On How the One Percent Gets Around

@Penelope Pine : Seconded! In some smaller private planes, the situation is even more intimate : the toilet is literally under one of the seats (just remove the cushion!) and there's a "privacy screen" you pull around the seat for a certain degree of, actually not all that much privacy. Here is an amusing story about the perils of this setup : http://jalopnik.com/this-is-the-most-embarrassing-plane-pooping-story-ever-1456846301

Posted on March 20, 2015 at 1:53 pm 0

On Who Pays Your Funeral Expenses If You Die in Debt

@Oneofthejanes : You're correct; sorry if I wasn't clear. Signing up for organ donation usually means that a whole-body medical donation won't happen if you had any transplantable organs at the time of death (after all, gross-anatomy cadaver dissections are meant to teach the whole body, and any missing bits are obviously not ideal). However, signing up for both organ donation and whole-body donation can cover all the bases and ensure that the most use is made of your body : in the case that you don't have any harvestable organs at time of death, your body could still be used for whole-body donation. Additionally, even if some of your organs are used for transplants, the remainder of your body is absolutely usable for research (joints for orthopedic labs, the brain for neuro research, basically everything for preserved teaching specimens, etc.).

Posted on March 7, 2015 at 10:47 am 0

On Who Pays Your Funeral Expenses If You Die in Debt

@BornSecular : I'll also follow up with this article, which has a nice personal perspective as well as lots of good information on how to go about donating your body to science, and what happens to it when you do : http://io9.com/i-donated-my-body-to-medicine-458382155

Posted on March 6, 2015 at 3:54 pm 0

On Who Pays Your Funeral Expenses If You Die in Debt

@BornSecular : Yes, science even loves your gnarly old-person body that has died of natural causes at a ripe old age! Standard anatomy texts (Gray's, Netter's, etc) show perfect 20-to-30-year-old bodies with minimal fat and no old traumas, but gross-anatomy cadaver dissections are performed on all kinds of imperfect people who died at all different ages, so students get a whole different perspective on what the human body (a specific human body) really looks like. In fact, old people are arguably even more interesting because you get to see how their body responded over their lifetime to the various indignities inflicted on it. If you want to get the most philanthropic mileage out of your body, sign up as an organ donor and make sure your next of kin know that you'd like your remains to be donated to science. That way, if (God forbid) you die an untimely death, all the harvestable bits of your body can be used to save other peoples' lives, and if you make it all the way to a natural death with a worn-out body, you'll be an integral part of multiple future doctors' educations.

Posted on March 6, 2015 at 3:47 pm 1

On Who Pays Your Funeral Expenses If You Die in Debt

@BornSecular : Science is always interested in your body! Even if you're not interested in becoming an organ donor, donating your entire corpse is a great way to support science and education to a degree that's literally impossible while you're alive. Two years ago, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ran an absolutely lovely set of four pieces following a first-year medical class through their first cadaver dissections. Here it is, if you're interested.

Posted on March 6, 2015 at 12:50 pm 0

On Who Pays Your Funeral Expenses If You Die in Debt

I’ve never heard the words “a body farm” before, and I weep for my lost innocence. Yeah, body farms definitely set off my squick meter, but they're really useful. Additionally, it's not just unclaimed bodies that are used at body farms; many are donated by the family specifically for that reason. You might enjoy (for certain degrees of "enjoy") this excellent article about a body farm.

Posted on March 6, 2015 at 12:30 pm 0

On What Is It Like To Go Luxury Shopping In Sweats

@Ester Bloom : Goodness, don't apologize! You're just demonstrating the extent of YSL's astonishing marketing screwup. In the comments below, TheLifestyleCreep linked to The Business of Fashion's excellent 2012 dissection of the whole debacle, and I also suggest this article from the same source. Anyway, dropping the "Y" was a terrible move considering the sheer amount of brand equity at risk, and obviously it continues to confuse.

Posted on February 23, 2015 at 11:05 am 0

On What Is It Like To Go Luxury Shopping In Sweats

... Saint Laurent, which I’ve never heard of ... That sound you hear is Yves Saint Laurent's marketing staff howling in existential agony.

Posted on February 20, 2015 at 4:09 pm 1

On The Cost of Vacation, Part 4: NYC

@TheDilettantista : I've stayed at the Pod a couple of times (the one south of Grand Central, on 39th), usually during the week when my normal hotels aren't having good sales, and I've always had a good experience. I've always stayed in their "single pod" room, which has a twin bed and an attached private bathroom. It's excellent value, and not in the "it was crappy, but cheap" way -- more like "I paid for just what I needed, and I got good quality." It's basically like Ikea designed a little ship's cabin. It doesn't feel particularly cramped -- just compact and well-planned. The rooms are small, but you have storage under the bed plus an open "closet" (hanging rack + shelves) for your stuff and a little desk with what seemed like a dozen different outlets. I've never had a problem with noise when I stay there, the windows actually open (windows in the bedroom and in the bathroom), and because the rooms are so small, you'd know if they weren't cleaned thoroughly -- so they clean them -thoroughly-. As far as the beds go, they're nothing fancy, but comfortable -- again, think Ikea-style and Ikea-grade mattresses. Never had any problem with hot water / water pressure in the bathroom. The showers are fully tiled stall-style, not tubs, and the rooms I've been in have a high-flow overhead "rain shower" instead of the wall-mounted kind, which is a nice touch. I wouldn't necessarily want to put two people in the single room, but they do offer a "queen" pod, which might be worth checking out. It's small, but clean and well-designed. In short, I recommend it as a better-than-average value for the money.

Posted on February 13, 2015 at 11:31 am 0

On 7 Really Great Movies From 2014 Worth Streaming

@Marille : I watched "Only Lovers Left Alive" with a friend, and between my massive Tilda Swinton crush and her equally-massive Tom Hiddleston crush, we enjoyed it way more than it probably deserved.

Posted on February 6, 2015 at 2:22 pm 0