I’m introducing a new feature here in the salt mines fueled by my insatiable desire to innovate. Off the top of my head I’ve decided to call it Off the Top of My Head. It’s part hair-raising excitement, part brainy thought-provoking ideas, a healthy dose of attitude, a smattering of snark, and, of course, snow drifts of dandruff.
Here’s just a little slice of the all-American pie known as Shit I’m Pondering Lately. This is stuff right Off the Top of My Head. (This post contains very little actual research.)
- A doctor was diagnosing people with cancer when they did not have cancer. He even gave them chemo.
- A doctor has been diagnosing women with MS when they did not have MS and putting them on a potentially dangerous battery of expensive medications.
- Stories about sexual misconduct by doctors when patients are under have been in the news of late.
- A priest installed a hidden camera that looks like a power outlet in the women’s restroom in his church. Before he could be brought to justice he bravely fled the country. Amen.
- I’ve always known about the existence of hypocrites yet somehow I can still feign surprise when they are dragged out and exposed to the light of day. The case of John Duggar, a hyper-energetic evangelical Christian (see Quiverfull) is interesting. On one hand he’s an upstanding member of the community and fights for causes he believes in, like the sanctity of marriage (aka “seedbed of virtue”) while serving on an organization known as the Family Research Council. On the other hand he’s paying $250 for an account on AshleyMadison.com, a web site that helps married people have affairs. Absolutely breathtaking.
- Then there’s the case of Jared Fogle, Subway pitchman and part-time child pornographer. Let’s see. What’s the tally now? Bill Cosby? Horny. Brett Favre? Horny. Anthony Weiner? Horny. Tiger Woods? Horny. John Edwards? Horny. Sandwich guy? Really, really horny. Need I continue? I think I see a trend.
My point? None, really. Except, perhaps, that people like these actually exist. They are out there. They walk among us. They are, like Mr. Rogers likes to say, some of the people in our neighborhoods.
Who has a stronger moral code than humans? Try the humble amoeba. For starters.
Bonus read: Quiverfull of Shit: a Guide to the Duggars’ Scary Brand of Christianity (Gawker.com)
Every year or so the stories briefly get featured on the evening news like a blip on a gloomy green radar screen then are as quickly forgotten. Until the next study is released or, worse, some human bodies are asploded. Now that’s news.
Think of a list of professions where you’d really like people to be fully rested and alert. Airline pilots? Air traffic control? Doctors? Truck drivers?
Nice list. Congratulations. You just came up with a list of people that we fuck the most. Logical, right?
This week, again, the issue of employee fatigue was in the news. The FAA commissioned a study on air traffic controller fatigue. The results are none too surprising. Then the government fought for four years to keep the findings secret.
“Psst. Hey dude. I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse. You pay top dollar for me to conduct a study about how I’m fucking you over. Then I keep the results secret from you. Sounds like fun, right?”
What could possibly be going on here? Luckily I got a good night’s sleep.
The holiday season is upon us. This may be a festive time of year but sometimes it’s important to slow down, focus, center, be present, and remember our roots.
For me, today, that means pausing to pay homage to the poop tag.
“Roll the crap. Action!”
Once upon a time a company made a game called Cards Against Humanity. It was mildly cute but a blatant rip of Apples To Apples. They lost points on that.
But now, I’m happy to say they have more than redeemed themselves. The Christmas spirit is very much alive. So much so, you might say that I’ve been moved.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants you to know that “On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes.” (Source: Traffic Safety Facts: Pedestrians, April 2014.)
And they’re doing something about it, too.
While other aspects of driving safety continue to improve, pedestrian fatalities due to traffic crashes are up eight percent since 2009.
Perhaps if pedestrians stopped placing themselves in front of objects with mass traveling at speed? I may not be as smart as the federal government but that seems like a big part of the problem to me.
Physics has got to physics, yo know? Physics has no desire to play nice, do what’s fair, be compassionate, take sides, or even attempt to adhere to the rules of good form. Like Dr. Momma used to say, “physics does what physics does.” It’s apolitical. Asexual, too, but if you disrespect physics it will fuck you over.
The NHTSA’s solution is one with real traction. Make $2 million in grant money available to cities with high rates of pedestrian deaths. Because, money can buy you love. The money is to be used to “influence the safety of pedestrians through public education and enforcement initiatives.”
Yeah, that’ll work.
Continue reading →
So you want to be in the mail order business. Whether traditional “brick and mortar” or hanging out your shingle online, you have decided to ask the same question: How easy is it to rip me off?
Mail order is a retail system where fulfillment takes place at a remote location outside of your field of view and control. Think of it as the fog of war. By definition you are operating with less than full information. By design. Remember, this was your choice.
You might as well go in a dark alley and roll some dice. You might get better odds.
Here’s a typical scenario:
- Customer/criminal visits your website and loads up on plastic crap made in China. (Let’s be honest, that’s all you sell.)
- Payment is made with a credit card.
- You rub your hands together in glee, shout “Squee!” and box and ship the crap.
- Customer/criminal fiend receives the crap.
- Customer/criminal fiend then claims crap was never received and “disputes” the charges with the credit card company.
- The credit card company (aka The Vig) is, in this situation, the sole arbiter of truth, justice and the American way. You agreed to this policy.
- You submit all of your detailed records regarding the transaction including: customer order, shipping receipt, emails, phone records, retina scans, DNA samples and a electronic facsimile of thumbprint.
- The credit card company says, “Well, there just ain’t no way to know!” and decides in the
customer’scriminal’s favor. There’s a giant sucking sound as the money is extracted from your account.
Let’s review. What just happened? The customer isn’t out one single penny and the customer has your stuff. Bazinga! And there’s no magical fairy in the universe that’ll ever do one thing about it. Welcome to your new reality.
Those of you who watch Orange Is The New Black may recognize this tactic as employed by the criminal mastermind Lorna Morello during her pre-prison flashbacks. People really get caught for this? No. Remember, OITNB is fiction.
The bottom line is that shipping product mail order to a customer is a supreme act of faith. You’re basically hoping it’ll all work out. And when it doesn’t, there’s isn’t too much you can do about it.
The point is that when this happens the boss is furious and that, of course, is hilarious.