It’s not actually a video game of an Ashes cricket match, but the player kind of seems to think it is. For one, I don’t believe batters are awarded free hits if they are served a no ball in test matches, as they are in Twenty20 games.
Still some of the quirks of the game, that may confound those unfamiliar to it, seem mildly bizarre in this context. Language here is most definitely NSFW, by the way.
A comprehensive guide to the latter day slang used by US soldiers. It may interest you to know, for instance, that helicopters are referred to as “birds”, not “choppers”, while you’ll never guess what “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” stands for…
Slang changes with the times, and the military is no different. Soldiers fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have developed an expansive new military vocabulary, taking elements from popular culture as well as the doublespeak of the military industrial complex.
Statistically, who is the greatest person in history? More to the point, can such a question even be answered? Steven Skiena, a professor of computer science, and Charles Ward, believe it is possible.
And what about religious leaders, scientists, philosophers, artists, and novelists? Can they be ranked as well – in terms of greatness or importance? Might we be able to play some kind of Moneyball with Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, James Joyce, Charles Dickens, and Thomas Hardy? Can cultural figures from diverse fields be ranked against each other? How might we compare Einstein, Plato, Descartes, Hume, Michelangelo, Suzanne Farrell, and Bob Dylan? True, it might be ridiculous, or even a bit crazy, to try. Skeptics might wonder about the point of such efforts: what kind of game is this?
The avian talon works through a “pulley system of tendons,” according to the animal morphology blog Ars Anatomica, and it can lock into place. “The bird’s foot closes and grasps automatically as the ankle and knee joints are bent,” we read. “This grasp cannot be released until the limb is straightened again.” So, instead of expending precious energy holding the muscles tight – as you would if you were hanging onto a branch with your fists/arms – the system simply physically locks in place.
An in browser simulation of the Apollo Guidance Computer. Could you fly this vehicle to the Moon? Careful now, it looks deceptively simple… it’s enough to make me think the craft will blow up if I press the wrong button.
This piece I read on Kottke last week had me wondering about the way we… measure someone’s achievements, success, or net worth, upon their death.
In October US comedian and author David Sedaris wrote about the suicide of his youngest sister, Tiffany, earlier this year. Judging from her will, Tiffany appeared to have become estranged, to some degree, from her family, but it was Sedaris’ reference to his late sister’s possessions, or lack thereof, that caught my eye:
Compared with most forty-nine-year-olds, or even most forty-nine-month-olds, Tiffany didn’t have much. She did leave a will, though. In it, she decreed that we, her family, could not have her body or attend her memorial service. “So put that in your pipe and smoke it,” our mother would have said. A few days after getting the news, my sister Amy drove to Somerville with a friend and collected two boxes of things from Tiffany’s room: family photographs, many of which had been ripped into pieces, comment cards from a neighborhood grocery store, notebooks, receipts.
In response, Michael Knoblach, a friend of Tiffany’s, chastised Sedaris in an article he wrote for the Wicked Local Somerville. Among other points, Knoblach wished to make clear that Tiffany’s estate amounted to more that just two boxes of belongings:
I found David Sedaris’ article, “Now we are five,” in the Oct. 28 New Yorker to be obviously self-serving, often grossly inaccurate, almost completely unresearched and, at times, outright callous. Some of her family had been more than decent, loving and kind to her. “Two lousy boxes” is not Tiffany’s legacy. After her sister left with that meager lot, her house was still full of treasures. More than two vanloads of possession were pulled from there and other locations by friends.
Tiffany may have been troubled, but it is clear her life had value far beyond her possessions, regardless of their quantity.
Since the year 2000, psychological research has tied gratitude to a host of benefits: the tendency to feel more hopeful and optimistic about one’s own future, better coping mechanisms for dealing with adversity and stress, less instances of depression and addiction, exercising more, and even sleeping better.