Cuddle Therapy

Travis Sigley:

A pioneer of the worldwide cuddling revolution, Sigley fancies himself a cuddle practitioner and intimacy educator.

A firm believer in the healing power of touch, Sigley founded his business, Cuddle Therapy, three years ago out of his home. His wide array of clients hire him for hour-long cuddling and meditation sessions, during which he will talk to them about anything they desire (or simply remain silent).

But Sigley doesn't want to stop at one-on-one cuddling appointments. He's aiming to bring his brand international, starting with partnerships with other cuddle practitioners and a "cuddle road trip" planned for early next year.

Best part:

Q: If you could cuddle with any person, living or dead, who would it be?

Now I figured he'd go with, "Abraham Lincoln. Big guy, big reach. Skinny guys fight 'til they're burger." But no:

A: I think it would be fascinating to cuddle with Nikola Tesla. He is not only a sheer genius based on his countless gifts and inspirations to science technology, he also lived a celibate life through its entirety. I'd be so interested what it would be like to truly feel Nikola Tesla, and what his internal world must have felt like.

The Serbian judge gives this answer a 7.5.

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I have Herped the Derps.

You may have noticed the HERP DERP checkbox above my blog comments, here. It may make things more tolerable. If you are so moved, you can also herp all the derps on your own WordPress blog.

You're welcome.

Previously.

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DNA Lounge update

DNA Lounge update, wherein there are itty bitty photos, and the legal system fails us.
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You may return to your homes. The Maple Syrup Gang has been captured.

3 Arrested in Massive Maple Heist

Three people have been arrested and five others are being sought in connection with the theft from a warehouse in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford.

Two-thirds of the syrup was recovered. The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, which bills itself as keeper of the global strategic maple syrup reserve, said in August that up to 10 million pounds of the sweet stuff was in the warehouse from which the theft occurred but could not say exactly how much was missing. The total value of all the syrup in the warehouse was put at $30 million.

The theft was discovered during a routine inventory check of the warehouse, which "had been secured by a fence and locks, and visited regularly," federation president Serge Beaulieu said in a statement in August.

The barrels that originally contained the syrup were empty, meaning it was somehow transferred to other containers to complete the theft, the federation said.

Police said Tuesday that they had seized vehicles that were used to transport the stolen sticky stuff as well as carts, lifts, scales and kettles.

They said their investigation of the thefts covered the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario as well as the northern United States. Almost 300 people were interviewed as part of the investigation, police said.

I remind you again that the Global Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve is a thing that exists.

Previously.

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Stem Cell Facelift

You too can grow bones in your eyes!

She explained that she could not open her right eye without considerable pain and that every time she forced it open, she heard a strange click -- a sharp sound, like a tiny castanet snapping shut. [...] Six and a half hours of surgery later, he and his colleagues had dug out small chunks of bone from the woman's eyelid and tissue surrounding her eye, which was scratched but largely intact. The clicks she heard were the bone fragments grinding against one another.

About three months earlier the woman had opted for a relatively new kind of cosmetic procedure at a different clinic in Beverly Hills -- a face-lift that made use of her own adult stem cells. First, cosmetic surgeons had removed some the woman's abdominal fat with liposuction and isolated the adult stem cells within -- a family of cells that can make many copies of themselves in an immature state and can develop into several different kinds of mature tissue. In this case the doctors extracted mesenchymal stem cells -- which can turn into bone, cartilage or fat, among other tissues -- and injected those cells back into her face, especially around her eyes. The procedure cost her more than $20,000, Wu recollects. Such face-lifts supposedly rejuvenate the skin because stem cells turn into brand-new tissue and release chemicals that help heal aging cells and stimulate nearby cells to proliferate.

During the face-lift her clinicians had also injected some dermal filler, which plastic surgeons have safely used for more than 20 years to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The principal component of such fillers is calcium hydroxylapatite, a mineral with which cell biologists encourage mesenchymal stem cells to turn into bone -- a fact that escaped the woman's clinicians.

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Variable-rate parking meter fail.

SFpark hourly meters actually saves motorists money

Since taking effect in April 2011, average hourly rates have dropped by 14 cents from $2.73 to $2.59 at the 7,000 SFpark meters. Overall, 17 percent of those meters offer hourly rates of $1 or less -- prices that are significantly cheaper than the ones offered at The City's 22,000 older meters. And 6 percent of SFpark meters go for as cheap as 25 cents an hour, according to data from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which oversees parking policies in The City. The drop in prices for on-street parking meters coincides with a 20 percent rate decrease in SFMTA-run garages.

Because the SFpark meters provide more payment options for motorists, ticket citations have decreased.

Previously, the SFMTA received about 45 percent of its parking revenue from citations. At the SFpark meters, that rate is 20 percent, agency spokesman Paul Rose said.

Rates at the SFpark meters are adjusted every six weeks to reflect demand for specific spaces, with prices as high as $5.75 an hour. Jay Primus, project manager at SFpark, noted that only half the meters were changed during the last adjustment, meaning that prices are nearing an hourly rate that will consistently manage demand.

Ok, so it's not surprise that the headline and most of the article start from the assumption that anything that makes it cheaper to own a car is good -- saving money good! -- and totally ignores the fact that car owners are already heavily subsidized and not paying their fair share of the resources they use and the damage they cause to our society. That's expected.

But:

Instead of drawing in reams of revenue for the SFMTA, the SFpark program has actually contributed to a slight loss. The agency expects to receive about $5.5 million less than expected from parking citations this fiscal year, although those losses are offset mostly by an increase of $4.4 million from additional meter revenue. The agency has a total budget of $830 million.

"The obligation of this program from the onset was to achieve the lowest parking prices possible to achieve our goals," Primus said. "I think we're proving that."

So, after having installed this system, they have shifted the balance of their revenue stream to make more from "meters" and less from "citations", and credit the UI of the new meters with that, which is nice I guess, but it's still the transfer of money from drivers to the State, so who cares how it gets there, really.

The bottom line seems to be that after installing this expensive and complicated new system, they're down not only the cost of the system, but have also reduced their annual revenue by $1.1M.

I guess they'll... make it up in volume...?

I like the ideas behind SFPark -- it uses math and science to do both economics and social engineering and that's kind of awesome -- but if the end result is that it's giving drivers even more of a free ride than the previous, low-tech system did, then I don't think it's working.

I suppose it's good that the new system results in fewer cars circling the block looking for parking, wasting gas and making a menace of themselves, but is that $1.1M worth of good?

Previously, previously, previously.

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