Tuesday, December 02, 2003

An accumulation of random things from the past couple of weeks
1) Where does the thing where a person looks at his face in a mirror after surgery, laughs maniacally, and then smashes the mirror come from? I've seen it parodied a million times, but I have no idea what the source is.

2) For some reason, there's been a number of articles on Wal-Mart lately. One of them had a comment at the end (I'm too lazy to look it up at the moment) which said something like, "We all want someone else to buy the more expensive goods." And this is really what it all comes down to, isn't it? It's one big Prisoner's Dilemma. If everyone were willing to pay a little bit more for goods, then the economy would probably be in better shape overall, since stores would be able to afford things like keeping production in America, but each individual customer feels that they're better off buying at Wal-Mart (true), and so we end up in the Nash equilibrium.

3) I know I've commented on this before, but I find this really puzzling. The suffix -let is normally a diminutive (eaglet, wavelet, etc.) But when used to apply to professions, it usually means not only young, but also female. I can call Britney Spears a pop starlet, but I certainly can't call Justin Timberlake a starlet. I can call Kate Bosworth a movie starlet, but not Hayden Christensen. Yet an eaglet doesn't have to be female...

4) You know that your monitor emits radio-frequency emissions, right? (This is actually, theoretically at least, a potential security concern -- it's not inconceivable that someone could read what's on your monitor with a sufficiently sensitive radio receiver.) Well, this program can use those emissions to transmit music by putting the appropriate patterns on your monitor.

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