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The Haps

Posted by Alameida
on 12.21.14

Hiiiii you guys.I'm getting everything in my mom's house steam-cleaned and sanitized and her bedroom special de-fogged and the air-conditioning system cleaned and the filter changed. My brother made me reschedule them the other day because they called and said "we're going to be late is that OK, we're only now headed up to Baltimore and I was like "fine wev I'm here all day" but then probably 15 minutes before they would have arrived my bro decided it was 'too late in the day' for all that to happen. By which he meant he was too stoned I guess since afterwards he just watched youtube videos of minecraft. I have a migraine and it's so loud and smells weird grrr. And he won't be here at the end of the day to help me put my mattress back on my bed because he's missioning to WVa for a day to get packages and clean up the cabin he's renting from his neighbors as construction finishes on his place. Eh. It's cool, we've all been doing our best around here, we need to stick together. (I've had this open for ages so they're done now. The guys were extremely nice. One of the men had his father murdered right before his eyes when he was 11 years old--he was a serious gambler and owed money to the wrong people, and ended up getting gunned down on the sidewalk by his house in broad daylight. The other of the two men was really interested in Narnia's governmental structure, harsh laws, and enforced housing integration, which he'd never heard of before, and we really spent like half an hour discussing whether such a system would work in America and why not if not.)


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Breathing; Cops

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.21.14

E. Messily sends in links: gross "I can breathe" police solidarity shirts, more, and an opportunistic money-grubber.

Seems like a good place to throw in a conversation about the two cops recently killed in Brooklyn.



 

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This Probably Isn't The Right Venue For This Sort Of Question

Posted by LizardBreath
on 12.21.14

But I appear to have crippled my stand-mixer. Christmas cookies yesterday, and I had a big lump of hardened brown sugar that I thought I could manage by just throwing it in and letting the (heavy-duty KitchenAid) whack it around for long enough to pulverize it. Instead, it jammed immediately, leaving me with a big lump of hardened brown sugar now covered in my last pound of creamed butter. Because I don't know when to give up, rather than throwing it all out and starting fresh, I spent a remarkably long time trying to make the mixer break it up -- I'd chip away at the lump with a butter knife, turn the mixer back on and give it another whack like that, repeat ad infinitum. I figured I wouldn't do the mixer any harm if I kept on checking to see if the motor was getting too hot. Which turned out to be wrong.

The sugar did eventually break up, the batter worked out, the motor didn't overheat. But somewhere near the end of the process, I realized the mixer didn't have any torque any more. All the speeds still work if the beater is unloaded, but even a soft batter stops it. I can't quite visualize what I think is broken, but there's got to be a stripped gear someplace, enough left to drive the beater but not enough to keep it from slipping under pressure. (Although I'm really surprised I didn't notice a noise when it happened.)

Anyway, anyone have a diagnosis or a referral to the webforum where people discuss fixing household appliances? (There must be one.) I'm not going to do anything before Christmas, but I think the Boxing Day project is to go after it with a screwdriver and see if I can find the problem, which will allow me to discover that there's no way to obtain the necessary part. Really, we're going to end up getting a new mixer, but I hate to let the poor thing die after sixteen years of hard work without even trying to see what I can do for it; it's a nice solid piece of machinery.



 

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Guest Post: Lennon or McCartney? Watch 550 artists answer the question

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.20.14

JRoth writes: Good concept, well executed, interesting results. Most interesting to me, through the first 3 minutes, is Bo Diddley saying, "I don't understand what they're doin'. Never have."

Speaking for myself, I'd say McCartney, but I can't tell if that's real affinity or just a kneejerk rejection of Lennon hagiography. I never liked the idea that, between these massive and coequal talents, one was obviously a heroic genius and the other a sentimental hack.

Heebie's take: I have no idea which Beatles songs were written by which Beatle. But McCartney wins on longevity, whereas Lennon wins on lankiness.



 

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They Still Don't, I Guess

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.19.14

The title of this article is kind of nonsensical, but the article itself is interesting - I hadn't realized how much effort people put into suppressing MJ's 1995 song "They Don't Care About Us". (All I remembered was the Jew me/Kike me line being controversial.)

Apparently radio stations were reluctant to play it and one of two videos - a prison video made by Spike Lee and Michael Jackson - was banned from TV. The article implies that all this was in response to the black anger message of the song, rather than the Jew me/Kike me line. The prison video is at the link.



 

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Meet up - Pittsburgh!

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.19.14

Heebster, we will be in Pittsburgh at Rft's mom's for Christmas. Can you put up a post to see if there's interest in a meetup on Tuesday 12/23 or maybe Friday 12/26? There's a nice bar, 1947 Tavern, within walking distance of where we'll be staying, but we could potentially also do it at the Squirrel Cage for comedy value/Moby's convenience.

So says Snarkout.

Confidential to Snarkini: Yes I can!



 

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Guest Post - Uber Economy

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.19.14

Dairy Queen writes: Sadly, I believe this article is on to something.

There are only two requirements for an on-demand service economy to work, and neither is an iPhone. First, the market being addressed needs to be big enough to scale--food, laundry, taxi rides. Without that, it's just a concierge service for the rich rather than a disruptive paradigm shift, as a venture capitalist might say. Second, and perhaps more importantly, there needs to be a large enough labor class willing to work at wages that customers consider affordable and that the middlemen consider worthwhile for their profit margins.
Uber was founded in 2009, in the immediate aftermath of the worst financial crisis in a generation. As the ride-sharing app has risen, so too have income disparity and wealth inequality in the United States as a whole and in San Francisco in particular. Recent research by the Brookings Institution found that of any US city, San Francisco had the largest increase in inequality between 2007 and 2012. The disparity in San Francisco as of 2012, as measured (pdf) by a city agency, was in fact more pronounced than inequality in Mumbai (pdf).

(note there are links in that quote that I couldn't for the life of me reproduce)

One (among many) question suggested by the article is whether the technological middle man of uber and its ilk is key to preventing collective action by labor, or the kind of "learning the trade, moving up the ladder" dynamic claimed to exist in Mumbai (does it really?) or whether it is a question of deeper social structures.



 

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Read a combative Welshman

Posted by Ben
on 12.18.14

Hey, check this out.

I confess that "If the APR of loan sharks is so excessively high then why don't they own the whole world?" is not a question that it would ever occur to me to ask, or, having read it, find particularly puzzling.



 

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Cooked!

Posted by Ogged
on 12.18.14

I've had my iPhone 6 (the smaller of the bigger ones) for about a month now, long past the time that I would have grown accustomed to it and decided that Apple knew better than I what I would enjoy, so I can now state definitively that this phone is too damn big, a pain to hold, and not nearly as enjoyable to use as the 5/5s. Bring back the smaller ones, damn it; I kind of hate this thing.



 

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Sony

Posted by Ogged
on 12.18.14

There's a lot more to say, but I think Josh gets the nut of it. I'm flabbergasted that the movie was pulled. Have people sign a waiver with their tickets. The publicity would be fantastic.



 

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Trigger Warnings

Posted by Ogged
on 12.18.14

Bad!



 

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Very important.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.18.14

And soothing. But not the type of thing that will generate much of a discussion, I suspect.



 

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Nothing important

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.18.14

This guitarist is the worst. I like her because she made me laugh, but you might like her for her sheer shirt and lack of pants.

Unrelated, the 20 most popular websites by year, since 1996.



 

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Guest Post - Prison Guards

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.17.14

J, Robot writes: The NYT's recent coverage of problems at Rikers has been both fascinating and upsetting (though it matches what Law & Order had led me to suspect). The union head appears to be popular with his members, but I wonder how well he is serving them in terms of their day-to-day safety.



 

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Schemes and such

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.17.14

David Mumford and John Tate were asked to write an obituary for Alexander Grothendieck for Nature magazine. Then they were rejected for writing too mathy an obituary, which you may read here. Mumford is upset over the lack of mathematical literacy. I don't think the editors picked the best examples to convey to him why it will be incomprehensible - and I don't think the column was unsalvageable - but I think Mumford is out of touch with the mainstream Nature reader.



 

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