This year I decided I was tired of coughing all winter from starting the fire in the wood stove by blowing on it, and getting all this horrible fine ash in my lungs. So I splurged on an excellent bellows: The Long John Bellows. It's made from wood, the bellows are suede, and the nozzle is copper, so I can direct the airflow right at the coals. There's no plastic. "Not a toy but a tool!"
So now my fire starts much quicker, I don't have to get down on my knees, and I don't have that horrible dry hacking cough so many Mainers have. Read more about Confession time: I love my bellows!
Business Insider, an interview with Twitter co-counter Evan Williams:
WILLIAMS: Yeah. Twitter is essentially a news service, and news is important for society, but personally I don't want to spend most of my reading time reading news. I get a lot more value out of other types of content and I think most people do as well. There's a natural urge to know what's going on. It's biological and it's social: What's new? What's everyone talking about? What's this shiny object? The vast majority of it isn't valuable to people and it may be even harmful, and that's well-reported, accurate news.
BUSINESS INSIDER: Harmful because it's misleading people or because it's taking up mindshare that could be used for better purposes?
WILLIAMS: It's creating anxieties that have no outlet. It's psychologically harmful. TV news is the epitome of this. Its whole goal is the raise enough anxiety that you tune in. It's not to inform or make society smarter. That causes us to have irrational fears about things that are extremely unlikely and highlights those instead of normal things that are actually harmful, like what you eat or watching TV news.
The New Yorker. So awesome. This is my favorite:
“Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”
An excellent movie. The obviously unfit individuals are winnowed out through a series of entrepreneurial tests and, in the end, an enterprising young boy receives a factory. I believe more movies should be made about enterprising young boys who are given factories. —Three and a half stars.
But there are many others! Read more about Ayn Rand Reviews Children’s Movies
Another controlled experiment that shows profit-centered health care gives a smaller bang for the buck
That was the theory behind the NHS, before the neo-liberals -- may their names be forever cursed -- got hold of it and started privatizing it. (The neo-liberals seem to have the concept that we're going to go wait in doctor's offices for fun, so they've got to charge us for it. Bizarre.)
Anyhow, since Monday -- this winter really seems to have become my season of minor ailments, probably my unconscious telling me something with all those photos of rot -- I've had this superweird ickiness going on my right -- my typing -- hand, and then up my arm, so after my friend in the coffee shop diagnosed whatever the heck it was as cellulitis, from which her husband nearly died because he wouldn't go for treatment, I went to the wonderful Helen Hunt Health Center in Old Town to check it out. Read more about "Free at the point of care"
I got this press release in mail, but it doesn't seem to be anywhere on the web yet. So herewith:
Single payer in Vermont and the U.S.: Now IS the time
The following statement was released today by Dr. Andrew D. Coates, president of Physicians for a National Health Program:
Today, Vermont’s governor, after campaigning for single payer for years, announced that he would not work to pass single-payer legislation in Vermont this year.
“The Healthcare Is a Human Right (HCHR) Campaign expresses its deep disappointment in the failure of Governor Shumlin to act on the will of the people of Vermont to ensure universal, publicly financed healthcare in our state. This inaction is a slap in the face of many thousands of Vermont residents who suffer from poor health and financial hardship in the private insurance market that sells healthcare as a commodity to those who can afford it. The HCHR Campaign reminds the Governor that healthcare is a human right, and that our government has an obligation to ensure that right. Our government also has a responsibility to enact state law, and Act 48, passed in 2011, clearly requires Vermont to take actions to provide healthcare as a public good to all residents by 2017.
We all currently pay for our hodgepodge healthcare system - we just don’t pay in a way that leads to giving people access to care. Moving to a different financing mechanism has nothing to do with raising new money. Vermont’s businesses currently pay 80% of all private insurance premiums. Most of these businesses are large employers; they pay the lion share of health insurance. Individuals who fall sick also pay a big chunk - through roughly $800 million in out-of-pocket costs. The Governor’s task at hand was to shift private payments to a more equitable, public financing mechanism. His task was not to find new money.
t wasn't that long ago, say 2007 or so, when fracking was an issue that wasn't really on anyone's radar, though there was enough concern for the state to place a moratorium on the practice in 2008.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) will ban hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, in his state, officials announced Wednesday.
"I will be bound by what the experts say," Cuomo said at a press conference.
While adding 900,000 formerly uninsured New Yorkers to the insurance rolls is no small success, healthcare remains too expensive for the average family.
The costs of deductibles, copays and out-of-network charges remain major obstacles, and these bloated, unnecessary charges we pay to profit-driven health insurance corporations have not been brought under control by the Affordable Care Act.
Shumlin says he likes the idea, but "this is not the right time." It's unclear if he might resurrect the idea in the future.
Well done, Democrats! Read more about VT Governor Shumlin throws single payer under the bus
I read stuff like this and I shake my head. This to me is by far the most interesting fallout from the hacked Sony email saga:
When Sony Pictures began casting last year for a new comedy to be called “The Interview,” early scripts included the assassination of a fictionalized North Korean ruler. It was not until auditions began that actors learned that the movie would portray something much more brazen: the violent killing of the actual leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un.Sony’s executives now say they knew that basing a film on the assassination of a living national leader — even a ruthless dictator — had inherent risks. But the studio seems to have gotten much more than it bargained for by bankrolling what it hoped would be an edgy comedy. The still very-much-alive Mr. Kim, the leader of an isolated and unpredictable nuclear-armed nation, appears not to have been amused when the premise of the comedy became clear. North Korea branded the $40 million film, to be released on Dec. 25, “an act of war” and vowed a “resolute and merciless response.”
An "edgy comedy"? About assassinating a head of state? Doesn't that seem to you, like, oh asking for trouble? Then again, we've got elites who are totally down with torture and spent most of last summer looking for a war, any war, until the finally struck gold with ISIS. Read more about Our nutcase elites, as illustrated by Sony's movie about whacking Kim Jong-un