Entries in the “Elsewhere” category

Links to interesting things found on the Internet

Nobel Prizes don’t travel well

Brian Schmidt, who won the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics, talks about what it’s like to travel with it:

You would think that carrying around a Nobel Prize would be uneventful, and it was uneventful, until I tried to leave Fargo with it, and went through the X-ray machine. I could see they were puzzled. It was in my laptop bag. It’s made of gold, so it absorbs all the X-rays—it’s completely black. And they had never seen anything completely black.

You know, you’d think that the winner of a Nobel Prize in physics would know what would happen when trying to get through airport security with one.

Walnut bread substitute

A customer ordered walnut bread from an online grocer, the grocer was out of walnut bread so they substituted an octopus instead.

Acknowledging their mistake, the team at Tesco cheerfully engaged in some banter about the slimy substitute item and offered Mr Goodger a refund – of ‘a couple of squid’.

‘This has ten-tickled us so much! Maybe the personal shopper was trying to be Billy the Squid?’ the supermarket tweeted.

Not sure if this is a fair substitute. I’ve never had octopus, as far as I know, but I’m not a fan of walnut bread.

News anchor suspended after mispronouncing name

A news anchor in India has been suspended for pronouncing the President of China’s name, Xi Jinping, as “Eleven Jinping”.

“It is an unpardonable mistake,” a senior official said on the condition of anonymity, saying the anchor was employed on a casual basis.

“We have debarred her from news reading for a few months.”

The official said a shortage of news readers had forced the channel to run some news bulletins with less experienced staff.

First of all, the producer of the newscast is at fault. It’s his/her job to make sure that everyone knows how to pronounce names/places/things properly, and to spell them phonetically on the teleprompter if necessary. This is especially true when it comes to foreign nouns.

Second, this is the funniest thing I’ve heard all week, and at first glance I would call him Eleven myself. It always confuses me when words or abbreviations are used that could be roman numerals. Is “Mac OS X” pronounced “Mac O Ess Ten” or “Mac O Ess Ex”? Whenever I read that someone was given a saline solution (or anything) intravenously, abbreviated IV, I always wonder why they were given a saline solution via four. Is the Oliva V cigar an “Oliva Vee” or an “Oliva Five”? Come to think of it, this will never not confuse me.

Derek Jeter total swings

The Times attempts to calculate the total number of swings that Derek Jeter has taken in his entire baseball career.

Need a rest from all these swings? So did Jeter. He took Novembers and Decembers off, and he never practiced at home. “You would have a hard time finding a baseball at my house besides one that’s got writing on it,” he said.

I absolutely love the way the Times presented this.

Roger Angell on Derek Jeter’s goodbye

Roger Angell’s essay on Derek Jeter’s impending retirement:

All right, I’ll settle for one more inside-out line-drive double to deep right —the Jeter Blue Plate that’s been missing of late. It still astounds me—Derek’s brilliance as a hitter has always felt fresh and surprising, for some reason—and here it comes one more time. The pitch is low and inside, and Derek, pulling back his upper body and tucking in his chin as if avoiding an arriving No. 4 train, now jerks his left elbow and shoulder sharply upward while slashing powerfully down at and through the ball, with his hands almost grazing his belt. His right knee drops and twists, and the swing, opening now, carries his body into a golf-like lift and turn that sweetly frees him while he watches the diminishing dot of the ball headed toward the right corner. What! You can’t hit like that—nobody can! Do it again, Derek.

I could read Angell all day long and never be bored.

Jawbone Up in cities

Jawbone looked at the data from Up devices from June 1, 2013 through June 1, 2014, organized by city.

The movement and sleep patterns of a city tell an amazing story about its culture and people. How active is a city? When do they go to bed on average, and how much do they sleep? How stark are the differences between weekends and weekdays? What events brought people together and significantly impacted the health of a city? Each pattern forms a distinct “thumbprint” for the city, the unique way its citizens live their lives. To an untrained eye, these images may just look like the abstract brush strokes of a Rothko painting. To a data scientist, however, these graphics richly detail the routines — and occasional abnormalities — of city denizens.

The main problem with data like this is that it represents a subset of a subset of people in the city: people who wear fitness trackers, and of those, people who wear a Jawbone Up. This is not a very representative sampling of people. By definition, people who wear fitness trackers are probably more concerned with their health and as such would, on average, go to bed earlier, get up earlier, and be more active than non-fitness tracker wearing people. The only data this really shows us is how Jawbone Up users in one city compare to Jawbone Up users in another city.

Quality beers in ballparks

The Washington Post takes a look at the quality of beers in each of America’s ballparks.

Counting single-day offerings, the Cincinnati Reds’ selection of distinct beers went from 42 to more than 130 – the most in Major League Baseball, according to a Washington Post analysis. Craft sales increased even more dramatically, by 363 percent. The biggest-selling beer at the Brewery District is still Bud Light – not exactly a craft product – but stadium officials found that rather than taking away from existing beer sales, craft consumers were actually creating a new category.

The Mariners are number one, while my Yankees are dead last.

Comprehensive guide to New York City hot dogs

Eater brings us a look at the NYC hot dog, both a history and a look at the unique varieties in NYC.

Sausages and bread are among the oldest forms of processed food. German immigrants to New York City served frankfurters and wieners with milk rolls and sauerkraut from pushcarts on the Bowery from at least the 1860s onwards. The recipes for these sausages dated back hundreds of years, with Frankfurt, Germany and Vienna, Austria vying for ownership of the “original” hot dog. But, just as with pizza, an old world food form was transformed and given greater significance in America. In 1871, German butcher Charles Feltman opened a hot dog stand in Coney Island, then an up-market destination for the affluent. It established Coney Island as ground zero for the hot dog.

Don’t read this until after you’ve eaten. Trust me.

Cutaway Leica M3 is beautiful

Here are some beautiful pics of a cutaway Leica M3. This is pretty much the definition of camera porn.

It’s up for auction, if you can afford it.

The first Range Rover is for sale

The Range Rover with chassis number 1 is available at auction. It has been restored, but for some collector, it has historical value.

It is agreed that Michael Forlong – The producer of the two Range Rover promotion films “A car for all reasons” and “Sahara South” was to become the first private owner of “No 1″ on 8th April 1971. Before taking possession, the car was re-sprayed into the production colour of Bahama Gold, and the textured dash was fitted. A private registration number WGA 71 was allocated to #001 in November 1975 when the vehicle passed to Mr. W.G Ansell of Belvedere, SE London. Before disposing of the Range Rover in 1979 to the next owner (a farmer in Kent) the WGA 71 number was replaced with an age related number EGU 16H, and so the identity of this important icon was inadvertently disguised for a further 6 years.

It gets about 14.4 mpg. The Hummer H2 only got about 9 or 10 mpg.