Cleaning House (Rundown)

It turns out computers can figure out what language you’re speaking without actually hearing you.  In at least some controlled circumstances, anyway.  (NewScientist, via Monochrom) “Astonishingly”, (1) people forget their passwords all the time, but (2) the ever-helpful “secret” “questions” are not really either — at least, not as far as security is concerned. If […]


…wait till May 18th to make your resolutions.

Zombie Chart

via io9, a graphic showing the steady-ish uptick in the frequency of zombie movies, and “mapping” it (very roughty) to incidences of war (click below for a larger image): Correlation not being correlation, blah blah blah, everything else aside, it’s still a fun chart. (via io9)

What a difference a year makes in Transformers

Last year at this time I was 81% Jazz; this time around, I’m 84% Optimus Prime. Things are looking Up. (Nothing against Jazz, mind you.) I AM 84% OPTIMUS PRIMETake the Transformers Quiz

If plane tickets were a few hundred (or so) dollars cheaper, this would be completely worth the time and discomfort

Whoniversal Appeal: An Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference on Doctor Who, and its Spin-Offs 14-15 November, 2008 (via, of all places, Crooked Timber)

Perilous indeed

A book’s journey from one language into another can be perilous. The Russian title for J. D. Salinger’s classic tale of adolescence translates as “Above the Precipice in the Rye.” A clerk in a Yokohama bookshop once told John Steinbeck’s wife that yes, he had a copy of Steinbeck’s “Angry Raisins.” Has this bumpy road gotten […]

Visit the city of shadows

Mysterious, but not.

What people ask when they can ask anything

Forget the Golden Gate Bridge and House of Nanking and Zeitgeist on a summer night — the heart of San Francisco beats loudest on the carpeted second floor of that South Van Ness building you thought was Bank of America. … “Thank you for calling San Francisco 311, this is Kyle speaking, how may I […]

If I say “Zone of Eternal Evil,” what do you think of?

I bet it wasn’t this: (via WFMU)

Anything, as long as it’s more than you get

Would you rather earn $50,000 a year while other people make $25,000, or would you rather earn $100,000 a year while other people get $250,000? Assume for the moment that prices of goods and services will stay the same. Surprisingly — stunningly, in fact — research shows that the majority of people select the first […]