The Names May Change, But…

userpic=observationsToday’s collection of lunchtime news chum brings together a collection of articles dealing with what you call things, and how that colors our perceptions of them:

  • Work Tools. The IRS allows business tax deductions for work tools. Normally, this isn’t a problem. However, in Nevada… Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) argues that Nevada’s prostitution industry is effectively being subsidized by the federal government through business tax deductions. Specifically, his report notes that “Brothels can take deductions for groceries, ‘salaries and wages of prostitutes, rent, utilities and taxes and licenses. Breast implants and…costumes’ have also been ruled allowable deductions by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).” In other news, Canada has struck down all restrictions on prostitution.
  • What Is a Blog? I’ve been blogging (or journaling, as LiveJournal called it) since 2004. As always, late to a trend. According to Jason Kottke, the blog is dead, but then again, it may not be. Essentially, the “TL;DR” generation has moved on to shorter-attention-span venues: Facebook, Tumblr, Snapchat, Instagram, Reddit. Kottke doesn’t peg it in those words, but that’s where things have moved. Folks like me — who like to write and are not terse — are left behind as old-fashioned. Further, the article notes that in a piece at The Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal says that the reverse-chronological stream (a.k.a. The Stream, a.k.a. The River of News) is on its way out. Perhaps this is why Google killed Reader, but I know many who still like that form. The news stream is how I read Facebook; I also depend heavily on Newsblur.
  • The Take Away. You get to-go food. It comes in a styrofoam container, right? Wrong. It turns out that Styrofoam™ is like Kleenex — a specific product from a specific vendor typically used for specific purposes. You’re actually getting generic polystyrene. So be careful out there, or the trademark police will come after you.
  • I Was Born in 213. In fact, where I live was once in the 213. Now I’m in 818, although I could be in 747 (although I’ve never seen it in the wild). In fact, over the years 213 has gotten narrower and narrower (323, 310, 424, 626, and many more). I mention this because 415 is suffering the same fate: it is getting a 628 overlay. Soon, you won’t be able to use area 415 to stigmatize or characterize people anymore. I will note that overlays seem to be occurring less frequently than they used to — even with the growth of devices, numbers don’t seem to be gobbled as fast.