Monday, January 29, 2007

San Francisco magazine on the dearth of young female chefs

“When I was pregnant, people kept telling me that being a parent would be the hardest job I’d ever have,” says McGillis. “Now that I’ve gotten a taste of what it’s like to be the mother of twins, I say no way: being a chef is by far the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.” 


Michael Pollan tells us how to eat

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

That, more or less, is the short answer to the supposedly incredibly complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy. I hate to give away the game right here at the beginning of a long essay, and I confess that I’m tempted to complicate matters in the interest of keeping things going for a few thousand more words. I’ll try to resist but will go ahead and add a couple more details to flesh out the advice. Like: A little meat won’t kill you, though it’s better approached as a side dish than as a main. And you’re much better off eating whole fresh foods than processed food products. That’s what I mean by the recommendation to eat “food.” Once, food was all you could eat, but today there are lots of other edible foodlike substances in the supermarket. These novel products of food science often come in packages festooned with health claims, which brings me to a related rule of thumb: if you’re concerned about your health, you should probably avoid food products that make health claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a good indication that it’s not really food, and food is what you want to eat.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

"We are Canada's Mexicans"

... when it comes to health insurance
It's obviously outrageous that tens of millions of citizens of the wealthiest country to have ever existed in human history are one cluster of metastasizing cells away from bankruptcy. Did you know that 25 percent of mortgage foreclosures result from high medical bills?

But there's a second, even bigger healthcare scandal that no one ever talks about. There are 250 million other Americans--those of us "lucky" enough to have health insurance--who aren't much better off than the uninsured.

Workers and employers pay an average of $465 per month each to insurance companies who use every shady trick in the book to avoid paying out claims. Pre-existing condition? Not covered. Don't want to drive hours to see a doctor who belongs to your plan? Pay out of pocket. Suffering from an unusual condition that requires the expertise of a high-priced specialist? Denied. You might think a chronic condition calls for long-term care, but to a claims analyst it's merely another excuse to refuse to pay up.

Every now and then, you luck out. Odds are, however, that your deductible will eat up your payout.

When an insurance company hack can't invent a legitimate excuse to turn down a claim they do it anyway. They play the odds, assuming that most petitioners, baffled by Byzantine voicemail trees, impenetrable websites and endless wait times, will be too discouraged to pursue appeals to rejections of their rightful claims. They want you to simply go away.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I made a onesie

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Rick Santorum's new job?

He's in charge of the Ethics and Public Policy Center's new (I fucking kid you not) "America's Enemies" program.
“It’s a stark name,” says Santorum. “But we wanted to be candid about the fact that America really does have enemies and to point out that the nature of these enemies is much more complex than what people realize. It’s not just Islamic fascism, but also Venezuela, North Korea, and, increasingly in my opinion, Russia.”

A new winner in the great Apple Hyperbole Wars of the early 21st century

"Apple is about to touch off a nuclear war," said Paul Mercer, president of Iventor, a designer of software for hand-helds based in Palo Alto, Calif. "The Nokias and the Motorolas will have to respond."

A nuclear war? Enough already. It's just a freakin' gadget.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Why does Jobs get a pass?

Unlike, Enron, who, for all their shenanigans, may not have actually broken a law, Apple appears to have flagrantly broken the law. Why, then, won't Jobs be punished?
Jobs is too big to fail. He is too popular—among investors, journalists, employees, analysts, and in the culture at large—for anyone to recommend that he be deposed. Without Jobs, after all, there would be no Apple. The scandals at Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia, and everywhere else ended the era of the rock-star CEO. But Jobs is the lone exception, as revered today as he ever was. Apple's 30-year history is divided into three phases: the golden early years in which Jobs and co-founder Steve Wozniak revolutionized the computer industry (1976-1985), the dark ages in which the company floundered after Jobs was ousted (1985-1997), and the glorious restoration (1997-present), in which Jobs ushered in a new golden age, making hip new computers and revolutionizing the music and entertainment industry with the iPod.

Everybody loves Steven. Employees love their visionary leader who has spread options throughout the company. Stockholders and analysts love him for delivering stunning returns. Consumers adore him for liberating them from the tyranny of expensive CDs and crappy radio. Creative types love Jobs for creating the iMac, a hipper alternative to the blocky PC. As Jack Shafer noted in 2005, even the press loves Jobs. Nobody—no board member, or analyst, or hedge-fund manager, or columnist—will step up to say that Jobs should go. A future without Jobs is simply too grim to contemplate. Writing in New York this week, John Heilemann cites an analyst who believes the company would instantly lose $14 billion in market capitalization if Jobs were forced out.

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