Lifes Worth Knowing

Archive for the ‘Justin’ Category

Mitt Romney: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

In 1%, Birth Control, Current events, Government, Health Insurance, Justin, Obama, Romney, Welfare on November 16, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Some elections are close. This one wasn’t. Even as Karl Rove tried to deny reality  and other conservatives attempted to digest the ill news, it became apparent that this was hardly even a contest. Ceding only North Carolina and Indiana back to Republicans from his initial election, it was obvious pretty early on in election night that it was going to be Obama’s night.

What was remarkable was how most Republicans had no idea that such a victory for the Democrats was coming. It wasn’t simply a psychological ploy that Romney had no concession speech prepared on election night…he truly believed he was going to win, and the Fox News spin machine (Looking at you Dick Morris) played right into that. Most Fox pundits, and even Romney’s own advisors, were predicting landslide victories for the Republican nominee.

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On Sesame Street

In Current events, Economics, Government, Justin, Politics on October 5, 2012 at 9:42 pm

You know that a presidential debate has been interesting when the prevailing topic dominating social media throughout the even was Big Bird. When Romney came out and stated that he would cut funding to PBS, the big bird trend took off and it became one of the few “missteps” that Romney made on the night, angering millions of Sesame Street Moms and Downton Abbey fans in the process.

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Healthcare gets personal

In Current events, Health Insurance, Justin, Politics on August 7, 2012 at 10:56 am

We often hear about the big ideas in politics, and national politicians like to paint issues in broad strokes, and one of the best illustrations is the healthcare debate. Pre-existing conditions, mandates, lifetime limits…most of the time, all of these are policy issues. But for nearly everyone at some point, those policy issues become personal issues. I recently had one of those moments where the big ideas that I have written about became personal experiences.

I now understand how truly messed up our medical system is, and just how badly it needs an overhaul. I am not an expert, nor a psychic, so I cannot say whether or not the Affordable Care Act can or will change anything, but I can say that something needed/needs to be done. The following is my latest experience with the American medical system, with as much transparency as possible.

It was hot. It was hot and I was covered in sweat, having just come back from a two mile run in which i proved to my wife that yes, I can still run two miles in fifteen minutes. I bounded up my front steps and into our kitchen where I poured a cold glass of water and reached into a bag of cherries that had been sitting on our counter all day. This morning, that bag was full and now there were a handful left. Even fewer as I topped off my glass of water with a couple of the sweet fruits as I went upstairs to get a shower.

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The Weekender

In Beauty, Fascinating, General, Government, Interesting, Justin, Religion on June 1, 2012 at 8:28 pm

The Weekender is a weekly column devoted to the ideas/articles/videos that I find fascinating and wish I had more time to explore.

The Swinging Bridge of Death. Guaranteed to be the coolest video of a bridge that you will see today. Or any day. The “Gallopin Gertie” was only in operation for about four months before some stiff winds roiled the bridge into collapse. The video, however, shows the asphalt of the bridge deck waving like a ribbon, and it is hauntingly beautiful. (via Kottke.org)

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The Weekender

In Current events, Economics, Fascinating, General, Government, Interesting, Justin, Local, Politics, Religion, Science on May 25, 2012 at 9:58 pm

The Weekender is a weekly column devoted to the ideas/articles/videos that I find fascinating and wish I had more time to explore.

Just in case you were feeling significant today. There is nothing quite like being complete awestruck by the beauty of the night sky, and this isn’t a normal night sky. My favorite astronomer Phil Plait serves up these astonishing pictures pretty regularly, and this one comes from Helge Mortensen. Dazzling aurora dancing over snow covered peaks makes my life feel very, very small.

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The Weekender

In Fascinating, General, Government, Interesting, Justin, Science, Ted Talk, Thoughtful on May 4, 2012 at 8:14 pm

The Weekender is a weekly column devoted to the ideas/articles/videos that I find fascinating and wish I had more time to explore.

Thinking outside the box – and inside the vein. I was tuned into this story by one of our readers a couple of months ago. This is an interview with a worker at Vancouver’s Insite center, which is a place where addicts can come use their drug of choice in a safe environment. The shock is that not only is it government sanctioned, it’s government funded. This is incredibly eye opening.  One of the most clarifying statements about the mission of the center:

“It’s place where staff members and nurses supervise people’s injections. The participants come in with their own drugs. In case a participant overdoses or has a heart attack, someone is there to help. If we can intervene timely and quick, there’s no reason anyone should ever die.”

The implications for a larger conversation on the role of government are clear. Should government throw billions of dollars ($15 billion a year in the US) to reduce access to drugs that people are going to use anyway? What if the government provided a haven for users to feed their habit while reducing the harm done to themselves and to others? Food for thought.

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The Weekender

In Beauty, Fascinating, General, Interesting, Justin, Nature, Science, Thoughtful on April 22, 2012 at 8:17 pm

The Weekender is a weekly column devoted to the ideas/articles/videos that I find fascinating and wish I had more time to explore.

Epic in so many ways. When Planet Earth came out a few years ago, it was mandatory Sunday night viewing in our dorm rooms. Very few shows were appointment television in college because of all that “studying” all the time, but Planet Earth was something different. It was something like we had never seen before, and I love BBC America for throwing this twist and launching a promo video featuring kids as narrators. Some of them stick to the script and some of them don’t…dropping gems like “I would never eat a fly because I like cheeseburgers” and “Ok, so the grizzly bear is like, ripping their heads off.”  Love it. (via kottke.org)

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The Weekender

In Birth Control, Current events, General, Interesting, Justin, Maps, Nature, Science, Ted Talk, Thoughtful on April 13, 2012 at 7:55 pm

The Weekender is a weekly column devoted to the ideas/articles/videos that I find fascinating and wish I had more time to explore.

I, for one welcome our new monkey overlords. The study of language is one of my under-explored interests on this blog. Ever since being introduced to Noam Chomsky and that idea that the language that we speak can have a direct impact on our view of the world, I have found linguistics fascinating. One of the hallmarks of our humanity is that we have a written language…something that we thought was uniquely human. This study showed that baboons can learn to “read” English words. While it is too much of a leap to say that they understand language, it is interesting nonetheless. The experiment basically rewarded a monkey for determining if a word was real or not. A positive response for the word “wasp” would return a treat, a positive response for the word “telk”… no treat. At the end of the study, the baboons could get the right response 75% of the time. Let that sink in for a moment…baboons can determine real English words from fake English words. Nature is awesome.

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The Weekender (Vacation Edition)

In Fascinating, General, Justin on April 8, 2012 at 9:34 am

The Weekender was on vacation this week, taking the family out for a little camping trip, and thus not being able to cobble together a full post for the week, so today just two links; an update from last week and a fascinating, paradigm destroying archaeological find.

The Ghost Ship Sinks. We covered the incredible story of this Japanese trawler last week. But, to sum up – this abandoned vessel was cut loose from it’s moorings in the Japanese tsunami and has been drifting across the Pacific for over a year. It was recently spotted off of the coast of Alaska, and after it was determined that this unlighted and unmarked vessel posed a safety risk for commercial traffic, the Coast Guard did what Americans do best…they unleashed holy hell.  Cannon fire from the Anacapa sunk the ship in a little over four hours. The ship formerly known as Ryou-un Maru now rests under 6,000 feet of water

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The Weekender

In Current events, Economics, Government, Health Insurance, Interesting, Justin, Maps, Politics on March 30, 2012 at 9:56 pm

The Weekender is a weekly column devoted to the ideas/articles/videos that I find fascinating and wish I had more time to explore.

This week’s edition is going to be a little bit different. The usual links are still going to be here, but keeping in the spirit of this blog – the passion to never stop exploring – I wanted to ask the readers for suggestions/topics/websites that aren’t usually covered here. I tend to cull my links from the same stable of sources, and while i do find them fascinating, I want to broaden to scope and explore some new territory. Hit the comments at the bottom of the page or email me at lifesworthknowing@gmail.com to send me your ideas and sources for interesting material. Thanks in advance.

It’s a beautiful world. This video is able to visualize something that we rarely get to see, but constantly experience. Ocean currents are one of the most influential aspects of weather patterns. We have all heard of El Nino, and the effects of that current…well this video is able to demonstrate what those currents look like across the entire globe. It’s oddly beautiful. (via Kottke)

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