March 18th, 2012

Lies and Technology

iPad v3 is out. Is it different from iPad v2? Yes. I read numerous posts by people whose opinions I respect saying, you have to look at them side by side to tell the difference. I used to believe stuff like this. You know, like, if you make a screwdriver with crap vodka, you won't notice the difference. Not true! I totally believed that, until someone had me do a double-blind A-B comparison and not only is it possible to tell you used crap vodka -- it's really obvious how good the OJ is, too. (If you're thinking, but that's side by side! Turns out, you can do the same thing cold with a single sample forever after, too.) If you can't tell the quality of the vodka and OJ in a screwdriver, it's because you're drunk enough already and should probably stop drinking. I wish there was a good segue back, paralleling drunk with whatever cognitive impairedness leads people to downplay the differences between v2 and v3.

Anyway. iPad v3 is _noticeably_ heavier and thicker than an iPad v2. All these people who claim they own a v2 and couldn't tell until they had them side by side? Something is wrong with them. Also, the people who say they couldn't tell the screen is better until they had them side by side? Totally trying to make you feel better about not having a v3. The good news, for people who don't want to buy the new one, is that it _really is_ noticeably thicker and heavier.

I will further note that my 6 year old autistic son doesn't have any trouble telling the difference between the two, and prefers the v3 if he's at a table or lying down with it on a flat surface, but prefers v2 if he's carrying the thing around.

In other lies-and-technology news, I heard part of the This American Life Retraction episode. Mike Daisey has apparently finally gotten in trouble for Making Shit Up in, well, in at least one monologue (I still want him to get busted for the Amazon monologue, because I think he made stuff up in that one, too). Secondary coverage at the newser ( -- but I don't recommend bothering) includes this paragraph:

"Daisey is just the latest artist to apparently get tripped up by the truth _ joining a list that includes James Frey, who admitted that he lied in his memoir "A Million Little Pieces," and Greg Mortenson, who is accused of fabricating key parts of his best-selling book "Three Cups of Tea.""

Conveniently making lying in memoir an exclusively male activity. Which it very much is not. Even with high profile lying in memoir.

I feel like I'd like to go off a bit on memoirs and Making Shit Up in the service of a good story. My ex-girlfriend has had at least two distinct experiences in writing classes in which some other student attempted to get her to change what happened in an event described in a memoir because it would make the story more appealing. R. (the ex-girlfriend, not my husband) and I are at a complete and utter loss to make any sense of this. But I'm betting Mike Daisey (and James Frey and Greg Mortenson and Margaret Jones and that woman who claimed she wandered Europe during WW2 and was raised by wolves) would echo the sentiment -- even if they were never able to explain why that would make sense, when writing a memoir.

R. Broke His Arm

My husband broke his arm. Here is how.

We were all scootering around "the block". It's not really a block, but it is about a mile loop around our neighborhood. Very quiet on a Saturday morning. The ground was wet, but it was not raining nor likely to begin again. R. and T. were well ahead of A. and I (A is only 3 after all, while good at scootering, it's a new activity and she's prone to frequent stops to look for twigs and acorns). As I was carefully braking going down a steep hill and watching A. to make sure she was keeping her speed to a safe level, I saw R. walking up the hill. He commented, your brakes work.

I was on a Xootr, because I am obese and I exceed the weight limit on a lot of cheaper scooters. R. was on a Razor, because it is cheap and I had bought one before I discovered the Kickboard scooters. The kids were on Kickboard Minis or Micros or whatever the tiny ones are called (I got T. the next size up but he prefers the pink one I bought for A. when T. took the green one I originally bought for A. Usually, he's on the pink one and she's on the green one, at least currently). The kids don't seem to use the brakes much and are generally cautious about letting speed build on a downhill. They start slowing down right from the top and walk it down if they're having trouble. Me, too, but I used to watch R. scream down the hill and use the brakes and think I had an irrational fear of going fast on a scooter.

Anyway. Turns out the brakes on that Razor do not work when they get wet. In the aftermath, R. landed hard on his left arm (but did not hit his head, so no concussion or busted teeth) and chest (I'm sure he'll chime in with a detailed description). He thought he had perhaps broken the bone and needed a soft cast. We proceeded home where he then got in the Fit and drove to the doctor's office (which has urgent care on the weekends). I asked if maybe he should just head down to Emerson, since they were going to want X-rays? Why would they want to do that?

Once the doc got him out of his jacket and flannel shirt, it was clear there was more than a hairline break. Arm bones don't bend that way. (At least he didn't pull a Dave Barry and attempt to call it "just a sprain".) Off he drove to Emerson, where they decided he needed a plate. Lucky him! He hadn't really had breakfast. But they kept him overnight because they wanted abx in him for 24 hours (altho he wore them down and got out a few hours early, which is smart because there was a MRSA patient across the hall) and were concerned about possible arrhythmia because he landed hard on his chest as well.

The kids and I brought him a bag of fruit, Clif bars, some Drip Drop and a ham and turkey on whole wheat sandwich last night, and T. and I went to return his wallet to him today so he could have his driver's license when he drove himself home. I married a tough guy; no Vicodin since 10 p.m. the night before.

I took T. to his therapeutic riding lesson (B.F. was available to take A. to hers this morning and entertain her for most of the day, which was a huge relief) and upon our return we learned R. had walked to the CVS for fill his prescription and then the hardware store to pick up some things we'd planned to get on Saturday, until he broke his arm.

R. is mostly irritated that he's going to miss some Fine Bicycling Weather as a result. He broke the radius clean through; he'll be in the cast a month and it won't be completely healed for more like 3 or 4. The plate can't come out for at least a year.