Monday, January 31, 2011

Focus Healthcare on the Expensive Patients

Is it selfish that I really like this way of tackling rising healthcare costs because I am one of those expensive patients?

Here's my only concern, though. Obese people cost the system billions of dollars, but since 1/3 of Americans are obese, doesn't that dilute the effectiveness of focusing on the expensive few?

Clearly, in addition to treating the illnesses, we also need to treat the disease of what's causing obesity in America. I know it's a lot of factors, but you can't find the answer to all of them in the doctor's office.

In Today's Happy Animal News...

1) Dog takes bullets to save owner from thugs!

Personally, I always learned in self-defense class to give any robber or mugger your wallet/keys/etc and then just run away. Clearly that would have been a good decision here, as these guys seriously meant business. Fortunately, the man had his wonderful dog to save him or where would he be? Certainly not featured on Neatorama!

I love that the article specifies that the turtles brought in are sterilized so as not to sully the current ecosystem. Naturally, you don't want to bring in a mean, green, native-plant-gone-haywire eating machine without taking the proper precautions. Everyone knows turtles are huge sex addicts that are constantly reproducing. I hear they're even faster than rabbits, if raced against.

[Articles via Neatorama]

For All of You Trekkie TV Writers Out There...

... Here's an example of how to get a seriously successful show made. Start off with an excellent treatment.

I know I'll be studying it!

Fracking's about to Get Fracked

Finally! Some lawmakers in Congress are calling out natural gas companies for violating the Clean Water Act by fracking up innocent people's drinking water.

The EPA isn't going to officially rule on fracking's safety until 2012, but technically the natural gas companies (like Halliburton - so obvs evil!) were supposed to wait until the EPA ruled on it before they drilled in drinking water areas (the EPA needed to issue them permits, and they couldn't issue permits until studies had been done). The companies didn't wait, which means they broke the law, and finally someone is paying attention.

Let's keep fracking in the news, everyone! Fight the frackers! If we shout loudly enough, we might just get heard over the sound of exploding water.

[Article via Politico]

Sunday, January 30, 2011

If I Had a Portrait Made of my own Trash...

... It would be mainly comprised of hand and feet warmer wrappers at this time of year. It's so cold outside!

Seriously, though, it's a fun question to ponder, and even more fun because apparently celebrities get portraits made from their own trash all the time! And not even just by their stalkers!

Jason Meceir, a San Fran based artist, makes portraits of celebrities from the trash that they send him to use. The image I have here is of his portrait of Tina Fey, and it's super awesome! Look at all the cool junk in there! It makes Tina Fey seem even more awesome to see what trash she wanted this guy to use in her portrait. I think my favorite part is that she has three separate parts of a hair dryer in there. I understand, Tina, I'm constantly breaking my hair dryer, too. They are complicated pieces of machinery, not meant to be wielded by the hands of humankind.

So, what would be in my portrait? Mainly Dallas Morning News comic strips, movie ticket stubs, a bunch of those little UCB tickets, pieces of broken hair dryers, dental floss (for my hair in the portrait!), hair (gross!), ChapStick Jazzberry Glitter tubes, mascara, tinfoil (from all the cookies we bake), warped tupperware (from when we put the cookie-holding devices in the dishwasher like you're not supposed to), Natural History Museum stubs, and probably some knick-knack patty-skunk, give-a-dog-a-bone's.

What about you guys? What would be in your trash portrait?

[Article via Socialite Life via Neatorama]

Ben and Jerry's Factory to be Powered by Ice Cream!

For their Netherlands factory (who know B&J had a Netherlands factory? Or even any factory outside of the States?), Ben and Jerry's is building a "bio-digester" that runs on "food product" that is wasted when making ice cream. I may not know what this "food product" is, but I can guarantee you that Americans would eat it if you let them have the chance.

As it is, though, this bio-digester does seem like a good idea. While it won't create enough energy to run the factory entirely, it certainly will help decrease its carbon footprint.


Seriously, though, ship that excess food product over to America, label it "Ben and Jerry's Sundaes X-tras" (the X adds pizzazz!) and Americans will gobble it down like sausages wrapped in pancakes.

Tomi, More Like Tummy!

And the final pup in this retrospective series of this past month's Daily Puppies, Tomi, the Shiba Inu. We have a couple of Shiba Inus that live in our apartment building, and they couldn't be cuter. I just love them! look at their ears! They're puffy pants! They're haughty nature! Perfect New York dogs, if you ask me, and perfect for their native Japan, as well.

PS. Check out the Snoopy leash - unbeatable!

Meet [the] Jetson!

Next up, another not-commonly-featured-breed over here at Artful Stew, Jetson, a delightful border collie from The Daily Puppy. As you can see, though, he's clearly a cutie. The picture of him bounding along with the adult dog won me over completely. Or the fact that one of his ears is flopped over his head in almost every picture. Also, is it just the lighting or do his eyes look green to you? I've never seen a pup with green eyes before!

Simply, too cute.


It's been a while since I've posted some puppies courtesy of The Daily Puppy, so the following posts will be dedicated to the puppies who have been sitting on my open tabs for the last few days or weeks that I have so thoughtlessly neglected to post on the blog.

We shall begin with Hamilton, the Basset Hound, a prime example of the "more wrinkles = more adorable" theory of cuteness.

Also, a bashful smile will take you quite far indeed.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones are BFFS!

Look at Amy and Rashida being BFF in this Elle article! The article's too short for my taste, but it does give a good glimpse of how being friends in the comedy business is awesome, and that lady comics can be (surprise!) normal, happy people with normal, happy friends having fun together and putting on one of the funniest shows on TV.

Just like me someday I hope probably maybe OK!

[I felt like posting something super happy after my tirade. Don't get me wrong, I'm sticking with my tirade, but it's too hard to just be mad at the world, you know? I've got dreams to

Republicans Get Even More Despicable

In the House's idiotic and completely unnecessary bill about banning federal aid for abortions (which has already been illegal since the '70s), they amend the current law's exceptions for government abortion aid - which currently stand at rape, incest, and in cases where the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother - to say only in the case of "forcible" rape can exceptions be granted.

As this Gawker article points out (quoting a Mother Jones article), in legal terms that would exclude most date rapes, statutory rapes, and rapes that occur when the victim is drugged, given excessive alcohol, or is mentally handicapped. How incredibly f**ked up is that?

I wonder if those Republicans writing that bill got raped, would they classify it as anything but "forcible"? Someone is literally forcing you to have intercourse without your legal consent. That is rape. That is forcible. Republicans can f**k themselves if they think it's anything but that.

I know we're supposed to tone it down a notch in terms of discourse, but what that bill states is wrong on every single level imaginable. It is horrible, despicable, and dirty. It makes my insides bleed to read it.

Here's an amendment I'd like to make to that law, "Every Republican who has helped write this bill must tell each poor 11-year-old girl who's pregnant with the child of some drugged out rapist that she has to carry that baby to term, themselves, in person, while she sobs and sobs and tells them that she's contemplating suicide because she can't bear to bring that child into this horrible world. Then they must watch whatever happens happen."

Yes, that seems fitting.

The Colbert Army is also the Real Army

Here's a really touching article about Stephen Colbert and his work with and for the military, as well as their impressions of him. It's really heartwarming.

That's all!

[Via the Army's official website]

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Why is the New World, the new world?

After reading this article on butterfly evolution, I realized something: along the evolutionary time line, animals and people have migrated into the New World from the Old World, but into the Old World from the New World.

What's up with that? Is the Bering Strait a one-way street or something? Do you know of any animals (recent American ex-pats and invasive species brought over by people excluded, of course) who migrated from the New World to the Old World to form new species?

What a weird thing to happen, don't you think? How eerily similar to European expansion it is.

[Article via NYTimes]

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Toy Story 3 Nom'd for Best Picture!

And I don't mean "nom nom nom"'d like a LOLCatz, I mean nom'd as in got an Oscar nod or was nominated for Best Picture! Woo hoo! Bringing the group to 10 was very helpful in getting our favorite animated films nominated.

Here's a fun interview with Lee Unkrich and Michael Arndt about their reactions to the nod. I like that they bring up that no one ever gets nominated for directing an animated movie, which I always thought was BS because the directors of animated movies arguably work more (or at the very least the same) on animated movies than live-action films. This is not a few weeks or even months of shooting - it's four years of concept art, storyboarding, and frame-by-frame animation - that's intense! Plus, the direction was great.

Do animated movies every get nods for cinematography? That's another one I was wondering about, because WALL-E was beautifully shot, as well.

Puppy Bowl Starting Line-Up!

In case you, like me, don't totally understand the draw of football but do faithfully watch it with your boyfriend because you love him unconditionally and sometimes he gives you a backrub as a reward, you're probably a lot more interested in Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl's Starting Line-Up instead of the Steelers or Packers starting line-up. Of course, as a Steelers/Cowboy's fan, I do have some allegiance in these games - both wanting to see the Steelers win and the Packers get trounced - but none so strong as my allegiance to adorableness. If only they hadn't added kittens and chicks - who wants to waste airtime with those lesser-adorable critters? Not me!

Duncan, this fluffy fellow here, is my pick for the winner. Though, at the Puppy Bowl, everyone is a winner. Especially the PA's in charge of petting and loving the puppies between takes. If only I worked at the Puppy Bowl!

Oh well, it's good to have a dream, I guess...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Clean Energy at the State of the Union?

That's what Obama's aides say he'll talk about tonight, but, then again, they're talking to Scientific American, so what else would they say he'll talk about?

The importance of mentioning green energy in his speech tonight will be how much focus he gives the issue and the angle he attacks it. Is he trying to push policy forward? Keep what he had going? Who knows?

I truly hope that Obama does a great job with his SOTU speech tonight, and I hope he doesn't run too much to the right. He should recognize that people want him to stick to his beliefs, not kow-tow to the GOP. Unfortunately, though, he's been doing exactly that a lot lately...

Goose and Bull Best Friends

At first I didn't believe this bull, but after a wild goose chase, I found out that a bull and a goose in New Zealand have been best friends for 10 years! How nuts (and totes adorbs) is that?

Animals be super crazy, but I love them.

Do Nothing, I Dare You!

This site - Do Nothing for Two Minutes, is a cute little concept wherein you're not supposed to do anything. Seriously, don't do anything! Don't move your mouse, don't click on it, don't touch a key - nothing - for two whole minutes. It has a picture of a pretty sunset to stare at and the sound of crashing waves to listen to. While I didn't think that it was very challenging (I was already at home relaxing when I did it), I did find it really soothing and nice. It made me stop buzzing around the internet, flitting from article to article, blog to blog, tweet to tweet, and just "be" for a few minutes.

Honestly, it felt nice, and I might just do nothing more often.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Comedy Points Memo

I've noticed lately that after making a terrible joke, I add "I'm so funny!!!!!!!" (with a similar amount of exclamation points, capital letters, or other emphatic punctuation). I've decided this means that, since I know what I said was not funny, adding a crazed "I'm so funny!" makes my joke funny because the joke is the desperation in the "I'm so funny!" reaction as opposed to the actual, more terrible joke. Then everyone has to laugh because I am so funny in the knowledge that I'm not funny.

This would work perfectly if I didn't secretly think all my jokes are amazing.

Another Reason to (really give it a shot this time) Meditate

Apparently, 30 minutes of mindful meditation over eight weeks will dramatically re-structure your brain (in a good way?). Woah, that's nuts. Clearly, I should start meditating right away... right after I finish "Say Yes to the Dress."

[Thanks, Gawker!]

How to Pitch a Hollywood Blockbuster

See Mike Draw posted this funny cartoon about pitching in Hollywood. Honestly, though, I'd argue that the buzzword right now isn't 3D, but "Pet rock," "Skinny ties," "Skip-It" or any other pop object from the 70s-90s, as I think they're running out of board games to "reinvent."

Hmm... maybe that means the buzzword should really be "reinvent."

[Thanks, Neatorama!]

Friday, January 21, 2011

Showtime Short Stories: The Deep - PES

Here's an awesome short animated film by PES, apparently distributed by Showtime. The animation is really awesome and simple, and the lighting is really cool.

Check it!

[via Neatorama]

OMG: Parks and Rec!

Parks and Rec is such an awesome show. I feel like posting a couple of interviews I've read with some of the cast members this week leading up to the premiere. Also, the premiere was awesome. Just saying. That show is so funny it makes me want to wrap myself in a blanket and hunker down with it and never leave but somehow there would be fun inside, too, so I wouldn't get hungry, but when would I have time to eat while I'm laughing so much!? This is the only reason I don't turn myself into a Parks-and-Rec-watching burrito.

Here's my question. If all my friends be interviewing fancy famous Parks and Rec people, why aren't I? Here's my answer: because I'd be too busy begging them for a job and also begging to hang out with them and be their bff's for super every because they seem so nice and funny and awesome.

Also, I think I'm the only person who remembers Chris Pratt as the one normal character on the WB/CW's "Everwood." He was awesome then, too.

[Interviews via Interview Magazine and HitFix]

Talking Pictures: Stories for All of Us

Ransom Riggs over at Mental Floss writes a series called "Talking Pictures." Basically, he looks for old photos at flea markets with writing on the backs of them and then posts them on the site. They're really cool, and he's making a book of them! A lot of them are sad, but some are sweet, and a few are just kooky.

Here's a little video he did about them and I thought it was really well-shot and also thought-provoking. Check it out!

What a Green Week!

Two great news in the world of environmental science this week.

One study suggests that a byproduct of natural gas plants could be used to scrub CO2 from the ocean, aiding in not only carbon reduction but also the de-acidification of the oceans.

Another study claims that
, if only we had the political willpower, we could feasibly (and economically) generate the entire earth's power needs through renewable sources by 2030. Insane! Of course, we don't have the political willpower, but it's still a worthy dream!

[Articles via Scientific American and Physorg]

More Transplant News!

Wow, so even though life-saving transplants also save money, people who want to be donors who are outside of the US are often denied visas. Sometimes they get a visa but cannot afford to fly to the US or pay for their medical expenses and Medicaid/Medicare or private insurance won't help them out.

Why isn't there a special "Donor" visa just for these sorts of situations?

Honestly, that is just absurd.

[Article via the NYT]

Transplants in the (Canadian) News!

Despite the fact that it's from Canada (who speaks Canadian, am I right?), this article (and, more importantly, the report the article is based on) does a great job of demonstrating how important kidney transplants are to both the people living with them and the economic and healthcare system around them.

Can you imagine, if it would save the Canadian government $150 million/year if everyone who could have a transplant got one, how much it would save the US? Probably at least $300 million/year. Can you believe how much that is? That's $ 3 billion every 10 years. Those are huge savings.

And for those living in the US, if Congress had passed the Medicare-for-life-of-the-transplant law, can you believe how much money we'd save in transplants that lasted longer because people could afford their pills and other healthcare costs related to the transplant?

I'm just saying.

[Article via Montreal Gazette]

One Day I Can Be Pretty like Amy Poehler!

This is Amy Poehler. Yes, our Amy Poehler of SNL and Parks and Rec! She looks to be about my age in this picture, and I am so happy that she is prettier now than she was then. Look at those unkempt eyebrows! The lack of (good?) makeup! The ridiculously boring haircut!

That's me now (except for the unkempt eyebrows - mine are VERY kempt. Also, I do wear makeup, but the "good" part is arguable)! So there is hope that I, too, can be even prettier later in life than I am in my 20s. Clearly, the world that says you'll look your best in your 20s is wrong! I'll just have to become a tv/movie star in my 30s and 40s and I'll be set.

To the future!

[Image via Getty Images via FRANNY-GLASS]

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hyperbole and a Half: Wolves

Allie has a new story up at Hyperbole and a Half! It's all about how she and her friends used to play wolf pack when they were kids and terrorized a neighborhood boy.

While it is certainly a funny story, I think she really wrote it so that she could draw a bunch of wolves. Who wouldn't?

My friends and I didn't run around playing wolves - we weren't that silly. No, my friends and I would run around playing spy dogs - secret agents out to save the world and also nap! And then around Christmas time we'd start playing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which would mean acting out the whole Rudolph story on my friend's trampoline while her little Shetland Sheepdog would bark at us from the ground.

I was an awesome little girl.

Harry Potter 7 Animation Images

Do you remember that badass animation in Deathly Hallows: Part 1? The animation of the Deathly Hallows story? I know, it was super cool. Well, this guy Alexis was an animator on the piece (maybe?) posted some awesome concept art for the sequence. You can see them on his blog here!

[All artwork belongs to Warner Bros. and Framestore, obvs!]

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nate's 200th Cartoon!

What better way to truly kick off the new than with the 200th Nate's Cartoons cartoon! While he has several more over at, today's cartoon marks the 200th cartoon on Nate's blog.

Way to go, Nate! Such a big accomplishment deserves big praise and maybe a fancy dinner from your lovely ladyfriend that I've heard you have!

Congratulations! Keep up the great work!