July 23rd, 2009

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And Then Stopped

I totally sympathize with Clarke here:

Tad Daley | Apollo or Extinction
Tad Daley, Truthout: "On December 31, 1999, National Public Radio interviewed the futurist and science fiction genius Arthur C. Clarke.
Since the author had forecast so many of the 20th century's most fundamental developments, the NPR correspondent asked Clarke if anything
had happened in the preceding 100 years that he never could have anticipated. 'Yes, absolutely,' Clarke replied, without a moment's
hesitation. 'The one thing I never would have expected is that, after centuries of wonder and imagination and aspiration, we would have gone to
the moon ... and then stopped.'"
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Bait and Switch

Theoretically, "bait and switch" is an illegal tactic. In practice, it's more like business as usual, especially for health insurance. Now it's creeping into the health reform bills. I believe this is another example of wealthy people's inability to comprehend that if the poor and middle classes go broke, the economy goes down in flames with them. Because if we don't fix our wreck of a health care system, neither the population nor the economy will be healthy for the foreseeable future.

Bait and switch: How the “public option” was sold
by Kip Sullivan

The people who brought us the “public option” began their campaign promising one thing but now promote something entirely different. To make matters worse, they have not told the public they have backpedalled. The campaign for the “public option” resembles the classic bait-and-switch scam: tell your customers you’ve got one thing for sale when in fact you’re selling something very different.

When the “public option” campaign began, its leaders promoted a huge “Medicare-like” program that would enroll about 130 million people. Such a program would dwarf even Medicare, which, with its 45 million enrollees, is the nation’s largest health insurer, public or private. But today “public option” advocates sing the praises of tiny “public options” contained in congressional legislation sponsored by leading Democrats that bear no resemblance to the original model.
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Lewd Fantasy Humor

Most of the "Oglaf" comics are erotic or lewd. They are also mostly hilarious. NSFW.

I am particularly amused that the epically stupid "Fountain of [whatever]" adventurers are ... conquistadores. See the Spanish helm. See the foolishness. See the indigenous people laugh their heads off reading these pages.
gold star

Knitted Knockers

The "Knitted Knockers" project wins a gold star for solving a miserable, expensive problem in a cheap, fun way. Knitted knockers are prosthetic breasts made from yarn; they are lighter, cheaper, easier to make, faster to obtain, and more breathable than silicone prosthetics. Plus they can easily be made in any size and in natural or silly colors.

If you or someone you know has lost a breast, consider a knitted replacement. It has many advantages, either in addition to a silicone one (say, as a backup if the primary springs a leak) or as a substitute.

Also, if you're a crafter seeking a worthy cause, this one is a great way to make a big improvement in someone's life for very little effort. If you can knit a baby cap, you can knit a boob. Knit patterns include "Tit Bits" and "Knitted Breast." There is also a post about a "Crochet Boobie" pattern, but doesn't seem to have actual instructions.

Do you have a craft pattern for a prosthetic boobie? Feel free to post a link to it in the comments. Pictures of knitted or crocheted boobs are also welcome.
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Undercutting the Mail

I am alarmed by this news about the U.S. Postal Service being undermined by private interests. I'm pretty sure that private companies, being more interested in profit than service, would provide worse service -- or even no service in whatever places they didn't consider profitable enough to cover.