And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Linkee-poo, Mister Sandman, someone to hold would be so peachy before we're too old

Type nerdery ahead. Two apps to help you identify a font in the wild. Okay, so this is fantastic and a horror. One, okay, this is really damn helpful (especially if they're accurate) for my day to day work. If I had been paid for all the time I've spend searching for the exact font used on a design that I now need to recreate because the client "lost the original" (or more likely didn't know who did it or didn't want to pay them any more money)… well, okay, I did get paid for (most) of that time. But still, OMG where have you been my entire life. And two, it's a fucking nightmare because I'm really good at identifying fonts and now if any asshole with Paint can figure out the fonts that's going to cut into my special skills (it's a handy skill of designers and most can do it to a rudimentary level, but only a few are as good - I mean there's still thousands of us, but we're not everywhere). Anyway. My saving grace here is that designers like to get tricky with type and sometimes it means knowing that the font maybe your standard Helvetica cut, but it's set to a 92% horizontal scaling (instead of a compressed, condensed, or narrow face) with a different slant set to the italic that isn't the regular oblique. Plus I'm near the end of my career in design so I'm not entirely worried about this amount of automation. (Grokked from John)

The Hidden Brain podcast on going without sleep. Mostly focusing on Randy Gardner who holds the world's record for 11 days without sleeping. Guinness World Records has deemed any attempt to break that record as too dangerous so they won't certify any new attempt to break it. Sleep deprivation, I don't recommend it, but even after gaining all this insight into the effects, our society still rewards those people who go without. And if you suffer from chronic insomnia, please seek medical attention. Full disclosure, as a young man I once worked 72 hours straight, took an hour nap, and worked another 12 hours. I often would work 24-36 hours at a time. Fortunately I was also paid for my overtime for most of that. I do not recommend doing this (at any age). This is also why when people offer the writing advice of "just get up an hour early to writer" (or exercise) I advise against it (unless you can go to sleep earlier as well). As they state in the article, there is some evidence that you can store up some sleep to stay awake later, but you can never do the reverse. Any damage done by staying awake doesn't go away by sleeping more. Of course I'm also now at the age where I look at younger people and think, "How can you not want to go to sleep?"

"A Merlin rocket engine exploded Sunday at SpaceX's test facilities in Central Texas. According to the company, no one was injured during the mishap, which damaged two bays in a Merlin engine test stand at the MacGregor facility." And that's why they test them out first. (Grokked from John)

"'This year may be (an) especially difficult (flu season) because, in addition to this egg adaptive mutation which was present last year, there's indication that the H3N2 viruses are actually evolving,' he said." Fuck. Me. Okay, well that's just about one of the strains in this year's flu vaccine, the other two look good. And it's hoped that even if it may not stop you from getting sick, it might prevent the worst effects of the flu (like death, and yes, people do die from the flu).

"Pixium Vision, a French company, has received the approval to begin in-human trials of a miniature wireless sub-retinal implant. Named PRIMA, the device may help those with advanced dry age-related macular degeneration get improvements in their eyesight. The company is in talks to also conduct trials in the United States." No word if you can telescope in with it or if it makes that neato sound effect from the Six-Million Dollar Man. (Grokked from Dan)

Genetically modified skin. Living in the future.

"Getting rid of the requirement that everyone in the country have health insurance coverage would save the government $338 billion over the next decade, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis released Wednesday." But it would make health insurance (for everybody) more expensive. Also it could lead to unexpected economic costs (increase in bankruptcies or hospital debt for charity care).

"The statement also says (Notre Dame) 'will not interfere' with the insurance company’s coverage (of still providing ND employees with birth-control at not cost to to ND), although it’s unclear whether there’s any way they could. So it’s possible that—depending on your insurer—the executive order (allowing all employers to waive the birth-control mandate) doesn’t give religious employers the power they thought it did." Because 1) birth control pills aren't always prescribed for just birth control (there are several medical reasons) and 2) it's a hellalotta cheaper than an actual normal (ie. no complications) birth. So unless they're self-insured (which, IIRC, already takes them out of the Obamacare mandate) they're going to get birth-control coverage whether they want it or not. My guess is they're not interfering with the decision because Aetna gave them a cost for cutting it out (and it's higher than what they pay now - see reasons above). Dumbasses. (Grokked from Dan)

"A report that President Trump asked CIA Director Mike Pompeo to meet with a former NSA employee who denies Russian interference in the U.S. election has drawn fire from two ex-intelligence chiefs." Apparently this person believe that an insider leaked the emails, which was an early theory that was quickly disproven.

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