This person does science, reads a lot, and is content.
You cannot buy electronics with food stamps. You cannot buy cigarettes with food stamps. You cannot buy pet food with food stamps. You cannot withdraw money with an EBT card (food stamps).
Do you know what else you can’t buy with food stamps? Shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, tinfoil, plastic sandwich bags, toothpaste, cleaning products, tampons, pads, over the counter medications (such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, etc.), and anything else you can think of that you cannot physically ingest for nutritional purposes.
Do you know what you can buy with food stamps? Food.
Do you know what it’s like to scrounge for change to buy non-edible necessities, use a credit card and EBT card (food stamps) during the same transaction, and then have the person in line behind you judge you for buying the ingredients to make a birthday cake?
People who disseminate false information about food stamps have never had to use food stamps.
Okay, but let’s talk for a second about how that one lady called turkey “big chicken”
You can’t even buy all food with food stamps. You just… you flat-out can’t buy “food that will be eaten in the store/any food sold for on-premises consumption” or any “hot foods” with food stamps—meaning you can’t buy anything hot, you can’t buy anything that gets blended together, you can’t buy anything “pre-prepared,” in most cases you can’t use your EBT card at restaurants. You literally CANNOT purchase a milkshake with food stamps, because it’s considered “sold for on-premises consumption” (which was ridiculous at the place I worked, because the customer had to mix their own milkshake themself with a little machine we provided them, and several people got upset—rightfully so, I think—that it wasn’t covered under food stamps, because they often only found out at the register after already mixing it, often as a treat for their kids). You literally can’t walk into a gas station, grab one of those hot dogs off their grills/out of the little heated food area, and buy it with food stamps, because it’s hot.
And when I say “can’t,” I don’t mean “if the cashier notices you trying and cares enough to stop you, they’ll refuse to do it for you.” I mean “it is actually impossible to do this.” I’m not even sure these people who disseminate false information about food stamps have paid any attention at all when buying things at the store, because what happens is: We scan in the customer’s items, into our computer. The computer has specific codes for the items and rules for what it will let you pay for things with. We scan the customer’s EBT card, and it tells us exactly how much of that price total can be paid for via EBT, and it will not include anything that isn’t food, and it will not include anything considered “pre-prepared” food. It does this automatically AND THERE IS NO OVERRIDE FOR IT. If our machines say that you can’t use the EBT card to pay for something, there is literally nothing we can do to change that, even if we WANTED to.
So no. You can’t buy iPads or cigarettes with food stamps. You can’t withdraw money from casinos or anywhere else with food stamps. You can’t buy dog food with food stamps; sometimes you can’t even buy people food with food stamps. I’m not even sure if you can buy “the big chicken legs” at Disney with food stamps; remember, you can’t buy “any food sold for on-premises consumption” OR any hot foods, and that’s both.
Literally the only thing these fearmongers listed that you can actually purchase with food stamps even if you are in goddamn cahoots with the evil liberal cashier or store manager is soda, and the judgement against people buying that with food stamps is classist fuckwittery at its finest.
So, as always, Fox News is actually flat-out lying, and hateful conservatives both don’t know what they’re talking about and don’t give a fuck about people going through shit that they will never have to go through themselves, and that they in fact don’t have even the tiniest clue about (not even via five seconds’ research; a list of things that can’t be purchased with food stamps is on the Food and Nutrition Services website) but still think they should spout off about to their TV audience anyway.
Fucking A+ commentary.
Lung in a box. Very cool.
To extend the time an organ can last before it’s transplanted into a recipient, engineers have developed the Organ Care System — which is essentially a box pumping blood and oxygen to the lung.
As Gizmodo explains:
What’s especially neat about the OCS is that they can actually be used to improve imperfect donor lungs by flushing it with antibiotics and nutrients. Like refurbishing a lung, sort of. Putting donor lungs through the OCS helps increase and improve the number of potential donor lungs. Not every donor lung is usable, donor lungs that go through the OCS may be.
The 1% wants to ban sleeping in cars - it hurts their ‘quality of life’
April 16, 2014
Across the United States, many local governments are responding to skyrocketing levels of inequality and the now decades-long crisis of homelessness among the very poor … by passing laws making it a crime to sleep in a parked car.
This happened most recently in Palo Alto, in California’s Silicon Valley, where new billionaires are seemingly minted every month – and where 92% of homeless people lack shelter of any kind. Dozens of cities have passed similar anti-homeless laws. The largest of them is Los Angeles, the longtime unofficial “homeless capital of America”, where lawyers are currently defending a similar vehicle-sleeping law before a skeptical federal appellate court. Laws against sleeping on sidewalks or in cars are called “quality of life” laws. But they certainly don’t protect the quality of life of the poor.
To be sure, people living in cars cannot be the best neighbors. Some people are able to acquire old and ugly – but still functioning – recreational vehicles with bathrooms; others do the best they can. These same cities have resisted efforts to provide more public toilet facilities, often on the grounds that this will make their city a “magnet” for homeless people from other cities. As a result, anti-homeless ordinances often spread to adjacent cities, leaving entire regions without public facilities of any kind.
Their hope, of course, is that homeless people will go elsewhere, despite the fact that the great majority of homeless people are trying to survive in the same communities in which they were last housed – and where they still maintain connections. Americans sleeping in their own cars literally have nowhere to go.
Indeed, nearly all homelessness in the US begins with a loss of income and an eviction for nonpayment of rent – a rent set entirely by market forces. The waiting lists are years long for the tiny fraction of housing with government subsidies. And rents have risen dramatically in the past two years, in part because long-time tenants must now compete with the millions of former homeowners who lost their homes in the Great Recession.
The paths from eviction to homelessness follow familiar patterns. For the completely destitute without family or friends able to help, that path leads more or less directly to the streets. For those slightly better off, unemployment and the exhaustion of meager savings – along with the good graces of family and friends – eventually leaves people with only two alternatives: a shelter cot or their old automobile.
However, in places like Los Angeles, the shelters are pretty much always full. Between 2011 and 2013, the number of unsheltered homeless people increased by 67%. In Palo Alto last year, there were 12 shelter beds for 157 homeless individuals. Homeless people in these cities do have choices: they can choose to sleep in a doorway, on a sidewalk, in a park, under a bridge or overpass, or – if they are relatively lucky – in a car. But these cities have ordinances that make all of those choices a criminal offense. The car is the best of bad options, now common enough that local bureaucrats have devised a new, if oxymoronic, term – the “vehicularly housed”.
People sleeping in cars try to find legal, nighttime parking places, where they will be less apparent and arouse the least hostility. But cities like Palo Alto and Los Angeles often forbid parking between 2am and 5am in commercial areas, where police write expensive tickets and arrest and impound the vehicles of repeat offenders. That leaves residential areas, where overnight street parking cannot, as a practical matter, be prohibited.
One finds the “vehicularly housed” in virtually every neighborhood, including my own. But the animus that drives anti-homeless laws seems to be greatest in the wealthiest cities, like Palo Alto, which has probably spawned more per-capita fortunes than any city on Earth, and in the more recently gentrified areas like Los Angeles’ Venice. These places are ruled by majorities of “liberals” who decry, with increasing fervor, the rapid rise in economic inequality. Nationally, 90% of Democrats (and 45% of Republicans) believe the government should act to reduce the rich-poor gap.
It is easy to be opposed to inequality in the abstract. So why are Los Angeles and Palo Alto spending virtually none of their budgets on efforts to provide housing for the very poor and homeless? When the most obvious evidence of inequality parks on their street, it appears, even liberals would rather just call the police. The word from the car: if you’re not going to do anything to help, please don’t make things worse.
Sunitha Krishnan has dedicated her life to rescuing women and children from sex slavery, a multimillion-dollar global market. In this courageous talk, she tells three powerful stories, as well as her own, and calls for a more humane approach to helping these young victims rebuild their lives.
Sunitha Krishnan is galvanizing India’s battle against sexual slavery by uniting government, corporations and NGOs to end human trafficking.
Great woman. Please read it.
“A 14-year-old Indian-origin boy has come up with a unique plan that could help the U.S. save nearly $400 million a year by merely changing the font used on official documents.
Suvir Mirchandani, a student in a Pittsburgh-area middle school, claimed that if the federal government used the Garamond font exclusively it could save about $136 million per year, nearly 30 per cent less than the estimated $467 dollars it spends annually on ink.
An additional $234 million could be saved annually if state governments also implemented the change.
Mirchandani said the idea came to him when he was trying to think of ways to cut waste and save money as part of a science fair project at his school, CNN reported.
The youngster noticed that he was getting a lot more handouts than he did in elementary school and decided to figure out if he could minimize use of paper and ink.
While recycling paper was one way to save money and conserve resources, Mirchandani said little attention had been paid to the ink used on the papers.
“Ink is two times more expensive than French perfume by volume,” he said, adding that he then decided to focus his project on finding ways to cut down the cost of ink.
As part of his experiment, he collected random samples of teachers’ handouts and focused on the most commonly used characters such as e, t, a, o and r.
He noted how often each character was used in different fonts like Garamond, Times New Roman, Century Gothic and Comic Sans and then measured how much ink was used for each letter, using an ink coverage software.
From his analysis, Mirchandani figured out that by using the Garamond font with its thinner strokes, his school district could reduce its ink consumption by 24 per cent and in turn save as much as $21,000 annually.
He repeated his tests on five sample pages from documents on the Government Printing Office website and got similar results that changing the font would save money.
Mirchandani’s findings have been published in the Journal for Emerging Investigators (JEI), a publication founded by a group of Harvard students in 2011 that provides a platform for the work of middle school and high school students.
One of the journal’s founders Sarah Fankhauser said that of the nearly 200 submissions they have received since 2011, Mirchandani’s project stood out.
“We were so impressed. We really could really see the real-world application in Suvir’s paper,” Fankhauser was quoted as saying…”
Mainstream feminists of the 1960s and 1970s regarded the issue of reproductive rights as exclusively the winning of legal abortion, without acknowledging the racist policies that have historically prevented women of color from bearing and raising as many children as they wanted.
[Angela] Davis argues that the history of the birth control movement and its racist sterilization programs necessarily make the issue of reproductive rights far more complicated for Black women and other women of color, who have historically been the targets of this abuse. Davis traces the path of twentieth-century birth-control pioneer Margaret Sanger from her early days as a socialist to her conversion to the eugenics movement, an openly racist approach to population control based on the slogan, “[More] children from the fit, less from the unfit.”
Those “unfit” to bear children, according to the eugenicists, included the mentally and physically disabled, prisoners, and the non-white poor. As Davis noted, “By 1932, the Eugenics Society could boast that at least twenty-six states had passed compulsory sterilization laws, and that thousands of ‘unfit’ persons had been surgically prevented from reproducing.”
In launching the “Negro Project” in 1939, Sanger’s American Birth Control League argued, “[T]he mass of Negroes, particularly in the South, still breed carelessly and disastrously.” In a personal letter, Sanger confided, “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to their more rebellious members.”
Racist population-control policies left large numbers of Black women, Latinas, and Native American women sterilized against their will or without their knowledge. In 1974, an Alabama court found that between 100,000 and 150,000 poor Black teenagers were sterilized each year in Alabama.
Happy OKKULT Pi Day
EXCERPTS >|< Meaning Of Pi (1949)
A series of Animated GIFs excerpted from Meaning of Pi (1949). The video Explains how pi denotes the ratio of a circle to its diameter, shows the use of circles in art, industry and commerce, outlines a procedure by which the numerical value of pi can be checked and reviewed, and describes the discovery and importance of pi.
We invite you to watch the full video HERE
Excerpts by OKKULT Motion Pictures: a collection of GIFs excerpted from open source/unknown/rare/controversial moving images.
A digital curation project for the diffusion of open knowledge.
Well, you know…shit.
why would you pay someone for 26-51 weeks for doing nothing
you have a very, very odd definition of “doing nothing”.
Why would you pay someone for 26-51 weeks to care for a child (which is, as the previous comment states, in no way “doing nothing”)?
Allow me to answer that for you:
- A study of 16 European countries from 1969-1994 found that “more generous paid leave is found to reduce deaths of infants and young children”; specifically, mathematical models found that
- "a 10-week increase in paid leave is predicted to reduce infant mortality rates by between 2.5% and 3.4%,"
- "a 10-week extension [in leave] is predicted to decrease post-neonatal deaths by 3.7 to 4.5% and child fatalities by 3.3 to 3.5%," and
- "rights to a year of job-protected paid leave are associated with roughly a 20% decline in post-neonatal deaths and a 15% decrease in fatalities occurring between the first and fifth birthdays" (x)
- A more recent study again of 16 European countries plus the USA and Japan found that “a 10-week extension in job-protected paid leave is predicted to decrease infant mortality rates, post-neonatal mortality rates, and child mortality rates by 2.6%, 4.1%, and 3%, respectively” but that these effects were not found if the leave was not job-protected or paid (x)
- Women who receive pad leave are more likely to be employed, 54% more likely to report wage increases, and have a 39% lower likelihood of receiving public assistance and a 40% lower likelihood of receiving food stamps in the year after the child’s birth; men were also less likely to receive public assistance and food stamps if they received paid family leave (x)
- "Maternity leave legislation in Europe effectively increases job protection and female labour market attachment" (x)
- "An increase in leave duration is associated with a decrease in [post-partum] depressive symptoms until six months postpartum" (x)
- "Shorter maternity leave (<12 weeks) was associated with higher maternal depression, lower parental preoccupation with the infant, less knowledge of infant development, more negative impact of birth on self-esteem and marriage, and higher career centrality" (x)
- "Breastfeeding duration increased sharply, by over a month, and the proportion of mothers attaining the public health benchmark of 6 months exclusive breastfeeding increased by nearly 40% [after Canada increased the length of mandated paid maternity leave]" (x)
- "Maternity leave led to small increases in birth weight, decreases in the likelihood of a premature birth, and substantial decreases in infant mortality for children of college-educated and married mothers, who were most able to take advantage of unpaid leave [in the US]" (x)
- "Increased time with the child [due to mandated maternity leave in Norway] led to a 2.7 percentage points decline in high school dropout and a 5% increase in wages at age 30" (x)
- "Children whose mothers return to work early are less likely to receive regular medical checkups and breastfeeding in the first year of life, as well as to have all of their DPT/Oral Polio immunisations (in approximately the first 18 months of life)" and "children whose mothers return full-time within 12 weeks are more likely to have externalising behaviour problems at age 4" (x)
Does that about answer it?
Basically, paid leave means:
Fewer dead babies.
Fewer depressed new moms.
Less time spent on tax payer funded public services such as food stamps.
Greater likelihood that mom will have a job when she’s up for working again (which also means less time on public funded services).
These are no small things, these are things which could make or break the health of a country’s economy and all the studies that have been done show that offering the paid leave is, overall, less expensive and more beneficial to the economy than not offering paid leave.
This is all actually very simple; public schools don’t have to turn a profit. Many private scools do. For the record, cost + profit is greater than just cost. In order for a for-profit to compete with a nonprofit on a cost basis, the for-profit is going to have to cut corners — i.e., what conservatives spin as “efficiency.” Here we see the results of these efficiencies; a half-assed education program that’s the predictable outcome of taking money away from actual education to line the pockets of pointless middlemen and bean counters.
So the proper way to accept this news is, “Well duh, of course…” If you’re having a different reaction, maybe you didn’t go to public school.
Famed amnesia case, K.C. died last week. Having lost both hippocampuses after a motorcycle accident, he was somehow able to hold on to some memories, though “devoid of all context and emotion”… and his identity.
That’s actually a common theme in the neuroscience of accidents. It’s easy to see the victims of brain damage as reduced or diminished, and they are in some ways. But much of what they feel from moment to moment is exactly what you or I feel, and there’s almost nothing short of death that can make you forget who you are. Amid all the fascinating injuries in neuroscience history, you’ll come across a lot of tales of woe and heartbreak. But there’s an amazing amount of resiliency in the brain, too. [via]
The Philippine Supreme Court has upheld a law guaranteeing access to birth control and sex education.
President Benigno Aquino III signed the legislation in December 2012, but its implementation has been on hold following challenges from the Roman Catholic Church and conservative politicians who questioned its constitutionality.
Top photo: Supporters of the law celebrate in front of the court’s summer residence in Baguio City, north of Manila. Bottom photo: Opponents react to the ruling. Both photos: AFP/Getty Images
At TEDxYouth@Manchester, genetics researcher Dan Davis introduces the audience to compatibility genes — key players in our immune system’s functioning, and the reason why it’s so difficult to transplant organs from person to person: one’s compatibility genes must match another’s for a transplant to take.
(Images from Davis’s talk, Drew Berry’s animations, and the TED-Ed lessons A needle in countless haystacks: Finding habitable worlds - Ariel Anbar and How we conquered the deadly smallpox virus - Simona Zompi)
Austin Wayne Underwood was born in 1978 with Down syndrome. His mother has since spent her life fighting to make sure he would have a normal life. She fought the Fort Worth school system that tried to keep him segregated so he could go to Ridglea Hills. She even found a college in New Mexico where he received a certificate and lived in the dorms for a year.
“People usually hide people with disabilities. We always treated him as a little boy first and his disability second. He has a normal life,” mother Jan Underwood said.
And this summer, Austin will be married to a girl he’s loved since he was 3 years old. His fiancé, Jessica Smith, also has Down syndrome. Here is their story.
Austin’s mother had quickly become an advocate for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, fighting for inclusion to keep them in schools with peers who would one day employ Austin. She also said Austin learns by mimicking others, and when segregated with other people with Down syndrome, he wasn’t reaching his potential.
Jan soon became the go-to resource for new moms who were facing the enigmatic life of raising a child with a disability. That’s when Jessica’s mom called Jan for advice. They became fast friends, and so did their beloved toddlers, Austin and Jessica. Their entire family has spent Christmas together for 30 years now.
Austin’s proposal story will make any girl’s heart melt. Christmas 2012 he rented a limo to drive around and look at Christmas lights with Jessica while their families stayed back at the house. Jan had given her son her original wedding diamond, and he had the newly designed ring in tow. He stepped out of the limo, got down on one knee and proposed. Wedding plans are underway.
On an unlikely warm, bright day in February, Austin’s mother rushed to Dallas to get her hair done. She was attending Jessica’s first wedding shower in Dallas where Jessica lives. Austin was milling around his mother’s house as she got ready, dapper as always and smiling. He proudly showed off his save-the-date, which was a short film of the lovebirds reenacting their engagement made to look like an old Western film. The DVD was sent out to wedding guests.
Austin and Jessica decided they wanted a Western-themed wedding. Jan wanted the couple to be able to have custom boots.
“Problem is, Austin and Jessica both have short, wide, little feet, and wearing boots off the shelf is a huge challenge,” Jan said.
Jan called her neighbor and chief manufacturing officer at Justin Boots, Larry Nelson, to set up an appointment to have the boots made. Then she called her old high school buddy,
Mayor Betsy Price, and local media to bring awareness that people with Down syndrome can live normal, happy lives, and they should never be hidden by a society that tends to looks away.
Austin is the kind of guy that will look at a stranger working alone in a coffee shop, smile, ask you how your day is and say, “I’m getting married!” I know, because that’s how I first met Austin. He was dressed to the nines and grinning from ear to ear. How could I look away? All I could do was smile and thank him for making my day brighter. And he couldn’t be more thrilled to marry his lifelong friend.
“For me, it is about being a part of Jessica’s life and always being together,” Austin said.
In 2011, Cornell political scientist Suzanne Mettler highlighted poll results showing a striking phenomenon: About half of the Americans receiving federal assistance in paying college tuition or medical bills believe they have never benefited from a government social program. The results are evidence of what Mettler has termed “the submerged state”—a series of policies, like tuition tax credits or federally-guaranteed student loans, that are practically invisible to citizens. That invisibility, she argues, erodes public support for the very idea of government playing an active role in people’s lives.
Now in a new book, Degrees of Inequality, Mettler reveals how, over the past 60 years, American higher-education policy has gone from being visible and effective (the GI Bill and the Pell grant program) to being invisible and inefficient ($32 billion in federal funding for for-profit colleges with abysmal graduation rates). Congressional polarization along party lines, it turns out, played a major role, as did plummeting federal and state support for four-year public universities.
I spoke with Mettler about why Republicans and reform-minded Democrats switched positions on for-profit colleges; why the liberal arts are underrated and MOOCs (massive open online courses) are overrated; and why corporate lobbyists are able to achieve so much influence in Washington for relatively little money.
Read more. [Image: Butch Dill/AP Photo]
Yep. The deeply held belief by most middle class Americans that they are not recipients of any government “welfare” program is infuriating. Especially since most public subsidies (particularly those written into the tax code) disproportionately help the middle classes, not the poor.
Unlike Sweden, were everyone knows they’re on the dole, we live in blissful obliviousness to how much our lives are subsidized by our government (which, btw, means by ourselves, as taxpayers). But that blissful (and stubborn!) obliviousness also explains the huge gap in attitudes towards government expressed by Americans and Scandinavians.
If you want a funny, but insightful discussion of how much middle class America is subsidized, read Michael Grunwald’s “One Nation On Welfare: Living Your Life on the Dole" (Time, September 17, 2012).