Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link (Small Beer Press, 2001)Link Discuss
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)
88% of Canadians oppose human cloning while 4 per cent would want themselves to be cloned.Link Discuss
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 /.)
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.
Hugh Mitchell, 12, will reportedly play Colin Creevey, Harry's biggest fan, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Bonnie Wright will reappear as Ginny Weasley, the site reported.Link Discuss
Shirley Henderson (Bridget Jones' Diary) will play Moaning Myrtle, the ghost who haunts the girls' bathroom. Alfred Burke will appear as Hogwarts' former headmaster, Armando Dippet, and Julian Glover will provide the voice of Aragog the giant spider, the site reported.
I wake up as my sister smells burning. Like a match burning, or some plastic. We look around and a flight attendant tells 29H to "put it out". 29H was a bit of a dodgy guy. Tall, with a hate and unshaven. The flight attendant panics into the aisle and cries out for people to restrain him. At this point I imagined an explosion around the guy. Scary. We later find out she had been bitten and is bleeding. General panic ensues, but some rather large guys (not the crew, they were old and weak) start twisting his arms, wrestling him, and hold him down. People throw water on him (everyone had smelt the burning). There were no restraints on board at all: we used belts, headphone wires, anything.Link Discuss (Thanks, Joey and Nat!)
Hodge found that TiVo-based DVRs were sold out at online retail sites Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, CircuitCity.com, Walmart.com, 800.com, Spiegel.com, Tweeter.com and Sonystyle. He also checked with 25 Best Buy, Circuit City and Good Guys retail stores and found that 19 were sold out of TiVo-based DVRs.Link Discuss
Yo, check this shit. Me and Silent Gimli here, we got a plan. We stole an outline of the Dark Lord's whole scheme, and found a weakness just like the fuckin' Death Star. If somebody takes the ring to Mordor, and throws it in that fiery pit-thing, fuckin' bickety-bam, Sauron's whole kingdom comes down.Link Discuss (via Fark)
Whenever things got ugly between my parents, Dad would split for a while. Mom always said "separated" on the telephone with her friends. Dad said "vacation." Once, he drove his orange Honda 350 to Baja to spearfish and lounge in his hammock. He sent a postcard claiming that trash in Mexico really was trash. Another time, he flew alone to Hawaii (knowing Mom had always been dreamy for it), bleached his hair white, and got a permanent, which he wore like a haystack with a red bandana around it. He was touring reefs on small rented catamarans while Mom was crawling under the house with that damn propane torch to thaw the pipes.Link Discuss (via MeFi)
"Some months ago when speculation was running high, I said that Kamen's It was more important than the Internet, but not as important as cold fusion, had cold fusion worked out. The It I was talking about, which I did not disclose, was NOT Segway. That's all I can say."Link Discuss (Thanks, ronks!)
Even more interesting is the way Google handles the "+" character. Google will find words of any length followed by any number of + characters. This means you can find "A+", "C++", even "plus++++". Words with + in the middle of them, such as "a+++b" will treat the last + as a space and find "a++ b". +'s at the beginning of a word are ignored, so "++x" is the same as a search for "x".Link Discuss (via Robot Wisdom)
The company said that it has currently established a mass-production process, which had been proposed, for the carbonaceous negative electrodes using waste coffee grounds. The achievement of using coffee grounds as material of negative electrode already have been disclosed in the company's environmental report. A lot of grounds from strained coffee beans are available, estimated to be 300,000 tons annually, where coffee-in-a-can is consumed in large quantities in Japan. However, there was no recycling method for those lees, so it is expected to be an efficient utilization to use in the lithium-ion secondary battery as a negative electrode.Link Discuss (via Interesting People)
All canister vacuums are "bag first" collection machines, though not all are "top fill", which performs better. Canisters perform better and last longer than all uprights, except a Sebo X-1, the worlds only "VACUUM WITH A BRAIN"(TM) by design, because they sit on the ground and do not have Gravity working against them,in fact it works for them. The American/Japanese/Chinese & Korean made canisters and uprights are a long way behind the German Miele canisters & Sebo X-1 upright, worlds only vacuum that "THINKS"(TM) Vacuums in Filtration Technology, Quality of Workmanship, Design, Engineering and Safety Features that protect your investment. The German made Miele canisters & Sebo X-1 uprights are also way ahead in Cost of Ownership and only a Miele canister & Sebo X-1 upright will pay for itself in 10 years or less, due to "cost of ownership / maintainance and amp draw"Link Discuss (via Memepool)
The specifications that govern the way routers co-ordinate to ensure the net keeps running are unfortunately susceptible to subversion by those who are determined enough.LInk Discuss (via /.)
Routers can be made to pose as particular net addresses and be used to launch barrages of data at other target sites.
"The sheer quantity of routing information, coupled with the lack of security both in routers and the routing protocol itself create an infrastructure that is increasingly unwieldy and vulnerable," said Craig Labovitz, lead researcher on the Arbor Network study.
Other parts of the internet, mainly sites used by the US military, are lost because they use old addresses that no router references anymore.
Scintillating screens: Organic-light-emitting diodesLink Discuss (via /.)
What is it? A replacement for LCD screen technology.
What's cool? OLEDs rely on organic materials that emit light, so they require no backlighting. That makes them cheaper to produce and less power-hungry than LCDs. They're a natural choice for portable devices when battery life is a key concern. OLED screens are also thinner than LCDs, and the technology can be printed on flexible materials such as plastic. Imagine a computer screen that rolls up and down like a window shade.
When's it coming? Two to three years for PDAs and cell phones; five to ten for laptops and desktop displays.
What's the catch? It's early. Color fidelity can be a problem. Building active-matrix OLED displays -- in which each pixel is controlled by two transistors, or twice as many as on a standard notebook LCD -- erodes some cost and power advantages.
Impact meter: 5