In fact, a clown car is fully functional. We remove all of the interior, explains DeSanto, including the door panels and the headliner, and paint the windows except for a small slot for the driver to see through. The driver sits on a milk crate. We remove any interior barrier to the trunk, and we beef up the springs so that the car doesnt seem to be riding on its bump stops. Then its a matter of shoving in the clowns.
[ . . . ]
The SAE passenger volume of a 2011 Ford Focus sedan is 93.4 cubic feet, and the trunk accommodates 13.8 cubic feet. Of course, that rises with the removal of the seats and the interior panels, so lets call it 120 cubic feet of ?Total Clown Space (TCS). Theoretically, about 40 clowns should fit into a Focus.
The conversation turned to corporal punishment in public schools. They were amazed not that such a peculiarity existed in a city ripe with oddities, but that such illegal punishments were administered at the urging of and with the full consent of the students’ parents.
“Fascinating,” I drolly replied, but I wasn’t shocked. If I’d learned one thing as a police officer patrolling a poor neighborhood, it was the working- and lower-class populations’ great fondness for corporal punishment. No punishment is as easy or seemingly satisfying as a physical beating. I learned this not because I beat people, but because the good citizens I swore to serve and protect often urged me to do so. It wasn’t hard for me to resist (I liked my job, and besides, I wasn’t raised that way), but I agreed that many of the disrespectful hoodlums deserved a beating. Why? Because, as the old-school thinking goes, when people do wrong, they deserve to be punished.
Heres the thing about the story of The Boy That Cried Wolf though. We all know the story, its been handed down as a parable for countless generations. It goes like this: a boy is tasked with tending a flock of sheep for a village. Lonely, he cries Wolf! for attention. After a few times of doing this the villagers stop responding. Eventually a real wolf arrives and eats the boy and all the sheep. Moral of the story: dont tell lies because when its real nobody will believe you.
Heres an alternate perspective on that story: bored by false positives the villagers stopped investigating possible failures and as a result lost a young boy and all their sheep. If youre a developer think of this as letting a bunch of warnings get past you in your code. One day one of those warnings will kill your application dead and youll say to yourself, I really shouldve paid more attention to all that screaming.
7. Weird News of the Week: Beer Saves Horse’s Life
Australian Steve Clibborn had just about given up any hope that his champion horse Diamond Mojo would survive a bout of colic. As a last, desperate move, he resorted to old bush wisdom about feeding horses beer.
9. Weird Fact of the Week: In Victorian-era, France most women died without having once taken a bath.
I spent much of my childhood playing in the trees. And that is no insignificant matter because our childhood playgrounds are the very goop from which our hearts and minds are created. Freud wrote in The Interpretation of Dreams that the deeper we go into the analysis of dreams, the more often are we put on the track of childish experiences which play the part of dream-sources in the latent dream-content. The trees, tree houses, and my father, were the dark forests, castles and giants of my youth.
My very first memory of my father, also the most touching and poignant, is watching him build me a tree house. I couldnt have been more than three years old. His inner kid must have compelled him to build it because of the squarish grouping of four cherry trees that lay in wait behind our humble home. Completed, it was a sweet little ticket booth in the trees, entrance fees waived in perpetuity.
12. Image of the Week: The Hand of God in Rubiks Cubes
The colourful piece featuring the Italian artists work from the Sistine Chapel took more than 400 hours to make by a dedicated team of 11 puzzle fans. Incredibly, the team had to individually adjust each Rubiks cube by hand to give it the exact colours required to recreate the masterpiece. Cube Works Studio, who are behind the creation, spent half the time making blueprints with a computer by pixelizing the image with the six colours on a Rubiks Cube. The remaining time was spent twisting the cubes. Creative director Josh Chalom said the work is the beginning of an attempt to reproduce the entire ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, a project that will be hung from a roof and weigh 50 tonnes and use 250,000 cubes.
Many standardized tests assume that the people who take them are alert and motivated. As such, their scores reflect the height of their abilities. IQ tests are no different. The questions are ordered by difficulty to keep people’s morale up. Edward Thorndike, a pioneer of intelligence testing, wrote that “all our measurements assume that the individual in question tries as hard as he can to make as high a score as possible”, although he admitted that no one knew if that was the case.
To look at how motivation affects IQ scores, Duckworth reviewed 25 previous studies, which included a total of 2,008 people. She found that people achieved higher IQ scores on average if they were given material incentives to take the tests, such as money or sweets, particularly if they had above-average IQs anyway. This alone suggests that motivation can skew the results of the tests.
Walts proposal to build his own attractions was met with skepticism. The naysayers said, Custom rides will never work. They will cost too much to buy and they will be constantly breaking down, resulting in reduced ride capacity and angry customers. They suggested, Only stock off-the-shelf rides are cheap enough and reliable enough to do the job. And besides, the public doesnt know the difference or care. They also determined that there was not enough ride capacity to make a profit.
After reviewing the parks layout as designed by Marvin Davis, they were critical. In their experience, the fatal flaw was the single entrance into the park. This would mean a bottleneck at the front gate and that was unacceptable. They suggested the need for entrances all around the park next to parking lots and transit if Walt wanted to be successful.
Most of Mr. Disneys proposed park produces no revenue but it will be expensive to build and maintain, said the focus group. Things like the castle and pirate ship are cute but they arent rides so there is no economic reason to build them. There is too much wasteful landscaping.
(Via: The Deacons Bench )
16. Infographic of the Week: How are Mac and PC People Different?
The main tray which is like a typesetter’s font of lead type has about two thousand of the most frequent characters. Two thousand characters are not nearly enough for literary and scholarly purposes, so there are also a number of supplementary trays from which less frequent characters may be retrieved when necessary. What is even more intimidating about a Chinese typewriter is that the characters as seen by the typist are backwards and upside down! Add to this challenging orientation the fact that the pieces of type are tiny and all of a single metallic shade, it becomes a maddening task to find the right character. But that is not all, since there is also the problem of the principle (or lack thereof) upon which the characters are ordered in the tray. By radical? By total stroke count? Both of these methods would result in numerous characters under the same heading. By rough frequency? By telegraph code? Unfortunately, nobody seems to have thought to use the easiest and most user-friendly method of arranging the characters according to their pronunciation.
This GM V-8 engine could soon be powered by lasers. Japanese researchers have created a laser system small enough to fit into an engine cylinder head. This means your next car could be fired up by lasers doing the job of spark plugs, which ignite compressed fuel to run your engine. The researchers say that this new system allows a cars engine to burn cleaner, more efficiently, and to produce fewer nitrous oxide emissions, which contribute to smog.
he brain is apparently programmed from birth to develop the ability to determine sunrise and sunset, new research on circadian rhythms at the University of Chicago shows.
The research sheds new light on brain plasticity and may explain some basic human behaviors, according to Brian Prendergast, associate professor in psychology at the University of Chicago and co-author of a paper published April 27 in the journal PLoS One. The lead author is August Kampf-Lassin, an advanced graduate student at the University.
22. HistoricalLOL of the Week
Science is finally confirming what grandma knew all along: infants wake up taller right after they sleep.
Findings from the first study of its kind measuring the link between daily growth and sleep show the two are inextricably linked. Specifically, growth spurts are tied to an increase in total daily hours of sleep as well as an increase in the number of daily sleep bouts, the time from the onset of sleep until awakening.
Biology is undergoing a renaissance as scientists apply mathematical ideas to old theory. Welcome to the discipline of biomathematics, with its visions of spherical cows, football-shaped viruses and equations that can predict the pattern of a zebras stripes.
27. Better Book Titles of the Week
28. Quote of the Week: "The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads. - Jeff Hammerbacher
People often ask, What is the hardest language to learn?. They will then find that the answer is a complicated one. This is because the answer is subjective (opinion) and also depends on what your native language is.
While no language is simple to learn, those that are more closely related to your native language are going to be easier. Learning a completely different and exotic writing system can also be a big challenge, but that does not necessarily make a language more difficult.
People shop for high status items when they’re feeling low, and they’re more likely to make those expensive purchases on credit, according to a study in the current Social Psychological and Personality Science (published by SAGE).
When a person’s ego is threatened — by doing poorly on a task, by being told they’re not as good as they hoped — people sometimes repair their self-worth by purchasing luxury goods. Because actually parting with cash can be psychologically painful, researchers Niro Sivanathan of the London Business School and Nathan Pettit of Cornell University studied whether people might be more likely to use a credit card when feeling badly about one’s self.
33. The French Firefighter Olympics