I Read Stuff!

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

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chicken! From a Cup!

Well, it's from a can, but I can't resist the Dr. Tran reference. Anyway, this guy's blog post about canned chicken has been making the rounds. What makes it special? They canned the whole chicken...



Mmmmmmm finger lick'n good.



Read about the whole experiment here.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Did You Know?

This is a fun video my mom sent me that illustrates the exponential nature of our world.



Big numbers set to Fat Boy Slim; it doesn't get any better than this!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Name Is Simon!

Drawing is one of those things that appears to be entirely talent based. It's like some people are born able to draw and other people can't. I am solidly among the 'can't'. No amount of Bob Ross can help me.

Not to worry, technology has come to the rescue! The scribbler uses boring old math to turn my crappy drawing:



Into a modern work of art!



Isn't it amazing?

$126.00 without frame.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Gin Vapor

Here is a new one. A 'temporary' bar has set up shop in London offering gin and tonic air. With a ultrasonic humidifier they will pump fun juice into a room for $7 an hour.

Sounds like fun, but there are problems.

You have to wear protective clothing like this:



Half the reason for going out is to put on your bar cloths.

The second problem is what do you do with your hands? There is a reason that social activities revolve around food, drink, and smoking. It gives you something to do during a break in conversation.

What are you suppose to do here? Breathe deeper?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Car Pancake

I can't put into words the raw power shown in this video. Those crazy Mythbusters have busted the myth that a car would pancake between two semis in season 3. However, in last night's special they do their best to provide the necessary force to pancake a vehicle to the point of fused metal...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Somalia Coast Guard

This is an interesting essay about how to develop a modern day band of pirates.

Step 1: Dissolve your government. Overthrowing dictators is fun and educational, but it inevitably leaves the role of 'figurehead' unfilled. Somalia's dictator was overthrown in 1991 by some allied rival gangs who turned on each other after their victory.

Step 2: Lose your livelihood. With no government to apply regulations or protection, the coastal waters of Somalia become free for the raping of natural resources, mainly fish.

Step 3: Have radioactive waste wash up on your shore. In 1998 an Italian newspaper uncovered an illegal dumping deal between Achair Partners and Progresso. They were dumping incredibly toxic materials for $8 a ton. To dump that material properly it would cost over $1000 a ton.

Step 4: Take matters into your own hands. The local fishermen began patrolling their own waters. Effectively becoming their own coast guard, the fishermen began hijacking illegal vessels in their waters.

Step 5: Profit. With no government check coming in the mail, the fishermen soon discovered other ways to pay for their endeavors.

Funny how different a dictator looks when put in perspective.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

AIG Buys Cows

A friend of mine sent me this analogy for why AIG went so terribly wrong. Here is the story of two cows.

You have two cows.

John Paulson borrows one cow so he can sell it for $100. He gives you $10 as collateral.

You buy your neighbors cow for $100, which you finance by taking out a $90 loan from the bank and use John's $10 to make up the rest.

You brag to everyone about your financial health. You have assets--two cows you own, plus one Paulson owes you--worth $300, and liabilities of just $100.

A third of the country goes vegetarian.

You thought your two cows were worth $200 and now they are worth $140.

You express confidence in your financial health. Your assets are now worth only $200--your two cows plus the one John owes you--but your liabilities are still only $100. If necessary, you could sell the assets at this distressed price and pay off all your loans.

You hold onto your cows because you are sure the market is "dislocated." Some day someone will want to eat beef again.

The rest of the country goes vegetarian. Your two cows are now worth $2 each to guys who want to make dog food.

John Paulson buys a cow in the market for $2 and he gives it to you as repayment of the loan. You now have three cows worth six bucks.

John wants his $10 back.

The bank calls. It wants its $90 back.

You call the Federal Reserve and ask for a bailout.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Religiosity

We've had an almost crushingly large amount of religious conversations lately, and I would be remiss to not archive at least a few of the links we ran across during our discussion.

The conversation ran over a wide range of topics, enough that I'm not going to attempt to encapsulate it here in it's entirety. Instead I'm jut going to provide the links to a few interesting nuggets, and I'll let you hash it out in your own head.

One of the first questions we bantered about was how much religion exists in the world, and how it is currently fairing. Turns out Gallup did an interesting survey to look at how 'religious' is our country.

It's an quick read, but the two main points that come from it are,

  1. The more rich/first world your country is, the less stock you put in religion.
  2. America is below average for global religiosity, but we're very religious relative to other rich/first world countries.

(As an aside, Gallup showed that the Southern States, such as Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas have similar religious fervor to Lebanon, Iran, and Iraq.)

The second path the discussion took was whether those people claiming religious ties were true believers or if they were more likely agnostic. The central question being does a religious person behave in a different manner than an atheist? Does belief in a supernatural higher being change a person's day to day life?

We didn't really get around to answering that, but we did get a lot closer to defining atheist and agnostic. The atheist looks something like this:

Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true. Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder.


and the agnostic looks something like the video below.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April Fools

Yay, the internet goes crazy!

Nine Inch Nails releases a new album produced by Timbaland called Strobe Light.

Expedia is now offering trips to Mars for only $99!

Warner Bros. acquires The Pirate Bay

Alpine Hero was Announced:



ThinkGeek is selling Squeeze Bacon, a Unicorn Chaser, and my personal favorite:

The Tauntaun Sleeping Bag.



Note the zipper is a lightsaber.


Games
GameInterestRelease Date
Civilization IV1
C&C 31
Company of Heroes1
Half Life 21
Half Life 2: Episode One1
Supreme Commander1
Call of Duty 22
Darwinia2
Dungeon Runners2
Dungeon Siege II2
Far Cry2
Galactic Civilization II2
Hitman: Blood Money2
Jade Empire2
Neverwinter Nights 22
Prey2
Psychonauts2
Sam & Max: Episode 12
Titan Quest2
Dark Messiah Might and Magic3
Defcon3
Heroes of Might and Magic V3
Indigo Prophecy3
KOTOR II3
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
Infernal35/8/2007
Shadowrun25/9/07
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
BioShock18/21/2007
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
CellFactor?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??
Mythos??
Overloard??
Space Seige??
Culdcept SagaPC??
Gears of WarPC??
God of WarPC??
Beautiful KatamariPC??
OkamiPC??
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?