Are you lonely? But your relatives just want to talk about that election, and your friends about their problems, and your work colleagues about your boss? Then dial The Swedish Number, get connected to a random Swede and talk about anything! (Call charges apply. A service provided by the Swedish Tourist Association.)
US transit projects are way more expensive than those in similar countries. Addressing the reasons why could help us build more transit.
Some breakdowns and analyses of earnings and costs from Kickstarter: Oh Joy Sex Toy (This particular page might be SFW, but most of the site isn't), Fate Core, Video Game High School Season 1 and Season 2, Corporate America. The overall sentiment seems to be that Kickstarters cost more money than assumed, though some disagree on the usefulness of budget breakdowns.
What happened to pay toilets in the USA? In the early 1900s, when railroads connected America’s biggest cities with rural outposts, train stations were sometimes the only place in town with modern plumbing. To keep locals from freely using the bathrooms, railroad companies installed locks on the stall doors—only to be unlocked by railroad employees for ticketed passengers. Eventually, coin-operated locks were introduced, making the practice both more convenient and more profitable. Pay toilets then sprung up in the nation’s airports, bus stations, and highway rest stops. By 1970, America had over 50,000 pay toilets. By 1980, there were almost none.
In the journal Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation, the proposition paper 'Publisher, be damned! from price gouging to the open road' (replicated) criticises the large profits made by commercial publishers on the back of academics’ labours, and the failure of the Finch report on open access to address them. After a lengthy delay, the paper was eventually published, but only with a large disclaimer from the publishers (Taylor and Francis) and after a stand-off with the editorial board. [more inside]
John Green: "Why Are Americans Health Care Costs So High?" A quick, handy little overview of common misconceptions on the US healthcare system. (SLYT)
Choosing Wisely encourages physicians and patients to discuss whether certain medical tests and procedures are unnecessary, especially those that can cause harm. The site offers nine lists of Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question about the most appropriate care for a patient, including lists for cardiology and oncology. [more inside]
From December 2007 through the end of 2010, 24 states have cut government spending by an average of 7.5 percent after adjusting for inflation. Another 25 states have expanded government outlays by an average of 11 percent. The result? States that cut the most money have lost the most jobs.
New working paper by three economists estimates the psychological costs of war at between $1.5 and $2.7 billion. [more inside]
Student puts the cost of education on the table Out of state student Nic Ramos paid his $14,300 tuition cost for a semester at CU Boulder in $1 bills to bring attention to the rising cost of education in the U.S. [more inside]
Dirty Medicine — How medical supply behemoths stick it to the little guy, making America’s health care system more dangerous and expensive. [more inside]
The Cost Conundrum: What a Texas town can teach us about health care. Via Musings of a Distractible Mind.
What It Costs provides information on the costs associated with a wide variety of services and concepts. Whether you want to know the price range of practical activities — such as what it costs to replace a kitchen countertop, building a nuclear aircraft carrier — or are interested in unusual articles — such as the cost to build Fenway Park, being cryogenically frozen or cleaning up a murder scene — you will find all this and much more.
Steam locomotives are dead, right? Awe-inspiring though they might be, labor issues and diesel fuel at 4 cents a gallon killed them in the 1950's and 60's, and they survive only in isolated pockets around the world and on tourist railways. [more inside]
Two years after the Abu Ghraib scandal, new research shows that abuse of detainees in U.S. custody in Iraq, Afghanistan, and at Guantánamo Bay has been widespread, and that the United States has taken only limited steps to investigate and punish implicated personnel. A briefing paper issued today, 'By the Numbers,' presents findings of the Detainee Abuse and Accountability Project... the first comprehensive accounting of credible allegations of torture and abuse in U.S. custody in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo. The project has collected hundreds of allegations of detainee abuse and torture occurring since late 2001 – allegations implicating more than 600 U.S. military and civilian personnel and involving more than 460 detainees.U.S.: More Than 600 Implicated in Detainee Abuse
See also Projected Iraq War Costs Soar, See also The Trillion Dolllar War.
What is the cost of the war on Iraq? [more inside]
Paul Krugman: The best places to get sick A dozen years ago, everyone was talking about an American health care crisis. But then the issue faded from view: A few years of good data led many people to conclude that HMOs and other innovations had ended the historic trend of rising medical costs. But the pause in the growth of health care costs in the 1990s proved temporary. Medical costs are once again rising rapidly and the U.S. health care system is once again in crisis. So now is a good time to ask why other advanced countries manage to spend so much less than we Americans do, while getting better results.
Drink-o-meter: Have you ever wondered how much you've managed to drink in your lifetime? Or how much it might have cost you? You have? (via B3ta)
$400 Dollars (yes, that's four hundred) is the price per gallon of gas for our military. The cost of moving fuel to a war theater can boost its price to about $10 dollars per gallon. And if it has to be airlifted in, that price tag can reach $400 dollars a gallon or more. This story is the opening piece on this week's edition of Living on Earth on NPR. Read the transcript here, or listen via MP3 or Real Player.
Dump broadband? *gasp* Well, according to this ZDNet article, it's a movement. With price hikes and a souring economy, some people can't justify the cost. Could you let it go?
It has to stop! (via rc3) Someone puts up a website, people like it and come back for more, then they tell their friends - and so on. The problem is, the site becomes popular and prohibitively expensive and a valuable resource either gets put behind a pay per view gate, disappears, or the site owner has to bite the bullet and pay a huge hosting fee. (more inside)