Posts filed under ‘Society’


I am watching PBS’s Independent lens program, Chicago 10. Very nice, the story is told with animation and old footage. The events are centered on the 1968 Democratic National Convention. I voted today so I feel it is timely, but the reason for the post is the music is just great, Beasties, Rage, Black Sabbath on on.


October 23, 2008 at 1:21 am Leave a comment

Jared Diamond talks about oil and how high prices are good for us

The Online NewsHour: Jared Diamond Discusses Costly Crude and Oil’s Future | PBS

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June 8, 2008 at 1:59 pm Leave a comment

Indiana Almost Legislated Pi; 111 years ago

I was on /. and ran into this gem:
Slashdot | 111 Years Ago, Indiana Almost Legislated Pi
Indiana, a nice place with great people was smart enough to avoid legislating the value of pi. The bill proposed 111 years ago said something like “The ratio of the diameter and circumference is as five-fourths to four,” or pi is the “new mathematical truth” of 3.2; why would a politician get involved? Because they were going to charge royalties to use this new truth! The whole story is here “Indiana Pi”. So why did the bridge fall down again?

I think during this election season we should pause to remember we are talking about politicians. The personality type that values popularity over logic, one that assumes that we wish they control our collective projects- because the politician believes they know what is best and are the most capable to do what we need done. The reality varies and we all have our opinions, my opinion is that we are doomed. A person who is arrogant, and simultaneously capable of ignoring important subjects that require rational debate, careful judgment, and foresight (that would be amazing) because they are unpopular or “off the radar” will lead us where ever a gut feeling of what the mob wants, or where personal gains will take this fearless leader. So we get free money because Santa has a printing press, and tomorrow well tomorrow will take care of itself. What we end up with is elections where all we care about is who is the least offensive of all these chosen ones. So remember go out and vote, you may not feel so insignificant in this whole process for an entire minute or two.

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February 6, 2008 at 9:40 am Leave a comment

Department of Homeland Security buys Indianapolis a hovercraft

Below is a link to the story from the local TV station. Here is a taste:
It does seem like an odd thing. Indianapolis, what do we need a hovercraft for? How have we been getting along so far without it…

WISH TV 8: Indianapolis Gets a Hovercraft

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September 27, 2007 at 12:45 pm Leave a comment

‘Radioactive Boy Scout’ Charged in Smoke Detector Theft

Rad Boyscout

Apparently he got caught collecting rad material, the different stories out there say he admitted to trying to build a reactor. On fox you can see a video, (who knows how long it will last) if you listen ignorance it the key thread- they claim he was trying to make uranium from the lithium batteries. Yeah lithium: atomic number 3, atomic weight 6.941 converted all the way to uranium, atomic number 92 and assuming he wants to make a reactor he would be after isotope 235. I think they meant he was after the Americium which is an alpha emitter, when you hit lithium with an alpha you can get neutrons. You can do cool stuff with neutrons, but you need lots of time and lots and lots of neutrons.

Here is a link to the story from Harper’s:

August 8, 2007 at 5:11 pm 8 comments

Isn’t it Ironic?

Okay so you have some students that cheated, but the kicker is that they were taking an ethics quiz! Just too funny.

Mays school disciplines 24 for cheating | The Bryan-College Station Eagle

Mays school disciplines 24 for cheating


May 10, 2007 at 2:54 am Leave a comment

Internet Royalties Explained

David Byrne has a great explanation of internet radio royalties and their cost at his blog. I read his posts regularly, and occasionally listen to his stream, which is really good by the way; the guy is really smart and funny.

David Byrne Journal: 4.1.07: Your Government Working for You

Your Government Working for You
The Copyright Royalty Board is proposing a large increase in the performance royalty rates for “non-interactive streaming services”. This means web radio, cable radio and satellite radio will pay more to SoundExchange in royalties. Presumably those royalties eventually dribble down to the artists getting “played”, but it’s never that simple. It’s a little complex and difficult to understand but let me see if I can describe what is in the offing. (My own streaming web radio would be affected, and since I derive no income from it, that, among other things, makes this an issue of personal interest.)

Web radio is different than broadcast radio in that the hosting costs increase precisely as the listenership increases. With streaming web radio, information on the exact number of listeners accessing the stream at any given moment or period is available, and easy to obtain, unlike broadcast radio which is just out there and no one knows how many people are listening (so how do they determine ad rates?) The more listeners you have the more you pay in hard costs — some server’s gotta
host the stream. Of course stations like mine and the network of NPR stations that have no commercial revenue eventually run into a financial wall once that audience figure reaches a certain amount.


April 10, 2007 at 8:26 am Leave a comment

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