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The Best of The Week

The distinguishing characteristics of the Jersey Barrier are two. For one thing, they sometimes have steel cable or bar loops at each end, offset vertically on each end by a few inches and projecting out. This way a bar can be pushed down through two sets of loops to link adjacent units together for extra strength and to minimize any breaks in the outward surface of the line - see below. More important, however, is the design of the base. They're not oblong, and not a wedge. The bottom third of the barrier slopes outward at a slightly shallower angle than the top third, so they look a bit like the Eiffel Tower in cross-section, except the two sections meet at a hard angle rather than a curve.

This angle is there for two reasons, as far as I can tell. First, it concentrates more of the mass of the barrier at the bottom, making it more difficult to overturn. Although they're very heavy (being concrete and rebar) they're meant to stand up to vehicle impacts carrying lots of energy. The…

My clinic refuses to fax to mail order pharmacies. Instead, I give the paper prescription to the patient and tell them to mail it.

I started this policy over a year ago, when five different patients called in the same week, about two mail order pharmacies.

Patient: "I called my pharmacy. They say that they don't have the prescription and the doctor just needs to call."

I check. Each of the prescriptions had been faxed. I called the two companies a total of five times…

A game mechanic is a set of rules that can be grouped in a useful way to give a shorthand label communicating what kind of game one is playing. For example, Hearts and Bridge are both trick-taking games. Knowing this tells you quite a bit about these games; they probably use a standardized deck, there is a trump, memory and strategy will be important.

While any sort of game might be classified by its mechanics, the area that I am most familiar with, and one of the areas most…