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Thank you for this morning's diversion.

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I just moved up from DC to NJ. It definitely modified by behavior. Down there, I didn't want to pay the five cent tax. (IIRC, I think the five cents went to Chesapeake Bay cleanup or something like that. It wasn't more money for the store.) Now that I am in NJ -- where there is no tax -- I still instinctually say, "no bag, thanks."

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I think the article was OCR'd. There were a few other mistakes that were clearly misinterpreted characters. I think the 1 in the thousands place is actually a comma on the source.

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Good point. There are many hints that article was OCR'd, for instance an ".4ECL" instead of "AECL".

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I like this app. However, most of my work Latex based. If you had something like this for Sublime Text, I would buy it.

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I think I would too. I like the idea. Not sure about calling it Hemingway, because I am a huge fan of the writer, but I would like to have something like this available for Sublime.

It might have to deal with markdown.

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Another vote that I would like this within Sublime (although I'm not sure how that would work), and would really like for the tool to be able to interpret Markdown. Right now it gets confused by the markup for hyperlinks.

Looks like a great tool for me to take rambling blog drafts and trip them down while editing/refining.

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Does lots of written work in restructed text and would buy as well (a sublime text addon, for example)!

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It would be great if there was some way to write Sublime / Vim / whatever plugins that use this.

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Not if it uploads my texts to some 3rdparty webservice, though

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Ya that's one thing I would like to avoid also.

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I gave this book out as a Christmas gift to a lot of people. I read it six months ago and it has dramatically improved my life.

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This just got more interesting.

I certainly found what they did distasteful. Their non-apology makes me lose tremendous respect for a company whose product I sincerely like and frequently use. As other people mentioned, they come off as whiny children -- "but Sally did it first!"

At the same time, I recognize that they might have just pulled off something really smart. If they had came out and said, "hey, Google, you should do something about our competition, they cheat" as a blog post, it might have got some attention but most people would write it off as "yea, who doesn't use SEO." Instead, they generated a publicity storm; provoked Google; then, pointed out that, to be consistent, everybody should be punished according to the severity of the offenses. RapGenius being the least severe offender comes out on top, and they still have the best product.

I am more inclined to believe they just fucked up than they actually thought about things from this game-theoretic perspective. Misquoting Hanlon's razor, "never attribute to genius that which can be adequately be explained by luck." Moreover, I don't know how much the loss of my respect and that of people like me will cost them, but as a startup it could be expensive.

Regardless, this has been fascinating to watch.

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they offered no proof and used a lame excuse for justification.

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I'm glad they stopped. I'm also glad they deleted this comment, although I would have been happier if they simply never made it. When I read it, I felt like I was watching a toddler who, after being caught cheating, complained "so did Sally!"

Just announce your _mea culpa_, and stop doing it. And, if you need to adopt strategies that do boost your ranks -- _which, given that RapGenius is a great service_, I don't think is long-term necessary -- avoid the patently obvious ones.

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Although Amtrak (esp on the East Coast) could not be construed as high speed, I suspect they are having a problem with buses too. Previously, I used Amtrak without fail to get from NJ to DC and back. Now, I take BoltBus or MegaBus unless they are fully booked. The bus takes 1-2 hours longer but usually costs about 1/5 to 1/6 the cost of Amtrak. Plus, they both have fantastic customer service whereas Amtrak seems to not care at all about their customers. (Admittedly, I've had some bad experiences on Amtrak, but I don't think they are particularly unusual.)

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Amtrak in the east surely does not care about "low tech" or "slower pace" people one whit. For example, all eastern corridor trains are off-limits for bicycles, all the time. And the NYC-Montreal service, while being the perfect duration for a night train (11 hours or so), only runs during the day, making it positively absurd for anyone to take the entire journey (it's not cheap enough for the unemployed).

Some buses will take bicycles, and they have more services each day too. Amtrak may as well not exist except for specific commuter services such as NYC-Boston Acela (which is not value for money unless you're in the 1%).

NJ Transit, LIRR, and Metro-North are fairly cheap, compared to their counterparts elsewhere in the first world. Too bad they're not long-distance.

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Amtrak is excellent for Milwaukee<->Chicago. 1.5 hours, impervious to traffic, clean, comfortable (like a first class airplane seat), $24. It gets pretty high utilization too.

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My wife and I ride Amtrak all the time between Wilmington and DC, because with a 1 year old the extra room is a godsend. We've had uniformly positive experiences with the customer service, both the Red Caps who always give us a hand with the stroller and finding a seat at the end of a car, to the ticketing protocol that automatically refunds no-shows (although unfortunately that's changing in March).

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I've been pretty happy with the Acela service between Boston and NYC, but it is considerably more expensive than the buses. Sometimes it's even more expensive than some of the planes, though they're more comfortable and quicker when you account for airport traffic/parking and TSA nonsense.

I've also tried four of the bus lines. They're generally cool, but there are significant differences in terms of convenience of the pick-up and drop-off points at both ends. They don't all go right to the door of Penn Station. ;) Still, for someone on a budget, they just whip the alternatives. The only way either trains or planes could win would be to offer a significant reduction in total door-to-door travel time with prices no worse than double. I don't see any way they'll be able to do that.

If people want to improve the long-distance transportation infrastructure, I think high speed rail is the wrong place to look. There are surely better ways to take advantage of the train right-of-way and station infrastructure, probably some variant on electric buses traveling at the same speed as today.

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MegaBus around here has some pretty horrid customer service. Buses are frequently quite late (by several hours even), drivers then speed at 10-15MPH over the posted limit to try and make up time. The built in WiFi is generally either broken or basically inoperable (EDGE mobiledata is faster!). On top of that, the drivers are usually asshats about everything.

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I've been getting MRIs every four months for 9 years now. (I had a very rare type of cancer.) My admittedly anecdotal experience is that most places seem to be getting worse at administering them. I suspect they are being prescribed for diagnosis much more, and the techs are somewhat harried by the stricter schedules. GE's Adventure Series is certainly a good idea, but I think it's easy to forget how important it is for the techs to administer them well, and how an overworked problem may exist for them.

As for the noise (that other people were flippantly dismissing), it really can be jarring. Cover your ears with your hands, with your fingers pointed towards the back of your head at about at 45 degree upward angle. Then, repeatedly bang your head with your middle fingers while your ears are still covered. That's roughly the a quieter version of one of the more unsettling sounds.

I'm quite used to it -- to the point that I always ask the tech to tape my head in case I fall asleep and move -- but still. That sound is not just the rhythm backing a techno song; it's the sound of parts swirling around you with massive energy.

It maybe safe, but so are roller coasters. Yet, while you go on a roller coaster looking for a thrill, you enter an MRI machine with the very real fear that something could be very wrong with you. That's not going to make for a pleasant experience. And, it's not surprising that that underlying fear might be projected elsewhere.

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I agree, I got a CT for something they could have stuck a camera or mirror in my mouth to see. They also billed me directly instead of my insurance. I can't help but think it had more to do with them making money than treating me.

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I fully get the noise thing, and I find it hard to believe that anyone would do a scan without giving hearing protection. Possibly on old, low field magnets? At 3T it would exceed 100db no problem. In the control room I've measured 90+ db on my (highly calibrated) phone. It's loud and its negligent not to give hearing protection.

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Around freshman year of college -- yes, college -- my roomate got an order of Omaha steaks. They were packed in dry ice. I took the dry ice; packed it in a two liter bottle; put in hot water; and, put the cap on. I stood there for about 10 seconds before I realized that a) there was no reason to think the force would be directed out the top like my weird cartoon original conception implied and b) it would take a lot of force to rip apart the two liter bottle.

Immediately, I threw the bottle into our bathroom tub and me and the friend that was there with me stood about 10 feet outside the door. After two or three minutes, I started feeling silly. Nothing was going to happen. About 10 seconds later, it blew up. The metal part faucet in the bathtub was bent, and the shockwave had enough force to knock me and my friend down (although, it could have just been fear) and I couldn't hear for about two hours.

This was around 2003. Not one person came by my dorm to investigate. I think if it was now, I would have been arrested. Admittedly, I was stupid, but not maliciously so.

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Dry ice can be hard to acquire in some places.

Luckily liquid hydrochloric acid based drain cleaners and aluminum foil are readily available everywhere and achieve the same results.

2Al + 6HCl -> 2AlCl3 + 3H2 = Boom.

The only caveat is that it throws the unreacted acid everywhere, and it's pretty strongly exothermic, but I mean, you're building a small bomb so...yeah.

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ahh, dry ice, water and closed containers. It's a classic. I blew up stuff using this method less than a year ago.

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