jesse_the_k: Well nourished white woman riding black Quantum 4400 powerchair off the right edge, chased by the word "powertool" (JK powertool)
This 4:10 captioned video provides great background on the "wheelchair symbol," more formally known as the International Symbol of Accessibility. Using plain language, the presenter explains its history, application, why it applies to more than wheelchair users, and why it might need changing.

If you're disabled, how do you feel about this symbol? Do you find it helpful in the abstract? Is it deployed usefully in your life? Do you know of any different symbols that don't use wheelchairs?
video under the cut )
jesse_the_k: those words in red on white sign (be aware of invisibility)
Another reason I adore the podcast 99percent invisible is they publish several articles on their site between each audio release. This one is catnip to an infrastructure fan like myself:

It all clicked when researchers realized that unexpected materials they found in ancient concrete weren’t added ingredients — instead, a chemical reaction had created them in place. Components in the mix dissolved, interacted and changed, leaving new materials to crystallize in the gaps over the centuries. Today’s researchers working to create things like self-healing concrete may be able to draw lessons as they endeavor to create resilient structures and revise concrete mixes.

http://99percentinvisible.org/article/cracking-case-secret-ingredient-explains-durability-roman-concrete

This could point the way to concrete without Portland cement, which might mean concrete without the huge energy burden.

jesse_the_k: mirror reflection of 1/3 of my head, creating a central third eye, a heart shaped face, and a super-pucker mouth (Default)
The weather is delightful: on the low side of 70°F, with constant gentle breezes. I welcome the partly cloudy skies, as full sun down here burns me in a New-York minute.

Our little house is in one of the oldest parts of town, but the dwellings are so modest that it hasn't been gentrified. Next-door is condemned & they're living in their garage.

I rolled to a Farmer's Market — tragically no fresh greens, but OMG fresh pralines, a novelty almost as delicious as chocolate. (Butter, cream, pecans, sugar.) The sidewalks are just wide enough for my chair, around 36in. They've done an excellent job maintaining flatness considering the wealth of old, rooted trees. There was only one place I got airborne.

Late lunch at a pho restaurant called Pho. Tasty but not cosmic.

There's a concrete beach walk — around 25 yards from the low-tide line. After a suitable post-prandial nap, I was able to use my rolling walker for a stroll down to the "harbor" (a channel cut in to maximize water access).

Here's a Google beach view where I started:

https://www.google.com/maps/@30.405177,-88.829476,3a,75y,91.02h,78.49t,357.76r/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1suV0Ps7oUw_Kir2No5w0ebQ!2e0!3e2!7i13312!8i6656

We had more clouds so more colors in our sunset appreciation, but this time-lapse provides a taste: described sunset video shot looking SSW )

jesse_the_k: Callum Keith Rennie shouts "Fuck no!"  (Fuck no sez CKR!)
(cross-posted to [community profile] access_fandom)

I'm not going to provide a link, for reasons that will become clear.

That announcement pushed a whole row of my Assistive Technology Geek buttons, and I gotta rant. I'll use the LEGO braille printer "BRAIGO" to illustrate why I get so hot under the collar when I see this shit. (My cred: I've hung out with people who use assistive technology since 1982; I designed and sold braille translation software and embossers in the late eighties; and I've personally depended on assistive technology since 1991.) Based on thirty year's close attention to the development/PR/funding/purchasing/abandonment cycle for assistive technology, here's my take on the BRAIGO announcement.

DESIGNERS GET COOKIES FOR PROTOTYPES, NOT AFFORDABLE PRODUCTS )

DEVELOPMENT WITHOUT EXPERT ENDUSERS IS POINTLESS  ) That's why the BRAIGO can't create useful braille.

PR BECOMES DISINFORMATION ) A $350 embosser would be an amazing thing. Hundreds of well-intentioned editors and readers are willing to take the inventor's word for it. But this device is not a embosser.

EXPERTS ARE AVAILABLE on REQUEST! ) We live in a press release culture: what the company wants to say is what we hear. Or in this case, what a 12 year old (who mentions absolutely no contact with braille users) says gets broadcast.

FAST FACTS RE EMBOSSERS & BRAILLE )

Start from the first dot at the RNIB's Learning Braille site or pick an excellent start for adults at the Achayra firm in India. Teach more at the National Federation of the Blind's Braille is Beautiful resource for kids.

tl;dr Just because assistive technologies are tools for people with disabilities doesn't mean we must accept only good intentions. We want the best engineers working on our designs, the best marketers making them affordable, and the best politicians making them subsidized.
jesse_the_k: mirror reflection of 1/3 of my head, creating a central third eye, a heart shaped face, and a super-pucker mouth (CKR fuck no!)
Probably news to nobody reading here, but it was such stunning evidence of greed in the hospital industry I just had to memorialize it.

This is from 17 May 2013 NYTimes article on the East Coast hospitals with the highest billing and payment. There's such a disconnect between what's charged and what's customarily paid that one must account for both. The users who pay the most are the uninsured; Medicare pays the least, and most insurance companies negotiate something in-between. Bayonne Medical Should be Bayonne Financial )
This is like buying a towing company, distributing your equipment to all roads in town, and then digging ditches across the road to guarantee business. As [personal profile] laceblade would undoubtedly say, This shit is wrong!

ETA to fix erroneous time travel
jesse_the_k: those words in red on white sign (be aware of invisibility)
Thanks to [twitter.com profile] JadAbumrad, a detailed article about the impressive, yet well hidden, ventilation towers all over New York City (and the terminii of tunnels elsewhere): Imagine an entire city district dedicated to nothing but ventilating the underworld!

I think the new Airport is working, but the cable modem is so damn intermittent I don't have enough data to be sure. All this technomagic is great when it's working, but massively frustrating when it falls apart in your lap like a house of cards.

Dialup never gave me this tsurris!

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jesse_the_k: mirror reflection of 1/3 of my head, creating a central third eye, a heart shaped face, and a super-pucker mouth (Default)
Jesse the K

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