Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Rude on PP

OK, finally, we check in with the Rude Pundit. He had a few choice and filthy things to say about the dickheads who ended up getting indicted. 

In brief: no, Planned Parenthood is NOT selling baby parts for profit; they only accept DONATED materials and get reimbursed for their shipping. But as we have seen so many times over the last several years, the truth means absolutely zero to the zealots on the right. They have it fixed in their tiny little heads that PP profits from selling baby parts and, BY GOD, they will never change their minds!!!

The Filthy Prick Who Made the Planned Parenthood Videos Indicted for Being a Filthy Prick 

When last we left the dickface with the creepy cult buzzcut, David Daleiden, he was being celebrated by the Washington Post for being such a clever boy. Why was this pathetic jizz-sock so clever? Because he made up a fake organization and tried to buy baby parts from Planned Parenthood, which wouldn't sell him any baby parts because that's not how it's done, but that didn't stop Daleiden. That testicle wart craftily edited the videos he secretly shot of his attempts to buy baby parts to make them look sinister. Except they weren't and he was and remains either a motherfucking liar and con artist or a delusional shit pile that needs to be stomped and wiped away.

One of the things that Daleiden's Faces of (Fetus) Death fake-ass videos succeeded in doing was giving women-hating Republicans every opportunity to stick a vaginal probe into Planned Parenthood and see what they could find. In Texas, that meant three investigations, including one where Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick asked the District Attorney of Harris County, where Houston is, to convene a grand jury to see just what kind of murder and dismemberment evil Planned Parenthood was up to. The D.A., being a Texas Republican and friend of Patrick, did what she was asked to do and started a criminal inquiry. And, holy shit, the grand jury found criminal activity and indicted the alleged perpetrators. 

Except (and this is where it gets hilarious) it wasn't Planned Parenthood. No, the criminals here are the aforementioned dickface, David Daleiden, and an associate who helped him do his fuckery, Sandra Merritt. They were charged with a felony, tampering with government documents, for using fake driver's licenses to trick Planned Parenthood. And Daleiden was charged with...wait for it...trying to purchase baby parts. 

Planned Parenthood was cleared of any wrongdoing, as it has in every investigation that this filthy prick caused to be opened against them. Yeah, fuck-ups are bigger in Texas.

As you might expect, the whining from the anti-choice forces has been loud and childish, with Students for Life (which probably describes their profession more than their beliefs) accusing the D.A.'s office of being in the pocket of big abortion: "It’s horrifying that the Houston grand jury failed to indict the organization who was willing to sell baby body parts yet somehow manages to indict the journalist who caught them in the act. The fact that an employee of the District Attorney is on the board of Planned Parenthood confirms an incestuous relationship between corrupt officials in the Harris County DA’s office and the nation’s largest abortion provider."
Or maybe Planned Parenthood is such a mainstream organization that a prosecutor in the office of the Republican District Attorney in Houston, Texas, would be on its board. 

Daleiden decided to hide behind what he thinks are the vagaries of journalism, or maybe just the O'Keefe School of Douchenozzle Reporters: "The Center for Medical Progress [his bullshit organization] uses the same undercover techniques that investigative journalists have used for decades in exercising our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and of the press, and follows all applicable laws." 

Yes, everyone knows that Woodward and Bernstein created false driver's licenses to get the Watergate story. Oh, wait, no, they didn't. They had a source who gave them information that they looked into, which is really how real investigative journalists do it. They don't fuckin' put on disguises and pretend they're undercover cops infiltrating the mob. And even if they do, the First Amendment doesn't allow you to break many other laws. You can't scream your beliefs in the middle of a busy street at midnight. That shit gets you arrested, as does tampering with government documents for fun and profit.

But don't worry, oh, sweet, dumb fucks of the nutzoid Christian right. As Andrea Grimes points out in the Texas Observer, the state has your back: "The political waters in Texas run as red today as ever; this probably was quite a shock for an anti-abortion movement accustomed to nothing so much as hearing the word 'yes.' We already know that Texas lawmakers have their eyes on passing laws against fetal tissue donation when the Lege convenes in 2017. Hell, [Attorney General] Ken Paxton’s already laid out his wish list for new abortion restrictions."
there is one notable thing about the filthy pricks of the hateful Jesus lovers, it is that they are inexhaustible in their madness. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Leonard Pitts, Jr.


One more column about the recent (wonderful) Grand Jury decision to not indict Planned Parenthood but instead the two thugs who lied and deceived their way into PP offices and tried to trick PP personnel into selling them "baby parts." This one is by Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Planned Parenthood hoax backfires
by Leonard Pitts, Jr.

“A lie can get halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.”
That nugget of wisdom dates from the 1800s, ie., decades before anyone ever heard of the Internet — much less Fox “News.”
If a lie traveled that fast in the 19th Century, you can only imagine its speed in the 21st, when media and the World Wide Web have given it wings. Indeed, in 2016, the lie is so broadly and brazenly told as to cower truth itself and to render impotent and faintly ridiculous the little voice insisting, against all evidence, that facts matter.
It seems increasingly obvious that to many of us, they simply don’t. Not anymore.
We find ourselves embarked upon a post-empirical era in which the very idea that facts are knowable and concrete has become quaint. These days, facts are whatever the politics of the moment needs them to be.
We’ve seen this over and over in recent years. We’ve seen it in the controversy over Barack Obama’s birthplace, in the accusations that Sept. 11 was an inside job, in the charge that weapons of mass destruction were in fact discovered in Iraq, and in the claims that there is no scientific consensus about global warming.
Lunatic assertions that fly in the face of the known are now the norm in American political discourse. So last week’s news out of Houston came as a welcome jolt.
It seems Planned Parenthood was exonerated by a grand jury after an investigation into spurious charges the reproductive healthcare provider was selling baby parts for profit. Simultaneously, two so-called “citizen journalists” who orchestrated the hoax — David Daleiden, 27, and Sandra Merritt, 62 — were indicted.
It was a moment of sweet vindication for Planned Parenthood, following months of vilification and investigation. This all sprang from a series of videos secretly recorded by Daleiden’s anti-abortion group, “Center For Medical Progress” during conversations with officials of various Planned Parenthood affiliates.
Released last year, the videos purported to show the officials negotiating the sale of fetal tissue with people they believed to be medical researchers.
As Planned Parenthood first protested, an investigation by FactCheck.org later indicated, and a grand jury now affirms, the videos were deceptively edited.
Tissue from aborted fetuses has been used in biomedical research since the 1930s to study everything from polio to Parkinson’s, and while the law prohibits its sale, the patient is allowed to donate it, and Planned Parenthood is allowed to recoup reasonable costs for preparation and transportation to supply it to scientists.
This is what the Planned Parenthood representatives were talking about. This is what the videos were edited to hide.
One is reminded of how, back in 2010, another activist used another deceptively-edited video to suggest that a speech by a black federal employee named Shirley Sherrod was proof of anti-white hatred. It turned out Sherrod’s speech actually made precisely the opposite point; she spoke of the need to overcome such hatred.
That video, like these, suggests that what we’re dealing with here is not “citizen journalists” — whatever that idiotic term even means — but activist zealots out to advance their agenda and embarrass their opponents by any means necessary, without regard to simple decency or plain old truth. Increasingly, that is the way of things.
So it’s welcome news that the two CPM hoaxers find themselves facing felony charges for allegedly using falsified driver’s licenses to identify themselves to Planned Parenthood.
We are told that that constitutes fraud. In other words, Daleiden and Merritt were ensnared by the trap they set. Justice seldom gets more poetic.
Yes, lies have always moved faster than truth. But it feels good to see truth pull even every now and then.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/leonard-pitts-jr/article57351483.html#storylink=cpy


Friday, January 29, 2016

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Lisa Falkenburg

Fortunately, in this right-wing infested swamp in southeast Texas, the Houston Chronicle publishes a bi-weekly column by Lisa Falkenburg. She's one of a number of rather fearless columnists who are still speaking truth.

Lisa has written a couple of times about the Planned Parenthood exoneration in Harris County. Here's the latest.

Grand jury decision in Planned Parenthood case inspires look back

"Runaway grand jury" is meant to be an insult.

But in Harris County, with a long history of political influence, rubber stamping and good-ol'-boy culture infiltrating the criminal justice system, it just might be a badge of honor. What honest citizen wouldn't want to run away from that stuff?

The term "runaway" has been hurled most recently at the panel that dared to thwart political calculations and clear Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast of wrongdoing in videos secretly recorded by anti-abortion activists. Instead, grand jurors indicted the activists.

Somebody had to put a stop to all that independent thought going on in the grand jury room. Terry Yates and Jared Woodfill were happy to oblige.

The activists' lawyers, both with deep Republican connections, argue that the charges from the "runaway grand jury" won't hold up in court. They're leaning hard on Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, a fellow "pro-life" Republican, to dismiss the indictments.

Anderson says she will respect the grand jury's decision, which resulted from an investigation based on facts and law.

Not every district attorney has been so bold.

The last time Yates cried "runaway grand jury," he got a more sympathetic response.

It was 2008 and another grand jury had just indicted Republican Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina and his wife in connection with a fire that destroyed their home in Spring. The justice himself was indicted for document tampering. They both maintained their innocence.

Within hours, Yates' friend and hunting buddy, then-District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal, also a Republican, said charges would be dismissed due to "insufficient evidence."

Two grand jurors were so incensed that they began talking to the media about what they perceived as a legal process subverted by Rosenthal's political maneuvering even before the indictments.

Foreman Bob Ryan, a Republican real estate broker who had served on several grand juries, said the "overwhelmingly Republican" grand jury came to its decision fairly after hours upon hours of testimony and had no political axe to grind with Justice Medina, who had been appointed by Gov. Rick Perry.

'Run its course'

Ryan called Rosenthal's actions "ludicrous," and when I caught up with him this week, he said he hasn't served on a grand jury since.

"Forty bucks a day is not worth the grief," he said. "I got to the point where I said there's too much stress trying to do right."

Jeffrey Dorrell, a civil attorney who served as assistant foreman, said he sometimes worried for fellow grand jurors who had more to lose.

"We had octogenarian grandmothers who were in Catholic women's leagues," he told me Friday. "I think three of the members of our grand jury were actually delegates to the Republican National Convention. That's a hard seat to get."

The slightest taint, he added, can bump a delegate off of such a position.

"I so admired the courage and fortitude of those people," he said.

Yates tried to have grand jurors held in contempt for talking to the media, even though they didn't discuss evidence or deliberations. The judge didn't bite, but he did weigh in on the DA's actions.

State District Judge Jim Wallace - yes, also a Republican - criticized the district attorney for not allowing the grand jury's decision to "run its course."

"Why did they bring the case to the grand jury if they didn't want the grand jury to do its job?" Wallace asked.

Trying to go public

The next month, six members of the grand jury sued so they could legally discuss what happened in their secret proceedings, and, they said, to defend themselves against insulting allegations that they were some rogue panel that didn't follow the law. An appellate court ruled against them, claiming it had no jurisdiction. The Supreme Court declined to review the case.

In 2010, four grand jurors made the last-ditch effort of asking former Distirct Attorney Pat Lykos - yep, Republican - for protection from prosecution to go public with evidence they heard against Medina. The request went nowhere.

Francisca Medina was later re-indicted by a separate grand jury in 2008 for crimes including felony arson and felony criminal mischief. Lykos dismissed that indictment as well after Medina's defense produced credible evidence that an electrical cause of the fire couldn't be ruled out.

'A novel idea'

Fast forward to this week and the "runaway" grand jury in the Planned Parenthood case. Their names remain sealed as a routine measure by state district Judge Mary Lou Keel.

Dorrell and Ryan couldn't help but see the similarities, and the jarring dissimilarities, in the two cases.

"I think Devon Anderson actually has some scruples and remembers the law," Dorrell said.

He urged the grand jurors to be proud of their decision and to stand their ground.

"Apparently, this grand jury decided it was going to do what the facts dictated and not what someone told them to do. Gosh, what a novel idea," he said.

I couldn't reach Yates, the attorney criticizing the current grand jury and urging Anderson to dismiss their indictments, to talk about the two cases.

But anyone quick to criticize Anderson should consider an argument Yates once made.  Voters, he said back in 2008, just need to trust.

"You elected this guy district attorney," Yates said of Rosenthal. "And you've got to assume that he knows what he's doing."

Sage advice. How about that same assumption for Anderson?


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Planned Parenthood

Since my wife and I do not have any children and we are not "parents" why should we care what happens to Planned Parenthood?  Because we care about more than just those things that directly affect us. We care about all women being able to obtain health information and health care from whatever source they have available, and many poor or indigent women ONLY have a Planned Parenthood facility close to them.

This push to take access to health care away from women stems directly from the Bible. Women are to be subservient to men, according to the Bible. Fortunately, most Christians have turned their backs on many of the barbaric practices espoused by the Bible, but this attitude of women having to be second-class citizens is hanging on. 

The Bible's whole concept of "original sin" and blaming women for the "fall from grace" from the Garden of Eden is just so much bullshit, it's sad to see how tenacious some bad ideas can be. If we remove the whole "original sin" concept, then we don't need any kind of salvation, which can only be obtained thru Jesus Christ, and the whole edifice crumbles. What a load of convoluted garbage. 

Oops, this post is supposed to be about Planned Parenthood and the Harris County (Texas) Grand Jury decision to indict the two slimeballs from the "Center for Medical Progress" a typical deceptively-named Republican front-group built to IMPEDE medical progress, instead of indicting Planned Parenthood of selling baby parts for profit. Planned Parenthood is NOT doing that, but getting that through the thick skulls of the Neanderthal Republicans is very difficult, for some reason.


Planned Parenthood cleared, but 2 indicted over videos


A grand jury convened to investigate whether a Houston Planned Parenthood clinic had sold the organs of aborted fetuses on Monday cleared the clinic and instead indicted the undercover videographers behind the allegations, surprising the officials who called for the probe and delighting supporters of the women's health organization.
The Harris County grand jury indicted David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, both of California, on charges of tampering with a governmental record, a second-degree felony with a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison. It also charged Daleiden, the leader of the videographers, with the same misdemeanor he had alleged – the purchase or sale of human organs, presumably because he had offered to buy in an attempt to provoke Planned Parenthood employees into saying they would sell.
Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson announced the indictments in a statement, noting the probe had lasted more than two months.
"As I stated at the outset of this investigation, we must go where the evidence leads us," said Anderson, a Republican. "All the evidence uncovered in the course of this investigation was presented to the grand jury. I respect their decision on this difficult case."
An arrest warrant was issued late Monday; documents detailing the charges were expected to be available Tuesday.
The videographers, who had posed as employees of a company that buys tissue and filmed interactions with Planned Parenthood executives, issued a statement saying they had not committed any crimes.
"The Center for Medical Progress uses the same undercover techniques that investigative journalists have used for decades in exercising our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and of the press, and follows all applicable laws," the statement said, adding, "Planned Parenthood still cannot deny the admissions from their leadership about fetal organ sales captured on video for all the world to see."
Planned Parenthood has denied any such admissions or wrongdoing, calling the videos heavily edited and saying it has never profited from selling fetal tissue, only received reimbursements for the costs of preserving the tissue for research, which is legal. The group sued Daleiden last month.
Anderson's statement said the grand jury "cleared (Planned Parenthood) of breaking the law."
Still, the dozen videos released by the Center for Medical Progress of Planned Parenthood clinics around the country already have had a huge impact, including an effort in Congress to defund the organization.
In Texas, lawmakers are studying new laws on fetal tissue donation, and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission said it will drop Planned Parenthood from the Medicaid program.
more on this story here.
Support health care for everyone by supporting Planned Parenthood here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Obama boom


It's been awhile since I checked in with Paul Krugman. He demonstrates once again in this column how consistently wrong the "right" has been on matters economic. It's obvious to me that the GOP can not get past its visceral hatred for Obama, and simply cast every single thing he did in apocalyptic terms. What is sad is that the GOP still seems a viable political party, despite being repeatedly unmasked as inept, petty, racist, and blinded by hate. Not to mention consistently wrong on everything.

The Obama Boom
by Paul Krugman

Do you remember the “Bush boom”? Probably not. Anyway, the administration of George W. Bush began its tenure with a recession, followed by an extended “jobless recovery.” By the summer of 2003, however, the economy began adding jobs again. The pace of job creation wasn’t anything special by historical standards, but conservatives insisted that the job gains after that trough represented a huge triumph, a vindication of the Bush tax cuts.

So what should we say about the Obama job record? Private-sector employment — the relevant number, as I’ll explain in a minute — hit its low point in February 2010. Since then we’ve gained 14 million jobs, a figure that startled even me, roughly double the number of jobs added during the supposed Bush boom before it turned into the Great Recession. If that was a boom, this expansion, capped by last month’s really good report, outbooms it by a wide margin.

Does President Obama deserve credit for these gains? No. In general, presidents and their policies matter much less for the economy’s performance than most people imagine. Times of crisis are an exception, and the Obama stimulus plan enacted in 2009 made a big positive difference. But that stimulus faded out fast after 2010, and has very little to do with the economy’s current situation.

President Obama with factory workers in Cleveland in 2013.Credit 

The point, however, is that politicians and pundits, especially on the right, constantly insist that presidential policies matter a lot. And Mr. Obama, in particular, has been attacked at every stage of his presidency for policies that his critics allege are “job-killing” — the former House speaker, John Boehner, once used the phrase seven times in less than 14 minutes. So the fact that the Obama job record is as good as it is tells you something about the validity of those attacks.

What did Mr. Obama do that was supposed to kill jobs? Quite a lot, actually. He signed the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform, which critics claimed would crush employment by starving businesses of capital. He raised taxes on high incomes, especially at the very top, where average tax rates rose by about six and a half percentage points after 2012, a step that critics claimed would destroy incentives. And he enacted a health reform that went into full effect in 2014, amid claims that it would have catastrophic effects on employment.

Yet none of the dire predicted consequences of these policies have materialized. It’s not just that overall job creation in the private sector — which was what Mr. Obama was supposedly killing — has been strong. More detailed examinations of labor markets also show no evidence of predicted ill effects. For example, there’s no evidence that Obamacare led to a shift from full-time to part-time work, and no evidence that the expansion of Medicaid led to large reductions in labor supply.

So what do we learn from this impressive failure to fail? That the conservative economic orthodoxy dominating the Republican Party is very, very wrong.

In a way, that should have been obvious. For conservative orthodoxy has a curiously inconsistent view of the abilities and motivations of corporations and wealthy individuals — I mean, job creators.

On one side, this elite is presumed to be a bunch of economic superheroes, able to deliver universal prosperity by summoning the magic of the marketplace. On the other side, they’re depicted as incredibly sensitive flowers who wilt in the face of adversity — raise their taxes a bit, subject them to a few regulations, or for that matter hurt their feelings in a speech or two, and they’ll stop creating jobs and go sulk in their tents, or more likely their mansions.

It’s a doctrine that doesn’t make much sense, but it conveys a clear message that, whaddya know, turns out to be very convenient for the elite: namely, that injustice is a law of nature, that we’d better not do anything to make our society less unequal or protect ordinary families from financial risks. Because if we do, the usual suspects insist, we’ll be severely punished by the invisible hand, which will collapse the economy.

Economists could and did argue that history proves this doctrine wrong. After all, America achieved rapid, indeed unprecedented, income growth in the 1950s and 1960s, despite top tax rates beyond the wildest dreams of modern progressives. For that matter, there are countries like Denmark that combine high taxes and generous social programs with very good employment performance.

But for those who don’t know much about either history or the world outside America, the Obama economy offers a powerful lesson in the here and now. From a conservative point of view, Mr. Obama did everything wrong, afflicting the comfortable (slightly) and comforting the afflicted (a lot), and nothing bad happened. We can, it turns out, make our society better after all.

Read Paul Krugman’s blog, The Conscience of a Liberal, and follow him on Twitter.
Follow The New York Times Opinion section onFacebook and Twitter, and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter
Oh, I remember the Bush "boom" where the US was losing 800,000 jobs PER MONTH in the last several months of George W. Bush's horrible second term. Which is not to suggest that Bush's FIRST term was NOT horrible, which it certainly was. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Queen of Outer Space

How is it possible that I've near heard of this horrible-looking major motion picture release? I'm sure the more-modern (porn) version is better.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Patrick Chappatte

Patrick Chappatte is a Pakistani-born Swiss-Lebanese political cartoonist.  After the Charlie Hebdo and November attacks in Paris, Chappatte was turned to for some political "humor." You can say a lot in a small amount of space.


Back in 2010, Patrick gave a TED talk about political cartoons.


You can find an archive of Patrick's work here, and you can now find his work regularly in the New York Times.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Elvie

Staying on the topic of sex, one of my favorite topics. We have new sex toys for women who want to strengthen their coochies, their hoo-hows, their snatches, their....you get the idea.

Keep it tight, ladies, and we'll try to keep it up.

Meet Elvie, A New Breed Of Connected Tech For Women


The life of a technology journalist inexorably involves a lot of gadgetry. And while I can appreciate the sleek beauty of new Apple hardware as much as the next person, I don’t routinely get excited by the prospect of unboxing any other new gizmo just because. But when the courier handed over the small white bag containing Elvie I was uncharacteristically eager to open it up — because this is a rare beast indeed: a connected device designed by women, for women.
It’s not hyperbole to say Elvie is a new breed of connected device. It’s indicative of the lack of smart technology specifically — and intelligently — addressing women. Given the male-dominated tech space that’s hardly a surprise. Let’s call it an ‘on-going disappointment’. But make no mistake, it’s also a missed opportunity.
Bottom line: there are huge opportunities for technology businesses to be built that intelligently address women’s needs. Women are routinely early adopters of all sorts of digital services. So if you’re making something of genuine utility to an underserved 50 per cent of the population chances are your product won’t be languishing on the shelves for long.
Only last week Berlin-based period and fertility tracker app Clue raised a $7 million Series A round of funding. Its ambition is to build “a platform for female health” — using the data its users are contributing to conduct and support research into health and lifestyle issues that specifically affect women.
Chiaro, the London-based startup behind Elvie, has similarly expansive aims, with plans to build out a portfolio of devices and services for women. It has raised more than $3 million at this early stage — with the likes of Lars Rasmussen and Nicole Junkermann among its super angel investors, and Lulu’s Alexandra Chong on its board — and Elvie is its first device and first step towards building a technology lifestyle brand for women. Expect to see more such savvy, female-led startups appearing — as both Chiaro and Clue are.

Real-time feedback as you exercise

So what exactly is Elvie? It’s a connected pelvic floor exerciser which gives the user real-time feedback as they exercise. Think of it as a non-passive wearable. It gathers and charts your data to track performance over time, as many fitness wearables do, but it also allows for guided pelvic floor exercising in real-time. Which is core to its proposition.
Point being it’s not exactly easy to know whether you’re correctly performing pelvic floor lifts — given there’s no visual feedback from the muscle. (A male colleague referenced the “dark and mysterious pelvic floor” when I mentioned my Elvie review unit had arrived. But even for women there’s plenty of mystery around this muscle, given it’s been so hard to quantify it — up to now).
Exercising the pelvic floor is a good idea for lots of reasons. Motivation to exercise can be associated with childbirth preparation or post-natal recovery; bladder control issues; lifestyle goals focused on improving core fitness (lifting the pelvic floor can be involved when you practice pilates and yoga, for instance). Exercising the pelvic floor can also be a motivator for women of any age wanting to improve sensation during sex. Safe to say, there are a host of health, fitness and lifestyle benefits to tap into here.
Chiaro kicked off pre-orders for Elvie just under a year ago, and is now shipping the first devices to buyers. The exerciser retails for £149 (~$230), and is currently sold direct via the Elvie website. TechCrunch was sent one of the first batch — keep reading for our early impressions.

How Elvie works

The Elvie device works in conjunction with a companion app. The two communicate via Bluetooth — the device’s BT radio remains outside the body so there’s no chance of the signal being blocked during use (in a very cute and clever piece of industrial design the radio is located in the Elvie’s tail).
There are no buttons on the exerciser, as you’d hope given it’s designed for internal use. Indeed, the entire pebble-shaped device is encased in medical grade silicone — giving it a smooth, seamless unibody for hygiene and comfort. Since Elvie is designed to sense force applied almost anywhere on its body the whole device is also effectively one big button. (The user activates the link between app and Elvie by squeezing the device with their pelvic floor muscles once they’ve inserted it into their vagina — at which point the app will offer to guide them through a workout.)
While it’s big for a button, Elvie is deliberately smaller than the average pelvic floor exerciser — Chiaro claims it’s as much as 3x smaller than alternatives. (One rival connected device is the Kgoal — which a Verge reviewer criticized as too large, finding it painful to use.)
During Elvie’s product development and testing, co-founder Tania Boler says the team were continually told by women that they wanted the device to be small. (For those who want a slightly larger exerciser there is a silicone cap accessory in the box which fits snuggly over Elvie’s head to size it up a little.)
Hidden inside Elvie’s smooth silicone exterior are a series of force sensors which allow the device to measure the user’s pelvic floor as they squeeze and relax the muscle. Muscle activity is visualised in real time in the app — denoted by the vertical position of a gem icon on the screen.
Each Elvie training session lasts about five minutes and involves a series of exercises that are much like basic games — except you’re controlling the games with your pelvic floor muscle, rather than your fingers. Trust me it’s pretty fun.
I found the Elvie super simple to set up and start using. Almost too simple, if anything. Chiaro has created a measure it calls LVs to quantify your pelvic floor lift strength. But it’s not immediately clear what a specific score means. You’re presumably aiming for a higher LVs score — to denote more powerful lifts — but a little more information/context here would be helpful.
Each training session starts with an attempt to lift the gem as high as you can to calibrate the peak force you’re aiming for for that particular session. You’re then led through a series of different exercises, depending on your current level (and your initial lift). The app offers three different levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Beginner is the default but the user can switch to another level whenever they like if they wish.

Yes, there is more at the original here.