Profile

Cover photo
Brent Kensey
96 followers|479,326 views
AboutPostsPhotosReviews

Stream

Brent Kensey

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
There's also Google's echo-chamber problem. Think about the fractured political landscape we live in, where meat-munching Red Staters can punch in "Obama's a Muslim," while patchouli-scented libertarians can type up "Bush did 9/11," and both can be validated with pages giving them "evidence" for whatever they'd like to see. "Google is extremely good at giving you what you want," says Epstein. "They're doing more customized rankings, they're getting better at knowing who you are. It's a feel-good experience."

Interesting take on the personalized internet.
"The internet is the biggest source of misinformation about mental health that has ever been created," says Dr. Robert Epstein, mental health expert and former <i>Psychology Today</i> editor-in-chief.
View original post
1
Add a comment...

Brent Kensey

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
Every time there's a riot people cry out "I can't believe the police let people destroy things!!". Even when history has shown us that "an intimidating police presence didn’t prevent confrontation, it invited it". Police have to attempt to maintain a delicate balance when dealing with riots. More often than not people seem to forget lives are more important than property. I don't think a single person has been killed during these riots, and injuries have been kept to a minimum. There's no perfect way to handle a riot, but if you managed to keep a riot down to just some destruction of property and a few injuries I think you could have done a lot worse.

"One of the pioneers of community policing — a form of policing that stresses interaction over reaction, deescalation over brute force, and that police should have a stake in the communities they serve —is Jerry Wilson, who was appointed police chief for Washington, D.C. in 1969. Wilson was of course appointed during a very turbulent time in America, and he took office just after the riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. had ripped the city apart. But Wilson went to great pains to recruit police officers from the city’s residents, and to try to make the police force more reflective of the city. He also took a much different approach to protest. I interviewed Wilson for my recent book on police militarization. Here’s a passage from the section about Wilson’s approach to protest:

Wilson believed that an intimidating police presence didn’t prevent confrontation, it invited it. That didn’t mean he didn’t prepare, but he put his riot control teams in buses, then parked the buses close by, but out of sight of protesters. Appearances were important. In general, instead of the usual brute force and reactionary policing that tended to pit cops against citizens—both criminal and otherwise—Wilson believed that cops were more effective when they were welcomed and respected in the neighborhoods they patrolled. “The use of violence,” he told Time in 1970, “is not the job of police officers.”

It’s worth noting that during Wilson’s tenure, not only did Washington, D.C. not see the level of rioting and protest violence we saw in other parts of the country, crime actually fell in the city, even as it soared across the rest of the country."

Via http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/08/14/after-ferguson-how-should-police-respond-to-protests/
2 comments on original post
1
Add a comment...

Brent Kensey

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
Yet another peer reviewed article of a large sample of children showing no link between MMR vaccines and autism.

In this large sample of privately insured children with older siblings, receipt of the MMR vaccine was not associated with increased risk of ASD, regardless of whether older siblings had ASD. These findings indicate no harmful association between MMR vaccine receipt and ASD even among children already at higher risk for ASD.

#vaccines #autism
Importance Despite research showing no link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism spectrum disorders (ASD), beliefs that the vaccine causes autism persist, leading to lower vaccination levels. Parents who already have a child with ASD may be especially wary of vaccinations. Objective To report ...
2 comments on original post
1
Add a comment...

Brent Kensey

Shared publicly  - 
 
Just a few favorites from the greenhouse.
3
Brent Kensey's profile photoKree Terry's profile photoJoyce Piper's profile photo
4 comments
 
Beautiful!
Add a comment...

Brent Kensey

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
I asked my grandpa what it felt like to grow old. Grandpa is a man who will deliberate on which part of the newspaper to start with each morning, so I knew my question would take him some time to answer. I said nothing. I let him gather his thoughts.
When I was a boy, Grandpa had once complimented me on this habit. He told me it was good that I asked a question and gave a person silence. And being that any compliment from him was so few and far between, this habit soon became a part of my personality and one that served me well.
Grandpa stared out the window and looked at the empty bird feeder that hung from an overgrown tree next to the pond he built in the spring of 1993. For twenty years, Grandpa filled up the feeder each evening. But he stopped doing it last winter when walking became too difficult for him.
Without ever taking his eyes from the window, he asked me a question: “Have you ever been in a hot shower when the water ran cold?” I told him I had.
“That’s what aging feels like. In the beginning of your life it’s like you’re standing in a hot shower. At first the water is too warm, but you eventually grow used to the heat and begin enjoying it. But you take it for granted when you’re young and think it’s going to be this way forever. Life goes on like this for some time.”
Grandpa looked at me with those eyes that had seen so much change in this world. He smiled and winked at me.
“And if you’re lucky, a few good looking women will join you in the shower from time to time.”
We laughed. He looked out the window and continued on.
“You begin to feel it in your forties and fifties. The water temperature declines just the slightest bit. It’s almost imperceptible, but you know it happened and you know what it means. You try to pretend like you didn’t feel it, but you still turn the faucet up to stay warm. But the water keeps going lukewarm. One day you realize the faucet can’t go any further, and from here on out the temperature begins to drop. And everyday you feel the warmth gradually leaving your body.”
Grandpa cleared his throat and pulled a stained handkerchief from his flannel shirt pocket. He blew his nose, balled up the handkerchief, and put it back in his pocket.
“It’s a rather helpless feeling, truth told. The water is still pleasant, but you know it will soon become cold and there’s nothing you can do about it. This is the point when some people decide to leave the shower on their own terms. They know it's never going to get warmer, so why prolong the inevitable? I was able to stay in because I contented myself recalling the showers of my youth. I lived a good life, but still wish I hadn’t taken my youth for granted. But it’s too late now. No matter how hard I try, I know I’ll never get the hot water back on again.”
He paused for a few moments and kept looking out the window with those eyes that had seen ninety-one years on this Earth. Those eyes that lived through the Great Depression, those eyes that beheld the Pacific Ocean in World War II, those eyes that saw the birth of his three children, five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
He had indeed lived a good life, I thought to myself.
“And that’s what it feels like to grow old.”
I asked my grandpa what it felt like to grow old. Grandpa is a man who will deliberate on which part of the newspaper to start with each morning,...
25 comments on original post
1
Add a comment...
Have him in circles
96 people
Andrew Piper's profile photo
Eloy  Salas's profile photo
Kevin Ratliff's profile photo
Elizabeth Collins's profile photo
Jamie Pfahl's profile photo
Jenny Dunn's profile photo
Amazing Box's profile photo
Toilet Training Boys's profile photo
Sam Grieggs's profile photo

Brent Kensey

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
PSA time

I've had a few friends ask me lately where they should be getting their credit score from. With so many places offering it either for free or "free" it's hard to know where is best.

TLDR: Pay for MyFico.com

The first thing I explain to them is that there are different models used to create a credit score. You have to decide which model you want to get a score from and then go from there.

The two popular ones currently are FICO 8 and Vantage Plus 3 (a model created by Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). FICO is used by the majority (~90%) of lenders, and is the score you should really be looking at if you're actively looking to get any type of loan. That's not to say that Vantage doesn't have it's perks though. Vantage scores can be obtained for free, where as the only way you're getting a FICO score is from the Fair Isaac Corporation itself. Getting a FICO score through Discover? That's because they're paying Fair Isaac Corporation to get it. FICO is never free, someone is always paying for it. Vantage on the other hand can usually be obtained many different ways to where if anyone is paying for it, it's not you and it's not much.

If you're going the free route, and your credit card doesn't offer you a FICO score, you should look at CreditKarma.com. They offer a truly free Vantage Plus 3 score updated periodically. The way they're able to offer this score for free is they anonymously use your data and provide you with credit and bank offers. These offers are sponsored. Credit card providers get to target people more accurately through a platform like Credit Karma so they pay Credit Karma to suggest their cards to certain people. I've been signed up for CK since it was in beta years ago and they've always been a great free service.

Rebuilding your credit or want to take a more active approach to monitoring your credit? Your FICO score is what you should be looking at. As mentioned above the only people calculating this score is the Fair Isaac Corporation. Your bank doesn't know how your score is calculated, your credit card company doesn't, your auto dealership can't tell you how your score was calculated. Only Fair Isaac Corporation.

If you're paying anyone for your FICO score other than the Fair Isaac Corporation you may want to reconsider. Those people are reselling your FICO score to you and taking a cut. They may offer other services along with it, but you're allowing them access to this data. That access needs to come with some perks else it's not worth it.

https://www.myfico.com/ is offered by Fair Isaac Corporation. When you're paying this site, you're paying for your FICO score directly. myfico.com isn't free, of course, but their costs are pretty reasonable for what they offer in my opinion. At $24.95 you get a report from Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. You also get multiple versions of your FICO score (yes, there's different versions used by different types of lenders) instantly. Most importantly, in my opinion, is that you get alerts any time something is reported to either of those 3 bureaus as well as an updated credit score. This means any time you look at this site you're viewing your most up to date FICO 8 scores.

The site provides numerous helpful tools, and it's very well laid out. One of those tools is a credit score calculator that lets you estimate how your score will be affected based on different things. Who better to get a tool like this from than from FICO themselves? 

If you're getting a score through your credit card or bank, take a moment to find out what kind of score it is. Capital One, for example, gives you a credit score. The fine print? The model they use is the " TransUnion New Account Model". This model isn't one that even Capital One uses for lending purposes, let alone anyone else. 

Even if your credit card or bank offers a FICO, they almost never offer one for all 3 bureaus. You may have a FICO Bankcard 8 for Equifax but if you go to finance a car through Mercedes you'l find out they use Fico Auto 8 Transunion only. Not everything is reported to all 3, and your scores will typically vary between them. a couple of points can sometimes be the difference in your loan rate. 600-649 is considered a 27% risk, where as 650 to 699 is a 13% risk, and 700-749 is a 5% risk (according to FICO). Those are pretty huge differences.

Confused about any of the above or just have some questions I might be able to answer? Feel free to put them in the comments below
20 comments on original post
1
Add a comment...

Brent Kensey

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
People who say that property destruction that happens by a small group of people in a larger protest causes them to not be favorable towards the cause of said protest most likely didn't care much about the issue to begin with.

It's not property damage versus issue group is outraged about, you can still support the larger group of non violent protesters without damning them all because of the actions of some. Stop being ignorant.
View original post
1
Add a comment...

Brent Kensey

Shared publicly  - 
 
How better to deal with an infestation of aphids than to introduce an army of ladybugs?
5
Joyce Piper's profile photoBrent Kensey's profile photo
2 comments
 
Sure did!
Add a comment...

Brent Kensey

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
#pixelpushing

And then Obama "sharply criticized" the Chinese government for planning to require technology companies to install security backdoors in their products, and oh, by the way, those would be the exact damn same security backdoors that his own government flatly and publicly admitted to require again and again (and again), and I was all like...
10 comments on original post
2
Add a comment...

Brent Kensey

Shared publicly  - 
 
"...'When memory is called to answer, it often answers back with deception. How is it that almost every warm bar stool contains a hero, a star of his own epic, who is the sum of his amazing stories?

If I said I was a fat thug who beat up women and sold bad coke, would you like my story? What if instead I wrote that I was a recovered addict who obtained sole custody of my twin girls, got us off welfare and raised them by myself, even though I had a little touch of cancer? Now we’re talking. Both are equally true, but as a member of a self-interpreting species, one that fights to keep disharmony at a remove, I’m inclined to mention my tenderhearted attentions as a single parent before I get around to the fact that I hit their mother when we were together. We tell ourselves that we lie to protect others, but the self usually comes out looking damn good in the process.' -David Carr

That, right there, is the root of his readers’ trust: Carr had doubt, a result of his deep self-awareness and the intimate knowledge of his own failings, and was thus far closer to the truth, whatever that might be, than most of us. It’s so easy to be certain, to think you know the answers. It’s comforting, even as it blocks the pursuit of knowledge. Uncertainty and questions, though, are uncomfortable and humbling, yet freeing."
What I admired most about David Carr. May he rest in peace.
1
Add a comment...

Brent Kensey

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
One of the most important things you learn in any job is what's actually safe and what isn't. This is true if you're fueling trucks, raising a kid, or designing spacecraft: you develop a profound intuition for which corners are completely fine to cut and which things you never even slightly mess around with. Most often, as you learn a trade, you more and more realize that things you thought were dangerous are actually safe -- which makes sense, since it's better for those who don't know to assume danger. You end up dividing things into three groups: things that really are dangerous, things that are dangerous unless you know what you're doing, and things which aren't dangerous at all.

Of course, what you really don't want is for a bunch of amateurs to then tell you how to do your job. There's the old joke about how first-time parents, when their baby drops a pacifier, will resterilize it in boiling water; second-time parents will give it a quick rinse; third-time parents will shrug, wipe it off on their shirt, and stick it back in the kid. You really wouldn't want a bunch of first-time parents (or non-parents) passing a law mandating that you sterilize everything. What you want is for less-experienced people to learn from more-experienced people.

In this context, here's an interesting new Pew survey of attitudes towards science. What I found most interesting about it is that a lot of the questions on which there were big differences between scientists' opinions and those of the general public were precisely "is this safe" questions tied to the things that scientists deal with every day. 

Most of the time, people who know the subject say that something which sounds dangerous is actually perfectly safe: eating genetically modified foods, eating foods grown with pesticides, getting vaccines, building nuclear power plants (!). Perhaps more interestingly, there are some things which the general public thinks is safe which experts say OH HELL NO GET AWAY FROM THAT SWITCH YOU LUNATIC to: allowing climate change and increasing offshore drilling being the two most notable examples. That's part of the same kind of professional eyeball: sometimes you know that something is just a giant deathtrap waiting to happen. Turns out that offshore drilling rigs are far, far more alarming to professionals than nuclear power plants: the former fail all the time, in horribly disastrous ways, while the latter are actually pretty reliable, all told.

We can talk about lots of reasons for this: for example, the media loves to make things sound really scary (because that sells newspapers), or people don't know enough about the details. But really, what's going on is simply the judgment of experience: people who work with various strange and foreign things, day-in and day-out, tend to get a pretty good feeling for what does and doesn't matter. And it's not always going to be obvious which is which: you just have to ask people who know.
The public and scientists express strikingly different views about science-related issues, yet both groups agree that K-12 STEM education in America falls behind other nations.
100 comments on original post
1
Add a comment...
People
Have him in circles
96 people
Andrew Piper's profile photo
Eloy  Salas's profile photo
Kevin Ratliff's profile photo
Elizabeth Collins's profile photo
Jamie Pfahl's profile photo
Jenny Dunn's profile photo
Amazing Box's profile photo
Toilet Training Boys's profile photo
Sam Grieggs's profile photo
Collections Brent is following
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Tagline
A programmer turned Labor Board investigator with a love of potted plants, aquariums, smart phones and Chinese food.
Work
Skills
Android Development, Legal Writing and Aquatic Horticulture
Employment
  • Field Examiner
Links
Contributor to
The staff is always friendly and helpful, and the selection is surprisingly good for a small store. It's a lot closer than the nearby Lowe's and Home Depot super centers, so I visit frequently to purchase last minute project supplies.
Public - 3 months ago
reviewed 3 months ago
This complex is of the finest I have ever seen. I've been here since early 2012, and I am very pleased with the quality of my unit and with how friendly the managers are. The complex is only a few years old, and you can definitely tell by looking the walls, closets and fixtures. Shiny! There is a definite difference between the units here and those I checked out at nearby complexes. They're always very timely with repairs and I appreciate the little touches like the occasional free doughnut on my way to work. The grounds are always clean and quiet, and the community seems to be a very mature and responsible one. I'm sure it depends on your neighbor (this is a fairly large complex), but I have never been bothered by loud music, and the neighbors are never rowdy. I suspect the other reviewer may have just had a bad neighbor. It happens. In the summer, the pool is great and well maintained, and Bethabra park is almost exactly a mile's walk down the road. Do yourself a favor and put this place on your list of apartments to check out. Also, it's probably good to pay your rent on time. I should note that the one time that I was late on rent (a day past the final due date), I was forgiven and wasn't even charged a late fee.
• • •
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
I've stopped by several times now, and the sushi has been excellent every time. I've been to four or five other sushi places all over the city, but this one is the best. Their spicy salmon and tuna rolls are phenomenal, and rice in the sushi is perfect. I'd recommend this place hands down.
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
4 reviews
Map
Map
Map
Always a consistently positive experience for me. I can only speak to the quality of the sushi, but in my experience it is the best in the city. The sushi rice is perfection, and the chefs take great care with the preparation. The atmosphere of the sushi bar is especially good. I love those guys!
Food: ExcellentDecor: Very GoodService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago