A Very, Very Strange Year At Uber

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After the first couple of weeks of training, I chose to join the team that worked on my area of expertise, and this is where things started getting weird. On my first official day rotating on the team, my new manager sent me a string of messages over company chat. He was in an open relationship, he said, and his girlfriend was having an easy time finding new partners but he wasn’t. He was trying to stay out of trouble at work, he said, but he couldn’t help getting in trouble, because he was looking for women to have sex with. It was clear that he was trying to get me to have sex with him, and it was so clearly out of line that I immediately took screenshots of these chat messages and reported him to HR.

Uber was a pretty good-sized company at that time, and I had pretty standard expectations of how they would handle situations like this. I expected that I would report him to HR, they would handle the situation appropriately, and then life would go on – unfortunately, things played out quite a bit differently. When I reported the situation, I was told by both HR and upper management that even though this was clearly sexual harassment and he was propositioning me, it was this man’s first offense, and that they wouldn’t feel comfortable giving him anything other than a warning and a stern talking-to. Upper management told me that he “was a high performer” (i.e. had stellar performance reviews from his superiors) and they wouldn’t feel comfortable punishing him for what was probably just an innocent mistake on his part… More at Susan J. Fowler.

Shocking, unless you are a woman in which case you have likely suffered some kind of sexual harassment in your life.

Got a new puppy? Take a week off


A newborn puppy can be a full-time job, that’s why beer maker BrewDog — a Scottish brewery set to open up an Ohio location later this year — now offers a week of paid leave for employees with new puppies or rescued dogs.

The company said it’s the first company in the United States, and the first brewery in the United Kingdom, to offer the “paw-ternity” benefit… More at USA Today.

That’s so sweet.

Life in the Sickest Town in America


Donald Rose has no teeth, but that’s not his biggest problem. A camouflage hat droops over his ancient, wire-framed glasses. He’s only 43, but he looks much older.

I met him one day in October as he sat on a tan metal folding chair in the hallway of Riverview School, one of the few schools—few buildings, really—in the coal-mining town of Grundy, Virginia. That day it was the site of a free clinic, the Remote Area Medical. Rose was there to get new glasses—he’s on Medicare, which doesn’t cover most vision services… More at The Atlantic.

A long, but fascinating read.

Is Empty Nose Symptom Real?

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When Brett Helling turned 36 on January 29, 2015, he was living in his parents’ basement in Worthington, Ohio, a well-heeled suburb of Columbus. His mom made him his favorite dinner: roast beef and mashed potatoes with Texas sheet cake for dessert. Brett’s friends sent him happy birthday messages on Facebook. Some asked where he’d been, why they hadn’t seen him in so long. Down the road at Natalie’s Coal-Fired Pizza and Live Music, where Brett had been working fewer and fewer bartending shifts, his co-workers texted him, begging him to come celebrate. But he didn’t want to be seen. He couldn’t do anything but lie on the couch, listless, trying to ignore the sensation of suffocation that had been plaguing him for nearly a year… More at BuzzFeedNews.

That is scary. Even scarier if you have had the exact same operation…

The Tire That Never Gets Old


The inner structure (colored in green) is a thermoplastic elastomer that sits behind the sidewall/cover. Its thermoplastic properties allow it to fill in the empty spaces left by the black sidewall, completing the tire’s design. The sidewall seldom wears out, but whenever the inner block starts showing signs of wear and tear, all you do is switch the block for another one. Plus, the design aims at providing different blocks for different usages. So you could perhaps swap the green asphalt block for a, say, blue snow/ice block, or a brown terrain block, allowing one tire set to become your almost-permanent solution! More at YD.

I guess anyone can come up with ‘ideas’ that are not tested in the real world, but there is something here that makes a huge amount of sense.

Twitter users know more about God than the Pope apparently

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The Pope has been critical of President Trump’s treatment of immigrants. But some American Catholics think the Pope needs to slow his roll. Yes, some Catholics are trying to explain to the Pope why God believes in the so-called “extreme vetting” of immigrants to the United States… More at Gizmodo.

Where to start on this subject? Probably best I just don’t comment for once…

Is this the most accurate map of the World?


This original mapping method can transfer a spherical surface to a rectangular surface such as a map of the world while maintaining correctly proportions in areas*. AuthaGraph faithfully represents all oceans, continents including the neglected Antarctica. These fit within a rectangular frame with no interruptions. The map can be tessellated without visible seams. Thus the AuthaGraphic world map provides an advanced precise perspective of our planet. *The map need a further step to increase a number of subdivision for improving its accuracy to be officially called an area-equal map… More at g-mark.

The above map just won a Japanese good design award and is supposed to be incredibly accurate. Difficult to adjust to though isn’t it.