Monday Links from the Bench vol. CXXII Monday Links from the Bench vol. CXXII
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    Default Monday Links from the Bench vol. CXXII

    Oops, late again: better post these before getting the chicken casserole on

    • How We Nearly Lost Discovery - "Now that Discovery is safely delivered to the Smithsonian, I think I can tell the story of how we nearly lost her in July of 2005, and how well-intentioned, highly motivated, hard-working, smart people can miss the most obvious." Wayne Hale, former Space Shuttle Flight Director, explains how all the analysis after the loss of Columbia still failed to uncover a crucial aspect of the failure, which almost caused the loss of Discovery on its return to flight mission.

    • Feminism's Zombie Stats: 63% of Young Women Would Rather Be Glamour Models - "Zombie stats are numerical factoids that just won’t quit, however dead they get. They lurch up from their graves in every subject, drawn to the juicy warm flesh of public consciousness by some unkillable primal instinct, spreading their intelligence-murdering contagion wherever they shamble. There’s a special pang in seeing their rotten heads pop up in a debate you know and care about, so this week, I am going to bust the mouldering brain pans of feminism’s favourite zombie stats." Next time you see this crap repeated in your daily paper, you'll be able to call it out for the bulltulip it is

    • The Invention of Jaywalking - How the power of the car companies led to an inversion of the public's perception of whether cars or people should take priority on our streets: "If you ask people today what a street is for, they will say cars... That’s practically the opposite of what they would have said 100 years ago."

    • - "Day and night aerial footage over London, UK." The opening shots look like something out of Bladerunner:

    • Avería: The Average Font - "I am not a type designer. This is the story of the creation of a new font, Avería: the average of all the fonts on my computer." Interesting experiment by Dan Sayers; the resulting font is pretty easy on the eye. (You need a reasonably modern browser that supports font embedding to see the article set in it.)

    • Vanishing Point: How to disappear in America without a trace - "There are many good reasons to want to disappear from society. There are many bad reasons to want to. There are many good ways to disappear from society and there are many bad ways to disappear... This essay covers what I consider to be the most salient points on how to disappear and remain successfully hidden in American society." I'm pretty sure much of this wouldn't work in the UK - we lack deserts and other wildernesses, for one thing - but there's some food for thought in there if you're contemplating dropping off the grid for good.

    • Mad King Ludwig - "It seems that King Ludwig II of Bavaria (or Mad King Ludwig as he's sometimes called) and his castles provoked some interest, so this blog is dedicated to him: a Queen amongst Kings. Also the 125th anniversary of finding him face down in shallow water in Lake Starnberg was last summer, so he deserves a blog on that basis too." Entertaining writeup of the life of this most peculiar monarch.

    • The Google attack: How I attacked myself using Google Spreadsheets and I ramped up a $1000 bandwidth bill - "It all started with an email... What? $720 in charges? My usual monthly charges for Amazon Web Services were around $100, so getting this email with a usage of $720 after just two weeks within the month was a big alert." Panos Ipeirotis explains how he tracked down the root of his very expensive problem: it turns out it's due to Google protecting his privacy by not caching stuff...

    • How Geniuses Think - "...intelligence is not enough. Marilyn vos Savant, whose IQ of 228 is the highest ever recorded, has not exactly contributed much to science or art. She is, instead, a question-and-answer columnist for Parade magazine. Run-of-the-mill physicists have IQs much higher than Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman, who many acknowledge to be the last great American genius (his IQ was a merely respectable 122)." Michael Michalko examines aspects of the ways geniuses think that seem to make them geniuses.

    • - Ah, the fun one can have with a newspaper, Tippex and a pen:

    Happy invoicing!

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    Disagree with that post on the invention of jaywalking. It carefully blurs cars on the pavement with pedestrians in the road.

    1 ton vehicle versus a pedestrian in the road its always going to turn out bad for the pedestrian.

    Now if the car mounts the kerb, its dangerous driving and should be prosecuted as such(except in exceptional extenuating circumstances e.g. pushed off the road by another vehicle.)

    I would like to see pedestrians treat roads with more respect and not step out in front of cars. Might be nice if they tried that on cycle lanes as well. I'd like to see a jaywalking charge for road safety reasons.

    Use the pavement or the crossings there is a reason why pedestrians are separated from those nasty bad cars.

    Flame away
    "If you didn't do anything that wasn't good for you it would be a very dull life. What are you gonna do? Everything that is pleasant in life is dangerous."

    I want to see the hand of history on his collar.

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