Saturday, September 30, 2006

The full Season 3 premier of Veronica Mars is available for online viewing here. Fans won't have to wait until next Tuesday! (Via Clicked.)
Logical fallacies update: James Dominguez adds these to the earlier list.
Denying the Antecedent:
If Denying the Antecedent were not the best fallacy, then I would be sad. I am actually in quite a good mood right now, so obviously Denying the Antecedent is the best.

Affirming the Consequent:
If it is proven that Affirming the Consequent is the best, then I will be very happy. I am feeling _very_ happy, so obviously Affirming the Consequent is the best fallacy.

Straw Man Argument:
Apparently you think the Straw Man Argument is bad because you have something against the Wizard of Oz. Well, you know what? It doesn't have anything to do with the Wizard of Oz! Therefore, the Straw Man Argument must be the best fallacy.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Good overviews of casino surveillance and casino comps.
Cool keychain tools from Atwood.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Strange clouds. (Via Clicked.)
Atari 2600 game code as art. (Via Neatorama.)
Video of the day: "How to grab a gun away." GeekPress is not responsibile if you try this at home without proper training and get yourself shot as a result. (Via Clicked.)
How do mirrors reflect photons?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

"The Internet's Biggest Google Whores"
"Connecting the Dots" Can the tools of graph theory and social-network studies unravel the next big terror plot?"
Excellent history of the LED.
"How to Blow Up a Star: It is not as easy as you would think."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Every episode of The Simpsons available here in Flash format. (Via GMSV.)

Update: Reader Tero Kokko points me to all the "Futuramas" as well.
How to cook salmon in your dishwasher. (Via Solsberg.)
The world's first hypoallergenic cats are now available for sale in the US for a mere $3950.
"Doctors to Attempt First Ever Zero-G Surgery"

Monday, September 25, 2006

"Robots Get Soft, Human-Like Skin"
Cell phone addiction?
"A look inside the Chinese sweatshop 'gold farms' that build up characters and collect weapons to sell to online gamers in the West". (Via Fark.)
How to make cumbersome airline security procedures work for you: The Bruce Schneier blog describes an ingenious way to make sure that valuable items (such as high-end camera and electronics equipment) in checked luggage never get lost or stolen. First, one person summarizes the current TSA rules for transporting firearms:
All firearms must be in checked baggage, no carry on.

All firearms must be transported in a locked, hard sided case using a non-TSA approved lock. This is to prevent anyone from opening the case after its been screened.

After bringing the equipment to the airline counter and declaring and showing the contents to the airline representative, you take it over to the TSA screening area where it it checked by a screener, relocked in front of you, your key or keys returned to you (if it's not a combination lock) and put directly on the conveyor belt for loading onto the plane.

No markings, stickers or labels identifying what's inside are put on the outside of the case or, if packed inside something else, the bag.

Might this solve the problem? I've never lost a firearm when flying.
Then Schneier observes that another poster "has the brilliant suggestion of putting a firearm in your camera-equipment case":
A "weapon" is defined as a rifle, shotgun, pistol, airgun, and STARTER PISTOL. Yes, starter pistols -- those little guns that fire blanks at track and swim meets -- are considered weapons... and do NOT have to be registered in any state in the United States.

I have a starter pistol for all my cases. All I have to do upon check-in is tell the airline ticket agent that I have a weapon to declare... I'm given a little card to sign, the card is put in the case, the case is given to a TSA official who takes my key and locks the case, and gives my key back to me.

That's the procedure. The case is extra-tracked... TSA does not want to lose a weapons case. This reduces the chance of the case being lost to virtually zero.

It's a great way to travel with camera gear... I've been doing this since Dec 2001 and have had no problems whatsoever.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

"9 months of gestation in 20 seconds: I took a series of photos every other day as my wife was pregnant with our first child. Watch the belly expanding fun!"

Here's some additional behind-the-scenes info.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Emergency room X-ray of the day: According to the ER doctor,
Yes, that's a pistol completely stuffed into the vaginal vault. All of a sudden her agitation and thrashing about seemed a lot more important than it had a few minutes before. How the hell were we to get the gun out without the damn thing discharging?

In the end, there was no real option. She was sedated and taken to the OR for an exam under anesthesia. They put a bulletproof vest over the patient's body to protect the anesthesiologist in the event the gun went off, and had general surgery standing by. The OB-GYN who did the extraction reported a very tense moment when he perceived that the hammer was cocked and there appeared to be a shell in the chamber. An uneventful removal was followed by a moment of letdown when they realized that the device was not, in fact, a gun, but rather a butane torch/cigarette lighter shaped like a gun.

This actually makes sense when you look at the X-ray and realize that the other item in her vagina is a glass crack pipe and its rubber tubing. What good is a crack pipe without a lighter?
(Via Solsberg.)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Disturbing genetics story of the day: According to this recent report on the genetic testing practices in US IVF (in vitro fertilization) clinics,
Some prospective parents have sought [preimplantation genetic diagnosis] to select an embryo for the presence of a particular disease or disability, such as deafness, in order that the child would share that characteristic with the parents. Three percent of IVF-PGD clinics report having provided PGD to couples who seek to use PGD in this manner. (Page 5 of the report, page 7 of the PDF file.)
Now I can understand why prospective parents might choose to screen their embryos so that their future child won't have a certain crippling disease. But to deliberately select an embryo so that it will seems incomprehensibly monstrous.

Or as this Slate article puts it,
Old fear: designer babies. New fear: deformer babies.
Making the rounds: "White & Nerdy". Which of course has a Wikipedia entry. (Via Brian Schwartz.)
"An Artificial Heart That Doesn't Beat"
How the Virginia Beach ATM Hack was performed. The ATM company does plan on releasing a patch.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

"Web 2.0 Winners and Losers"
"Despite Rumors, Black Hole Factory Will Not Destroy Earth"
"People who consume alcohol earn significantly more at their jobs than non-drinkers..." (Via BBspot.)
More people are getting fired by e-mail. But even that's not as tacky as getting fired by text message, like this woman:
"Hi Katy its alex from the shop. Sorry 2 do this by text but ive been trying to call u + ur phones been switched off. Ive had a meeting with jon + ian and weve reviewed your sales figures and they're not really up to the level we need. As a result we will not require your services any more. You will receive your last pay packet on Friday 28th july. Thank you for your time with us."

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"Unfinished Tolkien work to be published in 2007":
An unfinished tale by J.R.R. Tolkien has been edited by his son into a completed work and will be released next spring, the U.S. and British publishers announced Monday.

Christopher Tolkien has spent the past 30 years working on "The Children of Hurin," an epic tale his father began in 1918 and later abandoned. Excerpts of "The Children of Hurin," which includes the elves and dwarves of Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" and other works, have been published before.

"It has seemed to me for a long time that there was a good case for presenting my father's long version of the legend of the 'Children of Hurin' as an independent work, between its own covers," Christopher Tolkien said in a statement.
Does anyone really need laser-guided scissors?
"First bionic woman can feel it when people shake her prosthetic hand"
"Mind Games: What neuroeconomics tells us about money and the brain"
"Real Fear in Virtual World". Following the security breach at Linden Labs (creators of the online game Second Life), where "the company's computers were hacked last week and access was potentially gained to the real-world names and addresses of as many as 650,000 Second Life denizens", some players are getting nervous:
Blackmail and extortion are also possibilities should a hacker threaten to expose some of Second Life's racier activities -- the virtual philandering of dissatisfied husbands or wives, say -- to real-world scrutiny.

"It's identity rape," said Lisa Stone, co-founder of Palo Alto's BlogHer, an organization for female bloggers, and a sporadic resident of Second Life. "If this happened, it would be a personal violation. It's completely unacceptable."

She said she's typically much more uninhibited in the virtual world of Second Life than she is in the real world. This is largely a factor of using a pseudonym when interacting with other Second Life members and having an invented digital image -- an avatar -- to hide behind.

..."There's a lot of sex in Second Life," said Rich Gibson, a Sebastopol computer programmer who has been dwelling in the virtual world, on and off, since February.

"The experience of having an avatar changes things," he said. "People do things that they might not do in the real world -- things they wouldn't want people in real life knowing about."
I understand the concern of the female player, but I find her "identity rape" metaphor a bit stretched...

Monday, September 18, 2006

More on logical fallacies: Justin Weinberg adds a few more of his own to the earlier list. He also notes, "P.S. The equivocation (below) is on 'is' -- some people have trouble spotting that."
Appeal to Ignorance:
No one has been able to prove that another fallacy is better than Appeal to Ignorance, so it must be the best.

Composition:
Each of the other fallacies suck. The Fallacy of Composition is therefore better than the whole lot of them combined.

Division:
This is the best list of fallacies. It follows that there could be no better description of the Fallacy of Division than this.

Equivocation:
The best fallacy is on this list.
Equivocation is on this list.
Therefore, the best fallacy is equivocation.

The Fallacy Fallacy:
Some have argued that the Fallacy Fallacy couldn't be the best fallacy because some arguments for it being the best fallacy are themselves fallacious. Clearly, this is a fallacious argument, from which we can only conclude that the Fallacy Fallacy is indeed the best fallacy.

False Analogy:
Just as the jelly donut is the best donut, so too is False Analogy the best fallacy.

Hypostatization (personification):
Go, Hypostatization Fallacy, you can do it! If you just try hard enough you can be the best fallacy there is! Oh come on now, don't look at me like that.

Use/Mention:
If I mention the idea that "the use/mention fallacy is the best fallacy" then the use/mention fallacy is the best fallacy.
Analysis of 20,000 MySpace passwords. (Via \.)
Adventures with a 20-inch(!) laptop. (Via Engadget.)
14 year old kidnapped girl rescued after sending a text message from the "hand-dug, booby-trapped bunker" where she had been held.
"In-flight announcements are not entirely truthful. What might an honest one sound like?" (Via BBspot.)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Latest picture of an invisibility cloak.
Inspirational religious story of the day: This is a true story as communicated to me by one of my coworkers.

A local physician was quite well known for being an (apparently) devout Christian. However, he was also having an illicit extramarital affair with one of his female office staff. The rest of his employees found this distasteful, not only because of the gross hypocrisy but also because the doctor was giving unfair preferential treatment at work to his lover.

Finally, some of the other employees made up a large sign and snuck it into the doctor's office overnight. It read, "Thou shalt not share thy rod with thy staff".

The female employee who was having the affair with the doctor quickly found another job.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Hilarious video of the day: "The Princess and Professor. The CPU switch". What we have here is a failure to communicate...
High dynamic range panoramas. (Via Jim May.)
Clever (and immoral) ATM hack:
Someone reprogrammed an ATM in Va. Beach to give out extra cash.

...The machine was programmed to disburse $20 bills. So, for example, taking $200 from your account would usually mean you got 10 bills. "The suspect made the ATM believe it was giving $5 bills, but the user was still getting $20s, so a user would end up with four times the amount of cash, but their account would still show only a $200 debit," explained Va. Beach police spokeswoman Margie Long.

The man left and then returned in a few minutes to remove more money.
(Via Engadget.)
"How does a traffic light detect that a car has pulled up and is waiting for the light to change?" Interestingly enough, it's not a switch responding to physical pressure. (Via Clicked.)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Solid, red oxygen.
How to open a beer bottle with a helicopter. (Via Neatorama.)
"Dr. Tom Gold, emeritus professor of astronomy at Cornell University, believes that organisms based on silicon may live far below the surface of the Earth."
50 years of hard drives.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

If you're Asian-American and you live in Colorado, you may live for a long time.
Broadband access through natural gas pipes. Maybe the internet really is a "series of tubes"!
Winners of the 2006 "Most Beautiful CG Girls" competition.
A prototype of the $100 laptop.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Pluto is now just a number:
Pluto has been given a new name to reflect its new status as a dwarf planet.

On Sept. 7, the former 9th planet was assigned the asteroid number 134340 by the Minor Planet Center (MPC), the official organization responsible for collecting data about asteroids and comets in our solar system...

Pluto's companion satellites, Charon, Nix and Hydra are considered part of the same system and will not be assigned separate asteroid numbers, said MPC director emeritus Brian Marsden. Instead, they will be called 134340 I, II and III, respectively...

Other notable objects to receive asteroid numbers included 2003 UB313, also known as "Xena," and the recently discovered Kuiper Belt objects 2003 EL61 and 2005 FY9. Their asteroid numbers are 136199, 136108 and 136472, respectively.
"Concept of 'personal space' survives in virtual reality"
"Wikipedia defies China's censors"
"What are dark matter and dark energy, and how are they affecting the universe?"

Or if you don't like dark matter there's always, "Dark Matter's Rival: Ether Theory Challenges 'Invisible Mass'". (Via Cosmic Log.)
More on fallacies: Mike Williams formulates a better version of the Complex Fallacy question.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Tracking earthquakes by hard drive wobbling propagating from the epicenter.
The ease of digital snooping is changing people's expectations of what's ethical. (Via Bruce Schneier.)
Is the iPod losing its cool?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Update on logical fallacies: Steven DenBeste makes a small correction to the Gambler's Fallacy, and adds a few good ones of his own, including (look for his blog entry "20060908.1240"):
In all the previous talks about this subject, Gambler's Fallacy lost, so I just know the Gambler's Fallacy is going to win this time because it's the Gambler's Fallacy's turn to win!
And,
If you agree with me that Appeal to Flattery is the greatest fallacy, it shows that you are intelligent and good looking and really good in bed. And a snappy dresser.

If you don't agree that Appeal to Pity is the greatest fallacy, think how it will hurt the feelings of me and the others who like it!

It's obvious that Bandwagon is going to win as the greatest fallacy. You wouldn't want to be one of the losers who choose something else, would you?

I just did a poll of all the people in the "Biased Sample Fan Club" and 95% of them agree that Biased Sample is the best fallacy. Obviously it's going to win.

Friday, September 08, 2006

It's the 40th anniversary of Star Trek!
Excellent list of logical fallacies:
Ad Hominem:
This is the best logical fallacy, and if you disagree with me, well, you suck.

Appeal To False Authority:
Your logical fallacies aren't logical fallacies at all because Einstein said so. Einstein also said that this one is better.

Appeal To Emotion:
See, my mom, she had to work three jobs on account of my dad leaving and refusing to support us, and me with my elephantitis and all, all our money went to doctor's bills so I never was able to get proper schooling. So really, if you look deep down inside yourself, you'll see that my fallacy here is the best.

Appeal to Fear:
If you don't accept Appeal to Fear as the greatest fallacy, then THE TERRORISTS WILL HAVE WON. Do you want that on your conscience, that THE TERRORISTS WILL HAVE WON because you were a pansy who didn't really think that Appeal to Fear was worth voting for, and you wanted to vote for something else? Of course not, and neither would the people you let die because THE TERRORISTS WILL HAVE WON.

Appeal To Force:
If you don't agree that Appeal to Force is the greatest logical fallacy, I will kick your ass.

Appeal To Majority:
Most people think that this fallacy is the best, so clearly it is.

Appeal To Novelty:
The Appeal to Novelty's a new fallacy, and it blows all your crappy old fallacies out the water! All the cool kids are using it: it's OBVIOUSLY the best.

Appeal To Numbers:
Millions think that this fallacy is the best, so clearly it is.

Appeal To Tradition:
We've used Appeal to Tradition for centuries: how can it possibly be wrong?

Argumentum Ad Nauseam:
Argumentum ad nauseam is the best logical fallacy.
Argumentum ad nauseam is the best logical fallacy.
Argumentum ad nauseam is the best logical fallacy.
Argumentum ad nauseam is the best logical fallacy.
Argumentum ad nauseam is the best logical fallacy.
Argumentum ad nauseam is the best logical fallacy.
Argumentum ad nauseam is the best logical fallacy.

Begging The Question:
Circular reasoning is the best fallacy and is capable of proving anything.
Since it can prove anything, it can obviously prove the above statement.
Since it can prove the first statement, it must be true.
Therefore, circular reasoning is the best fallacy and is capable of proving anything.

Burden Of Proof:
Can you prove that Burden of Proof isn't the best logical fallacy?

Complex Question:
Have you stopped beating your wife and saying Complex Question isn't the best fallacy?

False Dilemma:
I've found that either you think False Dilemma is the best fallacy, or you're a terrorist.

False Premise:
All of the other fallacies are decent, but clearly not the best as they didn't come from my incredibly large and sexy brain.

Gambler's Fallacy:
In all the previous talks about this subject, Gambler's Fallacy won, so I just know the Gambler's Fallacy is going to win this time!

Guilt By Association:
You know who else preferred those other logical fallacies?
*(insert pictures of Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot here)*

Non Sequitur:
Non Sequitur is the best fallacy because none of my meals so far today have involved asparagus.

Post Hoc/False Cause:
Since I've started presuming that correlation equals causation, violent crime has gone down 54%.

Red Herring:
They say that to prove your fallacy is the best requires extraordinary evidence, because it's an extraordinary claim. Well, I'd like to note that "Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence" is itself an extraordinary claim.

Relativism:
Well maybe all those other fallacies are the best for you, but to me, the relativist fallacy is the greatest logical fallacy ever.

Slippery Slope:
If you don't like Slippery Slope arguments, you will do poorly in class, drop out of school, commit crimes, go to prison, and die of AIDS.

Special Pleading:
I know that everyone is posting about their favorite fallacies, but Special Pleading is out-and-out the best, so it should just win with no contest.
(Credit should go to Brian McGroarty who compiled this list, which I subsequently received via e-mail fwd.)

Update #1: Steven DenBeste makes a small correction to the Gambler's Fallacy, and adds a few good ones of his own, including (look for his blog entry "20060908.1240"):
In all the previous talks about this subject, Gambler's Fallacy lost, so I just know the Gambler's Fallacy is going to win this time because it's the Gambler's Fallacy's turn to win!
And,
If you agree with me that Appeal to Flattery is the greatest fallacy, it shows that you are intelligent and good looking and really good in bed. And a snappy dresser.

If you don't agree that Appeal to Pity is the greatest fallacy, think how it will hurt the feelings of me and the others who like it!

It's obvious that Bandwagon is going to win as the greatest fallacy. You wouldn't want to be one of the losers who choose something else, would you?

I just did a poll of all the people in the "Biased Sample Fan Club" and 95% of them agree that Biased Sample is the best fallacy. Obviously it's going to win.

Update #2: Mike Williams formulates a better version of the Complex Fallacy question.

Update #3: Justin Weinberg adds a few more of his own. He also notes, "P.S. The equivocation (below) is on 'is' -- some people have trouble spotting that."
Appeal to Ignorance:
No one has been able to prove that another fallacy is better than Appeal to Ignorance, so it must be the best.

Composition:
Each of the other fallacies suck. The Fallacy of Composition is therefore better than the whole lot of them combined.

Division:
This is the best list of fallacies. It follows that there could be no better description of the Fallacy of Division than this.

Equivocation:
The best fallacy is on this list.
Equivocation is on this list.
Therefore, the best fallacy is equivocation.

The Fallacy Fallacy:
Some have argued that the Fallacy Fallacy couldn't be the best fallacy because some arguments for it being the best fallacy are themselves fallacious. Clearly, this is a fallacious argument, from which we can only conclude that the Fallacy Fallacy is indeed the best fallacy.

False Analogy:
Just as the jelly donut is the best donut, so too is False Analogy the best fallacy.

Hypostatization (personification):
Go, Hypostatization Fallacy, you can do it! If you just try hard enough you can be the best fallacy there is! Oh come on now, don't look at me like that.

Use/Mention:
If I mention the idea that "the use/mention fallacy is the best fallacy" then the use/mention fallacy is the best fallacy.

Update #4: James Dominguez adds these:
Denying the Antecedent:
If Denying the Antecedent were not the best fallacy, then I would be sad. I am actually in quite a good mood right now, so obviously Denying the Antecedent is the best.

Affirming the Consequent:
If it is proven that Affirming the Consequent is the best, then I will be very happy. I am feeling _very_ happy, so obviously Affirming the Consequent is the best fallacy.

Straw Man Argument:
Apparently you think the Straw Man Argument is bad because you have something against the Wizard of Oz. Well, you know what? It doesn't have anything to do with the Wizard of Oz! Therefore, the Straw Man Argument must be the best fallacy.
You can find all sorts of interesting material if you simply Google the phrase Confidental "do not distribute". (Via Boing Boing.)
Green skies.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

"How To Survive a Nuclear Bomb"
"Robotic frisbees of death"
"Charlie Brown has never knowingly taken steroids"
Instructional video of the day: How to turn a disposable camera into a taser. (Via Clicked.)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

"Software learns new words from Wikipedia"
The growing problem of "splogs" or spam-blogs.
Why you should own Lego Mindstorms NXT.
London bus-drivers are carrying DNA kits to help catch face-spitters:
A 17-year-old has been arrested for spitting at a bus driver in north London under a crime prevention pilot scheme.

The youth is one of the first to face prosecution after the launch of a new scheme in which bus drivers have been provided with DNA testing kits to help catch offending passengers.

The driver was in Brent when the youth spat in his face. He took a sample of the saliva using a sterile swab. Police then tested it and found a match on the national DNA database.

The 17-year-old was arrested yesterday and held for questioning- He may face a charge of causing a public nuisance or actual bodily harm.
(Via Boing Boing.)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Great commercial from 1975 on what airline travel would be like in the future. (Via Gravity Lens.)
Detailed discussion of the perennial question, "Is cybersex cheating?"
"Australian scientists begin human tests on 'bionic eye'".
"TrackMeNot periodically sends fake, innocuous queries to search engines, making it harder for someone to glean your actual search habits by reviewing the companies' logs that contain your queries."

Monday, September 04, 2006

How to decide if a new military technology is overhyped:
1) Promises a "revolution in warfare."

Add 50 points. Add 25 points for claims of a "new arms race." Add 5 points for each time any derivative of the word "transformation" is used in promotional materials describing the weapon.

2) Is supposedly based on a "new" innovation, yet on closer examination, there are myriad examples of attempts using similar ideas in the past.

Add 10 points for each case of a similar idea in the past. Add another 15 points, for each case inventor/company was unaware of this earlier attempt, and thus failed to learn from past mistakes.

3) Lacks a realistic operational scenario of where or how such a weapon could be used.

Add 25 points. Add 15 points if inventor/company describes an operational scenario, but it has no relation to current warfare (i.e. aircraft equipped with laser beams shooting at each other).

4) The usability of the weapon assumes as yet unproven leaps in technology to reduce size, power generation or other critical elements.

Add 15 points for each needed technological advance.

5) The idea comes from someone who is unfamiliar with how the military fights and how weapons are used.

Add 15 points (this is slightly subjective, so add only five points if served in military, but never involved in any military operations). Add 20 points if military experience is derived from watching war movies or the evening news.

6) The company/inventor relies on obtaining funding (private or public) from people who themselves have no idea how the military uses weapons (i.e. private investors, congressional earmarks).

Add 20 points if developmental funding relies on congressional earmarks (as opposed to funds requested in the Pentagon's budget). Add 25 points if developmental funding relies on publicly traded stock. Add 30 points for developmental funding from intelligence agencies.

7) Incorporates references to and/or inspiration from Star Trek, Star Wars, Buck Rogers, or video games.

Add 10 points for Star Trek, 5 points for Star Wars, 3 points for Buck Rogers, and 2 points for video games (regardless whether XBox or Playstation II).

8) Inventor/company argues that people also once doubted the feasibility of a nuclear weapon, as if that automatically means that this weapon will work and/or is deserving of nearly unlimited funding.

Add 25 points. Also add 20 points if similar references are made to the Wright Brothers and airplanes.

9) Claims foreign countries are working hard on this technology, and could overtake the United States if we don't invest in it (without proof of such work).

Add 10 points for claiming Russia is working on the same type of weapons, 20 points for China, 30 points for North Korea, and 5 points for the French. Score extra 100 points if claim is that extraterrestrial life forms are working on it (in fact, stop now if that's the case -- trust me, that's a stupid weapon).

10) Claims foreign governments have contacted inventor/company about buying the weapon and/or idea (but with no actual sales).

Add 10 points.

11) Relies on PowerPoint in lieu of engineering details to demonstrate workability.

Add 5 points for each cartoon depiction of technology not yet in existence.

12) References to previous military funding as proof the idea is valid, because we all know the military only funds things that work.

Add 5 points.

13) When presented with possible scientific laws that the weapon -- as proposed -- might violate, inventor/company simply insists the weapon works, and it's up to the scientists to explain how.

Add 35 points.

14) Cost of the weapon (please include nonrecurring costs if the weapon doesn't yet exist), exceeds that of similar one currently in inventory by a factor of 10.

Add 20 points for each factor of 10. Add another 5 points if you assert that costs will come down with mass production without being able to cite evidence for demand and/or how much those costs would be reduced.

15) Any proof the weapon works is openly paraded to the media, but questions about problems with the weapon are rebuffed by claims that the information is "classified" or "proprietary."

Add 25 points.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Extreme origami.
Synthetic biology. That's my kind of "intelligent design". (Via Joost Bonsen.)
"Smart buildings" that change their shape in order to adapt to the weather.