postcards from the internets

by twit

Headline of the day: “How to do business like the Mafia

“They’re violent, they’re ruthless, they have caused misery to many, but you can’t fault their business sense: mafia bosses know how to make a profit.”

Weird shit of the day: “Frog without Lungs” … it breathes through its skin

https://i1.wp.com/img.breitbart.com/images/2008/4/10/D8VV7KJ00/D8VV7KJ00.jpg

Bickford said the species is the first frog known to science without lungs and joins a short list of amphibians with this unusual trait…

“These are about the most ancient and bizarre frogs you can get on the planet,” Bickford said of the brown amphibian with bulging eyes and a tendency to flatten itself as it glides across the water.

“They are like a squished version of Jabba the Hutt,” he said…

The Next Great Global Pandemonium of the day: Cosmic Rays

https://i2.wp.com/newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44549000/jpg/_44549362_cosmicray226.jpgThe BBC reports on cosmic rays, “which originate in space before sporadically entering the Earth’s atmosphere and going through everything they encounter” and:

Because the operation of computers is through charged particles, the unpredicatable hits from the rays are problematic, potentially causing the system to crash.

… this is potentially a problem not just for PCs and supercomputers, but anything with computer-operated parts – for example cars.

“You could be going down the autobahn at 200 miles an hour and suddenly discover your anti-lock braking system doesn’t work because it had a cosmic ray event,” Mr Hannah said.

The cosmic ray detector is therefore designed to spot when rays have caused interference and then tell the chip to repeat the command.

“It’s strange, but this is the reality we’re moving into as we get smaller and smaller circuits.”

Bargain of the day: Wal-mart’s dirty secrets

http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:IZrttP-dfblPCM:http://www.grokdotcom.com/wp-content/uploads/Bryan/walmart_facebook.jpgVia Boing Boing: Flagler Productions, a video production company in Kansas that spent years as Wal-Mart’s corporate archivist, is now selling access to thousands of hours of candid footage of Wal-Mart execs talking about the business’s dirty secrets.

Wal-Mart fired Flagler, and gave them a lowball offer of $500,000 (7,33€) for the archive. Instead, Flagler is now selling access to the archive to researchers (mostly union organizers and plaintiff-side lawyers suing Wal-Mart) for $250/hour.

Runner-up headline of the day: Gold Kit Surprise

After enduring dozens of their “scrap gold” television commercials, I decided to try out the Lippencott “Gold Kit”.

To test their system and discover their exchange price, I should have sent in a known quantity of pure gold. Unfortunately, real gold is very rare, and hella expensive. Even after checking the whole recycling bin and both garbage cans, I found that I had absolutely no gold scraps in the house.

I grabbed some doo-dads out of the junk drawer and some gold spray-paint out of the garage.

Soon I had a gold bottle cap, a gold stem from a bunch of grapes, a gold pop-top, a gold zip-tie, a gold ‘S’ hook, a gold nut and the elusive gold nickel.

In all, a nice sack of treasure!

Health warning of the day:

Slog says: “should you happen come across pot mixed with chunks that look like this…

https://i2.wp.com/slog.thestranger.com/files/2008/04/weed_and_heavy_metal.jpg

don’t smoke it.


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