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Comment One more reason to ride public transportation (Score 1) 317

On the bus, train, or streetcar, or an airplane if you're going between cities, you can use any device you want except a music player without headphones (which is against the rules on probably most systems). I take the Chicago Transit Authority's buses and trains all the time, plus Metra trains on occasion, and loads of people are always using newspapers, books, Kindles, smartphones, iPods, iPads, you name it. They had to crack down on the drivers using phones a while back, but for everyone else it's not a problem.

Comment Let's see... (Score 1) 480

::scurries across the apartment to take a look::

One on my wife's hearing aid dryer, one LCD clock (and another with what I believe to be an incandescent bulb backlighting the dial), one to help me find my flashlight in the dark, and whatever shines through our windows overlooking the Chicago Loop.

Comment Folks, what they're describing... (Score 2, Interesting) 826

...is a Passport Card -- basically a secure national ID issued by the Department of State ($45 new, $35 renew for non-passport holders, $20 for passport holders, lasts 10 years). Over a million Americans, including myself, carry one -- that's more than the population of the Omaha metro area. It's for car, train, bus, and boat travel within North America, but can also be used as a single identification for getting a job (along with, if I recall, the standard ICAO-compliant passport and the green card), and is recognized by the TSA (for domestic air travel), liquor store, and just about anyone else who needs ID. The RFID chip just has a database pointer, which differs from the card number if memory serves, but it comes with a tin foil hat just in case.

What this idea amounts to is transferring or cloning the passport card program into Social Security or Homeland Security.

Comment Re:Voc Rehab (Score 1) 727

She has great luck with it ... especially since her ear with the hearing aid often isn't as good with high frequencies as the implant is. She had it done at Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha. Effectively recovers that ear, after adapting to it, from profound to moderate hearing loss, and she can hear a lot better with it. No ill effects from the unilateral CI that I can tell...since the other ear is stronger, and can get by alright with the hearing aid, no sense implanting it.

Comment Re:Voc Rehab (Score 1) 727

My fiancée got hers when she was 17 or so, in the worse of her two ears (profound in that ear, severe in the other, if memory serves). Gave her a marked improvement in both hearing and speaking. As with any surgery it carries some risks, but these are generally held to be remote by the most recent studies. For most people, the fact that getting to and from the clinic usually involves riding in a car is probably the biggest associated risk.

Comment Voc Rehab (Score 5, Informative) 727

I'd suggest that you contact your state's vocational rehabilitation office, which specializes in equipping people with assistive technology so they can be productive members of society (i.e., get and keep a decent job). My fiancée is deaf, and she got a nice Phonak digital aid, a Naida V if memory serves, from the State of Nebraska last year (she uses a cochlear implant in the other ear and only needed one, but two can be arranged as well).

Comment At that price, why not a plane? (Score 1) 303

About $80K? Give me a break. I don't know how the learning curve differs, but you can get a small airplane for quite a bit less than that...plenty of general aviation airports out there, I know that much. It's an interesting idea and something might yet come of it, but when you can buy a used plane for so much less, I don't think it's anywhere near commercially viable yet.

Comment 16 not too young (Score 1) 425

I know someone who started college at 16, first at the community college and then on to a 4-year institution. She now holds a Ph. D. and is dean for graduate studies at a public university in a major Midwestern city.

And two people who started at 14. One is the director of the allergy clinic at a research hospital, and a damn good doctor to boot, and the other is me. I'm 21 now and had a perfectly normal college experience -- graduated summa cum laude in 5 years, and am now just about done with my master's degree. None of the above seem any worse for the wear.

Comment I love mine (Score 1) 430

I got a Unicomp Customizer 104 and the optional Mac modifier keys ($10 from Unicomp,if I recall correctly -- just ask on the phone) and it's the best keyboard I've had in over a decade. It has "only" 104 keys, but they're real keys.

Comment Thick pizza or thin pizza? (Score 1) 920

For thin pizza, Omaha's the place to be -- namely, Zio's (New York style) or La Casa (grilled pizza with romano cheese...very tasty).

FOr thick, Chicago or else. Medici on 57th in Hyde Park, just off the U of C campus, is quite tasty, as are Gino's and Lou Malnati's. I've only had the thin crust pizza at Carmen's but that was quite delicious as well.

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