... and the doctor says, I can clearly see you're nuts. A PRODIGY IN MANY FIELDS. Perhaps I rank historically among the 50 or 100 most intelligent and talented people in the most fields ever. And so begins the best resume ever. posted by patrickje at 5:32 PM PST - 59 comments
Are we using the worst voting procedure? "Voting theorists argue that plurality voting is one of the worst of all possible choices." Plurality voting, in which each voter selects one canidate, is vulnerable to a third party spoiler (Nader) or with many canidates can lead to the (near) election of a candidate most voters despise (le Pen). Some alternative voting systems include instant runoff where canidates are ranked by voters, a Borda count where voters assigns points to each canidate, or approval system where voters vote for as many canidates as they like. (via argmax.com) posted by Quinn at 11:27 AM PST - 63 comments
Rez, a Japanese title for the Playstation 2 that was supposedly inspired by Kandinski's ideas on synaesthesia, comes packaged with a piece of hardware called a "trance vibrator."
Here's an entirely NOT SAFE FOR WORK guide to how one couple came to refer to the game as "Tron on Ecstasy." posted by Pinwheel at 10:58 AM PST - 33 comments
Roadside memorials. Every so often you'll catch one out of the corner of your eye--a makeshift cross on the side of a highway, or flowers tacked to a highway sign, marking a life that ended in that spot. Gives me chills--realistically, probably every single day we pass places where someone breathed their last, but we don't know it. Photographer Bill Sampson takes photographs of roadside memorials--called "descansos" from a Spanish word meaning rest--and collects them on his site. Loved ones are invited to submit memorials of their own. (Link via USA Today Web Guide.) posted by GaelFC at 10:57 AM PST - 39 comments
Stop Wining Laddie - And Pass the Macallan! Why bother with sissy wines and beers when you can have whisky all through your meal? A new trend in dining is pairing spirits and cocktails with food. Russian aristocrats still refuse to drink vodka unaccompanied by comestibles while modern Italians and Americans cook with it. The Japanese love their straight Cognac and Chivas with everything bar sashimi and eccentric old Englishmen stick with Port from start to finish. I guess they're all on to something, no? In case they're not, here, by way of consolation, is a wonderful interactive food and wine matcher for the dullards and traditionalists among us. Cheers! posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:57 AM PST - 15 comments
Are you using AOL IM at work? Chatting with your buds or SO while you should probably be working? Well, in a desperate attempt to turn some kind of profit, AOL is willing to sell your boss the ability to be in on the conversation, too. posted by crunchland at 9:29 AM PST - 21 comments
A New Constitutional Convention? Well, as we are all aware it's election days. Time to reshape our government as we see fit. And we have an remarkably robust blueprint for our government, one that has stood the test of time. But is it time to change? What would your suggestions be if you were present at a new creation? I know these links have a lefty feel, there what I could find. But I'm interested in reasoned perspectives from left and right. Is this process necessary or desirable? What Would You Do? posted by pjgulliver at 8:35 AM PST - 39 comments
Florida Machine Records Votes for Wrong Candidate. OK, I know Matt Drudge isn't exactly a venerated news outlet, but he is in South Florida. And he's reporting that a West Palm Beach voter called in to a South Florida radio talk show to report that when he voted for McBride this morning the machine counted his vote for Bush. After he'd tried three times, the voter said, an observing poll worker finally acknowledged that the machine would have to be reprogrammed, since earlier voters had experienced the same problem. There is no official confirmation of this problem, but calls to the same radio show two years ago evidently foreshadowed the 2000 election debacle. I'll be keeping an eye on sites like Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo as the day wears on. In the end, what should the electorate do (in addition to initiating lawsuits) if outcome-determining irregularities surface in yet another Florida election?
posted by maud at 7:40 AM PST - 68 comments
Remember the Sokal Hoax? In the mid 1990s, NYU professor Alan Sokal got a deliberately ridiculous paper in the po-mo journal Social Text, which would have embarrassed the editors if the concept of shame weren't merely a social construct.
Now it seems that turnabout is fair play. In this week's Chronicle of Higher Education, there's a fascinating article about two brothers -- they apparently got their physics PhDs by spouting nonsense, and even got their tripe published in peer-reviewed journals. (The article itself requires a subscription, but here is an account by one of the players in the drama.
Even though every scientific field has bad journals and these papers are in French, which consigned them to less well-known journals, it's still a major embarrassment for physics. posted by ptermit at 7:23 AM PST - 40 comments
Today, Georgia becomes the first state in the US to have standardized, state-wide electronic voting. Not wanting to be "the next Florida", Georgia spent nearly $60M to go from paper punch cards to touch screens. What's in store, fame or infamy? After using the computer myself and hearing raves from all the sweet old ladies, I'll bet on the former. posted by ewagoner at 6:42 AM PST - 38 comments
Ever heard of this kid? Richard Sandrak is a 10 year old body builder! I cant help but wonder what health problems this kid will develop when he reaches puberty. freak or unique? posted by JonnyX at 4:59 AM PST - 50 comments
What do you do with an eyesore built by a madman? [Geocities site, caress lovingly before clicking] During WWII, Hitler built several Flakbunkers around the city of Hamburg, to act as self-contained civilian shelters and defensive posts. After the war, the British tried to blow them up. And failed, on two accounts. The buildings still stand today, squat and romanesque remnants of a horrible period in the city's history. So, in a show of Hanseatic League moxie, the citizens of Hamburg have converted one of them into a disco. [warning: Flash, and starts with music]. There are better pictures of the truly hideous exterior here and here. A timely reminder, this Tuesday morning, that poor decisions can have long-reaching and unintended consequences. What will your grandchildren have to turn into a disco? posted by condour75 at 12:01 AM PST - 40 comments