Sunday 22 December 2013

At least they're warm blooded

Seen in Slate, the online magazine:

Correction, Dec. 10, 2013: This article originally misidentified penguins as mammals. They are birds.

(The article isn't bad, though.)

Friday 11 October 2013

The Velikovsky Rule

Immanuel Velikovsky wrote a 1950 best seller called "Worlds in Collision." In it he argued that legendary events such as the parting of the Red Sea were due to close encounters by the earth with other planets. These theories were, to put it mildly, highly contentious.

Velikovsky lived in Princeton NJ, which at the time was a small town where everyone knew everyone else, at least in passing. The head of the Princeton University astronomy department told me that one time he was talking to an anthropologist and Velikovsky's book came up.

"The astronomy is nonsense, of course," said the astronomer, "but the anthropology is really interesting."

"What a coincidence," replied the anthropologist. "The anthropology is nonsense, but we think the astronomy is really interesting."

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Nobody's perfect

From page 8 of Friday's Financial Times:
  • The chief executive of Cathay Pacific was misquoted as saying "overseas parrot" instead of "overseas parent" in an article on September 16. 

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Better have big pockets if you want your bank account to be secure

My bank is very concerned about the security of my online accounts, so it sent me these security doozits. They are all real, and each one gives me access to some of my accounts. (Well except the one at the upper right, which is just a key fob.) They would have sent me a fifth one, but for those accounts I had the option of using doozit-like software on my Android device.
A lot of security

Monday 29 April 2013

On corporate charity

A friend sees press reports that Target has promised to give away a billion dollars to support schools. If they can afford to do that, why not just lower their prices or raise their dividend instead?  Why don't competitors like Walmart, K-Mart, Safeway (to the extent that Target sells groceries), etc., undercut Target on prices by NOT spending money on charitable programs?

Saturday 30 March 2013

Spring is here

We are pleased to announce the pre-availability of Old No. 24 maple syrup, vintage 2013.
Unlike conventional products, this is not just single region, not just single varietal, not just single vineyard, but single tree hyper-premium syrup. Pricing has not yet been determined but frankly, if you have to ask, ...

Thursday 14 February 2013

There must be an opportunity here

I was buying airline tickets, and was wondering how expensive it would be to change them.
            ANY TIME
         CHARGE USD 250.00 FOR REISSUE.

Monday 11 February 2013

Calling Dick Tracy

This is my wrist, and that item on it is a GSM cell phone. It really works. It even has a camera and a bluetooth adapter so I can use an earpiece and not have to whisper into my shirt cuff.

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Frontiers in cuisine

Overheard while having dinner at a Cuban restaurant in Chokoloskee FL.

Chef stomps out, saying "Where's the guy who says he doesn't like my paella"?

Guy, mildly: "I never had paella made with spaghetti before."