Apr 22, 2009

World's biggest banks

World's biggest banks

Following is the list of 10 largest banks in the world in terms of market capitalization size, as released by Bloomberg on February 2008. Market capitalization (aka market cap) is a way of measuring the corporate or economic size of a public listed company.

In other words, capitalization could also represent the net worth of a company according to public opinion.

The latest table reveals some major surprises, and this 2008 list is considered one of the most unlikely ranking. The most noticeable change is the breaking up of US domination, spearheaded mainly by the Asian banks, notably from China, which are making the banks in the western world sweat.

Citibank, which recently has been embroiled in financial crisis, became the biggest casualty, slumping from top position to 7th. Full list below.

1. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, ICBC (China)

ICBC BankThe Beijing based ICBC Bank underwent one of the most remarkable faces of growth barely 2 years after going public, which gives a clear indication of investors’ preference in the emerging China market. ICBC offers a wide range of personal and corporate banking services which include loan, deposit, credit card, underwriting, trading and currency settlement.

ICBC was listed simultaneously on two exchanges - the Shanghai Stock Exchange and Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2006, making it the first and only company to do so. ICBC has won numerous accolades and awards from various international magazines including Bankers, Global Finance, The Assets and Finance Asia.

Market capitalization - US277.514 billion. Previous ranking (as of Jan 2007) - 4.

2. Bank of America (US)

Bank of America (BoA) has now taken over Citibank as the biggest commercial bank in the United States by market cap and deposits. Started in California, BoA then grew its operation to Washington, and soon began a rapid expansion nationally and internationally.

In the process of getting where they are today, the bank has gone through good and bad times. In late 1980s BoA suffered huge loss as a result of non-performing loan, which saw the then CEO, Sam Armacost fired and replaced. It almost fell into a hostile takeover but came back with a bang and became one of the biggest gainers in a decade. The bank retains its position in the second spot.

Market capitalization - US195.933b. Previous ranking - 2.

3. HSBC Holdings (UK)

Earlier this year, HSBC was named as the world’s most valuable banking brand by The Banker Magazine. The bank was incorporated in England and Wales, with its main office located in London. In 1992, HSBC was involved in one of the world’s largest banking acquisition, after assuming full ownership of Midland Bank.

The merger also saw the beginning of HSBC setting up strong market presence, particularly in Europe. Apart from United Kingdom HSBC now also has significant operation in France, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Turkey as well as Malta. Just like Bank of America, HSBC maintains its ranking.

Market capitalization - US176.788b. Previous ranking - 3.

4. China Construction (China)

The bank was first established as the People’s Construction Bank of China and was changed to the current name in 1996. The bank’s rise to prominence is also helped with the involvement of Bank of America which injected some significant amount of investment for the past few years. In 2005, the China Construction bank landed into a scandal that involved the Chairman of the company, Zhang Enzhao.

Zhang was alleged to have received one million dollars bribe from an American company, which in return asked for an award of contract. Zhang eventually resigned from his post. The bank has more than 13,000 branches across its native country China, as well as active operation in Singapore, Hong Kong, German, Africa, Japan and Korea.

Market capitalization - US165.234b. Previous ranking - 7.

5. Bank of China (China)

Bank of ChinaThe third and final bank from China to make it to the top 10. In China, there is the term referred as the ‘Big Four’ banks and Bank of China is one of them.

Bank of China is the first bank established in the land of the dynasties. In the earlier years, the bank acted as the Central Bank but then its role was replaced and then converted into a full-fledge commercial bank. While the bank has overseas operation in Australia, United Kindom, Canada, United States, Brazil, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia and Korea, the overseas business only accounts for less than 5 percent of the company’s overall revenues.

Market capitalization - US165.087b. Previous ranking - 6.

6. JPMorgan Chase (US)

JPMorgan Chase BankJPMorgan Chase offers investment banking, financial services, wealth and asset management, and private equity. The current entity is a result of a series of mergers, with its original name did not sound anything like the current, which was the Chemical Banking Corporation.

JPMorgan is based in the downtown of New York, Manhattan. Additionally, the investment wing of the bank operates a number of offices around the world, with major presence in the United States, London, Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong. BusinessWeek ranked JPMorgan in the Top 10 Best Places to Launch a Career in 2006.

Market capitalization - US159.615b. Previous ranking - 5.

7. Citigroup (US)

CitibankA year ago, Citibank was the largest bank in the world but how different it is today. From a world champion, the group slumped to 7th, only in a space of few months. The bank was established almost 200 years ago by a number of merchants in New York.

After going through changes in ownership, the bank stamped its presence as the country’s largest bank in 1865, and soon became the first US bank to set up operation in overseas. Mergers and acquisition followed and the bank could only grow larger and larger. The group faced one of the toughest test for the last 12 months with the weakening US economy and the collapse of the subprime mortgage market.

Market capitalization - US140.698b. Previous ranking - 1.

8. Wells Fargo (US)

Wells Fargo BankFormed by the founders of American Express company, Wells Fargo has its headquarter in California and the bank offers specialized financial services such as asset management, real estate business, debt products, advisory, securities investment and capital management. The group itself, however, is involved in more than 80 distinguished business areas.

Wells Fargo became the first bank to have introduced internet banking after introducing web access to its customers in 1995. The bank also works closely with small and medium sized companies, giving small business owners access to business loans and lending.

Market capitalization - US112.365b. Previous ranking - 11.

9. Banco Santander (Spain)

Banco Santander BankBanco Santander is the largest bank in Spain, and the second largest in Europe. The bank, which involves in retail banking, asset management and insurance, and global wholesale banking, employs more than 120,000 people worldwide, serving 68 million customers, a figure higher than the whole population of Spain.

Altogether, the group operates in more than 10,000 branches worldwide. The group is also one of the premium sponsors for McLaren-Mercedes F1 team. Banco has strong market presence in Portugal, United Kingdom and in Latin America including Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Uruguay, Colombia, Peru and Puerto Rico.

Market capitalization - US109.862b. Previous ranking - 12.

10. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, MUFG (Japan)

MUFG BankMitsubishi UFJ Financial groups runs The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, which is a result of a merger between The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and UFJ Bank Limited in 2006. The group, which is listed in five stock exchanges - Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, New York and London, is presently the largest financial services company in Japan in terms of size of assets.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, the company holds a total asset of US1.2 trillion and is one of the biggest companies in the Mitsubishi Group. MUFG is now headed by the the President and CEO, Nobuo Kuroyanagi, an MIT business graduate.

Market capitalization - US105.412 b. Previous ranking - 9.


World’s Biggest Bear

World’s Biggest Bear

The pictures are of a man who works for the US Forest Service in Alaska and his trophy bear.

He was out deer hunting last week when a large grizzly bear charged him from about 50 yards away. The guy emptied his 7mm Magnum semi-automatic rifle into the bear and it dropped a few feet from him. The big bear was still alive so he reloaded and shot it several times in the head.

The bear was just over one thousand six hundred pounds It stood 12′ 6″ high at the shoulder, 14′ to the top of his head. It’s the largest grizzly bear ever recorded in the world.

Of course, the Alaska Fish and Wildlife Commission did not let him keep it as a trophy, but the bear will be stuffed and mounted, and placed on display at the Anchorage airport to remind tourists of the risks involved when in the wild.

Based on the contents of the bears stomach, the Fish and Wildlife Commission established the bear had killed at least two humans in the past 72 hours including a missing hiker.

The US Forest Service, backtracking from where the bear had originated, found the hiker’s 38-caliber pistol emptied. Not far from the pistol was the remains of the hiker. The other body has not been found.

Although the hiker fired six shots and managed to hit the grizzly with four shots (the Service ultimately found four 38 caliber slugs along with twelve 7mm slugs inside the bear’s dead body), it only wounded the bear and probably angered it immensely. The bear killed the hiker an estimated two days prior to the bear’s own death by the gun of the Forest Service worker.


World's Biggest Bookstore

The World's Biggest Bookstore

The World's Biggest Bookstore is a bookstore owned by Indigo Books and Music in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Located at 20 Edward St, just north of the Toronto Eaton Centre, it was unquestionably the biggest bookstore in the world when it first opened in 1980 in a converted bowling alley.

Although it retains the name, the actual world's largest bookstore, according to the Guinness Book of World Records[citation needed], is currently a Barnes and Noble outlet in New York City. Nevertheless World's Biggest Bookstore still claims the title on the basis that it depends on how "biggest" is defined. The Barnes and Noble has more floor space, however World's Biggest Bookstore carries more titles.

Powell's Books, in Portland, Oregon USA, claims that it is the largest "used and new" bookstore in the world, with over one million books on the shelves.

The World's Biggest Bookstore was the first of the book "superstores" and was originally owned by Coles, which was bought along with SmithBooks to create Chapters Inc. Although it retains its unique name, its stock, distribution and advertising are closely integrated with the Chapters and Indigo chains.

It is noted for its cramped spaces and bright lights, with over 20 kilometres of bookshelves. The store particularly focuses on books about computers, the occult, fiction, and children's literature.

The store made a brief appearance in the movie Short Circuit 2 when the main character, a robot named Johnny 5, enters the store and creates chaos as he reads through the books.


World’s Biggest Building

World’s Biggest Building Coming to Moscow: Crystal Island

Norman Foster Tallest Skyscraper in the World, Crystal Island by Foster and Partners, Crystal Island, The Christmas Tree building, Foster and Partners, Gigantic Crystal Island Building in Moscow, Moscow gears up for world’s tallest building, Foster + Partners, Tallest Building in the World, Tallest

Moscow’s rapidly growing skyline will soon feature an eye-popping new addition: Crystal Island, which will be the world’s biggest building when completed. Sir Norman Foster’s mountainous 27 million square feet spiraling “city within a building” will cost $4 billion and it is scheduled to be built within next 5 years.

The Crystal Island will be Lord Foster’s second large scale project in the Russian capital, and his third new building design that resembles a volcano (we’re talking about his two mountainous buildings in Astana, Kazakstan). Although many people are calling this design the ‘Christmas Tree’ of Moscow - we can’t help but be reminded of the utopian and also rather volcanic X-Seed 4000 design for Tokyo. Unlike that pipe-dream project, however, Foster has a track record of getting buildings built, so the likelihood is high that we will see this striking structure towering over the Kremlin within 5 years time.

Norman Foster Tallest Skyscraper in the World, Crystal Island by Foster and Partners, Crystal Island, The Christmas Tree building, Foster and Partners, Gigantic Crystal Island Building in Moscow, Moscow gears up for world’s tallest building, Foster + Partners, Tallest Building in the World, Tallest

The statistics for the project are absolutely staggering; floor area alone will be four times the size of Pentagon in Washington DC. The incredible 1500 ft. tall multi use structure will feature 900 apartments, 3000 hotel rooms, an international school for 500 students, cinemas, a theater, sports complex and much more. There will also be a 16,500 space underground parking lot for all the visitors. The Crystal Island visitors will be able to enjoy panoramic views of Moscow on the viewing platforms located 980 ft. above ground.

And as we’d expect from Foster + Partners, this soon-to-be world’s biggest building will also incorporate a number of sustainable design features into the overall scheme. The exterior facade will be solar responsive and will include solar panels which, along with wind turbines, will generate electricity for the huge tower. Natural ventilation will be provided thanks to numerous strategically placed large atriums. The internal environment will also have dynamic enclosure panels slotted into the structural framing that will allow daylight to penetrate deep into the heart of the structure; the panels will also be controlled to modify temperature inside the building – closed in winter for extra warmth and opened in summer to allow natural ventilation. Energy management is at the heart of this structure, several on-site renewable and low-carbon energy generation projects are planned.

Norman Foster Tallest Skyscraper in the World, Crystal Island by Foster and Partners, Crystal Island, The Christmas Tree building, Foster and Partners, Gigantic Crystal Island Building in Moscow, Moscow gears up for world’s tallest building, Foster + Partners, Tallest Building in the World, Tallest


World biggest zoo

World biggest zoo

One of the best and the biggest zoos in the US is the San Diego Zoo. Dr. Harry Wegeforth, the San Diego Zoo’s founder, started this wonderful zoo in the year 1916. This zoo is also a botanical park with more than 700,000 plants. Dr. Harry brought plants and animals from all over the world, and now this zoo has become one of the most liked and visited zoos in the world. The kids love this zoo for the variety it offers. Get the San Diego Zoo coupons to save more money.

The San Diego Zoo is home to giant pandas, Africa’s lowland gorillas, tree kangaroos brought from New Guinea, Mongolia’s wild Przewalski horses, Galapagos’s giant tortoises, New Zealand’s long-billed kiwis, giraffes, emus, and many other exotic and rare species, making it an exotic and popular zoo. Watching so many animals living together and play at the San Diego Zoo is not to be missed!

Visit this zoo in a double-decker bus, and also see the smaller children’s zoo within the San Diego Zoo, which has a show of performing sea-lions, a noted attraction for the kids! It has a nursery for the baby animals, and also has a petting area where your children can hug the sheep and goats!

World's Best ZoosThe San Diego Zoo is like a safari park. It is easily accessible by car and also has guided bus tours, and you can get off the bus at 5 different spots to take a break to see the wildlife. This zoo is also called the wild animal park. The park contains a walkway and a monorail ride, which is yet another major attraction for the kids and adults. Get on the guided bus tour at early mornings when the animals and birds are most active. You can walk or take the guided bus tour. You can even take a ride in the Express Bus or take the exciting Skyfari for an aerial perspective of the park. The San Diego Zoo coupons will surely come handy if you are visiting with your family.

You can have discount coupons and San Diego Zoo coupons from the internet to see this magnificent zoo. This zoo is preserved as a natural environment for the animals, so you will not see many railings that hinder their free movement inside the park. This is a great effort on the part of the zoo-keepers as they preserve and breed these exotic animals and birds here. You may have to take more than one visits to this exciting zoo, as you may not see all the animals in a solo visit to this beautiful zoo. Also, you may like to see them at different times of the day and season!

You must see the latest attraction, Monkey Tales and Forest Tales. You will find many endangered species like the clouded leopard, pigmy hippopotamus, and of course, the mandrill monkeys here. You can take the elevated trail to see the primates, exotic birds, and beautiful plants at the higher levels.

At the San Diego Zoo, there is the Absolute Apes that has the black-furred gibbons – called Siamangs and orangutans of Indonesia. The Gorilla Tropics has a natural environment made for the lowland gorillas. Also worth seeing is the Giant panda Research Center and the Ituri Forest, which is a simulation of the rain forest of Central Africa. It has wild buffaloes, okapis, otters, hippopotamus, etc. You can see many of these using the underwater enclosure. The Polar Bear Plunge is a natural habitat simulation for the Siberian reindeer, martens, polar bears, and diving ducks!

After walking through the huge zoo, you can visit the fast-food centers and restaurants that are present and take some refreshing breaks. This is place that you will surely miss once you get back to your home, so why not visit it again on your next vacation? I bet that your kids would love to go to the San Diego Zoo again and again!


World's Largest Plane

Largest Plane in the World

I'm confused by the way the record for largest plane is determined. I read that the largest airliner in the world is the 747-400, and then I read it is the An-225. Similarly, I read that the plane with the largest wingspan is the Spruce Goose, and then I read about an airliner called the Bristol Brabazon with a wingspan larger than the 747! Could you please define the records, if any, that these aircraft hold with EXACT wording to the particular record?
- question from Jack

Aircraft records can indeed be confusing. If you need any reminder of that observation, try looking through the records on the FAI website. FAI, short for Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, is the international body that officially recognizes aviation and space records. However, most of the information on that site concerns aircraft performance, such as speed and altitude, rather than size.

Your question really comes down to how you decide to compare one plane to another. One of the measurements you mention is wingspan. While this dimension is often used to compare overall size, it is generally not the most accepted measure. Aircraft are usually ranked by weight, the maximum takeoff weight in particular. By this measure, the world's largest plane is the Antonov An-225 built in Ukraine when it was part of the Soviet Union.

An-225, largest plane in the world
An-225, largest plane in the world

The An-225 is quoted as having a maximum takeoff weight of over 1.3 million pounds (600,000 kg). The FAI gives credit for a slightly lower weight of 1.12 million pounds (508,200 kg), the record set by an An-225 in 1989 for the largest mass ever lifted by an airplane to an altitude of 6,500 ft (2,000 m). The An-225 was originally built to ferry the Soviet Buran space shuttle but it is now used to transport various outsize cargos. Only one example was ever completed, and it is currently available for charter flights through the British company Air Foyle. The An-225 is a cargo transport only and has never been used as an airliner.

If we continue to measure by maximum takeoff weight, the next largest plane in the world would be either the related An-124 transport or the Boeing 747 airliner. Both aircraft are quoted with a maximum weight around 900,000 lb (405,000 kg). The An-124 was also built by the Soviet Union as a large cargo plane for both military and civil use. The basic design was later enlarged and adapted to produce the An-225.


Over 50 examples of the An-124 were ultimately built, and many are now operated on charter flights through Air Foyle or other commercial firms. The American EP-3 reconnaissance plane that was forced to land after colliding with a Chinese fighter was actually transported back to the US aboard an An-124 chartered by the American government.

Boeing 747
Boeing 747

The Boeing 747, meanwhile, is currently the world's largest commercial airliner and typically carries about 400 passengers on intercontinental flights. The 747 will not retain its title for long, however, since the new Airbus A380 will carry over 550 passengers and have a takeoff weight over 1.23 million pounds (560,000 kg).


World's Biggest Snake

World's Biggest Snake

If you look in the records there is a lot of controversy over which snake holds the world's record for massive size. The dimensions that have earned the anaconda the title of king is its total body mass or its weight (the sheer physical bulk of it). The other snake that competes with the anaconda is the Asiatic Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus). The python holds the world's record for length of a snake, with the longest ever measured at 33 feet. Even though the longest python is longer than the record-holding anaconda, the girth of the anaconda is far bigger. Anacondas in the jungles of South America can grow as big around as a grown man!

The Secret Life of an Anaconda

Anacondas in the wild spend most of their time hanging out in rivers hunting for their food. They are solitary creatures that are somewhat shy and not many of them are easily seen. They are very well camouflaged in the swamps and bogs in which they thrive. There are some historical reports of early European explorers of the South American jungles seeing giant anacondas up to 100 feet long and some of the native peoples of the South American jungle have reported seeing anacondas up to 50 feet long. No one has caught and measured an anaconda anywhere near that size. It is important to note that when a dead anaconda's hide or skin is laid out it can be stretched very easily, expanding to much longer lengths than the snake exhibited when alive. Reports of outsize anacondas that cannot be verified are usually due to distortions in perception, or a snake skin being disproportionately stretched and inaccurately measured. People are generally really bad at estimating length, especially for larger snakes. In fact, the larger the snake, the larger the margin of error.

Anacondas like to hang out in rivers so it would be difficult to estimate the length of one seen swimming, without seeing the entire snake. It's the anaconda's ability to remain partly hidden in the water that makes it difficult to accurately find (and document) a specimen that exceeds the current world's record. (Would you want to jump in the water after a giant anaconda to try and measure a snake big enough to kill you?)


World's Biggest Dog

Click photo to enlarge

World's Biggest Dog, World's Heaviest Dog

Hercules: The World's Biggest Dog Ever According to Guinness World Records

Hercules was recently awarded the honorable distinction of Worlds Biggest Dog by Guinness World Records. Hercules is an English Mastiff and whas a 38 inch neck and weighs 282 pounds.

With "paws the size of softballs" (reports the Boston Herald), the three-year-old monster is far larger and heavier than his breed's standard 200lb. limit. Hercules owner Mr. Flynn says that Hercules weight is natural and not induced by a bizarre diet: "I fed him normal food and he just grew"... and grew. and grew. and grew.


Worlds Biggest Cow

Worlds Biggest Cow

Worlds Biggest Cow

This its the world's biggest 6ft cow that is as big as a small elephant

His name is Big Cow Chilli and he's described as a gentle giant.

His owners have contacted the Guinness Book of Records who are currently assessing his credentials and comparing them to other big bovines.

The black and white Friesian bullock weighs well over a ton and at the same height as a small elephant, casts a shadow over his cattle companions who are about 5ft.

Chilli the giant bullock stands at 6ft 6ins and weighs well over a ton

Despite his grand stature, Chilli only grazes on grass during the day and enjoys the occasional swede as a treat.

The heifer, who is almost as high as he is long, lives at the Ferne Animal Sanctuary in Chard, Somerset, after he was left on their doorstep aged just six-days-old.

Nine years on, Chilli has kept on growing, and staff believe the giant will smash a record for Britain's tallest ever cow.

Naomi Clarke, manager at the sanctuary, said: "As Chilli was growing up we began noticing that he was bigger than our other cows.

Chilli dwarfs most horses, is the same height as a small elephant and casts a shadow over his cattle companions who are about 5ft in height

"He now stands at 6ft 6ins from the floor to the top of his shoulder and he is massive when he holds his head up.

"We have made an application to Guinness Book Of Records and we are quite confident he will get it."

Chilli, who is 6ft 7ins long, was left running around on the doorstep of the sanctuary along with his twin sister Jubilee in 1999.

Over the years, staff noticed Chilli begin to tower over his sister and companions.

But it was only when he failed to fit in a standard cattle cage to have his hooves clipped that they realised just how big he had grown compared to normal bullocks.

Chilli lives at the Ferne Animal Sanctuary in Chard, Somerset

Miss Clarke said: "For some reason a farmer decided he didn't want Chilli and Jubilee so dumped them with three others on our doorstep nine years ago.

"He was only six days old and didn't look that big but as the years passed we noticed he was getting rather tall.

"People would always comment on how much bigger he was from the other cows and bulls when they visited the sanctuary.

"He does weigh over a ton but is quite lean and not as fat as some of his companions."

Despite his grand stature, Chilli only grazes on grass during the day and enjoys the occasional swede as a treat

She continued: "We don't know what has made him so tall. He doesn't eat that much and his feet and head are in proportion - he is just very large.

"He is a very friendly and gentle cow so we hopes he manages to break the record - he deserves it."

At present, the tallest bovine in the world is 6ft 8ins Fiorino, who lives in Italy.

A spokeswoman for the Guinness Book Of Records said: "I can confirm that an application has been received for Chilli which is currently under research."

Six months ago another bullock vying for a record breaking spot was The Field Marshal who weighed in at 3,000lb.

At the time he was on course to over take the current British record-holder, his former stablemate The Colonel, who stood 6ft 5in tall and weighed 3,500lb. He died in 2005.





Java vs JavaScript

The Differences between Java and JavaScript

Many people use the words Java and JavaScript interchangeably, or confuse the two.

The JavaScript language resembles Java, but without Java's static typing and strong type checking. JavaScript supports most of Java's expression syntax and basic control flow constructs. In contrast to Java's compile-time system of classes built by declarations, JavaScript supports a run-time system based on a small number of data types representing numeric, Boolean, and string values. JavaScript has a simple instance-based object model that still provides significant capabilities.

JavaScript also supports functions, again without any special declarative requirements. Functions can be properties of objects, executing as loosely typed methods.

JavaScript complements Java by exposing useful properties of Java applets to script authors. JavaScript statements can get and set exposed properties to query the state or alter the performance of an applet or plug-in.

Java is an extension language designed, in particular, for fast execution and type safety. Type safety is reflected by being unable to cast a Java int into an object reference or to get at private memory by corrupting Java bytecodes.

Java programs consist exclusively of classes and their methods. Java's requirements for declaring classes, writing methods, and ensuring type safety make programming more complex than JavaScript authoring. Java's inheritance and strong typing also tend to require tightly coupled object hierarchies.

In contrast, JavaScript descends in spirit from a line of smaller, dynamically typed languages like HyperTalk and dBASE. These scripting languages offer programming tools to a much wider audience because of their easier syntax, specialized built-in functionality, and minimal requirements for object creation.

The following table compares and contrasts JavaScript and Java.

JavaScript Java
Interpreted (not compiled) by client. Compiled on server before execution on client.
Object-based. Code uses built-in, extensible objects, but no classes or inheritance. Object-oriented. Applets consist of object classes with inheritance.
Code integrated with, and embedded in, HTML. Applets distinct from HTML (accessed from HTML pages).
Variable data types not declared (loose typing). Variable data types must be declared (strong typing).
Dynamic binding. Object references checked at run-time. Static binding. Object references must exist at compile-time.
Cannot automatically write to hard disk. Cannot automatically write to hard disk.


Medicare vs Medicaid

Difference between Medicare & Medicaid

Medicare and Medicaid are two entirely different programs:

  • Government health insurance program for people over 65 and for those who are on Social Security disability.
  • Funded jointly by the Federal Government and the individual states. Individuals must meet specific financial and “need for care” requirements in order to receive benefits.
  • Qualification based on age and/or disability. Participation not subject to income, asset or “needs” test.
  • Qualification based on “need for care” and financial need. A single (unmarried) individual must be essentially broke (below $2,000 in most states). The spouse of a married patient, under certain conditions, may retain a significant level of assets. Rules allow certain strategies to protect assets.
  • Provides coverage for hospitalization, doctors and other types of medical expenses. Medicare is a medical insurance program, and except for a limited short-term nursing home benefit, is not coverage for nursing home or other long-term care.
  • Provides benefits for long-term nursing home care, and, in many states, benefits for other types of long-term care.
  • In order to get Medicare coverage for a nursing home stay, you must be in an approved skilled nursing facility, have been in the hospital for at least three days prior to entering the facility, and to be deemed by Medicare to be medically benefiting from that skilled nursing. Custodial care is not covered. Technically, there is a maximum of 100 days of nursing home benefit. In actuality, the requirement about medically benefiting usually limits the benefit to a period of 10-20 days for rehabilitation.
  • Those individuals who meet the definition of “need for care,” as well as the financial requirements, can qualify for nursing home care (including custodial care). There is no maximum limit on the period of time that care can be provided.
  • Under no conditions does Medicare pay for assisted living, residential care facilities, adult foster care, or similar types of care facilities.
  • In many states, Medicaid will provide care in assisted living, residential care facilities, adult foster care, and/or similar types of facilities.
  • Except during the time you're in the hospital, Medicare does not cover medications.
  • Medications are covered.
  • Medicare does have some benefit for home health but this is purely for medical reasons, not for caregivers to come in and attend to someone who needs help with personal needs on a long-term basis.
  • In many states, in-home care is provided to allow for caregivers to come into the home to provide care and help with personal needs and activities of daily living.


Ms vs Miss

Difference Between Ms and Miss

The difference between Ms. and Miss is that Ms. can stand for Mrs. or Miss, so in essence, the woman who goes by Ms. is not giving away whether she is married or not married. Miss strictly refers to a woman who is not married. Mrs. is the term you would use for a married woman. If you were addressing a woman that you didn’t know, the safest term would be Ms. because you don’t know if she is married or not.

The word Mrs. is followed by a period in the US, but not in the UK. In the US, I would go by Mrs. Cain. In the UK, I would be Mrs Cain. Mrs. stems from Mistress which is the feminine form of Mister or Master. In modern English, however, there Mrs. isn’t short for anything; that is, there is no long form of the word.

A woman may retain the Mrs. in front of her name if her husband dies, or if they divorce. Although most people that I know don’t follow this rule; the formal rule about a woman who retains her last name upon marriage or hyphenates her maiden name with her husband’s doesn’t take the Mrs. in front of her name, but I know of many people who do this anyway. Interestingly, when single mothers were becoming more common but not totally accepted by society, it became custom to refer to them as Mrs. so that they wouldn’t be discriminated against.

In the case of lesbian couples who have taken a common last name, Ms. Manners has suggested the following term when addressing both women; Mmes Cain, but Ms. Manners isn’t the boss of how to address people and I know of one couple who go by Mrs. and Mrs.

In summary, if in doubt about a woman’s marital status, refer to her as Ms. unless she expresses a preference.