JiggaJonson's Blog: "Hell is other people..."



Semicolons are your friend!!! (Blog Post)

So I recently decided to go all grammar nazi on MycroftHomlz and in the process was reminded of how much I like "The Oatmeal."  Here's a good/informative bunch of cartoons about semicolons:

semi1

 semi2

 semi3

semi4

 semi5

semi6

semi7

 

semi9

COOL i was on NPR (Blog Post)

I've called in like 50 times and never had any luck then suddnely the screener comes on and asks me about my comments.  I immediatley got nervous as hell but i was still tickled with the fact that I got through

Take a listen, im 'Jonathan'

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113734207

Also the guy who was on the line right after me is JUST the kind of parent im dealing with.

Uninsured Sick Student Begged For his Life (Blog Post)

Freddie Effinger started feeling what he called a "bizarre pain" in his upper thigh during the summer of 2007, just before his third year at the University of Alabama law school. After a scan, his doctors told him it was probably some sort of mass, nothing serious, and that they would remove it surgically in September.

Effinger, then 23, didn't have insurance. His parents' policy dropped him after college, and he had figured he could coast through three years of law school and land a job with benefits before suffering any catastrophic illness or injury. ("Superman Complex," he calls it.) The operation to remove the mass would only cost him about $1,200.

But when they operated, Effinger's doctors discovered something more serious.

"The tumor was the same size as my hand," Effinger told the Huffington Post. "And directly underneath that tumor was another tumor, and further down my leg was another tumor."

The following month, an oncologist told Effinger he had advanced stage lymphoma. The oncologist told him that his chemotherapy could cost tens of thousands of dollars per session, and that he would need 12 sessions. Effinger panicked.

"My mom's a schoolteacher and my dad's a juvenile detention officer," Effinger said. "They're good people, but that's not going to happen."

Effinger scrambled for insurance. He said he was told that the school's health plan for students wouldn't have adequately covered chemotherapy treatment at the nearby University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. He had no luck on the private insurance market outside the university.

"After making a couple calls explaining the situation, it was pretty much discussions of blackout periods and 'We wouldn't be able to do it,'" he said. "And it was frustrating and frightening."

Meanwhile, his leg hurt more and more. He was afraid the cancer would spread.

Staff at the hospital, St. Vincent's East in Birmingham, Ala., came up with a solution. "I spoke to someone at the hospital and they mentioned there's a certain number of patients a year they grant charity to," he said. He was eligible because he had zero income. He was indigent.

"They called me that later that day and told me they would grant me 100 percent charity. I broke down in tears. Somebody told me they were going to let me live. It was an amazing feeling."

Effinger finished up chemo and got married in July 2008. He even managed to finish law school on time and score a job with an employment law firm in Birmingham.

But Effinger is still on the hook for about $9,000 for other parts of his treatment. (That's on top of $100,000 in student loan debt, but, he said, "at least the student loan people are being cool" by comparison; debt collectors harassed him over the medical bills.) His credit is wrecked.

And the warm, fuzzy feeling Effinger got from the kindness at the hospital was tempered by the realization that he had to beg to survive, that he owed his life to charity and had added considerably to his debt all the same. He's become an advocate for health insurance reform, going door to door for Organizing for America.

"I'm a pretty humble guy, but it's really demoralizing to have to beg a hospital for your life, to be to be able to be treated for this thing you just found out that you had," he said. "I don't just have a right to be healthy? I have to beg for it? I have to show that I am poor? It's frustrating. It's embarrassing. It's really unacceptable."

Freddie Effinger started feeling what he called a "bizarre pain" in his upper thigh during the summer of 2007, just before his third year at the University of Alabama law school. After a scan, his doc...
Freddie Effinger started feeling what he called a "bizarre pain" in his upper thigh during the summer of 2007, just before his third year at the University of Alabama law school. After a scan, his doc...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/02/uninsured-and-sick-studen_n_306639.html

 This is just ONE story, there are thousands of others like it in the US.  Call your congressman and let him know how you feel about healthcare today.





Heroes of Newerth - for fans of DOTA (Defence of the Ancients) (Blog Post)

As far as real time strategy games go, I think I've found my absoulte favorite.  DOTA or Defence of the ancients is a custom Warcraft 3 map where 10 players - 5 on each opposing team use troops (referred to as 'creeps') to get to the opposing teams main base and destroy it.

After years of gaming and playing things like Team Fortress, Left 4 Dead, Counterstrike, Bioshock, and even more obscure games like Gunbound, I find myself always coming back to DOTA to because the strategy of the game never gets boring.  

 Now the makers of the custom map are coming out with thier own game!!!

It's called Heroes of Newerth and it looks fantastic.  I encourage anyone who used to /does play DOTA to check it out.  And if you didn't play or havn't heard of it when the open beta starts it'd be a good time to check it out.  signup on their webpage and just check out the game here:

 http://www.heroesofnewerth.com/

Aug '09 Study Says It's Easier For Teens To Buy Marijuana Than Beer (Blog Post)

Study Says It's Easier For Teens To Buy Marijuana Than Beer

By: Ty Brennan

A recent study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University has some startling results about teens and drugs.

In their study, they found that 40 percent of teens could get marijuana within a day; another quarter said they could get it within an hour.  In another portion of the survey, teens between the ages of 12 and 17 say it's easier to get marijuana than buy cigarettes, beer or prescription drugs.  That number is up 37 percent from 2007.

But, local law enforcement says these numbers don't match up to what's happening here in east Idaho.

Kim Ellis, Pocatello Police department: "That's something that we're seeing here, but as far as what we're seeing the statistics don't bear out, that way, we're seeing a lot more underage consumption citations than marijuana, possession of marijuana."

According the Pocatello Police Department, since the beginning of the year there were 58 alcohol violations with minors younger than 18, while there were only 12 marijuana violations.

Law enforcement credit's this to in school programs like "DARE" and having school resource officers available. For more information about the study: www.casacolumbia.org

http://www.kpvi.com/Global/story.asp?S=11003084

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[**Note: The CASA study actually reported that teens could more readily access pot than beer or prescription drugs; the percentage of teens reporting that either marijuana or cigarettes were the "easiest to buy" were equal (26 percent) -- got to love the mainstream media's dedication to accuracy in reporting. That said, the percentage of Americans actually smoking cigarettes is now at an all-time low.]

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So I ask ya, who is really winning the war on drugs?  To me it sounds like the only people winning in this situation are the drug dealers.  It's certainly not the taxpayers and it's certainly not the kids who are able to get their hands on these things.

Legalize and tax the shit already!!!

My Proust Questionnaire (Blog Post)

The Proust Questionnaire

The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature. Here is the basic Proust Questionnaire.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? 
Developing new opinions after a heated analytical discussion.
2. What is your greatest fear?
A lack of existence.
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Procrastination.
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
I have two - Misplaced emotional investment and unfounded belief.
5. Which living person do you most admire?
Sam Rockwell and sundries of philosophers.
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
Falling in love with a character on screen or in a book.
7. What is your current state of mind?
Introspective.  I mean, I'm taking a fucking Proust Questionnaire.
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Chocolate.
9. On what occasion do you lie?
When I'm laying on the charm.  So, often.
10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My hair (or lack there of).
11. Which living person do you most despise?
Televangelists.
12. What is the quality you most like in a man?
Being reasonable enough to change an idea that he's invested in.
13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
It sounds cliche but humor, it's hard to find a woman who is funny/can take a joke.
14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
"Jesus" - it doesn't really mean anything despite having a use in the language.
15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Poetry. It taught me how to love everything else.
16. When and where were you happiest?
Attending LAN parties with my brother and father.
17. Which talent would you most like to have?
Concert pianist.
18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would write more.
19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My first year of teaching 8th graders.
20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Another blank slate human would be nice.
21. Where would you most like to live?
Downtown Chicago.
22. What is your most treasured possession?
My copy of "The Trial and Death of Socrates"
23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
The feeling that overcomes a person who cannot reconcile their beliefs with what is happening around them because their faith blinds them.
24. What is your favorite occupation?
Teaching.
25. What is your most marked characteristic?
Charisma.
26. What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty.
27. Who are your favorite writers?
Sartre, Emerson, Sam Harris, Orwell, Charles Simic, Charles Bukowski, Theodore Roethke, Whitman
28. Who is your hero of fiction?
Spiderman.
29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Friedrich Nietzsche
30. Who are your heroes in real life?
Richard Dawkins
31. What are your favorite names?
Olive
32. What is it that you most dislike?
A person's sense of superiority.
33. What is your greatest regret?
Blacking out on my 21st birthday.  I missed out on some consciousness and often wonder why people brag about it.
34. How would you like to die?
Awake,
35. What is your motto?
Be reasonable and dont be afraid to change. 

Take your own here: http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/archive/proust_questionnaire

Observations from the third floor 8-27-09 (Blog Post)

someone is screaming in the street below my apartment again
It's the man who wears shirts that could be rags
stained from working and apathy simultaniously
His dog jumped through the screen door
and his sons are too busy checking for unlocked cars to care

I sit and watch them, from my third floor window
smoking and letting my skin shiver in the night air

He snaches the dog by the collar as it tried to race by
It lets out a yelp followed quickly by another
as my neighbor thwacks him on the ass

And bellows "get the fuck inside" to his boys,
who hurry in obediently,
slamming the torn screen door behind them

A Look at Healthcare Around the World - NY Times Op-Ed (Blog Post)

August 17, 2009
Op-Ed Columnist

The Swiss Menace 

It was the blooper heard round the world. In an editorial denouncing Democratic health reform plans, Investor’s Business Daily tried to frighten its readers by declaring that in Britain, where the government runs health care, the handicapped physicist Stephen Hawking “wouldn’t have a chance,” because the National Health Service would consider his life “essentially worthless.”

Professor Hawking, who was born in Britain, has lived there all his life, and has been well cared for by the National Health Service, was not amused.

Besides being vile and stupid, however, the editorial was beside the point. Investor’s Business Daily would like you to believe that Obamacare would turn America into Britain — or, rather, a dystopian fantasy version of Britain. The screamers on talk radio and Fox News would have you believe that the plan is to turn America into the Soviet Union. But the truth is that the plans on the table would, roughly speaking, turn America into Switzerland — which may be occupied by lederhosen-wearing holey-cheese eaters, but wasn’t a socialist hellhole the last time I looked.

Let’s talk about health care around the advanced world.

... more inside ...

Brad Pitt New Orleans mayor? (Blog Post)

Brad Pitt New Orleans mayor?

August 14th, 2009 - 7:04 pm ICT by IBNS

Aug 14 (IBNS) Although essaying a mayor’s role is no problem on big screen, real life is not seldom like that for Brad Pitt (45).

On Thursday morning’s NBC Today show, actor assured interviewer Ann Curry that despite a local push to have him elected mayor of the Big Easy, he doesn’t think his chances of winning are too hot.

He and Angelina Jolie have a home in New Orleans.

Pitt said: I’m running on the gay marriage, no religion, legalization and taxation of marijuana platform. I don’t have a chance.

... more inside ...

The Difference Between Liberal Town Hall Protesters and Conservative ones (Blog Post)

I'm sure a lot of people here remember this.  This librarian was removed from city property because she was holding up a "McCain = Bush" sign. 

Now compare that to what happened to Senator Spector yesterday where an angry crowd member is allowed to get RIGHT IN THE FACE of the Senator.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rytLJWaJff8&feature=player_embedded

And Glenn Beck has the balls to insinuate that Liberals are Nazis..

http://www.videosift.com/video/Glenn-Beck-Compares-Obama-Supporters-With-Nazi-Poster

Is it any suprise that McCain got most of the "uneducated" vote?

My wife finished all 60 miles!!! :-D (Blog Post)

With little more than a limp which has lasted the past day and a few blisters to show for her efforts my wife finished her 60 miles and now has "badass powerwalking bragging rights."

Not only that but the walk in Chicago raised over $5 Million dollars for breast cancer research.   I noticed a few new 'anonymous' donations on her walking blog and wanted to say thank you to anyone who donated.  :-D

This is the last post I will make on the topic but I thought I'd mention once more that my wife's team met their minimum goal of $4600 but the goal they set for themselves is $5000.  If you know someone who's been affected by breast cancer you should know, the Susan G Komen Foundation donates 85% of the money they recieve directly to breast cancer research.  Science be praised!

If you'd like to donate here is the original post with instructions: http://blog.videosift.com/JiggaJonson/My-Wife-started-her-three-day-60-mile-walk-for-breast-cancer-yesterday

My Wife started her three day 60 mile walk for breast cancer yesterday (Blog Post)

I havnt been lurching around here for the past few days because I've been helping my wife and my mother in law prepare for thier breast cancer walk that just started yesterday.   As a team they have already met their minimum of $2300 a piece by raffling off rocking chairs they painted and various friend and family donations but the goal they set as a team is $5000.

If you guys could find it in your hearts to donate it would mean the world to me.  I really want to help them in any way I can get to their goal.  Here is their website with more information

http://www.the3day.org/site/TR/Walk/ChicagoEvent2009?team_id=55170&pg=team&fr_id=1293

At the moment my "Pinkerbelles" are at $4661 - If you would like to donate (every little bit helps) click on either my wife Alena's or my mother in laws name and there is a link in the page that says "Click to donate to Alena" (or Mary Anne)

 Also- If you include a personal message let her know you're from videosift :-)

Thanks ahead of time for any and all help in reaching this goal!!!

Help Convince the rest of the USA that a Public Option is BEST (Blog Post)

I want to put the argument to rest, and although I dont think this will do it, maybe it can help some people see the light.

What I need from the people who live outside the US:

If you have personal stories of a public health system at work please share them here (either positive or negative, lets be honest about it)

---------------------------------------------------------

I want to hear from the Aussies, Canadians, Sweeds, EVERYONE ~! 

IS A PUBLIC HEALTH INSURANCE OPTION BETTER? - Again I'm hoping to recieve personal accounts, not opinions based on what you've heard.

My Story:

I was on my honeymoon, we went to Yellowstone National Park, and there were a variety of foriegners where we stayed because of a work program.  I met a group of Germans that worked the bar closest to my room who were all friends and I brought it up.  I asked them what their health insurance was like back home and they explained that they didnt have public insurance but there was a legal requirement for them to have insurance and because of regulations and these requirements it was much cheaper than in the states.  The guy at the bar next to me overhearing this said "But you have to wait forever if you need to get an operation" 

To which they, with surprised looks on their faces, said "What? If you need an operation why should you have to wait?"  And they explained that there really wasnt any wait time especially if you are in urgent need of care.

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Please, if you have a personal story share it here, if it's purtinent share how it's paid for.  Lets share the information that could save millions of lives in the states!

Difference in Education Among Voters (Blog Post)

Something I was previously unaware of while the presidential campaign was going on but recently heard via this video: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/29/gop-rep-tom-davis-warns-r_n_247482.html (also if anyone can figure out how to post these embeds here please share)

is that there is a big difference in the education levelsof the people who voted in this past election.  My question is why do uneducated folks find the ideals of the republican party so appealing?  

 My best guess?  Greed and fear are big motivators. What do you think?

The answer to all the woes of biofuel (Blog Post)

Source here

Start-up Joule Biotechnologies is sort of a mashup of the fuels, solar, and biotechnology industries.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based company on Monday is disclosing its technology and business plans for making ethanol and other liquid fuels from genetically manipulated microorganisms that have been fed only sunlight and carbon dioxide.

In a break with biofuels companies, Joule says its HelioCulture system works without a biomass feedstock, such as algae or others plants. Instead, the company's engineered organisms grow through photosynthesis in a brackish water solution and directly excrete fuel or commercial chemicals.

 

"We set out in sort of a 'blue sky' way and asked what would it take to build a fuel operation at full scale," explained David Berry, an investor at Flagship Ventures who co-founded Joule two years ago.

Berry is also a co-founder at LS9, another company using synthetic biology to create petroleum fuel replacements. What these types of biotech-oriented fuels companies are trying to do is to lower the cost of biofuels by streamlining the traditional process, which requires multiple steps involving pretreatment and enzymes.

"We recognized that what Joule was really harnessing in going directly from CO2 and sunlight to end product will give you incredibly high efficiency," Berry said, adding that biofuel costs are directly related to the cost of their feedstock.

Joule's process is built around its SolarConverter, which collects sunlight and feeds carbon dioxide into the solution. These modules can be strung together to make a larger facility. The solution can be recycled once the fuel is separated.

"Imagine an 8-by-4 (foot) flat sheet which inside contains the solution that flows through the process. The CO2 bubbles in and helps cause the mixing process that maximizes the exposure to the sun," explained Joule President and CEO Bill Sims.

Sims and Berry declined to say what kind of organism was engineered for Joule's system but said they are not typically used in this sort of commercial process.

Big claims
By eliminating the need for plant feedstocks and fresh water, Joule executives say that they overcome some of the biggest stumbling blocks to producing biofuels at large scale. The company estimates it can produce 20,000 gallons of fuel per acre per year, which is far more than existing processes or others under development.

It claims that it can make its end product--ethanol or another hydrocarbon fuel--with an energy equivalent of less than $50 per barrel.

To get large amounts of carbon dioxide, the company anticipates setting up a facility near a large emitter, such as a power plant or cement factory. Flue gas from power plants would need to be "scrubbed" to remove some pollutants, such as mercury.

The company is now testing a prototype SolarConverter in New Mexico and plans to break ground on an ethanol-making facility in early 2010. It anticipates having an industrial-scale facility later in 2010.

Sims did not say how much money it raised except to say it was less than $50 million from Flagship Ventures and angel investors.

Despite hundreds of millions of dollars invested in cellulosic ethanol, there are still no commercial-scale operations that can turn woods, grasses, or agricultural residue into ethanol or hydrocarbon replacements.

"Our belief is that this is the world's first technology that offers a real solution to reach energy independence," Sims said.

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I often wondered exactly how they were going to get around the problems of the inefficient biofuel system we have in america.  This seems like the perfect solution to the huge amount of problems that it faces today.

Any gamers in the crowd? (Blog Post)

I dont know about the rest of you but I'm not particularly fond of consile games.  O sure I had a NES and a super nintendo/sega in their hayday but all the while i was playing things like duke nukem (I played it when it was 2D) and Doom.  Before the internets were popular my dad ran a BBS (Bulliten Board System) from his house where people dialed in on one of 10 phone lines connected and played deatchmatch in either Doom or Hexen. 

If you had a choice between playing Super Mario or your dad sliding you a few bucks to keep the server populated with one extra deathmatch player which would u choose?

Long story short, I am a PC gamer through and through.  Nothing beats the custamization and control scheme that a PC provides if you ask me.  That being said, anyone around here playing anything im playing these days?

Right now i've been focused on Diablo 2 LoD (waiting for D3) but I also play

-Left 4 Dead

-Counterstike (Source)

-Bioshock (playing through a second time and saving hte litttle sisters instead of ripping their hearts out)

-And my personal Favorite at the moment is the DOTA maps that you play via Warcraft 3 - FT --Anyone who is a fan of real time strategy will love DOTA check it out (i play it at LEAST every other day before i start getting a hankering for more

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_of_the_Ancients



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