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Overcast 3: Design walkthrough

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I designed Overcast 1.0 in 2014 for iOS 7, and it was a product of its time: it used ultra-thin text and lines against stark, sharp-edged, full-screen white sheets and translucent blur panes, with much of the basic functionality behind hidden gestures. That fundamental design carried through every update until today.Discuss
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ChrisDL
1 day ago
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New York
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I'm Loyal to Nothing Except the Dream

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There is much I take for granted in my life, and the normal functioning of American government is one of those things. In my 46 years, I've lived under nine different presidents. The first I remember is Carter. I've voted in every presidential election since 1992, but I do not consider myself a Democrat, or a Republican. I vote based on leadership – above all, leadership – and issues.

In my 14 years of blogging, I've never written a political blog post. I haven't needed to.

Until now.

It is quite clear something has become deeply unglued in the state of American politics.

As of 2017, the United States, through a sequence of highly improbable events, managed to elect an extremely controversial president.

A president with historically low approval ratings, elected on a platform many considered too extreme to even be taken literally:

Asked about Trump’s statements proposing the construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border and a ban on all Muslims entering the country, Thiel suggested that Trump supporters do not actually endorse those policies.

“I don’t support a religious test. I certainly don’t support the specific language that Trump has used in every instance,” he said. “But I think one thing that should be distinguished here is that the media is always taking Trump literally. It never takes him seriously, but it always takes him literally.”

The billionaire went on to define how he believes the average Trump supporter interprets the candidate’s statements. “I think a lot of voters who vote for Trump take Trump seriously but not literally, so when they hear things like the Muslim comment or the wall comment their question is not, ‘Are you going to build a wall like the Great Wall of China?’ or, you know, ‘How exactly are you going to enforce these tests?’ What they hear is we’re going to have a saner, more sensible immigration policy.”

A little over a week into the new presidency, it is obvious that Trump meant every word of what he said. He will build a US-Mexico wall. And he signed an executive order that literally, not figuratively, banned Muslims from entering the US — even if they held valid green cards.

As I said, I vote on policies, and as an American, I reject these two policies. Our Mexican neighbors are not an evil to be kept out with a wall, but an ally to be cherished. One of my favorite people is a Mexican immigrant. Mexican culture is ingrained deeply into America and we are all better for it. The history of America is the history of immigrants seeking religious freedom from persecution, finding a new life in the land of opportunity. Imagine the bravery it takes to leave everything behind, your relatives, your home, your whole life as you know it, to take your entire family on a five thousand mile journey to another country on nothing more than the promise of a dream. I've never done that, though my great-great grandparents did. Muslim immigrants are more American than I will ever be, and I am incredibly proud to have them here, as fellow Americans.

Help Keep Your School All American!

Trump is the first president in 40 years to refuse to release his tax returns in office. He has also refused to divest himself from his dizzying array of businesses across the globe, which present financial conflicts of interest. All of this, plus the hasty way he is ramrodding his campaign plans through on executive orders, with little or no forethought to how it would work – or if it would work at all – speaks to how negligent and dangerous Trump is as the leader of the free world. I want to reiterate that I don't care about party; I'd be absolutely over the moon with President Romney or President McCain, or any other rational form of leadership at this point.

It is unclear to me how we got where we are today. But echoes of this appeal to nationalism in Poland, and in Venezula, offer clues. We brought fact checkers to a culture war … and we lost. During the election campaign, I was strongly reminded of Frank Miller's 1986 Nuke story arc, which I read in Daredevil as a teenager — the seductive appeal of unbridled nationalism bleeding across the page in stark primary colors.

Daredevil issue 233, page excerpt

Nuke is a self-destructive form of America First nationalism that, for whatever reasons, won the presidency through dark subvocalized whispers, and is now playing out in horrifying policy form. But we are not now a different country; we remain the very same country that elected Reagan and Obama. We lead the free world. And we do it by taking the higher moral ground, choosing to do what is right before doing what is expedient.

I exercised my rights as a American citizen and I voted, yes. But I mostly ignored government beyond voting. I assumed that the wheels of American government would turn, and reasonable decisions would be made by reasonable people. Some I would agree with, others I would not agree with, but I could generally trust that the arc of American history inexorably bends toward justice, towards freedom, toward equality. Towards the things that make up the underlying American dream that this country is based on.

This is no longer the case.

I truly believe we are at an unprecedented time in American history, in uncharted territory. I have benefited from democracy passively, without trying at all, for 46 years. I now understand that the next four years is perhaps the most important time to be an activist in the United States since the civil rights movement. I am ready to do the work.

  • I have never once in my life called my representatives in congress. That will change. I will be calling and writing my representatives regularly, using tools like 5 Calls to do so.

  • I will strongly support, advocate for, and advertise any technical tools on web or smartphone that help Americans have their voices heard by their representatives, even if it takes faxing to do so. Build these tools. Make them amazing.

  • I am subscribing to support essential investigative journalism such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post.

  • I have set up large monthly donations to the ACLU which is doing critical work in fighting governmental abuse under the current regime.

  • I have set up monthly donations to independent journalism such as ProPublica and NPR.

  • I have set up monthly donations to agencies that fight for vulnerable groups, such as Planned Parenthood, Center for Reproductive Rights, Refugee Rights, NAACP, MALDEF, the Trevor Project, and so on.

  • I wish to see the formation of a third political party in the United States, led by those who are willing to speak truth to power like Evan McMullin. It is shameful how many elected representatives will not speak out. Those who do: trust me, we're watching and taking notes. And we will be bringing all our friends and audiences to bear to help you win.

  • I will be watching closely to see which representatives rubber-stamp harmful policies and appointees, and I will vote against them across the ticket, on every single ticket I can vote on.

  • I will actively support all efforts to make the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact happen, to reform the electoral college.

  • To the extent that my schedule allows, I will participate in protests to combat policies that I believe are harmful to Americans.

  • I am not quite at a place in my life where I'd consider running for office, but I will be, eventually. To the extent that any Stack Overflow user can be elected a moderator, I could be elected into office, locally, in the house, even the senate. Has anyone asked Joel Spolsky if he'd be willing to run for office? Because I'd be hard pressed to come up with someone I trust more than my old business partner Joel to do the right thing. I would vote for him so hard I'd break the damn voting machine.

I want to pay back this great country for everything it has done for me in my life, and carry the dream forward, not just selfishly for myself and my children, but for everyone's children, and our children's children. I do not mean the hollow promises of American nationalism

We would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed.

Is not nationalism—that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder—one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred?

These ways of thinking—cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on— have been useful to those in power, and deadly for those out of power.

… but the enduring values of freedom, justice, and equality that this nation was founded on. I pledge my allegiance to the American dream, and the American people – not to the nation, never to the nation.

Daredevil issue 233, page excerpt

I apologize that it's taken me 46 years to wake up and realize that some things, like the American dream, aren't guaranteed. There will come a time where you have to stand up and fight for them, for democracy to work. I will.

Will you?

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samuel
8 days ago
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This is incredible and considering the source, it's going to be read by a lot of people.
The Haight in San Francisco
ChrisDL
8 days ago
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New York
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4 public comments
StunGod
6 days ago
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Sharing, in case it causes one more person to read and be moved to do more than complain on the internet. Really a powerful essay.
Portland, Oregon, USA, Earth
moschlar
19 days ago
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… but the enduring values of freedom, justice, and equality that this nation was founded on. I pledge my allegiance to the American dream, and the American people – not to the nation, never to the nation.
Mainz, Deutschland
wmorrell
22 days ago
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And the nerds start to get a little more woke.
pmac
23 days ago
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Powerfully well said.
Atlanta, GA

Omen

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ChrisDL
9 days ago
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coinkidink
New York
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ChrisDL
11 days ago
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hello self.
New York
wreichard
12 days ago
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This is my brand of bed as well.
Earth
popular
11 days ago
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3 public comments
leandrocalderon
7 days ago
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Ops
rtreborb
9 days ago
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Ellen.
Technicalleigh
14 days ago
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it me
SF Bay area, CA (formerly ATL)

'Dislocated spine' is Minnesota's most distinct common injury, report says

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Amino

Minnesotans experience a disproportionately high number of spine dislocations, according to a new analysis of health insurance claims.

That’s not the most common injury we report to our health insurers, however. Here in Minnesota, as is true across most of the country, people are most likely to make a claim for an injury that falls into the “cuts and bruises” category.

These quirky but intriguing findings were reported Thursday by Amino, a company that uses data analytics to provide cost-comparison information on medical services. For this particular analysis, the company took 244 million insurance injury claims from the years 2012-2016, and then sorted the 3,000-plus different billing codes into easily identifiable types of injuries — everything from “insect bite” to “animal-drawn vehicle accident.”

“Due to the sheer number of categories, no single injury accounts for more than 7-8% of all diagnoses related to physical injuries,” writes Olivia Marcus, a communications staffer at Amino, in a company blog post about the analysis. “Still, we found that the most common injuries don’t vary a lot across the country. ‘Bruising’ or ‘open wound’ [an injury where the skin is broken] are the most frequent injury diagnoses in every state except Colorado, where ‘fall’ tops the list.” 

The finding about cuts and bruises is “interesting, but not surprising,” she adds. “Cuts and bruises are everyday injuries that most people endure, regardless of geographic location.”

‘Disproportionately common’

Amino didn’t halt its analysis with the most common injuries, however. The company also wanted to find out what types of injury are particularly distinctive for each state. It did this by comparing each injury’s frequency per state with the national frequency.

“That allowed us to determine which injuries were disproportionately more or less common in each state, compared to the nation as whole,” explains Marcus. “Here’s an example. Injuries related to motor vehicle accidents make up 1.5% of all physical injury diagnoses in the United States. But in Tennessee, they make up 2.5% — that’s 1.6 times more common than the national distribution.”

And that’s how “spine dislocation” popped up as the most disproportionally common physical injury diagnosis in Minnesota. Interestingly, that diagnosis is also unusually common in two of our neighboring states, Iowa and Wisconsin, as well as in New Hampshire and Washington.

The Amino report doesn’t offer any explanation for what might be causing those dislocated spines, but such injuries are usually the result of motor vehicle accidents, falls, violence and sports activities.

And, perhaps, shoveling snow?

Additional trends

One of the most surprising trends that emerges from Amino’s data is the prevalence of  “suffocation” in six mountainous states: Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.

“We can’t say for sure why this is,” says Marcus. “But the vast majority of “suffocation” diagnoses were for hypoxemia, the medical term for low blood oxygen. Interestingly, hypoxemia can be caused by exertion at high altitudes, where oxygen is scarce. We can’t prove that this is correlated to the altitude of Mountain states, but it could be related.”

Amino

“Other results seem to corroborate documented issues, like the disproportionate number of concussions in Massachusetts,” she adds. “According to a 2016 report from Blue Cross Blue Shield, concussions diagnoses have been rising across the country due to increased awareness — and Massachusetts had the highest youth concussion rate in the country in 2015.”

Extreme outliers

As Marcus explains, Amino focused on injuries that represented at least 1 percent of physical injury diagnoses in each state. “That way, we saw injuries that were distinct, but not extreme outliers,” she says.

But when they did lower the standard to .01 percent of diagnoses — and, therefore, included extremely rare injuries — their analysis revealed some interesting, and kind of odd, distinctions among the states:

  • “Near-drowning” diagnoses are 6.2 times more common in Hawaii than they are nationally. This makes sense for the only state completely surrounded by water, and it seems to be in line with the state’s data.
  • “Animal-drawn vehicle accident” diagnoses (which include riding an animal) are disproportionately common in five states: Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Nebraska. Surprisingly, there were nearly 43,000 “animal-drawn vehicle accidents” in our national data from 2012 to 2016. More than 1,000 occurred in Nebraska alone.
  • “Unarmed fight or brawl” is disproportionately common in New York. There were 295,797 “unarmed fight or brawls” diagnoses in our national data, and 35,000 occurred in New York. That means New York accounts for more than 10% of medically documented fist fights in America. 

FMI: You can read Marcus’ full account of Amino’s report, including a description of its methodology, on the company’s website.

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ChrisDL
11 days ago
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anyone else weirded out by the suffocation belt?
New York
ProbablyWrong
12 days ago
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I think spinal dislocation is a diagnosis commonly used by chiropractors....
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adamcole
11 days ago
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No one is surprised by Florida's "head injury."
Philadelphia, PA, USA

Proud or worried?

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ChrisDL
12 days ago
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definitely worried.
New York
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