“Make it work!”: not just a catchphrase. It’s a philosophy.

Tim Gunn reveals his philosophy behind “Make it work!” in this Time Out interview:

Q: Do people make you say “Make it work” all the time?
Tim Gunn: More frequently they’ll ask me to say, “Where’s Andre?” or “What happened to Andre?” But people tend to shout at me, “Make it work!” It happened coming into this building.

Q: Do you sometimes wish that maybe you had a different phrase?
Tim Gunn: No! I love “make it work.” It’s so good in the classroom for my students. If something isn’t going well, students are always inclined to put it aside and start over again. And I maintain that you don’t really learn anything that way. If you can take something that isn’t working well, and you can wrestle with it, move it to a new level and have it succeed, you learn so much from that. My students can run back to the store and buy a different fabric or a different color, but the Project Runway designers are stuck. They really have to make it work, and I don’t believe in talking to them about things they can’t change. So you don’t hear me saying things like, “You can’t use this red fabric.” It’s more about, “How are you going to make this red fabric work?”

I like that philosophy.

According to McCain health advisor, everyone in US has health insurance

I could have sworn I saw this in The Onion, but in fact it’s from the Dallas Morning News.  John McCain’s health care adviser, John Goodman, says the Census Bureau statistic that almost 25% of Texas residents do not have health insurance is misleading, because anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance.  And he has a solution to the health care crisis:

“So I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime,” Mr. Goodman said. “The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American – even illegal aliens – as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care.

“So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved.”

This is what counts for health-care policy in the McCain camp?

Charging for checked bags is a stupid idea

Ever since American Airlines announced they’d be charging for the first checked bag, this is the blog post I’d intended to write.  Well, close to it anyway — I’d also thought that the only effect is going to be everyone trying to bring bags on board and making the clusterfuck that is boarding even worse, but charging for carry-on bags instead
is a brilliant idea. The only modification I’d make is to make it apply to bags in the overhead compartments only (the space in front of your legs is still free).  The airlines could sell a limited number brightly-coloured carry-on bag tags (for say, $15 each) for each flight, and anything found in the overhead compartment without a tag automatically gets checked.  (Passengers in bulkhead seats get a free tag to compensate for the lack of underseat storage.) It’s a great way of managing a limited resource, and a revenue generator for cash-strapped airlines.

And on a similar topic, I now refuse to fly US Airways since they announced they were to start charging for soft drinks during flights. This is simply penny-pinching gone to far.  In the dry environment of a low-pressure airline cabin, everyone needs a drink. Just add a few dollars to the fare, for chrissake, and save all the costs of re-engineering the beverage and cash collection process!

Married in California

I just discovered from this useful guide to gay marriage from the LA Times that as of 5:01PM on Monday, Jay and I will be married in California, thanks to our Vancouver, BC Wedding. I wonder if that means we can now go through immigration at LAX together — several times we’ve been rudely turned back from the podium after approaching it together because we’re “not a family”. (Welcome to the USA!) I wonder if the state law will trump the federal bigotry in this case.

I also learned something quite disturbing in the same article:

You do not have to live in California to marry here, and Massachusetts and New York state will recognize the marriages. Other states may not recognize the marriages, and some, including Wisconsin and Delaware, impose criminal penalties on its residents “if they enter a marriage outside the state that would have been prohibited in the state,” such as gay marriage, according to a fact sheet posted on Lambda Legal’s website. The law in Wisconsin, for example, permits authorities to punish offenders with a fine of up to $10,000 and nine months imprisonment.

Seriously?  A huge-ass fine and nine months in prison just for going through a wedding ceremony in another country or state?  Wisconsin, welcome to my list of places I’ll never visit.

Flags of the world, graded

I love design, I love criticism, and I especially love sarcastic antipodean humour. So this site that gives letter grades to all the flags of the world according to arbitrary but hilarious criteria is just about perfect for me. The patriot in me was disappointed by Australia’s C score, but the maths geek in me had to chuckle at this one:

World Flags Graded

UPDATE: At this other cool site, you can vote on your favourite flags “Hot or Not” style, and see the hottest and not hottest flags others have voted on.