I’m sitting in arrivals at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. I landed two hours ago and have just been relaxing with a coffee, getting a bit more hydrated and stretching my legs before I head to my hotel.
Sitting here today, I looked up and noticed that the ceiling is littered with helium balloons. Since the ceiling is three stories up, there’s no retrieving a balloon once the ribbon slips from your fingers.
I love that each balloon has a story attached to it. Someone coming to Israel, coming home or coming to visit, and the person who met them at the airport was so excited to see them that they let go of the balloon. Some probably resulted in a few tears from kids who hate to see balloons go up to the ceiling, but most probably weren’t missed at all in the excitement of hugs, kisses and let me help you with your luggage.
“Dinner alone is one of life’s pleasures. Certainly cooking for oneself reveals man at his weirdest. People lie when you ask them what they eat when they are alone. A salad, they tell you. But when you persist, they confess to peanut butter and bacon sandwiches deep fried and eaten with hot sauce, or spaghetti with butter and grape jam.”—Laurie Colwin, Home Cooking (via thecookbookreader)
The ACA provided states with federal funds to institute a Medicaid expansion. The states chose to expand the program also were able to set up their own state exchanges, which were relatively free from the problems the federal site had. Vermont decided to take it a step further by setting up their very own single payer system.
The slogan of the program: Everybody in, nobody out.
The program will be fully operational by 2017, and will be funded through Medicare, Medicaid, federal money for the ACA given to Vermont, and a slight increase in taxes. In exchange, there will be no more premiums, deductibles, copay’s, hospital bills or anything else aimed at making insurance companies a profit. Further, all hospitals and healthcare providers will now be nonprofit.
They estimate this will end up saving Vermont 25% per capita over the current system, in addition to preventing some proportion of the 45,000 preventable deaths that occur annually in the US due to the inability to afford treatment.
“I suppose earlier generations had to sit through all this huffing and puffing with the invention of television, the phone, cinema, radio, the car, the bicycle, printing, the wheel and so on, but you would think we would learn the way these things work, which is this:
1) everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal;
2) anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;
3) anything that gets invented after you’re thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it’s been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.
Apply this list to movies, rock music, word processors and mobile phones to work out how old you are.”—
“The open letter from the Beastie Boys reads: Like many of the millions of people who have seen your toy commercial “GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg & the Beastie Boys,” we were very impressed by the creativity and the message behind your ad. We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering. As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads. When we tried to simply ask how and why our song “Girls” had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US. Representatives for GoldieBlox did not immediately comment on Monday morning.”—Beastie Boys Fight Online Video Parody of ‘Girls’ - NYTimes.com
“In fact, this technology is potentially a big step in the direction of Snow Crash. What goes around comes around: I wouldn’t be at Valve doing this – in fact, Valve itself might not be here – if it weren’t for Snow Crash diverting my career to Id in the first place.”—Valve: How I Got Here, What It’s Like, and What I’m Doing | Valve
“A name shouldn’t make a person. A person should make a name for himself. He has to go and earn it by fighting bears and seducing the wives of dictators. On his own. Without your help. So before you fill out that birth-certificate application, think hard about the person who’s gonna be carrying around this name for life. Put yourself in the kid’s shoes, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll have the balls not to name her Brixie.”—The GQ Guide to Naming Your Baby
Ok Dr. Phil’s wife, Robin, (yes groan, but listen up) has this new app out (iPhone and Android) that’s for people in abusive relationships. It’s called Aspire News and it’s disguised as a regular news app, but when you go to the “Help” section of the app, it leads you to domestic violence resources and also has a “Go Button” that when you press it, if you’re in a compromising situation, alerts local authorities as well as local shelters and starts recording everything that is going on.
Now, if you’re looking up resources on the app and your abuser is near, simply press the X button and it brings you to a random news page. Same goes for the actual foundation site.
“She had stayed a virgin so she wouldn’t be called a tramp or a slut; had married so she wouldn’t be called an old maid; faked orgasms so she wouldn’t be called frigid; had children so she wouldn’t be called barren; had not been a feminist because she didn’t want to be called queer and a man-hater; never nagged or raised her voice so she wouldn’t be called a bitch… She had done all that and yet, still, this stranger had dragged her into the gutter with the names that men call women when they are angry.”—Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (via bodyfluids)
“When women do it, it’s marketing. When men do it, it’s growth hacking. The masculine re-branding of marketing work as a technical skill — “hacking”, the implication of a more analytical or mathematical focus — is disingenuous, ahistorical. Marketing has always involved analytical and mathematical skills, and in technology, it has always required technical literacy and competency. Yet the emergence of the “growth hacker” is deeply indicative of a industry desperate to maintain gender inequalities even as women make significant inroads into some of its career paths.”—The Gendering of Technology Work — Tech Culture Briefs — Medium (via iamdanw)
VONNEGUT: Somebody gets into trouble, and then gets out again; somebody loses something and gets it back; somebody is wronged and gets revenge; Cinderella; somebody hits the skids and just goes down, down, down; people fall in love with each other, and a lot of other people get in the way; a virtuous person is falsely accused of sin; a sinful person is believed to be virtuous; a person faces a challenge bravely, and succeeds or fails; a person lies, a person steals, a person kills, a person commits fornication.
INTERVIEWER: If you will pardon my saying so, these are very old-fashioned plots.
VONNEGUT: I guarantee you that no modern story scheme, even plotlessness, will give a reader genuine satisfaction, unless one of those old fashioned plots is smuggled in somewhere. I don’t praise plots as accurate representations of life, but as ways to keep readers reading. When I used to teach creative writing, I would tell the students to make their characters want something right away—even if it’s only a glass of water. Characters paralyzed by the meaningless of modern life still have to drink water from time to time. One of my students wrote a story about a nun who got a piece of dental floss stuck between her lower left molars, and who couldn’t get it out all day long. I thought that was wonderful. The story dealt with issues a lot more important than dental floss, but what kept readers going was anxiety about when the dental floss would finally be removed. Nobody could read that story without fishing around in his mouth with a finger. Now, there’s an admirable practical joke for you. When you exclude plot, when you exclude anyone’s wanting anything, you exclude the reader, which is a mean-spirited thing to do.