Monday, February 22, 2010

Bailout Apocalypse

Rolling Stone just published a frighteningly dramatic article that paints bailout-receivers as dirty con artists, and predicts that we're heading towards an even bigger economic crash. It actually uses the phrase "rape the taxpayer."

After seven pages, I hear a very believable story that we never should have bailed out corporate companies; they are spending all the bailouts on their own employees, have not changed the gambling behavior that caused their first crash and are setting themselves up to crash again, because now they know they can just get more money from the government once they crash. (I know that was a long sentence, so you might want to read it again.)

If you think this sounds like doom-and-gloom forecasting you are correct. Reading this article put me in a panic over how the "little man" can possibly stand up to the rich elite that is apparently going to keep taking our money, forever and ever! I thought Rolling Stone was about looking at Rock Stars and feeling cool...when did they switch to worrying about the fate of the free world?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Metro Madness

The MTA has some 'splaining to do. I lost $4 in a machine the other day and since then I've seen nothing but bad policy on their end. Awful, pirate-worthy policy.

To start, I was refilling my card and the machine looked like everything worked fine, but when I went to use the card it said insufficient fare. Inconvenience #1. I went back to the machine to find a receipt had printed out saying, "Trans: Add Value FAILED / Failure Reason: Unable to return money." I brought this to the teller and they told me the only way to get a refund was to call the MTA.

I called the next morning and was greeted by a recording that stated, "If you are calling to check on a refund, please be aware that our refund processing is backlogged and all refunds will be delayed for an undetermined amount of time." Blatantly curious at this point, I waited 30 min to speak to a phone rep only to be told that the only way to get my $4 back was to mail in the receipt, and my metrocard! He almost hung up without giving me the address even though I had asked twice.

Tired of all this hassle, I decided to read about the EasyPayXpress Metrocard for future use. For this card, you pay $45 and it is automatically refilled before it runs out, so you can avoid the dastardly MTA machines! Sounds great, except the card automatically refills whenever it's balance drops to $20, and a metro ride is only $2 and change. So owning this card, you've basically donated $20 to the MTA that you will never be able to spend until you cancel the card.

If only the MTA didn't have a monopoly on subway service, maybe these subway-robbery methods wouldn't exist. But, I suppose the subway could always be worse..

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Alli, Weight Loss via Suffering

I normally hate watching TV and last night I was reminded why. The worst of consumer culture swarmed the airwaves around 12am in a cacophony of diet commercials. I was surprised to see one for the diet pill Alli because I heard it was removed from the market due to bad side affects, so I Googled it and the results were acutely disturbing:

Alli is still on the market but it causes you to loose weight in a punishing way; if you eat fatty foods your anal sphincter becomes useless. Yes, you will poo your pants and it will be greasy, noisy and possibly explosive. And even if you stick to a diet plan, there is a period of adjustment where you will experience "treatment effects" including

» Gas with an oily anal discharge
» Loose stools or diarrhea
» More-frequent bowel movements
» Hard-to-control bowel movements

I'm not exaggerating, this list is quoted directly from the Alli review at . The reason Alli produces such awful effects is that it works by preventing your body from absorbing part of the fat you consume, so that fat just zooms through your body as oily sludge instead. The less calories from fat you consume, the less painful your "treatment effects" will be.

And how much weight can you expect to lose while on Alli? It only works when combined with a restricted diet and exercise plan, and the website says it will not cause any weight loss on its own, merely increase the effectiveness of your diet plan by 50%. So if your own, non-diaper demanding diet plan would net you 10 pounds lost, Alli will make that 15.

How could this possibly be worth it?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cell-ebrity Author makes $600k at 15 yrs

And my teachers used to say, "Texting on your phone is a waste of time!"

Maybe they should have encouraged us to text more in class! Then I too, could have become famous, and published a SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLAR ($600,000) novel; like this Tokyo teenager so famous she is now known only as "Bunny." Being a one-named celebrity now puts her right up there with Madonna and ...Madonna?