I Read Stuff!!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Friday, May 29, 2009


I've seen quite a few videos of some amazing Parkour achievements. This guy's video is easily the best one. He mixes in some gymnastics, which seems like an obvious foundation for the types of stunts required for Parkour.

Yes, like all professional athletes, his ego has grown with his skill.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Don't Eat The Marshmallow!

This is a short TED about an odd study done at Stanford in the 1960s. Walter Mischel took a bunch of 4 year old kids and separated them out individually. Each kid was sent into a room by themselves and filmed.

Before they went into the room they were given a marshmallow, and told not to eat it. If they managed to not eat the marshmallow for 15-20 minutes they were told they would receive a second marshmallow. Their fortunes would double!

You can imagine what a 4 year old did when left alone with a marshmallow; 2 out of 3 ate it immediately.

The other kids, the ones that did not eat the marshmallow, struggled with the decision. They paced, groaned, picked at their clothing, and some smelled the marshmallow. There is one little girl whose face is dusted with white because she smelled the marshmallow so often.

They did a follow up study on theses kids 15 years later. They discovered that the kids who did not eat the marshmallow had an average of 210 more points on their SAT than the kids who gave into temptation. In fact they seemed to have found a direct correlation of how long the child waited to how well they performed in school.

The more interesting case for me, is one girl ate the middle of the marshmallow. She left the shell for the doctors to find, so she could get her second marshmallow.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Moral Roots

Anyone who has worked with children knows that the first draft of the human mind isn't blank. We come into the world with certain dispositions. Jonathan Haidt believes he has collected the best candidates for the absolute basics of the moral mind. He claims that all humans carry strong desires towards these 5 categories.

1. Harm/care - We bond and feel compassion while carrying strong feelings about those how cause harm.

2. Fariness/reciprocity - The foundation of most religions, this is where we get the golden rule and hell.

3. Ingroup/loyalty - Groups exist in the animal kingdom, but they are either very small or they are all siblings. Only among humans do you find very large cooperating groups.

4. Authority/respect - Obviously both humans and animals generate respect from power and brutality. However, humans have learned to base it on more voluntary deference including love.

5. Purity/sanctity - Any kind of ideology that tells you that you can obtain virtue by controlling what you do with yourself or what happens to a place. i.e. 'eating healthy/local/organically is a virtue'

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Beer Pong

I never really played beer pong. It was talked about, and I've seen it played. But it never really caught on with my circle of friends. However, that is not case with this group. They have taken beer pong to a level that borders professional.

Bask in their awesomeness:

Clearly a number of these shots took a bunch of attempts, but how good do you have to be to even attempt them?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Awkward Family Photos

This blog is too awesome to keep to myself. As luck would have it, today is one of their very best posts. I'll recreate it here, but I suggest you peruse their history.

The Choker

Make sure you notice the priest collar, the dress shorts, the calculator watch, and the drop dead stare from the daughter. An awe inspiring family photo.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Rising Sea's First Victim

The domain registry system is a strange thing. One of its most peculiar aspects is the .tv country code. The top level domain has obvious application for television, and the country of Tuvalu has made good money from it.

However, that is all about to change...

Thanks to global warming, the sea level is rising, and Tuvalu is a scant 4.5 meters in elevation at its highest point. The IPCC predicts that over the next 90 years, the ocean will rise 40 cm. 1.3 ft may not seem like a lot, but it's enough to destroy water tables, crops, and drinking water for the entire country.

Tuvalu will literally drown in our lifetime.

GameInterestRelease Date
Civilization IV1
C&C 31
Company of Heroes1
Half Life 21
Half Life 2: Episode One1
Supreme Commander1
Call of Duty 22
Dungeon Runners2
Dungeon Siege II2
Far Cry2
Galactic Civilization II2
Hitman: Blood Money2
Jade Empire2
Neverwinter Nights 22
Sam & Max: Episode 12
Titan Quest2
Dark Messiah Might and Magic3
Heroes of Might and Magic V3
Indigo Prophecy3
LEGO Star Wars3
Marvel Ultimate Alliance3
Space Rangers 2: The Rise of the Dominators3
STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl3
Stubbs the Zombie3
War Front3
Warhammer: Mark of Chaos3
Pirates of the Burning SeaM6/1/2007
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars?6/5/2007
Two Worlds?6/26/07
Sins of A Solar Empire?8/1/2007
Mass Effect19/7/07
Age of ConanM10/30/07
Crysis1Fall 2007
Elveon?Fall 2007
Half-Life 2: Episode Two1Fall 2007
Portals1Fall 2007
Spore1Fall 2007
Stranglehold?Fall 2007
Tabula RasaMFall 2007
Team Fortress 22Fall 2007
Dragon Age?Winter 2007
Fable 2?Winter 2007
Field Ops?Winter 2007
Halo Wars?Winter 2007
Gods & Heroes: Rome RisingMWinter 2007
Haze?Winter 2007
Hellgate: London1Winter 2007
HuxleyMWinter 2007
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men?Winter 2007
Left 4 Dead?Winter 2007
The AgencyMSpring 2008
Empire Earth III?Spring 2008
Guild Wars 2 MSpring 2008
Jericho?Spring 2008
Sacred 2?Spring 2008
Savage 2?Spring 2008
Time Shift2Spring 2008
Universe at War: Earth Assault3Spring 2008
The Witcher?Spring 2008
Darkest of Days?2008
On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkeness: Episode 122008
Warhammer OnlineM2008
Alliance: The Silent War??
Alone in the Dark??
Assassin's Creed??
BioWare MMO??
The Crossing??
Dungeon Hero??
Fallout 3??
Lego Batman??
Space Seige??
Culdcept SagaPC??
Gears of WarPC??
God of WarPC??
Beautiful KatamariPC??
Resistance: Fall of ManPC??
Odin's SpherePC??
Castle CrashersPC??

1 - I will buy it
2 - I'll buy it at discount
3 - Other people think it's good, but I wasn't interested when I first heard about it
M - Mainly Multiplayer. See if friends get interested.
? - Find out more about this game
PC? - Will it be released on the PC?