However, finally the 'War on Terrorism' is achieving its policy objectives. Osama bin Laden is looking haggard. We may not have caught him or brought him to justice but, at the cost of thousands of innocent Afghan lives, billions of dollars of US citizens' money and the civil liberties of the Free World, we have got him looking haggard.Link Discuss (Thanks, Simon!) Read the rest
Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link (Small Beer Press, 2001)Link Discuss Read the rest
Kelly's first short story collection is wondrous, an 11-pack of fanciful gems. Link writes these understated, surreal gems that stick in your head for weeks and months after you've finished 'em. Summarizing a Link story is nearly impossible, as is figuring out how they work, so strange is their structure and style. That they are wonderful is indisputable, but it's one of those deals where you gotta read 'em to get 'em. Count yourself lucky to be alive and reading in the oughts, when Kelly Link's work is being published.
The reader might be asking him/herself how could all the world's characters be squeezed into 65,536 character points when it was mentioned above that a character set of about 65,000 characters is being developed at the University of Tokyo just for Japanese? The answer is that this was to be achieved through the "unification" of similar characters. No, all the 'A's in alphabetic scripts were not to be unified into one character point. What was to be unified were the thousands of Chinese characters that make up the scripts of East Asian languages. In fact, the Unicode Consortium has set up a Chinese/Japanese/Korean Joint Research Group (CJK-JRG) that is busily carrying out the Unicode Consortium's main goal, "Han Unification," even though the vast majority of the people living in the Han cultural sphere are probably not aware of what they are doing. To date, they have assigned approximately 20,000 Chinese characters to code points, and there are another 30,000 code points left to be filled. Although Unicode has been criticized as being little more than an exercise inLink Discuss (Thanks, Allen) Read the rest
88% of Canadians oppose human cloning while 4 per cent would want themselves to be cloned.Link Discuss Read the rest
78% of Canadians eat peanut butter for breakfast; 54 per cent have it on toast and 9 per cent say they consume it straight from the jar.
58% of Canadians prefer sleep over sex.
48% of the population say the best remedy for depression is to spend more time with friends and family; 17 per cent say it's best to go shopping and 14 per cent advocate drinking more alcohol.
40% of men would have sex with a total stranger, compared with 12 per cent of women (16 per cent of men and 3 per cent of women also say they would make love to their best friend's partner).
A thief at a store buys a single gift card, but while standing in line, looks at the account numbers printed on the next 10 cards. Since the store’s cards are only glued to a piece of cardboard, rather than encased in packaging, the account numbers are easy to see.Link Discuss (via /.) Read the rest
The thief then goes home, and using a credit card encoder, reprograms the magnetic stripe to one of the account numbers lifted while in line. He then calls the 800 number provided by the store and finds out how much value was placed on the “stolen” card by a consumer who has since purchased it. The moment he is sure the card has been charged, the thief goes back into the store and spends the victim’s funds. Even though the account being drained is different from the account printed on the card the thief is using, the store is never the wiser, because clerks rarely check to see if the numbers match.