Interesting things I've bookmarked (old posts, page 8)

Oktoberfest 2009

The 176th Oktoberfest started on Saturday the 19th, kicked off by Munich Mayor Christian Ude, tapping the first keg with a cry of "O'zapft is!". With predictions of over 6 million visitors heading to Munich, the festival runs until October 4th. This year, a traditional liter of beer will cost visitors about 8 euros (11.75 dollars). And new this year: Oktoberfest iPhone apps, including a dictionary, ordering assistant and a blood-alcohol calculator. Collected here are a few photographs from the first couple of days of Oktoberfest 2009. (31 photos total)

Oktoberfest 2009

Oktoberfest 2009

Oktoberfest 2009

Oktoberfest 2009

Microsoft Tablet Revealed

Courier is a real device, and we've heard that it's in the "late prototype" stage of development. It's not a tablet, it's a booklet. The dual 7-inch (or so) screens are multitouch, and designed for writing, flicking and drawing with a stylus, in addition to fingers. They're connected by a hinge that holds a single iPhone-esque home button. Statuses, like wireless signal and battery life, are displayed along the rim of one of the screens. On the back cover is a camera, and it might charge through an inductive pad, like the Palm Touchstone charging dock for Pre.

Egypt Knee Jerk Pig Culling

For more than half a century, those collectors were the zabaleen, a community of Egyptian Christians who live on the cliffs on the eastern edge of the city. They collected the trash, sold the recyclables and fed the organic waste to their pigs - which they then slaughtered and ate.Killing all the pigs, all at once, "was the stupidest thing they ever did," Ms. Kamel said, adding, "This is just one more example of poorly informed decision makers."When the swine flu fear first emerged, long before even one case was reported in Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak ordered that all the pigs be killed in order to prevent the spread of the disease.

Wildfires in Southern California

Angeles National Forest, in the hills outside of Los Angeles currently has several wildfires tearing through it, the largest of which - named the Station Fire - has so far burned over 140,000 acres, destroyed nearly 100 structures, and claimed the lives of two firefighters whose vehicle fell from a road into a steep canyon. Evacuation orders are in place for thousands in communities around the city, and residents of Los Angeles itself are contending with thick smoke and ash hanging in the air, causing air quality to drop to unhealthful levels in many parts. Currently, the Station Fire is estimated to be 22% contained, and favorable weather appears to be aiding the efforts of the firefighters. (41 photos total)

Wildfires in Southern California

Wildfires in Southern California

Wildfires in Southern California

Wildfires in Southern California

First Registered Domain Is Sold

The Internet could be described as something of a youthful beast. But even still, the very first domain name to be purchased and registered brings a tear to the eye of anyone that remembers when the Internet was only accessible via a 14.4k modem and an ISP that charged by the minute. Believe it or not, it wasn't www.internet.com or www.dot.com that was purchased when the Internet was "born." Instead, it was the somewhat off-the-wall symbolics.com.

How Many Solar Panels to Power The World?

How many solar panels would it take to power the entire world? The entire surface of Africa, maybe? Actually, it's surprisingly less.Just 496,905 square kilometres. That's less than the surface of Spain (504,030 square kilometres) covered with solar panels, distributed across deserts and areas with almost 24/7 sun, all year around.

Forer effect

The Forer effect (also called personal validation fallacy or the Barnum Effect after P. T. Barnum's observation that "we've got something for everyone") is the observation that individuals will give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically for them, but are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people. This effect can provide a partial explanation for the widespread acceptance of some beliefs and practices, such as astrology, fortune telling, and some types of personality tests.

Our New Line Of Bullshit

Excuse me, sir, I couldn't help but notice you checking out our bullshit section over here. Now, most of the people that come in here don't know what they're looking for, but I see you and I say to myself, this guy, this is the kind of guy I can manipulate until he purchases something he doesn't need. So, tell me, what can I do to send you home with some of our bullshit?Now what you're looking at there, that's a pretty decent bit of bullshit. But if you're really looking to take it to the next level, I've got a line of bullshit that is going to knock your socks off. That crap? That's for idiots. But you, on the other hand, I can clearly tell, are a complete fucking moron. You want a perfunctory compliment and a meaningless question? Nice tie. Where'd you get it?