Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'd Like to Cancel All My Orders!

Oops. Though ... maybe we should all smile on command. Nah, that's weird. What commands do we reasonably accept? "Watch out!" and the like for sure.

More Language Log – "Fucking shut the fuck up"

This is the most arcane &mdash and hilarious &mdash discussion of "the fuck" I have yet encountered.

It's *Not* Them Kids?!

A mild rebuke about bothering to check the facts.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Just Keep Waiting Dear

A bus stop, not on any bus route, for catching seniors.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

You've got a bad case of ... reading

This post is pretty dense, but it's amazing that our brains have so specific of an area in which they handle words.

Silent ringtones

The idea of a 'musical' road isn't new, but the comments to this post contained this gem I hadn't known:

Actually in Japan they sell ring tones for silent mode. These are designed so that if you put your phone on silent+vibrate and place it on a table or some other resonant surface then you can get the table to hum a tune.


I found a truly silent ringtone. Not a bad idea. But I can't find any reference to these supposed Japanse vibrating ringtones.

Inflation: US Civil War ($) = 67 Iraq Wars ($)

Ouch; a nice breakdown of the various measures of inflation with this:

The Civil War was one of the most devastating events in the history of the United States. It lasted from 1861 to 1865 and has been estimated to have direct cost about $6.7 billion valued in 1860 dollars. If this number were evaluated in dollars of today using the GDP deflator it would be $139 billion, less that one year of the cost of the current war in Iraq. This would be inappropriate, as would be using the wage or income indexes. The only measure that makes sense for an expenditure of this size is to use the share of GDP, as the four year cost of the war was more that the entire output of the country. Thus the relative value of $6.7 billion of 1860 would be $21 trillion today, or about 145% of our current GDP. The $6.7 billion does not take into account that the war disrupted the economy and had an impact of lower production into the future. Some economic historians have estimated this additional, or indirect cost, to be another $7.3 billion measured on 1860 dollars. This means the cost of the war (as a share of the output of the economy) was nearly $45 trillion as measured in current dollars.

According to costofwar.com, the total cost of the Iraq War to date (a few minutes before I posted this) was $667 billion. That's about 1/67 of the Civil War in 2009 inflation adjusted dollars. Fuck.