Author Archives: cleek

Brosectomy

In the typical brosectomy, two or more friends anxiously arrive at the urology clinic of their choice. After getting back-to-back surgeries—the procedure takes only a couple of minutes—they either head to a hotel to recover or spend the rest of the day lazing around the clinic, where they might watch sports or movies, enjoy a decadent dinner, and knock back some booze. The specifics differ from brosectomy to brosectomy, but the core idea remains the same: that friends are going through the experience together.

The Darkest Meat

NPR goes macabre:

When heated under proper conditions, turkey droppings transform into a form of coal, and serve as a renewable resource. Just think: Someday you might roast your holiday turkey using its own excrement.

[That’s the story teaser on their front page. The actual story doesn’t have that text.]

The Ben-Gurion team isn’t swayed by the yuck factor, though. Their ultimate goal is to try to roast a bird with their homemade hydrochar, and eat if afterwards. “I really hope it’s tasty,” Gross says — and there is a reason to believe so.

Once made, the hydrochar doesn’t emit any stink — it even has a pleasant aroma! “It smells of coffee,” says Mau. “So it would be interesting to see if it the meat roasted on it will also have coffee flavor.”

The Problem With Our Democracy Isn’t Gerrymandering. It’s Integers

Fractional voting FTW.

The root of our problem is that each Congressional district elects just one person, in a winner-take-all election where you only need to win by one vote. This means that the losers end up with a Representative who simply doesn’t represent them. This means that, in a close election, 49.9% of the voters can be effectively disenfranchised. Even in lopsided victories, where 70% of the voters support the winner, the remaining 30% are stuck with someone who doesn’t represent them.

The solution: elect TWO representatives from each Congressional district, and award them each a fractional vote in Congress. Each of the top two vote-getters would have a Congressional vote that is proportional to the number of voters who supported them. Thus if a district elects a Democrat (D) with 55% of the vote, and the losing Republican (R) gets 45%, both of them go to Congress, and D gets 0.55 votes while R gets 0.45 votes.

Interesting. It solves gerrymandering. It handles races with more than two candidates by dropping all but the top two finishers from the calculation to determine voting weight. And it will teach everyone about fractions, rounding and significant digits!

Olaf

i sing of Olaf glad and big
whose warmest heart recoiled at war:
a conscientious object-or

his wellbelovéd colonel(trig
westpointer most succinctly bred)
took erring Olaf soon in hand;
but–though an host of overjoyed
noncoms(first knocking on the head
him)do through icy waters roll
that helplessness which others stroke
with brushes recently employed
anent this muddy toiletbowl,
while kindred intellects evoke
allegiance per blunt instruments–
Olaf(being to all intents
a corpse and wanting any rag
upon what God unto him gave)
responds,without getting annoyed
“I will not kiss your fucking flag”

straightway the silver bird looked grave
(departing hurriedly to shave)

but–though all kinds of officers
(a yearning nation’s blueeyed pride)
their passive prey did kick and curse
until for wear their clarion
voices and boots were much the worse,
and egged the firstclassprivates on
his rectum wickedly to tease
by means of skilfully applied
bayonets roasted hot with heat–
Olaf(upon what were once knees)
does almost ceaselessly repeat
“there is some shit I will not eat”

our president,being of which
assertions duly notified
threw the yellowsonofabitch
into a dungeon,where he died

Christ(of His mercy infinite)
i pray to see;and Olaf,too

preponderatingly because
unless statistics lie he was
more brave than me:more blond than you.

— e e cummings