Goop’s Netflix series: It’s so much worse than I expected and I can’t unsee it: “Disclaimer: This review contains detailed information about the Netflix series the goop lab with Gwyneth Paltrow. If you plan to watch the show (please, don’t) and do not wish to know details in advance, this is not the review for you. Normally, we would refer to such information as ‘spoilers,’ but in our editorial opinion, nothing in this series is spoil-able.”

Well, this is interesting:

As of January 1, 2019, all Washingtonians with state-regulated insurance can now pick up over-the-counter contraceptives for free at their in-network pharmacies, according to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. Those contraceptives include “condoms, spermicides, emergency contraceptives, and sponges.”
So—if you’re not on Medicaid, and if you don’t work for a mega-company that self-insures—then you can just stroll into a Walgreens (or a Rite Aid, or whatever pharmacy is in your network), walk up to the pharmacy counter, and ask for some Plan B, some condoms, or whatever a “sponge” is, and they’ll give it to you for freeeeeee.
You can also get sterilized or get a vasectomy for free. No copays and no deductibles. You can just walk into your doctor’s office and get snipped!

I’m not a fan of the “whatever a ‘sponge’ is” bit (c’mon, Stranger, this is base-level contraceptive knowledge, and whether that was serious or snark, is a stupid line), and I’d bet that women would still have far more difficulties with sterilization procedures than “walk into your doctor’s office and get snipped” — for men, of course, it likely would be about that easy — but still. Good news!

Sometime between November 14th and November 29th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

Sometime between September 23rd and October 1st, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

  • Well, this is a good way to keep me from visiting New Zealand:: "New Zealand's Customs and Excise Act 2018 went into effect today. That means travelers who refuse to give their phone or laptop password to customs officials will be fined NZ$5000. In addition, their devices will be confiscated and forensically searched." Not that I had plans to visit New Zealand, but this sure puts a damper on any interest.
  • The Eternal Life of the Instant Noodle: “Last year, across the globe, more than 100 billion servings of instant noodles were eaten. That’s more than 13 servings for every person on the planet.”
  • Science Says Toxic Masculinity — More Than Alcohol — Leads To Sexual Assault: "Every drink is downed amid cultural expectations and societally mediated attitudes about women and power. Those things — and how young men absorb them — have a stronger causal influence than the alcohol alone. When a man feels entitled to assault someone, he may get drunk before he does it, but the decision to act was ultimately his alone."
  • iOS 12 Siri shortcut for traffic stops: Pauses music, dims the screen, turns on Do Not Disturb, and activates video recording on the front-facing camera. When done, sends the video to a trusted contact or uploads the file to Dropbox. Clever.
  • Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong: “For decades, the medical community has ignored mountains of evidence to wage a cruel and futile war on fat people, poisoning public perception and ruining millions of lives. It’s time for a new paradigm.”

Sometime between September 1st and September 3rd, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

Sometime between August 1st and September 1st, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

  • The P-I error that changed Seattle history: "Occasionally, newspapers report factual errors. A well-intentioned interview subject gives bad information, a name is spelled wrong, a breaking news story is inadvertently peppered with grammatical errors. But no incorrect newspaper story has had a bigger impact on Seattle history than one published June 7, 1889."
  • 98.6 degrees is a normal body temperature, right? Not quite: “Forget everything you know about normal body temperature and fever, starting with 98.6. That’s an antiquated number based on a flawed study from 1868 (yes, 150 years ago). The facts about fever are a lot more complicated.”
  • The “I Am Steve Rogers” Joke in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Is the Definitive Captain America Moment: That’s who Captain America is, a man who listens to and believes in people when they tell him who they are. That’s a lesson we all should take away from that moment.
  • The Bullshit Web: “An honest web is one in which the overwhelming majority of the code and assets downloaded to a user’s computer are used in a page’s visual presentation, with nearly all the remainder used to define the semantic structure and associated metadata on the page. Bullshit — in the form of CPU-sucking surveillance, unnecessarily-interruptive elements, and behaviours that nobody responsible for a website would themselves find appealing as a visitor — is unwelcome and intolerable.”
  • Ignorant Hysteria Over 3D Printed Guns Leads To Courts Ignoring The First Amendment: "…in the last few days the hysteria [over 3D-printed guns] has returned… and much of it is misleading and wrong, and while most people probably want to talk about the 2nd Amendment implications of all of this, it's the 1st Amendment implications that are a bigger deal." Interesting. I'm not at all comfortable with wide availability of 3D-printed guns, but this analysis of the issues is worth reading.

Sometime between May 28th and June 15th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

  • Why is English so weirdly different from other languages?: No, English isn’t uniquely vibrant or mighty or adaptable. But it really is weirder than pretty much every other language.
  • PureText: Have you ever copied some text from a web page, a word document, help, etc., and wanted to paste it as simple text into another application without getting all the formatting from the original source? PureText makes this simple.
  • Let’s Be Real: Americans Are Walking Around With Dirty Anuses: “I find it rather baffling that millions of people are walking around with dirty anuses while thinking they are clean. Toilet paper moves shit, but it doesn’t remove it. You wouldn’t shower with a dry towel; why do you think that dry toilet paper cleans you?”
  • The Racist History of Portland, the Whitest City in America – The Atlantic: All in all, historians and residents say, Oregon has never been particularly welcoming to minorities. Perhaps that’s why there have never been very many. Portland is the whitest big city in America, with a population that is 72.2 percent white and only 6.3 percent African American.
  • No more ‘product of its time,’ please:I don’t think that we should hide texts with troubling elements. They are part of the literary canon and they have influenced us, for both good and ill. We should definitely be reading them, and we should also be talking about them. A lot.

Sometime between April 8th and April 10th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

Sometime between , I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

Over the past couple of years, I’ve started trying to pay more attention to my general health. Part of that process last year was starting to track my exercise and eating habits–and in the case of exercise, forming some habits to be tracked. Historically, I tended to think of myself as someone who didn’t really exercise much, but when I think back on how I used to spend my time–clubbing around three nights a week (which, for me, involves much more actual dancing than sitting/standing around and drinking), walking a lot (I didn’t have a car while living in Seattle, and walked up and down hill between downtown and Capitol Hill daily), and working for print shops (which, while not strictly “physical labor” jobs, did involve a lot of moving cases of paper around and being on my feet most of my time)–it’s pretty obvious that I was getting a fair amount of regular exercise just through my normal routine. Certainly much more than I tend to now, when my daily routine involves driving back and forth to work and spending my day sitting at a desk.

While tracking my eating habits didn’t carry on terribly long, I was better about keeping up a semi-regular mild exercise routine for most of the year. Unfortunately, that ended up falling apart mid-November, right about midway through my first quarter pulling double duty as a full-time employee and full-time master’s student.

Last January, I weighed a little above 170 lbs., and set an arbitrary goal of just dropping down to 165. This was more to just have something to put into the app I was using than an actual goal, as I didn’t really feel I needed to lose weight, I just wanted to start paying more attention to actively exercising and taking care of myself (and hey, if I ended up toning up a bit in the process, so much the better). Over the course of the year, I actually ended up dropping down to 158 before starting to come back up again (which I believe is a combination of putting on some muscle mass and having to switch to a new scale which seems to read a bit higher than the last one did…too bad the last one broke when I got on it one morning).

Right now, I’m right about back where I was at the beginning of last year, sitting at 172.2. So as I get the process going again, I’m keeping that “goal” of 165, but once again, that’s more just to have a value in that field in the app. My only real plan is to get back into the habit of exercising regularly.

To that end, I’m using three apps to help track my stats (and as is pretty normal in these days of social everything, two of them allow me to connect with friends, so I suppose, if I know you and you want to be a long-distance, social-media pseudo-exercise buddy, feel free to add me as a friend). I’m set up with LoseIt! to track food and weight, RunKeeper to track my exercise (walking, riding, elliptical, etc.–in the words of Chris Knight, I only run when chased), and I’m using the Gorilla Workout app as a simple home-based exercise regimen. I actually started the Gorilla workouts in October, but didn’t quite make it through all of Level 1 before my mid-November slump hit, so I’ve just started that over from the beginning again.

So, that’s it for now. Just tossing this out there to give myself a little more accountability as I get going on this project again. As I’m about to start another quarter of school, I’m hoping I’ll be able to get through to spring break without letting the exercise fall by the wayside again.