It’s not true. It happens all the time, the last time being in 2004 and the time before that being in 1999. It’s really silly to think that it happens only once every 823 years. There are only 14 possible calendar configurations:
- Common years that start on Monday
- Common years that start on Tuesday
- Common years that start on Wednesday
- Common years that start on Thursday
- Common years that start on Friday
- Common years that start on Saturday
- Common years that start on Sunday
- Leap years that start on Monday
- Leap years that start on Tuesday
- Leap years that start on Wednesday
- Leap years that start on Thursday
- Leap years that start on Friday
- Leap years that start on Saturday
- Leap years that start on Sunday
Two out of these 14 have five Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in October. To think that one out of two of these only occurs once ever 823 years is kind of insane.
Fiction can only be so strange because, as fiction, it quickly loses credibility if it gets too strange. The audience loses the willingness to sustain disbelief. When truth is strange it is truly strange.
Of course truth is strange only by accident. So truth will be less strange on average than fiction because fiction is intentionally strange. But measured by their peaks, truth will be stranger than fiction.
A new study by Northwestern’s Adam Galinsky looked at 11 NBA seasons and found that on average, teams that pay one star a lot and the rest not as much, win more games. ”The study shows how pay is tied up with status,” Galinsky says. Exhibit A: Kobe. He makes nearly 25 mil a year, roughly equal to all the subs combined. That payscale ensures his teammates know their roles, and that leads to better team play. In Miami, LeBron, Chris Bosh and D-Wade all earn about the same.
ESPN Magazine (not online yet) via Marginal Revolution
If 5000 people flip a coin ten times each, on average about five of them will hit heads on each flip. These people are not better at flipping for heads than anyone else; it’s just math.
A few years ago I wrote a comic about a machine that could tell you how you were going to die. Five years later, thanks to the tireless efforts of David Malki and Matt Bennardo, a collection of short stories based on the premise is FINALLY HERE. It took a long time, but the book is terrific: we had over 700 submissions and we got them down to 30 excellent stories, and then we said, you know what, let’s make this even better and add illustrations for each of the stories too. So now we’ve got an anthology of stories by the likes of Randall Munroe [!] and Yahtzee Croshaw and tons more great writersand also ME, with illustrations by people like Kate Beaton and KC Green and so many more. It may seem like I’m just pulling awesome people out of a hat, but in reality,they’re all in this book.
Anyway, while you can order the book today, we’re asking you to hold off till Tuesday, the 26th of October. If we all buy it on that day, we can probably make it Amazon’s best-selling book that day. That’s what we’re shooting for. It should only take a hundred of us.
Malki said it better than I can, so you should go here and read these words!
Among the many depressing things about this credulous transmission and elaboration of a false claim is that even if there were a large number of roots for different snow types in some Arctic language, this would not, objectively, be intellectually interesting; it would be a most mundane and unremarkable fact.
Horsebreeders have various names for breeds, sizes, and ages of horses; botanists have names for leaf shapes; interior decorators have names for shades of mauve; printers have many different names for different fonts (Caslon, Garamond, Helvetica, Times Roman, and so on), naturally enough. If these obvious truths of specialization are supposed to be interesting facts about language, thought, and culture, then I’m sorry, but include me out.
Would anyone think of writing about printers the same kind of slop we find written about Eskimos in bad linguistics textbooks? Take a random textbook like Paul Gaeng’s Introduction to the Principles of Language (1971), with its earnest assertion: “It is quite obvious that in the culture of the Eskimos … snow is of great enough importance to split up the conceptual sphere that corresponds to one word and one thought in English into several distinct classes …” (p. 137). Imagine reading: “It is quite obvious that in the culture of printers … fonts are of great enough importance to split up the conceptual sphere that corresponds to one word and one thought among non-printers into several distinct classes… .” Utterly boring, even if true. Only the link to those legendary, promiscuous, blubber-gnawing hunters of the ice-packs could permit something this trite to be presented to us for contemplation.
And actually, when you come to think of it, Eskimos aren’t really that likely to be interested in snow. Snow in the traditional Eskimo hunter’s life must be a kind of constantly assumed background, like sand on the beach. And even beach bums have only one word for sand. But there you are: the more you think about the Eskimo vocabulary hoax, the more stupid it gets.
This long series of posts by an inmate who just got out of prison after doing two years for armed robbery is riveting. Lots of great material most of which cannot be printed here. Seems real to me but you be the judge. The number of murders he says to have witnessed seems awfully high.
So I just got out of prison
…and fuck it if I’ve forgotten how to work a mouse and hit the submit button too soon. Shit [sic] has changed. So many boards now. I don’t know what the fuck is going on. Where do I start? Two years inside and it’s like the whole world has changed. Just wanted a board where things stayed the same….who the fuck if Justin Bieber?Is. Is Justin Bieber. Lost my ability to spell….My cable got cancelled while I was away so I can’t even find out. Thank fuck for wireless internet, I swear to God it’s faster now too. Seriously, it’s like I’ve traveled through time. Fucking iPads look like shit out the future. Feel like I’ve missed a decade…
I joked to my cell mate on the first day that at least the GFC [Global Financial Crisis, AT] couldn’t fuck us inside. He’d been done for assaulting a cop when his house got taken by the bank. But within months ‘GFC___’ became the standard reply to any query as to how black market prices were suddenly going through the roof. The price of a deck of smokes tripled. There was an actual economic reason about this. I went away in Michigan, where a lot of people lost their houses, mostly poor people already. When they had to move away from the prison, it meant they couldn’t bring their loved ones as much contraband group, which meant the price of what there was sky rocketed….Bet you didn’t read about that one in the Wall Street Journal.
My first time in solitary was during a mass transfer, which is when our pen would be filled with extra inmates from another pen over night before being moved on. I was there for three days. The first day wasn’t so bad. In the beginning, I thought ‘this is interesting’ at least. And I kind of enjoyed being alone. I jacked off a lot. The second day, I read the bible. Which is the only book allowed in ad seg. The third day… I began to imagine I’d been forgotten about, and I started to panic. Like Mau-dib says “Fear is the Mind Killer”. Once you start down the road, there is no going back. You think you can handle it, like being alone isn’t so bad, like it’s almost a relief… But they make the room just the slight little bit too small. You lose track of time. You can’t see the light or figure out what day it is. You resort to counting out loud the seconds. You can’t distract yourself anymore and you start pacing but there isn’t enough room to pace and it just makes it worse. I’d never had a panic attack before, so I didn’t know what to expect. My heart just started pounding out of my chest and I felt like I was going to faint. I wanted to faint, so I could at least sleep and waste some time. But I couldn’t. I ended up by stay in ad seg screaming for help, until they came in and tasered me. I woke up back in my old cell. The next morning, they pulled me out of bed, and said because I fucked up in ad seg… I’d be put back in ad seg. For a week. I screamed and tried to get away on my way back so they put leg cuffs on me and didn’t take them off. I got tasered again. This just made it worse. That was when I decided to get some dope as soon as I was out. On the plus side, I now have scary accurate recall of obscure biblical passages.
Wait, so you’re telling me that if I take COLD-FX, I’ll get over my cough and nasal discharge in 5-14+ days?
“The wheel may be one of those cases where the engineering solution can be seen in plain view, yet be unattainable in evolution because it lies [on] the other side of a deep valley, cutting unbridgeably across the massif of Mount Improbable.”
Then I figured it out:
Apple has patented technology that could be used by parents to prevent their kids from sending sexually explicit text messages — or “sexting.”
The technology, which has not been commercialized, would let a phone’s administrator block an iPhone from sending or receiving texts with certain words.