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November 14, 2002
U.S. states ranked according to smartness.
U.S. states ranked according to smartness. The ranking was based on such factors as average high school dropout rate, how much teachers earn and how frequently they are attacked, etc. There are probably some other relevant factors they might have included, but didn't. What criteria do you think would be most appropriate for measuring a state's relative intelligence?
posted by shoos at 10:53 PM PST - 47 comments

Pocket Calculator Show classic nerd electronic toys
Pocket Calclulator Show looks like it started as a sideline of a shortwave radio show about "products from the electronics revolution of the 1970s and 1980s", but its of primary interest for their collections of classic nerd toys. Thrill to the memories in the Digital Watch Museum, the Walkman Museum, the Boombox Museum, and especially the collection of Magical Gadgets, which includes a not-so-useful-anymore cb radio to 8-track adapter, an incredible casio talking clock/calculator (listen to it talk!), and, of course, that great pioneer of personal sound technology - the Bone Fone (it vibrates, you know!)
posted by yhbc at 8:46 PM PST - 7 comments

Rock paper scissors: The world championship
Rock paper scissors: The world championship: This year, for the first time, the annual Rock Paper Scissors international championship is open to the general public (as opposed to just professional RPS players. I had no idea there even were professional RPS players). Some interesting facts on RPS, including the answer to the age-old question: Does Rock crush Scissors or is Scissors dulled by Rock?
posted by Badmichelle at 8:34 PM PST - 26 comments

Try not to call it Christmas
School district memo says seasonal festivities should not be labelled Christmas Merry annual winter celebration of the birth of a gender non-specific child who may or may not have existed in fact, whose mother was reputedly a virgin at the time of his or her birth and whose presumed father was widely regarded as one of many possible deities. And Happy New Year.
posted by islander at 8:14 PM PST - 46 comments

datawrangler
Slippery football players. Probably not a new way to avoid getting tackled, but an interesting use of technology nonetheless. It certainly didn't help them win. And who's gonna wash those uniforms, hmm? [OK, I haven't posted in a while, so forgive the formatting gaffes...]
posted by datawrangler at 1:34 PM PST - 10 comments

Rosenbaum v Vidal
Is Gore Vidal nuts, or he is he just funnin' us? In his New York Observer column, Ron Rosenbaum takes a look at Vidal's 9/11 conspiracy theory, and proceeds to take it apart. Where's Norman Mailer when you need him?
posted by Man-Thing at 1:33 PM PST - 18 comments

It's a big, bad world
It’s a big bad world out there, and some entrepreneurs are investing in your survival. Brick-and-mortar or online, stores sell everything from gas masks for kids to MRE’s. But some people just like to collect hazmat suits, and some want to make gas masks more aesthetically pleasing. I think I want to go to this fashion show.
posted by readymade at 1:05 PM PST - 11 comments

Lord Timothy Dexter - 'Consler of Trouth'
Lord Timothy Dexter (1747-1806) was one of the most colorful characters of early American history, described here as, among other things, an "Eccentric 18th Century Merchant - Investor with a Midas Touch - Impresario - Patron of the Arts, founding the 'World Mouserum of Grate Wonder and Gret Caricters' - progressive 'Libperel' - Self Appointed 'Consler of Trouth.'" This site includes a complete transcription of Dexter's punctuation-free magnum opus, A Pickle for the Knowing Ones featuring his famous Addenda.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:10 PM PST - 12 comments

Science & Humor
Scientists do have senses of humor. Also, funny science cartoons appeal to many of us, like this one or this . Whacky patents also delight the mind and tickle the funny bone. Absurd humor makes us wonder what the heck is going on. And what the hell is Chindogu really all about? What are you favorite science sites with humor or absurdity?
posted by Morphic at 10:22 AM PST - 15 comments

The Teddy bear turns 100
The Teddy bear turns 100 this weekend and is arguably one of the most popular toys of all time. They're cute, they're cuddly, and they're comforting. They've inspired songs and stories. They've even helped Hell's Angels show their softer side with annual toy runs.
posted by fredosan at 10:02 AM PST - 5 comments

Fireworks in England
Fresh in from the 'perfect timing' department - not even 24 hours after the fire brigade goes on strike, the south west of England goes on flood watch and a Fireworks factory explodes. For some added fun, the army are banned from driving the modern fire engines and instead drive famous 'green godesses'.

Even ignoring the lack of cover (644 GGs replacing 4,311 normal engines) and lack of equipment the army fire teams have, should emergency services be able to strike?
posted by twine42 at 9:43 AM PST - 27 comments

boot bus
last year i saw the land rover, yesterday i saw the boot bus. while it looks to be in support of a small commercial site, the bus is a 'grassroots' adventure to document and share information gathered during their endless journeys in a VW bus. feel free to share your favorite 'common-man' travel resource.
posted by donkeysuck at 9:11 AM PST - 3 comments

Lord of the Peeps!
One Peep to rule them all, and in the darkness eat them. It's not Friday, but any day is a good day to see "Lord of The Rings" executed with marshmallow peeps. There's also a "PeepHenge" on the site...mmmmmmm, PeepHenge. (God bless Bifurcated Rivets.)
posted by serafinapekkala at 8:31 AM PST - 14 comments

Looking for those perfect noise-reducing, mini-headphones
Looking for those perfect noise-reducing, mini-headphones What do Wyclef Jean, Wilco, Jethro Tull, Blues Traveler, Everclear, Nikka Costa, Weezer, Pete Yorn, Tricky, Sum 41, Herbie Hancock, Barenaked Ladies, Oasis, and Phantom Planet share ? Apparently the love for Shures E-Series mini-headphones, briefly mentioned in todays NYT (reg req). The professional musician's alternative to the effete Bang and Olufsen and the monster Bose. Can personally no longer live without them.
posted by Voyageman at 8:13 AM PST - 74 comments

Military Tribunals
The true story of Ex Parte Quirin. The case that is cited to support the Bush administration's "Terrorism Tribunals" has gotten little scrutiny. Everyone knows that the Nazi saboteurs were part of a plot cracked by FBI agents and justly imprisoned and executed, and everyone may be wrong. Michael Belknap, a professor at California Western School of Law, aptly referred to Quirin as "a putrid pedigree" in a recent law review article. Kenneth Royall, a former military counsel in the case, described it as a lynching. And John P. Frank, a clerk to Hugo Black at the time of Quirin, denounced the court in his 1958 book Marble Palace for acting like a "butcher shop."
posted by norm at 7:39 AM PST - 5 comments

Briton questions veracity of news about the USA
I know its the Guardian but does the US media really show such contempt? Anyone got any examples?
posted by lerrup at 7:13 AM PST - 22 comments

International High IQ Society tests
International High IQ Society tests. The site gives the impression that these tests are a lot more accurate at judging intelligence (whatever that is) that most of the junk on the web. What do you think? Do we have any 'universal geniuses'?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:45 AM PST - 109 comments

An academic justification for the multi-cultural society?
HOW TO GET RICH, by Jared Diamond.
[via Boing-Boing] An academic justification for the pluralist society? Clay Shirley (guest blogger @ B-B) makes the point: "In a finding that everyone worried about having a single global IP regime should read, Diamond concludes that innovation requires having several different legal, cultural and technological regimes at the same time, in competition with one another. Columbus had to go to several countries before he got funding for the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Had there been a pan-European agreement on naval expeditions, he would never have left port." [More inside]
*Warning*: 12, easily read pages in link. I hope this thread is a grower...
posted by dash_slot- at 5:22 AM PST - 30 comments

You Are a Suspect
You Are a Suspect A growing awareness by those on the right and on the left that our rights are now seriously in threat of total erosion in light of new Petnagon proposal to track all moves of citizens in giagantic data base. may require reg for NY Times.
posted by Postroad at 3:57 AM PST - 66 comments