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15 Jul 17:35

DKnomics: The Farther Ahead You Get, The More Single Bananas You Get

DKnomics: The Farther Ahead You Get, The More Single Bananas You Get

Submitted by: Unknown

15 Jul 17:28

The Convergence Of Kindnesses

by Not Always Right
Restaurant | UT, USA

(I am tending to my customers’ needs, and watching the front door. A customer enters and asks for a table. I seat him and get him a cup of coffee.)

Customer: “How far is it to Quebec?”

Me: “I honestly have no idea, sir. But, if you don’t mind my asking, why are you heading there?”

Customer: “Well, I have to be at work by tomorrow, and I’m sure I would have made it if the tire hadn’t come off my truck.”

(He looks over the menu, orders, and receives his meal. As I am putting in another order on the computer, the father of the family seated at the table beside the other man approaches me.)

Father: “Excuse me?”

Me: “Yes, sir? Is there something I can help you with?”

Father: “Has the man beside us ordered yet?”

(The customer with the car problems is clearly of East Indian descent, and I immediately fear that this other man is about to make some racist comment.)

Me: “Is there some kind of problem, sir?”

Father: “No, not at all. But I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind putting his dinner on our bill.”

(I am pleasantly surprised by this, and get into the computer to add the unfortunate customer’s check to the families. The family leaves soon after. When I next check on the customer, he has finished eating.)

Me: “Is there anything else I can do for you tonight, sir?”

Customer: “No, I’m fine, thanks. Just the bill, if you please.”

Me: “Well, sir, I’m pleased to say that the family seated beside you earlier asked to pick up your bill.”

Customer: “Did they really?”

Me: *smiling* “Yes.”

Customer: *smiling* “You know, it really makes me glad to know that there are still good, kind people in the world. It gives you hope.”

(Not having anything else to do, I take some time to sit and listen to the man, as he’s expressed a desire to tell me why he’s on his way to Quebec. After having served as a soldier for some time, he grew tired of feeling as though he were living a double life, having to keep secrets from his loved ones so as to fulfill his duties. He then decided to leave the service, receiving a dishonorable discharge and losing nearly everything he owned in the process. During his time of service, he lived in Quebec and met a young woman who befriended him and showed him that there was more to life than simply having money and material possessions. The two of them ended up in a relationship that was cut short because of his constant dedication to his duties, and she claimed that it had grown hard to trust him.)

Customer: “So, I’m heading back to Quebec to see her. I have nothing left to lose but her, and I’m going to take up a job as a mechanic, get a place for the two of us, and ask her to marry me.”

(At this point, I am nearly in tears.)

Customer: “But that’s where I’m unsure. I don’t know if she’ll want to marry someone like me.”

(We talk a bit more, and I tell him that, in the time I’ve spent listening and chatting with him, he seems like a very good person, and that giving up his pension and career in the service for this woman speaks very strongly about his character. After a while, he goes out to his truck, and returns with a coin.)

Customer: “I told them that I didn’t care. I told them that I was tired of living a lie. They laughed in my face and gave me this. They told me to find someone who gave a s***.”

(The customer hands me a foreign coin and smiles.)

Customer: “So those are the words I live by: ‘Find something to give a s*** about’.”

(As he walks to the door, he thanks me, and I wish him all the luck in the world. This night at work really emphasized two things for me: A little kindness goes a long way, and if you give a s*** about something, you won’t give up on it. Whoever you are, sir, I truly wish you the best. I hope that the woman you love sees just how much you care about her, and that the two of you can spend your lives together. And to the man who paid for his meal, I will never forget the kindness you offered to another in need.)

11 Jul 14:30

Hail Desert Bus, the worst game ever

by Rob Beschizza

Simon Parkin on Desert Bus, Penn and Teller's contribution to the small but magical universe of deliberately-bad video games.

“Every few years, video games are blamed in the media for all of the ills in society,” said Teller. “In the early nineteen-nineties, I wrote an article for the New York Times citing all the studies that show video games have no effect on a child’s morals. But we wanted to create some entertainment that helped make the point.”

Please enjoy once again my contribution to this genre of unwonderful things, Low-Altitude Attack Zeppelin.

Previously: Long-lost Penn and Teller videogame for download


08 Jul 14:59

Why is child-rearing such an insane arms race?

by Angry
Strollers nowadays cost about as much as an aircraft carrier, but that's all right, because they're about the same size and nearly as complex. They fold up or expand at the touch of a button and will protect your child from everything up to an alien invasion. They don't maneuver worth a damn, but that's what the destroyer escort is for.

And, of course, if you don't have the latest, largest stroller, you don't love your child or care about his welfare. Other things that mean you are a terrible mother: not breastfeeding, using disposable diapers, having colors that are too bright or not bright enough in his nursery, ever getting a babysitter, drinking a drop of either caffeine or alcohol, going back to work, not going back to work, not going to newborn yoga, clothing your child in anything but the softest Egyptian cotton, not blogging daily about your child's progress, failing to have adorable craft projects for every milestone in his life, listening to anything but Mozart, complaining that you're tired, not having perfect hair and make-up, etc., etc. Have I missed anything?

Look. If your child is fed, warm, and clean, you're doing well. If you are also fed, warm, and clean, you're doing very well. If someone tries to shame you and tell you that you don't love your child because you don't subscribe to their insane child-rearing doctrine, hit that person in the face.
02 Jul 20:29

pleatedjeans: he retired this year. [article]


he retired this year. [article]

02 Jul 20:19

Crazy Ideas That Are Borderline Genius [via]Previously: Useless...

Crazy Ideas That Are Borderline Genius [via]

Previously: Useless Things You Don’t Need to Know

02 Jul 19:51

Thinking about money

by Seth Godin

    Many marketers work overtime to confuse us about money. They take advantage of our misunderstanding of the time value of money, of our aversion to reading the fine print, of our childish need for instant gratification and most of all, our conflicted emotional connection to money.

    Confusing customers about money can be quite profitable if that's the sort of work you're willing to do.

    A few things to keep in mind:

    1. The amount of money you have has nothing to do with whether or not you're a good person. Being good with money is a little like being good with cards. People who are good at playing cards aren't better or worse than anyone else, they're just better at playing crazy eights.
    2. Money spent on one thing is still the same as money spent on something else. A $500 needless fee on a million-dollar mortgage closing is just as much money as a $500 tip at McDonalds.
    3. If you borrow money to make money, you've done something magical. On the other hand, if you go into debt to pay your bills or buy something you want but don't need, you've done something stupid. Stupid and short-sighted and ultimately life-changing for the worse.
    4. To go along with #3: getting out of debt as fast as you possibly can is the smartest thing you can do with your money. If you need proof to confirm this, ask anyone with money to show you the math. Hint: credit card companies make more profit than just about any other companies in the world.
    5. There's no difference (in terms of the money you have) between spending money and not earning money, no difference between not-spending money and getting a raise (actually, because of taxes, you're even better off not-spending). If you've got cable TV and a cell phone, you're spending $4,000 a year. $6,000 before taxes.
    6. If money is an emotional issue for you, you've just put your finger on a big part of the problem. No one who is good at building houses has an emotional problem with hammers. Place your emotional problems where they belong, and focus on seeing money as a tool.
    7. Like many important, professional endeavors, money has its own vocabulary. It won't take you long to learn what opportunity cost, investment, debt, leverage, basis points and sunk costs mean, but it'll be worth your time.
    8. Never sign a contract or make an investment that you don't understand at least as well as the person on the other side of the transaction.
    9. If you've got a job, a steady day job, now's the time to figure out a way to earn extra income in your spare time. Freelancing, selling items on Etsy, building a side business--two hundred extra dollars every week for the next twenty years can create peace of mind for a lifetime.
    10. The chances that a small-time investor will get lucky by timing the stock market or with other opaque investments are slim, fat and none.
    11. The way you feel about giving money to good causes has a lot to do with the way you feel about money.
    12. Don't get caught confusing money with security. There are lots of ways to build a life that's more secure, starting with the stories you tell yourself, the people you surround yourself with and the cost of living you embrace. Money is one way to feel more secure, but money alone won't deliver this.
    13. Rich guys busted for insider trading weren't risking everything to make more money for the security that money can bring. In fact, the very opposite is starkly shown here. The insatiable need for more money is directly (and ironically) related to not being clear about what will ultimately bring security. Like many on this path, now they have neither money nor security.
    14. In our culture, making more money feels like winning, and winning feels like the point.
    15. Within very wide bands, more money doesn't make people happier. Learning how to think about money, though, usually does.
    16. In the long run, doing work that's important leads to more happiness than doing work that's merely profitable.
    01 Jul 14:44

    Advanced Useless Machine

    by Cory Doctorow

    Earlier this week, Mark posted a fancy Useless Machine that had all sorts of exciting behaviors when you turned it on. But I think I prefer the Useless machine advanced edition, with its many switches and prodding metal fingers, built from organs harvested from a donor printer. Looking back into the archives, I see we've made quite a habit of posting about the amazing Useless Machine phenomenon.

    Useless machine advanced edition (via Beyond the Beyond)


    01 Jul 13:45




    Those first three weeks are wonderful.

    24 Jun 15:19

    Turn Frozen Tater Tots Into Homestyle Hash Browns with a Waffle Iron

    by Shep McAllister

    Turn Frozen Tater Tots Into Homestyle Hash Browns with a Waffle Iron

    Bite sized tater tots are delicious and convenient, but a lot of people prefer the restaurant-style hash browns that require a fork. If you're sitting down for a nice breakfast at home, it's surprisingly easy to make these fancier hash browns on a waffle iron.



    20 Jun 17:34

    Альтернативная версия

    18 Jun 15:21

    The Blake Wright » i don’t believe in “mayans”

    by gabrielfigueiredo
    17 Jun 14:04

    Joe Biden 2006 explains surveillance to Barack Obama 2013

    by Cory Doctorow

    Back in 2006, Joe Biden explained why the Bush program of warrantless wiretapping was a bad idea, destroying GWB's arguments in favor of unconstitutional, sweeping blanket surveillance. Now that Obama has put forward those selfsame arguments in defense of his own administration's program of even more sweeping, even more intrusive surveillance, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has edited together (now-)Vice President Biden's rebuttals with President Obama's stupid, Bushian rhetoric:

    After a leaked FISA court document revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) is vacuuming up private data on millions of innocent Americans by collecting all the phone records of Verizon customers, President Obama responded by saying "let's have a debate" about the scope of US surveillance powers.

    At EFF, we couldn't agree more. It turns out, President Obama's most formative debate partner over the invasiveness of NSA domestic surveillance could be his Vice President Joe Biden. Back in 2006, when the NSA surveillance program was first revealed by the New York Times, then-Senator Biden was one of the program's most articulate critics. As the FISA court order shows, the scope of NSA surveillance program has not changed much since 2006, except for the occupant in the White House.

    Watch 2013 Barack Obama Debate 2006 Joe Biden Over NSA Surveillance


    13 Jun 14:11

    Hugh Laurie Sings the Blues – St. James Infirmary

    by Jonco

    Thanks Miss Silver


    13 Jun 13:25

    The Samsung Sparkling Water Fridge: Sparkling water dispensers

    by Filippo

    Samsung fridges with built-in SodaStream sparkling water dispensers give consumers a carbonated option for drinks directly from the fridge door. So we bottled the water, and created DM package to mimic the fridge and shared with the media and key influencers.

    Advertising Agency: Cheil Canada & North Strategic, Toronto, Canada
    Creative Director: Jason Partridge
    Art Director: Joe Borges
    Copywriters: Jason Partridge, Scott Lew

    11 Jun 17:58

    119. JOHN GREEN: Make gifts for people

    by Zen Pencils

    119. JOHN GREEN: Make gifts for people

    John Green (1977-) is an American author and video-blogger extraordinaire. He has written best-selling young adult novels including Looking For Alaska, Paper Towns and the recent The Fault in our Stars, which was named Time magazine’s best fiction book of 2012.

    John and his brother, Hank, are the Vlogbrothers. They helped pioneer video blogging when they communicated only through YouTube videos for a year. They’ve since produced a wide variety of video series and have attracted a devoted army of fans known as the Nerdfighters.

    I discovered John Green when a reader sent me the link to the awesome Crash Course World History series, which Green hosts and co-writes. The series tells the entire history of civilisation in over forty, very entertaining 10-minute videos. I was totally addicted to it and I highly recommend it. There have since been a Literature series and Green is currently updating a series on American History. For you science buffs, John’s brother Hank has done a biology, chemistry and ecology series. All the videos can be seen on the Crash Course YouTube channel.

    This quote is taken from a 2009 Vlogbrothers video. Thanks to Kaley for submitting it :)

    RELATED COMICS: Advice for Beginners by Ira Glass. Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman.

    - Green’s official website.
    - DFTBA!

    UPDATE: You can pre-order this comic as a poster at DFTBA.COM!

    10 Jun 16:44

    Surveillance-oriented kids' book remixes

    by Cory Doctorow

    Twitter user Darth polled followers for satirical, surveillance-oriented kids' book parodies, and created illustrations for the best. They're collected by the Guardian.

    NSA surveillance as told through classic children's books


    07 Jun 14:31

    IBM: Smart Ideas for Smarter Cities

    by Gute Werbung

    IBM: Smart Ideas for Smarter Cities

    IBM is committed to creating solutions that help cities all over the world get smarter, in order to make life in those cities better. That’s why IBM and Ogilvy are working together to spark positive change with the “People for Smarter Cities” project, and unite city leaders and forward-thinking citizens. To spread the word, Ogilvy created outdoor advertising with a purpose: a bench, a shelter and a ramp that are not only designed to be beautiful, but to be useful to city dwellers as well.

    Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Paris, France
    Chief Creative Officer: Chris Garbutt
    Executive Creative Director: Susan Westre
    Copywriters: Lauren Elkins, Andrew Mellen
    Art Director: Daniel Diego Lincoln
    Creatives: Daniel Diego Lincoln, Stephane Santana
    Photographer: Bruno Bicalho Carvalhaes
    Agency Supervisors: Muriel Benitah, Mary McFarland

    05 Jun 17:31

    Happy Cows

    by Jonco

    Thanks Addalaide


    03 Jun 16:23

    The Pros & Cons Of Being Tall


    The Pros & Cons Of Being Tall

    Standing up too quickly can be a doozy.

    03 Jun 14:54

    Poetic software

    by John

    From David Jacobs:

    Code is like poetry; most of it shouldn’t have been written.

    28 May 20:23

    How a Mexican drug-lord dines out

    by Cory Doctorow

    When Joaquín Guzmán Loera, leader of Mexico's notorious Sinaloa Cartel, wants to dine out, he engages some rather extreme security measures:

    In 2005 on a Saturday evening, Guzmán reportedly strolled into a restaurant in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, with several of his bodyguards. After he took his seat, his henchmen locked the doors of the restaurant, collected the cell phones of approximately 30 diners and instructed them to not be alarmed.[26] The gangsters then ate their meal and left – paying for everyone else in the restaurant.[27]

    Culiacán appearance

    Later that year, Guzmán was reportedly seen in Culiacán, Sinaloa, repeating the same exploit at a restaurant.[28] According to a witness, in November 2005 Guzmán entered the restaurant in Culiacán with 15 of his bodyguards, all of them carrying AK-47s.[29] The restaurant was known as "Las Palmas", a lime-green eatery with an ersatz tile roof on a busy street.[30] A man in the restaurant told those present the following:

    "Gentlemen, please. Give me a moment of your time. A man is going to come in, the boss. We will ask you to remain in your seats; the doors will be closed and nobody is allowed to leave. You will also not be allowed to use your cellulars. Do not worry; if you do everything that is asked of you, nothing will happen. Continue eating and don't ask for your check. The boss will pay. Thank you."[29]

    Joaquín Guzmán Loera (via Reddit)


    28 May 17:01

    Moss Graffiti: A How To Guide

    rachel shared this story from Born Of An Atom Bomb.

    Moss Graffiti: A How To Guide

    28 May 16:59

    May 27, 2013

    Okay, and I got my brother to actually post on his twitter account now. Baby steps.
    28 May 15:27

    Learn About Ancient Beers with Penn Museum’s Dr. Patrick McGovern

    by Mikey Il

    Ancient Ales
    Courtesy of Dogfish HeadOn Monday, June 3rd, you can sit in and listen to the wisdom of Dr. Patrick McGovern—the Scientific Director of Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages and Health at the University of Pennsylvania Museum—yes, that means he’s a certifiable beer expert. And as one of the world’s leading experts in ancient beverages, he’ll be speaking about his research and aid in the creation of Dogfish Head’s Ancient Ale series.

    Dr. McGovern started working with Dogfish Head in 1999 to help uncover the tradition of ancient brewers. Like today’s homebrewers, those who came before us made the most of the ingredients they had on hand and their beers were as colorful and creative as their cultures. Beers that have come out of this collaboration are Midas Touch (based on molecular evidence found in a Turkish tomb believed to have belonged to King Midas), Chateau Jiahu, whose ingredient list was unearthed from a 9,000-year-old tomb in China (making it the oldest known fermented beverage in history), Theobroma, brewed from the results of chemical analysis of 3,000-year-old pottery fragments found in Honduras.

    The event will be happening at Christ Church Neighborhood House in Old City, thanks to the Philly Homebrew Club. Advance tickets are available for $15 on Ticketleap, $20 on the day of. The first one hundred signups will receive a commemorative Philly Homebrew pint glass.

    Beer sure to check out other beer-related events during Philly Beer Week.

    28 May 14:05

    #939; A Knight is Technically an Aristocrat

    by David Malki !

    'Of course, sir. I'll have some muggers brought round.'

    23 May 19:36

    Concept design for a bike-light that projects a grid on the ground, highlighting bumps/holes

    by Cory Doctorow

    A team from the University of Sichuan won the Red Dot Design award for a concept design called "Lumigrid" -- a bike-light that projects a grid on the ground ahead of the rider, making terrain irregularities easy to spot:

    Lumigrids can project a grid onto the ground. On a flat road surface, the grid will consist of standard squares. On a rough road surface, the grids will deform accordingly. By observing the motion and deformation of the grids, the rider can intuitively understand the landforms ahead. In addition, the luminous grids can make it easier for nearby pedestrians and vehicles to notice the bicycle, reducing the likelihood of collision.

    Lumigrids can be fixed onto the bicycle’s handlebars. Its power is supplied by either an internal battery or by the rotation of the bicycle’s wheels. It has only one button so that the rider can easily use it while riding. The first press will turn on the power, the second press will change the mode of projection, and holding the button down for two seconds will turn the power off. Lumigrids has three modes with different grid sizes that can be used to adapt to different situations: normal mode (140x180mm), high-speed mode (140x260mm), and team mode (300x200mm)."

    Lumigrids (via OhGizmo)


    22 May 19:05

    Bowling Ball

    Bowling Ball

    I've been told that if the Earth were shrunk down to the size of a bowling ball, it would be smoother than said bowling ball. My question is, what would a bowling ball look like if it were blown up to the size of the Earth?

    —Seth C.

    A good, professional-quality bowling ball is smoother than the Earth.

    Phil Plait, of Bad Astronomy, took a look at the claim that the Earth was smoother than a billiard ball. He concluded that the Earth was smoother but less round, based on published billiard ball roundness tolerances. However, he couldn’t find any information on the size and shape of a billiard ball’s pits and bumps.

    Fortunately for us, there are people who digitally scan bowling ball surfaces.

    These scans (along with various measurements of ball roughness[1]) tell us that a high-end bowling ball is quite smooth. If blown up to the scale of the Earth, the ridges and bumps[2] would be between 10 and 200 meters high, and the peaks would be between one and three kilometers apart:

    By Earth standards, this is quite smooth; our highest mountains are 40 times higher.

    What would this bowling ball world (we’ll call it “Lebowski”) be like?

    For starters, bowling balls are a lot less dense than rock, so Lebowski’s surface gravity would be a quarter the strength of Earth’s:

    It would also (at first) have no atmosphere.

    The finger holes would be about a thousand kilometers across and a few thousand kilometers deep.

    On Earth, holes this big would expose the molten interior. But Lebowski doesn’t have a molten interior.

    The Earth’s core is hot for two reasons: It’s still glowing from the heat of all the dust collapsing together when it formed, and it’s full of radioactive metals. Lebowski wouldn’t have either of these, so its core would start out cold.

    The holes would be far too big to hold themselves open against gravity; On that scale, the polymers in the bowling ball would behave more like a liquid. In the space of about half an hour, the holes would undergo a slow-motion collapse.

    As they collapsed, the material around the holes would heat to a glow. At the center of the hole, a white-hot jet of charred hydrocarbons would fountain outward into space.

    When it was over, Lebowski would be left with massive scars, each marking the location where an abyss collapsed to form a molten sea.

    And now, thanks to this question, whenever I look at the Moon, I’ll notice the Sea of Tranquility, the Sea of Serenity, and the Sea of Crisis, and I’ll think: Finger holes.

    But that’s just, like, my opinion, man.

    20 May 18:41

    This Chart Helps You Find the Right Career Based on Salary and Growth

    by Melanie Pinola

    If you haven't settled on a career yet, this interactive chart from Rasmussen College can help you find the best options. It organizes occupations into four quadrants based on salary, expected job growth, and number of opportunities available.



    17 May 20:22

    Highest-paid state employees: usually a school sports coach, sometimes a med school dean

    by Cory Doctorow

    Good to see America's educational priorities on such sound footing:

    You may have heard that the highest-paid state employee in each state is usually the football coach at the largest state school. This is actually a gross mischaracterization: Sometimes it is the basketball coach.

    Based on data drawn from media reports and state salary databases, the ranks of the highest-paid active public employees include 27 football coaches, 13 basketball coaches, one hockey coach, and 10 dorks who aren't even in charge of a team.

    ...Coaches don't generate revenue on their own; you could make the exact same case for the student-athletes who actually play the game and score the points and fracture their legs.

    It can be tough to attribute this revenue directly to the performance of the head coach. In 2011-2012, Mack Brown was paid $5 million to lead a mediocre 8-5 Texas team to the Holiday Bowl. The team still generated $103.8 million in revenue, the most in college football. You don't have to pay someone $5 million to make college football profitable in Texas.

    Infographic: Is Your State's Highest-Paid Employee A Coach? (Probably) [Reuben Fischer-Baum/Deadspin]

    (via JWZ)