Monday, December 12, 2011

Our Wacky World—12/12/2011

Charlie Brown learns what Christmas is all about (the real version). And here are some really bad Nativity scenes. And here's the latest priceless quote from Rick "man on dog" Santorum:
'Discussing controversial classroom subjects such as evolution and global warming, Santorum said he has suggested that “science should get out of politics” and he is opposed to teaching that provides a “politically correct perspective.”'

"i [sic] had an acetylene bottle in my truck, the valve was bumped so slightly and over night the truck filled with the gas. i [sic] noticed the smell, and opened the doors to air out the truck. i [sic] drove the truck out of the garage to get some more air movement. i [sic] went to roll the pass side window down and as soon as i [sic] touched the power windows. BAM. with me in the truck." [GREAT pictures]

PAYPAL: Only a nonprofit can use the Donate button.
ME: That’s false. It says right in the PDF of instructions for the Donate button that it can be used for “worthy causes.”
PAYPAL: I haven’t seen that PDF. And what you’re doing is not a worthy cause, it’s charity.
ME: What’s the difference?
PAYPAL: You can use the donate button to raise money for a sick cat, but not poor people.
Tech Crunch

PayPal later backed down.

Police said Mr Cole, who was wearing a bow tie and rather too much tweed for his age, would not reveal his country of origin. "Countries do not exist where I am from. The discovery of the Higgs boson led to limitless power, the elimination of poverty and Kit-Kats for everyone. It is a communist chocolate hellhole and I'm here to stop it ever happening."

"It boggles the mind that neither side knew about this during trial," the judge said yesterday, blaming both the prosecution and the defense for not realizing earlier that Montgomery literally had an iron-clad alibi. "Both sides in this case were spectacularly incompetent."
ABA Journal

From helpless gypsy to millionaire (undeclared income at that). Not bad:
'Bridgette Evans, 33, raked in $1.6 million from clients who believed she could eradicate otherworldly forces causing them misfortune... She would instruct people to send her cash—and in one case, a Rolex watch—that she would use in a spiritual ritual, promising to return the money once the spirits disappeared. Her attorney...argued Evans is a victim of the "gypsy culture" in which she was raised. She has a fifth-grade education and has had to make money as a psychic'

"...she even ripped open her blouse, then wet her pants to give the appearance she had been knocked unconscious. But it was all part of what authorities said Friday was an elaborate hoax by the woman to convince her husband she was raped so they could move to a safer neighborhood."

"...the victim...told police he was crossing Broadway near the school...when he was struck by...Hillen's...Honda Accord. As he struggled to his feet, alleged to have stopped and asked if he was okay. According to the complaint, when the victim said "No,"
 [Aida] Hillen tossed him a religious pamphlet and attempted to flee, much like her operatic namesake, albeit in her case toward the swamps of Galveston County and not the Egyptian desert."
Houston Press

Most people—sportswriters included—have a very poor grasp of probability:
"But I also believe in Tim Tebow because there is no scientific explanation for what is happening to the Denver Broncos. There is no other plausible way to make sense of these games and the amazing, miraculous way with which they win week after week. … It just happened."
Yes, there's no other explanation for a statistically insignificant short series of wins, is there? Do teams have losing streaks because "god" hates them?


While we're on the subject of mathematical literacy, how good are you at arithmetic?
“The math section had 60 questions. I knew the answers to none of them, but managed to guess ten out of the 60 correctly. On the reading test, I got 62% . In our system, that’s a “D”, and would get me a mandatory assignment to a double block of reading instruction. ...I have a bachelor of science degree, two masters degrees, and 15 credit hours toward a doctorate. I help oversee an organization with 22,000 employees and a $3 billion operations and capital budget, and am able to make sense of complex data related to those responsibilities. I have a wide circle of friends in various professions. Since taking the test, I’ve detailed its contents as best I can to many of them, particularly the math section, which does more than its share of shoving students in our system out of school and on to the street. Not a single one of them said that the math I described was necessary in their profession."
Washington Post

Now, before you fall into the trap of agreeing with any of this wankery, try solving some of the irrelevantly abstruse Algebra 101 problems that stumped him:
"This is yet another demonstration of a problem I've been banging on about for years: the innumeracy of intellectuals. Mr. Roach holds three college degrees, and clearly considers himself an educated person, but even a lack of practice at taking tests can't really explain this level of failure."
Uncertain Principles

What a simple test. I aced it. If you can't solve these problems you're innumerate.

"The Israelification of America’s security apparatus, recently unleashed in full force against the Occupy Wall Street Movement, has taken place at every level of law enforcement, and in areas that have yet to be exposed. The phenomenon has been documented in bits and pieces, through occasional news reports that typically highlight Israel’s national security prowess without examining the problematic nature of working with a country accused of grave human rights abuses. But it has never been the subject of a national discussion. And collaboration between American and Israeli cops is just the tip of the iceberg."
Exile Online

Meanwhile, there's some bad news in Jerusalem.

Boxing day