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Cassiopeia A supernova by Hubble

Posted on August 30th, 2006 at 17:08 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture



Cassiopeia-A is the “youngest known remnant from a supernova explosion in the Milky Way.” It’s in the Cassiopeia constellation.

300 years ago, it was a massive star, sitting around 10,000 light years from us; then, one day, it just exploded. Nobody knows why; supernovae are pretty mysterious. Perhaps it found an empty ice cube tray in the freezer.

Cassie A. would have been much larger and more dense than our own sun, and the resulting explosion would have been so unimaginably massive as to be beyond our comprehension. All we see now is the result: a huge, expanding cloud of interstellar dust. If you’re interstellarly allergic, you might want to avoid that section of the galaxy.

They actually don’t know why nobody noticed the explosion 300 years ago. People were looking, by then, and writing down what they saw.

And 25 years ago, telescopy was less advanced and someone theorized that the center might contain a black hole. Now they say it doesn’t. I dunno what it would look like here… shrug, big black hole I guess.

Wikipedia entry

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  1. Does that mean it actually exploded 3,000,000 years ago?
    A strange thing to imagine…

  2. No, it exploded 10,300 years ago. The light takes 10,000 years to reach, so the explosion was visible for us 300 years ago.

  3. I must be tired, or it’s just too strange a thing for me to imagine.

Doubt cast over brain ‘God spot’

Posted on August 30th, 2006 at 15:39 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News


There is no single “God spot” in the brain, Canadian scientists say.

A University of Montreal team found Christian mystical experiences are mediated by several brain regions.

Researchers asked 15 nuns to recount mystical experiences while studying them on MRI scanners, the journal, Neuroscience Letters reported.

There has been much debate about how the brain reacts during connections with God among religious followers.

Some people went as far as suggesting there was a specific brain region designed for communication with God.

But the researchers claim this study discredits those theories.

Cue the g-spot jokes….

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What’s wrong with this picture?

Posted on August 30th, 2006 at 15:15 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture


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  1. Well, I see no picture. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with it?

  2. The security tag on the back of the woman’s dress?

  3. yep 🙂

Museum of Flight

Posted on August 30th, 2006 at 14:57 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself


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Airline loses athlete’s leg

Posted on August 30th, 2006 at 14:26 by John Sinteur in category: Security


New Zealand disabled athlete Kate Horan has been tripped up by new airline security measures that led to the loss of her running leg just a week before the world championships, a report said today.

Horan, the 400m world record holder for her class until recently, used to take the $NZ10,000 ($8,425) leg on planes as carry-on luggage.

But new security restrictions by airlines meant the leg had to be checked into the hold, and it did not reappear after Horan recently took a British Airways flight from London to Amsterdam, the Dominion Post newspaper reported.

Horan said she had been told by the airline that the leg was somewhere in a London warehouse with thousands of other pieces of luggage misplaced after the foiled trans-Atlantic bomb plot.

“They said there’s 20,000 bags sitting in Heathrow and mine is just one of them,” the Dominion Post quoted Horan as saying.

“I was told they don’t know where it is.”

The manufacturer of the specialised legs will attempt to make Horan another one in time for the International Paralympic Committee world championships in Assen, the Netherlands, which start on Sunday.

Do you feel safer already?

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  1. Yep..
    It’s good to know that no disabled athlete will smash my head in with his fake leg. :/

    They should concentrate on putting enough air traffic controllers up the towers, so planes don’t crash after take off.

    That would make me feel safer..

Junk-mail tip postman faces sack

Posted on August 30th, 2006 at 14:18 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself


A postman who advised people how to stop junk mail being delivered to their home could lose his job after bosses suspended him for misconduct.

Roger Annies composed and circulated a leaflet about the Royal Mail’s opt-out clause for unsolicited mail during his rounds in Barry, south Wales.

Residents are said to be annoyed at their postman’s suspension.

A Royal Mail spokeswoman confirmed that a postman employed in Barry was being investigated for “alleged misconduct”.

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  1. I’ve got more on this, including Royal Mail closing down the ability to opt-out by telephone and e-mail now that people have found out about them. The only way to opt out now is to print out, sign and send them a paper form like this one I made earlier.

Need some foreign aid from the US? Make sure to get your country on the UN Security Council

Posted on August 30th, 2006 at 12:18 by John Sinteur in category: News


Seven years ago a Harvard undergrad named Ilyana Kuziemko emailed me asking if I had any summer research positions available. At the time, nobody ever sent me this kind of email, so I hired her and she spent the summer in Chicago doing research with me. It was clear then that she had a very special talent for economics.

Consequently, it comes as no suprise that now, as a Ph.D. student at Harvard, she is producing cutting-edge economic research. With co-author Eric Werker, she has written a paper entitled “How Much is a Seat on the Security Council Worth? Foreign Aid and Bribery at the United Nations.? In this paper, they find that when a country takes over one of the rotating seats on the UN Security Council, U.S. foreign aid jumps by almost 60%. When the country leaves the Security Council, the aid falls back to the old levels. The impact on aid is even larger when there are important international events (like invasions of Iraq) that put the Security Council in the spotlight.

Here is a working copy of the paper.

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Virtual Apple 2 – Online disk archive

Posted on August 30th, 2006 at 12:03 by John Sinteur in category: Apple


Thanks to FTA, Kegs, and the online Apple community, you can now relive, play, and enjoy old Apple 2 games and other disks through the internet and web browser. This web site uses an ActiveX application and Apple IIgs emulator to automatically download and play most Apple 2 disk images online. To play a game, just select the disk from the menu and click on Yes to automatically download the ActiveX emulator and disk images.

I see so many games I used to play it would almost be worth getting IE on a windows PC.


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Stentorian Praying Results in Eviction Notice

Posted on August 30th, 2006 at 11:56 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, Pastafarian News


A Berlin family living in an apartment has been threatened with eviction after neighbors complained about extremely loud late-night prayer sessions. The family says the volume in necessary to stave off the devil.

The residents at Franz Stenzer Strasse 71 in eastern Berlin say they need their sleep, Lucifer or no Lucifer. Their nocturnal rest has been disturbed by the regular high-decibel praying coming from the apartment on the second floor. There, a family’s religious beliefs mandate that they raise the voices to keep the Evil One at bay.

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Posted on August 30th, 2006 at 11:12 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon






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The McLaughlin Group : Transcript

Posted on August 30th, 2006 at 10:50 by John Sinteur in category: News


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Last week John Karr confessed to the murder, but his confession has been called into question.

Question: Is the media hyping this story because of its lurid qualities? Jay Carney.

MR. CARNEY: As opposed to? Of course it’s hyping it because of its lurid qualities.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You’re crowding out stories on the environment.

MR. CARNEY: We actually are not at Time. We haven’t touched it.

Really? TIME’s website currently has FIVE articles (here, here, here, here, and here) all offering extensive coverage of John Mark Karr.

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  1. Well, it is the Time. I actually hate them these days for being the spineless scum they are.
    So, it just figures they lie.

US data show one in eight Americans in poverty

Posted on August 30th, 2006 at 10:44 by John Sinteur in category: News


In the world’s biggest economy one in eight Americans and almost one in four blacks lived in poverty last year, the US Census Bureau said on Tuesday, releasing a figure virtually unchanged from 2004.

The survey also showed 15.9 per cent of the population, or 46.6 million, had no health insurance, up from 15.6 per cent in 2004 and the fifth increase in a row.

It was the first year since President George W Bush took office in 2001 that the poverty rate did not increase. As in past years, the figures showed poverty especially concentrated among blacks and Hispanics.

In all, some 37 million Americans lived below the poverty line, defined as having an annual income below around $10,000 for an individual or $20,000 for a family of four.

The last decline in poverty was in 2000, the final year of Bill Clinton’s presidency, when it fell to 11.3 per cent.

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Revamped AOL unveils Web-based music store

Posted on August 30th, 2006 at 8:17 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


AOL on Tuesday unveiled a revamped music product with a Web-based store and subscription service offering audio and video streaming, programmed radio and downloads that can be transferred to compatible digital media players.

The online division of Time Warner Inc. said AOL Music Now, part of its AOL Music service, is open to any online visitor and features more than 2.5 million songs and videos.


AOL said digital media on the service can play directly from a Web browser without the need to download a standalone software application, as with Apple Computer Inc.’s popular iTunes service. It is also compatible with Microsoft Corp.’s PlayforSure compatible portable devices.

That last paragraph translates as “If you’re using Windows, you have an MS DRM-compliant player (Windows Media Player) installed. You therefore don’t need iTunes. It gives you DRM-cripped windows media files, and it requires that you run IE, with ActiveX and Javascript turned on.”

I tried to click on the “Try it Free for 30 days” and in all browsers I tried, I just got a totally empty page – no html at all, but sources tell me it’s one of those “enter your billing information first” semi-free deals. I was, however, able to load the page with the terms of service. It’s about 5000 words, and starts with “We may modify these Terms of Service at any time.”

Something tells me I’m not likely to be in their target group.

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Security Engineering – A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems

Posted on August 30th, 2006 at 7:28 by John Sinteur in category: Security


After several years of argument, I’ve persuaded my publisher to let me put my book “Security Engineering” online for free download:


My book draws on a lot of the experience shared in this list, and has become a standard textbook in the field.

The publishers thought for years that it was too risky to let authors put books online but they are gradually learning that this isn’t so. Putting a book online often increases its sales; more people read it and those who find it useful often go buy a copy.

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ATM mistake lead to $700,000,000 credited to bank account

Posted on August 30th, 2006 at 7:04 by John Sinteur in category: News, Security, Software


This story happened a few days ago in Ekaterinburg city, in Ural region in Russia. One man decided to add some money to his bank account via ATM. He went to the nearest one and put 2,000 roubles (around $74). The ATM took the money and returned him a slip. Here is the photo of that slip:


The amount on the slip was 2,006,699,00 RUR (around $7,430,000). He was astonished, he has got another slip – and still the amount was the same. So he decided to go the bank and tell them about the mistake ATM made.

He arrived to the bank and told a clerk his story, also showed a slip, but the clerk was not interested in the situation. “Many strange things happen buddy? told the clerk to the 2 billion roubles account holder, “Come back please some other time, I’ve got lot of things to do right now?.

The man got offended with such a response. He went straight to the nearest ATM and started withdrawing the cash. All the day he was going from one ATM to another withdrawing the daily limit of each one. Between the withdrawals he was again putting some more millions to his account in total his balance reached 20 billion roubles ($70 million). russian man who was able to get $700 million due to atm mistake

All the money he put in big shoe boxes and afterwards took all those boxes and went again to that bank clerk. He rammed the box to the clerk desk. “What’s this? What are you doing??, asked him the clerk. “It’s money. Millions of roubles?.

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  1. I wonder if the bank gave him something in exchange of not nicking the money.