Die Niederländer beherrschen auch das Eisoval von Pyeongchang. Bislang haben die „Schaatser“ alle fünf Rennen gewonnen. Ein Besuch in der Medaillenfabrik von Heerenveen.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Chemist George Zaidan makes homemade toothpaste using the same ingredients in commercial toothpaste. It includes abrasives, humectants, sweeteners, flavors, foaming agents, thickeners and binders, sodium fluoride, and a few other things. He uses chalk, xylitol, peppermint oil, and glycerine.
Behold the incredible cuteness of this newborn pangolin (aka scaly anteater) at the Taipei Zoo. Video below. (more…)
Visitors to a number of UK libraries and museums—including institutions as large as the National Library of Scotland—were disappointed this week, met with empty display cases or blank pieces of paper where historical cultural artifacts should be. It's all part of the "Free Our History" protest organized by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), a response to copyright laws that make it difficult to display unpublished works legally.
"At the moment the duration of copyright in certain unpublished works is to the end of 2039, regardless of how old the work is," according to CILIP's change.org petition. "No other country in Europe has such restrictive provisions. European institutions are able to use such important historical material freely and lawfully, but in the UK we cannot." The copyright duration CILIP is referring to applies to unpublished works created before 1989 according to the BBC. CILIP's says an example might be a young girl's note to her soldier father during WWI.
The protest comes days after the UK's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) launched a new copyright licensing scheme aimed at fixing issues around "orphan works," or creative works where the rights holder can't be identified or traced. With that change, the government's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) can grant licenses so orphan works can be "reproduced on websites, in books, and on TV without breaking the law, while protecting the rights of owners so they can be remunerated if they come forward." (CILIP estimates up to 50 percent of archival records in the UK are "orphan works," and the BBC says 91 million such items exist in country.)
(via Happy Place)
Coffee firm Lavazza teamed up with Argotec to create the "ISSpresso" machine. "The final version of the coffee machine will be the first real Italian espresso machine on The International Space Station," reports AP, "and will coincide with a six-month mission by Italy’s first Italian female astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti." (Photo: Lavazza)
I had to "star" this article in my reader.
I was watching this video and was wondering: How many birds there would need to be for gravity to take over and force them into a gargantuan ball of birds?
The video shows starlings, birds which ...
- • gather in giant flocks of sometimes more than a million animals
- • can talk
- • sound like R2-D2, though not as much as bobolinks do
The gravitational force between adjacent starlings is small. If two birds were flying half a meter apart and tried to go perfectly straight, they would fly for over a thousand kilometers before the gravitational force between them finally steered them into colliding.
Side note: The following is the first sentence from a journal article on starling metabolism:
We trained two starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) to fly in a wind tunnel whilst wearing respirometry masks.
I really think the paper should have stopped there; no matter what their results were, they can't possibly improve on the achievement they opened with.
Anyway, back to gravity.
To calculate the gravitational force from a whole flock of starlings, we need to know the flock's density.
Conveniently, a 2008 paper in Animal Behavior gathered some detailed statistics on starling flocks. The highest density they saw was about half a starling per cubic meter.0.54 (•)>m-3 If the birds weigh about 85 grams each, that means the air in a starling flock weighs 25 times more than the starlings themselves.This makes a certain intuitive sense. If they were that much heavier than the air between them, it's hard to imagine how they'd be able to stay airborne by pushing off of it with their wings.
This means that the air's gravity is 25 times stronger than the starling cloud's gravity, and it's the air's gravity that will dominate the collapse.
The collapse of giant clouds of gas or birds is governed by the equation for the Jeans instability. It suggests that in order to undergo collapse, a cloud of uniform room-temperature air full of starlings would have to be much larger than the Earth to collapse.
The gas cloud's gravity would be very weak, so the starlings would probably have a hard time flying until they got used to it. (Birds can fly in zero g—or, at least, they flap around in confusion. But, to be fair, that's how I'd react if I were abruptly and without warning yanked from my bed and tossed into the air in a zero g airplane cabin.)
Such a cloud wouldn't form in the first place without some extra compression. To collapse naturally under its own gravity, the starling cloud would need to be so large that it would engulf the Solar System. When it did collapse, it would heat up, and the starlings ...
... would become a star.
$2 Undecillion Lawsuit
What if Au Bon Pain lost this lawsuit and had to pay the plaintiff $2 undecillion?
The bakery-cafe chain Au Bon Pain (with a few other organizations) is being sued. This is how much money the person suing them is demanding:
This is how much sellable stuff there is in the world:
This is the estimated economic value of all goods and services produced by humanity since we first evolved:
Even if Au Bon Pain conquers the planet and puts everyone to work for them from now until the stars die, they wouldn't make a dent in the bill.
Maybe people just aren't that valuable. The EPA currently values a human life at $8.7 million, although they go to great lengths to point out that technically this is not actually the value any specific person places on another person's individual life.Note that they don't say whether they assume that amount would be higher or lower. In any case, by their measure, the total value we place on all the world's humans is only about $60 quadrillion.The world's combined oil reserves are only worth a few hundred trillion, which suggests that purely from an accounting standpoint, the "no blood for oil" slogan makes a lot of sense.
But while people may be worthless,I'm rounding down. we're hardly all there is on the planet. Out of all the Earth's atoms, only 1 out of every 10 trillion is part of a human.
The Earth's crust contains a bunch of atoms, some of which are valuable. If you extracted all the elements, purified them,This is just one of many reasons that this idea wouldn't make sense in practice. The reason many elements (like U-235) are valuable is that it's hard to manufacture or purify them, not just because they're rare. and sold them, the market would crash.Both in the sense that the supply would cause a drop in prices, and the sense that the market is like 20 miles above the mantle and you just removed the crust supporting it. But if you somehow sold them at their current market price, they would be worth ...
Oddly, most of this value comes from potassium and calcium, and most of the rest comes from sodium and iron. If you're going to sell the Earth's crust for scrap, those are probably the ones you should sift out.
Sadly, even selling the crust for scrap doesn't get us close to the numbers we need.
We could include the core,It's down there. which is iron and nickel with a dash of precious metals, but it turns out it wouldn't help. The amount demanded from Au Bon Pain is just too large. In fact, an Earth made of solid gold wouldn't be enough. The Sun's weight in platinum wouldn't be, either.
By weight, the single most valuable thing that's been bought and sold on an open market is probably the Treskilling Yellow postage stamp. There's only one known copy of it, and in 2010 it sold for \$2,300,000. That works out to about \$30 billion per kilogram of stamps. If the Earth's weight were entirely postage stamps, it would still not be enough to pay off Au Bon Pain's potential debt.Also, the stamps would probably be less valuable now that there is literally an entire planet of them, but that's the least of Au Bon Pain's problems.
If Au Bon Pain & co decided to be intentionally difficult, and pay their debt entirely in pennies, they would form a sphere that would squeeze inside the orbit of Mercury.The fate of this sphere of pennies is left as an exercise for the reader. The fate of Mercury is that it would fall into the pennies and disintegrate. The bottom line is that paying this settlement would be, in almost any sense of the word, impossible.
Fortunately, Au Bon Pain has a better option.
Kevin, who asked this question, is a lawyer and author of the legal humor blog that reported on the Au Bon Pain case.And which we encountered in Question #90. He told me that the world's most highly-paid lawyer—on an hourly basis—is probably former Solicitor General Ted Olson, who recently disclosed in bankruptcy filings that he charges $1,800 per hour.
Suppose there are 40 billion habitable planets in our galaxy, and every one of them hosts an Earth-sized population of 7 billion Ted Olsons.
If Au Bon Pain hired every Ted Olson in the galaxy to defend them in this case, and had them all work 80-hour weeks, 52 weeks a year, for a thousand generationsThis scenario assumes that the former Solicitor General reproduces asexually....
... it would still cost them less than if they lost.
Dear Abby, 7 May 2014:
DEAR ABBY: I’m the happily married mother of two teenage boys. The other day I overheard my older son (age 17) talking with a friend about “twerking.” I have never heard of it and now I’m worried. Is twerking a drug term? Is it similar to “tripping,” “getting high” or “catfishing”? My 17-year-old is supposed to go to Princeton next year on a sports scholarship, and I’m afraid “twerking” will derail him from his charted path. Thank you for any advice you may have. — TROUBLED MOM IN CONNECTICUT
Dear Troubled Mom in Connecticut,
Twerking, which is a combination of tripping, getting high and catfishing wherein people—usually 17-year-old boys from Connecticut preparing to attend any Ivy League university, but specifically Princeton—take LSD, smoke the marijuana and lie to people about their identities on the internet.
To be blunt: your son is at risk. Luckily, he’s got a mother who cares enough about him to write to an advice columnist asking them to define some words she could have Googled. He’s #BLESSED! If you don’t know what that means, write me back.
Love Letters, Boston.com, 16 April 2014:
Hi Meredith, I’m a consultant who travels for work and I live in Boston. In September I met a guy while working as a contractor at his company in Texas. At first it was completely professional, but as we worked together it became obvious that we shared some common interests. He’s very shy and seems a bit unsure of himself and is also two years out of a divorce from a long marriage. I’m very shy as well, so there were about two months of smiles and giggles or stares across a conference room table. I started breaking the work-only barrier with a text. He responded and our non-work relationship started growing to the point that we exchanged fun texts and e-mails and became more relaxed with in person conversation. At the beginning of 2014 I got frustrated with the slow progress and with the knowledge that my contract was coming to an end. I encouraged him to plan a fun activity for us after work — he planned drinks out with some coworkers, a couple of his friends and me. It was a fun night and he paid for my drinks. The night ended with a hug from him. We had drinks again the next night with some coworkers and some of his friends. He seemed to be getting more comfortable with opening up to me by sharing more info about himself in the days/weeks that followed. We also made plans to take a day trip to an air show (we have a shared interest in aviation).Things seemed to be progressing as we got more comfortable with each other. The week before the air show some things changed at work and it appeared I’d be leaving his company sooner than thought. He started to pull back and be more distant with me. He also suggested we cancel the air show day because the planes that would be there weren’t worth the drive. So we cancelled and I was a bit hurt by that, which he knew. We had drinks the Thursday before and he begged me to do something else with him that same day that we had the air show trip plan. I was too smitten to decline and agreed. That day, after I contacted him to confirm plans, he cancelled saying he wasn’t feeling up to it. I was of course quite hurt and upset and kept it professional at work but made sure he knew, and he made an effort to get me to talk to him again and win himself back into my good graces. We had drinks a few times after that, usually at my suggestion. And we’ve continued to share texts and emails back and forth. I’ve since finished up my work with his company. On my last day he was visibly sad I was leaving but didn’t say anything. We left sharing a hug and agreed to stay in touch, but have really only shared a few texts over the last month, all of which have been initiated by me (but he always responds — usually immediately). We also never discussed the flirting/connection between us. Since I left, I’ve thought about him every morning and every night before I go to sleep. I’m completely head over heels for him (very unusual for me) and I feel like I at least want to have that conversation. But the little voice in the back of my head says if he wanted something he would find the courage to get over his shyness/caution and stay in touch with me. A male friend agrees and has advised that I should just move on, and a female friend feels like he is just trying to forget what we shared and has encouraged me to keep pushing to stay in touch. I’m exhausted trying to encourage him through his shyness/post-divorce caution, but I want a firm answer and maybe something more than just friendship from him. Or I’d at least like to know that he wants more too and so that we can have that discussion to determine if it’s a possibility. Is his lack of initiation in communication with me my answer and I need to just move on? Or should I follow my heart and continue pushing? And how do I go about asking for that conversation at this distance? – Love Sick Consultant, Boston
Dear Love Sick Consultant,
The Bad Advisor opened her computer and turned it on, then waited while it connected to her wifi. Then she opened Google Chrome and checked her email and played some Doge 2048. By this time, she was thinking about reading some advice columns, so she opened her bookmarks tab and began reading advice columns. Eventually she got to your letter, but not before she grabbed a cup of coffee and emptied the cat box, because the cat box was dirty. She then began to read your letter.
As she was reading your letter, the Bad Advisor’s eyes looked at the screen which had letters on it, and together the letters made words which also went together in order to make sentences. These were sentences that you, letter writer, had written. They told the story of you and your star-cros’d beau, whom you once encouraged to plan a “fun activity” for you and who did indeed plan a fun activity for you. That activity was going to a bar with your coworkers. It was fun, and your beau paid for your drinks and gave you a hug.
The Bad Advisor stopped reading your letter for a second because she needed to refill her coffee and also stand in front of the refrigerator, which had some cheese in it. Should the Bad Advisor eat cheese? Or should she wait and eat cheese later? The Bad Advisor ultimately ate no cheese. Should she have eaten the cheese? The cheese was definitely in the refrigerator and definitely could have been eaten, but it wasn’t eaten by the Bad Advisor. Looking back, it is hard to say whether the cheese should have been eaten or not.
Then, with more coffee in her mug because she had refilled her coffee mug, the Bad Advisor continued to read your letter. Then things got really interesting, because things progressed when you spent more time together. You spent time together by hanging out together and getting drinks. Your coworkers also were there. Sometimes though your coworkers were not there, but neither was he, like that time that you made plans on a Saturday. The plans were going to be going to a plane show together, but you did not end up doing those plans. You did not end up doing those plans because your beau thought some of the planes were boring but he also pulled back and became distant from you because your contract was about to be up at work. The contract, which was about to be up, was about to be up sooner than you thought it would originally though. That made the Bad Advisor feel sad for you, because you were also sad when your contract was going to be up before you thought it was originally going to be up, and you hadn’t yet had a chance to go see the airplanes with your beau, who wanted to do something besides go see the airplanes except when he invited you to do something that wasn’t going to see the airplanes he didn’t go do the thing that wasn’t seeing the airplanes with you.
However, the Bad Advisor continued to read your letter and was pleased to find that even though you didn’t get to go see the airplanes with your beau and you also didn’t get to go do the thing that wasn’t seeing airplanes with your beau, you did get some drinks with him. You also exchanged text messages and you exchanged emails also. But then your contract was up—sooner than you thought? this is unclear—and he was sad but he hugged you.
Then, the Bad Advisor read the last part of your letter where you talk about how you exchange text messages to which he responds and you think about him in the morning times and in the night times, because flirting/connection. The Bad Advisor then learned that you had asked your friends for advice, one of whom is a male friend and the other of whom is a female friend. They did not give you the same advice. In fact, the advice your friends gave you was different. One of your friends, the male friend, thought that if your beau did not say something about your flirting/connection in the seven months he had a chance to do it in front of your face while you lived in his state, which is Texas, he probably did not want to do it. Your other friend, though, who is a female friend, thinks that your beau wants to forget you forever and so you should push him to stay in touch with you because he wants to forget you.
The Bad Advisor was nearly finished reading your letter at this point, because it was getting to be near the end of the letter that you had written about the man you worked with in Texas but you live in Boston with whom you had a flirting/connection. This is the part of the letter where you asked for the advice that you wanted about whether you should continue pushing for a relationship with a man who had months and months to ask you out on the date that you never told him you wanted to go on with him but who never asked you out on the date that you never told him you wanted to go on with him and with whom you never vocalized any romantic interest but in whom you had a lot of romantic interest but no matter how many fun emails you sent him and no matter how many fun activities you suggested he plan he never understood the romantic interest you never expressed to him, despite flirting/connection. Now you would like to know if you should ask for a conversation about talking about your flirting/connection even though he is a shy divorced person who never stopped being shy even though you wanted him to stop being shy a lot. He is shy, though. Maybe he needs many more months of being encouraged to plan fun activities before he can be not shy with you.
The Bad Advisor finished your letter and thought about it for a while. By this time, she considered the fact that your beau is shy but she also considered the fact that you want him to be not shy, and she also thought about the fact that being shy is probably the reason your beau had months upon months of time in which to express the vaguest sense of romantic interest but in which time he didn’t do that, so he probably loves you with the burning fire of two or three suns, maybe five or six suns, depending on how hot the suns are, but he is shy so he didn’t say anything about it.
In response to the question you asked in your advice column letter, in which you seek advice about whether to follow your heart and continue pushing, the Bad Advisor had some thoughts. She concluded that you should follow your heart, and also that you should continue pushing.
Makeup artist Psycho Sandra created an amazing, gross-out effect for her Hallowe'en costume last year: she created the illusion that she had made a domino mask of her own flayed skin. She's got a whole gallery of bloody makeup effects on her site, including a crazy zombie to die (and come back) for.
Sure, the inter-process isolation provided by a monolithic kernel such as Windows or Linux could never be compared to the inter-VM isolation offered even by the most lousy hypervisors. This is simply because the sizes of the interfaces exposed to untrusted entities (processes in case of a monolithic kernel; VMs in case of a hypervisor) are just incomparable. Just think about all those Windows system calls and GDI calls which any process can call and which contains probably thousands of bugs still waiting to be discovered by some kid with IDA. And think about those tens of thousands of drivers, which also expose (often unsecured) IOCTLs, as well as parsing the incoming packets, USB devices infos, filesystem metadata, etc. And then think about various additional services exposed by system processes, which are not part of the kernel, but which are still trusted and privileged. And now think about the typical interface that needs to be exposed to a typical VM: it's “just” the virtualized CPU, some emulated devices (some old-fashined Pentium-era chipset, SVGA graphics adapter, etc) and virtualized memory.
Anyway, knowing all this, I still believed that Qubes WNI would make a whole lot of sense. This is because Qubes WNI would still offer a significant boost over the “Just Windows” default security, which is (still) essentially equivalent to the MS-DOS security model. And this is a real pity, because Windows OS has long implemented very sophisticated security mechanisms, such as complex ACLs applicable to nearly any object, as well as recent mechanisms such as UIPI/UAC, etc. So, why not use all those sophisticated security to bring some real-world security to Windows desktops!
And, best of all, once people start using Qubes WNI, and they liked it, they could then pretty seamlessly upgrade to Xen-based Qubes OS, or perhaps Hyper-V-based Qubes OS (when we implement it) and their system would look and behave very similarly. Albeit with orders of magnitude stronger security. Finally, if we could get our Odyssey Framework to be flexible enough to support both Qubes WNI, as well as Xen-based Qubes OS, we should then be able to support any hypervisor or other isolation mechanism in the future.
And so we decided to build the Qubes WNI. Lots of work we invested in building Qubes WNI was actually WNI-independent, because it e.g. covered adjusting the core Odyssey framework to be more flexible (after all “WNI” is quite a non-standard hypervisor) as well as some components that were Windows-specific, but not WNI-specific (e.g. could very well be used on Hyper-V based Qubes OS in the future). But we also invested lots of time into evaluating all those Windows security mechanisms in order to achieve our specific goals (e.g. proper GUI isolation, networking isolation, kernel object spaces isolation, etc)...
Sadly this all has turned out to be a story without a happy end, as we have finally came to the conclusion that consumer Windows OS, with all those one-would-think sophisticated security mechanisms, is just not usable for any real-world domain isolation.
And today we publish a technical paper about our findings on Windows security model and mechanisms and why we concluded they are inadequate in practice. The paper has been written by Rafał Wojdyła who joined ITL a few months ago with the main task of implementing Qubes WNI. I think most people will be able to learn a thing or two about Windows security model by reading this paper.
Also, we still do have this little hope that somebody will read the paper and then write to us: “Oh, you're guys so dumb, you could just use this and that mechanism, to solve all your problems with WNI!” :)
The paper can be downloaded from here.
Even in Byron Bay they are concerned about what happens with Stuttgart 21
The doomsday machine is working! The ice caps are melting, the climate is becoming really bad, and all puppies are dying! AND?!
Yes, that shocks me a little, but my hiccup is still there. But... hic... thank you.
This pair of striking images of teeth colonized by ambitious antiquarian architecture are part of a campaign for Maxam toothpaste from JWT Shanghai; the slogan is "Don't let germs settle down."
That's where the magic happened, eh?
Our recent trip to NASA's Mission Control Center to find out how NASA steers the ISS around space junk yielded more than an awesome interview—it also gave me the opportunity to snap some excellent pictures of the rest of the goings-on in the flight control room. We weren't allowed down on the floor to take close-up pictures, but rest assured, that's definitely on my list. However, until I get that organized and cleared, here are some images of the flight controllers who keep manned space flight running!
I was born in March 1977. That makes this map very interesting to me.
These grave markers -- pressed up against either side of an imposing wall, with a pair of clasped hands reaching over the wall's top -- date to a time in Dutch history when Catholic and Protestant graves were strictly segregated. A Catholic and a Protestant married couple, separated in death, arranged for this unique workaround in order to rejoin one another:
In 1842, a colonel in the Dutch cavalry, JWC van Gorkum, married a woman known as JCPH van Aefferden. The union was controversial — van Gorkum was Protestant and van Aefferden was Catholic. Despite the prevailing culture at the time, the two remained married for decades, only separating when van Gorkum died in 1880. He was buried in a cemetery near the Dutch town of Roermond called Begraafplaats Nabij de Kapel in ‘t Zand (“the cemetery near the chapel in ‘t Zand”). Pillarisation was taken very seriously — each community had its own schools, media, and graveyards — and Begraafplaats was no different. It took this segregation literally, with each religion having its own section. Van Gorkum was buried in the Protestant section, as would any other Protestant during that era.
But when van Aefferden passed away eight years later, she couldn’t be buried with her late husband; even in death, Catholics needed to stay with their own. While alive, she made her wishes clear — she did not want to be buried in her family tomb, and, instead, wished to be as close to her husband as possible. The solution, seen above, is her grave site. (Here’s a bigger version of her tombstone, and here’s his.) The two tombstones, separated by a wall and by religions, feature a pair of hands connecting over the brick divider.
Until Death Do Us Reunite [Now I Know]
(via Super Punch)
Too funny! But not something I want to wear :)