Thursday, March 06, 2008

Hypothetical Planets.

There have been a number of objects that were once thought to exist by astronomers, but which later 'vanished'. Here are their stories.

Transforming Furniture.

Why is transforming furniture so alluring? Does it appeal to our sense that innovation is progress, the fact that fewer materials for more uses is sustainable or simply a return to the childhood love of things that we can actively change and shape as we wish? Whatever the reason, these designs range from humorous and impractical to jaw-droppingly cool.

Uncomfortable Questions: Was the Death Star Attack an Inside Job?

I'm not normally inclined toward conspiracy theories but this case is too compelling to ignore.

Typical examples:

6) How could any pilot shoot a missile into a 2 meter-wide exhaust port, let alone a pilot with no formal training, whose only claim to fame was his ability to “bullseye womprats” on Tatooine? This shot, according to one pilot, would be “impossible, even for a computer.” Yet, according to additional evidence, the pilot who allegedly fired the missile turned off his targeting computer when he was supposedly firing the shot that destroyed the Death Star. Why have these discrepancies never been investigated, let alone explained?

7) Why has their been no investigation into evidence that the droids who provided the rebels with the Death Star plans were once owned by none other than Lord Vader himself, and were found, conveniently, by the pilot who destroyed the Death Star, and who is also believed to be Lord Vader’s son? Evidence also shows that the droids were brought to one Ben Kenobi, who, records indicate, was Darth Vader’s teacher many years earlier! Are all these personal connections between the conspirators and a key figure in the Imperial government supposed to be coincidences?

8) How could a single missile destroy a battle station the size of a moon? No records, anywhere, show that any battle station or capital ship has ever been destroyed by a single missile. Furthermore, analysis of the tape of the last moments of the Death Star show numerous small explosions along its surface, prior to it exploding completely! Why does all evidence indicate that strategically placed explosives, not a single missile, is what destroyed the Death Star?

Study: Regulations add $200,000 to house prices.

Backed by studies showing that middle-class Seattle residents can no longer afford the city's middle-class homes, consensus is growing that prices are too darned high. But why are they so high?

An intriguing new analysis by a University of Washington economics professor argues that home prices have, perhaps inadvertently, been driven up $200,000 by good intentions.
Between 1989 and 2006, the median inflation-adjusted price of a Seattle house rose from $221,000 to $447,800. Fully $200,000 of that increase was the result of land-use regulations, says Theo Eicher — twice the financial impact that regulation has had on other major U.S. cities.

"In a nationwide study, it can be shown that Seattle is one of the most regulated cities and a city whose housing prices are profoundly influenced by regulations," he says.

The Curse of the Simpsons.

Most people have heard of the tragedy that befell the actors involved in the Poltergeist movies: Dominique Dunne (the older daughter) was brutally murdered, Heather O'Rourke (the little girl) died of a rare intestinal blockage, and worst of all, Craig T. Nelson (the dad) went on to star in "Coach".

So began the legend of the Poltergeist curse! Yet, as bad as that curse was, it pales in comparison to the hex on another show. Believe it or not, there is a TV program that is so unholy, so cursed, so deadly that those who dare to guest star on it are certainly DOOMED!!! I am talking about the best show on television: The Simpsons (AKA Killy McGee TV). This cartoon is so lethal that its curse rivals that of the deadliest movie of all: "The Wizard of Oz", in which nearly all its actors are DEAD!

This website is dedicated to the brave actors who have fallen prey to The Curse of the Simpsons. Be afraid... be very afraid!

Macbeth and the Moral Universe.

Macbeth is a moral play par excellence. In this, it stands in stark contrast to two more recent well-known tales of murder, Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and Camus's The Stranger. In Macbeth Shakespeare presented the moral phenomena in such a way that those who respond to his art must, in some way or another, become better human beings. In Dostoevsky's and Camus's heroic criminals we see the corruption of moral consciousness characteristic of modern literature.

NBC Casts Ex-POW Arizona Politician as Murdering Cannibal.

Monday’s NBC psychic crime drama "Medium" featured a plot line in which an Arizona senator and former POW is discovered to be a two-time murderer and a cannibal. While it is safe to assume that the story was written before the Hollywood writers’ strike, and before the rise of John McCain to front-runner status for the GOP presidential nomination, the blatant use of McCain’s personal history, as a politician and Vietnam POW, as grist to feed the murderous plot is obvious.

Actually, I'm OK with annoying foreigners thinking President McCain is a murdering cannibal. It might just keep things quiet in the middle east for instance.