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Doc Robot

Posted by Becks
on 03.14.09

I can see both the pros and cons in this article about computerizing medical records. When I had a medical scare a couple of years ago and was seeing five different specialists to figure out what was going on, I would have loved for them to be able to better coordinate their information. Also, since I've moved so many times over my life, I have partial medical files at about six different doctors offices and it would be great if I could transfer the data between doctors more easily.

On the flipside, my new doctor uses one of those handheld systems and I'm going to dump his ass because of it. The last time I went in, he didn't make eye contact with me once, and was just playing with his little toy the whole time. I was nothing more than a collection of symptoms to him, to be processed by a program, and assigned a prescription. Completely infuriating.


 

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Not going John Galt so much as going Dorkus Malorkus.

Posted by Apostropher
on 03.13.09

I don't have much to add to Edroso's review of Helen "Dr. Mrs. Perfesser" Smith's round table with Megan McArdle and three citizens purportedly "going Galt", but I find this stuff endlessly amusing.


 

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Ceasefire

Posted by Becks
on 03.13.09

Say what you will about Iraq and Afghanistan, it sounds like Obama is setting the right course for one war we've been fighting way too long. Demoting the "Drug Czar" from a cabinet-level position, stopping use of the term "War on Drugs", focusing on treatment, and naming someone who oversaw a police department in a state that deprioritized enforcement of marijuana possession? We might just get out of this quagmire.


 

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Benched

Posted by Becks
on 03.12.09

I was listening to the recent This American Life about the financial crisis on the way home ("Bad Bank" audio or transcript), which I HIGHLY recommend for presenting all of the issues so clearly and something towards the beginning stuck out, about when they're talking about why they made the episode:

IRA GLASS: The news has gotten kind of confusing...And maybe you're on the verge of just giving up, of figuring that this is just going to be one of those news stories that you're just going to kind of sit out, you know? I sat out Kosovo. I'm not proud of that fact, but I did.

What news stories have you sat out? That you've known were important but just couldn't get yourself to care or understand enough to have an opinion?


 

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You, me, and our narrative form a stable little tripod.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.12.09

I think it's interesting - and pleasant - how in a longterm relationship you end up synchronizing your narratives about the world, slowly adding stitches here and hemming seams there until you have a painful analogy about the fabric of the world and a single garment or something that wasn't even poetic in my head.

If you asked Jammies or me separately about one of our friends or relatives, you'd probably get a pretty similar answer about what makes them tick, what their neuroses are, and the key points of how they relate to their spouse or friends. It's most apparent when we talk to, say, my brothers and their wives and hear the joint narrative that they've stitched together about mutual family. Then Jammies and I make eye contact to indicate how crazy we both think their version of the world is.

It's like when you talk to the same person for years and years, a lot of that conversation just reinforces and cements the same story, and a big structural component of the relationship is agreeing on "Here's how the world is." It's kind of nice.

(I mean, there are definitely areas where we disagree, and those stick out.) Maybe not all longterm relationships are this way? Would this be diagnostic of a healthy relationship? I bet it's diagnostic of a stable relationship, which is not quite the same as a healthy relationship.


 

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Have one on me

Posted by Ben
on 03.11.09

It turns out that yesterday was National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers! Raise a belated glass—if you're not pregnant—for these noble folks.


 

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Here's an ill-formed plan!

Posted by Stanley
on 03.11.09

I identify three problems: (1) a shortage of (vaguely defined) "good" teachers at the high school level (2) a clamoring mass of graduate students and tenure-desiring university professionals competing for a limited number of tenure-track research and teaching positions and (3) an aging baby boomer generation that may need to work—even if part-time—well past the standard retirement age of 65 in order to retire comfortably.

Now, therefore, do I suggest a program whereby aged late-model experienced members of The Academy can opt in to some special system of semi-retirement, teaching, perhaps part-time, at a high school in-need in the discipline corresponding to their field of expertise. Think: Teach For America, but for old people who actually know what they're talking about and who are compensated on a more livable/eventually-retirable payscale.

Immediate problem that occurs to me: the proposed high-school teachers are not necessarily in the same places as the high schools and are probably unlikely to want to move. What else am I missing here? Or does such a system already exist, and if so, does it work and can it be expanded?


 

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Ask the mineshaft

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.10.09

I'm cleaning out old junk, which is very overwhelming to me, which is how it became piles of old junk in the first place.

In particular, I've got mountains of old photos from the pre-digital age. They are just sitting in big boxes, and I'm worried they're deteriorating or sticking to each other from the humidity. But every time I contemplate organizing them or labelling them, I get overwhelmed and find myself commenting on Unfogged.

What is the least effort way to preserve photos? Ideally, the solution would include a very easy way to label to the photos, because at the moment I probably still know who everyone is, but in twenty years I won't.

This may be a boring thread, but the boringness will be offset by my extreme gratitude if I finally deal with these photos.


 

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No really, I just tucked a basketball under my clothes.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.10.09

I know the right response is to cluck in consternation, but I'm secretly enthralled with these NCAA basketball players who hid their pregnancies and played into their eighth month. Anyway last year the NCAA passed legislation protecting the scholarships of pregnant athletes, so the athletes shouldn't feel the same degree of pressure to hide their pregnancies in the future.

Also, what, being tall and skinny with a baggy jersey helps hide the belly? Perhaps there's north-south room for the baby to stretch out? How on earth can nobody tell that you're eight months pregnant?

Also this means that their game did not take a noticeable hit. They were able to keep playing at the same competitive level as pre-pregnancy. That's pretty hardcore.


 

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We Mocked And We Laughed

Posted by Becks
on 03.09.09

But little did we know that the world would someday be crying out for swimblogging.


 

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One of the stupider things going

Posted by Ben
on 03.09.09

This is a real movie.

A fairly clever thing going is yours here to behold.


 

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Frontier Justice

Posted by Becks
on 03.08.09

From this Sunday's NYT piece on the foreclosure crisis in Cleveland, more of this, please:

In 2001, when it became clear how [shady real estate guy] was wreaking havoc on city neighborhoods by flipping houses, it was Pianka who ran him out of town. The city's building and housing department cited [SREG] for code violations on a house he hadn't flipped fast enough...Pianka placed him on house arrest, ordering him to spend 30 days in the dilapidated structure he owned but had not maintained.

 

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Prog breakup song!

Posted by Ben
on 03.08.09

I guess that's what "Free Hand" is? This just occurred to me. There used to be a video on youtube of some guy playing the bassline as the song played in the background, and it was great, because the bass isn't very prominent on the cd, but the bassline is actually quite neat. Then it was taken down—terms of use—whatever.

Note that the clothing and facial hair would basically not be out of place on certain bands of the present day.


 

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Pop-pop, pop, pop music

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.08.09

Everything old is new again. Seriously, if I told you the next three songs were top singles from 1998, that you missed while you were on that bender, you'd probably nod sagely and tell me how you ended up naked in the undergraduate library.

First, this song is terrible, but so what. This was the chart-topping single from the fall 1997 by Blind Third Melon Mouse Candy. Enjoy.

Next, in the summer of 2000, Jay Nelly Cent scored with this catchy reinvention of You Spin Me Right Round. Which I personally quite enjoy.

Finally, coasting on the popularity of such hits as Barbie World and C'mon Ride That Train, we have Lady Gaga's 1999 Ode To Clubbing, Poker Face. This song is loads of fun because you get to sing "Puh-puh-puh-poker-face, puh-puh-poker-face." Try it!

(Apparently Lady Gaga is shamelessly nuts, which I always enjoy in a celebrity. Also in friends and family for that matter.)


 

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Narcissistic Mystification

Posted by LizardBreath
on 03.08.09

I was talking to the mother of a friend of Newt's, and she was commiserating with me on how irritating it must be having children tall enough that you have to pay for them on public transportation (I've actually never quite figured out what the formal rules are there -- small children are free on the bus, in that a bus driver will wave you away from the fare box if you try to pay, but I never pinned down if there was an actual height or age limit. Mostly, it's a judgment call, and mine are much too big to get away with not paying anymore). And the conversation turned to family heights, and who takes after who, and it developed that she thought I was about three inches taller than I am. (I'm 5'7", she'd thought I was 5'10" or 11".)

I get that a fair amount -- people thinking I'm significantly taller than I am. And because I am a ridiculous person, I find it flattering (goodness only knows why, but I do). But mostly I'm mystified: I hear it often enough that I figure that "looking taller than I actually am" describes something real about my appearance, but I can't imagine how it works. Some weird double-reverse whammy from never wearing high heels? I have no idea at all.


 

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Beings and Times

Posted by Stanley
on 03.08.09

There exists a monument of data (a monument, I tell you*) suggesting that there is no net energy gain from this clock switcheroo.

More pressingly, I now have to hear my neighbors party to Beck songs at 3am, rather than 2am.

I call shenanigans.

I mean, seriously, Beck? Beck probably likes DST. He sucks that much.

*In the new economy, I'm crowd-sourcing data about the time change, so pony up. But the Beck-sucking thing is objective fact.


 

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