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Jay Lake
Date: 2013-02-22 05:01
Subject: [links] Link salad does the dinosaur
Security: Public
Tags:culture, food, funny, gender, healthcare, language, links, mars, nature, personal, politics, process, publishing, science, space, sports, tech, weird
Blog posts pulled using DMCA restored (mostly) as fake “originals” vanish — The DMCA is not your friend.

Getting rid of adverbs and other adjuncts — I have never understood the writerly obsession with killing adverbs.

What was the odd original name of February? — (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Who pooped? — Surprisingly educational Web site about one of my most important subjects. (Thanks, I think, to [info]corwynofamber.)

Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us — Yep. Imagine what this would be like in a single payer system without for-profit margins? (Via [info]scarlettina.)

Molecule Helps Nanoparticles Sneak Past the Immune SystemResearchers have given nanoparticles the ability to tell immune cells not to eat them, a development that could have broad implications for medicine.

New Guidelines for Genetic Testing in Children

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food — Ouch. And I say this as an unreconstructed junk food junkie.

Flowers use electrical signals to summon bees — Nature's own violet wand?

Zombie Replicants to Outperform the Living“Zombie” mammalian cells that may function better after they die have been created by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico (UNM). Umm… This piece isn't datelined April 1st.

Life Advice From Machines — This is sweet and cute. (Thanks to [info]reynardo.)

The Unparticle May Lurk in Earth's Mantle

Mars Panorama - Curiosity rover: Martian solar day 177

Private Mars Mission in 2018? — Paging [info]chris_gerrib.

The Intellectual Gravity of Brilliant Baseball Players — Ah, scientific illiteracy in all its glorious forms. (Thanks to [info]goulo.)

Opera Muliebria — On being a woman in a gendered world. Sobering and important.

Movement Conservatives Are Far Too Eager to Cheer On Their PoliticiansMovement conservatives are too eager to cheer on politicians from their own side and don’t do nearly enough to hold them accountable. The praise that is being heaped on Cruz in recent weeks is one of the more annoying examples of this.

QotD?: Boom shakalaka?




2/21/2013
Writing time yesterday: 1.5 hours (0.5 hours on a new story, to draft complete at 3,200 words, and 0.25 hours working on my collaboration with [info]the_child, plus WRPA)
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 233.8
Number of FEMA troops on my block covering up high crimes and misdemeanors in Benghazi: 0
Currently reading: Mort by Terry Pratchett

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chris_gerrib
User: chris_gerrib
Date: 2013-02-22 14:54 (UTC)
Subject: Private Mars Mission?
You rang, sir? ;-)

That's an interesting article, but I think Tito is nuts. That whole idea is one solar flare away from expensive suicide.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2013-02-22 14:57 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Private Mars Mission?
Isn't your blog title "Private Mars Rocket"? :D
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chris_gerrib
User: chris_gerrib
Date: 2013-02-22 15:38 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Re: Private Mars Mission?
It is - and I confess to a (mild and COMPLETELY controllable) obsession with Mars.

Still, I'd like to 1) actually land and 2) live to tell about it.

Don't think Tito's plan does either of that.
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Lioness
User: elisem
Date: 2013-02-22 18:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Who Pooped? Gotta love the Minnesota Zoo.
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Msconduct
User: msconduct
Date: 2013-02-23 21:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You comment on the Bitter Pill article: "Imagine what this would be like in a single payer system without for-profit margins?" One little-known aspect of how this actually works in such a system: rather than having treatment providers buy their drugs via a free market, New Zealand buys in all its drugs via a government agency called Pharmac. The purpose of this is to get the best value possible for drugs out of a limited healthcare budget, at which it is extremely successful. Pharmac not only buys the drugs, but also makes the decisions about which drugs will be available to New Zealanders. It is so hard-nosed about cost that it is notorious worldwide in healthcare circles: it screws down drug companies relentlessly, to the extent that Wikileaks cable releases show considerable US government concern at how little Pharmac is paying.

This approach is undeniably cost-effective, a vital necessity with a small population and an every-increasing array of expensive drugs. Thus the kind of situation described in the Bitter Pill article of charging $2 for a Tylenol does not occur. It's not all upside, however. Many drugs are are effective but exceedingly expensive - a lot of those Pharmac simply will not carry. If I were in the situation of needing one of those drugs to survive, I would prefer to be in the US-style insurance system. (Under Obamacare with the spending cap removed, of course!)

Overall, I think the US system is, frankly, inhuman and I would hate to live under it. But it's also important to acknowledge where necessary that single-payer is not a panacea in every circumstance.
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