International Cat Speculators Since 2006

Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Wednesday Video -Atomic Cannon

Wednesday Video – Coin Sorter

Who knew that you could make something like this out of cardboard?

The problem is evil.

Hogewash posted this quote from Andrew Klavan, and I’m stealing it.

To suggest you have the solution to the eternal problem of evil in the form of addressing your pet peeve or of blaming and attacking your political opponents is disgraceful. It is to use the bodies of the slain for a soap box. It degrades you and insults the victims.

A great many people are acting surprise that evil exists in New Zealand.

It does, and short of complete de-population it always will. Our choice is what we do about it.


From Instapundit

A federal judge’s case dismissal is getting some attention because of an apparent note-to-self that didn’t get removed from the published order.

The writer was apparently dissatisfied with a statement summarizing the requirements for a false advertising claim. The parenthetical on page 11 reads: “(Meh I need a better rule statement than this.)”.

U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel of San Diego signed the Feb. 5 order, but one of Curiel’s law clerks likely wrote the “meh” phrase, according to the Recorder.

Back when I was studying, there was a story about a bunch of honors year students demonstrating their software engineering project for the year. With all the students and staff watching, they initiated the program, and the code started executing.

Now, these projects were major efforts, involving several small teams working together over the course of months. A lot of code.

And in this case something went wrong. Who knows what it was, but it was deep within the program where things went wrong.

Thus resulting in the sole error message, long forgotten by an unimportant remember of the team in some obscure function.

“It’s F***ked”

Sowell on the welfare stat

Americans think 25% of them are gay

Offsetting Behaviour has a post about a curious phenomenon.

Americans surveyed in 2011 substantially overestimated the proportion of Americans identifying as homosexual. Where most estimates reckon about 3.5% of the population are homosexual, Americans surveyed thought that somewhere between 20-25% of the population are gay or lesbian.

The numbers are bizarrely high, for all groups.

It’s all very odd really. Given that the most common myth (well, that I’d ever heard) is that gays make up 10% of the population, and the truth is that they’re about a third of that, you’d think that the average would be somewhere in the middle. Certainly, I’d have not been surprised in the slightest to find figures approaching 15% – which while completely wrong is still at least explainable.

Instead, many groups are approaching an estimate that is ten times the actual figure. Interestingly, some of those are those who generally support the gay agenda. That makes sense if you consider that they seem to think marriage equality is an important issue – when the actual number of people who’s lives are changed by it is vanishingly small.

But given the widespread nature of the high estimation, I can’t think of anything that really explains this well. However, one thing is for sure – homosexuality is one very touchy political issue.


Quote of the day – protect what?

Witness the absurdity that is the liberal agenda.

We pediatricians are being inundated with permission slips all day long. My paperwork has doubled over the last ten years in no small part because of idiotic school rules requiring parents and docs to sign off on virtually every common sense OTC item. They range from Tylenol and ibuprofen to hand lotion, sunscreen, and bug spray. Each requires its own special form. This is in addition to the actual prescription meds we prescribe like antibiotics and inhalers. It’s absolutely ridiculous when you consider these kids can literally sign for their own abortions without their parents’ permission.

Via Instapundit.

Habits of the Rich

I find the terms “rich” and “poor” to be mostly political terms, but there’s no doubt there are some habits here we could all consider fostering.

1. 70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day. 23% of wealthy gamble. 52% of poor people gamble.

Eat what you need, gamble only if you have money to waste.

2. 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this.

Single mindedness is undoubtedly needed if you want to achieve big things.

3. 76% of wealthy exercise aerobically 4 days a week. 23% of poor do this.

Paying attention to your health is important.

4. 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% for poor people.

A desire to keep learning is part of success.

Interestingly one of the first comments on the post was a grip about how the poor “could not afford” audio books. What nonsense, there’s plenty of good quality audio resources available on the internet these days for free – even if you can’t afford a few dollars for a book that might teach you something important.

5. 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% for poor.

Focus on your priorities.

6. 63% of wealthy parents make their children read 2 or more non-fiction books a month vs. 3% for poor.

Encouraging your children to expand their horizons is as important as expanding your own.

7. 70% of wealthy parents make their children volunteer 10 hours or more a month vs. 3% for poor.

That’s an interesting one.

8. 80% of wealthy make hbd calls vs. 11% of poor

I have no idea what that is!

9. 67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% for poor

Again, it’s a focus thing.

10. 88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs 2% for poor.


11. 6% of wealthy say what’s on their mind vs. 69% for poor.

Don’t just blurt out what you think if you want to get on with people who you might need in future.

12. 79% of wealthy network 5 hours or more each month vs. 16% for poor.

A fairly obvious one.

13. 67% of wealthy watch 1 hour or less of TV. every day vs. 23% for poor

TV is great for killing time, but there are better things to do if you want to succeed.

14. 6% of wealthy watch reality TV vs. 78% for poor.

I’m almost surprised it’s as high as 6%!

15. 44% of wealthy wake up 3 hours before work starts vs.3% for poor.

I’ll never be rich if that’s a requirement!

16. 74% of wealthy teach good daily success habits to their children vs. 1% for poor.

Another obvious one.

17. 84% of wealthy believe good habits create opportunity luck vs. 4% for poor.

18. 76% of wealthy believe bad habits create detrimental luck vs. 9% for poor.

Who was it that said, “the harder I work, the luckier I get”?

19. 86% of wealthy believe in life-long educational self-improvement vs. 5% for poor.

20. 86% of wealthy love to read vs. 26% for poor.

Knowledge is power.

Obesity Epidemic – In Animals

One of the great things about bloggins is that you get to circulate things that are just straight out of left-field, and screw up all sorts of pre-existing notions.

Like this one.

Consider, for example, this troublesome fact, reported in 2010 by the biostatistician David B Allison and his co-authors at the University of Alabama in Birmingham: over the past 20 years or more, as the American people were getting fatter, so were America’s marmosets. As were laboratory macaques, chimpanzees, vervet monkeys and mice, as well as domestic dogs, domestic cats, and domestic and feral rats from both rural and urban areas. In fact, the researchers examined records on those eight species and found that average weight for every one had increased. The marmosets gained an average of nine per cent per decade. Lab mice gained about 11 per cent per decade. Chimps, for some reason, are doing especially badly: their average body weight had risen 35 per cent per decade. Allison, who had been hearing about an unexplained rise in the average weight of lab animals, was nonetheless surprised by the consistency across so many species. ‘Virtually in every population of animals we looked at, that met our criteria, there was the same upward trend,’ he told me.

It isn’t hard to imagine that people who are eating more themselves are giving more to their spoiled pets, or leaving sweeter, fattier garbage for street cats and rodents. But such results don’t explain why the weight gain is also occurring in species that human beings don’t pamper, such as animals in labs, whose diets are strictly controlled. In fact, lab animals’ lives are so precisely watched and measured that the researchers can rule out accidental human influence: records show those creatures gained weight over decades without any significant change in their diet or activities. Obviously, if animals are getting heavier along with us, it can’t just be that they’re eating more Snickers bars and driving to work most days. On the contrary, the trend suggests some widely shared cause, beyond the control of individuals, which is contributing to obesity across many species.

Is it just me, or is that seriously weird?

US Doctors rejecting Bureaucracy

Back when I started work, I learned a valuable lesson from my boss.

My boss ran his department lean. He focused on the key deliverables, had minimal management, and kept a tight eye on costs.

From that I learned one thing: if you keep your overhead costs low, you’ve already won much of the battle.

That’s a lesson that some are learning in the US health system.

OUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Dr. Michael Ciampi took a step this spring that many of his fellow physicians would describe as radical.

The family physician stopped accepting all forms of health insurance. In early 2013, Ciampi sent a letter to his patients informing them that he would no longer accept any kind of health coverage, both private and government-sponsored. Given that he was now asking patients to pay for his services out of pocket, he posted his prices on the practice’s website.

The change took effect April 1.

“It’s been almost unanimous that patients have expressed understanding at why I’m doing what I’m doing, although I’ve had many people leave the practice because they want to be covered by insurance, which is understandable,” Ciampi said.

Before the switch, Ciampi had about 2,000 patients. He lost several hundred, he said. Some patients with health coverage, faced with having to seek reimbursement themselves rather than through his office, bristled at the paperwork burden.

But the decision to do away with insurance allows Ciampi to practice medicine the way he sees fit, he said. Insurance companies no longer dictate how much he charges. He can offer discounts to patients struggling with their medical bills. He can make house calls.

“I’m freed up to do what I think is right for the patients,” Ciampi said. “If I’m providing them a service that they value, they can pay me, and we cut the insurance out as the middleman and cut out a lot of the expense.”

He has lost a lot of business from people who want their insurance to pay the bill, but those who are prepared to pay for themselves are making significant savings.

Even with the loss of some patients, Ciampi expects his practice to perform just as well financially, if not better, than before he ditched insurance. The new approach will likely attract new patients who are self-employed, lack insurance or have high-deductible plans, he said, because Ciampi has slashed his prices.

“I’ve been able to cut my prices in half because my overhead will be so much less,” he said.

Before, Ciampi charged $160 for an office visit with an existing patient facing one or more complicated health problems. Now, he charges $75.

Patients with an earache or strep throat can spend $300 at their local hospital emergency room, or promptly get an appointment at his office and pay $50, he said.

It seems that the US insurance industry is paperwork heavy, which is leading to considerable paperwork – and processing paperwork cost money. By cutting out those overheads the practice is able to focus on it’s core business, and that means the patients are winning.

Contrast that with the previous government’s actions here – a massive increase in paperwork in order to deliver “cheaper” healthcare, which as we can see, really ends up costing more overall. Most of us would be better off had the government simply gotten rid of the cost overhead, let doctors charge the cost of medicine, and matched that with a tax cut.  And Obamacare is going down the exact same road.

There’s an interesting postscript here from Instapundit, who is married to a psychologist:

Some of Helen’s psychologist friends have gone all-cash. They thought they’d lose business, but wound up with more patients, more money, and (much) less hassle.

I wonder how many patient’s care has been compromised over the years because government (and insurance) paperwork has distracted them from doing their real job?

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