Paul Murray's weblog, with news you may have missed and my $0.02 worth on a number of topics.
"You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it."
I bet you don't have a friend who's an acupuncturist
E-mail me: pmurray [at] despammed.com
Thursday, July 27, 2006
NASA's "new" spaceship. You may have heard that NASA will be drawing upon the Apollo design (I'm paraphrasing) for its next major project. Boy, is that an understatement. Go here and click on the "To
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Visit a Russian submarine base. A defunct Russian submarine base, that is. The text is in Russian, but the photos are quite interesting. Someone has commented that they look like videogame backgrounds; while I don't play videogames, I can see what they mean. (via Boing Boing)
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Applied statistics. I love running across stories of inspired applied logic ... like how the Allies estimated German tank production during World War II.
The statisticians had one key piece of information, which was the serial numbers on captured mark V tanks. The statisticians believed that the Germans, being Germans, had logically numbered their tanks in the order in which they were produced. And this deduction turned out to be right. It was enough to enable them to make an estimate of the total number of tanks that had been produced up to any given moment.
This would make a good story for statistics teachers who want to motivate their students. (via kottke.org)
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Unlikely fact of the week. From the NYT obituary for
Mr. Spillane’s mother was a Presbyterian and his father a Catholic; when he was coming into his own as a fiction writer, Mr. Spillane liked to say that he was “christened in two churches and neither took.” But in 1951, he became a Jehovah’s Witness, and he persuaded his mother and his first wife to convert. Instead of writing, he spent most of his time going door to door, spreading the message of the Bible. He wrote no books from 1952 to 1961, and those he wrote later, some fans said, lacked the vintage sadism of the first five, in which a total of 48 people were killed.
Plus he was once a trampoline performer in a circus.