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Wingsuit Base Jumping

Posted on August 17th, 2011 at 20:46 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ


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  1. Arrrrgh! And these dudes are still breathing? :-) Totally awesome!

  2. Most of these guys are still breathing after 500+ Proximity jumps. Small percentage turned into liquid.

  3. That’s why they often have some smoke generator tied to their legs, as some videos show. It’s to point to the hole in the ground when something has gone wrong.

Tom Waits/Cookie Monster mashup – God’s Away On Business

Posted on August 17th, 2011 at 20:39 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Tom Waits sometimes sounds eerily like Cookie Monster. Not that I mind! I happen to love Waits and his carnival barker’s growl! Here’s Cookie Monster’s rendition of Waits’ "God’s Away On Business".


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Economics focus: Don’t look down

Posted on August 17th, 2011 at 17:09 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Economists have usually explained poor people’s counter-intuitive disdain for something that might make them better off by invoking income mobility. Joe the Plumber might not be making enough to be affected by proposed hikes in tax rates on those making more than $250,000 a year, they argue, but he hopes some day to be one of them. This theory explains some cross-country differences, but it would also predict increased support for redistribution as income inequality widens. Yet the opposite has happened in America, Britain and other rich countries where inequality has risen over the past 30 years.

Instead of opposing redistribution because people expect to make it to the top of the economic ladder, the authors of the new paper argue that people don’t like to be at the bottom. One paradoxical consequence of this “last-place aversion” is that some poor people may be vociferously opposed to the kinds of policies that would actually raise their own income a bit but that might also push those who are poorer than them into comparable or higher positions. The authors ran a series of experiments where students were randomly allotted sums of money, separated by $1, and informed about the “income distribution” that resulted. They were then given another $2, which they could give either to the person directly above or below them in the distribution.

In keeping with the notion of “last-place aversion”, the people who were a spot away from the bottom were the most likely to give the money to the person above them: rewarding the “rich” but ensuring that someone remained poorer than themselves. Those not at risk of becoming the poorest did not seem to mind falling a notch in the distribution of income nearly as much. This idea is backed up by survey data from America collected by Pew, a polling company: those who earned just a bit more than the minimum wage were the most resistant to increasing it.

Poverty may be miserable. But being able to feel a bit better-off than someone else makes it a bit more bearable.

The salient fact of American politics is that there are fifty to seventy million voters each of who will volunteer to live, with his family, in a cardboard box under an overpass, and cook sparrows on an old curtain rod, if someone would only guarantee that the black, gay, Hispanic, liberal, whatever, in the next box over doesn’t even have a curtain rod, or a sparrow to put on it.


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  1. Voter turnout for income quintiles from lowest to highest were in 2008: lowest 50% income, 36.4% – 52% – 59% – 67% – 63.1% for highest 20% income. [FEC via wikipedia]. In the U.S., the poor don’t vote nearly as much as others, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a good chunk of the low-income voters are retired people, which would leave the unemployed and low-income work force with even lower voting rates.

    Plus, there’s the fact that you may not get the chance to vote your religion and your economics at the same time.

    There may be something to this last-place aversion, but I’m not sure it’s necessary to explain election outcomes.

  2. John, I have to say that your comment is insightful, perfectly a propos and brilliantly expressed. Thank you.

  3. @ porpentine–really? I think this is one of John’s worst comments ever. So simplistic. I admit it is fun to blame everything on about 50-70 million white trash. This is not fair or accurate though.

  4. White?

  5. On the other hand, there was a study done on donations to Salvation Army Christmas collection boxes in shopping malls in the U.S. (sorry don’t have a reference) which basically found that poorer people gave much more than richer people. The authors hypothesized the reason: that people donated if they, or someone they knew, had or would likely benefit from the charity.

A picture’s worth a thousand words

Posted on August 17th, 2011 at 16:56 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

‘”People say ‘It’s all about the story,'”‘ Walt Disney Animation Studios chief technical officer Andy Hendrickson, said in a talk at the recent Siggraph conference. ‘”When you’re making tentpole films, bullshit.” Hendrickson showed a chart of the top 12 all-time domestic grossers, and noted every one is a spectacle film. Of his own studio’s “Alice in Wonderland,” which is on the list, he said: “The story isn’t very good, but visual spectacle brought people in droves. And Johnny Depp didn’t hurt.”‘

So Disney knows they’re making crap, and they don’t care.


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  1. Meh. Just because the story isn’t that great doesn’t mean that the movie isn’t, you know, *good*. People *want* to see the graphics. I quite enjoyed watching that movie, even if the story was crap (having a philosophy major girlfriend to watch it with you really helps convey the “story is crap” feeling, let me tell you).

    Besides, what does it mean for a story to be good?

  2. I’m sorry to tell you this, but Disney films have always been crap. With often stunning visuals, silly and sentimental plots, they have strong appeal for small children of all ages.

  3. What I dislike about Disney movies how they always repaint the original story in pink.
    My first memory of the Little Mermaid was a lot darker -i.e. little mermaid dying (dissolving) in the end – than the singing Disney one. Was quite surprised to see the Disney version ending with everyone living happily ever after.

Cartoons

Posted on August 17th, 2011 at 16:13 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon


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Student detained for anti-papal gas-attack plan

Posted on August 17th, 2011 at 13:51 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News

[Quote]:

A Mexican student was arrested in Madrid on Tuesday after posting his intention to attack anti-papal protestors with toxic gases, including sarin, on the internet.

A staunch Catholic, the man said that he could not allow protests against the pope.

If it does turn out that he’s a terrorist though, he certainly couldn’t be a Christian. Christians wouldn’t do that.


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  1. You forget that most of the people who talk about “true Christians” generally consider Catholics not to be Christian because they haven’t been “born again.”

  2. Using toxic gas on the internet? Nasty.

Corporate Media Admit They Censor Ron Paul

Posted on August 17th, 2011 at 13:16 by Paul Jay in category: News

[Quote]:

The big media simply delete Ron Paul from their polls, even though Paul scored very highly in the Ames Iowa straw poll – and virtually every poll taken recently.

Indeed, CNN noted in May that Paul had the best chance of any Republican of beating Obama.

“Not Electable” Is Code for “Challenges the Powers-That-Be”

The pundits claim they are only censoring candidates who are “not electable”. But just as “not politically feasible” is code for “the powers-that-be don’t want it”, “not electable” simply means that the candidate would champion the interests of the little guy, and challenge the powers-that-be: the large defense contractors, the giant banks, big pharma or the mega-energy producers.

As Kara Miller notes, the media won’t cover Ron Paul:

because he doesn’t fit the media narrative. He’s anti-war and pro-small government …. Heavily influenced by each other, media outlets have sidelined Paul and embraced Bachmann ….


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  1. Thing is, you would think that Ron Paul would do OK with the conservative right. He’s strong on the anti-tax stance, he was pro-small government before the Tea Party existed, he’s anti-abortion. The only catch is, I think, that he wants the government to stop regulating marriage.

  2. No matter what he thinks or says. He’s being DELETED from the results.
    Against War = No Big Media airtime. You see a connection?

Hipster Ipsum | Artisanal filler text for your site or project.

Posted on August 17th, 2011 at 11:53 by Desiato in category: Funny!

[Quote] (via Boingboing):

Do you need some text for your website or whatever? *sigh* Okay…

Mixtape blog high life terry richardson, fixie whatever letterpress echo park. Mixtape Austin vegan next level before they sold out, lo-fi organic cosby sweater cardigan. Farm-to-table butcher seitan food truck dreamcatcher, keytar lo-fi. You probably haven’t heard of them terry richardson squid tumblr, homo vinyl synth cardigan freegan vice fanny pack iphone 3 wolf moon. You probably haven’t heard of them gluten-free mixtape sartorial, craft beer pitchfork raw denim master cleanse. Single-origin coffee wayfarers leggings messenger bag, dreamcatcher irony jean shorts 3 wolf moon seitan Austin yr banksy mustache PBR. Terry richardson vice keytar freegan.


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  1. Cardigans are hip again?

Singapore Presidential Race Will Be Contested

Posted on August 17th, 2011 at 10:22 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Singapore’s presidential election later this month will be contested by four candidates, the elections department said Wednesday, setting the stage for the first competitive presidential race in 18 years, and the most competitive in the city-state’s history.

[..]

Candidates for the Aug. 27 vote are Tony Tan, ex-Government of Singapore Investment Corp. deputy chairman and former deputy prime minister; Tan Cheng Bock, chairman of marine transport firm Chuan Hup Holdings Ltd. and former lawmaker; Tan Kin Lian, ex-chief executive of insurer NTUC Income; and Tan Jee Say, an investment adviser and former senior civil servant.

Let me be the first to congratulate President Tan with his victory.


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How Big Is the Deficit, Anyway? « The Baseline Scenario

Posted on August 17th, 2011 at 10:00 by Desiato in category: News

[Quote]:

So if there’s one thing you should take away, it’s this: The ten-year deficit problem is [an extension of Bush-] tax cut problem. No tax cuts, no problem. This won’t solve the all the long-term problems, but it’s a good start.


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  1. Something this stupid can only have been done deliberately for unacknowledged reasons…

Google’s Motorola Mobility acquisition will make it more like Apple.

Posted on August 17th, 2011 at 7:04 by John Sinteur in category: Google

[Quote]:

Android isn’t free. In fact, it’s not even cheap. As Daring Fireball’s John Gruber points out, the $12.5 billion that Google is spending for Motorola amounts to almost two years’ worth of the search company’s profits. No company—not even Google—can throw around that kind of cash without envisioning a direct return on its investment.

[..]

To see why, it helps to understand how Google runs Android today. When you buy an Android phone, none of your money goes to the search company—remember, the phone manufacturer got the OS for free. Instead of taking a cut of the sale of phones, Google says, its main goal with Android is to keep a foothold for its websites in the emerging smartphone market. The theory is that every Android user will spend a lot of time using Google services and thus seeing Google ads.

It’s a circuitous path to revenue, something akin to an oil company offering carmakers free engines in order to stimulate demand for gas. Still, this strategy made sense as long as Google’s investment in Android remained small. The Motorola purchase changes that rationale; it’s as if Exxon Mobil bought General Motors. Now Google has to find a way to recoup at least $12.5 billion from Android (on top of whatever else it was investing to build the OS). That looks very difficult. Earlier this year, Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, estimated that Google makes just $6 in ad revenue per Android user per year. By 2012, that number could be $10 per Android user per year. Across all users, that would mean about $1 billion in annual revenue. Even if that figure grows over time, it will take a long time for Google to make back the money it spent on Motorola, let alone to turn a profit.


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  1. The reason they’re doing it is the same reason that Microsoft keeps slogging along trying to get Bing to succeed and why Msft hasn’t thrown in the towel with Windows Mobile: they believe that being shut out of the mobile market in the long term is unacceptable and would be harmful to the company overall 10 or 20 years down the line. It’s not about $12B now, it’s about the future viability of the company.

    I haven’t seen the structure of the deal, but Google may be diluting the cost by issuing stock for much of the purchase.

    I’m curious to see if someone sues Google over the GPL issues.

  2. [Quote]:

    "Now that I see the break-up fee and have thought some more about the overall situation, I’ve reached the point at which I simply don’t buy the ‘protection’ theory anymore," writes Mueller.

  3. Actually, the real story behind the Motorolla acquisition:

    Larry Page: “I need a phone, can someone buy me a Motorola?”
    Few hours later: “Done.”
    “Great, which model?”
    “Model…?”

Kleuter kraakt containers met OV-chipkaart

Posted on August 17th, 2011 at 6:57 by John Sinteur in category: Security

For you non-dutch out there: garbage disposal in some cities require a personal chip-card, which households need to buy yearly. This five year old found a chip card meant for public transport (which is cheap to get, but you need to “charge” it with money before you can travel with it) and on a lark tried it out. Guess what.

Great security there, guys!


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  1. Jokes about the public transit system being trash coming in 3… 2… 1…