Author Archive | Marcie Gainer

Hamster Wheel Standing Desk

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I’ve often contemplated purchasing a standing desk as I have to sit for long hours. Now there’s this newfangled invention: The Hamster Wheel Standing Desk. As nifty as it is, I can’t help but find it disheartening how sedentary most of us have become these days. What’s even worse is that it’s not necessarily a choice we get to personally make. Office life and the typical 9-5 has forced our hand.

via Instructables.com

You are not reaching your current productivity potential. Numerous esteemed experts agree that standing is better than sitting and that walking is better than standing. Despite this, your workplace only provides inhumane chairs and stagnant standing desks for you to use while you struggle to get through a workday full of distractions and bodily pains.

Rise up, sedentary sentients, and unleash that untapped potential within by marching endlessly towards a brilliant future of focused work. Step forward into a world of infinite potential, bounded only by the smooth arcs of a wheel.

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[Poll] Which torture device/method is the most heinous?

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This week, we’re going take a darker turn with our polls and vote on which torture device/method is the most heinous.

Quick recap of “The Most Damaging President of The Last 50 Years”

By far the largest poll we’ve run! As always, thanks to everyone who voted. I let this one go for two weeks as it kept growing larger and larger.

  • George W. Bush (45%, 1,626 Votes)
  • Barack Obama (22%, 784 Votes)
  • Ronald Reagan (17%, 628 Votes)
  • Richard Nixon (5%, 175 Votes)
  • George H. W. Bush (5%, 173 Votes)
  • Lyndon B. Johnson (3%, 105 Votes)
  • Bill Clinton (1%, 50 Votes)
  • Jimmy Carter (1%, 48 Votes)
  • John F. Kennedy (1%, 34 Votes)
  • Gerald Ford (0%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,635

I was actually surprised to see Obama beat Reagan, but I assumed that George W. Bush would take the cake.

Which torture device/method is the most heinous?

All definitions were taken from the respective Wikipedia pages, unless otherwise noted.… Read the rest

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Better Things – The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones

Jeff catherine jones

Who Was Jeffrey Catherine Jones?

Frank Frazetta once called Jones the “greatest living painter.”

Born in 1944, Jones first published a comic book in 1965 (Blazing Combat #1). Jones quickly grew to popularity within the art community and went on to paint “covers for books, including the Ace paperback editions of Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series and Andre Norton’s Postmarked the Stars, The Zero Stone, Uncharted Stars and many others. For a period during the early 1970s she also contributed illustrations to Ted White’s Fantastic. Jones drew many covers and short stories for a variety of comics publishers including DC Comics, Skywald Publications, and Warren but generally avoided the superhero genre.”

In 1998, Jones underwent hormone therapy. According to Steven Ringgenberg at The Comics Journal, “It’s now known from the artist’s personal writings that she had felt conflicted about her gender since childhood, always feeling a greater affinity for the fair sex than for her own maleness.Read the rest

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Kevin Smith’s TUSK Memorabilia Giveaway

1940001_527693247359457_755596116126798391_nTusk is creepy, enthralling and infused with Kevin’s distinct sense of humor.

Disinfo is honored to be running a giveaway of Tusk goodies for Kevin Smith’s highly anticipated horror-comedy. Tusk recently premiered at the Toronto Film Festival to rave reviews. Personally, I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while now, which makes this giveaway even more exciting for me!

Plot

The idea for Tusk came about when Smith saw a hoax-ad on Gumtree. The ad’s creator asked that any potential lodgers agree to wear a Walrus costume for 2 hours a day in exchange for free rent. Go here to see the advert in all its glory.

A rehash of the plot by Henry Barnes at The Guardian (who gave the film four out of five stars):

 Silly and sick, with very little blubber, Tusk, a comedy-horror about a man who is turned into a walrus, is the first great Kevin Smith film since Dogma.

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A Case for Abolishing Juvenile Prisons

Juvenile Detention Center by Stuart McAlpine via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

Juvenile Detention Center by Stuart McAlpine via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

By Sara Mayeux via The Awl (follow the link to read the rest of this piece, this article is long-ish):

Last month, archaeologists identified the first of the fifty-five human bodies recently exhumed at Florida’s Dozier School for Boys—a now-shuttered juvenile prison where, for decades, guards abused children, sometimes to death, despite cyclical scandals and calls for reform spanning almost a hundred years. Dozier represents an atrocious extreme, but the failures of America’s juvenile justice system are widespread. Whether labeled “boot camps,” “training schools,” “reformatories,” or other euphemisms, juvenile prisons have long harbored pervasive physical and sexual abuse. In one survey, twelve percent of incarcerated youth reported being sexually abused in the previous year—a figure that likely understates the problem.

During the “tough-on-crime” years of the eighties and nineties, states confined larger numbers of children than ever before, with the proportion of youth in prison reaching an all-time high in 1995.

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Infographic: The Fatal Wounds of King Richard III

Via Live Science:

A study of King Richard III’s bones uncovered 11 injuries inflicted near the time of death by common Late Medieval weapons. Although the king was wearing armor in battle, the head injuries are consistent with his helmet having been lost or removed. A pelvis injury was likely inflicted after death.

Four of the wounds to the face, skull and ribs were likely due to dagger stabs. Another, likely fatal, wound to the rear of the skull, was likely due to a sword strike. The largest wound to the head, penetrating deep into the brain, likely came from either a sword or the spike atop a halberd.

[Read the full story on the postmortem analysis of Richard III's Skeleton]

Chart shows dagger, sword and halberd wounds to the king's skeleton.

Source:LiveScience

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White House backs body cameras for cops

MdTA Cops by Elliott Plack via Flickr. (cc by 2.0)

MdTA Cops by Elliott Plack via Flickr. (cc by 2.0)

via Politico:

Responding to a petition after the police shooting of an unarmed teen in Ferguson, Missouri, the White House says it supports the use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement officers.

“As Ferguson continues to heal as a community, this Administration will continue to work to ensure that our justice system, across the country, is truly just,” the response released on Monday read. “We’ll continue to work to support the use of video technology, review and evaluate law enforcement agencies that use it, and continue to engage in discussions about how this technology impacts policing, communities, and public safety.”

The original petition has gained about 154,700 signatures. A petition is required to receive 100,000 signatures before the White House is required to respond. Roy L. Austin Jr., the deputy assistant to the president for the Office of Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity in the Domestic Policy Council, wrote the response.

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“Do What You Love” is Terrible Advice for Creative People

Artist at Work 2 by enjosmith via Flickr. CC by 2.0

Artist at Work 2 by enjosmith via Flickr. CC by 2.0

I’m curious to see what everyone here thinks about this.

via Medium:

Is there a more common piece of career advice today than “do what you love?” I’ve heard it for ages. I certainly think that being in a bad job can be soul-crushing experience, and that liking your work lightens your life considerably.

But in the course of studying the lives of creative people, I’ve come to the ironic conclusion that for writers, artists, and just about everyone, “do what you love” is actually terrible advice.

Here’s what’s wrong with it: it’s unnecessary.

The problem with the “do what you love” mantra is in how we follow it, which is with a single-mindedness that carries unnecessary risk. We interpret “do what you love” to mean “Do only what you love and nothing else,” and the implication of that is that if you don’t practice this kind of creative monogamy, you’re being untrue to yourself.

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Kentucky man admits to selling fraudulent fertility kits

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via Reuters:

(Reuters) – A Kentucky man, who made international news for saying he was trying to clone humans, must close or sell his business after pleading guilty to a federal charge that he misled customers about in-home fertility kits, according to court documents.

Panayiotis Zavos faces up to a year in prison when he is sentenced in January on the misdemeanor charge. His attorney, Jarrod J. Beck, said on Friday he hopes his client will avoid prison.

Zavos and his company, Zavos Diagnostic Laboratories, Inc., or ZDL, both pleaded guilty on Thursday to a misdemeanor as part of a plea agreement.

ZDL promoted a home conception kit that it claimed was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration when it was not, according to the plea agreement. Through April 2010, Zavos and his company made nearly $290,000 in sales from the fraudulent kits.

The federal charges were not related to his cloning work.

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The Einstellung Effect Proves That a Good Idea Can Be A Very Bad Idea

Chess Set by Dan Zen via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

Chess Set by Dan Zen via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

Some food for thought.

via io9:

The perfect is the enemy of the good. We know that phrase very well. What the Einstellung Effect proves is the good can be a real enemy of the even better. When we have a solution that’s good, we can’t begin to think about a better one.

The seeming inability to come up with a better solution is called the Einstellung Effect. It’s not the product of simple laziness. Once people see a possible solution in their heads, they have a really tough time approaching the problem from a fresh perspective. Experts become less skilled than novices. At least, that’s what happens some of the time.

Another study found that chess players become less flexible and prone to settle for sub-optimal solutions as they gain expertise. Get above a certain level of expertise, though, and people are less and less prone to fall for the Einstellung Effect.

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