Friday, October 21, 2011

A Digital Direct Democracy For the Modern Age

"Last month the White House created an online petition system through which constituents can directly voice any grievances and concerns to the US government. Any petition that reaches 25,000 signatures (5,000 originally) is promised an official reply. This weekend the first petitions will be closing, and already many have far exceeded the required number of signatures. Is this the way for the voice of the electorate to gain more weight in modern politics, or is it the web version of a placebo button? Will the President's office really consider the top pleas, which include petitions to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana, Forgive Student Loan Debt, and Abolish the TSA?"

This is somewhat interesting.  Not that I think it will change anything, but it will be interesting to see what "official response" they get.!/petitions/popular/0/2/0/

In particular, I am very interested in the official response this one will get:!/petition/formally-acknowledge-extraterrestrial-presence-engaging-human-race-disclosure/wfYDlmlG

Legal Tender? Maybe Not, Says Louisiana Law

"Lousiana has passed a law that says people may no longer use cash for second hand transactions. The idea is to make all transactions traceable, thus foiling copper theft, etc. This move has profound implications that range from constitutional rights to Bitcoin, Craigslist and so forth; I wonder if there are any Slashdotters at all that support such a move." On the list of exceptions: people who deal in used goods or "junk" less frequently than once per month, and (drumroll, please) pawn shops. That means a pretty big chunk of the population who post in online classified ads in Louisiana are probably already in violation.
I was hesitant to post this, since it seemed so crazy that it had to be either made up or exaggerated.  But it appears to be real.  Also, note it was signed on July 1st.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Underwater exploring is banned in brazil

The latest news from 1985:
A dispute between the Brazilian Navy and an American marine archeologist has led Brazil to bar the diver from entering the country and to place a ban on all underwater exploration.

The dispute involves Robert Marx, a Florida author and treasure hunter, who asserts that the Brazilian Navy dumped a thick layer of silt on the remains of a Roman vessel that he discovered inside Rio de Janeiro's bay.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Candidates who spend more usually win
The center found that in 2008, the biggest spenders won 93 percent of House races and 86 percent of Senate races. In 2006, the top spenders won 94 percent of House races and 73 percent of Senate races. And in 2004, 98 percent of House seats went to candidates who spent the most, as did 88 percent of Senate seats.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Qu8k Rockets Above the Balloons
"Lately we've been inundated with 100k' balloon flights and amazing video footage from space — the flights usually taking better than an hour to achieve apogee. Derek Deville took a shortcut to 121k' using a 'home made' Q rocket motor and a ton of engineering genius. On September 30, 2011 at 11:08am, Qu8k (pronounced 'Quake') launched from the Black Rock Desert in Nevada to an altitude of 121,000' in 92 seconds before returning safely to earth.This small documentary on the flight is probably one of the most brilliant Amateur Rocket videos out there right now." The launch was an attempt to claim the Carmack Prize. (And Deville evidently likes to launch another kind of rocket, too.)

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Pages: 12
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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dale Swanson: A Valuable Reference

Probably the funnest part of having web sites is looking at the logs and seeing where my site is linked from.  Here is a good one:

They quote my site and then cite it as a reference.  To be fair, the part that follows the quote makes it pretty clear I thoroughly researched my facts:
Besides getting you very drunk it can also be used to fuel your car, no modification needed, just pour it in and go. It can also be used when you need fire, as it is highly flammable, and can be used as an effective cleaning agent. The Center for Survival Statistics recently published a report that said Everclear was directly responsible for saving the lives of over 12 billion people last year alone [1].
[1] This sentence is completely made up.