Gravity's Rainbow

botany, shoes, books, and justice

April 17, 2015
by sarcozona

Young people’s political identification isn’t about what’s trendy. You just left Marxism off your survey.

Measured by self-identification, partisanship is actually declining — growing numbers of Americans describe themselves as “independent” rather than loyal to one of the parties. But measured by actual voting behavior, the opposite is happening: Straight ticket voting continues to grow. This matches what operatives like Dan Pfeiffer have seen, and what Karl Rove saw a decade before — the swing voter had nearly vanished.

One common explanation is that it has become increasingly vogue, especially among college-educated voters, to describe yourself as independent, which implies that you form educated judgments about politics rather than blindly following the dictates of a party. [emphasis added]

I have a much, much better explanation than this guy. Many Americans fucking hate both parties, but they think one will destroy the world and everything in it while the other will just make everything stay generally miserable or not get that much worse. So of course they don’t identify with a party, but they’ll vote for the one that isn’t going to burn everything down tomorrow. Those independents might be libertarians or socialists or anarchists or a thousand other political persuasions. I’d bet that an awful lot of them believe that no one who actually represents them or their ideals gets anywhere near the ballot.

April 9, 2015
by sarcozona

Things all my real life friends find deathly boring

Let’s talk about pill splitting. Sometimes you don’t want to take your full dose for some reason, or sometimes it’s cheaper to buy a higher dose than you really need and then split the pills. At some point, half blind from a migraine at 2am searching for the half that shot off the counter when you were cutting a pill with a knife, you thought there had to some better way to do this. And lo! On your next trip to the pharmacy, the pill splitter section is pointed out to you.

My very first pill splitter

This was way better than a knife. First of all, there was no danger of chopping my fingertips off. Secondly, it catches the pill in a little compartment. Unfortunately, it’s not that great at cutting pills exactly in half, especially convex round ones. Sometimes I get a 30/70 split or a 40/60 split. Sometimes it just sort of smushes the pill.

Some medications have a fair amount of wiggle room in the dose. Others put you to sleep for 4 hours when you get it just a little wrong. I went back to the knife and chasing pills across the floor.

That is the best pill splitter my pharmacy offers*, so I have been doing some online research. Perhaps this one, which comes with “12 different inserts so it can safely & easily cut pills & tablets of almost any shape” and would also complete my doll house washroom?

Possible new pill splitter type

Possible new pill splitter type

So, fellow people who see their pharmacist more than their boss, what are your tips and tricks for pill splitting? Do you need different pill splitters for different pills? Do you have a favorite splitter?

* In case you are thinking of buying this ubiquitous model: After surprisingly little use (~50 splits), some plastic bits have fallen off and the blue pill guides are uneven. It didn’t do perfectly even splits before, but now it’s really bad. I did not do violent things to this pill splitter.

Stuff worth reading

Making the Rich and Powerful Work for Everyone

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The Anthropocene Myth. Blaming all of humanity for climate change lets capitalism off the hook

TPP leak: states give companies the right to repeal nations’ laws.
Nothing I’ve read about the TPP makes me think it is a remotely good idea

Startup workers sue to be recognized as employees, not mere contractors

Facing Early Death, on Their Terms

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Click through for the corn.

Dropping Light
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Unifying ecology and macroevolution with individual-based theory

Hoax-detecting software spots fake papers
“It’s wonderful that Springer has moved to eliminate articles generated by software that intentionally produces nonsense, but what about unintentionally nonsensical articles produced by human authors?”

Max Planck Society unveils €50 million support plan for young scientists