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Guest Post - Pointy points

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 05.03.16

Lurid Keyaki writes: I snapped this picture on Solano Ave in Berkeley this weekend and thought I would put it to the group:

1) how are these points earned?
2) for what can they be redeemed?

Imagining some kind of caption-contest-style prize, maybe with categories like "best anecdote" and "pithiest answer combining 1) and 2)".

Heebie's take: Life points! It's hard to tell whether these guys are taking themselves seriously or not. Art imitates life.


read more »



 

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Off The Grid. Cleveland, Even

Posted by Ogged
on 05.02.16

This is a good, short piece about how much easier life can be if you're willing to settle somewhere other than the coasts, with some self-awareness about the relative privilege that makes even that possible. Many things to say, but two quick thoughts: if you'd asked me to name a place that's cheap but has excellent schools, I could have named Shaker Heights, but it's pretty much the only such place I could have named. But now that I think about it, surely she's right and there are other rust belt cities that have tony suburbs that stayed tony despite the central city all but collapsing. What are those places?

Second, why is it so unthinkable to so many people to move to a place like Cleveland? Maybe it's just as simple as: when you're young you're afraid that no one has fun or sex in Cleveland, and by the time you're not so young, the place you've been living feels like home. Maybe it's just unfamiliarity, or a kind of naivete, that doesn't understand that there are cool people around every mid to major metropolitan area. A more cynical reading would be that people think the place they live rubs off on them, and they're scared that living somewhere uncool makes them uncool, and that's way worse than being in debt.



 

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I Have A TV

Posted by Ogged
on 05.02.16

I'd formed the belief that Game of Thrones is a TV show about Kevin Spacey as president, but I kept seeing screencaps on Twitter that made me think, "that doesn't look like a DC drama." Today I googled. Ah. Good now. Thanks.

But you can still help. I've discovered, about fifteen years after everyone else, that watching something on the iPad makes time go faster on the elliptical. But I have a hard time coming up with things to watch (Netflix or Hulu). Pulp Fiction turned out to be good: engrossing; enough action. Then I tried Jason Statham's The Bank Job and I generally like Statham, but that was just too dumb and actually kinda slow. Serenity was good, and so now I'm watching Firefly which is annoying and clever in the ways Whedon is annoying and clever, but generally ok for elliptical viewing. What else? Movie or TV show, just not hopelessly dumb and with plenty of plot.



 

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Biggest Metabolic Rate Losers

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 05.02.16

I knew that dieting wrecked havoc on people's base metabolic rate, and of course contestants on The Biggest Loser are basically completely decimating themselves and will have the most extreme consequences, but this is still a shocking effect:

Amanda Arlauskas 26, wellness coach and social media consultant, Raleigh, N.C. Weight: Before show, 250 pounds; at finale, 163 pounds; now, 176 pounds Metabolic Rate: Now burns 591.1 fewer calories per day than would be expected for a woman her size.


 

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Royalty

Posted by Ogged
on 05.02.16

One silver lining of Prince's death is that people no longer feel constrained to keep his music off YouTube. In just three minutes of looking, I came across this cover of What If God Was One Of Us, and this song, which I'd never heard, but is great, and this roof raising performance on Arsenio. What a loss.

Two more things: here he is being interviewed by the squarest of squares, Larry King, and he's a devout, thoughtful, completely charming guy. Last: my guess: he had cancer or something; not a simple OD.



 

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Skee's prosaic wishes indicate, on one hand, his regular-guy approachability and, on the other, the sadly limited scale of his imagination

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 05.02.16

What are the best-annotated songs on Genius? Songs that I'd know, preferably. I just read Skee-Lo's I Wish and realized I should be spending a lot more time on this site.



 

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Throw Your Ekranoplan Into The Dustbin Of History

Posted by Ogged
on 05.01.16

This is so awesome it makes me smile. Apparently it produces 1000 horsepower, is powered by jet fuel you carry on your back, and has to be flown by a trained surfer, so perhaps not quite ready for the morning commute, but I'm still smiling.



 

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Just being mean for the sake of being mean

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 05.01.16

How are members of Heebie's gym fighting social injustice? Their methods include:
- liking where they live
- perpetuating light and happiness and smiles
- explaining the writing prompt
- and one or two more!


read more »



 

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Lonely Days, Sad Nights

Posted by Ogged
on 05.01.16

I follow Peter Nickeas on Twitter, and sometimes worry for the young man's mental health. Overnight reporter in Chicago seems like a hell of job.



 

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Correct

Posted by Ogged
on 04.30.16

I might yet be able to muster some enthusiasm for Hitlery.




 

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Screw The Presidential Race

Posted by LizardBreath
on 04.30.16

It's apparently going to be Clinton v. Trump. She will almost certainly beat him like a rented step-drum. The only question is what's she going to have in terms of coattails? (Or, really, what kind of train the gown she's wearing to the Inaugural Ball will have, given that she's unlikely to show up in a tailcoat?)

So, in general terms: everyone should stop worrying about the presidential race except as spectacle (I never watch conventions on TV, but the RNC is going to be tempting this year). What's going to happen will happen, it's pretty much all decided already. As people have been discussing in prior threads, the interesting questions are how much will the Democrats pick up in the House, and what's going to happen in state legislatures.

Here's a listing from the Cook Political Report of competitive House seats. Anyone know anything about any of them? Have any favored candidates you want to raise money for?



 

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NYC Meetup!

Posted by LizardBreath
on 04.29.16

The NY commentariat has thinned out of late years, but Awl will be in NYC 4/27 - 5/4, and Fresh Salt could use the business. Awl, anyone else -- which of those days are good? I'm available whenever.

Update: 6:30, Friday, 4/29? I'm there, who else?



 

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Deluge Reading Group

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.29.16

If you want to play along at home, the first summary will be posted Monday, May 9th, by Mossy Character, covering the intro and first four chapters. Schedule can be found here - there are some un-claimed chapters, so if you're feeling bold, speak up.



 

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ATM

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.29.16

A noth-eastern President asks: "My significant other went to an endodontist our dentist referred us to. He needed 2 root canals because of something called internal resorption. There was no infection, and he wasn't in pain The endodontist did one root canal, then started another and said he was going to put temporary packing in, because he had left the new kind of free-flowing sealant he wanted to try at his other office.

Then he informed my husband that the first root canal had been on the wrong tooth. (He'd done the tooth to the right of one that needed root canal instead of the left, then started a 2nd root canal on a tooth that needed one but didn't finish.) The endodontist said that he was embarrassed and that he usually uses earlier dental work as a landmark, but there was none. He said to come back in 2 weeks and that he wouldn't charge for the next one and ran out of the room. My husband was in such shock that he paid the co-pay and scheduled an appointment.

We went straight to our regular dentist's office. She arranged an appointment for the next day and took X-rays which showed what had happened. The endodontist had called her right away. She had used him for years and her father had used his partner before that. She told us that no money should be paid, and she would call him back to let him know that he shouldn't charge. She refers to other endodontists when her patients want to stay in their insurance network, but she said that their work is not consistently good. She apologized for the referral and said that the work he had done unnecessarily was an A+ root canal, but obviously this was quite upsetting. She is going to do some research and try to come up with 3 names and she said to hang tight for now.

The endodontist called my husband and left both the phone number at his other office and his cell phone number.

So, what are the best next steps? I called the insurance company, and they said that they can't stop a bill unless the doctor submits a claim.

My plan was:

* Write a letter asking the dentist to (1.) refund us our money because he didn't do the appropriate work and caused harm and (2.) confirm that he won't bill for the work.

I'm nervous about calling the guy and would prefer to have things in writing (I think). I don't want to sue even though my husband will need sealant on the damaged tooth in the future, because it's such a hassle for a small dollar amount. My question is: should I report him to the State Dental Board which might do an investigation once we get our money back?

And damn, it's hard to look for an endodontist on your own. Rattled and mad as hell.

Heebie's take: I'm not sure. As a patient, this is horrifying and awful. As for the dentist, I guess the important thing is to establish a track record, in case there's a pattern of incompetence? I don't know what the statistics are on mistakes for basically competent dentists, over the course of their career.



 

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Ruber

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.29.16

Hooray for hating Uber!

Uber keeps its costs low by refusing to treat its drivers as employees. Under American labor law, employees are entitled to a minimum wage, overtime pay and have their expenses reimbursed. They can receive unemployment benefits if they get laid off, and have the right to unionize if they want to bargain collectively for better contract terms. The company's drivers aren't eligible for any of this, however, because the company maintains that its drivers are independent contractors -- automotive entrepreneurs running their own businesses who have decided to link their operations with Uber.
Andrew Schmidt, a labor lawyer from Portland, Maine, has brought a new lawsuit on behalf of his client Spencer Meyer that could create a lot of trouble for Uber based on this distinction. Because if Uber's drivers are really independent contractors like the company claims, it could be breaking a whole different set of laws: The antitrust statutes that protect consumers from corporate collusion.

Mostly I'm posting for this line:

"It's classic econ 101," Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is fond of saying...Unfortunately for Kalanick, there are econ 201, 301 and 401 classes. Some economics students even study anti-competitive behavior.

Also Austin is about to vote on fingerprinting Uber and Lyft drivers, and Uber and Lyft have been total horrible bullies in it.



 

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What do you hope about tonight?

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.29.16

Wow, Ace, that's a really nice song.



 

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Quackery

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.29.16

I have a fringe theory that if you feel yourself getting sick - tickle in your throat, etc - you should exercise extra intensely and churn that sucker out before it really takes hold*. (Once you're feeling like you're going to die, I'm not faulting you for skipping the gym. This is preventative.)

Also novocaine - if you're numbed up from the dentist and hate that feeling, go for a run and the little transporter bits in your blood will transport faster than ever and get the novocaine out of your system.

*Not you, E. M.



 

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