"There Is Only One Sale" is the traditional January sales slogan of Harrods' department store in London, where the elbow-fest begins next Monday. With disappointing Christmas retail sales being reported more or less everywhere, it looks like the U.S. National Retail Federation's statement "What's going to be crucial now is the week after Christmas" is not the usual BS. Sales in Europe are still month-long extravaganzas where unique bargains can be had. In the U.S. they seem to be more frequent, shorter and somewhat diluted. Assuming you're normal (a stingy, somewhat gullible and opportunistic shopper like the rest of us), what are your post-holiday shopping objectives? Which department stores will you be hitting? Or is it all just a big con? posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:07 PM PST - 10 comments
Steal cars and kill prostitutes for pointsThe fourth instalment of the popular Grand Theft Auto video game has become the fastest selling title of all time in the UK. In its first five days on the U.S. market, GTA:VC sold 1.4 million copies of Grand Theft Auto. Entertainment Weekly rated it No. 1 on its 10-best-game list for 2002. But unlike most video games, where the player represents a hero struggling against evil, Grand Theft Auto invites players to pose as a vicious criminal named Tommy Vercetti. Tommy earns money for his crimes, which include running over pedestrians, hiring and then murdering prostitutes, and killing other gangsters with guns, Uzis, swords and Molotov cocktails.Unsurprisingly, the game has its critics and protestors. Real life crimes have been linked to it.Well, MeFiers, is a society ever justified in banning something like this video game? posted by orange swan at 6:36 PM PST - 39 comments
Merry Christmas from Scandinavian Airlines! Scandinavian Airlines has offered a special online-only deal for each day of December. You go to the site and open the day's date (like an Advent calendar) and a new European city is offered--you can then fly to that city roundtrip from the US for about $250 US. The catch? You have 24 hours to book, you must travel between January and mid-March, and you must depart from Seattle, Newark, DC or Chicago. It's a neat deal, but today's the last day, and so as a great holiday surprise they've opened up all the past cities. Pick any of the previously offered destinations, get thee to one of the four departure cities, and enjoy a great airfare deal! London, Paris, Madrid, Oslo, Stockholm, Milan and other cities are offered. (Not a plug--I don't work for or have any connection to SAS.) posted by GaelFC at 4:14 PM PST - 19 comments
The world's most wanted man has embarked on his annual breaking-and-entering spree! Stop him before he reaches your house, using the power of NORAD. Track him as he wends his way around the world...(see! Missile-defense technology IS good for something!) posted by amberglow at 11:31 AM PST - 14 comments
King William's College Christmas Quiz - Pupils at King William's college on the Isle of Man have suffered its annual general knowledge quiz since 1905. Until 1999, it was compulsory and the average score was two (out of 180). Nowadays the questions, set by an unidentified islander, are posted to parents with the end-of-term report. See how you fare. Answers will be posted in the new year. (last year, last years answers). posted by BigCalm at 9:03 AM PST - 38 comments
Crackpots and the Nature of Truth If you're a busy guy like me, you take on faith a lot what is promoted as scientific truth. But there's usually a "crackpot" minority who may find a few data points which don't fit the orthodox scientific theory and claim them as evidence of a conspiracy or mass delusion. On very rare occasions (and this is probably NOT one of them), they may even turn out to be right. For this reason, the unaligned unscientific masses find it easy to side with the crackpots.
Those within the orthodoxy often take the position that confronting the minority in a fair and open debate would unduly dignify the minority's position. Unfortunately, the orthodoxy at the same time often loudly denounces the minority's position as "unscientific," but doesn't go much beyond that. To be sure, the minority's position often is truly "unscientific" because, for instance, it's unfalsifiable. The orthodoxy seems to be missing golden PR opportunities in articles like this. If the orthodoxy is truly concerned about winning converts away from the crackpots, shouldn't they AT LEAST take advantage of these opportunities to say a few words about what science is and is not, to inject some of the basic concepts of science (hypothesis, experimentation, theory construction, falsifiability, etc.) into the popular memesphere? posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:03 AM PST - 28 comments
Joe Strummer Dies at 50. Not exactly what I was hoping to get for Christmas... I have a feeling that my wife is going to be quite sick of Sandinista! and London Calling after today... posted by badzen at 8:49 AM PST - 17 comments