2006-03-29

“Black & Tan™”-flavour Ben & Jerry's ice cream!

I'd better get some while in the US, because it sure as hell won't be stocked in Ireland.

Deception Dollars

Deception Dollar issue #8

I'd like to get these, but unfortunately I wouldn't be able to bring them back to Ireland because each note would be a counterfeit of a currency note within the meaning of subsection (2)(a) of section 32 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act, 2001. Subsection (3)(a) makes it clear that even the poster containing the fake bills is forbidden, and subsection (3)(b) of section 35 provides for five years imprisonment just for innocent possession of a counterfeit of a currency note.

2006-03-26

A short film on despotism

I'm quite sceptical about this film — it's definitely in the style of a 1946 government propaganda film, but the content is seriously anachronistic. At one point it warns against the dangers of government progaganda; at another it warns against the influence of powerful private interests. Most suspiciously of all, it focuses exclusively on the United States even though it bears the title of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. It's still interesting, and the fact that it's an entirely modern fake means that the cringeworthy prejudices of 60 years ago are absent. Enjoy.

Clinton Curtis testifies about Ohio's election shenanigans

I'd read this testimony before, but someone has a video.

Tech industry = Auto industry + 30 years

Does this sound familiar at all?

McGregor grew up in Memphis, when his dream job of firefighter was off limits to African Americans. Instead, he went to work in a handle-making factory at 18, where his take-home pay was $46 a week. Drafted into the Army, he went to Vietnam as a paratrooper and one night was comparing paychecks with buddies from Detroit. "They worked for Chrysler. I said my paycheck was $46 and they had hundreds of dollars," he said. "I said, damn, I'm going to Detroit when I get out."

He did, and when he got to the Fisher Body Fleetwood plant, he saw a sign on the bulletin board that he will never forget: "If you know anyone who needs a job, please bring them tomorrow." They put him to work that very day, welding back seats to car trunks. His first paycheck was $216, more than four times what he'd made in Memphis. To this day, it hangs framed on the wall in his den. "I didn't want to cash it. I just wanted to look at it," he said.

Overnight, he had become middle class — and has remained so. Now 59, he looks back in amazement at what feels like the rise and fall of a way of life, all under his nose. "First they were begging me to come. Now I'm holding an offer that says we'll pay you to leave!" he said. "How can things go from the top of the mountain to halfway down in so little time?"

2006-03-25

Google humour (#1 of N)

>> I'm very pleased that Raj Reddy accepted our invitation to speak today
>> at Google. Raj is a past winner of the ACM Touring Award.

> Is this an award to recognise well-travelled computer scientists? :-)

Raj Reddy, 7-time winner of the Tour de ACM, is particularly noted for his performance involving extended handling of local maxima aka the "French Alps" problem.

What the Commission on Electronic Voting found

I just spent 10 minutes locating this in the archives, and I'm likely to want it again, so here it is.

2006-03-24

Haskell vs. Ada vs. C++ vs. Awk vs. ... — An Experiment in Software Prototyping Productivity

Someone pointed me at this important paper, which apparently shows how Haskell won some sort of bake-off. The paper isn't trivial to find, so I point to it here for my own reference.

2006-03-22

ACM Ubiquity: On the Realizability of Quantum Computers

I really need to understand this, but it's much too complex, and my learning I/O channel is already saturated thanks to having recently started at Google. So if I leave it here, I'll be able to find it later.

Gross Vehicular Weight

This is a small collection of photos of vehicles that have been overloaded to heroic proportions. Slightly mind-boggling.

2006-03-21

Bill Bailey on News Theme Tunes

BBC eventually toned down its news theme after Bill Bailey sent it up in his show. It gives me a chuckle.

Hmm, there doesn't seem to be a report obvious copyright infringement button in Google Video.

2006-03-18

Funny: The 3rd Annual Nigerian EMail Conference

I heard about this from Bruce Schneier's blog. I'm killing myself laughing at it. Don't miss the link to Spam University at the bottom!

2006-03-17

Happy Patrick's Twin Sister Day!

[image of Peppermint Patty] For some reason, Paddy's Day is popularly malapropised as Patty's Day over here. Much as I like the idea of Patricius's twin sister bringing literacy to the North American continent, it's always Peppermint Patty who springs to mind whenever I see it.

Silly: Mmm... sheet iron

A menu from China, with great mistranslations into English.