Archive for December 2004
Lemmings’ suicide myths started by Disney nature photogs: “Cory Doctorow:
Lemmings are widely considered to be suicidal beasts, throwing themselves en masse off cliffs. It turns out that this isn’t true, but rather a legend begun through some unethical trick photography executed by Disney nature photos in the fifties.
The myth of mass lemming suicide began when the Walt Disney movie, Wild Wilderness was released in 1958. It was filmed in Alberta, Canada, far from the sea and not a native home to lemmings. So the filmmakers imported lemmings, by buying them from Inuit children. The migration sequence was filmed by placing the lemmings on a spinning turntable that was covered with snow, and then shooting it from many different angles. The cliff-death-plunge sequence was done by herding the lemmings over a small cliff into a river. It’s easy to understand why the filmmakers did this – wild animals are notoriously uncooperative, and a migration-of-doom followed by a cliff-of-death sequence is far more dramatic to show than the lemmings’ self-implemented population-density management plan.
So lemmings do not commit mass suicide. Indeed, animals live to thrive and survive. Consider a company like Disney, where one rodent, namely Mickey Mouse, was Royalty. It’s rather odd to think that Disney could be so unkind to another rodent, the lemming..
(via The Disney Blog)”
(Via Boing Boing.)
This rather destroys the entire premise for one of my favorite games in the whole world.
I’m just sitting here eating some oatmeal (…ok, tmi)… thinking about a headline I saw on fark. (yes, I’m back. it’s after the election, so, I feel like I can go enjoy the photoshop contests again) It asked something like… “Why do some men build model train sets?” and I was thinking that there’s not much of a difference between the draw of scale model train set builders and Second Life builders. There’s no point other than to create, escape, focus, craft, and enjoy a model of a system you put together with your own hands. But that’s quite a point. Some people enjoy the feeling of pride in crafting working systems… hence computer programmers, second lifers, train set builders, woodworkers…. Most of our modern employment requires building or maintaining systems of a different kind, and so very few people get to enjoy maintaining their own systems for a living. I think that’s why we like model trains and woodworking and second lifing.
although, in light of that, I did just sell my land I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse, and I haven’t seen Jopsy in months, so when an offer for sell for about 80 bucks came along, I figure I made my money back for as long as I’ve been sitting on that land. Now I’m landless. But also at a zero-overhead for logging in since I bought my 10 dollar membership first, then bought land… now that I’m landless, no more land ownership fees. No more art gallery, tho Sigh..
But, with my new bandsaw, I figure I should probably spend a lot more time with that IRL instead 😉
lazyweb help… why can’t I do this?
SELECT * from table order by primary desc
man, that would be cool. Not having to know the primary key’s name seems like something I should be able to roll with in a MySQL statement. Maybe I’m getting the syntax wrong. I’ll never know because for as good as http://www.php.net is at documentation of the api, the polar opposite is true for http://dev.mysql.com There’s just not the same participation by a developer base that php’s site has. The examples are inadequate and not very helpful. I’d love to contribute or ask questions, but… it just doesn’t seem like they put up user contributed content like php does.
Rogue Amoeba anounces Slipstream for AirPort Express: “Rogue Amoeba Software today announced Slipstream, a new application that allows audio from any application to be heard through remote speakers attached to Apple’s AirPort Express…”
Boy these guys just get it. Smart little programs for 20 bucks a pop. I hope they’re getting so rich they have time to care about flossing. <hand gesture> Flossin’!!!
I don’t know these people, but I like ’em. You gotta give it up for this family. You just KNOW you’ve felt like this at some certain age.
I mean, come on, the expression on the blonde girl in front of mom is priceless. And, see the girl with the black hair? That’s the age I’m talking about.
From The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Ssignet Classics. excerpt from a letter to Dr. Franklin authored by Benjamin Vaughan
“It is in youth that we plant our chief habits and prejudices…life ought to begin well from youth, and more especially before we take our party as to our principal objects…When we see how cruel statesman and warriors can be to the human race, and how absurd distinguished men can be to their aquaintance, it will be instructive to observe the instances multiply of pacific, aquiescing manners; and to find how compatible it is to be great and domestic, enviable and yet good-humored.
Some men have been virtuous blindly, others have speculated fantastically, and others have been shrewd to bad purposes..Your account of yourself…will show that you are ashamed of no origin-a thing more important as you prove how little necessary all origin is to happiness virtue and greatness… the means are as simple as wisdom could make them; that is, depending upon nature, virtue, thought and habit. Another thing demonstrated will be the propriety of every man’s waiting his time for appearing upon the stage of the world. our sensations being very much fixed to the moment, we are apt to forget that more moments are to follow the first, and consequentlly man should arrange his comduct so as to suit a whole life…I have always maintained that it is necessary to prove that man is not even at present a vicious and detestable animal, and still more to prove that good management may greatly amend him; and it is much for the same reason that I am anxious to seethe opinion established that there are fair characters existing among individuals of the race; for the moment that all men, without exception, shall be concieved abandoned, good people will cease efforts deemed to be hopeless, and perhaps think of taking their share in the scramble of life, or at least of making it comfortable principally for themselves…whoever gives a feeling of pleasure that is innocent to man has added so much to the fair side of a life too much darkened by anxiety and too much injured by pain.”
After much research, we present the annual aeronautical engineers report on the theory of Santa:
No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer,which only Santa has ever seen.
There are 2 billion children (persons under 1 in the world. BUT since Santa doesn’t (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish & Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total -378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that’s 91.8 million homes. One presumes that there’s at least one good child in each.
Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with. This is due to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits/second. That is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has .001 second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house.
Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles/household, a total trip of 75.5 million miles; not counting stops to do what most of us do at lease once every 31 hours, plus eating etc. So Santa’s sleigh must be moving at 650 miles/second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a pokey 27.4 miles/second. A conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles/hour.
If every one of the 91.8 million homes with good children were to put out a single chocolate chip cookie and an 8 ounce glass of 2% milk, the total calories (needless to say other vitamins and minerals) would be approximately 225 calories (100 for the cookie, give or take, and 125 for the milk, give or take). Multiplying the number of calories per house by the number of homes (225 x 91.8 x 1000000), we get the total number of calories Santa consumes that night, which is 20,655,000,000 calories. To break it down further, 1 pound is equal to 3500 calories. Dividing our total number of calories by the number of calories in a pound (20655000000 / 3500) and we get the number of pounds Santa gains, 5901428.6, which is 2950.7 tons.
The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized Lego set (2 lb.), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300lb. Even granting that “flying reindeer” (see #1) can pull 10 TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with 8, or even 9, reindeer. We need 214,200. This increases the payload – not counting the weight of the sleigh – to 353,430 tons. This is four times the weight of the ocean-liner Queen Elizabeth.
353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles/second creates enormous air resistance. This will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as a spacecraft reentering the earth’s atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and create deafening sonic booms intheir wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within .00426 of a second. Meanwhile, Santa, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250 lb. Santa, being very conservative in terms of guessing Santa’s weight, would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 lb. of force liquefying him. If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he’s dead now.
Japanese band uses old 8-bit Nintendo to make music: “Mark Frauenfelder:
justin007 sez: ‘Found this link to an 8-bit band out of Tokyo that uses a Famicom (8-Bit Nintendo) to create some very cool tunes. The next evolution of Shibuya-Kei. Click on the links to listen to their MP3’s.’ Link“
(Via Boing Boing.)
Yeah.. when are we gonna get to an emulation point where we can totally emulate even hackery and circuit bending on electronics? Aren’t our computers fast enough to give anyone who wants a speak and spell one to mess around with in emulation? Most laptop track pads are touch sensitive like a tablet, so, the interface would allow for that kind of entropy in the data input. The sound of the famicon is pretty unique, and actually does some interesting things with sound beyond the classic “normal” sounds. Rather like the Roland TB303 or the Moog… highly hackable.