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Friday, September 25, 2009

"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity." - Harlan Ellison


Inside the Apocalyptic Soviet Doomsday Machine - "An actual doomsday device—a real, functioning version of the ultimate weapon, always presumed to exist only as a fantasy of apocalypse-obsessed science fiction writers and paranoid über-hawks. The thing that historian Lewis Mumford called "the central symbol of this scientifically organized nightmare of mass extermination." Turns out Yarynich, a 30-year veteran of the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces and Soviet General Staff, helped build one."

As SOEasy crashes and burns, Singapore's Ministry of Education does the Right Thing - "As I read that MOE went with Google, I was listening to a series of horror stories from the poor "rest of Singapore government officers" who are now burdened with the so-called "SOEasy" standard operating environment roll out. All those in IDA who have been "moved" to the "new easier platform" are now thoroughly annoyed. The play on words "SOEasy" (allegedly to mean "so easy"), is a disaster that we have to have stopped. Tax payers monies are being spent on stuff that reduces the efficiencies of the work process and forces clued-in IDA officers (yes there are some) to have to bring in their personal laptops in order to get work done. I am hearing from some government officials that I should not expect any replies from them via email after 5 pm because they refuse to bring their worthless "locked down Windows laptop" home. If I expect a reply, it will only come during office hours and only if they are in the office. So much for improving efficiencies. A few days ago, I was told by yet another government official that the emails that were on their Lotus Notes system does not automatically get forwarded to the new M$ exchange email server and that they have to cut and paste the mails between the systems. I was also told that the budget for the SOEasy project did not include data migration costs from the Lotus Notes database to M$ sharepoint. Imagine that! I am getting really concerned here because, unlike the NCB of old, the IDA of now is a technologically lost. I think we need to reboot IDA. Would you want to help me?"

Molester a top NUS grad - " Two doctors said Chong Weien, 28, suffers from spontaneous ejaculation and is easily aroused even without any physical stimulation. This cut no ice with District Judge Jill Tan, who said in her judgement: 'Even if the accused did suffer from a spontaneous ejaculation on the bus, this did not rule out the possibility that he could have brushed his penis against the victim's thigh as well.'... On the night of Sept 14, 2006, the victim, a Chinese national studying in a different faculty, boarded a NUS shuttle bus to return to her hostel. Chong, who was wearing a T-shirt and a pair of shorts and holding a jacket at waist level, pressed his crotch against her in the bus. She felt something wet on her thigh... The woman... cannot be identified as she is a victim in an outrage of modesty case... Judge Tan noted that Chong had outraged a woman's modesty on a bus, which she said was 'an extremely brazen act'."
Beyond reasonable doubt, the judge has never taken an NUS shuttle bus at night. The poor guy should walk around with a penis sheath after his release.

Is Texting Making Us Bad Spellers? - "Critics say SMS leads to sloppiness, masks dyslexia, and essentially signals the death of the English language. But research does not support the critics. A study released yesterday in the journal Reading and Writing found no evidence that texting had any impact on spelling ability... if you’re a good speller of the Queen’s English you’re also a good speller in textese. Conversely, if you’re a poor speller academically you make more errors in chatspeak. And those who used more abbreviations when texting tended to be better spellers of standard English. The researchers suggest that chatspeak is a complex, innovative language. And they added that using and translating any new language requires concentration and creativity—and is a real brain workout."

Church converted into magnificent bookstore

Scientific American: 60-Second Psych - "Tune in every Monday for quick commentary on the latest news in behavior and brain research -- it'll just take a minute."

37signals valuation tops $100 billion after bold VC investment - "37signals is now a $100 billion dollar company, according to a group of investors who have agreed to purchase 0.000000001% of the company in exchange for $1... In order to increase the value of the company, 37signals has decided to stop generating revenues... "we’re switching to a ‘freeconomics’ model. We’ll give away everything for free and let the market speculate about how much money we could make if we wanted to make money. That way, the sky’s the limit!"... In order to determine the valuation of companies, Bhatnagar typically applies the following formula: [(Twitter followers x Facebook fans) + (# of employees x 1000)] x (RSS subscribers + daily page views) + (monthly burn rate x Google’s stock price)2 and then doubles if it they use Ruby on Rails or if the CEO has run a business into the ground before. Bhatnagar admits the math is mostly a guess but points out that “the press eats it up.”"
I love people who're passionate about social media

Terrorist hid explosives in his bottom - "Suicide bomber Abdullah Hassan Tali al-Asiri attempted to kill a Saudi prince by detonating explosives hidden in his bottom."

Tourists Hurt in Bear Attack - "An Asian black bear attacked a group of tourists waiting at this bus station in a mountainous region of central Japan."
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