this isn’t happiness: The Origins of 9 Great British Insults.
The Verge: I’m still here: back online after a year without the internet.
Tech or no tech, you can’t escape yourself.
Noticed: I had some dreams, they were drones in my coffee ...
Any R/C flying contraption that carries a camera is now … ahem … inheriting the designation of ‘domestic drone’ or simply ‘drone’. We need a new taxonomy of R/C devices, clearly.
Guardian.UK: 747 cargo plane crashes at Bagram airbase.
Smells like an elevator malfunction to me - no doubt, however, something’s very wrong about this. Perhaps the whole event was exacerbated by high/gusty winds (the clouds mimic ones we see here on NM gusty days). Climbed way too high, too fast … noone in their right mind would perform that kind of takeoff. Classic stall at the top, pilot flailing to turn the plane in any direction, the bank of the plane eliminates what’s left of any lift, caaaa-runch. RIP. Hope we hear about the investigation.
Hammacher Schlemmer: The Pedal Pub.
I should invest in one and run it around Santa Fe during tourist peak season.
ProPublica: What Went Wrong in West, Texas — and Where Were the Regulators?
“The land was available out there that way; they could get sewer and other stuff that way without building a bunch of new lines. [snip] There never was any thought about it. Maybe that was wrong.” Ya think?
Guardian.UK: Texas fertilizer plant explosion—no government watchdog visits since 2007.
“The OSHA covers 7 million worksites in the US but has just 2,000 inspectors nationwide. Under its current funding, it can only conduct 40,000 inspections every year. The sequester will hit the OSHA further. Under the automatic spending cuts – caused by a failure to reach compromise in Congress – the agency will have its budget cut by 8.2%, about $50m.” Our nonexistent tax dollars, logically not at work.
CoffeeStrap: CoffeeStraps are happening!
Connecting people who wish to speak in certain languages at coffeeshops.
Temescalien/thingsofinterest: Are you happy?
What can I say? It’s Friday.
FBI: Photos of suspects in Boston Marathon event.
I told you. Other extremist blogs were posting pictures of brown-skinned individuals with what looked like photo backpacks. This guy’s carrying a load.
CNet: ‘Tornado Junkies’ try to build twister-proof van.
“They’re also adding 3/4-inch polycarbonate windows and hope hydraulically lowered plating will prevent high winds from picking up the van.” Hope? Hope?! Free up some of that cash and hire an engineer. I suspect the tornado will be the least of their worries. That’s a huge hunk of conducting metal … planning for electromagnetic effects (lightning) on the way to the tornado, guys? The way it looks, I’d want a pair of rubber footie pajamas in that thing.
Kotaku: These Real Totoro Catbuses Will Delight You.
Don’t miss the three-wheel DIY at the very bottom.
Pacific Standard: Don’t Bring a Gun to a Bear Fight ...
“Last year, Brigham Young biologists analyzed 269 incidents of aggressive encounters between humans and bears in Alaska and found no statistical difference in injury or fatality rates between incidents where guns were used and incidents where they weren’t.” Whereas pepper spray was 92% effective. The rest of this article underlines something I mentioned previously, the fetishization of guns in this country. I don’t name my power sander.
Guardian.UK: Moment of explosion near Waco, Texas.
Everyone knows fertilizer is an efficient explosive, but noone really thinks about the fact until you see something like this. Pre-explosion photos of the location show a well-worn, slightly tatty facility that the city has allowed housing and business to encroach … unwisely. Some Einstein built a school and a retirement complex within short walking distance. The risk of explosion, however small, was not recognized. Not unusual, however. I know of other places just as unwise … such as Linden, NJ. Tank farm at the foot of a runway … and housing?
I suppose my real concern here is, as America’s infrastructure continues to suffer from tax cuts, austerity and the generally poor economy, these kinds of incidents will happen more often. Can we find a minute in all this to prescribe an ounce of prevention?
SF New Mexican: Vet says poisoning of dogs in Eldorado intentional.
I can’t read this, but perhaps you can. After warm winters, rodent populations explode. I’m seeing wood rats during the day, an unusual occurrence except after such a winter. These creatures are huge plague risks (the fleas they carry). Many homeowners are putting out poison baits, which come as powder, granules, blocks and packets. Rodents drag this stuff all over Eldorado; I find weathered packets along the roads, on the rail trail and on the hike/bike path. As opposed to this vet’s opinion, I suspect no criminal intent. Keep dogs on a leash, and if they pick something up to eat it, get it out of their mouths ASAP.
Crazies are sleuthing.
Some of my widely-varied social friends are reposting extreme right-wing Boston sleuthing, using submitted photographs. Just stop, please. Black backpacks are very common, esp. among amateur photographers (I have two such bags). So are military multi-pocket pants (I have two pair). These photos show neither the sheer weight such a device would impose upon someone’s shoulders, nor the awkward form-factor of a pot. I’d look for someone with their torso bent forward, straps cutting into their shoulders, back of the pack sticking out oddly. Put your spaghetti pot in your own pack, see how it sits. Better yet, fill it with nails before you do so. Don’t have enough nails? Boy, that little square box of nails weighs a lot, don’t you think? Multiply that weight by about a dozen times.
You’ll see the fallacy immediately. Avoid chimp-think. Just wait. This is why enforcement personnel rebuild the devices, so they don’t miss important details.
SciAm: Crowd Psychology — What Comes After Boston for Mass Public Events?
Hmmm. Perhaps safety would be as simple as asking “Is that your backpack?” at every event. A much larger risk is the simple idiocy of crowds. Motor racing fans will stand at the outside edge of downhill curves … the epitome of Darwin Award stupidity. Just because “everyone’s doing it” doesn’t mean a particular behavior or position is safe.
Santa Fe inns and hotels start planting early.
Not past last frost date yet. Yet we’re all yearning for some color after this brown, dry winter.
Panic’s secret app: Status Board for iPad.
Reviews mention bugginess. Perhaps wait for 1.x or 2.0.
CNet: Pilot’s texting at issue in fatal crash of medical helicopter.
Texting … in a helicopter? Ever try to fly one? Texting while trying to manage the cyclic, collective, throttle and anti-torque pedals … that should be a definition of insanity. Certainly deserves a top spot in the Darwin Awards.
PacificStandard: Guinea Pigs, an Adorable—and Tasty—Dinner Companion.
The New Yorker: The Cultural Fight for Guns.
“Nobody really believes it’s about maintaining a militia. It’s about having possession of a tool that makes a person feel powerful nearly to the point of exaltation. …I am not saying that people who love guns inordinately are unstable; I am saying that a gun is the most powerful device there is to accessorize the ego.” Unless it’s a tool, and treated as one. What America has a problem with, IMHO, is the fetishization of guns. We have kitchens full of knives, and the knife murder rate is 1/5 of the gun murder rate. Surely that helps point up the problem … ? We think of knives differently.
ianclaridge.net: Tie Chi.
I can fairly say that this is one martial art that is virtually *never* used in Santa Fe. Except during legislative sessions.
Monocle Monocolumn: For The Love Of Money.
It’s a quick, enjoyable read.
Slightly related: Weimar’s hyperinflation banknote.
Gizmodo: The World’s First Webcam Was Created to Check a Coffee Pot.
Everything old is new again. Perhaps I should just start reposting out of my archives. How many times has this resurfaced in the last fourteen years?