Archive for December, 2013

Alan Turing

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Alan Turing has been officially pardoned for his 1952 conviction on charges of homosexuality. That conviction, of course, led to his chemical castration by means of injected female hormones and his suicide two years later.

“Thanks for being a genius and perhaps the single most important figure in the defeat of the Nazi war machine. Sorry about the torture. LOL!”

Greetings from Camden!

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

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Holy hell, Camden sounds terrifying. It’s an interesting example of what happens when you take a poverty-stricken industrial city ( *cough* Buffalo *cough* ) off of state-funded life support.

From the article:

On January 18th, 2011, the city laid off 168 of its 368 police officers, kicking off a dramatic, years-long, cops-versus-locals, house-to-house battle over a few square miles of North American territory that should have been national news, but has not been, likely because it took place in an isolated black and Hispanic ghost town.

After the 2011 layoffs, police went into almost total retreat. Drug dealers cheerfully gave interviews to local reporters while slinging in broad daylight. Some enterprising locals made up T-shirts celebrating the transfer of power from the cops back to the streets: JANUARY 18, 2011 – it’s our time. A later design aped the logo of rap pioneers Run-DMC, and “Run-CMD” – “CMD” stands both for “Camden” and “Cash, Money, Drugs” – became the unofficial symbol of the unoccupied city, seen in town on everything from T-shirts to a lovingly rendered piece of wall graffiti on crime-ridden Mount Ephraim Avenue.

1 Auto = 10 Bikes

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

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Picture shamelessly lifted from here.

Bike Advice

Friday, December 13th, 2013

My B-I-L (Brutha-In-Law) has started thinking about proclaiming his independence from car-commuting and purchasing something with 2 wheels that he can pedal. Living in Arizona, good biking weather is kind-of always, and his commute isn’t terribly long or hilly. Recently he mentioned to me that he was looking at “fixie” bikes. I tend to think that the coaster hub is one of the better improvements on the basic concept of the bicycle, and told him so, but that’s just me. I realize some of this blog’s readership is somewhat to fairly knowledgeable about bikes; what say you all? What’s a good “commuter” bike, on a budget of ~$300?

3 Wheeled Wonder

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Since GM isn’t using it for anything productive, entrepreneur Paul Elio is planning on retooling their Shreveport, LA plant to produce these neat 2 seaters:

Purportedly it will meet all Federal Safety and emissions regulations, get 49 mpg city/ 84 highway, and be cheaper to register since technically it falls under the “motorcycle and trike” classification of most DMVs.  At a planned MSRP of $6800, its less than 1/3 the price of a new Prius, too.

Another really interesting concept here is the payment schedule- buyers would pay a nominal down payment, and then receive a credit card which charges them triple the current gas price whenever they fill up, with the surplus used to pay down the vehicle loan.

All he needs is another 200M to get it off the ground. Peanut money, really…

What’s a Conflict of Interest?

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Buffalo — where a real estate developer can complain for years about the school system, get himself elected to the school board, and continue pushing for “vouchers” and making money by renting buildings to charter schools.

Man, what a circus.