Jun 21, 2013

Becoming a star

At this week's Bonnaroo, Wu Tang Clan's sign language interpreter stole the show: "[Holly] didn't just sign every word, but put back into it."

More here.

Jun 18, 2013

Detroit is screwed

And then comes the litany of municipal woes: Detroit has the highest violent crime rate of any major US city, at five times the national average; there were 344 murders in 2011, of which just 39 were solved. Right now, the average response time, if you put in an emergency call to the Detroit Police Department, is 58 minutes. 
Detroit’s infrastructure is crumbling: 40% of its street lights are out of order, and it has 78,000 abandoned and blighted structures, of which 38,000 are considered dangerous buildings. Those buildings account for a large proportion of the 12,000 fires Detroit has every year. At the moment, firefighters are instructed not to use the hydraulic ladders on their firetrucks unless there is an immediate threat to life, because the ladders have not received safety inspections for years. Detroit also has just 36 ambulances, of which generally no more than 14 are in operation at any given time. 

Jun 17, 2013

How tough?

From our friend Lance Mannion:
You probably heard this story in history class in high school, how in the days of Roman conquest, Julius Caesar’s army entered a barbarian kingdom and early one morning Caesar sent one of his generals to the barbarian king’s camp to demand their surrender? 
The barbarian king laughed. 
The general warned the king not to underestimate the Romans. We are very tough, he said. 
How tough? said the king smiling.
The general looked around. It was a chilly morning and there was a fire burning in a brazier by the king’s chair. The general strode up to the brazier and stared into the fire. Then he turned to the barbarian king. 
Do you have any coffee? the general asked. 
We’ll have to brew a new pot, said the king. 
The general grinned. 
I can wait, he said. 
The king surrendered on the spot.

Jun 13, 2013

Guess the answer?

What data input was used to create the map of the US below? (e.g. for example, this map was created inputting all the roads in the US).

Email me for the answer.

Jun 4, 2013

Banishment rooms

Japanese companies have severe restrictions in firing their employees, even if the company is in dire financial situations. So what are they doing to avoid penalties that come with downsizing?

Banishment rooms.
Basically, banishment rooms are departments where companies transfer surplus employees and give them menial or useless tasks or even nothing to do until they become depressed or disheartened enough to quit on their own, thus not getting full benefits, unlike if they were actually let go.

For more details, see here. Originally found at Marginal Revolution.