Mar 30, 2012


Mar 28, 2012

Reduce poverty, bring metal bands to poor countries

This is a map of number of metal bands per capita

Do you know what it closely correlates to? ThisL

That is the map of Human Development Index.

We have created an accurate, significantly cheaper method of tracking development. Done.

From reddit.

All you need is a flat surface and a pen

Good stuff starts at about 1:00 minute mark.

Mar 27, 2012

Spending money

While the talk is somewhat dry, this line was pretty good:
"… people are being persuaded to spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need, to create impressions that won’t last, on people we don’t care about"

Mar 22, 2012

Thoughts that grab your attention: nostalgia

Always original Bill James on baseball, internet, prisons and more
Ah, those were the days; syphilis could be cured and AIDS hadn't started yet. Boobies could be assumed to be natural, and condoms were only sold in the bathrooms of service stations. You could walk up to the gate of Fenway Park 10 minutes before game time and buy a ticket behind the dugout, where you were guaranteed to be seated next to some loud, drunken idiot screaming at Carlton Fisk about his mother. You think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not; I went to 40 major league games in 1982, and I was seated within 15 feet of a loud, drunken fan every game

Mar 21, 2012

The difference between

“The difference between stupid and intelligent people – and this is true whether or not they are well-educated – is that intelligent people can handle subtlety. ”
Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age

Mar 20, 2012

Mar 19, 2012

Mar 16, 2012

Mountain biking

From reddit:
Last year, Visited Wisconsin to see my mountain biking uncle. He was about to compete in the Subaru cup (Part of the Wisconsin off road series), and he said there was a kids division (I was 16). I volunteered to do it, because how hard can biking 10 miles be?
He registered me, but for the adult division. 
The next day he brought me to the race grounds to do a practice lap, which was 5 miles long. He said there were no worries, I could go at any pace that I wanted, it should be a piece of cake. It was virtually fucking identical to that. Except in a forest. And I'm not talented, just fat. Three hours later, I finish the course and go home, ass aching to no end. 
I didn't have the nerve to tell my uncle that I wanted to quit, because he payed 50 bucks to register me for the race. I just fucking did it. Professional-ass bikers speeding past me on a mountain. A fucking mountain. So much falling into bushes and rocks and off of cliffs. I fell off of cliffs. Fucking Cliffs. 
I finished dead last. Except for one guy. He was disqualified because his bike broke. His bike broke when I fell ontop of him. Off of a cliff.

Mar 15, 2012

I guess that explains it

One of Julius Caesar's lover was:

Mar 12, 2012

How to sell anything

Next week, I'll post ads of sexy models in bikinis stretching out on coffins

Mar 9, 2012

Penguin cam!

Live stream by Ustream

Olive Garden review

A local food columnist reviews the newly opened, "long-awaited" Olive Garden. This article is so sweet, I can't make fun of it.
My first visit to Olive Garden was during midafternoon, so I could be sure to get in. After a late breakfast, I figured a late lunch would be fashionable.
The place is impressive. It’s fashioned in Tuscan farmhouse style with a welcoming entryway. There is seating for those who are waiting
And a strong finish:
All in all, it is the largest and most beautiful restaurant now operating in Grand Forks. It attracts visitors from out of town as well as people who live here.

Mar 8, 2012

Douglas Adams

This actually did happen to a real person, and the real person was me. I had gone to catch a train. This was April 1976, in Cambridge, U.K. I was a bit early for the train. I'd gotten the time of the train wrong.

I went to get myself a newspaper to do the crossword, and a cup of coffee and a packet of cookies. I went and sat at a table.

I want you to picture the scene. It's very important that you get this very clear in your mind.
Here's the table, newspaper, cup of coffee, packet of cookies. There's a guy sitting opposite me, perfectly ordinary-looking guy wearing a business suit, carrying a briefcase.

It didn't look like he was going to do anything weird. What he did was this: he suddenly leaned across, picked up the packet of cookies, tore it open, took one out, and ate it.

Now this, I have to say, is the sort of thing the British are very bad at dealing with. There's nothing in our background, upbringing, or education that teaches you how to deal with someone who in broad daylight has just stolen your cookies.

You know what would happen if this had been South Central Los Angeles. There would have very quickly been gunfire, helicopters coming in, CNN, you know. . . But in the end, I did what any red-blooded Englishman would do: I ignored it. And I stared at the newspaper, took a sip of coffee, tried to do a clue in the newspaper, couldn't do anything, and thought, what am I going to do?

In the end I thought, nothing for it, I'll just have to go for it, and I tried very hard not to notice the fact that the packet was already mysteriously opened. I took out a cookie for myself. I thought, that settled him. But it hadn't because a moment or two later he did it again. He took another cookie.

Having not mentioned it the first time, it was somehow even harder to raise the subject the second time around. "Excuse me, I couldn't help but notice . . ." I mean, it doesn't really work.

We went through the whole packet like this. When I say the whole packet, I mean there were only about eight cookies, but it felt like a lifetime. He took one, I took one, he took one, I took one. Finally, when we got to the end, he stood up and walked away.

Well, we exchanged meaningful looks, then he walked away, and I breathed a sigh of relief and sat back. A moment or two later the train was coming in, so I tossed back the rest of my coffee, stood up, picked up the newspaper, and underneath the newspaper were my cookies.

The thing I like particularly about this story is the sensation that somewhere in England there has been wandering around for the last quarter-century a perfectly ordinary guy who's had the same exact story, only he doesn't have the punch line.

From "The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time" by Douglas Adams)

Mar 7, 2012

It may be fake, it may not

But it made me laugh.

Quotes from a tour leader who takes urban kids on nature hikes and captures their observations.

Mar 6, 2012

I knew it!

Whiskey soothes a sore throat. I've been saying that for years!
The alcohol really does the work, and the water and honey are there for dilution and flavor. If you're serious, we suppose you could gargle the whiskey and then go ahead and swallow it, assuming your sore throat isn't that bad.

Praise Winona, Holy Mother of Sweet Vindication.

Mar 5, 2012

Mar 2, 2012

Perfectly democratic, perfectly fair

From Slate article on the Russian elections:
To get on the ballot today, a presidential candidate must collect 2 million signatures in January (even though half of the month is lost to the New Year’s holiday). Signatories must be geographically diverse: No more than 50,000 names can come from any one of the country's 83 regions. The signatories themselves must be precise: a single mistake such as a contraction in the name of a city—for example, “St. Petersburg” instead of “Saint Petersburg”—can render an entire sheet of signatures invalid. The names are then submitted to the Central Election Commission, which can pick a sample at random—and if it rejects more than 5 percent of the sample, the candidate is disqualified. At the same time, candidates are prohibited from submitting more than 5 percent extra of the required number of signatures—in other words, no more than 2.1 million signatures may be turned in to the Central Election Commission. Care is hardly sufficient, in any case. The commission has a list of 14 reasons it can cite to reject a signature. One of these is “expert opinion.” In other words, any candidate whom the Kremlin does not want on the ballot will not be on the ballot. So, if you are wondering which of the candidates opposing Putin on Sunday is a Kremlin stooge, rest assured: They all are.

Mar 1, 2012

Oscar Gamble

"They don't think it be like it is, but it do."