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: Wherein there are itty bitty photos, and the legal system fails us.

An excerpt from one of our recent Yelp reviews:

Left the club for a second and the security guard told me I was too drunk to come in? Bitch, you don't know me.

Ah, Yelp.

We got some nice press on a couple of recent shows: Kim Boekbinder and Trash Talk. And they come with photos... well, such as they are.

I brought my camera to the Kim Boekbinder show, and I looked around and saw no less than four people with SLRs frantically shooting every second of the show, so I thought to myself, "Oh good, I can watch the show instead of shooting it!"

Yeah. So these are the only photos I got. And they're tiny.

Then there's the Trash Talk ones: there were four acts and we get ten photos, and they're 450×300 pixels. I don't know about you, but my four-year-old computer has a 2650×1440 screen. Who thinks it's ok to publish a 450px-wide photo these days? (The photos in the other set aren't much bigger, either.) Here, lemme give you a little schematic of what that looks like on my screen:


Seriously, what year is this?

I guess my recent enthusiasm for our new photo pass regime was premature.

Also I love that the SFBG site goes out of its way to make it hard to copy the photos, because heaven forfend someone might "steal" that postage stamp from them. I had to do "Inspect Element" to get the URLs, oh the indignity.

(Update: The first photographer from the Trash Talk show sent me more and larger images, yay! And I just got some from a second photographer, too. So that's great. My criticism of SFBG's postage-stamp site stands, though.)

Fun fact about the Trash Talk folks: any room they are in smells strongly of weed even when nobody is smoking weed. I assume that every piece of gear they own is imbued with it. Seriously there was nothing in the room but road cases and it already reeked up the place.

In other fun news, you may recall our policy of arresting and prosecuting any taggers we catch destroying our property. We've got two cases outstanding currently, and you would simply not believe how slowly the wheels of so-called "justice" turn on this shit. No wonder nobody ever prosecutes these shitbags: nobody is as stubborn as I am!

So this isn't about noted shitbag Kyle Neesan -- we still have no recent updates on his case -- but is about a tagger that we arrested in 2011 by the name of Frank Diamos, age 23. After more than a year, Barry's ritual of weekly calls to the DA's office asking for a status update resulted in this reply:

From: Marc Massarweh, SF Assistant District Attorney

I'm sorry for the delay in responding. I was attempting to track down the officer that deals with graffiti warrants. I do now have more information for you though. It looks like the case was cited as a Misdemeanor, came to our office and was sent to Neighborhood Court. Apparently, as you know, the subject did not appear at his Neighborhood Court. Usually when that happens the case gets forwarded back to the Misdemeanor Charging attorney or down to the head of Misdemeanors to be charged if we are still within the charging timeline. If we are not, the case is forwarded back to the police station from where it originated to have the officers there prepare a warrant to go out and re-cite or arrest the suspect. We have one year from the date of the crime to charge a Misdemeanor case.

Here, I'm not sure where the disconnect occurred, but it appears none of those steps took place in a timely fashion. Whether the case never went back to the Charging Deputy to be charged, or the case never went back to SFPD or SFPD never drew up a warrant, I do not know. It does appear, however, that the case slipped through the cracks, and since the one year timeline has lapsed, our hands are unfortunately tied in regards to this case.

I am very sorry for that piece of news and will discuss the issue with my supervisor to make sure we can prevent this in the future. I know that does not help you in your particular case, however, I offer my apologies and hope that if I can do anything else you will not hesitate to call or email.

Please let me know if you would like to be put in touch with the supervisor of the Neighborhood Court division and I can do so.

Again, I am sorry.

As long as he's sorry, I guess justice has been done, huh?

Let that be a lesson to you, local business owners: the next time you catch someone vandalizing your property, just go Batman on their ass, take them around the corner and beat the living shit out of them. Even if you get arrested, apparently if you choose to just not show up for your court date, the DA won't even notice.

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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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