Wheelchair ramp will cost $100,000 a foot

Wouldn't it be cheaper to just buy her one (or a hundred) of those wheelchairs that can climb stairs?
Where else but San Francisco City Hall could a 10-foot-long wheelchair ramp wind up costing $1 million?

Thanks to a maze of bureaucratic indecision and historic restrictions, taxpayers may shell out $100,000 per foot to make the Board of Supervisors president's perch in the historic chambers accessible to the disabled.

Supervisor Jake McGoldrick [...] asked that the board take some more time to come up with an alternative, like maybe just getting rid of the president's elevated seat.

The root of the problem dates back to when City Hall got a $300 million makeover in the 1990s that made just about every hallway, bathroom and office accessible to the disabled. The exception was the board president's podium, which is reachable only for someone who can climb the five steps from the chamber floor.

The understanding was that the room would eventually be made fully accessible. But no one worried about the podium until 2004 when Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, who uses a wheelchair, joined the board. [...]

Even if the board gives its final blessing, however, construction of the ramp won't be completed before the end of the year - midway through Alioto-Pier's second and final term.

"I deserve equal access to every part of the chamber," Alioto-Pier told her colleagues, adding that ending discrimination is worth the $1 million.

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Richard Box: Field

"The 1301 fluorescent tubes are powered only by the
electric fields generated by overhead powerlines."


QTVR panorama:

"There's an interactive element to all this, too, if you go to the site itself. 'You affect the lights by your proximity', says Richard, 'because you're a much better conductor than a glass tube. And there's sound as well as light - a crackling that corresponds to the flashing of the lights. There's a certain smell too, and your hair stands slightly on end.'"
Scene missing! A video that used to be embedded in this post has disappeared. If you know of a copy of this video that is still accessible, please mail me so that I can update the link.
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mixtape 019

Please enjoy jwz mixtape 019.

This is the sequel to mixtape 014, in that back before the Pleistocene extinction event, this is also music we used to refer to as "industrial", at least until it was retconned into "EBM".

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Current Music: as noted

Implantable Orgazmatron

Orgasmatron
The experimental implant -- now trademarked by Meloy as the Orgasmatron -- rests on the skin just above the belt line. Two electrodes snake into the space between the vertebrae and the spinal cord. A video-game-like remote control allows women (or their partners) to turn electrical pulses on and off and fiddle with timing and intensity.

Design work is underway to get the cost of the procedure down to about $12,000 -- roughly the price of breast implants, Meloy says.

He plans to shrink the size of the internal processor to the size of two sticks of gum and the external processor to roughly the size of a belt pager, all while ensuring that the system is durable enough to withstand shear forces of typical use.

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cats or lesbians.

To: MYSPACE
Re: cats or lesbians.
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dnalounge update

DNA Lounge update, wherein you view many photos.
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mixtape 018

Please enjoy jwz mixtape 018.

No particular theme this time; in fact, I did this one the old skool way: by taking the song that happened to be playing as a starting point, and then giving myself only the length of that song to decide upon the next one, ad nauseam. Imagine that. Lazy? Or disciplined? You decide.

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Current Music: as noted

looking forward into the past

MySpace, 2008:

NCSA Mosaic, 1993:

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Current Music: Jem -- Save Me ♬

the smell of space

ISS Science Officer Don Pettit:
Each time, when I repressed the airlock, opened the hatch and welcomed two tired workers inside, a peculiar odor tickled my olfactory senses. At first I couldn't quite place it. It must have come from the air ducts that re-pressed the compartment. Then I noticed that this smell was on their suit, helmet, gloves, and tools. It was more pronounced on fabrics than on metal or plastic surfaces. It is hard to describe this smell; it is definitely not the olfactory equivalent to describing the palette sensations of some new food as "tastes like chicken." The best description I can come up with is metallic; a rather pleasant sweet metallic sensation. It reminded me of my college summers where I labored for many hours with an arc welding torch repairing heavy equipment for a small logging outfit. It reminded me of pleasant sweet smelling welding fumes. That is the smell of space.
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Smile

(WMV)

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