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Charles Bosse
Lives in Boston, MA
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Charles Bosse

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People seem totally confused by our current political state, so let's break it down:

Trump is the person you invite to a party where you tell everyone not to bring anything, and he swears up and down he'll bring beer anyway and be there early to help set up but he's there two hours late with no beer, but you think people like him so you keep inviting him.

Clinton is the person who arrives 15 minutes early with wine without telling you and then leaves early after being sort of quiet and you feel vaguely like you offended her by having exactly the party you described and so you don't invite her again.

Sanders is the guy who you aren't sure whether people enjoy having around or are uncomfortable being stuck in a conversation with.

Now, if you think it's ridiculous to treat politics like a college party, then 1) you're probably right and 2) you probably have had enough experience to know that the Trumps of the world aren't worth serious relationships, ultimately make sad managers, and their failure to be reliable will never outweigh their chummy boisterousness. But there are a lot of people out there who have never had a good manager, and see Trumps off the cuff personality as seeming genuine or more relatable. Clinton, meanwhile, has tremendous experience, but also a long history of scrutiny that's put her on a bit of a permanent defensive that people are justifiably wary of.

And so we are left with historically high disapproval ratings for both sides - but it's time to stop being surprised when people like Trump, and time to start figuring out how we can turn things in a reasonable direction.
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Charles Bosse

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A great 'magazine' style article not just on this topic but on some of the finer points of the scientific process.
Nathan Myhrvold, a billionaire with a physics Ph.D., claims a team of NASA asteroid scientists have made huge errors in their calculations. He's wrong.
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So is Myhrvold moving on from being a patent troll to being a physics crank?
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Charles Bosse

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Frankie Manning's 102nd birthday! #GoogleDoodle
https://g.co/doodle/8ekzyy

I was lucky enough to take a lesson from Manning about a decade ago. Even at 90, man could that man dance.
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Good
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Charles Bosse

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Ha!
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This article is specific from a particular student to a particular situation, but I think it speaks very intelligently to a much larger rift in our society. If nothing else, the line "By the way, I'm a fan of substituting the words 'being politically correct' with 'treating other human beings with respect.'" is worth sharing (and worth reminding ourselves that being respectful of someone isn't about worrying that they are fragile, but about not blithely propagating social vandalism).
 
Great response from an OU student about the latest public discussion (and public discussion is good!) about the Boomer Sooner motto at OU and the vision of Oklahoma history it conveys:
http://www.oudaily.com/opinion/column-graduate-student-disappointed-in-anti-indigenous-reaction-to-boomer/article_f50dae9e-0a95-11e6-ab43-1b9bfc78cd45.html
I was incredibly disappointed in and saddened by the reaction of many in the so-called “Sooner Family” (a family that seems to only include certain types of students, I might add) when news broke about a recent bill in Student Government Association’s Student Congress. For those who may not know, someone proposed a bill that would officially congratulate OU's sports teams on their successes by telling them “boomer sooner.” There was a vote taken ...
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Lena is one of my favorite people on OU Twitter, and I was really glad she wrote this for the paper. The other student letter in the paper was pretty awful, being dismissive and derisive without seeming to take the problem seriously, so we needed Lena's counterpoint!
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Charles Bosse

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Is sales tax progressive or regressive?

Generally, sales tax is pretty regressive. People in lower income brackets tend to spend a substantial portion of their income on goods and services, while people in higher income brackets tend not to spend as much, putting a lot of their income into investments, or for the wealthiest, into tax havens and goods or services that come from or can be used in low tax areas (or on things like medical expenses that are usually exempt from sales tax). This makes the poor shoulder an unfair share of the burden.

On the other hand, punitive taxes really can be beneficial in eliminating expenses from public bad habits without simply outlawing something seen as problematic. These can be especially effective when the taxes pay for programs that scale with the use of the "bad habit" like cigarette taxes that pay for cessation programs or medical expenses of smokers. In some ways, some of these these programs could also be seen as usage fees, like gas taxes that pay for road maintenance (and also encourage alternative resource use).

Where these taxes get into the most trouble, though, is in trying to produce a stable source of revenue for some other social program, as has been a notable problem with lottery revenue over the last several years. In this case, neither the result of having lots of income nor the result of having a drop in a "bad habit" is totally positive. In one case, the poor are taxed unfairly. In the other case, an important social program looses funding.

That means Sanders really is correct here, from a progressive stance. But before we give him kudos, if this is his stance, why hasn't he spoken up against the 6% sales tax in Vermont. Sure, as a federal senator he couldn't actually contribute to changing the law, but he is still a respected and popular senator who could have contributed to the discussion.

And to be frank, this is an issue that democrats should be reaching out to republicans on for bi-partisan support. Sales taxes and penalty taxes are, in effect, extra regulations that hinder small business owners and the middle class. This should be a home run for republican and progressives lawmakers. And sure, we still need to figure out how to fund those things we said we wanted to fund, but we can do that through much more sensible and much less regressive taxes that already exist for the most part (and just need to be simplified and raised). And while no one likes higher taxes, for most people it will balance out or better, and for the few who get higher taxes... well, they'll be able to afford them.

The tax has been suggested as a way to pay for universal preschool in Philadelphia.
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Hmm, I might have to try this.
 

Golf ball hitting a balloon filled with Oobleck
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I have some oobleck which I made in my freezer. Shall I bring it with us in
May?
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Well, I mean, maybe it needs a fence.
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This is brilliant.
 
wow. some very clever mechanics in this.
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This looks pretty cool.
 
Today is your last chance to apply to attend our plankton-climate change study #NASASocial! We're inviting 30 social media users to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts on Tuesday, May 10, to tour the research vessel (R/V) Atlantis. Guests will learn about the NAAMES study, which will collect data from aircraft and ship measurements, and combine that data with satellite and ocean sensor readings. For more info and to apply, visit: http://go.nasa.gov/1T7fzOs
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Unfortunately, we can't get to Massachusetts by May 10 :-(

Regards,
Rex
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Charles Bosse

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Dear Amazon...

WTF.

No, really...

(And no, it's not just Amazon)
Amazon offers same-day delivery nearly everywhere in and around Boston — except in one predominantly black neighborhood.
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Tax Week: Part 2

I was going to write about sales tax today (and I'll still get to that) but I finally had a chance to read into this great article and one of the salient points is that gas tax, which provides a lot of the funding for public transit, is down substantially.

There are good reasons for thinking that public transit should not be linked to our use of gas for cars, but at very least, our (crumbling) road infrastructure is in bad shape largely because our payment has failed to keep pace with inflation.

This might have made a little sense leading up to the recession, as gas prices were spiking and pushing the margins of a lot of the failure points that later broke and became an international economic plunge, and let's face it, it probably DID make sense to do some deficit spending during the recession.

But we aren't in a recession anymore, and gas prices have fallen in a way that's leaving competitors (especially clean energy and efficient design competitors) in a bit of a lurch. Moreover, this isn't a new thing. Oil (and steel) were the original culprits that brought corporate monopoly laws in the US, and one of the specific tactics those laws were meant to combat was the use of price fluctuations to drive competitors out. Fast forward a hundred and some odd years, and the only change is that now the scale of these tactics is such that the US can't simply break up the party (honestly, no entity, not even the producers themselves, can at this point).

While we can't control the prices that oil comes into our economy at, what we could do is create a "stabilizing" tax. Something like this would take the price of gas (before state tax) and raise it to something not unfamiliar or outrageous (based on octane), say $3/gallon for "regular", plus some flat tax (say $1) fixed to an inflation index. That way, we always pay at least $4 a gallon, plus state tax (or, to be really fair, set the price of crude at $75/barrel + $25 flat, but that fails to account for the quality of the crude). The primary benefit here is that other energy producers or those making alternative technology always have a price point that an international oligopoly can't foil - at least in the US. Secondarily, there's money, which could be set aside for transit, or just roads, or poured into the super-fund for the now inevitable spills and cleanups that our domestic petroleum interests seem to be involved in every few years.

But the point here is not about money earned. The point here is about money spent, and about stability. Americans need to know their investments will pay off, and frankly petroleum interests and auto users need to pull their weight.

There is no better time for this tax. American oil interests would hardly be affected by this law - they are already undercut at every turn these days, and maybe a great equalizer will help those companies actually producing superior product, or those companies with lower costs, which could bail some American companies out, or create opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Of course this will have consequences other than for immediate price stabilization of oil. Petrol byproducts will become cheaper (but not much, as this is already an international market) and states will be forced to do some mild reconciliation of disparate gas taxes, but not much. Even petroleum producers will like it eventually, because the US will be a reliable market that can be easily counted on regardless of international prices.

In the end, this is a logical response to international price fixing of oil, not a normal sales tax, or a government interference beyond reason, and it's something we should enact now, while we can.
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I have taken things apart and built things for as long as I remember. I love good sci-fi and fantasy, in pretty much any media. I believe that progress is a group effort, and work as an educator to do my part in seeing the world become a better place for us all.
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Portland, OR - Eugene, OR - Portland, OR - Boulder, CO
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Physics/Science Research Teacher
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When transmutation gives you lemons... Comic by Jim K Benton
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When transmutation gives you lemons... Comic by Jim K Benton

RT @raspberryberet3: Let's focus on skills & not the content #ed...
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Author:Shelly VohraSource:Twitter for iPhone Laura Gibbs Retweeted: Let's focus on skills & not the content #edchat #onedchat #cdnedchat

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Set the stage for reading success with this delightfully interactive educational app. Kids will have a blast learning their ABC's and buildi

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Gail Carriger is the pen name of Tofa Borregaard, an archaeologist and author of steampunk fiction. She was born in Bolinas, an unincorporat

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**Follow us @beersmashappFind it, map it, smash it! Do it all with beersmash.beersmash is a true must-have app for all craft beer lovers. be

Terry Pratchett - Google Play
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Terry Pratchett is the acclaimed creator of the global bestselling Discworld series, the first of which, The Colour of Magic, was published

Android Headlines
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Android News, Phones, Tablets, Apps, Reviews

Gizmag
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New and emerging technology news

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One of the best apps available for Android for remote surveillance, control and video recording for your private/public network or IP camera

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Sometimes Batman needs a little extra warmth on cold winter nights. And sometimes he needs a little more control when he glides. This hat gi

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District 9
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From producer Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) and director Neill Blomkamp comes a startlingly original science fiction thrille

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Transforme o seu telefone ou tablet num walkie-talkie com este rapidíssimo e grátis aplicativo push-to-talk (PTT), que funciona entre Androi

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Cardboard puts virtual reality on your smartphone. Try a variety of immersive demos on Android, and get inspired to build your own using the

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Google's rumored Android Silver Project may bring together the best of its Nexus and Google Play Edition programs, to create a high-end smar

The Box House has stylish and spacious accommodations (especially for NYC) for a very modest price. That includes a nice fully tiled bathroom, ample kitchen(ette) with enough supplies to cook 'in house' should you want to, and a full compliment of knick knacks and paintings to make the space feel 'homey', as well as two TV's with full cable. The staff is also frindly and very helpfull, and knows the area well. The downside, of course, is location. The neighborhood is more "industrial" than "chic", and there is noise and light from the adjacent bridge at all hours. It isn't bad, but it's still certainly there. It also is a bit of a walk to anything very interesting, and while there is one mile car service, that involves a wait and isn't necessarily so kid friendly (neither are the knick knacks for that matter). Over all, it is still a great value, and the huge, stylish rooms with tall ceilings and tons of space more than make up for other factors in my book.
• • •
Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago
The Jefferson is appointed in all the standard hotel trimmings, but the decore, trimmings, and service evoke something almost reminiscent of a redone mansion. Don't let the solid wood and leather furniture fool you though, this hotel is also very modern, with a library that can be turned private at the flick of a switch, TV's hidden in the bathroom mirrors, and several lighting options in each room. The hotel succeeds in a grand theme without feeling kitch, and is worth a stay, or at least a.duck.into the bar.
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Public - 3 months ago
reviewed 3 months ago
This is decidedly not the place to get a large meal, or even sit and study while snacking, but despite its petite proportions there is a good variety of vegan food (mostly prepackaged) for you to grab and enjoy at your convenience, which include some interesting combinations off the usual path of vegan food.
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago
(This daycare is only available to members of the MIT community, and is part of the TCC program.) Located in a new building purpose built as a large daycare facility, this bright, clean, facility has friendly and competent staff, and a high quality program.
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago
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This is an amazing and well cared for area. We went up for the annual swing dance and lawn party, and it's well worth a modest ticket price to see and wander around this property. Truly a beauty... but expect to be stuck in traffic for Crane Beach for an hour if you come on a nice day.
Public - 4 months ago
reviewed 4 months ago
The falafel here really is better quality than in many other places, and there are a lot of options for a good price, but it is a "make your own" environment selling something that vegans and vegetarians seem to have available in abundance already. Still, with friendly staff, good food, and a clean space, it's worth a stop.
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago
All the tasty donuts Voodoo is known for, (usually) without the long lines downtown. Also, there's parking.
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago