this week i

published on risk adjustment in the private medicare market.

parked on the potomac in paw paw.

listened to episode 124.

now you may be wondering why this tax is known as a poll tax.  well the word poll appears to be an early loanword from dutch, and it meant head.  so a poll tax was literally a head tax, because it was a tax on every head, or every person.  the word poll soon came to refer to the process of counting every head or every vote, and that produced the modern sense of the word as a poll to determine public opinion.  but that original sense of the word as head also survives in another interesting word.  the word tadpole.  a tadpole is a very young toad or frog that's left its egg and still resembles a small fish.  it hasn't developed any legs yet, so people once thought of it as nothing more than a frog's head with a tail.  thus it was called a tadpole.  tad is an early form of toad, and pole meant head.  so a tadpole is literally a toad head.  so if anyone asks you what the connection is between frogs and voting, now you know


this week i

saw suzanne weekes at the national math festival, described one optimal solution to a traveling salesman problem as a pathology.  meta-esoteric

award tiger the most charismatic of the megafauna.  descended from a phylogenic tree branch with snow leopards, tigers have come out from the cold.  siberian tigers stayed in boreal forests of pacific russia, kept alive, near-frozen while their kin descended to tropical bengal, equatorial sumatra.  unique in transit: no evolution.  tigers are one species despite defending diverse climactic ranges.  tigers live in mangrove.  tigers live in tundra.  versatility of a desert crocodile or a river-riding sperm whale.  elephants are three species.  elephants live in tropical forest.  elephants live in tropical savannah.  bears are eight species.  bears live from tropic to pole, but bears are eight species.  tigers are one species.

watched michael shermer discuss pattern-seeking behavior burnt into our dna.

if you squint, you can still see the face.  and when you're squinting, what you're doing is you're turning that from fine-grain to coarse-grain and so you're reducing the quality of your data.  and if i didn't tell you what to look for, you'd still see the face because we're programmed by evolution to see faces.  faces are important for us socially


this week i

pulled into 30th street station, walked past drexel banners then upenn.  priyanka drives six more fridays, i caught her on the corner direct to fort lee.  we ate momos with tomato base, ginger liquor not as swell as remembered.  twelve hours later we fought costco, bought super mario super sized flower pots then dissuaded riya from mid-day napping up and down the jersey palisade cliffs across south bronx.  hot sauce bath for both rupak and my empanadas, chocolate popcorn for dessert.  first bus at drury lane never came, half hour late straight down bergen avenue.  i pressed my nose against maison kayser glass, emilie thought coincidence on par with marsellus wallace eating a chili dog.  we beat the moma crowds to joan miro, huseyin drooled at the foot of the fiat.  three birthday books at parkside french bookseller, we inhaled two personal pizzas before boston bethesda same time departures.  rod rosenstein first on my phone, then gazing out from his wisconsin avenue dinner table a block from bus drop off.

assume kenyette is the one standing next to the truck, an embarrassing mistake front and center.  early last century we thought physicists would run the world, late last century the torch passed to neuroscientists.  now computer programmers claim that flame.  don't be fooled, nobody's driving.


this week i

celebrated my father's seventy sixth birthday.

drove to david and marcie's.  connecticut avenue a reverse george orwell: two lanes bad, four lanes good.

suppose wikipedia does not offer a translated auto-option in lieu of a completed entry in the specific language to encourage the human translation of articles.  click a random wikipedia entry and under "languages" you'll see either english only or maybe an assortment from tongues with one million articles.  but if you don't speak any of the article's human-translated languages, google translate is probably your first stop.  wikipedia forces an extra copy-paste step on those users in order to encourage other (bi-lingual) humans to manually add content.  wikipedia made a conscious decision to dig a moat, defend a perimeter against artificial intelligence.  relying on automated tools hypothetically means that a completed article in any of the encoded languages should near-instantly generate the same content in every encoded language.  someone at wikipedia considered, rejected this.  is this a protest against artificial intelligence, or merely an indictment that it simply does not work yet?


this week i

met howard and teresa in manhattan.  we shared umbrellas with rupak after his lecture, inquired about restaurant wait times, two and a half hours.  bistro seated us immediately, we sampled snail, then starcraft till three.  eight hours sleep, skydiving home movie, beer on ferry, two and a half smorgasburg cuban sandwiches, two arnold palmers in compostable cups.  we walked to transmitter park, then queens no backtracking.  spring and summer wrestled for the day.  overfull with hell's kitchen brussel sprouts and pizza with the perfect char, we found our seats.  all-american prophet, spooky mormon hell dream my favorites, this is american culture concentrate.  hello!  bumper sticker from bus home: do you follow jesus this close

read two hundred years of surgery by atul gawande.

"this yankee dodge beats mesmerism hollow," liston exclaimed.

it would take a little while for surgeons to discover that the use of anesthesia allowed them time to be meticulous. despite the advantages of anesthesia, liston, like many other surgeons, proceeded in his usual lightning-quick and bloody way. spectators in the operating-theater gallery would still get out their pocket watches to time him. the butler's operation, for instance, took an astonishing 25 seconds from incision to wound closure. (liston operated so fast that he once accidentally amputated an assistant’s fingers along with a patient’s leg, according to hollingham. the patient and the assistant both died of sepsis, and a spectator reportedly died of shock, resulting in the only known procedure with a 300% mortality.)


this week i

discussed income, poverty, and health insurance changes to the current population survey, section 2a.

watched woman at war, she shoots a drone out of the sky like mortal kombat's scorpion.

cooked pesto with mozzarella dressing after a long boil.

resisted eating national gallery nachos and guacamole left by a steven spielberg lookalike, despite seven dollars saved.

thumbed through our dumb century.  stirring symbol of human spirit difficult to clean out of tank treads


this week i

published big numbers on medicare insulin spending.

climbed one hundred three floors and then some.


 have white hairs, not grey.  give me your hat.  today chicago, population 2.

demonstrated in-flight sinus safety.

never like airport chauffeuring but nailed this one.


this week i

updated our medicaid coverage gap report.

passed the home we lived during the second bush administration.  they still paint those egg-shaped rocks in tappan square.

drove this nondescript old ohio route 511 every friday and back sunday for my country 911 shift.

checked in to a suite in traverse city, static electricity like nowhere else.  two beers, room service, nearly asleep.  n milwaukee ave has more

yawned loud, she sang, "al frente un arbol hay"

 drove south past the indiana dunes to chicago, translated both directions as girl va.

pronounced champu, chakira, chark chark, chark chark chark, then after one beer, accurucuchar, accurucar, achhurucharme la toilet

didn't mention there were forks in a compartment on the side of the table, utensil practice by force.

stood for the presentation: they don't know the gender.  maybe it's a boy named sue

 bought flowers, always buy flowers.

made it to middle english..

let's say we each have a cloak that we'd want to trade.  but i think my cloak is worth a lot more than yours.  we can't agree on the difference in value, or even if there is a difference in value, so we agree to play this game..we bring in a friend who acts as an umpire.  we all three put some money in a hat or cap held by the umpire, so the umpire is playing too.  the money in the cap is a random amount of money, it's basically the prize.  now you and i both place our hands in the cap, and the umpire estimates the value of each cloak.  he's basically the appraiser, and he determines that my cloak is worth three shillings and yours is worth two.  so if we're going to make a deal, you have to give me a shilling to make up for the difference in value.  each of us then pull our hands out of the cap.  if we agree with the umpire's valuation, we pull our hands out opened.  if we disagree, we pull our hands out closed.  if both of our hands are open, it means that we both agree with the umpire's appraisal and we complete the trade.  you add in extra shilling, and the umpire keeps the money in the hat.  he's basically done a good job, he's made a good appraisal and allowed us to complete the trade, so he keeps the prize money.  now if both of our hands are closed when we remove them from the cap, it means we both disagree with the umpire's appraisal, so we don't trade our clothes and you don't owe me the shilling.  but again, the umpire keeps the money in the cap.  the reason why he keeps the money is because he again has done his job.  he came up with a number that was too low for me and too high for you, but it was somewhere in the middle.  so even though we don't accept the number, he keeps the prize money in the hat.  but if you and i remove our hands from the cap, and one hand is open and the other is closed, it means one of us liked the umpire's valuation and the other didn't.  in that case, again there's no deal so there's no trade.  but the person whose hand was open and agreed to the valuation gets to keep the prize money and the cap.  that money in the cap was the incentive for each of us to agree with the valuation.  if i agreed with the umpire, it meant that i either made the deal with you or i got to keep the money in the cap.