First things first: I can't stop trying to say duh-VORR-jacques, as in, the Czech composer.
The Dvorak keyboard, however, is named after a guy named August Dvorak, a human untrailed by diacritical marks of any kind. One must imagine that his name is to be pronounced duh-VORR-ock. Furthermore, he was born in Everett, Washington, and taught at UW.
What he invented is the Dvorak keyboard. The Dvorak keyboard might—might—change my life.
My husband just forwarded to me a 2002 story by Nicholas Thompson in Slate about the Dvorak keyboard. If you don't know, it's a layout of the letters on the board that's supposed to make eminently more sense—in terms of efficiency and ergonomy—than the Qwerty layout.
I have chronic pain in my hands, fingers, thumbs, and forearms that is most definitely caused by typing. I don't need to type faster. I just need to type less painfully.
If you were me, would you try to switch?
Before you answer that, here is my preexisting condition: I sometimes find myself pounding the keys without noticing. I'll also discover I have my shoulders glued up to my ears and all that sort of thing. (I also wear bizarre unconscious expressions on my face when typing, and this also happens when I am watching the movies, a time when I also make fists and perform other nearly involuntary hand tics. All my nervous action lives in my hands and face.)
Now that you know about my nervous action, do you think am I doomed with any keyboard?
When I learned people put Icy Hot on their junk for sexual purposes, I thought, wouldn't it be hellishly painful, like getting oral from a piece of duct tape? And then I thought: What if I've just discovered a new way to stave off Old Man Winter? I texted the most pain-loving person I could think of, who confirmed searing pain is the desired effect. I then did some googling—I believe the phrase I searched was "Icy Hot on cunt."
The first thing that turned up was a YouTube video of a group of young guys (none of whom appeared to have cunts) sitting around in a room with a couch, a Confederate flag, a bowling trophy, and a framed picture of a couch. They explained they were all going to put Icy Hot on their balls. One announced, "I'm gonna rub it all over my wiener and everything." They all scooped the ointment between their legs and then sat on their couch under their couch photo. It hit all of them at once, and the only guy who didn't run for the bathroom said, "I put it on my leg. They're dumbasses."
I found one YouTube video starring a woman who applied Icy Hot without knowing what it was. She also claimed she bought it at "The Stupid Store." She hopped around looking alarmed, but she didn't seem turned on at all.
In hopes of finding some more risqué Icy Hot videos, I did the same search on XTube...
Organizing for America produced this video and a whole website to help you start a conversation with your family members this holiday season about getting health insurance.
They offer tips, like making sure everyone knows what kind of info they'll need to shop on the new insurance market, keeping the conversation positive, and offering to help your family sign up for some flimflammin' goldurn socialist Obamacare right then and there. None of the tips include pointing out that you might need health insurance if you're trampled during Black Friday shopping. An oversight?
YouTube commenters on the video are less than impressed—"The first person to mention the Un-ACA at Thanksgiving gets tied to a chair, a turkey leg stuffed in their mouths and will listen to Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation over and over until they 'get it'," says one hilarious goofball. Another: "Deck the halls with debt and folly, fa-la-la-la-la..." Zing!
Last month, religious chain store Hobby Lobby released this video explaining their belief that they should not be forced to supply health care that gives employees access to the morning after pill:
Today, the case was picked up by the Supreme Court, according to CNN:
The justices agreed on Tuesday to review provisions in the Affordable Care Act requiring employers of a certain size to offer insurance coverage for birth control and other reproductive health services without a co-pay.
At issue is whether private companies can refuse to do so on the claim it violates their religious beliefs.
Oral arguments will likely be held in March with a ruling by late June.
Hobby Lobby is one of the loudest Christian companies in the nation. Back in October, they were under fire when a Hobby Lobby employee reportedly told a Jewish customer looking for Hanukkah merchandise that "we don't cater to you people." And in the not-really-related-but-Anna-Minard-thinks-it's-hilarious file, there's this.
Truth: In Kentucky, where Obamacare is up and running, people are very pleased. They're pleased enough that some of them are rethinking the whole Republican idea that any government is bad government, according to the Washington Post's Stephanie McCrummen:
He’d never had insurance before and said his hospital bills were up to $23,000 at this point.
“Good night,” Lively said, tapping in his information.
Kids: five. Salary: about $14,000 before taxes.
“You’re going to qualify for a medical card,” she told Hudson.
“Well, thank God,” Hudson said, laughing. “I believe I’m going to be a Democrat.”
Remember, this is Rand Paul country. This is a huge deal.
(Via Daily Kos.)
Lie: John Boehner did not have the hellacious time of signing up for Obamacare that he claimed to have:
It turns out that Speaker Boehner lied about his struggles to sign up for Obamacare. The Speaker wasn’t having trouble with the website. He put the ACA rep on hold for 35 minutes.
Christ, what an asshole.
So there are big banner ads everywhere (check up top, there!) that say “Go Health Yourself,” and we’ve already written about this big event—which is tomorrow!—on Line Out and officially Suggested it. But just why is everyone so damn excited about something that looks like a health-care fair? I called up the spokesman from SEIU, who’s co-sponsoring the event, to find out.
Hi! Um, why are we doing this “Go Health Yourself” thing again?
Jackson Holtz, SEIU: What happened is the Affordable Care Act passed—that’s Obamacare—and everybody should be really psyched about it. But there’s a concerted effort among the right wing and big corporations to do everything they can to make it seem like the Affordable Care Act is something horrible. [Editor’s note: For example, see this creepy Uncle-Sam-all-up-in-your-vagina ad.]
So you guys decided to throw Obamacare a big ol’ party. Sweet! But what exactly is it?
Well first, there’s great music—it’s Hey Marseilles, and that’s awesome, and then there’s the Emerald City Soul Club. So I’m excited! Also, you’ll be able to find out what resources are available to help you sign up for quality affordable health care.
Tell me more. What am I gonna find, health-care-wise, if I show up to Chop Suey tomorrow night? Other than sexy people dancing and playing music, which is very health-inducing.
What people will find at the event is that signing up [for health insurance] is easy. It takes a little bit of time and a little bit of homework, but we’re gonna have people there to help everyone prepare for what they need to know and to show them what kind of coverage is available for their income. For some people, there’s free health care available. For others it’s low-cost. Obamacare is accessible, it’s affordable, and it’s the right thing to do.
What happens if you skip this whole process—you just say fuck it, I’m not getting insurance? You could pay a fine, right?
You could potentially pay a tax penalty—if you don’t enroll by next March 31, you can face a $95 fine or 1 percent of your income, whichever is higher, when you file your 2014 taxes. But what really sucks is that you don’t have health care. We’re here to counter the argument that the other side is saying—that this thing sucks. We’re saying no, it doesn’t suck. In Washington State, we’re in the top three in enrollment. We have a functioning health plan website, we’re a progressive community, this is what we do. Signing up for health care doesn’t suck! Talk to people, find out how much it sucks to break your arm and have to deal with the emergency room and then deal with follow-up care and physical therapy. Or talk to your friends who get MS in their 20s. Or who just have a really bad flu. Or go skiing and break their leg. You don’t think it can happen, but in reality that happens. It probably happens to more people than you know. The Affordable Care Act is what we, as a nation, have decided is the best way to take care of each other—having health care is an important part of being part of just being a healthy community. [Editor's note: As is dancing, music, sweating a lot, and sexy people. Right?]
Hey, the details! They're right here if you missed the other thousand links!
WTF? Go Health Yourself, the Obamacare Party!
W[here]TF? Chop Suey!
W[hen]TF? Tomorrow night, starting at 8 p.m. (doors at 7)!
How TF much does it cost? $7! Get tickets here!
Have questions about Washington State's new online health care exchange? Want to get these questions answered while enjoying BOTH live music by Seattle band Hey Marseilles AND the inimitable sounds of Emerald City Soul Club?
It's happening Thursday, Nov. 21st. And you should go. Find out more!
You should absolutely read Weston Phippen's Tampa Bay Times report on how hospitals quietly allow racism to enter into the doctor/patient relationship:
Syrenthia Dysart entered the hospital room to perform what she thought would be a routine assessment.
Her elderly patient did not fidget, fuss or speak as Dysart checked her breathing, fluids and pulse. While Dysart held her fingers on the woman's wrist, the charge nurse came in and told Dysart to leave.
Dysart didn't understand.
"Because you're black," she recalled the nurse saying.
Apparently, this has been going on in hospitals around the country—Phippen calls it an "open secret"—and previous cases have settled out of court. This is a practice that needs to end. Go read the whole article.
The headline on TPM screams that a new poll finds that "More Americans Want To Keep Or Expand Obamacare Than Repeal It." True enough. The Kaiser Family Foundation poll of 1,513 Americans ages 18 and over finds that 47 percent of respondents want to keep or expand Obamacare, compared to only 37 percent who want to repeal it or replace it with a Republican alternative. Interesting.
But even more interesting is that when you go to Kaiser's website you find that their main takeaway from their October tracking poll is that "the public’s overall views of the ACA have held relatively steady." For example, Obamacare's favorable/unfavorable ratio was 38-44 in October compared to 39-43 in September and 35-43 in June. And while the September poll does not ask the same exact question on repeal, you can extrapolate the results quite easily: Only 81 percent those respondents with an unfavorable view of Obamacare in September expressed support for repeal. That comes to just 35 percent support in favor of repeal.
How is this possible? Well, only 33 percent of respondents in the September poll who held an unfavorable view of Obamacare expressed the opinion that the law went too far. Another 7 percent of respondents express disfavor because the law doesn't go far enough! It is a distinction that most media outlets gloss over in feeding the Republican frame that Obamacare is broadly unpopular with American voters. In fact, a significant chunk of public dissatisfaction with the law has always come from voters who would prefer a more sweeping public option or single payer system.
The top line favorable/unfavorable ratio has always been misleading as it lumps together the disparate reasons for disfavor while ignoring the fact that many voters are realistic about the choices before them. We've all voted for candidates we don't like, because the alternative was worse. In fact, a substantial majority of Americans who express an opinion support moving forward with Obamacare. Period. But you wouldn't know this from watching cable news.
The New York City Council has passed some tough new laws for cigarettes:
City lawmakers approved the bill — which raises from 18 to 21 the purchasing age for cigarettes, certain tobacco products and even electronic-vapour smokes — and another that sets a minimum $10.50-a-pack price for tobacco cigarettes and steps up law enforcement on illegal tobacco sales.
What do you think?
The Stranger's Candy Control Board received an email from the Hershey Company pitching their Halloween offerings, or “new treats this season that are sure to get candy lovers howling with joy.” Since I love candy, howling, and joy, I took Hershey’s up on their offer to send over some samples.
Apparently I didn’t look very closely at the candy “fact sheet” attached to the response email (does a .jpg image of each candy name in a bulleted list count as a fact sheet?), because when the giant box arrived, it was filled with bags of candy you are definitely familiar with. Like, so familiar I can’t imagine why they even need to advertise them. I was expecting exotic, Halloween-only candy flavors, but we were mostly invited to check out offerings that included miniature Hershey bars imprinted with gravestones (tastes exactly the same, package says “RICK AMORTIS” ha!), Reese’s peanut butter pumpkins (tastes exactly the same, unfortunately resembles something other than a pumpkin), miniature Rolos (I think we can all agree that Rolos are “fine,” and that this new snack size is “also fine”), Cadbury Screme Eggs (not a bad idea—tastes the same, now with green yolk—but is also not new), and tiny Twizzlers (tastes exactly the same, waxy delish).
But I’m nothing if not a responsible candy journalist, so let’s get to the bottom of the only truly “new” seasonal candy we received: the Jolly Rancher Caramel Apple Lollipop. I’ll tell you why it’s a bad idea. First, there is already a caramel apple sucker and it is a classic. A gas-station standard and 6th-grade staple, the Caramel Apple Pop made by Tootsie Roll Industries is simply tangy apple hard candy covered in super sticky caramel, on a stick.
The Jolly Rancher version does not use anything that would pass for real caramel and instead uses caramel-flavored Jolly Rancher candy (just think about that) mixed with apple-flavored Jolly Rancher candy and what tastes like a generous spritz of Aqua Net. The combination seems okay for three seconds until your tastebuds are brutally attacked with a high-pitched fertilizer/butter flavor that made my throat twitch. (This coming from a human who can take down an entire box of tropical Gushers for dinner.)
So what did we learn? We learned that Hershey’s owns Jolly Rancher, Twizzlers, Rolo, and is responsible for selling the Cadbury products found in the US. For extra credit, I also lost a half hour of my life to the “Celebrate with Hershey’s” website page, where one can find recipes for things like a pecan pie with Rolos in it, apple cider with Jolly Ranchers in it, and other fun ways to sneak more diabetes into your desserts.
Tonight from 7 to 9pm at Town Hall, a panel of incredibly smart people are going to be discussing an incredibly complex and alarming subject: The takeover of secular hospitals by large religious healthcare groups, and how these mergers affect your access to comprehensive treatment and medical procedures—everything from birth control prescriptions and other forms of reproductive health care, end-of-life care, and respect for LGBT people's relationships and medical needs.
This issue affects everyone: Women, people who love women, people who impregnate women, elderly individuals, people whose parents are elderly individuals, people who some day hope to be elderly individuals, and the LGBT community and their loved ones. Even religious hospital employees can be discriminated against can be legally fired for stupid reasons, thanks to a religious exemption loophole in our state's antidiscrimination law.
Which is why tonight, experts from the ACLU of Washington, Compassion and Choices of Washington, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, Legal Voice and NARAL Pro Choice Washington will be explaining Washington’s public policy and law—which has historically protected access to services—and answering audience questions about how you can best protect your access to comprehensive healthcare.
The talk is free, doors open at 6pm. More info here.
New abortion restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature are unconstitutional and will not take effect as scheduled on Tuesday, a federal judge has ruled.
District Judge Lee Yeakel wrote Monday that the regulations violated the rights of abortion doctors to do what they think is best for their patients and would unreasonably restrict a woman's access to abortion clinics.
These are the restrictions that Wendy Davis famously filibustered against back in June.
Why does the American Academy of Pediatrics hate America?
A new study says that each year approximately 7,500 children are admitted to U.S. hospitals with gunshot wounds and more than 500 children die during hospital admission from these injuries.
An abstract of the study, titled "United States Gunshot Violence—Disturbing Trends," was presented on Sunday by researchers at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Fla. The study also found that states with higher numbers of firearm ownership had higher proportions of childhood gunshot wounds.
It's mostly handguns, of course, and most of these shootings occur in the home. So that's 7,500 families a year for whom keeping a gun in the home did not in fact keep their children safer. But shhhh. Because America!
It's now here, says an official with the Centers for Disease Control.
What's to blame? A problem people have been warning about for years: "Rampant overuse and misuse."
Washington Healthplanfinder, our state's Obamacare health insurance exchange, announced today that about 8,000 applicants who had previously applied for insurance had received estimates of higher tax credits than their household income and size would allow:
The issue was caused by inconsistent files being shared between Washington Healthplanfinder and the federal government, which determines eligibility for tax credits. The error was corrected on the night of Oct. 23 and has not affected customers who received tax credit eligibility after that time. This will not affect future customers.
The error will also not affect the 40,000 applicants who have qualified for Medicaid through Washington Apple Health, nor those individuals who purchased insurance without a federal credit. Only about 10 percent of applicants were affected by this error.
"The Exchange is very disappointed to have discovered this issue and we find the situation unacceptable," Washington Health Benefit Exchange CEO said in a prepared statement. "Our staff will not stop working until we have notified all those affected and helped each and every one of our customers to ensure they have the correct tax credit amount and can choose the best plan to meet their needs and budget."
Embarrassing, sure. And it certainly does tarnish Washington as one of the states whose exchange has functioned relatively well. But it's a complicated system that was rushed online in a relatively short amount of time—more of a beta launch than a final product—so it's not surprising to see bugs like this rear their ugly head.
You know what I wonder whenever I read a story like this?
A man threw a temper tantrum and stabbed an employee at a pizza restaurant near Green Lake Wednesday evening when he was denied a free pizza, a police report said.
I wonder whether the victim has health insurance?
Maybe he does. I don't know. But probably not (at least, pre-Obamacare), because most fast food workers earn at or near minimum wage, and certainly don't earn enough to afford health insurance if it's not offered as a benefit of employment.
So some crazy person walks in and stabs you on the job, leaving you out of work (because, you know, you were stabbed) and with expensive medical bills (again, the stabbing thing), and tough luck. Because you made poor choices or something. Or whatever it is that righties tell themselves to justify their own lack of empathy.
That is the America—the one with $7.25 an hour jobs and no health insurance—that conservatives are fighting to conserve. Weird.
The program outlined in this Miami Herald story by Alex Leary makes me feel so disheartened about the country:
As the battle over the healthcare law grinds on — Republicans no closer to victory than when they forced the government shutdown — a different fight was rising on a recent Saturday from inside Sharkey’s, a bar near the campus of Virginia Tech, 260 miles away.
Lured by free beer, gift cards and the chance to win an iPad, 100 students heard a pitch from the young staffers of a group named Generation Opportunity: Obamacare is a bad deal, and you should opt out.
Generation Opportunity is funded in part by the Koch brothers. The thinking is that if enough young people don't sign up for healthcare, Obamacare will fail. And what happens when one of these kids gets into a car wreck, or suffers from a catastrophic illness? Will the Koch brothers be there to pick up the hospital tab? No, of course not. That's the job of everyone who pays for health insurance, apparently. This is maybe the evilest thing the Kochs have done in their long, evil careers as kingmakers.
So, WAHealthPlanFinder.org, the website for our state's health insurance exchange, is finally working (at least for me), and when it does work it appears to work well. After entering my zip code, gender, birth date, and income, the site quickly returned a list of 38 available plans, ranging from $192/month (after tax credit) for the least expensive "bronze" plan to $498/month for the most expensive "gold" plan. If I want to keep my current doctor (who is with The Polyclinic), my choices are slightly more limited: 27 plans starting at $248.
The information provided is thorough and well presented, and makes it easy to compare three plans at a time, side-by-side. The sample cost breakdowns for pregnancy and managing type 2 diabetes are particularly useful for comparing the relative benefits in a real world scenario. For example, the cheapest bronze plan would cost me only $2,303/year in premiums, but an additional $5,350/year for standard diabetes treatment due to the high deductible, for a total of $7,653/year. A silver plan from Group Health would cost me $3,895 in premiums, plus another $1,900 in out of pocket expenses for diabetes treatment, for a total of $5,795/year. The most expensive gold plan would cost me $5,972/year plus $1,080/year for diabetes treatment, for a total of $7,052 year. If I were a 50-year-old, non-smoking male with type 2 diabetes earning a piddling alt-weekly salary, that silver plan would be the obvious winner of the three.
As for the costs of the plans under Obamacare and the relative value they provide, as somebody who had purchased health insurance on the individual market for much of my adult life, and had been gradually priced out of affordable coverage, this is definitely an improvement. And thanks to the federal tax credit, at my income level, it gets even better if I add on a dependent: $117/month for the two of us for that low-cost bronze plan, the same $325/month for that Group Health silver plan, $595/month for the most expensive gold plan. This could be a real boon for low and middle income families who currently don't have insurance through an insurer.
One observation though: the deductibles on the offered plans were all relatively high. Even some of the gold plans had $1,500 deductibles. I personally may have used over $1,500 a year in health care services only once or twice in my adult life, so for me, this is definitely insurance, not some sort of health care freebie that would incentivize unnecessary care. But for folks with more extensive health care needs (and I presume I'll get there as I age)—and especially for folks who previously would have been excluded due preexisting conditions—these new plans will be welcome.
The application process is a bit more onerous—a lot of information I didn't have at my fingertips. But overall, I'd say my initial impression of both Obamacare and WAHealthPlanFinder.org are positive. If you've had a chance to check out the site, what do you think?
The Stranger offices have been ravaged by some cold or flu over the last week; the kind that makes even the heartiest stay home and stay horizontal. I assume it's the same strain of something that's taken out hordes of other people (other offices have seen this, yes?), and perhaps even a couple city council members who have been out sick various days in the last week. It could also possibly be some doorknob-licking monster who's taken issue with something we've written. Who knows.
When you really, really need to get back to work and life, you spend much of your sick-day energy devising a magic plan to kill the sickness and become human again. This time, I think what put me right were the weird-tasting zinc lozenges a friend offered. She said she'd been feeling off all week but taking two of 'em a day kept her on her feet. I was ready. "They taste gross," she warned. She was right. They taste a little like an orange peel rolled in dirt, they coated my tongue in awfulness, and they activated something dark and terrible in the back of my mouth (a Balrog?). But instantly, I felt a tiny bit healthier. Now I walk amongst the living once more, mostly—I think they really must've worked! But how do I know if my ability to type this sentence was given to me by the zinc things, or the two Emergen-C packets per day I've been drinking, or the trick of switching between chamomile, lemon-ginger, and licorice tea, or the amazing and surely health-inducing gumbo another friend cooked for me Sunday night?
I don't. But it got me wondering what all the get-well-quick tricks are, since I'd never had a zinc lozenge in my life before this week. So! To the polls!
So, I have this great post I wanted to write about the irony of Republicans attempting to kill Obamacare by forcing a government shutdown that cripples much of the federal government... except for Obamacare.
Had Congress given us the federal "public option" we wanted and needed, it too would likely have been caught up in today's government shutdown. But instead, we're getting this subsidized system of private options delivered through state insurance exchanges—state run programs that are somewhat immune to impact from a federal government shutdown. And of course, today is not only the first day of the government shutdown, it is also the first day that consumers can buy health insurance through these state exchanges.
Ironic, huh? And it would make an excellent post. Except for the fact that the website for for Washington's exchange—WAHealthPlanFinder.org—has been down for most of the morning due to something or other, according to a statement from Richard Onizuka, CEO for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange:
This morning, we determined that consumers attempting to enroll in health coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder experienced slow loading times or difficulty completing their application. While this is not affecting all users, the site was placed into maintenance mode in order to identify and correct these issues.
And by "maintenance mode" they mean the server is entirely offline. You can't even ping it.
I emailed a spokesperson to inquire about whether this is due to a server/software glitch, an unexpected deluge in web traffic, or perhaps a "denial of service" attack? As it turns out, state exchanges nationwide are have similar problems this morning, so either millions of Americans are rushing to check out their insurance options (suggesting huge demand for Obamacare, whatever the public polling), or asshole anti-Obamacare forces are launching concerted denial of service attacks on various exchange servers in an effort to bloody their first day of operations. Or maybe both.
More when (if) I know more.
UPDATE: WAHealthPlanFinder.org is now generating an internal server error message, instead of just nothing. So, progress! But still no word back on progress from what.
UPDATE, UPDATE: It's back up online. But it's slooooow, and pages aren't reliably loading. The good news is you have six months to buy a plan, so you might as well just check back tomorrow or the next day, after the initial rush has subsided.
What with House Republicans apparently willing to shut down the federal government and tank our nation's economy in pursuit of defunding Obamacare, and with all the intentional misinformation flying about, there's a ton of confusion and anxiety out there over the coming health insurance exchanges, and their impact on individual families. For example, the following email from Hans Nelsen of Vashon Island is rather typical of the sort of scare stories we've been hearing:
I just learned that my health care rates will double under the Affordable Health Care Act. I got a letter from my provider, Group Health, that stated as much. I called them, and their customer service people said they were getting a lot of calls on this.
I'm not a conservative hater of social programs. I consider myself to be a socialist.
I also learned that I will be covered for maternity care, newborn care, and pediatric dental, although I'm male and 60 years old. Are they nuts?
I can't afford the new rates. I thought the rates would go down. A good friend of mine is Spanish and lives in Spain, and pays nothing for health care.
Not so typical, though, was the extra effort Hans put into educating himself, prompting the followup email he sent us just one day later:
I sent you a letter yesterday about the Affordable Health Care Act. See below. I did some more checking and I was totally wrong! My rates will actually go down with the federal subsidies available to my income level, and not only that, but my coverage will be much better. My misunderstanding was the fault of really poor communication on the part of my provider and their customer service department, who utterly failed to inform me about the true situation. I spoke too soon. Very sorry.
Hans graciously gave us permission to post both his emails as an illustration to others. The whole health insurance exchange and federal subsidy thing can be awfully damn confusing, and a lot of insurers and businesses are doing a crappy job of informing customers and employees. Part of the problem is that everybody is just new at this. Part of it is that businesses are sticking to bullshit legalize in a fit of excess caution. But the important thing to remember is that for most people, if your employer provides you insurance, that will not change, and if you are buying on the individual market you will likely be offered better insurance at a lower cost than you are buying now. Just like Hans.
Starting October 1, you can go to the Washington Health Plan Finder to compare actual plans and costs. In the meanwhile, you can estimate both your cost and federal subsidy by going to the site's nifty health cost calculator.
Are irresistibly cute animals about to melt the Affordable Care Act into the hearts of online Americans?
Don't be a sad panda - health insurance marketplaces open in just 5 days! pic.twitter.com/dKvanSJUxb
— Adorable Care Act (@AdorableCareAct) September 25, 2013
Or, to make it easier, you can just click through right here for the photos accompanying a story titled "Doctors Grow Nose on Man's Forehead." YEP!
After a Chinese man’s nose was irreparably damaged from infection, his doctors decided to “grow” a second nose on the man’s forehead to replace the original nose.
The patient, identified only as Xiaolian according to Reuters, has his nose damaged from an infection following a car accident. His doctors decided the only way to reconstruct his nose was to surgically form a new one on the 22-year-old’s forehead.
Holy shit, those pictures. Says NBC: "Man's 'forehead nose' a common reconstruction technique." Oh, of course. NBD! "What's that?" "OH, JUST MY FOREHEAD NOSE." I overhear that at parties all the time.
All right. John Green, as conveyed in this video, is a little too breathless and animated for me (I've not read his books), but he gives a very succinct breakdown of the problems with the current American healthcare system, and backs his points up with a lot of data. Discuss.
In a study published in the journal Psychological Science, Dr. Delroy L. Paulhus explains the results of experiments designed to identify people predisposed to revel in others’ suffering—like those who cheer at sports games when people get injured. People he calls "everyday sadists." The experiments involve crushing bugs and white noise:
In the study’s first experiment, to learn if everyday sadism correlated with the questionnaire, researchers recruited 71 psychology students, ostensibly to understand “personality and tolerance for challenging jobs.”
The students chose among tasks that stood for jobs: killing bugs (exterminator); helping the exterminator (exterminator’s assistant); cleaning toilets (sanitation worker); or enduring pain from ice water (a worker in cold environments). Among the participants, nearly 53 percent chose to be bug assassins or assistants, 34 percent chose toilet-cleaning and 13 percent pain tolerance. Gender was evenly distributed among those choosing various tasks.
Students who chose to be bug-killers were presented with three cups, each holding a live pill bug. To anthropomorphize the bugs, each was given a name: Muffin, Ike, or Tootsie. Bug-killers had to drop a bug into a modified coffee grinder, force the top down, and grind the bug up.
... During the execution of the assignment, some bug-killers quit after one or two. But some asked for more bugs.
In other news, every five-year-old I know is an everyday sadist.
It happens Saturday, October 5th, from 10 am-4 pm at Sole Repair on Capitol Hill. Admission is free and there will be raffles, too! I'm going to bake some grey cupcakes (with anti-depressant sprinkles, even!), and a lot of other talented bakers will have treats for sale, too.
Find out more about the project at depressedcakeshop.com.