September 29, 2010
I know I'm a little late to this but I just think that while it's sad it's also wonderful.
The Segway company, that one that was going to revolutionise the world, got sold off at the end of last year. It turned out that it didn't revolutionise the world but it did swallow a huge amount of capital while not doing so. Hving done so, it was worth what was paid for it: a great deal less than had been invested in it.
OK, so far so normal for venture capital. But the bloke who bought it? He decided to test out a new model, one designed for rough terrain, for cross country work.
A mogul who had just spent millions to buy the Segway motor-scooter company died after taking one of the two-wheeled gizmos for a ride around his English estate -- and going over a cliff. The crumpled body of self-made millionaire philanthropist Jimi Heselden, 62, was found next to a river along his property Sunday, his electric scooter in the water nearby. "At this time, we do not believe the death to be suspicious," said a spokesman for the police in the town of West Yorkshire in northern England. Heselden -- one of the richest men in Britain with a reported net worth of around $300 million -- is believed to have been doing double duty test-driving a new, more durable, cross-country Segway model while also tooling around his property for an inspection when the freak accident occurred around 11:40 a.m.
Now, me, I'm sorry, but I laughed like a drain.
Sad, both what happened and that I laughed but I did.
December 08, 2009
Zhu Zhu Pets recall over antimony
There's a little scare going on about Zhu Zhu Pets, those mechanical hamsters that are apparently the must have gift this Christmas.
They've been made, or at least one of the different colours has, using antimony. And as ew all know antimony is poisonous.
Actually, there's a decent piece here on Zhu Zhu petra and antimony.
You see, antimony is poisonous, yes, but then so is water. It really depends upon what the dose is, for as Paracelsus told us, the poison is the dose.
And we know what the safe limit for antimony is: 60 ppm. Well, actually, that's about 100 th of what we think the safe dose is, because that's the way that we set safe doses.
The Zhu Zhu pets are at about 120 ppm. That is, 2% of the safe dose instead of 1%.
Woo, scary, ain't it?
December 05, 2009
Melodee Hanes Photo
It's not easy to find a photo of Melodee Hanes on the internet you know: but we've managed it.
This Melodee Hanes picture was taken back in 2002, when Melodee Hanes was just finishing her job as Deputy County Attorney and going off to work for the re-election campaign of Senator Max Baucus.
As we know, Melodee Hanes then went on to become the Senator's girlfriend (some call her mistress, which has rather unkind implications) and now lives with him in Washington DC.
Well, anyway, here's the Melodee Hanes pic:
November 25, 2009
Jane Andrews is back in jail
Jane Andrews, Fergie's (ie, the duchess of York) former dresser is now back in jail.
Where, of course, Jane Andrews belongs. For she's been convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Not that life actually means life in hte UK, she'll get out after a minimum of 12 years....prbably.
Basically, her boyfriend, a rich businessman, declined to marry her so beat him to death with a cricket bat. Would have been more appropriate to use a polo mallet but none available at the time perhaps.
Any, the question is, why did Jane Andrews bunk off for a couple of days: she must have known she would get caught. I like the speculation here.
She's 42: if she doesn't get pregnant soon she never will. So over the wall, get shagged, back to prison to have the baby.
Weird and wild speculation, yes it is indeed.
November 22, 2009
Black Friday Sales, Walmart 2008
Black Friday is of course the biggest sales day in the retail US calendar. And WalMart has the biggest Black Friday sales: so what are the Walmart Black Friday sales for 2009?
We've been able to find the complete list for WalMart's black friday sales offerings for 2009 (it wasn't all that difficult to be honest) so here it is:
Black friday sales from Walmart for 2009:
November 19, 2009
Chiola girl is a new one on me: apparently Chola is the spanish diminutive (or, perhaps slang word) for a girl associated with the gang culture.
As with hip hop and other associated sub cultures, the chola girl has a reasonably specific look as well as this description.
The precise definition of chola girl is:
Spanish reference for a girl involved in gang activity
It's not just a sub culture referrence though: it's been around long enough to have made it into academic studies:
Portions of this article from Harris, M. (1983).Cholas, Latino Girls and Gangs. New York: AMS Press. Reprinted by courtesy of AMS Press, New York.
The look of the chola girl changes over time of course: there are fashions in everything. But the basic description is:
A chola is a firme hyna (latina) who puts on a lot of makeup: thick eyeliner, liquid eyeliner on top going out of your eye dark brown or red lipstick and eyebrows drawn on or really thin.
Not hugely important of course, but there we have our sub culture ethnography of the day.
November 14, 2009
Is there water on the Moon?
Is there water on the Moon? And is there honey still for tea?
That latter really depends on whether you've been to the supermarket or not but the answer to the former is that yes, there is indeed water on the Moon. Nasa has been able to find it:
Nasa has found 'a significant amount' of water inside a crater on the Moon in a discovery that could pave the way for the first manned lunar base.
The agency announced that last month's audacious attempt to smash two spacecraft into the Moon's rocky surface to find ice was a major success.
Which is of course exceedingly good news. It makes the construction of a Moon base, permanently manned (or womaned) that much easier. And that of course is good news for all of us who want to see humanity getting off this dangerous ball of rock and getting on with getting out there to other, safer, places to live.
November 05, 2009
You might recall the Neda video from a few months back, the shocking video footage of a young woman, Neda Soltani, dying after she had been shot in the heart during a pro-democracy demonstration in Iran.
There's an article hosting the video and explaining what was going on with the Neda video here:
Neda Agha Sultan (her name is variously given as Neda Soltani, Neda Sultan, Neda Agha Soltan, Neda Agha Sultan, the differences coming from a combination of the different languages of Farsi and English and tha fact that they don't use the same alphabet) was the young woman shot dead during the demonstrations over the Iranian electoral fraud of last week.
There was a video taken of her death: showing the ubiquity of camera phones around the world. And, of course, the Neda Agha Sultan video was immediately loaded into Facebook, YouTube and all of the other social media. It's a textbook example of how the world has changed technologically since Tiananmen, since the Berlin Wall fell.
But do be aware that this is extremely disturbing: Neda Sultan really is dying in this video, this is not a reconstruction.
Click through any of the links to see the Neda video.
October 16, 2009
The balloon boy hoax
This is really rather fun, the Balloon Boy hoax. So, slightly crazed father builds home made balloon and fills it with helium. Son has an argument with said father and runs away and hides. Balloon slips its tether and sails away into the skies.
At which point all hell breaks loose and the FAA, the National Guard, the Air Force and Uncle Tom Cobbleigh are called out to track the balloon 70 miles across Colorado.
Upon the balloon's landing, boy is not found: he's still actually in the attic over the garage.
Snigger. There's a round up of the balloon boy's story here.
The drama over the skies of Colorado yesterday was indeed a hoax. The Balloon Boy was not in fact inside the balloon at all. What had police, the Air Foce, the FAA and the National Guard chasing across the skies was an empty balloon: our Balloon Boy was safely at home all the while.
October 13, 2009
The fish finger fish
Not quite sure what this says about the modern world. So, some scientists decided to test children on which species of fish they could name. Excellent: but 10% of the responses included the "fish finger fish" which was a bit of a surprise.
In fact, the fish finger fish was the third most popular species named over all.
So, the scientists did what such would do and made little models of fish finger fish and....stuck them in hte aquarium at the museum. So that children could ask parents whether they were really real and parents could explain that, no, they were models, it was a joke....
Quite what happens with the parents who go "Gosh, I never knew there was a fish finger fish" I'm not quite sure....