When completed, the new east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge will be not only the most complex engineering feat in California history, but also the most expensive, with a cost never subjected to public scrutiny.
Although today’s price tag stands at $6.3 billion, the figure accounts for only salaries and hard materials—things like concrete and steel and cranes. When all is said and done, the new Bay Bridge will wind up costing tax- and toll-payers more than $12 billion—a figure that leaves even the officials in charge “staggered.”
Much of the difference comes from interest and other financing charges—money that commuters will be paying off until at least 2049. Little attention has been paid to billions of dollars not included in the direct construction cost projections published in glossy public reports.
Why the price has skyrocketed is a tale of politics, bureaucratic bumbling, and unforeseen construction problems—all classic ingredients of California public works projects. It is a tale of obscure but powerful agencies, legislative bickering, and four successive governors grappling with a project so massive and complex that one consultant suggested the human mind might be unable to grasp, or accept, “the magnitude of the undertaking and the time and resources required to complete it.”
:::: Unparalled Bridge, Unprecedented Cost ::::
MUST READ FOR BAY AREA RESIDENTS
A brief record of what I’ve learned based on looking over my browser history for the last few days.
+ Dentists do not have the highest suicide rate among professions (as we previously thought). Food batchmakers are actually highest followed by physicians, lathe operators, medical scientists, urban planners and THEN dentists. Some reports also list marine engineers.
+ Food batchmakers are the people who set up and operate equipment that mixes or blends ingredients used in the manufacturing of food products which somewhat strangely includes candy makers.
+ Suicide statistics are basically bs because most suicides are reported as accidents to protect the privacy of the family. Also, statistics are rare and involve very low sample sizes.
+ It was posited that dentists have a high suicide rate because they are not much liked by their customers but that turns out to be a small and probably less relevant part of the equation. Psychologists believe that it’s because dentists are typically perfectionists and that perfectionists respond to stress poorly and are much more likely to ignore the signs of depression.
+ Sexist humor actually encourages and reinforces sexism. >>>>>
:: Via Email (Thanks Daniella!) ::
from: Curtis Y
date Thu, May 13, 2010 at 5:39 PM
Nigger, the force is strong in you. Especially for a subhuman cripple!
Nigger: ancient wisdom awaits you in the archives of the Sith. The
red pill is out there. Will you take it? Follow these instructions:
Alas, the truth is more bitter than you can possibly imagine. But
don’t worry! Always and everywhere, the Jedi Council’s pleasant lies
remain available. You can return to them at any time. Three old
books will not turn you into Darth Nub. The path of the Sith is long
- longer than I know.
I worry, however, that you are too old to tear yourself away from the
false path of the Jedi. Is there an answer? There is. Increase the
It is not just your destiny, young man, to read these three books.
For you, I prescribe a *special* destiny
Most Sith Lords recommend an audiovisual presentation, perhaps one of
(Netflix also has the DVD)
On your journey, remember: the line between good and evil passes
through every human heart. And the same, presumably, for subhuman
I’m not publishing the redacted stuff but I can assure you that it is a whole extra level of what the fuck on this email. I’m too busy to check out all this stuff but I’ve made note of it for later if I feel like checking it out. Luckily I’ve already seen and blogged about the vice guide to liberia (which is quite good and I recommend).
Rat kings are phenomena said to arise when a number of rats become intertwined at their tails, which become stuck together with blood, dirt, ice, or excrement. The animals reputedly grow together while joined at the tails. The numbers of rats that are joined together can vary, but naturally rat kings formed from a larger number of rats are rarer. The phenomenon is particularly associated with Germany, where the majority of instances have been reported.
Historically, rat kings were seen as an extremely bad omen, particularly associated with plagues. This is a reasonable conclusion if they are formed naturally, since large populations of rats housed in insufficient space generally bring with them disease and pestilence.
Similar attachments have been reported in other species: in April 1929, a group of young forest mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) was reported in Holstein; and there have been reports of squirrel kings. The Tartu Ülikooli Zooloogiamuuseum (Museum of Zoology in Tartu, Estonia) has a specimen. The Zoological Institute of the University of Hamburg allegedly owns a specimen.
:: THE AUTHORITY ON RAT KINGS -> wikipedia ::
The student volunteers didn’t realize when the experiment started. They showed up at Yale University’s psychology building and met their contact near the elevators. She was holding some textbooks and a cup of coffee. The woman with the coffee was [part of the experiment]. She knew what she was supposed to do, but she didn’t know why. One by one, she took the students up to the fourth floor in an elevator. As they rode up, the woman asked students, “in a pretty innocuous way, if they wouldn’t mind holding her coffee cup while she wrote down some information,” Williams explained.
Half the students got to hold hot coffee; half got iced coffee. They held the cup for only a few seconds. But that short experience must have changed something in their brains. When they arrived at the fourth floor, they filled out questionnaires. They read a short description of a hypothetical person — Person A — and they had to evaluate this stranger’s personality.
Here’s where the coffee’s influence became apparent. “Participants who held the hot coffee cup rated this Person A as more generous, more social, happier, better natured” than participants who held the iced coffee cup, Williams said. Williams thinks it’s no coincidence that we use the same word — warmth — to describe both a physical and an emotional experience. Somewhere in the brain, those two sensations are linked, he says. And you can imagine why: Think of a baby held in its mother’s arms. The child is experiencing love, affection, comfort.
“But you also have, at the same time, an experience with a warm object, in that case a warm human being,” Williams said.
:: Full Article via A Real Live Conversation (Thanks Amy!!) ::
Now get off the internet and go give someone a hug.
Twitter is a baffle engine because 4000+ people want to hear this guy state very simply that he’s at a damn airport. No wry observation, no minimalist haiku, simply “at o’hare.” annnnnd Twitter is so popular that it crashes nearly every day. WTF-ists take pause, teh intarwebs are about providing platforms for people to do What They Want not about telling people what they have to do. Entrepreneurs and Technologists (including many of my colleagues) do not understand this.
New Friend Requests!!!
If the profile no longer exists why do I have to deny their friend request?!?!? Shouldn’t this just disappear? gah!
dear ruthie, I totally think you’re a real person and not a porn fakesters* created by a sophisticated bot. what? you have a cam?!? only 5.99 a minute? I would have never guessed.
*see attack of the smartasses a great article from sf weekly when friendster was considered an “uber-chic” dating site.
also, this is a amazing article on how the CIA used a fake sci fi movie to sneak hostages out of iran.
:: whoa via wired ::