Scarface, Elementary School Edition

posted by Stal on 2010.04.22, under Stal
22:

As mentioned at lunch:

I’m leaving you, you motherfudger!

[ Scarface School Play / YouTube ]

The School of Hard Knocks

posted by Stal on 2010.03.26, under Stal
26:

How do you teach kids to be better critical thinkers? A British middle school staged a mock shooting, intended to teach students how to investigate, collect facts and analyze evidence.

Blackminster Middle School in Evesham, Worcs, faced condemnation from parents after their children were left traumatised by the mock shooting.

The youngsters, aged between 10 and 13, thought they were taking part in a fire drill when an alarm bell rang and they were ushered out into the playground.

But they were left in terror as a man appeared brandishing a gun and appeared to shoot dead Richard Kent, their science teacher, as he ran across a field.

Following a loud bang simulating a gunshot, other staff involved in the act rushed to the teacher’s aid and appeared to try to resuscitate him.

There was a delay of 10 minutes before weeping pupils were taken back to the assembly hall where teachers explained that the pretend shooting had been laid on as part of a science lesson.

But some of the children were left in shock with some being sick and one girl suffering a panic attack, parents claim.
The school was forced to apologise to parents, admitting that the stunt on Tuesday afternoon had gone “too far” and that pupils should have had their fears allayed sooner.

This is quite possibly  even more hilarious than the Japanese TV show that pranked a guy with a fake drive-by shooting.

[ School condemned after pupils left in tears after mock shooting / Telegraph ]

The World Beard & Moustache Championships

posted by Stal on 2010.03.26, under Stal
26:

Attention all hirsute men: you could be a contestant in the World Beard & Moustache Championships. The contest is held every two years, with the next one taking place in Norway in 2011. With over a dozen categories of facial hair styles, including Dali moustache, Alaskan Whaler partial beard and Full Beard Freestyle, you are sure to find something to suit your personality. Behold some past contestants:



Adulterous Professions

posted by Stal on 2010.03.24, under Stal
24:

Here are the top most adulterous professions from data based on user accounts at AshleyMadison.com, a website for people looking to have affairs.

For Women:

1. Teachers
2. Stay-at-home Moms
3. Nurses
4. Administrative Assistants
5. Real Estate Agents

For Men:
1. Physicians
2. Police Officers
3. Lawyers
4. Real Estate Agents
5. Engineers

Some analysis from Penelope Trunk:

This list looks mostly right to me. It is a list of men who like power but do not have access to a lot of women. Physicians, for example, would lose their license hitting on a patient, so it’s nurses or drug company reps. (Not that physicians aren’t notorious for hitting on drug reps.) There are other types of men who love power and are notorious for cheating–politicians and traveling sales guys come to mind–but they have such widespread access to women that they don’t need the web site.

But the number five slot looks wrong to me. Engineers make the top 5 I think, only because it’s a trendy, online resource. I actually think that with more data we’d find that engineers cheat less (reasoning: Engineers generally skew toward Asperger’s on the autism scale, which is why Microsoft is known for great insurance coverage for Autism spectrum disorders. Besides, people with Asperger’s have a hard time lying.)

As for the list of women, it is, with the exception of the number five slot, filled with jobs that are about nurturing and care taking. Which makes me think that a) the life of a nurturer is not as fulfilling for women as the world thinks, and b) masseuse would be on the list too if it weren’t that they probably fall under the category of people who cheat but do not need the site to have access to people to cheat with.

No word yet on where quasi-governmental employees or U of C mathematicians rank on this list.

[ Via BoingBoing ]

The Typo We’ve All Been Waiting For

posted by Stal on 2010.03.22, under Stal
22:

It’s an easy mistake to make.

Economics and a flashback to early ’90s internet

posted by Stal on 2010.03.12, under Stal
12:

This was mentioned yesterday afternoon, but if you haven’t seen it yet, stop what you are doing Right Now and take a peek at Columbia economist Xavier Sala-i-Martin’s website. A brief recap of why this man is awesome:

In other words, Sala-i-Martin is an all-around badass muthafucka.

Go. Now. http://www.columbia.edu/~xs23

Ok Goldberg Machine

posted by Stal on 2010.03.03, under Stal
03:

OK Go, of dancing on treadmills fame, has released a music video for their latest single with a Rube Goldberg machine.

Why It Doesn’t Matter Which Way You Orient Your D&D Dice

posted by Stal on 2010.02.16, under Stal
16:

There was some discussion on the physical properties of glass and whether it flows over time, similar to a liquid. From the Wikipedia article on the behavior of glass:

The observation that old windows are often thicker at the bottom than at the top is often offered as supporting evidence for the view that glass flows over a matter of centuries. It is then assumed that the glass was once uniform, but has flowed to its new shape, which is a property of liquid. In actuality, the reason for this is that when panes of glass were commonly made by glassblowers, the technique used was to spin molten glass so as to create a round, mostly flat and even plate (the crown glass process, described above). This plate was then cut to fit a window. The pieces were not, however, absolutely flat; the edges of the disk became thicker as the glass spun. When actually installed in a window frame, the glass would be placed thicker side down both for the sake of stability and to prevent water accumulating in the lead cames at the bottom of the window.

[...]

Several other points exemplify the misconception of the “cathedral glass” theory:

  • Writing in the American Journal of Physics, physicist Edgar D. Zanotto states “…the predicted relaxation time for GeO2 at room temperature is 1032 years. Hence, the relaxation period (characteristic flow time) of cathedral glasses would be even longer.” (1032 years is many times longer than the estimated age of the Universe.)
  • If medieval glass has flowed perceptibly, then ancient Roman and Egyptian objects should have flowed proportionately more — but this is not observed. Similarly, prehistoric obsidian blades should have lost their edge; this is not observed either (although obsidian may have a different viscosity from window glass).
  • If glass flows at a rate that allows changes to be seen with the naked eye after centuries, then the effect should be noticeable in antique telescopes. Any slight deformation in the antique telescopic lenses would lead to a dramatic decrease in optical performance, a phenomenon that is not observed.
  • There are many examples of centuries-old glass shelving which has not bent, even though it is under much higher stress from gravitational loads than vertical window glass.

Conclusion: to observe glass flowing at room temperature, you would have to wait for periods far beyond that of human existence.

Palestinians Prepare for Comicon

posted by Stal on 2010.02.12, under Stal
12:

(as cited at lunch) Palestinians dressed as Na’vi characters from the movie Avatar march in the West Bank village of Bilin near Ramallah to draw attention to the controversial Israeli border.

[ Telegraph ]

Physical Limits in 3 and 4-ball Juggling Patterns

posted by Stal on 2010.02.10, under Stal
10:

I swear this guy is in some kind of anti-gravity room.

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