“Human beings are really bad at randomization. Tell a human to come up with a set of random numbers, and they will be surprisingly inept at trying to do so. Most humans, for instance, when asked to flip an imaginary coin and record the results, will succumb to the Gambler’s Fallacy and be more likely to record a toss of ‘tails’ if the last couple of tosses had been heads, or vice versa. This feels right to most of us — but it isn’t. We’re actually introducing patterns into what is supposed to be random noise. Sometimes, as is the case with certain applications of Benford’s Law, this characteristic can be used as a fraud-detection mechanism. If, for example, one of your less-trustworthy employees is submitting a series of receipts, and an unusually high number end with the trailing digit ‘7’ ($27, $107, $297, etc.), there is a decent chance that he is falsifying his expenses. The IRS uses techniques like this to detect tax fraud.”—FiveThirtyEight: Politics Done Right: Strategic Vision Polls Exhibit Unusual Patterns, Possibly Indicating Fraud
“A male lecturer I know was approached by a young lady who sat on his desk and confided that she’d do anything, ANYTHING! for a better grade. He whispered “anything?” in her ear. She nodded and smiled. He asked her, sotto voce “Would you work?”—infinite thØught: seduction
“In Finland, traffic fines are calculated as a percentage of the offender’s most-recently-reported income. In January 2002, Anssi Vanjoki, 44, a director of the Finnish telecommunications giant, Nokia, received what is believed to be the most expensive speeding ticket ever— $12.5 million — for driving his Harley at 75 km/h (47 mph) in a 50km/h (31 mph) zone. Mr Vanjoki appealed the fine because his reported income dropped significantly about five days after the incident; because of the new data, the fine was dropped to $103,600, still the most expensive speeding fine in history.”—
“JapaDog is easily the most successful of the mad sausage scientists. Since opening in 2005, it’s expanded to three locations around Vancouver (see www.japadog.com), and celebrities from Anthony Bourdain to Ice Cube have feasted on its hot dogs, topped with traditional Japanese ingredients. On the afternoon I visited the branch at Burrard and Haro Streets in shiny downtown Vancouver, in front of the Sutton Place Hotel, the line for hot dogs was six people deep — a few first-timers, but many regulars with favorite orders. I sampled two of JapaDog’s specialties. The Okonomi (6.25 dollars) takes its name from okonomiyaki, a cabbage and pork pancake that is popular in Osaka, which is topped with mayonnaise, a thick, sweet, Worcestershire-based sauce and bonito flakes. The tube-steak version is a clever adaptation, using high-quality kurobuta pork in the dog, fried cabbage on top, along with the sauces (the fattiness of the mayonnaise pairs well with that of the meat) and the flakes, which waved in the warm late-summer breeze.”—
“I was in first class, and we were on the tarmac waiting to take off. A woman, in about row 35 starting talking on her cellphone. No problem. Except she was speaking so loudly you could hear her all the way up front. Everyone started looking at each other and we were all thinking the same thing: Please keep your voice down. She told the person she was speaking with to call her back. And then, in a really loud voice, she gave her cellphone number to the person she was on the phone with. I committed that number to memory. And then I waited about 10 seconds and called her cell. When she answered, I told her she was being too loud and everyone on board the plane could hear every word of her conversation. And it wasn’t that interesting. She started screaming at me, demanding to know who I was. So I told her to look toward the front of the plane. I stood up and waved at her with a big smile on my face. She hung up, sat down and no one heard from her the rest of the flight.”—Frequent Flier - When Travelers Leave Their Good Manners at the Gate - NYTimes.com
1. the risk of being killed by someone with schizophrenia is around 1 in 20,000, and someone with the disease receiving treatment is as safe as anyone else; BUT …
2. a small percentage of people with the illness are dangerous if they are not being treated with antipsychotics;
3. the antipsychotics control their delusions and hallucinations, which in most cases are the origin of their homicidal acts;
4. the medications don’t cure, but rather control symptoms, as with diabetes;
5. approximately half of individuals with schizophrenia have damage to the part of the brain that we use to think about ourselves;
6. many of these individuals will not voluntarily take medication, because they do not believe they are sick — thus, such individuals, if they have a past history of violent acts, must be forced to take their medication and be monitored;
7. therefore, if the aspiring cabbie who killed his wife is on medication, and if his taking of medication is being carefully monitored, I would gladly ride in his cab, and would prefer to do so rather than sitting in one being piloted by someone who insists on blurting predictable and ill-informed opinions in my direction.
“You don’t need me to tell you how era-defining ‘Losing My Edge’ is. Written from the perspective of a disgruntled older muso - not necessarily Murphy himself, but someone he clearly identifies with - the lyrics skewer the affectations and manoeuvres of modern-day, culturally shortcutting hipsters, “the art-school Brooklynites in little jackets” with their “borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered eighties”. It’s the first ever pop song to really tackle the internet age, and the way ready access to Google has exploded the history and the very idea of “cool”.”—
True that… and the point about the names read out near the end functioning as a nice little shopping list. There’s an unacknowledged complicity these days between any music magazine online that publishes lists of the ten best… x or y etc in that no one really says what they are there for. That is they are download lists. Whatever the downsides it’s certainly meant that many lazy indie bands’ bullshit is called when they rip off bands from the past. People KNOW these days.
“What was the working class is now the underclass. There’s no work for them. These days, the traditional class system has broken down to money and no money. Most of the kids with trust funds want to be street kids anyway, deny they have any money and go get dreadlocks.”—
Yes, but only in exceptional cases. If a wing in full span and velocity were to hit a weak-boned person (such as a child or an elderly person) then it is theoretically possible. In reality it is almost unheard of and is never used as a form of attack as swans are a defensive bird. The only time they become aggressive is when they are protecting their nesting ground or cygnets when they will chase off intruders, be they other swans, geese or humans who get too close.
At last weekend’s Edinburgh TV festival, the annual MacTaggart Lecture was delivered by Niles Crane from Frasier, played with eerie precision by James Murdoch. His speech attacked the BBC, moaned about Ofcom and likened the British television industry to The Addams Family. It went down like a turd in a casserole.
Still, the Addams Family reference will have been well-considered because James knows a thing or two about horror households: he’s the son of Rupert Murdoch, which makes him the closest thing the media has to Damien from The Omen.
That’s a fatuous comparison, obviously. Damien Thorn, offspring of Satan, was educated at Yale before inheriting a global business conglomerate at a shockingly young age and using it to hypnotise millions in a demonic bid to hasten Armageddon. James Murdoch’s story is quite different. He went to Harvard.