It's winter in 2007, and there's been an ice storm in Oklahoma. Some of that ice is now adhering to portions of the 1619-foot Sinclair Television Tower in Oklahoma City. And then, bit by bit, some of it isn't. (SLYT)
FAA (pdf link): A Boeing Model 787 airplane that has been powered continuously for 248 days can lose all AC electrical power due to the generator control units (GCUs) simultaneously going into failsafe mode. This condition is caused by a software counter internal to the GCUs that will overflow after 248 days of continuous power. We are issuing this airworthiness directive to prevent loss of all AC electrical power, which could result in loss of control of the airplane. Guardian article: "In the latest of a long line of problems plaguing Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, which saw the company’s fleet grounded over battery issues and concerns raised over possible hacking vulnerabilities, the new software bug was found in plane’s generator-control units." [more inside]
The Three Languages of Arts and Cultural Funding : It is a truth universally acknowledged that the public funding of arts and culture will cause political strife. Reasonable people just do not agree on this, and can be surprisingly quick to accuse others of ideological warmongering. An Australian application of The Three Languages of Politics [interview: podcast and transcript] by Arnold Kling. Via The Conversation.
The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity -- Five laws that explain why stupidity will always be with us, dragging us down. [more inside]
"How do you get Americans interested in soccer? ... For one thing, you make the balls much bigger and the teams much smaller. For another, you arm each of the players with a stun gun."
The music industry Loudness War is over. Research into actual sales rankings, Radio Impact, Listener ratings and Hearing loss, all show better results for music with a higher dynamic range.
Hollywood ate my childhood [or] Why film remakes are desecrating our most precious memories. Hint: it's the money. [more inside]
In search of the Dunning-Kruger effect: filmmaker and New York Times opinionator Errol Morris talks with Ig Nobel Prize-winning psychology professor David Dunning about, variously, lemon juice-wearing bank robber McArthur Wheeler, the concept of "unknown unknowns" popularized by former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Scrabble greatness, anosognosic paralysis, and how "our incompetence masks our ability to recognize our incompetence". (first of a five-part series) (previously)
A great advance in computer engineering: introducing the "Doubleton"!!!!! A fascinating example of the intersection of uncritical thinking, mediocre implementation, and a solution in search of
a problem resume padding. [more inside]
Oil City Confidential is a new film from director Julien Temple, previously responsible for The Filth and the Fury, about the Sex Pistols, and Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten, focusing on Strummer and The Clash. This time round, in a kind of prequel to both those films, he tackles the life and turbulent times of Dr. Feelgood. Finding fame on the same Pub rock circuit (as remembered by writer and Kursaal Flyers drummer Will Birch) that also supported Ian Dury's Kilburn and the High Roads (not to mention Eddie and the Hot Rods and Joe Strummer's pre-Clash band The 101ers), Dr. Feelgood played stripped-down, taut and aggressive R&B. Hailing from the wildlands of Essex's Canvey Island – the "Oil City" of the film's title – Dr Feelgood were punk before punk really hit, a whirlwind of raucous energy, with a fierce work ethic. In Wilko Johnson, they had a guitarist with a scorching, slash and burn technique, while their singer, Lee Brilleaux (1989 interview), who died of cancer in 1994, aged just 41, oozed cheap-suited menace, and, into the bargain, helped found Stiff Records. [more inside]
The 10 smartest and stupidest iPhone apps, according to British technology website The Register. The smartest apps include things like personal databases, information tools and music streaming and identification apps. The stupid section is a morass of farts, poop, pickup lines and badly rendered, vaguely creepy pictures of girls. Idiocracy, it seems, has come early to the App Store.
Muxtape's Justin tells the story play-by-play. You may remember an earlier post about muxtape being shut down. After all kinds of speculation, discussion, and consternation, we can finally know what really happened.
The Stupidity of Dignity: Conservative bioethics' latest, most dangerous ploy. Steven Pinker reviews Human Dignity and Bioethics, the latest report from the President's Council on Bioethics. [more inside]
The hucksters behind the QLink Pendant claim that it "utilises Sympathetic Resonance Technology to rebalance the energetic systems of the body". Apparently, some scientists and engineers think £69.99 is a fair price for a necklace consisting of a copper coil and a zero-ohm resistor [neither of which are actually connected to anything]. The inventor claims that the QLink does not use electronics components “in a conventional electronic way” yet it "increases your capacity to function in EMF saturated environments."I guess golfers will buy anything that promises an improved score. It's the perfect accessory for my new Faraday suit.
Just when you thought virtual reality couldn't get any worse, it's 3D Email! "Immerse yourself in 3-D as you read and write your mail. Hang with your mail poolside, or feed your spam to the sharks! Deleting spam is so much fun, you may wish you had more! ...It's an email metaverse!"
News of stupidity in the fight against terrorism: Up to three years in jail for not loudly enunciating, in front of his mom, that he had a penis pump. If you do not know that you are an American citizen, it's your fault and you may be deported as an illegal alien. Manhattan train stopped because of some woman's bottle of iced tea? BC Ferry delayed 3 hours because of a forgotten briefcase (my coworker lives next to the terminal and has learned that this was an RCMP officer's briefcase, though that detail has not made the media). There are so many of these stories...we really need one place to group them all together.
Bush's threat to veto stem cell funding is a joke. Scott Rosenberg says flat out why Bush's threat is shamelessly amoral and hyporcritical, and purely political in nature. (via)
Don't smoke urine if you're looking for a methamphetamine high, because you might burn yourself, or worse, have the world find out about your mishap. The best is the quote from his lawyer: "I suspect that, more than anything, Steve was doing this as an intellectual proposition." Lawyers will say the darnedest things.
This explains EVERYTHING. Originally appearing in Whole Earth Review many years ago, Cipola wrote an inspired and extremely funny game theoretic analysis of the nature of stupidity that explains the mysteries of the universe and the current administration. Or something.
Man Claims Firing Over Drinking Wrong Beer He works for one mega-beer brand and, on his own time, partook of a competitor's.
Integrated Planning Guidance, Fiscal Years 2005-2011 --a Dept. of Homeland Security document outlining groups to watch out for in the coming years completely omits rightwing and militia groups and individuals as a threat. Clearly listed in the document? ELF and ALF--leftwing groups that destroy property, but have never murdered, unlike Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph and the many others who have arsenals and plenty of hatred, and have already proven themselves killers.
"So...we set everything up. We planned it out. Turned my house into a ... bank actually and acted it out for like weeks," the caller said, adding he and others were "buyin' Louis Vuitton this, Blass that, everything man." If you robbed a bank five months ago and did such a good job that you didn't get caught and the police have no leads, would you keep quiet? Not if you're this guy, who was caught when he called into the Confessions segment of the Drex Morning Show to brag about it five months later.
Amid rumors of a ritual suicide, it seems Luther Blissett has gone back underground, but out of the shadows Wu Ming emerges! Best of all, Q is available among several free downloads under Omnia Sunt Communia.
It's not a slur, but it sounds too much like one, therefore it's not an appropriate word to be taught in school.
It's not a slur, but it sounds too much like one, therefore it's not an appropriate word to be taught in school. The job of Stephanie Bell, a veteran fourth grade teacher at Williams Elementary School in Wilmington, North Carolina, has been placed in jeopardy. Why? Because she taught a new vocabulary word to her class, and one student's mother became so outraged by the word that she's now on a crusade to have the teacher fired for introducing it to her students, in context, with a definition and discussion of its proper use. The word? The oft-maligned but wholly useful niggardly. (more inside)
Don't be stupid! Not in the sense of poor cognitive capacity, or low IQ, but more in the sense of lack of wisdom and foresight. Why do smart people make foolish decisions?
"The title of my talk tonight is How to Conquer Stupidity, which is actually a pretty stupid thing to attempt. For me, anyway. One, it's not possible. Two, maybe it's not even desirable. That's probably the premise of all of my work, that I embrace my stupidity wholeheartedly and celebrate it, as often as I can." And you can too, here.
Be discriminated against for looking too good. In Western Australia, a widow whose husband died accidentally is losing compensation money because she's considered attractive enough to remarry. What stupid laws do you have where you live?
Stupid things I have done, a list by Heather and her readers.
And the award for the dumbass of the year goes to.... Constantinos Carpis - an Australian who "told ticket-counter employees he had a nuclear bomb during routine questioning as he checked in."
Warning labels, the volume knobs on small infants, Death By Vending Machine. It's an ever-shifting line in the sand of human stupidity, a vague cultural boundary defining how much we expect our products and corporations to protect us from ourselves and how much we're willing to be answerable for our actions, a line dividing how logic-impaired we're willing to admit we sometimes are and how responsible a given corporation should be for dumping shoddy and/or dangerous products on the market without warning. Is excessive labeling a release from liability? Is it killing off common sense or the need to have common sense?
Question. If you hack a site, is it really a good idea to leave behind your email address?
Question. If you hack a site, is it really a good idea to leave behind your email address?
Four out of Five Americans Know Earth Revolves around the Sun. I certainly wish this was an Onion Headline. Should we all know this? I'm inclined to think so. Elsewhere in the article, 2% of Americans believe that Independence was won from France. Shoot me in the face.