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.

Cake vs Pie Throwdown

posted by Stal on 2010.03.16, under Philomela, Uncategorized
16:

In an issue near and dear to many of our hearts, this post scientifically investigates the awesomeness of cake pitted against pie. Comes replete with useful graphs on unequal frosting distribution and marginal enjoyment of dessert items:

2.  Unequal frosting distribution is a problem

[cakeveruspie3.png]

Pie exhibits much greater homogeneity than cake.  In cake, the highest concentration of awesomeness is found in the frosting.  The act of decorating a cake can polarize it and cause a dangerously uneven distribution of frosting, leading to discord and animosity during serving time.

4.  Pie is more scientifically versatile:

The forgone conclusion is that pie > cake by a landslide. For more, see the original post here.

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.

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