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Trumpcare Is Back

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Here we go again. Photo by Win McNamee / Getty

Last month, Obamacare repeal was so unpopular it couldn’t get a vote in the House of Representatives. Today, a new version of that bill is back on the table, and this time it has support from some of the most conservative members of the House. Here’s what’s in the new bill and how it would affect your health care.

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First, it still includes everything that was problematic in the old bill, including:

  • An $880 billion cut to Medicaid. Politically, this is the bill’s most important function, because it frees up money to be used for tax cuts later. (Republicans can pass “budget reconciliation” bills like this without Democratic support, but they have to keep them revenue neutral). Tons of people rely on Medicaid for care, and with this change Medicaid will be more difficult (and eventually, impossible) to get and will cover even less care than it already does.
  • Sky-high premiums for older folks. Like the old bill, the new one allows insurers to charge older people more than they currently do, and it changes subsidies so that they don’t relate to plans’ actual costs.
  • At least 24 million people will lose their insurance, including those who “choose” not to buy it because they can no longer afford it.
  • Deductibles will get even higher, because there’s now no rule that premiums have to cover a certain amount of health care costs. So you can buy insurance that looks cheap, but as soon as you get sick you’re screwed.

In other words, we’re still looking at last month’s bill, the American Health Care Act, but now with a new amendment. That means the new bill has most of the problems of the old bill, which we discussed before.

A draft of the amendment was leaked to Politico, but the Washington Post reports that the official text may not be posted until Republicans are sure they have enough votes to pass it. The draft amendment says that states are free to implement any of the following:

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  • Allowing insurers to charge any rate they want to older people. The ACA capped this at a 3:1 ratio; the AHCA changes it to 5:1. The amendment allows states to pick “a higher ratio” if they like.
  • Eliminating essential health benefits. Right now, if you buy insurance, it has to cover any reasonable medical care—so if you have a baby, or get cancer, or need surgery, your insurance is there to pick up some or all of the tab. Under this new bill, states could write their own list of essential health benefits. If they leave out all the expensive stuff, we could go back to the days of insurance plans that took your money but covered almost nothing.
  • Making insurance unaffordable for people with pre-existing conditions. Technically insurers can’t refuse you coverage, but they will be able to hike up your premiums on the individual market—yes, yours, personally—if they don’t like the health problems you’ve had in the past. States can allow this if they participate in a stability fund, so these are the high risk pools you’ve been hearing about. But the bill doesn’t require states to use that money to pay high risk patients’ premiums, so if you have a pre-existing condition, you’re still screwed.

Members of Congress and their aides are required to buy their insurance on the individual market, which limits how bad they can make the insurance law before it affects them too. But the new amendment says that none of the states’ changes may apply to the insurance for members of Congress and their staff. So they don’t want the insurance that will result from the new bill, but they’re okay with foisting it on their constituents.

Definitely call your representatives, but don’t panic just yet: This bill is nowhere close to being law. Even if it passes the House, it would still have to pass the Senate—where it could fail for being too conservative. Is it even popular enough to get a House vote? We’ll have to see.

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Announcing the 2017 Chesley Award Nominees

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Chesley Award nominees The Ark John Harris

The Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists (ASFA) has announced the nominees for the 2017 Chesley Awards. The Chesley, named for the great astronomical artist Chesley Bonestell, started in 1985 as a means for the science fiction and fantasy art community to recognize individual works and achievements in a given year. This year’s awards are for works and achievements in the period from January 1 to December 31, 2016.

The Chesley Awards will be given out at NorthAmeriCon 17 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, July 6-9. Click through for the complete list of nominees.

 

Chesley Award nominees Tran Nguyen Kushiel's Dart

Art by Tran Nguyen

Best Cover Illustration: Hardcover

  • Dan dos Santos – Fables: Cubs in Toyland by Bill Willingham; Vertigo, September 2016
  • Todd LockwoodSummer Dragon by Todd Lockwood; DAW, May 2016
  • Tran NguyenKushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey; Subterranean Press, October 2016
  • Cliff NielsenLady Midnight by Cassandra Clare; McElderry Books, March 2016
  • David PalumboArcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson; Tor, November 2016
  • John PicacioIn the House of the Worm by George R.R. Martin; Baltimore Science Fiction Society, May 2016

 

Chesley Award nominees A Taste of Honey Tommy Arnold

Art by Tommy Arnold

Best Cover Illustration: Paperback or Ebook

  • Tommy ArnoldA Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson; Tor.com Publishing, October 2016
  • Julie DillonBeyond the Stars: At Galaxy’s Edge by Assorted Authors; Astral Books/Amazon Digital Services, August 2016
  • Sarah Anne LangtonCentral Station by Lavie Tidhar; Tachyon Publications, May 2016
  • Gene MollicaBreath of Earth by Beth Cato; Harper Voyager, August 2016
  • Victo NgaiForest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal; Tor, March 2016

 

Chesley Award nominees Hellboy Paolo Rivera

Art by Paolo Rivera

Best Cover Illustration: Magazine

  • Galen DaraUncanny Issue 10, May/June 2016
  • Elizabeth Leggett LIGHTSPEED #69, February 2016
  • David PalumboSwallowed Whole, Aliens – Life and Death #1; Dark Horse, September 2016
  • Paolo RiveraHellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1953; Dark Horse, February 2016
  • Jeremy WilsonChimera Brigade #1 by Serge Lehman and Fabrice Colin; Titan Comics, October 2016

 

Chesley Award nominees Rovina Cai Tom Thom

Art by Rovina Cai

Best Interior Illustration

  • Rovina Cai – “Tom, Thom” by K.M. Ferebee; Tor.com, February 2016
  • Kari ChristensenGethsemoni, Court of the Dead: Chronicle of the Underworld by Tom Gilliland; Sideshow Collectibles, 2016
  • Tran NguyenKushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey; Subterranean Press, 2016
  • Greg Ruth – “Freedom is Space for the Spirit” by Glen Hirshberg; Tor.com, April 2016
  • Ivica Stevanovic – The Bestiary edited by Ann VanderMeer; Centipede Press, March 2016

 

Chesley Award nominees Skywhale

Art by Cliff Childs

Best Gaming Related Illustration

  • Mauricio Calle – Encounter at Stygeon Prime – Star Wars: The Card Game; Fantasy Flight Games, 2016
  • Cliff Childs – Long-Finned Skywhale Kaladesh card set; WotC, September 2016
  • Ryan Pancoast – Inventor’s Apprentice Kaladesh card set; WotC, September 2016
  • Matthew Stewart – Mastertrinketeer Kaladesh card set; WotC, September 2016
  • Ryan Yee – Die Young Kaladesh card set; WotC, September 2016

 

Chesley Award nominees Donato Giancola Portal Illuxcon

Art by Donato Giancola

Best Product Illustration

  • Donato Giancola – Portal Promotional art for Illuxcon
  • Clark Huggins – Advertisement for RECKLESS DECK; Imagine FX, February 2016
  • John Picacio – La Corona (The Crown) Loteria; Lone Boy
  • Cynthia Sheppard – 2017 Llewellyn’s Astrological Calendar
  • Greg Spalenka – banner art to promote Roxana Illuminated Perfume 2016

 

Chesley Award nominees The Ark

Art by John Harris

Best Color Work: Unpublished

  • John HarrisThe Ark, Oil
  • Vanessa LemenHolding On and Letting Go, Oil on canvas
  • Miranda MeeksDecember, Digital
  • Shreya Shetty – The Dragon Charmer, Digital
  • Michael Whelan – In a World of Her Own, Acrylic

 

Chesley Award nominees Jana Heidersdorf

Art by Jana Heidersdorf

Best Monochrome Work: Unpublished

  • Marcela BolivarWhite Crown, Photoshop
  • Jana HeidersdorfDarkness Acrylics, Pencil and Digital
  • Travis Lewis – Soul Engine, Graphite
  • Ruth SandersonLuna, Scratchboard
  • Allen Williams – The Fall of Night, Pencil

 

Chesley Award nominees Akihito Ikeda Nephilia

Art by Akihito Ikeda

Best Three Dimensional Art

  • Akihito IkedaNephila, Mixed media
  • Thomas KueblerMedusa, Mixed media
  • Forest RogersLa Belle Crustace, premier air-dry clay & washi paper
  • Virginie RoparsThe Evil Eye, Mixed media
  • Lee Shamel – “The Scepter of the Crystal Flame,” Mixed media

 

Best Art Director

  • Neil Clarke – Clarkesworld Magazine
  • Irene Gallo – Tor/Tor.com
  • Sheila Gilbert & Betsy Wollheim – DAW Books
  • Lauren Panepinto – Orbit Books
  • Cynthia Sheppard – Wizards of the Coast

 

Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award

  • Iain McCaig
  • Greg Manchess
  • Hayao Miyazaki
  • Wendy Pini
  • Drew Struzan
  • Berni Wrightson
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Art Show “Never Grow Up” Showcases Fantastic Riffs on Disney Classics

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Big Hero 6

There are few things we love as much as re-imagined Disney artwork, and the latest art show from Mondo Gallery does not disappoint. Never Grow Up: A Disney Art Show, is being presented by Mondo in association with Cyclops Print Works, and will feature new limited-edition posters celebrating the entire history of Disney. We honestly couldn’t pick a favorite, so we’ve rounded up a few highlights below.

“Big Hero 6” by Ken Taylor captures the bustle and wonderment of San Fransokyo:

 

With “Pinnochio” Jessica Seamans reminds us all that Monstro is TERRIFYING:

 

“Lilo and Stitch” by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell captures the perfect travel postcard spirit:

 

“Fantasia” by Becky Cloonan puts Chernobog front and center:

 

And finally, with “The Little Mermaid” Nicolas Delort gives Ursula the proper respect:

 

Hmm…some of these posters get pretty dark? It’s almost as though the villains made a giant impression on these artists when they were children. Never Grow Up will open on April 28th, host a special kids’ party on April 29th, and run until May 13th, all at the Mondo Gallery in Austin, Texas! But in the meantime you can check more posters out over at io9.

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Massive Huka Falls

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Continued P4 Pro + Problems

I sent my list of complaints to DJI and they still haven’t responded. So, I’ll repost them here publicly… I’m still recommending the non-“Plus” version of this device. You can also see my DJI Phantom Review here on the site.

1) At least three times while up in the air and fairly far away, the Plus thought there were obstacles in front of it. There was nothing… it was in the middle of the bright open air. This mostly happened when I was trying to fly it back to me. The two workarounds I found were a) to do a 180 and back it home to trick the sensors and b) switch to ATTI mode to manually fly it back. Of course, ATTI (Manual) mode can be very scary if the quad is a far away dot and you can’t tell what direction you’re going. (It seemed to happen whether or not I calibrated the compass before each flight.)

2) On four occasions the UI disappeared and we were left with a slightly zoomed-in version.

3) On three occasions I would get it up and somewhere between 50 and 100 feet it would say “Maximum Altitude Reached.”

4) After booting up, it took a long time to get a good connection to the controller. The connection was often weak even though there was no EM interference anywhere (we were in the middle of nowhere on the South Island of New Zealand).

5) Every time I fly now after a few minutes it says “Unable to save video – video cache is full.” For a while, this messed with my head because it made me think my SD card was full. That’s what it sounds like, right? So I kept landing and putting in new SD cards. But now I think it means the controllers video cache was full. I don’t know what that means or why it happens. The cache should just be dumping all the time as new stuff comes in, right?

6) The video that appears on the screen is not super-smooth and does a major tear randomly every 5-15 seconds. By “tear” I mean it shows half a second of video from 2-3 seconds previously. It freaks me out because I don’t feel like I’m getting real time video – also it makes me think I’m not getting smooth video.

7) When broadcasting to Facebook Live (See My Facebook Live Videos!), there was no way to upload the HD version or save the video myself. These are both options avail on the non plus version.

8) When going live on Facebook, I cannot choose my “Fan Page” – only my personal page.

9) Last, a minor one… when making the description for FB Live, I only have like 80 characters and there is no way to copy/paste more than a single word.

10) …another minor one… didn’t notice it until the import but the default clock does not update automatically. All my pictures say they were taken in 1951, which is well-known for being one of the worst years for quadcopters.

Massive Huka Falls

This was one of my scariest quad flights ever! I was staying up at the Huka Lodge which is so far up that river you can just BARELY see it. See those little bits of white up there? One of this is probably me, pale white with fear. Something about taking the quad over a waterfall is terrifying. I started to lose transmission power too at this distance… I was getting lots of beeps and bloops in the controller which added to the stress even more! Anyway, I ended up with this pretty cool vertirama that turned out pretty good… I was just so happy to bring the bird home and land it.

Massive Huka Falls

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-05-24 12:04:42
  • CameraFC330
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias

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A Menagerie of Animals Covered in Surreal Landscapes of Flora and Fauna by Ellen Jewett

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Working with a mixture of cold porcelain and polymer atop a metal wire armature, artist Ellen Jewett (previously) creates wildly intricate sculptures of animals covered in a tangle of surreal embellishments. The artist describes her works as “anthrozoology meets psychoanalysis,” where tiny clues left in the feathers, fur, and tentacles of each piece lead to a greater story of its meaning. From her artist statement:

Each detail, down to the finest filigree, is free-modeled by hand. Within each piece precision is balanced by chaos. The overarching aesthetic knocks on the door of realism, yet the hand of the artist is never intentionally erased; brush strokes and fingerprints abound. Even the narratives themselves harbor a degree of anarchy as they are rarely formally structured. Rather, I seek to achieve flow states while working to create a fluid progression of unconscious imagery.

Jewett most recently exhibited at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco for a group show titled Hindsight, and just wrapped up work on a body of 10 new artworks. You can see some great behind-the-scenes process photos on Instagram.

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Over the wine fields of Waiheke Island

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Awesome Heletranz

If you don’t want to take the ferry to Waiheke Island and instead arrive in style, I recommend Heletranz as an incredible way to see the island and travel about. They can set you up for a day-long experience that includes visiting wineries, crazy car rides, knife-throwing, gun-shooting (those last three via Boomrock), and more! Here’s a live show we did while there!

Daily Photo – Over the wine fields of Waiheke Island

I got up with the quadcopter as many times as I good while on the island… looking at these photos really makes me want to go back. It's just a short ferry ride from Auckland, and now I have some new friends that live there. If you're planning a month-long trip to New Zealand, be sure to spend a few days over here, touring the wineries and whatnot.

Over the wine fields of Waiheke Island

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-05-26 15:55:19
  • CameraFC330
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias+0.656

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