Artemis, Acrobats, Divas and Dancers.
Artist: Nancy Spero, 1999. Installed 2004.
West 66th Street/Lincoln Center Subway tile mosaic art #16
as seen at NYC's Lincoln Center stop at Broadway for the downtown (southbound) 1 train.
Glass mosaic murals depicting scenes of theater, dance, and orchestra-related subjects are scattered throughout this station.Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...
More than 75 percent of the bank Web sites surveyed in a University of Michigan study had at least one design flaw that could make customers vulnerable to cyber thieves after their money or even their identity.
One of our regular commenters here, BrokenSoldier, has a story to tell — an all-too-common tale of our government's neglect of the men and women sent out to fight, and returning damaged to a bureaucracy that isn't willing to do the right thing and support them. If anyone out there is willing to help get this story out, here's an opportunity — it's practically written out for you. This is a broken soldier's story:
This is a request for help. Disabled veterans are being treated as if they are a burden on the government's checkbook, and the government is getting away with it, mainly because the situation is so far out of the public's collective eye that the military can quite effectively sweep it under the rug. Politicians are using our sacrifices as political capital in front of the nation, while the Army medical system turns around to our face and disdainfully treats us as if we are asking for something we do not deserve. All we want is the care we were promised, and all we are getting is organized resistance from the military medical bureaucracy. In some cases, this resistance amounts to the pure manipulation - and even alteration - of the medical regulations, for the sole purpose of reducing the amount of money the Army has to pay disabled vets upon their separation. I have turned to this kind of appeal, frankly, because I am out of options. I believe thatthe only thing that can even begin to fix a problem such as this one is true exposure to the bright lights of public scrutiny.
When wounded soldiers comes home, they have to go through an evaluation process in which a panel of Army doctors determines what their final disability rating will be. If they decide that the soldier rates less than 30%, then they can separate that soldier with merely a severance check, and never dole out another dollar to him or her again. Should the rating be above 30%, the Army is required to medically retire that soldier, and send him or her a monthly check after they leave the service. In principle, this makes sense. But this is being abused by those doctors, in that they are intentionally low-balling wounded vets in order to get them under the 30% ceiling and get them out, for obvious reasons of saving money. Just in my case alone, I have seen doctors lie on official reports about what I told them, make childishly snide comments about the appeals that I have written to the Physician Evaluation Board (PEB), and one doctor even suggested that aprevious diagnosis was invalid simply because I was "fine" on the day he saw me. (And I have proof - to include hard copies of documents showing the offenses.) This does not stop with the low-level doctors, by any means. The Army PEBs operate on instructions given to them by their command, and one in particular is very telling. Since soldiers began coming home with serious concussion injuries, the Army medical community has seen fit to publish instructions to its PEBs concerning certain ratings and how they are to be 'interpreted' pertaining to veterans' disability claims. One of them that I ran directly into deals with the occurrence of migraine headaches, which many veterans with concussion injuries suffer from, and how they are to be viewed. The schedule that lists ratings that are to be applied states that for a 50% rating, migraines must meet the frequency requirement of at least two pper month, and the severity must be prostrating. Afterveterans began receiving this rating for their complications from IED-induced concussions, an instruction to physicians was published informing them that from then on, the word 'prostrating' was not to be interpreted as it is defined, but rather for migraines to be considered prostrating for rating purposes, the soldier must have stopped and sought immediate, emergency medical attention. Due to the fact that it is very difficult for someone laying prostrate from a migraine to get up and make it to the ER, you can imagine how well this worked in reducing the number of veterans that received disability ratings for their migraines.
And aside from the failings of the rating process, once the soldier is done with that, then there is the incompetent bureaucracy within the ranks of those handling retired service members to deal with. I was retired in January, but did not see a single cent of my retirement money until June. And when it did begin, taxes were being deducted - which shouldn't happen, because combat wounded vets get tax exemption from their disability checks. After getting that fixed, I recently discovered that I have absolutely no medical coverage whatsoever - which I found out while trying to get my prescriptions filled - because my retirement documents never got to the agency responsible for administering my care as a medical retiree. The incompetence of those that handled my retirement file ensured that the necessary paperwork failed to reach almost all of the necessary agencies. And I am by no means the only one this type of injustice is happening to, but insteadit is a widespread occurrence. The reason for this is that once the soldier leaves the service and begins the fight for his or her benefits, it is simply that soldier against the entire framework of the Army bureaucracy, and that is far from a fair fight. (They do allow you a liaison in order to to help you navigate the system, but if mine was any indication, this is more of a burden than a help - in asking her to participate in a conference call to discuss why I disagreed with my initial rating of 10%, she resisted and actually said to me, "I'm not here to hold your hand through this.") So I have ended up in a position quite familiar to veterans - broke, living with my parents, in debt up to my ears from the months without income, and having no consistent medical coverage.
So, if you read through this and it seems wrong to you, especially if it makes you a bit angry, then I'm asking for your help. The only thing that will fix this problem is to shine a spotlight on what is happening, because once that happens, the freedom of action that the Army medical community has enjoyed in bullying the wounded soldiers applying for disability will be gone. Once the public is cognizant of exactly what has been done to the veterans the government so profusely praises for their sacrifice, their hypocrisy will be laid bare. If you know anyone - journalist or not - that will take this story and tell it to the public, please let me know. The above injustices are only the tip of the iceberg, even in my case, and I have documentation of many more transgressions.
A disabled vet has fought far too much already to have to continue to fight with their own government like this when they get home. In this case, it is the soldier who is looking to citizen for help with this fight.
If you're willing to help get the word out, contact Gary E. Ford.Read the comments on this post...
Cats are very strange animals. One of their odder behaviors is scratching around their food bowl. They look like they are trying to kick dirt over the food in order to bury it. Presumably that is what they do in the wild. But the "dirt" house cats are kicking over the food is imaginary.
I love crocodiles. They scare the crap out of me on a visceral level, so I’m fascinated by them. I mean, c’mon: they fit the definition of "monster".In Africa, it’s been known that a croc can take down a leopard — even a[...]
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I love crocodiles. They scare the crap out of me on a visceral level, so I’m fascinated by them. I mean, c’mon: they fit the definition of "monster".In Africa, it’s been known that a croc can take down a cheetah — even a[...]
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Toyota has long been interested in personal robot assistants. And the uBot-5, under development at UMass-Amherst, is also looking to meeting that need: Robot developed by computer scientists to assist with elder care:
Grupen studied developmental neurology in his quest to create a robot that could do a variety of tasks in different environments. The uBot-5?s arm motors are analogous to the muscles and joints in our own arms, and it can push itself up to a vertical position if it falls over. It has a “spinal cord” and the equivalent of an inner ear to keep it balanced on its Segway-like wheels.
Such robots have a huge market waiting for them if engineers can provide models that can be useful at the right price. The future of such efforts looks very promising.
Elektra, my female solomon islands eclectus parrot, Eclectus roratus solomonensis.
This is the smallest and most distinctively marked of the ten subspecies of Eclectus parrots.
Some of you might recall the recent story about scientists learning to identify plumage coloration from fossilized feathers. This might seem a sort of esoteric pursuit meant to entertain scientists with access to big and expensive machines, but in fact, knowing the color of a bird's plumage is very important for learning something about their natural history. Let me explain. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...
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From The Australian: AUSTRALIA'S leading "hot rock" outfit, Brisbane-based Geodynamics, will this week begin final "proof of concept" trials ahead of construction of the nation's first electricity generator powered entirely by heat "mined" from deep in the earth's crust. The com
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Here's another one for the files. This guy has sent me several menacing messages — nothing new there — but now he has announced that he's coming to visit me. I've put the header for one of Mr Moore's creepy threats below the fold, for the record. His specific email address is not included, so we don't have a repeat of the last episode.
Nice people, these Catholics. If Mr Moore shows up at my door, the only people who will be meeting him are the local police.Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...