Bloomberg is reporting on a recent addition of speakers to public security cameras in Middlesbrough, England. From the article: “`People are shocked when they hear the cameras talk, but when they see everyone else looking at them, they feel a twinge of conscience and comply,’ said Mike Clark, a spokesman for Middlesbrough Council who recounted the incident. The city has placed speakers in its cameras, allowing operators to chastise miscreants who drop coffee cups, ride bicycles too fast or fight outside bars.”
A COMMON parasite can cause: “Infected men have lower IQs, achieve a lower level of education and have shorter attention spans. They are also more likely to break rules and take risks, be more independent, more anti-social, suspicious, jealous and morose, and are deemed less attractive to women. “On the other hand, infected women tend to be more outgoing, friendly, more promiscuous, and are considered more attractive to men compared with non-infected controls. “In short, it can make men behave like alley cats and women behave like sex kittens”.
The city council recently went to the effort of widening the E5 Motorway near Merter (A suburb of Istanbul). They then realised that they had worsened the situation for pedestrians so they comendably decided to put in a footbridge. It turns out however that there wasn’t really anywhere to put the support for the footbridge so the engineer got a little creative: For those of you who haven’t been to Turkey, yes… the left lane IS the “fast” lane!
The following article from today’s Hürriyet newspaper had me in stitches. For those of you who can’t read Turkish the story goes: “A husband and wife with 11 kids are given a condom by a family planing doctor and told to use it in future. However, some time later they come back to the clinic and the woman is once again pregnant. When the husband is asked if he used a condom or not, he said he did. When questioned further he admitted that in fact the condom had been a little bit big for him so he had cut a little bit from the tip to make it fit properly….”
“As every man goes through life he fills in a number of forms for the record, each containing a number of questions… There are thus hundreds of little threads radiating from every man, millions of threads in all. If these threads were suddenly to become visible, the whole sky would look like a spider’s web, and if they materialized as rubber bands, buses; trams and even people would all lose the ability to move, and the wind would be unable to carry torn-up newspapers or autumn leaves along the streets of the city. They are not visible, they are not material, but every man is constantly aware of their existence…. Each man, permanently aware of his own invisible threads, naturally develops a respect for the people who manipulate the threads.”
Below is a quote by Simon Higgs on a mailing list I am subscribed to which I think bears thinking about. I have copied it verbatim: “The amount of music online & on MP3 players isn’t relational to the market size. The reality is that the market ISN’T there. Just like the iPods are not actually there because of warranty/replacement issues, there just aren’t the consumer $$$s to go around the market. Fifteen years ago $100/mo. would buy you 10 CDs. Now it buys you a DSL/cable feed, 1000 cell phone minutes and maybe a CD if you’ve got anything left over. Forget gaming and software. The average person can’t afford all of them and buy CDs @ $17.98 as well. Record labels know this which is why they are getting hot and bothered by where their 1990 dollars are now going. Their answer is $2.50 for a 30 second ring-tone. It isn’t a revenue stream, it’s revenge..”
Well I finally finished reading Judas Unchained which is part of Peter F. Hamilton’s “Commonwealth Saga”. I purchased Pandora’s Star (The previous book in the series) on a whim in an airport bookstore late last year and am now hooked! Hamilton is definitely my favourite Sci-Fi author as of this moment.
I highly recommend purchasing both of these books however beware that they require a fairly hefty investment in time to read. I am a fairly fast reader, yet it took me over a week (including almost the entire weekend) to get through the 949 pages in Judas Unchained, and a similar amount of time for Pandora’s Star due to the very detailed plot and large number of simultaneous plot lines. You can get an idea of the style of the book from the prologue here