Where’s that spare 100,000 pounds when I need it?
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

It looks like a cut-price version of the set of a Bond movie. Blocky, 60s-style white consoles face a large wall-mounted video screen, each covered in dials and buttons with words like “pump on”, “fire” and “liftoff” written on them. Only the slightly shabby appearance of the place and the metre-high inflatable rocket in the corner indicate that this is not the home of cat-stroking villains but a place of academic study.

In three years, if all goes to plan, Esrange will act as mission control for the European outpost of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

Passengers paying $200,000 (about Ł100,000) a ticket for the two-hour flight will be able to fly into the aurora borealis – the northern lights – something that no human has done before
The company hopes to begin commercial space flights from a purpose-built spaceport in New Mexico in 2010, but flights from Kiruna should follow soon afterwards
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The Simpsons turns 18

December 18, 2007

clipped from www.comicmix.com

Happy 18th birthday, Simpsons!

The first episode of The Simpsons, titled “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” also known as “The Simpsons Christmas Special,” premiered on this day in 1989 on the Fox Television — well, it wasn’t much of a network 18 years ago, but we have to call it that nowadays.

We mention it because nobody ever remembers birthdays around Christmas time.

But you’re still not getting a second present.

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Hoffstetter is having pretty good success with this, just by cutting out the middleman.
clipped from www.last100.com

hofstetter dark side of the roomOne frustrating aspect of the Radiohead pay-what-you-want experiment is the lack of definitive numbers — yet. ComScore says this, Radiohead says that, the record industry says this, the artists say that.

The Radiohead experiment is now old news, but that doesn’t mean others will not attempt their own experiments. Following in the footsteps of Radiohead, Steve Hofstetter, an up and coming comedian with a strong Internet following among high school and college-age kids, has released his latest album “The Dark Side of the Room” on his Website. He’s believed to be the first comedian to take a pay-what-you-want approach.

Hofstetter is no Radiohead, mind you, but it’s interesting to see all sorts of known, somewhat-known, and unknown artists experiment with the pay-what-you-want model. 

  • steve hofstetterHe currently is averaging about $6 an album, including freeloaders. That’s more than triple what his royalty would be if this we released by a label.
  • The most common price paid is $9.95
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    The Hype of Girl Violence

    December 16, 2007

    Interesting compilation of recent media coverage, academic research, and historical trends on violence from girls
    clipped from www2.tbo.com
    Although incidents are more visible and publicized, crime rates are actually down.

    Although girl violence is more visible today, panic over an uprising of angry young women would be misguided, many say.

    “To be honest, I see a decline in the fighting,” says Pearl Ershery of Mulrennan Middle School in Valrico, who has been a guidance counselor in Hillsborough County for 15 years.

    Crime rates for girls have dropped each year for the past 13 years, reaching their lowest levels since 1973, according to a 2006 report by the U.S. Department of Justice. Murder by girls is at its lowest level since 1963.

    Kimberly Harrington of Plant City is
    serving 14 years for manslaughter.
    She says she was defending her
    friends against two aggressive men.

    However, experts say the increase is linked to a concurrent crackdown on domestic violence. Boys fight peers, but girls usually strike out at others living in their homes. Some state statutes require an arrest in cases of family violence.

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    This is a very interesting bit of technology, and an equally intriguing application for it.
    clipped from adage.com

    No, he's not crazy: Our intrepid reporter Andrew
Hampp ventures to SoHo to hear for himself the technology that has New Yorkers 'freaked out' and A&E buzzing.
    Our intrepid reporter Andrew
    Hampp ventures to SoHo to hear for himself the technology that has New Yorkers ‘freaked out’ and A&E buzzing.
    New Yorker Alison Wilson was walking down Prince Street in SoHo last week when she heard a woman’s voice right in her ear asking, “Who’s there? Who’s there?” She looked around to find no one in her immediate surroundings. Then the voice said, “It’s not your imagination.”

    Indeed it isn’t. It’s an ad for “Paranormal State,” a ghost-themed series premiering on A&E this week. The billboard uses technology manufactured by Holosonic that transmits an “audio spotlight” from a rooftop speaker so that the sound is contained within your cranium. The technology, ideal for museums and libraries or environments that require a quiet atmosphere for isolated audio slideshows, has rarely been used on such a scale before.
    the technology was designed to avoid adding to noise pollution.
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    Santa on the naughty list

    December 15, 2007

    I suppose this is what Canadian postal workers do when they go over the edge instead of shooting co-workers?
    clipped from www.canada.com

    There was absolutely nothing Ho Ho Ho about the letters Rosalyn Da Costa’s children got from Santa yesterday.

    In fact, they included filthy messages.

    They are two of 10, inappropriate letters dropped in mailboxes across Ottawa in the last two days, but there could be more.

    Yesterday, Canada Post shut down its Write To Santa program across the city while it joins Ottawa police to hunt down the “rogue elf.”

    “Everybody here is so shocked,” said Canada Post spokeswoman Cindy Daoust. “Disappointed doesn’t begin to describe how we feel.”

    Each Santa letter Canada Post delivers contains the same main message with a hand-written personal postscript.

    Maya’s personal “P.S.” said: “This letter is too long, you dumb s—.”

    The personal P.S. to Colton’s letter read: “Your mom sucks d— and your Dad is gay”

    Canada Post has put out an alert for letter carriers to not deliver any Santa letters, to intercept any others in the system and to send them back.
    “We will check every one,” said Ms. Daoust.
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    Ah, the Onion …
    clipped from www.theonion.com

    Tiger Woods
    Tiger Woods added yet another accomplishment to his already outstanding résumé Sunday when the 13-time major winner successfully putted his baby daughter, five-month-old Sam Alexis Woods, into a fresh Huggies diaper.

    Dressed in his signature red shirt, black pants, and black Nike golf shoes, Woods—who has not played competitive golf in three months in order to stay at home and spend time with his newborn daughter—followed the clutch 12-foot putt with a celebratory fist pump before hugging caddie Steve Williams, who was handling the baby’s skin ointment.

    “The living room carpet was rolling especially fast today,” Woods later told reporters
    “As soon as the baby’s bottom left my putter, I knew she was in.”

    Once more displaying his uncanny ability to stay focused even in the most high-pressure situations, Woods did not let his infant’s multiple shrieks distract him, calmly stepping away from his squalling baby daughter three times before executing the putt.

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