Author Topic: Points to Ponder  (Read 209066 times)

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Offline Ian

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Points to Ponder
« on: March 26, 2011, 07:55:02 am »
Snippets of news that make you think...
Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.  ― Michel de Montaigne

Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes.

Offline Ian

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Re: Points to Ponder
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2011, 07:57:53 am »
From the puzzling page on New Scientist:


Very precise page numbers

Amazing precision comes from the websitetoolsdiy.co.uk which informed Ian Dibsdall, via a famous web search engine, that he was about to visit "Page 0.933333333333 of 44". The page in question is not small - it had roughly 58,000 words in between the pictures of tools - yet it informed us of our position in the document to the nearest 17-millionth of a word, approximately.

Feedback suspects this puzzled the website designers nearly as much as it did us, because when we went back to bit.ly/precise-page to look again, while proofreading this page, their page count display was nowhere to be seen.

History has ended

THE US National Library of Medicine's search service PubMed is, says Janis Smy, "beloved of medical writers like me" because it allows them to search the databases of most peer-reviewed journals by topic or name of researcher. Janis is amused, though, when she goes in via bit.ly/pubmedlink, to be confronted by a red bar at the top of the page containing the words "History has expired due to inactivity".

Breeding sausages in the garden

SAINSBURY'S supermarket, Peter Harrison tells us, sells "outdoor bred Cumberland chipolatas". Peter thinks these would be an ideal source of protein to keep and nurture in his garden. There would be no pen to build and no noisy or smelly disturbance of the neighbours.

He asks: "Does anyone know whether I should start with one or two - and if two, which two - and what to feed them on?"

Ingredients from here and there

THE label on Michael Lofting's bottle of soda water stated that it was made from "local and imported ingredients". Michael wondered whether it was the water or the carbon dioxide that was imported: "If the latter, does this constitute an emissions trading scheme?"

Online passes get physical


TRYING to get a lift pass for the ski resort of Courchevel in the French Alps, Jethro Jessop followed the links to buy one at courchevel.com. A nicely designed screen with images of snow-capped mountains bore the message: "Internet ski passes purchase is only available at our desks in the resort."

"I took this as proof that we all live in some kind of virtual construct inside a giant other-dimensional computer," Jethro says.

Perhaps in preparation for the "information technology for business" event taking place at the resort on 7 April, pass purchasing online has since been restored.

Beware the killer mice from space

JUST for a moment, James McCartney was very worried by the Science Daily headline "Monitoring killer mice from space". Then he realised with relief that the monitoring is from space, not the mice. It went on: "Green on satellite images warns of hantavirus outbreaks."

Missed Christmases

Graham Smith describes shopping in the run-up to Christmas with his partner for something to dress their 3-month-old in. In a Tesco supermarket they found a sleeping suit emblazoned with the words "My First Christmas". It was sized to fit babies from 18 to 24 months old.
Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.  ― Michel de Montaigne

Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes.


Offline Ian

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Re: Points to Ponder
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2011, 08:45:42 am »
US store offers free gun with satellite dish

From Associated Press


A US store is offering would-be satellite television customers a free gun.

The Ravalli Republic newspaper reports customers who sign up for some Dish Network packages at RadioShack in Hamilton, Montana will receive a coupon for a pistol or shotgun and the required background check.

Those not interested in a gun get a $50 Pizza Hut gift card.

Store owner Steve Strand said it took some haggling to get Dish Network to go along with the promotion, but it has tripled his business since last October.

The sign outside the business reads: "Protect yourself with Dish Network. Sign up now, get free gun."

RadioShack Corp released a statement that the independent dealer's offer does not follow the corporation's marketing practices and that it is in discussions with him.
Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.  ― Michel de Montaigne

Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes.

Offline Ian

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Re: Points to Ponder
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2011, 08:47:22 am »
A plane fuselage, a clarinet, helicopter parts and dozens of night vision goggles have been stolen from the Ministry of Defence in the past 10 months.

Peter Luff, a junior defence minister, revealed thieves had taken nearly £700,000 worth of cash and equipment since last May. The haul ranged from medals and ceremonial swords to a ship's anchor and Army-issue ration packs. Other loot included a bridge, a boat rudder, body armour, guns, marker lights and a flag.

Night vision goggles worth £49,000 were stolen, as well as two batches of night sights, worth £88,000. The most expensive item stolen was a helicopter rotor tuner, worth £50,000, taken last November.

The figures, which only cover items reported stolen in the UK, were uncovered by Labour's Luciana Berger, who tabled a written Parliamentary question asking for a breakdown of items worth £100 stolen from the MoD since the Coalition took office.

Ms Berger said: "I will be demanding assurances from ministers that these materials have not fallen into the hands of Britain's enemies. This is nothing short of a national disgrace."
Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.  ― Michel de Montaigne

Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes.

Offline DaveR

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Re: Points to Ponder
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2011, 08:51:28 am »
Ms Berger said: "I will be demanding assurances from ministers that these materials have not fallen into the hands of Britain's enemies. This is nothing short of a national disgrace."
Yes, that Clarinet could prove to be lethal in the wrong hands.

Offline Ian

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Re: Points to Ponder
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2011, 09:07:06 am »
 ;)

You have to wonder how some of that stuff is looked after, though; the night vision goggles and night sights are high risk items.  If the MOD can't guard them adequately, what does that say about the rest of their performance?
Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.  ― Michel de Montaigne

Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes.

Offline DaveR

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Re: Points to Ponder
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2011, 09:10:04 am »
It's always gone on though, hasn't it. During World War II, the British Army in Africa was severely hampered by the sheer amount of stuff going missing - corruption was endemic back then and is still about today in a lesser form. It's MOD personnel 'arranging' for things to go missing, rather than the local scallies pinching the odd set of night sight goggles.

Offline Ian

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Re: Points to Ponder
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2011, 10:10:05 am »
"Shrinkage' by staff is the biggest cause of stuff going missing in shops, certainly, and it seems to be no better with the MOD.
Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.  ― Michel de Montaigne

Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes.

Offline Ian

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Re: Points to Ponder
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2011, 09:00:54 am »
Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.  ― Michel de Montaigne

Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes.

Yorkie

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Re: Points to Ponder
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2011, 07:04:32 pm »
Have you noticed that whenever you bring a problem to your Local Councillors they issue lots of sympathy and gooing noises but then go away and do absolutely eff all?      Y^^Y   $hands$

Offline Fester

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Re: Points to Ponder
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2011, 09:18:23 pm »
Is the clock still ticking Yorkie?
Fester...
- Semper in Excretum, Sole Profundum Variat -

Yorkie

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Re: Points to Ponder
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2011, 09:39:06 pm »
A few days left!   I've resurected my Blog ready for action!    Just need some class articles now.    L0L

Offline Fester

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Re: Points to Ponder
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2011, 09:46:21 pm »
Oh dear... not another Blog .... will I ever get any sleep.
Fester...
- Semper in Excretum, Sole Profundum Variat -

Offline DaveR

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Re: Points to Ponder
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2011, 09:49:08 pm »
I've resurected my Blog ready for action! 
I was almost tempted to say which one....  L0L $elvis$ $drink1$

Yorkie

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Re: Points to Ponder
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2011, 09:53:12 pm »
Seek and ye shall find!   Not Oscar 2, I closed that one.  It got too popular and was somehow confused with another with a similar name.     $uk