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February 06, 2010

Map: Countries that *don't* use the metric system

Joe. My. God.: Three's Company

February 04, 2010

Not guilty by reading

Overcoming Bias : Not Guilty By Reading Hey look, another historical way that the wealthy and educated got slaps on the wrist while the poor and ignorant suffered the full force of the law.
[In England] after 1170, … as part of the Compromise of Avranches, Henry … agreed that the secular courts, with few exceptions (high treason being one of them), had no jurisdiction over the clergy. … Defendants demonstrated their clerical status by reading from the Bible. This opened the door to literate lay defendants’ also claiming the benefit of clergy. In 1351 … the benefit of clergy was officially extended to all who could read. … The Biblical passage traditionally used … [was] Psalm 51 [which] …. became known as the neck verse, because knowing it could save one’s neck by transferring one’s case from a secular court, where hanging was a likely sentence, to an ecclesiastical court, … [where] if the defendant swore an oath to his own innocence and found twelve compurgators to swear likewise … he was acquitted. … By the 15th century, most convictions in these courts led to a sentence of penance. . . .

January 25, 2010

My Grandfather Died About Two Hours Ago

My mom just called to tell me that my grandfather,...

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January 21, 2010

The four big myths of profile pictures

The 4 Big Myths of Profile Pictures -- OkTrends Dating site OKCupid is still releasing reams of statistic data analyzing online data. This week they take aim at profile pics and find--contrary to popular opinion--that the "MySpace shot" works really, really well for women.
In terms of getting new messages, the MySpace Shot is the single most effective photo type for women. We at first thought this was just because, typically, you can kind of see down the girl’s shirt with the camera at that angle—indeed, that seems to be the point of shot in the first place—so we excluded all cleavage-showing shots from the pool and ran the numbers again. No change: it’s still the best shot; better, in fact, than straight-up boob pics (more on those later). At least from the perspective of online-dating, and perhaps social media in general, the MySpace Shot might be the best way for a woman to take a picture.
Click through for more.

January 13, 2010

An incomplete list of notable famous people who are from Oakland, CA

List of people from Oakland, California - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia I'm moving to Oakland this weekend, and because I am a HUGE NERD I am having fun researching the local history. Below the fold is a partial list of famous people who live in or are from Oakland.

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January 09, 2010

How long will the Earth's resources last?

January 05, 2010

Whoa DAMN! This Nigerian Kid Has, Like, the Worst Job Ever!

Underwear Bomber Photos of the PETN explosive device used by...

January 02, 2010

Photo Gallery: A Catalog of Things Rendered Obsolete in the Last Decade

A Catalogue of Everyday Stuff That Has Become Extinct - The 00's Issue-- New York Magazine

December 28, 2009

The unlikely statistics of terror; or, Why It Is Stupid To Be Afraid Of Terrorists

FiveThirtyEight: Politics Done Right: The Odds of Airborne Terror
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics provides a wealth of statistical information on air traffic. For this exercise, I will look at both domestic flights within the US, and international flights whose origin or destination was within the United States. I will not look at flights that transported cargo and crew only. I will look at flights spanning the decade from October 1999 through September 2009 inclusive (the BTS does not yet have data available for the past couple of months). Over the past decade, according to BTS, there have been 99,320,309 commercial airline departures that either originated or landed within the United States. Dividing by six, we get one terrorist incident per 16,553,385 departures. These departures flew a collective 69,415,786,000 miles. That means there has been one terrorist incident per 11,569,297,667 mles flown. This distance is equivalent to 1,459,664 trips around the diameter of the Earth, 24,218 round trips to the Moon, or two round trips to Neptune. Assuming an average airborne speed of 425 miles per hour, these airplanes were aloft for a total of 163,331,261 hours. Therefore, there has been one terrorist incident per 27,221,877 hours airborne. This can also be expressed as one incident per 1,134,245 days airborne, or one incident per 3,105 years airborne. . . .

December 26, 2009

AnnArbor.com Has Muddled, but Detailed, Reporting on the Attempted Xmas Day Incendiary Attack on Detroit-Bound Northwest Flight 253

Passengers help foil attack on Detroit-bound plane; Ann Arbor woman...

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