Recent Articles

Health insurance no longer effective safety net

| January 9, 2016 | Reply

I often wonder about studies showing that Americans are spending less on health care. It seems to me that many of us are now buying cheaper health policies with huge deductibles, then putting off health care because much of it is coming out of pocket. This NYT article was thus interesting to me.

The number of uninsured Americans has fallen by an estimated 15 million since 2013, thanks largely to the Affordable Care Act. But a new survey, the first detailed study of Americans struggling with medical bills, shows that insurance often fails as a safety net. Health plans often require hundreds or thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket payments — sums that can create a cascade of financial troubles for the many households living paycheck to paycheck.

These financial vulnerabilities reflect the high costs of health care in the United States, the most expensive place in the world to get sick. They also highlight a substantial shift in the nature of health insurance. Since the late 1990s, insurance plans have begun asking their customers to pay an increasingly greater share of their bills out of pocket though rising deductibles and co-payments. The Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama in 2010, protected many Americans from very high health costs by requiring insurance plans to be more comprehensive, but at the same time it allowed or even encouraged increases in deductibles.

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How old do I LOOK?

| January 9, 2016 | Reply

Here is a free website developed by Microsoft engineers as a side project that attempts to determine how old one LOOKS based on an uploaded photo. It seems rather accurate per my eye.

Here’s the story of the site: http://www.today.com/money/how-old-do-i-look-microsoft-makes-wild-guess-t18696

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Retired U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson teaches many lessons about our empire

Retired U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson teaches many lessons about our empire

| December 27, 2015 | Reply

This interview sums it up for me. The last couple of minutes are as sobering as they are true. It might take a revolution . . .

The former national security advisor to the Reagan administration, who spent years as an assistant to Secretary of State Colin Powell during both Bush administrations reflects on the sad but honest reflection on what America has become as he exposes the unfixable corruption inside the establishment and the corporate interests driving foreign policy.

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Making Love Last

| November 8, 2015 | Reply

Eric Barker offer immense amounts of research in easily digested forms. His latest topic is on how to make love last – Lots of links to research and related topics.

Excerpt:

You’re A Terrible Mind Reader: Stop assuming you know why they did something wrong. You don’t. Want the answer? Ask.
Rose-Colored Glasses Are Good: If you’re going to try to read minds, assume the best. Otherwise, why the heck are you with this person?
No Unspoken Rules: They can’t read minds either. Stop thinking “it’s obvious.” If it was obvious, you would not have this problem.
Symbolic Meanings Confuse People: To you “being late” means “you don’t love me.” To them “being late” means “being late.” Clarify your interpretation or they’ll think you’re insane.

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Many ways to take a portrait

| November 6, 2015 | Reply

How are portrait photographers influenced by their preconceptions about the subject. Quite a bit, it turns out, based on this clever experiment.

“Portraits can be shaped by the photographer’s point of view rather than just by the subject being documented. Created by The Lab in conjunction with Canon Australia, the clip features six photographers, one portrait subject and an unexpected twist. The twist consisted of the (mis)information each photographer was given regarding the person being photographed.”

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Negotiate with children like we negotiate with hostage takers

| October 18, 2015 | Reply

Eric Barker drew an interesting and compelling analogy. “Let’s see what parenting experts and hostage negotiators can teach us, and how it can make for a more peaceful, happier home.”

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Children who don’t grow up

| September 27, 2015 | Reply

This article at Psychology Today suggests that today’s children are damaged by their parents’ helicoptering:

In previous posts . . . I have described the dramatic decline, over the past few decades, in children’s opportunities to play, explore, and pursue their own interests away from adults. Among the consequences, I have argued, are well-documented increases in anxiety and depression and decreases in the sense of control of their own lives. We have raised a generation of young people who have not been given the opportunity to learn how to solve their own problems. They have not been given the opportunity to get into trouble and find their own way out, to experience failure and realize they can survive it, to be called bad names by others and learn how to respond without adult intervention. So now, here’s what we have. Young people,18 years and older, going to college still unable or unwilling to take responsibility for themselves, still feeling that if a problem arises they need an adult to solve it.

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Milgram experiment reenacted by the BBC in 2009

| September 26, 2015 | Reply

Consider whether we are capable of learning basic moral lessons. This in a reenactment of the Millgram experiment by the BBC. This video drives home the terrible things that human beings are capable of doing, even when not coerced, where they are merely requested to do these terrible things by an apparent authority figure. Massively unsettling.

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Make this train move with your mind

| September 24, 2015 | Reply

This GIF is a lot of fun. Just wish for the train to move in or out of the screen and it will happen.

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