Dihydrogen Monoxide and the Truth.

This blog rarely advocates.  I rather present the facts.  But an alarming situation has come to my attention, and I want you to care.

Did you know that Dihydrogen Monoxide tragically kills thousands of people every year through accidental inhalation?  Awareness of this dangerous chemical compound is slowly filtering through to the general population. Continue reading Dihydrogen Monoxide and the Truth.

feeling lucky, punk?

Two nights ago, a black cat crossed my path. Unlucky?

Yes for him. I was on my bike at the time, and another cat chased him out of some bushes at high speed. He crashed into my foot, my pedal and my back wheel. I jammed on the brakes as he sprinted off up the road on 3 legs. I went after him, going ‘puss puss puss’. When I found him he seemed shaken but was too proud to accept my ministrations.

Then yesterday, I was having lunch, and the restaurant had the character fu for good fortune stuck on the wall.

It’s one of those rare characters where the components actually mean something. The thing on the left is a person. One the right there is a horizontal line above a box, above a box with a cross in it. These are the characters for the number one, a mouth, and a field. So the character describes fortune as a person who has a field and only one mouth to feed. Continue reading feeling lucky, punk?

Feeling peaky about the future?

Remember the y2k bug?  Every time we think we can predict the future, we should look back on the y2k bug. For every good thing we predict that hasn’t come true (cure for cancer, no child living in poverty, flying cars) there’s bad things that haven’t come true either (armageddon via nuclear war, swine flu pandemics, a Super Mario Bros: The Movie sequel). Continue reading Feeling peaky about the future?

How we drive

Occupying a sunny promontory between the sea of social science and the rugged mountains of ‘real engineering’, sit urban design and traffic engineering.  They recline on a piece of public furniture, watching the pedestrian, the driver, the public transporter, and even the bench-sitter interacting with the public space.

Occasionally Psychology will pop by and trade a few insights for a long-neck of homebrew and half a round of brie.  Sometimes they get their supercomputers out of the picnic basket and do some modelling.  Sometimes they may get on the phone with architects trying to design a public space people will actually use.

Continue reading How we drive

Modern Warfare 2: glorifying violence?

The game Modern Warfare 2 is set for release tomorrow.

To many people, this is monumentally irrelevant.

But they misunderstand the zeitgeist. Modern Warfare 2 is likely to gross $338 million on its first day of release, and be the highest selling game ever. By comparison, the highest rating movie of last year, the Dark Knight, took $150 million in its opening weekend. In Britain, annual computer game revenue is four times that of box office revenue, and more than music and dvd sales.

Continue reading Modern Warfare 2: glorifying violence?