C-SPAN online has joined the ranks of those requiring an account with a major cable provider in order to view live content.
Congratulations, Big Cable, on taking away my favorite fucking thing on the Internet.
How convenient that you should drastically limit access to live coverage of major political events like net neutrality hearings right before a major decision on the matter.
How convenient that the citizens most involved in the net neutrality debate are also those with the biggest qualms against major cable providers, many of whom don’t have cable subscriptions.
How convenient that your massive Washington influence was able to strong-arm America’s only long-form public affairs programming station into requiring a subscription to your outdated cable services, just as it was reaching the age of HTML5-level modernization.
And how unfortunate that I and others must now look at C-SPAN and see the ugly influence of Comcast, Time Warner, Charter, and the others, where we used to see hope in the shadows of raw accountability.
I am very sad.
Wrote this for my work. I really do think it’s important that people understand their electronics!
We all know that water is bad for electronics. Most people don’t know exactly why, but knowing how water affects your circuitry can save you countless hours of grief and regret later on. So let’s learn!
Circuit boards are the basis of any electrical component you own. They work by…
Hi Mr. Latta,
I’m a 24-year-old go-getter from New York, living in Los Angeles, and I want to have my own TV show someday. Only, I don’t want it to be on TV. I want it to be online, so that I can have control over its content, which is something a television network can’t really allow.
Ambitious, I know. But can you blame me? Ever since I was 10 years old, I’ve had access to some sort of Internet. And ever since I was 10, I’ve known my future would be made by this strange new tool. It was clear that open access to my peers and beyond would do a much better job at making this weird kid successful than the tools we had laying around when I was born.
Bob, I don’t like government regulation either. I help run a very ambitious small business, in California of all places. I can’t think of a more overregulated place than Los Angeles county for a business trying to make its mark. The permits, the licenses, the fees we clearly can’t afford as a new enterprise. And the mandated LCD recycling fees? It’s beyond absurd.
But there is one thing I fear more than the authorities of Los Angeles county, and it’s the telecommunications companies that control our Internet infrastructure. I and my business are both mandated to use Time Warner Cable as our service provider of choice. Why? Because each town and city is relegated to a government-allowed monopoly of Internet service, and that’s bad enough.
But you know what’s worse? That government-allowed monopoly being allowed by the government to charge my blog and my website and my 9-year-old YouTube channel a premium to reach my viewers. I’m 24 years old and as broke as you’d expect. How do you suspect I’d make my way to my viewers without a special interest investment under the lack of regulation your bill encourages?
Bob— can I call you Bob? We are more similar than we are different. I may be a struggling Los Angeles youth, but government regulation has added more burden to my life than anything else has in the past 2 years. I am by no means a liberal democrat. I’m just a kid trying to make it, and I hope you understand that by pushing to refute the reclassification of Internet as a Title 2 service, you are directly threatening my future, and the future of literally millions of my peers.
Don’t believe me? Go to YouTube, and look at the most viewed videos of the day. How many of those content creators could have afforded a fast lane?
Bob, the right thing to do almost never comes from the same place as the money that funds you. I won’t purport to know who paid you what, even though I could look it up if I wanted to. That’s accusatory, and I don’t intend to fight with you. I just hope that you and your staff understand the massive impact that this bill will have on our nation’s youth, its future, and its impact on the world as formidable creators of the Internet we all share.
Please do the right thing, Representative Latta. We are watching, and we expect you to do what’s best for our nation. Thanks for your time.
Why do people get fat? From eating excess calories? Too much dietary fat? Not enough gym time?
Actually, people get fat because sugar. “Wow Ashley you seem pretty confident about that bold statement.” Yeah, cause it’s true. And sugar is way more things than the stuff you put in your coffee— at least as far as your body’s concerned. It’s also a total junkie and probably needs an intervention, but we’ll get to that later.
Things that your body immediately turns into glucose:
• Table sugar (sucrose) • Fruit sugar (fructose) • All carbohydrates (even whole grains) • and alcohol. Yes, unfortunately even drinking straight vodka is a little bit like binging on candy. This one makes me sad, but when science speaks, we must listen.
Sugars are the fastest way for your body to obtain glucose for cell energy. Depending on activity level, your cells are fueled with as much glucose as they can eat, and there’s usually a lot left over. That extra glucose is stored as glycogen in case you need it later. But if you don’t need it, and that storage is full, the glycogen becomes adipose tissue— that’s body fat. Eating the adipose tissue of other animals does not directly affect how much adipose tissue you gain. That’s an annoying duality about the word “fat” that we need to separate. Fat you eat has a much harder time becoming fat on your body than sugar does, mostly because fat gets busy digesting essential vitamins you need to survive before it leaves on its metered journey through your bloodstream.
Is a calorie a calorie? If you’re burning them, then maybe. But when you’re eating them, absolutely not. Glucose created by sugars (and carbs, and alcohol) are like cocaine to your body’s cells. Okay, maybe like caffeine, whatever. They work fast, give cells a massive burst of energy, and then a crash. While your cells do need energy to survive, a diet of mostly sugars can lead to a cell glucose dependency that looks a lot like addiction. Our cells are party animals too, guys.
While we can tell the difference between a loaf of whole grain bread and a soda, our cells just want the junk. There is no difference, there is only glucose, and they want it now. Of course, the whole grain bread delivers much more nutrients to the body, but let’s not kid ourselves about why we had the urge to eat it. You are but a middleman in this transaction.
Fats you eat are broken down into fatty acids, which travel through your blood feeding your cells their energy. But if your cells have already filled up on non-nutritious glucose, then the excess fatty acids become triglyceride bundles and are stored in the adipose tissue created by the excess carbs you ate earlier. This causes the adipose cells to expand, creating even more body fat.
Does fat make you fat? Only if your cells have stuffed themselves with junk food. The nutrient-dense cell-sustaining fatty acids have nowhere to go, but to live and die on your upper thighs. And because sugars process so quickly, your cells will soon be hungry again for the fats that got away.
Eating cold body fat is gross, and your cells feel the same way. Getting them to burn and eat that instead of actual food requires very hungry cells, and excessive physical activity that forces your starving cells to eat the fat. Like soggy microwaved leftovers.
That’s why anyone with a simple understanding of the basic tenants of digestion will understand that “a calorie is a calorie” is a ridiculous thing to tell someone sincerely trying to lose weight. Your body has no idea what a calorie even is. Our digestive system works in terms like glucose, glycogen, DNA synthesis, nutrient absorption, and cell energy. The rest is for us to figure out— not to utilize ancient terms for “energy” from before we understood how glucose worked.
I was going to make this article about how the CDC still thinks saturated fat causes cardiovascular disease despite growing evidence to the contrary. But that seems kind of boring compared to the basic rules of digestion we’ve ignored for so long, and the obesity that’s been making Americans very sad for a long time. Make your own decisions. Eat saturated fat if you want to. I eat a ton, and I stay away from carbs, but you don’t have to. Open minds birth the most revolutionary discoveries. Keep reading science and party on.
Obviously having one sucks but DO YOU KNOW WHY? because they’re super-intelligent masters of counterfeit like the absolute most badass mobsters you can imagine.
here’s how a virus works and I’m not even kidding:
virus enters you
immediately starts counterfeiting keys to get inside your cells. normally only your body’s own immune system is allowed to have those but since it has a key the cell lets it in because it has a key, right?
the virus goes inside and all the workers in the cell welcome it as a cool new visitor and bring it straight down into the nucleus which is usually a factory for immune cells. it gets there and just fuckin explodes RNA into the nucleus. that completely changes its function and basically makes it the virus’ bitch, turning it into a factory that makes more copies of the virus.
those new virus copies leave the cell and go find new cells to make their bitches, and it goes on and on. they’re so good at bullshitting that the immune system actually helps them out at first.
it takes a little while for your immune system to realize wtf just happened (that’s why vaccines work) which gives the virus enough time to basically take over, and then if your immune system is strong enough it goes on a massive killing/eating spree of as many virus copies as it can. which is fine because invaders are a white blood cell’s fav food but sometimes total eradication is just impossible because the virus is too clever.
BUT HERE’S THE KICKER: The virus needs you to stay alive so it can keep using you as a factory, so most viruses don’t kill you. HIV makes your immune system permanently injured so the virus can stay there forever, but it doesn’t kill you. getting sick while your immune system is disabled is what kills you, which is the only fuck you nature can really give to the genius of the virus.
oh and HERE’S WHAT THEY ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE:
this bacteriophage virus has legs and walks around implanting RNA into bacteria to make THEM produce more virus cells INSIDE OF YOU:
I seriously wonder sometimes if viruses are more evolved than humans. They’re sure as hell smarter than we are and they look way cooler. And they make catch me if you can look like a children’s movie.
dude musicians are just people
I was cleaning out My Documents today (because that’s where I live), and I found a plaintext file called book.txt from February of 2010. I have no memory of writing this, but that almost made it more fun to read. Did I think I was writing a book on finance? Me?!
If you can stomach the intense college-freshman pretension, enjoy:
Which Financial Philosophy is Best for You?
Who runs your life? Do you make your own decisions? It seems obvious, and an almost vital act of self-respect, to answer this prompt with a firm “yes.” After all, we’ve worked all our lives to grow into adults, and the decisions we’ve made have brought us to exactly where we are— Haven’t they?
Growing up, my parents were your typical Conservative Christian Americans. Church attendance was immediately beside school attendance in mandator, and Biblical quotes filled our home— from the well-used welcome mat, to the sliding glass pane leading to our Conservative Christian American suburban pool deck. God had granted us that pool for our piousness, as well as the dozens of inspirational Made-in-China wall hangings, the new hardwood floor in the dining room, and my father’s well-paying job for the state. Everything about our home was Conservative Christian American, and it was that fact which made my parents proud enough to smile through the credit card bills, the mortgage payments, and the immense debt— also a testament to the typicality of our Conservative Christian Americanism. With my first allowance payment at age five, I was presented with a neatly written chart on the front of a crisp white envelope. It explained, in my mother’s handwriting, that one dollar of every payment would go to my very own tithing fund. I soon learned that I didn’t have to worry about staying in the clear with God for as long as my parents managed my affairs.
My brothers and I were all explicitly different in our financial theories. During each Sunday afternoon’s family mall trip, I would watch as my older brother wielded his white envelope, slowly counting his bills after laying copious amounts of strange liquid candy tubes and gum wheels onto the checkout counter in every toy store. My parents had decided to give us a modest bi-weekly allowance to spend absolutely however we wished, in order to learn how quickly money comes and goes before we were old enough to learn the hard way. We each earned our age, minus one dollar (for tithing), every two weeks. However, with this rule came the accompanying rule of optional sharing. Whatever we chose to buy was our own, and if we decided to share, God would smile upon us (in theory). But if not, that’s okay, too. This led to many public and vocal big-brother begging sessions over his candy bottles and almost blindingly colorful cheap plastic spirals of childhood enchantment. Each time, my pleas were met with a cold “Get your own.” The hard feelings from those arguments quickly dissolved after that brother began to wear two sets of dentures at the age of 20, when I was 16. I could not have hand-picked more appropriate revenge, so I assumed this was an act of God brought by my parents’ donations on my behalf.
Though I sometimes did consider taking my brother’s advice and “getting my own,” I had the gift of severe Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and therefore consistently forgot to bring my envelope along to any mall trip. Sometimes I would consider requesting a short-term loan from my parents, but the effort seemed too great. I was content knowing that my money was safe in my kitchen, in the Corel Ware cabinet between the wall and the dinner plates. Even at five or six, I would climb onto the counter just to fetch my envelope and admire the most recent pen marks, each time seeing a greater number under the one above it. The pride I felt over my saved allowance was both unreasonable and unmatched, and that pride was enough reason to continue my accrual of hand-written numbers which grew seemingly by themselves. From my brother’s example, it seemed that regardless of whether my room was clean, the dog was fed, or my homework was done, that number would never stop growing. I did all of those things anyway though, just in case I was wrong. I was on top of the world the day I realized that I had saved over one hundred dollars. I can distinctly remember kneeling eagerly on my bed, emptying the envelope and sorting the bills, adding in the coins from my dresser. I was rich. Legitimately rich. I didn’t know anyone who had this much money. Sure, on the bus to my private Conservative Christian American school, there was the occasional braggart discussing his $300 bank account, but he was lying. That was obvious. No one had ever had this much money at such a young age, and of that I was certain. My hard work had effectively made me the richest seven year old on earth. Or at least the richest seven year old I knew. But what became of my spending habits after childhood? We’ll discuss that later.
My younger brother, four years my junior, was only three when I became wealthy. He hadn’t yet begun to receive an allowance, and I could tell that he didn’t quite understand the implications of having an older sister with such momentum in the junior financial world. When he was old enough to be paid, he never spoke about it. I’m not even sure that he was aware of his envelope, and the fact that it grew larger and fatter every two weeks, all by itself. The household rule was that allowance would stop when we got our first job. A modest clothing allowance would remain, but “entertainment money” would no longer be provided. My envelope stopped growing at fifteen. My older brother’s, at sixteen. But by then, both of our envelopes were empty anyway. As we became teenagers, our younger brother was left behind in his tweens, living as an only child whenever we weren’t home, which was often. By the age of eight, he, too, had saved over $100, but also had the motivation and audacity to request a $200 loan from my parents for a new drum set. They approved. As his age (minus one) grew, so did his allowance payments, and his debt was paid in a few short years, with some savings to spare. We sometimes worried about my younger brother. At thirteen, he had almost saved half the money he needed to buy a laptop. This meant that he hadn’t spent anything for years. No money spent on movies with friends, no money spent on clothes which exceeded our minimal clothing allowance, no money spent on candy tubes or useless toys. Approaching high school, it seemed as if he was socially doomed. But he didn’t seem worried.
When I was eighteen, after graduating high school, I used the little money I had managed to save from working at various fast food establishments throughout my high school years, along with a few hundred dollars in college bonds from my uncle and a little padding money from my parents, to buy a very expensive laptop computer from the trendiest name brand. It was the first time I can remember where I had chosen style and luxury over bargain goods, but I decided that it was time to see how the other half lived. The same year, my younger brother purchased his first laptop, for just $300 less. He had managed to save one or two hundred, and with a generous loan from my parents, he was able to buy a laptop with a much larger screen and a much faster processor than my brand new white Macbook. Two months later, I went to Finland for year. That, too, will come later.
When I returned, my younger brother and I had the biggest fight that either of us will probably ever have. We’re both fairly calm and reasonable people, but the combination of clashing jealousy, disrespect, and hypocrisy, finally reached a boiling point. We never touched each other, but if it had come to that, one of us would have certainly been hospitalized. Instead, we screamed the nastiest things we could think of as loud as we possibly could for minutes straight, with tensions building every second. He wanted me to hit him so he could hit me back, but he had grown while I was away, and was more than a foot taller. I was scared. I smiled. Then I laughed. I laughed at the things he was yelling because they were, in fact, silly. But I also laughed to spite him, and he knew that. Finally, when he reached the point where he couldn’t think of anything else to say, he picked up his most prized snare drum and its stand, and held it over his head, about to throw it onto my own. But just in time, he caught himself, threw it on the ground, and ran into his room. We heard a series of loud crashes, but left him alone. He didn’t come out until the next day, when he admitted that the moment he had entered his room, he took his laptop and threw it at the wall over and over, until it was destroyed beyond recognition. A few weeks later, my parents loaned him money for a Macbook, four models newer than my own. My parents are very lenient lenders.
Despite our common roots and identical childhood environments, regulations, and rearing methods, the Carey kids grew into three very different individuals, with one not quite into adulthood. As of today, I live in an apartment near campus which is paid for by my parents, receive a weekly grocery stipend from my parents, and pay for my education with loans. I need nothing, and currently, earn nothing. Unless you count an education, which may be potential money, but even that is debatable. My in-dentured brother has commandeered my bedroom at my parents’ house while he struggles to attend a local community college and work at a discount grocery store, and the younger brother is doing very well in school, while becoming perhaps even more popular amongst his peers than his predecessor siblings. No one who knew us as children could have guessed how different we would become. We were each heavily involved in church events, and none of us were allowed to celebrate Halloween, even once. We watched the same TV shows together, and even played the same computer games. We were each taught at home by my mother for at least one year, though at different times, and we each recited our nightly prayer as she made her rounds to each of our rooms before bed. For the record, though, the nightly prayer was never meant to be recited. Our family was very against the Catholic-esque practice of praying from your head instead of your heart. But it just so happened that my mother lacked in nightly prayer originality, and we all happen to have very good memories. We soon made an exception to our rule and played a fill-in-the-blanks game each night.
The financial philosophy practiced by my parents is one of faith-driven gratefulness, accompanied by a good amount of chaos. Though my father makes just over a six figure income, the generosity and leniency that they show toward everyone is most easily to blame for the massive amounts of debt they’ve accrued. Each time the church asks for 10%, they give 12%, just to be sure there’s enough to help. When I ask for a $5 deposit into my bank account for bus money or lunch, they give me a $20 deposit and an abbreviated lecture concerning the next time they will give me money for no reason. It is always sooner than they say. Our household is classically patriarchal, as my father serves as the head breadwinner, and my mother therefore refuses to discuss finances without first directing you to the money maker. Although she was very recently hired for a full-time job, I do not expect this tradition to change. Whatever she makes, she adds to the pot, and every monthly bill night, my father has always had to dig so deeply into the pot that he was forced to scrape the bottom almost every time. “We are rich, but we are cash-poor,” is what my mother would always say. And it was true. We had a beautiful home, two cars, and a television in every room that was always on. My father cooked delicious meals almost every night before working for hours on his small eBay business, and my mother drove us everywhere and took every measure possible to ensure that we were not just content, but happy.
It’s hard to be a beneficiary of the most generous people you know, and have to constantly question if you’re asking for too much. I’ve wanted braces since I was a kid. My parents are bargain-hunters, and offered to take me to an orthodontist whom I very much didn’t trust. I had two different consultations with him, and each time, told my parents “No, thank you.” My younger brother currently has braces by Mr. Creepy, but his diagnosis was much less scary than my own. After doing a lot of research on Invisalign, the invisible plastic braces that cost roughly $3000 more than regular braces, I asked my mother if, when she got her full-time job, I could get them. I fully expected her typical “save your money” response to my asinine requests, but instead, she said maybe. Then she said “look into it.” Then she said that she might get them too. I will never understand how a person can be so cash-poor and cash-generous at the same time. And I don’t think my brothers will ever understand it either. Although my parents raised us, and they are happy with their life, we may never be like them.
My older brother’s financial philosophy is a lot more common than you may think. Or perhaps you know already. It consists of little to no planning, a lot of cigarettes and alcohol to practice the freedoms of adulthood, and a low-paying job so you can have just enough for those two things, with maybe some gas money left over.
My financial theories are by no means ideal. Or perhaps my theories are, but my practices are always something different. I want to be independent, hard-working, impressive, and successful. I know what my interests are, but some may say that I have so many, I’m a bit too ambitious. I have a habit of putting a lot of my plate, and failing to accomplish even a normal amount of the work involved.
If you think about it, it’s really weird that our bosses pick health care plans for us regardless of what industry we’re in. How does a company that has to allocate resources to sorting through medical coverage options for the strangers it employs not lose some operational efficiency from such a weirdly unrelated but expected task?
Sorry for that sentence. Basically, aren’t we cutting into every employer’s ability to contribute to the economy by expecting this extra thing? How did this even get started?
During World War II, a lot of working-aged American men were shipped overseas, and there was actually an employee shortage in the United States. Because the federal government had enacted wage and price controls during the war, employers needed another way to attract workers, and fringe benefits like healthcare didn’t technically violate those controls.
So that’s why it started, and for a hundred years, that’s just the way it’s been. No amount of market fluctuation or unemployment has effectively reversed the trend, even when employers have been forced to strategically cut workers’ hours to avoid the added expense and responsibility.
If you think that’s a lame excuse to save a buck, consider the already staggering amount of challenges a typical business faces from misguided regulation, market crashes, and other instances of bad luck. When unemployment is high, people accept low-paying jobs, and less people have enough spending money to support other businesses. Every business loses revenue, and those who were already close to the edge simply disappear. This massive plague of small business deaths effectively removes many more jobs from existence, and without intervention, unemployment continues to rise and wages actually decrease when adjusted for inflation.
So far I haven’t mentioned the few proud multi-billion dollar corporations whose admittedly clever business practices have helped in forming our current economic situation: An economy of people who want to help small businesses, but simply can’t afford their (albeit necessary) higher prices. These corporations grow so large that they effectively monopolize their respective industries, and realistically, that can’t end well. Why? Because the power of these corporations grows as the purchasing power of the majority shrinks. And whether they like to think about it or not, that disparity can not sustain itself.
Allow me to cut to the chase: An expectation created during a time of too many jobs and not enough people makes absolutely zero sense in an economy suffering from the exact opposite problem. This employer involvement in our health coverage needs to end immediately, for the sake of our businesses and our citizens.
Whether you’re anti-corporate or anti-government, there is always a sensible option to every economic woe. My thesis is this:
The solution to our suffering market is a logic-based compromise that regulates (and deregulates!) more appropriately and realistically. That means sympathizing with businesses who are sincerely struggling under regulation that should not apply to them, and properly disciplining and regulating the Wall Street honchos whose interests are short-term selfish instead of long-term economically sound. How can we tell the difference? That’s what federal trials are for. Let’s have less of those that sentence free-information advocates and more that hold accountable those like Jamie Dimon, Brian Moynihan, and all related cohorts who have an equal deficit of respect and fear for our great American legal system.
The future of America lies in moderatism. The sooner we agree to embrace a healthy-medium approach, the sooner our relief will arrive. And by God, do we deserve it.