g r o t t o 1 1

Peeve Farm
Breeding peeves for show, not just to keep as pets
Brian Tiemann
Silicon ValleyNew York-based purveyor of a confusing mixture of Apple punditry, political bile, and sports car rentals.

btman at grotto11 dot com

Read These Too:

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James Lileks
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As the Apple Turns
Entropicana
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Capitalist Lion
Red Letter Day
Eric S. Raymond
Tal G in Jerusalem
Aziz Poonawalla
Corsair the Rational Pirate
.clue
Ravishing Light
Rosenblog
Cartago Delenda Est



Cars without compromise.





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Wednesday, August 25, 2010
05:15 - ESTIMATED TRAVEL TIME: 250 HRS
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38812252/ns/world_news-asiapacific/

(top)
280? 95? 101? Child's play. At least here, the infrastructure has grown at a pace to match the saturation of cars. Not so in China:

A traffic jam stretching more than 60 miles in China has entered its ninth day with no end in sight, state media reported.

Cars and trucks have been slowed to a crawl since August 14 on the National Expressway 110, which is also known as the G110, the major route from Beijing to Zhangjiakou, Xinhua News reported.

Officials expect the congestion to continue until workers complete construction projects on September 13, the report said.

State media reported that Chinese drivers have become accustomed to the severe delays, noting a similar jam in July that slowed traffic for close to a month.

It even has its own Wikipedia page, putting it on a footing with hurricanes and oil spills. There's a whole illicit economy springing up to cater to drivers who evidently haven't been home in days. My question is: how does this affect the real economy? That's got to be a lot of weirdly empty workplaces...

UPDATE: Caught on satellite, via Chris. Yargh.

Monday, August 23, 2010
06:31 - Nerdorama
http://www.geekosystem.com/futurama-prisoner-of-benda-theory/

(top)
There was some uncertainty as to whether the newly revived season of Futurama would preserve the geeky humor that so characterized the original run. The first few new episodes have seemed like they're making a game attempt (plots focusing on Leonardo da Vinci and iPhones and the like), but occasionally forced rebus-style math gags ("Studio 1񹕻", huh?) have left me cold.

Well, this latest one should put paid to such gripes.

In the episode 揟he Prisoner of Benda, the Professor and Amy use a new invention to switch bodies. Unfortunately, they discover that the same two brains can抰 switch twice and have to come up with some equation to prove that, with enough people switching, eventually everyone will end up in their rightful form. This, of course, leads to much hijinks as well as the grossest sex scene the show has ever done (take that, Prof. Farnsworth and Mom!).

Of course, Keeler decided to go the hard route and come up with a suitable equation himself. It was first teased in an interview that head writer and executive producer David X. Cohen gave to the American Physical Society:

揑n an APS News exclusive, Cohen reveals for the first time that in the 10th episode of the upcoming season, tentatively entitled 揟he Prisoner of Benda, a theorem based on group theory was specifically written (and proven!) by staffer/PhD mathematician Ken Keeler to explain a plot twist. Cohen can抰 help but chuckle at the irony: his television-writing rule is that entertainment trumps science, but in this special case, a mathematical theorem was penned for the sake of entertainment.


Now that the episode has aired, we can check out the theorem in full. Well, I won抰. I suck at math. But the people over at the Futurama wiki The Infosphere have. If there抯 anyone as smart as Futurama writers, it抯 Futurama fans.

Of course I was traveling at the time it aired, and hotels tend not to have Comedy Central (apparently due to them using naughty-type words on occasion), so it wasn't until last night that I saw it. But damn, was it well worth it. Not just geeky as hell, but damn fine entertainment too.

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