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Stupid Medical Care

Posted by LizardBreath
on 06.11.10

Lousy doctor told me that I wasn't allowed to do any exercise that would get my heart rate up until next week when my stitches come out -- apparently the location means I'd be likely to pop a stitch. There goes my commute.

Also, there was a story in the Times on efforts to increase transparency in prices for medical care. It amazes me how nontransparent it is now -- checking in for surgery, I signed a bunch of forms saying "It's uncertain whether your insurance will pay for this. If they don't, you're obligated." Nothing indicating how much the surgery I was having would be likely to cost. I might have been able to get a price quote if I'd buttonholed one of the busy admins and asked, but it clearly wasn't an expected part of the process. As I was checking out and paying the copay, I asked if I should be expecting a bill from a lab as well, and the admin was flummoxed by the question -- she fumbled through the papers and eventually said no, but I don't have much faith in her accuracy.


 

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Orchard Supply and Tea Party

Posted by Ben
on 06.10.10

OSH frequently runs radio spots advertising various products (duh) and also advertising their seemingly rather frequent sales-taxless weekend sales (that is, they take care of the sales tax on your purchase). Listen to one here! Notice the affectless affected folksiness.

In March and early April a lot of the ads included a surprisingly genuine-sounding rant about how the government gets enough of your tax money anyway.

You just know that if they let this guy keep talking after he gets to the big OSH-related finish he'd end up saying something really inappropriate.


 

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The internet is cute

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.10.10

This guy is collecting one million homemade giraffes by 2011.


 

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Non-Btock-Style

Posted by Alameida
on 06.10.10

Walp, I'm 4 years sober today. I have a sponsee who's 4 days sober today, and man, does that ever suck. She's like, I feel so weird and awful and everything is too bright and loud! Is this normal? Sadly, yes. I honestly feel she's made it over a crucial hump because day two is the worst. Day two sucks slimy goat balls. When you're trying to kick but you can't you get to experience the horror of day two over and over again.

She has a fellow sponsee who's maybe 24 hours sober at the moment; this is someone who's tried to get clean twice before and failed. I'm sad to say that I don't have high hopes for her just now. She is a beautiful girl and she always has on perfect makeup. I appreciate getting your game face on and all, but she's kind of placidly immobile. I want freaking out. I was telling the four-days-sober girl to pray for the gift of desperation. This is shit to freak out about. I want crying and oh my god I can't live like this a second longer. That I can work with.

It's funny to think that alcohol is legal and everything else not. It's a historical accident, I guess. Damn but people can drink themselves into some trouble. I favor decriminalization of everything. There would be more addicts, and there would definitely be some people who ended up strung out who wouldn't have done so otherwise. But the toll of the drug war is so high that it still seems an easy trade-off to me. Think of all the crime-solving the cops could do if they weren't kicking down old ladies' doors and planting weed on them. And think of the massive drops in crime in areas where people currently sell drugs! Honestly, given that we're willing to turn everybody loose on some Hennessy, what's the point of balking on this other shit? But what about the children? The children wouldn't have to smoke so much ditch-weed and oregano before they found a good dealer, that's what.


 

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Hey, men: sex can be fun!

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.10.10

These vintage men's magazine covers totally crack me up. I particularly like the theme where the strong brawny man is fighting off a swarm of small (turtles, lobsters, flying squirrels, five year olds). Fighting for his life! So virile.


 

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Abner, meet Binky

Posted by Standpipe Bridgeplate
on 06.10.10

With two founts of oil now vomiting into the sea and presumably more on the way, it's time we started giving them names to help tell them apart.


 

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Whoa China

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.09.10

Two hundred years with Hans Rosling:

I'd seen Gapminder World before, but this is still a neat presentation.


 

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There is no kitten.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.08.10

There is, instead, a second oil leak. Basically so many eyes were staring at the Gulf that eventually someone said, "Hey, what's that separate oil slick?" It's much smaller, though. It is five weeks old.

Back to the topic of Deepwater, my belief is that BP's priorities are:
1. PR, the media, and buying people off
2. Cap the stupid well
3. Distract your boss while you try to find different employment.

In other words, I don't think any effort is being made by BP to save the environment. Obviously this is a super depressing topic, but it feels negligent to never post about it.


 

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I held my nose; I closed my eyes; I took a drink.

Posted by Stanley
on 06.08.10

I've been catching some minor flak from a few conservative acquaintances for having cast a ballot in this hot mess. I actually did wring my hands a bit over whether it was ethical to vote for a candidate I knew I'd be voting against in the general.

In the end I settled my worried little head with this position: given that one of today's candidates stands a real chance of being my next representative in Congress, I'd be foolish not to excercise my right to vote for what I view as the least worst option.

And, as a potential side benefit, there's this guy:

Now there's one more player on the stage in the district that stretches from north of Charlottesville down to the North Carolina border: Jeffrey A. Clark, a political novice who so dislikes Hurt that he is threatening to run for the seat as an independent if Hurt is the Republican nominee. Clark has drawn a burst of media attention in recent weeks, with stories in the Lynchburg News & Advance, Politico and The Fix. All focus on the idea that Clark might just siphon off enough votes from Hurt to hand Perriello the victory.

Lots of unknowns (including today's results), but it could get weird. Anyone else vote today?


 

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John Tierney Is Courageous

Posted by LizardBreath
on 06.08.10

Today in the Times, he makes the revolutionary and utterly taboo observation that research has not eliminated the possibility that women as a class are innately underrepresented at the highest levels of mathematical and scientific ability. Which means that efforts to identify and eliminate gender bias in the sciences, like this bill recently passed by the House, might be a pointless and annoying waste of time and money. He's just saying. Boy, I wonder if his job's in danger -- that's the sort of thing that no one can safely say in public anymore.

To drop the heavy sarcasm for a moment, much as it pains me to, Tierney's right that there's no proof out there that the pool of innate mathematical/scientific talent among women is identical to that among men. No proof that it's different, but no proof that it's the same. Nonetheless, there's plenty of evidence that there is at least some bias against women in the sciences, which is a bad thing regardless of whether or not there are innate gender differences. So is it really so bad to investigate and try to eliminate that bias, regardless of what the distribution of scientists would end up being in a perfectly gender-egalitarian world?


 

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The best reason to listen is the probability that my being out of practice will lead to more mistakes than usual

Posted by Ben
on 06.07.10

I'm going to be on the radio again tomorrow, the Tuesday after, and the Tuesday after that, from 1-4 pm pacific. You can (as usual) listen, should you be moved to do so, perhaps by the thought that it would be pleasant to hear music by Radian, Krallice, Julia Wolfe, Peter K. Frey, Ganesh Anandan, Rudresh Mahanthappa (graceful gents both those last two), Murcof, Zs, The Mountain Goats, El Guapo, Sun Ra, Christian WallumrĂžd, or their like. Also on the ether, of course; 90.1 FM.


 

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Burning question

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.07.10

Why don't hotel rooms have overhead lights? Why are there four lamps to turn on and real lighting only in the bathroom area? I'm back, btw. Betcha didn't know I was gone.

Our plan was to leave directly from Hawaiian Punch's swim class, so the car was all packed up. As we were pulling out, however, we decided to swing by the house and get a pillow for the car ride. We discovered that the house reeked of gas because we had left the stove on.

I find it deeply rattling that terrible explosions and kitty deaths were avoided on the merest of whimsical decisions. I prefer my universe to be predictable and orderly, thanks.


 

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