Thursday, April 28, 2011

Laughter is the best medicine?

HOSPITAL CHART BLOOPERS (Actual writings from hospital charts)

The patient refused autopsy.

Patient has left white blood cells at another hospital.

She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.

Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.

On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared.

The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.

Discharge status: Alive but without permission.

Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.

She is numb from her toes down.

While in ER, she was examined, x-rated and sent home.

The skin was moist and dry.

Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.

Patient was alert and unresponsive.

Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid. 

I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.

Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.

Examination of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.

The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.

Skin: somewhat pale but present.

The pelvic exam will be done later on the floor.

Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Thought Police

The Thought Police are here.  They've come
To put you under cardiac arrest.
And as they drag you through the door
They tell you that you've failed the test.
                -- Buggles, "Living in the Plastic Age"

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The Thought Polic

The Thought Police are here.  They've come
To put you under cardiac arrest.
And as they drag you through the door
They tell you that you've failed the test.
                -- Buggles, "Living in the Plastic Age"

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Why the Facts Don't Matter in Politics

Why the Facts Don't Matter in Politics

Why the Facts Don't Matter in Politics:

by Jonah Lehrer

If a piece of information doesn’t follow Republican talking points - and Clinton’s deficit reduction didn’t fit the “tax and spend liberal” stereotype - then the information is conveniently ignored. “Voters think that they’re thinking,” Bartels says, “but what they’re really doing is inventing facts or ignoring facts so that they can rationalize decisions they’ve already made.” Once we identify with a political party, the world is edited so that it fits with our ideology.

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Moving on...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

...neutering American men...

"We need you to come in and lock shields, and strengthen up the men who are going to the fight for you. To let these other women know on the other side -- these planned Parenthood women, the Code Pink women, and all of these women that have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness -- to let them know that we are not going to have our men become subservient. That’s what we need you to do." 

-- Republican Rep. Allen West of Florida, addressing the members of Women Impacting Nation

[ LINK: Hat-tip to Deus Ex Malcontent ]

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Cognito ergo ...

Cognito ergo porcus ( I think therefore I Ham )

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R.I.P. Phoebe Snow

Phoebe Snow, Bluesy Singer-Songwriter, Dies at 60

Phoebe Snow, a bluesy singer, guitarist and songwriter whose “Poetry Man” was a defining hit of the 1970s but who then largely dropped out of the spotlight to care for her disabled daughter, died Tuesday. She was 60.

Ms. Snow, who was nominated for best new artist at the 1975 Grammy Awards, died in Edison, N.J., from complications of a brain hemorrhage she had in January 2010, said Rick Miramontez, her longtime friend and public relations representative.

Ms. Snow’s manager, Sue Cameron, said the singer endured bouts of blood clots, pneumonia and congestive heart failure since her stroke.

Known as a folk guitarist who made forays into jazz and blues, Ms. Snow put her stamp on soul classics like “Shakey Ground,” “Love Makes a Woman” and “Mercy, Mercy Mercy” on over a half dozen albums.

Not long after Ms. Snow’s “Poetry Man” reached the Top 5 on the pop singles chart in 1975, her daughter, Valerie Rose, was born with severe brain damage, and Ms. Snow decided to care for her at home rather than place her in an institution.

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Worrying is like...

Meet the right charlatan?

David Barton is a Republican Party activist and a fast-talking, self-promoting, self-taught, self-proclaimed historian who is miseducating millions of Americans about U.S. history.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

The "Donald" or How I came to love the Republican Party

Donald Trump is the best thing to happen to the Republican Party since Sarah Palin.

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Astroturf refers to apparently grassroots-based citizen groups or coalitions that are primarily conceived, created and/or funded by corporations, industry trade associations, political interests or public relations firms.

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David Koch - Evidence Of Direct Tea Party Link

The Billionaire's Tea Party (In the heart of Kentucky)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

"Schneier's Law"

[T]he Dunning-Kruger effect, named after the authors of this paper: "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments."

Abstract: People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains. The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it. Across 4 studies, the authors found that participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test performance and ability. Although their test scores put them in the 12th percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd. Several analyses linked this miscalibration to deficits in metacognitive skill, or the capacity to distinguish accuracy from error. Paradoxically, improving the skills of participants, and thus increasing their metacognitive competence, helped them recognize the limitations of their abilities.
[LINK: "Schneier's Law" ]

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Good read: The Things To Do by Flemming Funch

The things to do are: the things that need doing: that you see need to be done, and that no one else seems to see need to be done. Then you will conceive your own way of doing that which needs to be done -- that no one else has told you to do or how to do it. This will bring out the real you that often gets buried inside a character that has acquired a superficial array of behaviors induced or imposed by others on the individual. --Buckminster Fuller

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Elton & Leon

He's the tax man, er, uh ... collector.


From CNN:

ScreenHunter_01 Apr. 22 10.32Miss your tax deadline in the United States this weekend, and you might get a nasty letter at your door. In Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, you might get Riffee and the gang. They are "transgender" tax collectors -- whose weapons include flamboyancy, surprise -- and a little lipstick.

In a move that speaks volumes about the lengths to which Pakistan is going to tackle tax evasion, Karachi officials are using Riffee - who like many people in South Asia works under a single name - and her team as enforcers with a difference. They are sent to the businesses or houses of debtors. The aim -- in this very conservative Muslim society -- to embarrass tax debtors into paying up.

Riffee -- like her tax-collector friends Sana and Kohan -- is physically a man, but prefers to be called and dress as a woman. Their job is quite simple: each morning they turn up to work and get a list of missed payments. One by one, they make house-calls, causing trouble at each debtor's home or office, trying to get them to pay up. It's not clear how effective this tactic is, but officials insist they would not do it if it did not work.

"Their appearance causes great embarrassment amongst the people," said Sajid Hussein Bhatti, the tax superintendent who gives Riffee her orders every morning.

More here.

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A fitting tribute: A retrospective of Captain Beefheart by Greil Marcus

Captain Beefheart

“GOD, PLEASE FUCK MY MIND FOR GOOD!” Captain Beefheart shouted at the end of Doc at the Radar Station, his second-to-last album. It was 1980, and it was a dare to whatever version of God might be present to receive it: his audience, maybe; music itself. Or it was a dare to time—the fifteen years since he’d made his first record, or the thirty years to come. Can you shut me up? Can you scramble my rhythm and my words until they’re a labyrinth I’ll never escape? I’ll do it first!  [Much more... ]

[LINK: A retrospective of Captain Beefheart by Greil Marcus ]

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