Friday, September 05, 2008

Suissa computers

Check out the gallery.

How to pull a Reggie (fake your death)

Your debts are piling up; the job's getting on your nerves, and maybe your partner doesn't look as hot as he or she once did. It's that John Darwin canoe moment – when you think the unthinkable and wonder if life would be better if you ended it all for the old you and started over with a shiny new one. Not a real death, of course.
More historical cases from the BBC here.

Old time gangsters

Machine Gun Kelly:

No one would have suspected that George Kelly Barnes would have turned to a live of crime – he was born into a very wealthy family from Memphis and had a quiet, “normal” childhood. He even went to Mississippi State University in 1917 for agriculture. But this is where things went awry. He flunked out, so his dad stopped giving him money.

Former FBI agent Joe Navarro goes over body language

A slideshow of many examples with audio.

More pizzas from around the world

Brazil -Hard boiled eggs and peas on your pie? Why not?

MIT students develop solar dish hot enough to melt steel

The results are staggering – the completed mirror focuses enough solar energy at its focal point to melt solid steel. The energy of typical sunlight is concentrated by a factor of 1,000. This was showcased during a demonstration, in which a team member held up a board, which instantly and violently combusted, when brought within range of the focal point.

By directing the dish at a more practical target – water piped through black tubing – steam can be flash created, offering instant means of producing energy or providing heating.

How much does it cost you in wages if you sound black?

His main finding: blacks who “sound black” earn salaries that are 10 percent lower than blacks who do not “sound black,” even after controlling for measures of intelligence, experience in the work force, and other factors that influence how much people earn. (For what it is worth, whites who “sound black” earn 6 percent lower than other whites.)

Cargo container homes

90 best rap albums of the '90s

From 1990:

1. Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet
That Fear of a Black Planet was not PE's best work but still managed to eclipse 99% of everything out at the time is a testament to the group's impact on 90s hip-hop. Dark, incendiary, and inevitably brutal, Fear gave yield to classics like "911 Is a Joke" and "Who Stole the Soul."

Vonnegut on writing with style

4. Have guts to cut

It may be that you, too, are capable of making necklaces for Cleopatra, so to speak. But your eloquence should be the servant of the ideas in your head. Your rule might be this: If a sentence, no matter how excellent, does not illuminate your subject in some new and useful way, scratch it out.

Plausibility effect -- sounding authoritative enough for academia

They slipped Dr Fox on to the programme at an academic conference on medical education. His audience was made up of doctors, healthcare workers, and academics. The title of his lecture was Mathematical Game Theory as Applied to Physician Education. Dr Fox filled his lecture and his question and answer session with double talk, jargon, dubious neologisms, non sequiturs, and mutually contradictory statements. This was interspersed with elaborate diversions into parenthetical humour and “meaningless references to unrelated topics”. It’s the kind of education you pay good money for in the UK.

The lecture went down well. At the end, a questionnaire was distributed and every person in the audience gave significantly more favourable than unfavourable feedback. The comments were gushing, and yet thoughtful: “excellent presentation, enjoyed listening”, “good flow, seems enthusiastic”, and “too intellectual a presentation, my orientation is more pragmatic”.