Open tabs: Sedition, Charles the Fat, bicycle visionary

In the 1990s he took an overdose of aspirin washed down by water from a puddle.[3][9] He had personality problems,[9][10] sniffed the gas he used to weld bicycles, and was being chased for £492 owed in college fees.[3]

Open tabs: Stone money, parables of Jesus, Benzedrine-inspired pop hits

Yap Stone Money.jpg
By Eric GuintherEnglish Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The monetary system of Yap relies on an oral history of ownership. Because these stones are too large to move, buying an item with one simply involves agreeing that the ownership has changed.

… a death blow to end the suffering of a severely wounded person or animal.


Open tabs: Dahl, cheese dreams, fairy bread, expected satiety

Classic Cheese Dream

It has been almost one year since my last post. That isn’t good. Here are the wikipedia tabs I currently have open:

“After Olivia’s death, Dahl lost faith in God and viewed religion as a sham. While mourning her loss he had sought spiritual guidance from the former Archbishop of Canterbury Geoffrey Fisher, but became dismayed when Fisher told him that although Olivia was in Paradise, her beloved dog Rowley would never join her there, with Dahl recalling: “I wanted to ask him how he could be so absolutely sure that other creatures did not get the same special treatment as us. I sat there wondering if this great and famous churchman really knew what he was talking about and whether he knew anything at all about God or heaven, and if he didn’t, then who in the world did?”

A device used to drain excess fluid from the brain, designed in part by Roald Dahl after his son was hit by a car.

The sandwiches may predate the Depression, however, as a 1918 Good Housekeeping issue mentions Cheese Dreams as a luncheon dish, “our teahouse friend.”

Fairy bread is sliced white bread spread with margarine or butter and covered with sprinkles or hundreds and thousands which stick to the spread.

Yes, apparently “sprinkles” are also known as “hundreds and thousands”.

Nonpareils (or hundreds and thousands outside of North America) are a decorative confectionery of tiny balls made with sugar and starch, …

In days past, Jam Roly-Poly was also known as shirt-sleeve pudding, because it was often steamed and served in an old shirt-sleeve, leading to the nicknames of dead-man’s arm and dead man’s leg.

That’s all. Now I can allow Chrome to release some of my RAM. See ya next year.


Open tabs: Linguistic relativity, nightclub stampede, Baron Munchausen, Black Sabbath Vol. 4

Baron Munchausen pulls himself out of a mire by his own hair (illustration by Oskar Herrfurth).

See a pin and pick it up, and all day long you’ll have a pin.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stranger.

“If I could just say a few words… I’d be a better public speaker.” —Homer Simpson

“If I am reading this graph correctly—I’d be very surprised.” —Stephen Colbert

“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it.” —Groucho Marx

The claim that Eskimo languages have an unusually large number of words for snow is a widespread idea first voiced by Franz Boas and has become a cliché; it is often used to illustrate the way in which language embodies different local concerns in different parts of the world.

In fact, the Eskimo–Aleut languages have about the same number of distinct word roots referring to snow as English does, but the structure of these languages tends to allow more variety as to how those roots can be modified in forming a single word.

Popularly known as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, or Whorfianism, the principle is often defined to include two versions. The strong version says that language determines thought, and that linguistic categories limit and determine cognitive categories, whereas the weak version says only that linguistic categories and usage influence thought and certain kinds of non-linguistic behavior.

The E2 nightclub stampede occurred on February 17, 2003, at the E2 nightclub located above the Epitome Chicago restaurant at 2347 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois, in which 21 people died and more than 50 were injured when panic ensued from the use of pepper spray by security guards to break up a fight.

The fictional Baron’s exploits, narrated by himself, focus on his impossible achievements as a sportsman, soldier, and traveler, such as riding on a cannonball and traveling to the Moon.

Munchausen by Internet is a pattern of behavior in which Internet users seek attention by feigning illnesses in online venues such as chat rooms, message boards, and Internet Relay Chat (IRC).

While the original 100 m design would not exceed the angular resolving power of interferometric telescopes, it would have exceptional light-gathering and imaging capacity which would greatly increase the depth to which humanity could explore the universe.[1] The OWL could be expected to regularly see astronomical objects with an apparent magnitude of 38; or 1,500 times fainter than the faintest object which has been detected by the Hubble Space Telescope.

In June 1972, Black Sabbath reconvened in Los Angeles to begin work on their fourth album at the Record Plant Studios. The recording process was plagued with problems, many due to substance abuse issues. In the studio, the band regularly had large speaker boxes full of cocaine delivered.

Iommi claims in his autobiography that Ward almost died after a prank-gone-wrong during recording of the album. The Bel Air mansion the band was renting belonged to John DuPont of the DuPont chemical company and the band found several spray cans of gold DuPont paint in a room of the house; finding Ward naked and unconscious after drinking heavily, they proceeded to cover the drummer in gold paint from head to toe.

One of several reasons that aversion to happiness may develop is the belief that when one becomes happy, a negative event will soon occur that will taint their happiness, as if that individual is being punished for satisfaction. This belief is thought to be more prevalent in non-Western cultures. In Western cultures, such as American culture, “it is almost taken for granted that happiness is one of the most important values guiding people’s lives.” Western cultures are more driven by an urge to maximize happiness and minimize sadness. Failing to appear happy is often a cause for concern. Its value is echoed through Western positive psychology and research on subjective well-being.

Open tabs: Space, Space Law, Apollo Missions, Robert A. Heinlein, snowclones


Moon landing map

Immanuel Kant and his Categorical imperative: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law” is the forerunner of the Metalaw, because if we wish to detect the intelligent signals from the Universe, we have to act in a similar manner, that is, we must also transmit intelligent signals into the Universe.

Snowclone is a neologism for a type of cliché and phrasal template originally defined as “a multi-use, customizable, instantly recognizable, time-worn, quoted or misquoted phrase or sentence that can be used in an entirely open array of different variants”.




Open tabs: Musical cannibalism, space laws, intelligent animals

Here are the Wikipedia tabs that have been cluttering my browser for the past week. They are all loosely-related, as open-in-new-tab Wikipedia tabs tend to be.

Black NASA

A stoner rock band named after NASA conspiracies. I haven’t listened to the band, but I like the name. Not to be confused with…

The Old Negro Space Program

“The Old Negro Space Program is a short mockumentary in the style of a Ken Burns film. Imagining a black space program, whose “blackstronauts” were excluded from “White NASA”

Mignonette (album)

“Mignonette is a 2004 album by The Avett Brothers. It was named after an English yacht which sank off the Cape of Good Hope, leaving the crew of four stranded on a lifeboat. The cabin boy, Richard Parker, was killed and eaten by the others, two of whom were later put on trial and convicted of murder.” (see below)

R vs. Dudley and Stephens

“a leading English criminal case which established a precedent, throughout the common law world, that necessity is not a defence to a charge of murder.”

Outer space

Outer Space Treaty

Space law

Altered States

“Both the novel and the film are based on John C. Lilly’s sensory deprivation research conducted in isolation tanks under the influence of psychoactive drugs like mescaline, ketamine and LSD.
The film was directed by Ken Russell and is also the film debut of William Hurt and Drew Barrymore.”

Cetacean intelligence

Rough-toothed dolphin


“Akeakamai (c. 1976 – November 22, 2003) was a female Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, which, along with a companion female dolphin named Phoenix, as well as tankmates Elele and Hiapo, were the subjects of Louis Herman’s animal language studies at the Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory in Honolulu, Hawaii.”

Clever Hans

“Clever Hans (in German, der Kluge Hans) was an Orlov Trotter horse that was claimed to have been able to perform arithmetic and other intellectual tasks.”

Nietzche, Christianity, Primal Nihilism

Here he states that the Christian moral doctrine provides people with intrinsic value, belief in God (which justifies the evil in the world) and a basis for objective knowledge. In this sense, in constructing a world where objective knowledge is possible, Christianity is an antidote against a primal form of nihilism, against the despair of meaninglessness. However, it is exactly the element of truthfulness in Christian doctrine that is its undoing: in its drive towards truth, Christianity eventually finds itself to be a construct, which leads to its own dissolution. It is therefore that Nietzsche states that we have outgrown Christianity “not because we lived too far from it, rather because we lived too close”

— via

The softening of justice


From the Wikipedia page: Hanged, drawn and quartered

Although the Act of Parliament defining high treason remains on the United Kingdom’s statute books, during a long period of 19th-century legal reform the sentence of hanging, drawing and quartering was changed to drawing, hanging until dead, and posthumous beheading and quartering, before being abolished in England in 1870. The death penalty for treason was abolished in 1998.

The 19th-century legal reform really softened penalties for those no-good traitors.

Open Tabs: Compersion, propaganda, and really tall things

I used to have a website page where I would list all of the open Wikipedia tabs in my browser. I added to the page for months, but it was inexplicably deleted from my website. I must have accidentally deleted it while drunk or something. It was a bummer. The list was really long – there was probably over a hundred interesting articles in the list – and since then I’ve just been letting my Wiki tabs die after I’ve finished reading them.

But not anymore! Here are the tabs that have been taking up the most horizontal space on my monitor.

Compersion is an empathetic state of happiness and joy experienced when another individual experiences happiness and joy. Compersion has often been referred to as “the opposite of jealousy”.

Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988), by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, is an analysis of the news media, arguing that the mass media of the United States “are effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function by reliance on market forces, internalized assumptions, and self-censorship, and without overt coercion”

I haven’t read the book, but it sounds interesting. There is also a movie based on the book, made by some Canadian filmmakers that was released in 1992.

A limited hangout, or partial hangout, is a public relations or propaganda technique that involves the release of previously hidden information in order to prevent a greater exposure of more important details.

A really, really tall radio mast. This thing is huge.

This thing is huger.

Not quite as huge, but it looks like someone built a rectangular skyscraper, then twisted it.

In building construction, topping out (sometimes referred to as topping off) is a builders’ rite traditionally held when the last beam (or its equivalent) is placed atop a structure during its erection.

This is a massive zeppelin. The pictures in the article are great. Also there is this impressive fact:

During its career the Graf Zeppelin flew more than 1.7 million km (1,056,000 miles) thus becoming the first aircraft in history to fly over a million miles, made 590 flights, 144 oceanic crossings (143 across the Atlantic, one across the Pacific), carried 13,110 passengers, and spent 17,177 hours aloft (the equivalent of 717 days, or nearly two years), all of which was accomplished without ever injuring a passenger or crewman.