed leaders if they were honest about it.

      They abandoned this path when they awarded that lady a multi-million dollar settlement because her fat (explative deleted) wouldn't fit in an airline seat.

  • We are Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.
  • by beefubermensch ( 575927 ) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @05:50PM (#23897557) Homepage

    ...Google has been one of the single biggest things keeping me INdoors


  • by John3 ( 85454 ) <(moc.sllenroc) (ta) (3nhoj)> on Sunday June 22, 2008 @05:52PM (#23897573) Homepage Journal

    1: Partner with Google

    2: ?

    3: Health and profit

  • Kind of neat but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dyslexicbunny ( 940925 ) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @05:59PM (#23897607)
    So I checked out their website [] and overall I'm pretty impressed with the idea. I think this is a good thing. If state park information is located in one place, perhaps more people might take advantage of the facilities.

    Looking at the disc golf section though, I'm kind of disappointed that the only information is solely for state parks. Living in Atlanta, I know of a few courses around that aren't state parks but county parks. They are also much closer than 30+ miles of the state parks.

    I'm hoping that this is simply due to an early start and more information will get put in as counties might get online. But if not, I think they're missing a big opportunity for more information and getting people more involved at a local level. But perhaps they are simply looking for the extra revenue from the parks since most of the local parks are free access.
    • by duncan7 ( 247274 )

      Also, the Georgia DNR's Wildlife Resources Division pages were down for at least a day last week, meaning that the online recreation regulations relating to hunting and fishing were unavailable, along with online license sales through I guess serving only IIS's 404 error page would be the opposite approach to the overall GO Georgia initiative.

  • by da3dAlus ( 20553 ) <> on Sunday June 22, 2008 @06:27PM (#23897755) Homepage Journal
    Actually, I only briefly heard about the GO initiative last week, just in time for their "all parks free" day. I _had_ to use Google to find the site just get info about it, considering the news broadcast didn't divulge many additional details.
  • I imagine I am pretty much exactly their target audience, but I live in Atlanta and think this is an awesome idea. My family was never too in to outdoor activity when I was a kid, but now that I am older I often want to get out and go hiking or fishing or camping. Usually what happens is that I get this urge on a Thursday, spend the day googling possible locations, don't come up with much aside from vague directions and maybe a few sites of places 3 hours away, and then it is midday Friday, I get off work w

    • You did know that Georgia already had a web site for all the state parks [], didn't you?

      The only real difference between this new site and that one is that they've added a "search by activity and zip code" function. All the information was already there and reasonably easy to find before, however.

  • Being an employee of the State of Georgia I would of heard this. Ah well there out sourcing us (IT) soon, so I'll have all the opportunity to be out doors.
  • This is GREAT! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HitekHobo ( 1132869 ) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @06:40PM (#23897843) Homepage

    My girlfriend and I are traveling fulltime and living in the national forests, wildlife management areas, etc. I LOVE when we're in a state that has proactively put tons of information about their outdoor recreation areas online.

    It's so much easier to find places to stay and know what's nearby in areas like this than in the more backwards areas where you are just guessing and stopping to ask the locals, who often have no idea or just give bad advice.

    This is good for the state of Georgia, it's citizens and anyone traveling through the state that enjoys the ootdoors (the big blue room).

    • Just be careful or you might end up in clear-cut wasteland [] courtesy our wonderful leader. I just moved from the state, and alot of the "wilderness" areas now have huge swaths of these clear cuts. Sure, they claim they are in remote areas rarely visited, but they fail to mention that they are still very visible from the other more poplar areas. Now that Im in the Bay Area of SF, I get to enjoy the giant Red wood forests, which seem to be much better protected around here than the woods back in Ga. Its sad th
      • Actually the federal government has a whole organization expressly for the purpose of clear-cutting, it's called the bureau of land management. They maintain roads so that corporations can get in and clear-cut by contract, and to provide transportation when they want to come in and bust a guerrilla marijuana operation.
  • Which southern state was giving a Mozart CD to newborns (in lieu of future education and healthcare)? Mississippi?

    I tell you what, that's some quality health initiative you got there, boy. Yesiree.
    • by EsJay ( 879629 )
      Ya know - reading the press release and some of the comments here - I retract my sneery/snarky statement. I love the national forests. I've camped in dozens of them. I once spent a week working as a volunteer laborer, for a US Forest Service project. Anything to boost public interest and support is OK with me.
  • by Ilyakub ( 1200029 ) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @06:54PM (#23897919)
    Interesting that the plan does not include promotion of Google Health.
  • Maybe... (Score:2, Funny)

    by deepgrey ( 1246108 )
    it'll help the guy that called and asked how to get to Vogel State Park "from I-20." I might point out that I-20 runs through six states...
    • by Molochi ( 555357 )

      So he didn't know Vogel was in GA? I don't get it, what was the big deal?

      1) Take I-20 going towards ATL until you get to I-285.
      2) Go north on I-285.
      3) Go north on GA400.
      4) Follow the signs when you get near Dahlonaga.
      5) If someone tells you, "You got a perty mouth." you'll know you made it.

      Hell you could start in Abilene TX and follow those directions.

      • Well, if you're east of Atlanta, it wouldn't make much sense take 400; you'd want to take 129. When I asked him where he was, he said that he'd just look at a map. So why the heck did he call in the first place? I assume that when you make reservations, you have at least a vague idea of where you're going.
  • Tech innovation from a state where it is still legal to marry your first cousin. The end is near.
  • Connecticut has a similar outdoors initiative. []

    Many states do. Not just the obese ones.
  • Since the article states that GA is the 12th fattest state, I wondered who was #1: []

    Not too surprising to see Mississippi is largest. I wouldn't have guessed Michigan would be #2. I guess that happens when it's too cold to go outside 5 months out of the year, and you sit indoors eating pasties (which, admittedly, make a delicious 1500 calorie meal.) Colorado's mountain climbing hippies are the leanest.

    What I find really shocking is that most states hav

  • Maybe they'll feel richer now that they're partaking of the goodness of a multbillion dollar CEO.

  • by plasmacutter ( 901737 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:39AM (#23900689)

    As a georgia resident, I know for a fact nothing will make people go outside.. well, nothing except a huge bubble over the entire state with a massive HVAC system cooling it about 20-30 degrees depending on the time of year.

    This year the winter "lows" were the mid 60's. I was walking around in a t-shirt basting in my own juices simply moving from the car to the grocery store in early january, and at this point in the year the AC barely keeps pace running 24/7 in a home a little over a decade old.

    Just to the south-east of atlanta is a small town, and in that town I actually found a runed stone cover to hell. I came back during the summer to find the devil himself climbing out of his domain through this opening proclaiming it's too cold down there, so he's taking a month vacation in ATL.

    Nobody in their right mind wants to go outside and fry, so people get fat.. and i mean MORBIDLY FAT. These people knock candy bar cases off the walls as they putter through the checkouts in the carts meant for paraplegics, their corpulence so spread that the 3 ft wide seat looks more like a bar stool.

    I think Lincoln made a horrible mistake not allowing the south to secede. They are, statistically and geographically, the US beer gut : P

    • by Arkham ( 10779 )

      It's not that hot in Georgia, it's just humid as hell. If you think GA is bad, head south to Florida. it's 15 degrees warmer, with 10% more humidity, plus mosquitos the size of Cessnas [].

      Truthfully, Georgia is a great place to live. The spring and fall are both long and temeperate. The cost of living is relatively low, the people are generally friendly and far better educated than Alabama, South Carolina, or most other southern states, and the government is fairly technologically progressive. You can ren

  • Why, yes, I *DO* have an arc welder and a barrel of kerosene!

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.