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xray1 - fractured 7th ribA wonderfully warm and charming colleague of ours passed away recently. His funeral was this weekend at a Catholic church in town where he'd recently been confirmed. It was a funny and way-too-soon remembrance of a man who touched many segments of our diverse community. It was also 90-minutes of sitting and standing in a large lit church. Our daughter had many questions (this was her first funeral), and did a great job integrating new ideas like the Passion of the Christ, the Eucharist, and the act of Communion into her understanding.

Afterwards, as we exited the reception, we found ourselves walking back through the now-darkened church. "This is kinda spooky" I said out loud, and we paused just a moment to hear the echo. I had the impulse to show her that solemn spaces can be festive places too, so I suggested, "we could do things we never get the chance to do, like, run around!"

And with that I ran down the side-aisle, then veered left into a pew. Half-way through the pew, my foot caught on something, and I lost my balance. I fell. Hard. Against the corner end-cap of the pew. I stumbled out into the center aisle doubled-over, unable to breath, and barely able to stand. My right hand went immediately to my left side, through my now-torn leather jacket (my birthday jacket!), and there were stars in my head.

Right away I thought I'd broken a rib, but after few minutes was able to speak, breath a little deeply, and stand upright. The impulse to laugh, both from surprise, and also from the stupidity of what happened was pretty strong. I was able to drive home, reverse parallel park, put on a sweater, and walk my dogs, but all with some discomfort. While moving around the next day, I felt my rib pop in place like a knuckle.

I've since gone to the clinic and had it x-rayed. The staff had a good laugh about how I'd injured myself. "Running in church? That's a new one..." The diagnosis was "fractured seventh rib" and "incredibly lucky because it's not displaced or broken."

It wasn't my church, or my God, but there's plenty of meaning one could attached to this latest mis/adventure. It may certainly put a dent in my hopes for epic roller-coaster riding later this week.

Friends of ours for years have complained of being unable to use Skype Video or Netflix Streaming services on there home's "Comcast Triple Play" (now Xfinity) service. Connections slow, stutter and drop on pc's, tablets, and televisions. We've suggested their ISP was 'throttling' the internet connection: selectively slowing access to certain service providers like Skype video and Netflix streaming. But how's a mom and pop consumer to test that one? Here’s a report of a guy who secured an admission of throttling from a customer support rep at Verizon.

Verizon’s throttling appears to have started after a Federal Appeals Court panel struck down the FCC’s rules enforcing a concept called “net neutrality”. “Net Neutrality” is the concept that all internet service providers should respond to and route all web traffic equally, without regard for what the traffic is or who it’s between (like between your tv and the Netflix streaming servers). By striking down the FCC’s rules enforcing this, companies like Verizon and Xfinity are now free to throttle, and then charge you more for providing the same speed to your Netflix account or favorite news site that they provide when you check your email. “Net Neutrality” is a good thing and is one of the core tenets of the design and creation of the internet. Throttling and 3rd-party network fees to access your content are bad. Even the Editorial Board of the New York Times understands that.

An organization called Free Press is running a “Save the Internet” campaign where you can learn more and take action.

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