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Shake to undo.

Posted on March 17th, 2009 at 19:08 by John Sinteur in category: Apple


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  1. So how long will it be before someone creates an Etch-a-Sketch app?

  2. They have one on android, maybe someone has ported it over to the iphone.

The stupid, it hurts…

Posted on March 17th, 2009 at 17:40 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News


But in the last five years, unmarried childrearing has resumed its inexorable rise. 38 percent of all babies are born out of wedlock, which implies probably more than half of women who become mothers for the first time do so while not married.

Is it mere coincidence that this resurgence in illegitimacy happened during the five years in which gay marriage has become (not thanks to me or my choice) the most prominent marriage issue in America — and the one marriage idea endorsed by the tastemakers to the young in particular?

So more gay rights mean more illegitimate kids and it’s not the abstinence-only education, oh no !

And in other news, abortion laws are causing bush fires:


CTFM leader, Pastor Danny Nalliah said he would spearhead an effort to provide every assistance to devastated communities, although he was not surprised by the bush fires due to a dream he had last October relating to consequences of the abortion laws passed in Victoria.

He said these bushfires have come as a result of the incendiary abortion laws which decimate life in the womb.

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MythBusters Co-Host Adam Savage on Obsession

Posted on March 17th, 2009 at 17:21 by John Sinteur in category: News

You may have already seen most of this…

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can’t hold breath

Posted on March 17th, 2009 at 15:06 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!, Great Picture



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Barclays gags Guardian over tax

Posted on March 17th, 2009 at 13:27 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


Barclays Bank obtained a court order early today banning the Guardian from publishing documents which showed how the bank set up companies to avoid hundreds of millions of pounds in tax.

The gagging order was granted by Mr Justice Ouseley after Barclays complained about seven documents on the Guardian’s website which had been leaked to the Liberal Democrats’ deputy leader, Vince Cable.

A mirror of the documents is here

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Sen. Charles Grassley is angry over AIG bonuses

Posted on March 17th, 2009 at 13:24 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


In a comment aired this afternoon on WMT, an Iowa radio station, Grassley (R-Iowa) said: “The first thing that would make me feel a little bit better towards them if they’d follow the Japanese model and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say I’m sorry, and then either do one of two things — resign, or go commit suicide.”

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AIG bonus

Posted on March 17th, 2009 at 13:21 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


Speaking of punishing AIG: Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) plans to introduce a bill to tax AIG bonuses at a high rate this year. A spokesman for Peters says that details are still being worked out. Targeting legislation at one company is tantamount to the Congress’s passing a bill of attainder against AIG. But these are extraordinary times.

Rumor has it that this bill would create a 60 percent surtax on bonuses over $10,000 to any company in which the U.S. government has a 79 percent or greater equity stake. Currently, AIG is the only company that meets this threshold. The 60 percent surtax would be added to the normal income tax rate, meaning that bonuses received this year by AIG executives paying the top 35 percent tax rate would be taxed at 95 percent. The remaining 5 percent would likely be paid in state and local taxes, so taxpayers would fully recover any AIG bonuses paid in 2009.

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Posted on March 17th, 2009 at 13:09 by John Sinteur in category: News

Point A is the circle’s center. What is its radius?


Read the rest of this entry »

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  1. I see that the answer 8″ is obviously true. My answer was 4*(sq root of 2) + 3. If the non-hypotenuse angle is not 4(sq root of 2), then either the circle is impossible or there are 2 answers (impossible also).

    So either it is not an anatomically incorrect circle (ha ha) or my math is wrong.

    I’m sure it is my faulty memory of HS math. Please enlighten me.

  2. Okay, I failed the teaser and tried to do the problem the hard way. But in doing so I noticed a flaw in the diagram (I think). A radius 8 would mean that the shorter sides of the triangle are sqrt((8^2)/2), am I right? That rounds to 5.7. So the fragment marked 3″ is closer to 2″, right?

    I don’t know if there is an integer such that the square root of half its square is an integer.

  3. Indeed the 3″ must be incorrect – good call.

  4. You assume that the box is a square, which nobody said it is.

    All we really have is a rectangle that looks like a square, with a diagonal of 8. Considering what we know, we only know that the parallelogram that happens to be drawn inside of the circle is a rectangle because of its right angles.

    In a rectangle, in addition to having right angles, the diagonals are of equal length. Therefore, if one diagonal is 8, so, too, is the other one. That “other one” goes from the center point A to the circumference of the circle. That, by definition, is its radius.

    So if you want to take that to its next logical step, you’ve got a right triangle with one side equal to 5 and its hypotenuse equal to 8. Therefore, the rectangle has sides whose lengths are five and the square root of 39.

  5. Thank you Mudak. I knew either I was dead wrong w/ Pythagorean Theorem or making an assumption that is not merited

  6. Then that can’t be 3″

    Duplicate 8″ line on opposite in mirror, a squared plus b squared =128 Sqrt of 128 is 11.313708498984760390413509793678

    Divide by half 5.6568542494923801952067548968388

    plus 3 = 8.6568542494923801952067548968388

    Since it IS 8, that 3 is actually 2.3431457505076198047932451031612

    If the radius is 8, and that really were 3, then the distance between the end of 3″ and A would be 5, making the radius 7.0710678118654752440084436210485 by the Pythagorean theorem, which is patently impossible.

  7. Indeed – as I said earlier, that 3 is wrong. The guy I got the pictures from (here) didn’t notice it either….

  8. Why is 3 wrong? I thought Mudak’s solution was correct?

Mayor of High Wycombe

Posted on March 17th, 2009 at 13:08 by John Sinteur in category: News



The High Wycombe Mayoralty is the only one of its kind in the whole of the world, whereby their Mayor and all his officers get weighed every year.


The weighing process is recorded and the result compared to the weight at the end of the mayoral year. For each of the mayor and corporation, if there has been a weight gain in that year, the person is considered to have been gaining that weight at the taxpayers’ expense; they would be jeered and booed, historically accompanied with thrown tomatoes and rotten fruit.

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Posted on March 17th, 2009 at 13:04 by John Sinteur in category: Quote

“If the human body’s obscene, complain to the manufacturer, not me.”

— Larry Flynt

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The Popes, of course, were usually Catholic

Posted on March 17th, 2009 at 11:19 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ


During the Middle Ages, everybody was middle aged. Church and state were co-operatic. Middle Evil society was made up of monks, lords, and surfs. It is unfortunate that we do not have a medivel European laid out on a table before us, ready for dissection. After a revival of infantile commerce slowly creeped into Europe, merchants appeared. Some were sitters and some were drifters. They roamed from town to town exposing themselves and organized big fairies in the countryside. Mideval people were violent. Murder during this period was nothing. Everybody killed someone. England fought numerously for land in France and ended up wining and losing. The Crusades were a series of military expaditions made by Christians seeking to free the holy land (the “Home Town” of Christ) from the Islams.

In the 1400 hundreds most Englishmen were perpendicular. A class of yeowls arose. Finally, Europe caught the Black Death. The bubonic plague is a social disease in the sense that it can be transmitted by intercourse and other etceteras. It was spread from port to port by inflected rats. Victims of the Black Death grew boobs on their necks. The plague also helped the emergance of the English language as the national language of England, France and Italy.

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  1. Thank you. It made my day.

Contracting SyFyllis

Posted on March 17th, 2009 at 11:07 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself


Sci Fi has a new name. Now it’s SyFy. The Sci Fi Channel is distancing itself from its geek demographic by rebranding its network. The former SyFy Portal website (a nerd news outlet) has been rebranded “Airlock Alpha” after selling the name to an “undisclosed recipient”.

Yt ys solely forre Medievalle scyence fyctionne. Suche as Chaucer’s Ye Canterburry Tayles YN SPAYCE!!

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Bold 2in1

Posted on March 17th, 2009 at 10:35 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!

Some products are really frustrating for my designer friends.

This is what they think of every time they see that product….

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Snap and Dine

Posted on March 17th, 2009 at 10:32 by John Sinteur in category: News



Love eating out, but hate the mess? Snap and Dine should do the trick. It “is a single use three-course table setting that integrates disposable cutlery with traditional silverware.”

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Video close up of ruby-throated hummingbird feeding from hand

Posted on March 17th, 2009 at 9:57 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture


In June of 2006 I was replacing empty feeders with clean ones and this hummingbird landed on the feeder as I was carrying it to the pole. I stopped instantly and stood perfectly still because motion will scare hummingbirds away.

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Obama Orders Treasury Chief to Try to Block A.I.G. Bonuses

Posted on March 17th, 2009 at 9:54 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons

President Obama, with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, discussed the insurance company American International Group on Monday at the White House.


President Obama on Monday vowed to try to stop the faltering insurance giant American International Group from paying out hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses to executives, as the administration scrambled to avert a populist backlash against banks and Wall Street that could complicate Mr. Obama’s economic recovery agenda.


Later in the day, a White House official disclosed that the administration would use a pending $30 billion installment for A.I.G. to recoup the $165 million in retention payments to A.I.G. employees in the business unit that brought the company to the brink of collapse last year.

“Treasury will be using this facility to address the excessive retention payments made to the A.I.G. Financial Products employees, which Treasury found to be completely unacceptable given that A.I.G. is already surviving on taxpayer funds,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Treasury will be adding provisions to its new facility aimed at making taxpayers whole for the amounts of the offensive payments.”


But increasing the pressure on A.I.G., New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo said on Monday that he would issue subpoenas to make the insurer release the names of the executives in its Financial Products subsidiary who received the bonuses, which were paid on Friday; their job descriptions, and details about their performance. In a letter to Edward M. Liddy, the company’s current chief executive, Mr. Cuomo said that if he did not receive the information by 4 p.m. he would issue subpoenas demanding compliance. After that deadline passed, Mr. Cuomo said that he had not received information he was seeking and would issue subpoenas for the data.

“I believe in transparency and disclosure,” Mr. Cuomo said on a conference call. “We believe taxpayers have a right to know.”

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“I thought it was a scam”: NH woman sued by RIAA

Posted on March 17th, 2009 at 9:49 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


Though the RIAA says it has stopped its large-scale litigation strategy against suspected file-swappers, the music trade group has decided that it will continue those cases that were already in process before last winter. When put this way, the whole process sounds antiseptic and rather boring, but it continues to affect real people like middle-aged New Hampshire woman Mavis Roy, who was baffled when the music labels accused her of sharing songs like “Real Niggaz,” “Jigga My Nigga,” and “Da Rockwilder” using BearShare. Unable to afford a lawyer, Roy was confused by the legal documents she received.

“I thought it was a scam and I was being pressured to send them money for something I have never done,” she eventually wrote the court in a letter.

That accurately describes what is happening – now all we need is agreement from the court. Perhaps that might even stop future scams by the RIAA.

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Goals Gone Wild, Ponzis and the Banks

Posted on March 17th, 2009 at 9:41 by John Sinteur in category: News


There is an interesting new paper out looking at the role of goals in causing misbehavior in markets and elsewhere. The applicability to the current downturn seems obvious, from Countrywide’s obsession with loan production to Madoff’s factory approach to ponzi.


Here is a banking example from the paper:

An excessive focus on goals may have prompted the risk-taking behavior that lies at the root of many real-world disasters. The collapse of Continental Illinois Bank provides an example with striking parallels to the collapse of Enron and the financial crisis of 2008. In 1976, Continental’s chairman announced that within five years, the magnitude of the bank’s lending would match that of any other bank. To reach this stretch goal, the bank shifted its strategy from conservative corporate financing toward aggressive pursuit of borrowers. Continental allowed officers to buy loans made by smaller banks that had invested heavily in very risky loans. Continental would have become the seventh-largest U.S. bank if its borrowers had been able to repay their loans; instead, following massive loan defaults, the government had to bail out the bank.

I think the underlying problem is the excessive focus on goals being “S.M.A.R.T.” – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. It’s basically used a way to see check if somebody ‘reached’ a goal, and base performance evaluations (and raises, bonus, etc) on that. Everybody is so focused on “goals being smart” they’re forgetting the single most important questions, such as: “How does reaching this particular goal make the company healthier, stronger, and more (medium and long-term) profitable.

I recall a story a few years ago where a hospital wanted increase the usage of their wheelchairs, so they set up a a goal where departments couldn’t have more than a certain number of wheelchairs sitting idle in the corridors. Sounds specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely, right? So the departments removed the wheels from a lot of their wheelchairs, and all reached the goals they were set to reach. And as a side effect, patients could basically forget about being transported in wheelchairs.

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AIG Blackmail

Posted on March 17th, 2009 at 9:27 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons

In case anyone’s wondering what leverage AIG has over the government that lets it think it can pay people bonuses for creating the largest losses in U.S. corporate history, here you are:

AIG Risk & Bankruptcy Report

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  1. I don’t think life insurance has changed that dramatically over the last two decades. Speaking in general terms, there are, and have been since the late 70’s or early 80’s, three types of life insurance: term, universal, and traditional. While it’s true that universal life insurance has some things in common with investments for wealth-building, namely the ability to invest in specially designed mutual funds that were created by the insurance provider, it is still a guarantee that your beneficiaries will receive upon your death.

    If anything, the Technical and Miscellaneous Revenue Act of 1988 (TAMRA) made life insurance less like an investment, not more. Among other things, this law created a new type of life insurance, known as a Modified Endowment Contract, or MEC. Without going into too much detail as to what a MEC is, suffice it to say that if you contribute too much money into the policy in premiums over the course of any seven-year period, then loans from a MEC will be taxable. (The death benefit will still remain tax-free, but that’s another story.) This effectively eliminated the concept of the single-premium life insurance.

    Single premium life insurance was basically a client could walk in, fork over $10,000.00 and get, say, $100,000.00 in death benefits and never have to pay another penny into the policy. If they really wanted to, they could take a loan for up to $90,000.00 from the policy. Imagine that: drop in 10K and then a week later, you’ve got 90K tax free…… Eventually, the loan capitalization on the policy would overpass the death benefit value, resulting in its effective lapse (at which point, you’d have to pay the taxes).

    If AIG was pushing life insurance as an investment rather than, you know, insurance, then they were doomed from the start….

  2. I personally dislike the government getting too involved in private business, but in this case I think it’s time that AIG were nationalized and each component part split off back to the private sector as reasonably and quickly as possible. The current executive staff and principals should be arrested and tried for treason, because the effects of what they have so blatantly done is nothing less.