29 June 2008

How to get rid of bees (in fireproof outdoor environments)

Some guy on the Something Awful forums shares a spectacular photo set documenting the process of getting rid of bees pestering his relative’s garden and playground. Is this a sensible method? I have no idea, but fire is cool.

28 June 2008

U.S. and Europe Near Agreement on Private Data

We’ll be out of privacy soon. How cool isn’t that?

“The United States and the European Union are nearing completion of an agreement allowing law enforcement and security agencies to obtain private information — like credit card transactions, travel histories and Internet browsing habits — about people on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. … The potential agreement … would represent a diplomatic breakthrough for American counterterrorism officials”

Video: London deputied volunteers (“pretend cops”) bully videographer

“Watch the London community support officers (they’re not real cops, but deputied volunteers who fancy themselves real ones) as they confront a videographer who has the temerity to take footage of a public street. It starts with a sudden gloved hand over the camera lens, then it’s “give me a good reason why you’re filming,” then it’s on to “papers please”; and when the guy behind the camera, sensibly enough, asks under which law he’s not allowed to film there, the bully-boy hisses “shut up.””

I wonder if someone was having a bad day or if this is the general trend in the UK.


27 June 2008

The Neuroscience of Illusion: How tricking the eye reveals the inner workings of the brain

By using examples in a slide show,

“…two neuroscientists who specialize in visual perception, … explain the scientific value of visual illusions.”

Apes get legal rights in Spain

“The Spanish parliament is to back legal rights for great apes, that’s gorillas, chimpanzees and orangs. The parliament’s environmental committee has thrown its weight behind the Great Ape Project, which aims to provide apes with a “the right to life, the freedom from arbitrary deprivation of liberty, and protection from torture”. As the resolution passed by the committee on Wednesday has cross-party support it is expected to become law, says Reuters, and experiments on great apes will be outlawed.”

See also: The times

26 June 2008

Just testing something, ignore

These studies suggest that filesharing actually benefits most artists, and the ones that are badly hit (explaining the declining CD sales) are the ones who are already the most popular, and thus hurt by it the least. Another major factor in the drop of CD sales is the fact that their sales were artificially inflated in the beginning of the nineties as people began converting their cassette and LP collections into CD format, buying the music they already owned for a second time. Once this was done, the sales would have collapsed even without file sharing, as they returned to normal.

The Fight to End Aging Gains Legitimacy, Funding

Wired reports on one of the most admirable heroes of our time.

George Carlin (1937-2008) on the “American Dream” (video)

(transcripted by some guy)

“Good honest hard-working people continue, these are people of modest means … continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t give a fuck about you … they don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t care about you at all … at all … at all, and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. That’s what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that’s being jammed up their assholes everyday, because the owners of this country know the truth. It’s called the American Dream ’cause you have to be asleep to believe it …”

Mr. Carlin, who passed away recently, has already been discussed by me elsewhere. What an artist he was.

Internet overhaul wins approval

“The net’s regulator, Icann, voted unanimously to relax the strict rules on so-called “top-level” domain names, such as .com or .uk.” … “A second proposal, to introduce domain names written in scripts, such as Asian and Arabic, was also approved.”

Insane. I wonder what kind of mess this will turn in to. They should have waited at least 5 to 10 years with this shit.

Depravity Scale, defining evil?

“Judges and juries both across the United States and in other countries who decide that a crime is “depraved,” “heinous,” or “horrible” can assign more severe sentences. Yet there is no standardized definition for such dramatic words that courts already use.” … “To minimize the arbitrariness of how courts determine the worst of crimes, and to eliminate bias in sentencing, the Depravity Scale research aims to establish societal standards of what makes a crime depraved”


Creepy mystery game of abusive notes to crush

A Metafilter user describes notestomary.com, a brilliant game of mysterious, abusive notes from “Robert” to “Mary”:

“A few days ago a post appeared on the Something Awful forums noting a curious website called Notes to Mary. The notes are a series of threatening letters from a high schooler named Robert to his crush, Mary. The goons figured out pretty quickly that they had an ARG on their hands and went to work on solving the puzzle.” … “Robert began interacting with players, sending them strange messages and several series of numbers that appeared to be some sort of code.”

I’m not going to spoil the fun, read the full summary on Metafilter. Hint: the game ended with a popular video meme.

School locked down after ‘ninja’ sighted in woods

“Public schools in Barnegat [, N.J.] were locked down briefly after someone reported seeing a ninja running through the woods behind an elementary school.”

Lidl rahtaa myymättä jääneitä käyttötavaroita kaatopaikalle

“Aamulehden tietojen mukaan saksalainen kauppajätti Lidl toimittaa myymättä jääneitä ja täysin ehjiä käyttötavaroitaan kaatopaikalle. Esimerkkitapauksessa Keski-Suomessa sijaitsevalta kaatopaikalta löytyi käyttämättömiä kelloja, käsilaukkuja, lasten leluja, sekä ruoan valmistuksessa tarvittavia astioita.”

25 June 2008

Humorous, outspoken resignation letter generator for Yahoo employees

Depending on who you ask, Yahoo is a company currently stuck in a bigger or lesser crisis. yahoorezinr.com comments on the current flood of top executives leaving the company by providing a fast resignation solution. Note the very 2.0 domain name.

[via:The Inquirer]

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