Which silly John Scalzi face should I model in the 3D scanner?

As previously mentioned, I have committed to recreating a funny face made by John Scalzi, then getting my head 3D scanned while pulling said face, and releasing the scan as a CC-BY download on Thingiverse. It's all part of this most worthy fundraiser to help with the treatment and expenses from Jay Lake's cancer.

Scalzi has produced an array of astounding googie faces, and now there is a poll to pick the one I am to recreate in 3D-scanned glory. Vote away! Read the rest

Polling the Occupation: What #occupywallstreet really wants

"There has been a lot said about the lack of vision, lack of specific demands, and a disparity of beliefs and goals among the Occupy Wall Street protesters in the media in the past several weeks," writes health care equity research analyst David Maris in a guest post on Forbes.com. Instead of adding to that random pool of pontification, though, Maris did something rather radical. To find out what protesters at Occupy Wall Street actually want, he went out and polled them.

The result: The protesters are a lot more unified, and reasonable, in their goals than they're being given credit for.

There are caveats here, of course. This was not a highly rigorous scientific poll (Maris doesn't say much about how he chose subjects), and it sampled only 50 people in New York City (about 5% of the estimated 1000 protesters who were out at the time and place Maris took the poll). It's also worth noting that, while Maris found lots of reasonable people with a pretty unified set of demands, his poll also documented the very real existence of the more off-the-wall characters that major media outlets have focused on, and he found as many tourists and journalists as protesters. So, while this poll gives us decent evidence that the crowds in New York aren't aimless and crazy, it doesn't necessarily tell us much else.

That said, here are the biggest things the protesters Maris surveyed agreed on:

80% of those polled said that the rich should pay higher taxes and that it’s fair that approximately the top 10% of tax payers pay more than 70% of the taxes in the US and about 40% of employed people pay no income tax.

Read the rest