It’s no accident that the optical storage medium with the shortest lifespan is the CD-Rewritable. What can we learn from this?
You may remember this boilerplate, copied from a letter I received from CFI Care (not its real initials) two years ago:
The Affordable Care Act requires health insurers in the individual and small group market to spend at least 80 percent of the premiums they receive on health care services and activities to improve health care quality (in the large group market, this amount is 85 percent). This is referred to at the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) rule or the 80/20 rule. If a health insurer does not spend at least 80 percent of the premiums it receives on health care services and activities to improve health care quality, the insurer must rebate the difference.
I didn’t get anything rebated to me that year, but Brian J. did, and he got some this year, too:
Yeah, I got my $36 check with a letter mandated by law to remind me that Obama’s got my back.
Strangely, the letter from my insurer that said my health insurance was going up $200 a month did not mention the ACA.
I’m sure that’s an oversight.
But of course.
As it happens, I wasn’t anywhere near New York City Thursday night, which is perhaps something of a pity, because I might have gotten to see a 2012 Swedish comedy with the unsubtle title Cockpit, as suggested by an apparently enthusiastic Tatyana:
After getting fired from his current job as a pilot, and dumped by his current wife, Valle seeks to find a new job. Out of desperation on the job market for male air pilots, he disguises himself as a woman in order to get a job at Silver, an airline seeking a female pilot. The dividing line between his female and male self, as well as his personal and love life, starts to blur to a point which he eventually is unable to handle.
Jonas Karlsson stars as Dustin Hoffman. And anyway, I suspect Tatyana would go to this event for reasons other than seeing weird Swedish variations on American film themes.
Actually, I just made that up. But candy cigarettes are still a thing, albeit a weak one, and Will Truman bought some:
The “Carton” doesn’t actually say “cigarettes” on there anywhere. I don’t know if that’s a recent development or they never did. I can see why they don’t now… The pieces themselves don’t look nearly as cigarette-y as I remember them. I suspect this was the case before. But in my mouth they look as much like a glorified toothpick as anything… They taste exactly as I remember them.
This looks like the package Truman posted; interestingly, the inevitable “Frequently Bought Together” section lists those candy bracelets that always broke when you tried to stretch them, and the infamous Nik-L-Nips, wax bottles containing some mysterious colored liquid.
There’s actually no projected date for the publication of Mindy Kaling’s second book, Why Not Me? It didn’t stop her, though, from putting up some Instagrams from the photo shoot for the book cover, a couple of which I’ve borrowed, with the help of InStyle.
This first lacy thingumabob comes from Dolce & Gabbana:
And this, with pockets yet, from 5th & Mercer:
If you’re not familiar with 5th & Mercer, it’s a line designed by La La Anthony, who is married to NBA star Carmelo Anthony. The shoes are all Jimmy Choos.
I’m skeptical of the death penalty’s administration because the criminal justice system is a disaster. But, assuming guilt, I don’t really care much about the morality of killing people. The nation-state is all about killing people. Its sole reason for existing is that it’s better at killing people in large numbers than any other form of human organization. If you don’t like the idea of the state killing people, you don’t like the idea of the state. If you don’t realize this, it’s because your thinking is confused.
If this perturbs you, ask yourself the question Reynolds hints at: “At what other function can the nation-state be legitimately deemed superior?” No matter what you come up with, it will be based on the power of coercion at the point of a gun.
About three years ago, I posted an item about one Andrej Pejić, a rather androgynous fellow who actually looked really good in a print ad for a bra. I said at the time:
[Pejić is] arguably the prettiest six-foot-two blond(e) working the runway today. I’d argue that he sells the product remarkably well, inasmuch as it brings a figure with no actual bewbage at all up to an almost-solid B.
I figured out who I was very early on actually, at the age of 13, with the help of the Internet so I knew that a transition, becoming a woman, was always something I needed to do. But it wasn’t possible at the time, and I put it off, and androgyny became a way of expressing my femininity without having to explain myself to people too much. Especially to my peers [who] couldn’t understand things like “trans” and gender identity. And then obviously the modeling thing came up, and I became this androgynous male model, and that was a big part of my growing up and my self-discovery. But I always kept in mind that, ultimately, my biggest dream was to be a girl. I wasn’t ready to talk about it before in a public way because I was scared that I would not be understood. I didn’t know if people would like me. But now I’m taking that step because I’m a little older I’m 22 and I think my story can help people. My goal is to give a human face to this struggle, and I feel like I have a responsibility.
Certainly this will make matters a bit simpler for the gatekeepers in modeling:
[W]hen I first moved to London. It was like, I’d walk into the boys’ casting, and they were like, “No … you don’t belong here.” And then at the girls’ casting, they were like, “Why are they sending us boys?” So it took time for everyone to get on board. It wasn’t all sweet sailing.
For the non-fashionista, the place you’re most likely to have seen Pejić is David Bowie’s 2013 video for “The Stars (Are Out Tonight),” the existence of which offers up two layers of irony: Bowie’s own long-ago flirtation with androgyny, circa Ziggy Stardust, and the unexpected Woman of a Certain Age appearance of Tilda Swinton, who much of the time aspires to look like Conan O’Brien. As Ray Davies once said: “It’s a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world.”
Kobe Bryant’s new company is setting up shop in the famed basketball player’s hometown.
Council members authorized the sale Tuesday of a city-owned property in West Newport Beach to Kobe Inc. for use as a global headquarters.
Ordinarily I would give this the MEGO treatment, but:
The roughly 1-acre site, at 1499 Monrovia Ave., includes a 16,550 square foot office building, where Road & Track Magazine used to operate. It was sold for $5.8 million.
Which is probably more than Hearst Magazines could get for R&T itself, now having to bunk with Car and Driver in Ann Arbor.
Somehow I get the feeling the late John R. Bond is doing 2000 rpm or so right about now. (Think of it as a fast idle.)
I am not, to my knowledge, located anywhere recognizable on the Autism Spectrum, but I can see serious value in this practice at any gathering larger than a hoof-ful:
— BronyCon (@BronyCon) July 24, 2014
Of course, if I show up somewhere with a blue badge, you may safely assume that somewhere down the line I messed up.
BronyCon starts Friday, 1 August, at the
Baltimare Baltimore Convention Center.
I finally got around to following Felicia Day on Twitter, and as is their wont, Twitter duly sent me a list of “suggestions based on” this person. Since Day’s persona is the Gorgeous Geek Girl, I was kind of hoping they’d send me more of the same. Instead, they sent:
Wil Wheaton (@wilw)
I’m just this guy, you know?
Nathan Fillion (@NathanFillion)
It costs nothing to say something kind. Even less to shut up altogether.
Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself)
will eventually grow up and get a real job. Until then, will keep making…
Joss Whedon (@josswhedon)
over and over and over till I get it right
Chris Hardwick (@nerdist)
Stand-upper, Zombie Therapist, Talking Snake and POINTS giver
Then again, at least their geek credentials are impeccable, so give Twitter that much. They’ve done worse by me before.
Remember when advertising for constipation remedies was restrained, even vague? Well, forget that crap:
Above is a new ad just pushed out the PR poop chute this week by McCann China. Dulcolax is one of the world’s leading laxative brands, made by $15 billion German pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim.
The anthropomorphized “Shits” here are imprisoned in your anus, as you can see. The Shits have eyes. A couple of the Shits have boobs. Child Shits are present. One of the Shits, the one marking the days on the “prison” wall has been up your ass a long time. If you’ve ever had a colonic, you know this is accurate. Dulcolax will not save him.
And Copyranter has a lot more where that came from, so to speak.
Now I’m recalling George Carlin’s “Shoot”:
No one ever uses the word ‘shit’ really literally, y’know? … They have other words for that: doo-doo, ca-ca, poo-poo, and good old Number Two.
I suspect this assessment is dead in the water, and not the cleanest water either.
(Via Nancy Friedman.)
If I had 8 more inches of height, a deep voice, a full beard, and a set of nuts (sorry), would I be treated with more respect by random bureaucrats than I am currently?
I think the key word here is “random.” From my own vantage point (two inches shorter than specified), I’m finding that there are some genuinely warm and helpful people in various government offices but that there are also some absolute termagants, malingerers and shitbirds, and you seldom have any control over what you get.
I’m not sure it’s a function of, well, function, either: of all the bureaucracies, the IRS is in perhaps the best possible position to mess up your life for all eternity, and yet there exist, I am told, a small number of IRS functionaries who aren’t actually trying to stick it to you though it’s admittedly difficult to find them behind the phone tree.
From the summer of 2002, an example of Dubious Patent Usage:
So apparently British Telecom was combing through its archives and found something bearing U.S. patent number 4,873,662 which, BT thought, was the basis for the hyperlink. Visions of dollar signs (what with sterling giving way to the euro, doncha know) danced in their heads, and they hit up more than a dozen ISPs for licensing fees. When said ISPs told BT to go pound sand, BT decided to make a test case out of one of them.
The ISP in question asked for summary judgment while laughing out loud, and got it.
That ISP was Prodigy Internet. Less than a year later, its parent company, SBC (now AT&T), tried basically the same stunt:
SBC Communications, whose main contribution to the Internet up to this point has been putting perennial money-loser Prodigy out of its misery, is now claiming a patent on the invention of HTML frames.
Given the general opinion of HTML frames at the time, this was like applying for a job as sous chef and naming Jeffrey Dahmer as a reference.
Meanwhile, also around the turn of the century, an Australian bloke was trying to make a point:
Way back in 2001, the Australian patent office awarded a man named John Keogh “Innovation Patent #2001100012” for his “circular transportation facilitation device.” Or what people who don’t work in a government office would call a “wheel.”
Mr. Keogh submitted his patent request as a way of illustrating that he thought the office had relaxed its standards a bit too much. He never tried to collect any money from people using wheels. So it turns out that the office recently revoked his patent, just more than a decade after issuing it.
Then again, since Mr Keogh did not in fact try to hit up unsuspecting wheel users for royalties, he would presumably not be considered a patent troll. Had he been an American, he’d probably have been looking for a courtroom in, say, east Texas, and a test case with a defendant with deep(ish) pockets.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but something like this would definitely affect my singing voice, at least temporarily:
Last Friday … Vice President and General Manager of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans Andy Milovich accepted a challenge to receive an in-game prostate exam while singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. The catch? Fierce Fallon’s Facebook Page had to reach 10,000 “Likes” by Thursday at 12:00 PM EST. Supports quickly jumped onboard and blew past the 10K goal shortly after 4:00 PM on Monday afternoon. Milovich is now set to receive the exam during [tonight’s] Prostate Cancer Awareness Night. The exam will be administered by Dr. Glenn Gangi of Atlantic Urology Specialists in Conway, SC.
[The] timeline of events will include Milovich on-air with Pelicans Radio Broadcaster Nathan Barnett before and after the exam as well as live video and radio broadcast of Milovich during the exam. The exam and the rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” will be broadcast live during the Pelicans play-by-play broadcast of the game.
Fierce Fallon, nine years old, does not have prostate cancer. (She has brain cancer, which I am inclined to think is worse; she’s currently undergoing chemotherapy.) Ganging up on cancer of any variety, I suggest, has a strong, maybe even visceral, appeal. Still, I’m not sure I’d want to see this on television.
The dis- prefix, says Dictionary.com, is “a Latin prefix meaning ‘apart,’ ‘asunder,’ ‘away,’ ‘utterly,’ or having a privative, negative, or reversing force.” This is almost, but not quite, the opposite of ad-, and most of the dis- words I know sound funny with dis- thus replaced. In some cases, it’s more sensible to remove dis- entirely, as in the case of “disestablish.”
But can you be combobulated? (Or “accombobulated”?) Apparently combobulation is something you have to lose before you can gain:
Taking off your shoes and pulling out your laptop at airport security may leave you feeling discombobulated.
The Mitchell International Airport staff has set up some chairs and a sign just past one of the security checkpoints to help you out. They’ve labeled it the “recombobulation area.”
I can deal with that.
(Plucked from a listserv; the sender was Bryan Doe, who actually reads this stuff now and then.)
Sure it does. You’re just doing it wrong:
A 2012 study comparing 16-to-65-year-olds in 20 countries found that Americans rank in the bottom five in numeracy. On a scale of 1 to 5, 29 percent of them scored at Level 1 or below, meaning they could do basic arithmetic but not computations requiring two or more steps. One study that examined medical prescriptions gone awry found that 17 percent of errors were caused by math mistakes on the part of doctors or pharmacists. A survey found that three-quarters of doctors inaccurately estimated the rates of death and major complications associated with common medical procedures, even in their own specialty areas.
So much for three out of four doctors. Not that we civilians have anything to brag about:
One of the most vivid arithmetic failings displayed by Americans occurred in the early 1980s, when the A&W restaurant chain released a new hamburger to rival the McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. With a third-pound of beef, the A&W burger had more meat than the Quarter Pounder; in taste tests, customers preferred A&W’s burger. And it was less expensive. A lavish A&W television and radio marketing campaign cited these benefits. Yet instead of leaping at the great value, customers snubbed it.
Only when the company held customer focus groups did it become clear why. The Third Pounder presented the American public with a test in fractions. And we failed. Misunderstanding the value of one-third, customers believed they were being overcharged. Why, they asked the researchers, should they pay the same amount for a third of a pound of meat as they did for a quarter-pound of meat at McDonald’s. The “4” in “¼” larger than the “3” in “⅓” led them astray.
Not that it’s relevant, but Johnny Carson once announced in his monologue that McDonald’s had passed the sort of milestone they used to put on the sign, and mused: “Fifty billion burgers! You know, that’s almost 100 pounds of meat.” Then again, he paid people to come up with stuff like that.