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February 16, 2014
[life] Distant Planet Terrified It Might Be Able To Someday Support Human Life‘The 5.2-billion-year-old celestial body, which is located roughly 1,100 light years from Earth, said that for both its own sake and that of its entire solar system, it can only hope to never possess the necessary planetary characteristics and chemical elements needed to support either a deep-space human outpost or, more gravely, an entire human colony. “Luckily, with my high levels of atmospheric sulfur dioxide, methane, and radon, there’s no way any human could survive on my surface for more than a few seconds,” said WR 67c, adding that it is “incredibly lucky” to have developed extremely violent and widespread volcanism in addition to its poisonous atmosphere.’
February 7, 2014
[posh] The 28 Poshest Things That Have Ever Happened‘This birth announcement in The Times: On 29th March 2013, to Emily (née Kew) and Christian, a son, Biggles George Fittleworth, and a daughter, Posie Betsy Winifred, a brother and sister for Tuppence.’
January 30, 2014
[life] Decoding Cancer-Addled Ramblings … a remarkable post on Ask Metafilter where the commenters partially decode the last messages of a Grandmother who died twenty years ago… ‘AGH, YES! Sorry for the double post, but: OFWAIHHBTNTKCTWBDOEAIIIHFUTDODBAFUOTAWFTWTAUALUNITBDUFEFTITKTPATGFAEA Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name… etc etc etc’
December 31, 2013
[london] Norman Collier Street Sign‘Adv c d W rning M j r Gas Works’
December 25, 2013
[xmas] A Ghost Gave Me Triplets! Xmas Horror! – Epic Christmas Misery from That’s Life! Magazine …

Christmas Misery From That's Life Magazine

December 19, 2013
[life] How Ayn Rand ruined my childhood … how Objectivism and family life do not mix …

Our objectivist education, however, was not confined to lectures and books. One time, at dinner, I complained that my brother was hogging all the food.

“He’s being selfish!” I whined to my father.

“Being selfish is a good thing,” he said. “To be selfless is to deny one’s self. To be selfish is to embrace the self, and accept your wants and needs.”

It was my dad’s classic response — a grandiose philosophical answer to a simple real-world problem. But who cared about logic? All I wanted was another serving of mashed potatoes.

November 5, 2013
Facebook of the Dead‘When, if ever, will Facebook contain more profiles of dead people than of living ones?’
November 1, 2013
[weird] British Man Discovers Secret Dungeon Under His New Flat‘Curious shape in the corner. Bed, or crypt. It’ll make a good seat for a potential home cinema, or else for a dungeon party.’
October 28, 2013
[funny] Romantic-Comedy Behavior Gets Real-Life Man Arrested … more from The Onion …

Hamilton made the call to police at approximately 7:30 p.m., when she discovered that the bearded cable repairman she had let into her apartment was actually Marzano in disguise.

“Thank God he’s in custody, and this nightmarish ordeal is finally over,” said Hamilton, a single mother struggling to raise an adorable, towheaded boy all alone in the big city. “I repeatedly told him I wasn’t interested, but he just kept resorting to crazier and crazier schemes to make me fall in love with him.”

October 25, 2013
[apple] Retail Therapy: Inside the Apple Store: Let’s Get Ready to Rumble. … customer support stories from Apple Stores … ‘When Apple employees are asked what they love most about their job (and they are asked often) most invariably answer “the people.” They mean their co-workers, not the customers. Because the daily expectations for customer service go beyond anywhere else in retail, only those with managerial ambitions will invoke their commitment to helping people. Some thrive on that. Others get diagnosed with PTSD. Consider that the flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City is open 24 hours and has more annual foot traffic than Yankee Stadium, yet only one door. Every day, in every Apple Store, people flood to customer service, when what many truly need is therapy.’ [via Sore Eyes]
October 16, 2013
[life] Once a celebrity has been linked with a silly object, they stay connected for ever… Can public figures be defined by ridiculous objects they stumble upon? … ‘I’ve never been convinced that Philip Larkin was right when he wrote that all that remains of us is love. After Bill Clinton is dead and gone, it’s not love that I’ll remember him for. It’s an object – and I don’t even mean that cigar that went on holiday somewhere in Monica Lewinsky’s nether regions. The object was brought to my attention in Alastair Campbell’s diaries, in a story where Tony Blair, Kevin Spacey and Bill Clinton are all sitting in a McDonald’s restaurant. In Blackpool. “So there we were,” Campbell writes, “drinking Diet Coke and eating chicken nuggets as he [Clinton] poured forth on the theme of interdependence and the role of the Third Way in progressive politics.” Obviously, it is the chicken nuggets that get me.’
October 2, 2013
[spiders] Dancing With Black Widow Spiders … What it’s like to be bitten by a black widow spider … ‘ I decided to go fishing for dinner. On the same front porch where I had removed so many black widows, I kept a pair of water shoes and some fishing tackle. I put the shoes and the tackle in my car and drove eight miles to my favored hole. I donned the shoes before walking to the edge of the water. Within about a dozen steps, I felt a stinging sensation on the second toe of my left foot, as if there had been a thorn inside the shoe. Then the pain increased to about that of a wasp’s sting. I sat on a rock and removed the shoe. The squashed remains of a spider were smeared across the insole. I realized instantly what must have happened: a black widow from the porch had made its home in my shoe. For a long moment, I stared at my throbbing toe and wondered what to do…’
September 3, 2013
[language] The Rad New Words Added to the Dictionary in the ’90s: Where Are They Now?… Alexis Madrigal investigates what new words added to dictionaries during the 90’s made it into common usage today … ‘Cypherpunk: In the early days of both computing and the Internet, cryptography to keep people from spying on you was all the rage. For obvious reasons, both the term and idea of cypherpunk are coming back, I think.’
August 21, 2013
[funny] Father Teaches Son How To Fly Into Rage Over Completely Inconsequential Bullshit … The Onion on a heart-warming father/son relationship … ‘In an effort to help guide his son’s development, Dalton explained that he consistently tries to embody the qualities of irritability, hostility, and bitterness in his daily life, emphasizing to his fourth-grade son the importance of letting his annoyance over an inconsequential matter develop into a lingering, biting resentment that makes others feel uncomfortable to be near him. In addition, the 42-year-old market researcher said that he has been making a concerted effort of late to show his boy how to obsess over such ultimately trifling things as a driver going too slow in the left lane or a person who is slightly holding up a line, and to interpret these incidents as if they were significant, deliberate personal slights.’
August 13, 2013
[life] 27 Problems Only Introverts Will Understand‘That feeling of dread that washes over you when the phone rings and you’re not mentally prepared to chat.’
July 18, 2013
[tv] The Forty-Year Itch … is there a forty year cycle of nostalgia influencing pop culture? … ‘Though pop culture is most often performed by the young, the directors and programmers and gatekeepers—the suits who control and create its conditions, who make the calls and choose the players—are, and always have been, largely forty-somethings, and the four-decade interval brings us to a period just before the forty-something was born. Forty years past is the potently fascinating time just as we arrived, when our parents were youthful and in love, the Edenic period preceding the fallen state recorded in our actual memories.’
July 17, 2013
[email] What Your Email Sign-off Really Means … looking at the social minefield of choosing the best way to conclude an email… ‘You can sign off with “regards”, which means, quite literally, “I have no regard for you at all”. Or you can use the more extreme “warmest regards”, which means, “never contact me again you insufferable bastard”. Then there’s “yours”, which means, “I don’t even know who you are or what you wrote to me about”, and its cousin, “yours sincerely”, which means, “you owe me money and I will make your life a living hell until I get it”. Some people sign off emails with “best”. Not “best wishes”, which is used when the emailer is for some reason under the impression they’re writing in a Christmas card, but just “best”, which is a slightly creepy sign-off, like writing “be seeing you REALLY soon…”. Best? Best what?’
July 12, 2013
[life] Study: Anxiety Resolved By Thinking About It Real Hard … The Onion reports on dealing with Anxiety …

“The key to beating anxiety is to let yourself become totally consumed with intrusive, irrational thoughts until you actually raise your pulse and blood pressure,” said assistant researcher Dana Kelley, who said that blinding stress headaches were a crucial indicator that one’s anxious feelings were disappearing. “If you can get to a point where you legitimately feel short of breath and begin to perceptibly tremble, that means you’re progressing. In fact, the more tense your neck and shoulders are, the closer you are to moving past your anxiety altogether.”

July 2, 2013
[jobs] A Matrix of the Worst Jobs in the World … take your pick between the most treacherous, difficult, disgusting or tedious jobs in world history … ‘Bog-Iron Hunter, circa 800AD, Scandinavia: Wade through bogs and lakes year-round, poking at soil with spear to locate lumps or ore.’
June 28, 2013
[numbers] Pi Versus Information Theory … searching for meaning in Pi… ‘Is all of life written in pi? No. There is nothing there. For every fact you might find, you would also find the exact opposite. For every name of someone you might love, there would be countless other names. Claude Shannon would tell us that a sequence of random numbers contains no information, which he describes as “the removal of uncertainty.” No uncertainty is removed through perusal of the digits of pi.’
June 11, 2013
[people] Rich Kids Of Instagram … Let me tell you about the very rich. They have more luggage than you and me.
June 10, 2013
[funny] Man On Cusp Of Having Fun Suddenly Remembers Every Single One Of His Responsibilities … more from the Onion

Platt, who reportedly sunk into a distracted haze after coming to the razor’s edge of experiencing genuine joy, fully intended to go through the motions of talking with friends and appearing to have a good time, all while he mentally shopped for a birthday present for his mother, wracked his brain to remember if he had turned in the itemized reimbursement form from his New York trip to HR on time, and made a silent note to call his bank about a mysterious recurring $19 monthly fee that he had recently discovered on his credit card statement.

“Everything’s fine,” said the tense, mentally absent man whose girlfriend asked him what was wrong after his near-giddy buzz vanished and he remembered that he hadn’t called his aunt yet to check up on her after her surgery. “I’m having fun.”

June 5, 2013
[life] 7 Habits of Highly Successful People‘5. Polo’
May 23, 2013
[life] Technically…

Is A Glass Always Full?

April 18, 2013
[life] What’s the Point of Being a Polo Tycoon If You Can’t Adopt Your Girlfriend? … a story pulled straight from the right side of Bret Easton Ellis’ brain … ‘A Florida appeals court ruled yesterday that John Goodman (not the actor John Goodman, the Florida polo tycoon John Goodman, who founded something called the International Polo Club) committed a fraud on the court when he failed to notify it, or the opposing parties in a pending lawsuit, about his plan to adopt his girlfriend and thereby give her access to a substantial trust fund. The trust was one in which “all Goodman’s children were to share equally,” so if his girlfriend also became his child … you get the idea. The “Adoption Agreement” also gave the girlfriend/daughter almost $17 million in additional assets plus an unlimited right to ask for more money from the trust, not a bad right to have if you can get it.This concerned Goodman’s two existing children and his ex-wife for obvious reasons, and also bothered the parents of Scott Wilson. Wilson died in 2010 after a car accident involving Goodman, who was allegedly drunk at the time.’ [via jzw]
April 15, 2013
[people] Noel Edmonds Biography Condensed

Excerpt from Noel Edmonds Biography

March 28, 2013
[life] I Went to the Playboy Mansion (and It Was Kinda Depressing) … what a writer from Vice found when he wandered off around the Playboy Mansion‘Wandering through the house gave me a feeling not too dissimilar to when a relative dies and you have to go to their place and figure out what to do with their things. Except for, in this case, that dead relative was the magazine industry. Or something. I don’t really know what I’m talking about. But the mansion was really, really sad. And it smelled like old man.’
March 21, 2013
[email] Time’s Inverted Index … What it’s like to examine your past using your email archive … ‘While right now it’s unusual in general population for a person to have all this history so close, so quickly searchable, obviously the world will go this way. There will be many new forms of art and commerce over time, I think, that allow us to interact with, and share from, our private archives. There is going to be an urgent market need for tiny mechanical historians who can live in our pockets and point out our flaws.’
March 20, 2013
[life] Taxis and the shortest route home‘When I first started driving a cab, I drove the shortest route -always, I’m ethical- but people would accuse me of taking the long way because it wasn’t the way they drove. So, I learned to go their way ending up with a lot less grief and a lot more money. If you’ve ever wondered why a seeming professional cab driver will ask you how to get to your destination, this is why. Going your way means they’ll make more money and they won’t be accused of ripping you off. Not to say that in the beginning, I wasn’t stupid. I’d try to show the customer the route on a map but they’d usually be offended that I was contradicting them. It was to their house, if I’d never been there, how could I possibly know better than they did?’ [via As Above]
March 19, 2013
[life] Go Look: Photos of Children From Around the World With Their Most Prized Possessions
March 13, 2013
[apple] Abandoned Apples … pictures of long discarded Apple computers that have been left to slowly decay.
March 12, 2013
[drink] What Coca-Cola Contains‘The number of individuals who know how to make a can of Coke is zero. The number of individual nations that could produce a can of Coke is zero. This famously American product is not American at all. Invention and creation is something we are all in together. Modern tool chains are so long and complex that they bind us into one people and one planet. They are not only chains of tools, they are also chains of minds: local and foreign, ancient and modern, living and dead — the result of disparate invention and intelligence distributed over time and space.’
March 11, 2013
[life] The Godzilla Threshold: ‘Things are at the point where even summoning Godzilla, king of monsters and patron saint of collateral damage, could not possibly make the crisis any worse. The situation has crossed the Godzilla Threshold. Once the Threshold is crossed, ANY plan, with even the smallest possibility of success, no matter how ludicrous, impossible, dangerous or abhorrent, suddenly becomes a valid option.’ [via YMFY]
February 13, 2013
[price] What A Year Of Stuff Costs … the prices of various things if you buy/use them for a year collected by Diamond Geezer‘Daily bath (medium depth): £98 (gas boiler), £291 (immersion heater) Daily shower (5 minutes): £44 (electric shower), £200 (power shower)’
February 12, 2013
[valentines] The Perfect Valentines Gift: pre-arrange a funeral for yourself and your partner …

Valentines Advert For Pre-Arranged Funeral

February 5, 2013
[death] Wikipedia’s list of unusual deaths‘1959: In the Dyatlov Pass incident, nine ski hikers in the Ural Mountains abandoned their camp in the middle of the night, some clad only in their underwear despite sub-zero weather. Six died of hypothermia and three by unexplained injuries. The corpses showed no signs of struggle, but one had a fatal skull fracture, two had major chest fractures, and one was missing her tongue. Soviet investigators determined only that “a compelling unknown force” had caused the deaths. During the hikers’ memorials, several witnesses reported that the bodies had an “orangish tint” to them.’
January 10, 2013
[google] The many different things the world wants to know how to do … as reported in the 2012 Google Zeitgeist‘Japan: how to save [battery] power. Kenya: how to abort. Mexico: how to vote. Netherlands: how to survive. New Zealand: how to screenshot.’
January 2, 2013
[death] The Cold Hard Facts of Freezing to Death … fascinating longer read on what it’s like to die of cold in the open … ‘You’ve now crossed the boundary into profound hypothermia. By the time your core temperature has fallen to 88 degrees, your body has abandoned the urge to warm itself by shivering. Your blood is thickening like crankcase oil in a cold engine. Your oxygen consumption, a measure of your metabolic rate, has fallen by more than a quarter. Your kidneys, however, work overtime to process the fluid overload that occurred when the blood vessels in your extremities constricted and squeezed fluids toward your center. You feel a powerful urge to urinate, the only thing you feel at all.’
January 1, 2013
[uk] 21 Brilliant British People Problems‘I don’t feel well but I don’t want to disturb my doctor.’
December 30, 2012
I Am Facebook Friends With Ryan Lanza … What happens if you’re friends on Facebook with somebody who is suddenly receiving a lot of media attention … ‘I found myself inundated with messages, some from journalists seeking confirmation, many from people saying angry and bizarre things to me or about Ryan. One demanded to know how I could be friends with such a monster. Could I help a random internet sleuth create a “psychological profile”? Did I see warning signs in Ryan? Why did I suspiciously post cartoons about mass shootings only days before? That was very tasteless. A text to my phone from an unknown number read “looks like this killer is a fan of yours.” A Twitter user declared me a “snitch” for sharing Ryan’s post. Someone accused me of having something to do with the killings, “which you take delight in,” they wrote, and hoped the FBI would hold me accountable.’
December 28, 2012
[crime] The Myth of the Lone Villain … Kevin Kelly looks at why lone, murderous, technically advanced super-villians don’t work in the real world … ‘The lone evil genius works in a high tech haven, hidden from others, all by himself. At this point, the scenario is total fiction because no one can run all that technology by themselves. It is hard to keep 3 computers and a network going all by yourself. The madman’s electronic door hatch probably crashes once a month, particularly if the madman just invented it. So can you invent and keep operational the death ray? No. Way. No solo genius can destroy mankind. That kind of power takes cooperation.’
December 7, 2012
[life] Dying rock stars’ famous last words‘Barry White (to his nurse): Leave me alone, I’m fine.’
November 26, 2012
[winning] Is it possible to improve your chances of winning big in the National Lottery? … interesting look at how to improve your chances of not sharing your winnings if your UK Lottery numbers are selected … ‘There is also a clear popularity trend for lower numbers ending with a 7, namely 7, 17 and 27.’
November 1, 2012
[life] 30ft effigy of Lance Armstrong wearing a Jim’ll Fix it badge to be burnedBonfire Society members said it was not easy to choose Armstrong, who had all his results from August 1998 removed on the recommendation of the United States Anti-Doping Agency and banned from cycling for life. Society co-ordinator Charles Laver said Savile and hook-handed cleric Abu Hamza were ruled out, as was Chancellor George Osborne for being “a bit boring”.
October 8, 2012
[comics] Wisdom Of The Ancients‘Who were you, DenverCoder9? – WHAT DID YOU SEE?!’

XKCD Cartoon

September 25, 2012
[funny] A Speculative List Of Jay-Z’s 99 Problems‘#73: Disparity b/t morning coffee preferences in combination with Beyonce insisting that they have breakfast and coffee together every morning leading to being ‘forced’ to drink watered down, half-caff coffee maker coffee, rather than the preferred full-strength french press coffee.’
September 24, 2012
[funny] The 13 most enjoyably passive-aggressive WiFi networks in the short history of WiFi

Amusing WiFi Network Names

September 22, 2012
[funny] Newborn Loses Faith In Humanity After Record 6 Days‘Though he has not yet developed the capacity for speech, extensive cognitive testing has definitively shown that the shockingly perceptive 6-day-old fully understands and accepts that human beings cannot be trusted, that they remain far too ignorant for their opinions to be reliable, that a lack of self-awareness about their own destructive tendencies pervades the species as a whole, and that most are too ineffectual to successfully pursue even the shallow self-interested agendas that rule their lives.’
August 24, 2012
[life] Why Only Yuppies Feel Busy: An Economic Theory‘We all live on two things: time and money. And people who have extra income don’t get much, if any, extra time to spend it. As a result, Hamermesh argues, each of their hours seems more valuable, and they feel the clock ticking away more acutely. Much the way it’s more stressful to order dinner from a menu with 100 items than 10, choosing between a night at the symphony, seats at the hot new play, or tickets to Woody Allen’s latest flick is in some senses more stressful than knowing you’ll have to save money by staying in for the evening.’
August 15, 2012
[life] The ‘Busy’ Trap … Why being busy all the time is bad for us … ‘Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done. “Idle dreaming is often of the essence of what we do,” wrote Thomas Pynchon in his essay on sloth. Archimedes’ “Eureka” in the bath, Newton’s apple, Jekyll & Hyde and the benzene ring: history is full of stories of inspirations that come in idle moments and dreams. It almost makes you wonder whether loafers, goldbricks and no-accounts aren’t responsible for more of the world’s great ideas, inventions and masterpieces than the hardworking.’

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