Talk like a terrorist all the time

NSA Anti-Surveillance Suggestion: Operation Everyone Talk Like a Terrorist All the Time

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The comedian Trevor Moore, of Whitest Kids U Know fame, has a video out for Funny or Die styled as a public service announcement about NSA surveillance. Moore is a pessimist, explaining that elections are of no use because the people who run for president are assholes, and instead suggests Operation Everyone Talk Like A Terrorist All the Time to thwart any wiretapping efforts the NSA may be directing. Watch:
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The Barometer Story

Here is the problem a professor of physics had at the beginning of the XXth century:

“I received a call from a colleague about a student. He felt he had to give him a 0/20 to a physics question, while the student claimed a 20/20. Professor and student came to an agreement to select an impartial arbiter, and I was selected.

I read the examination question: “Show how it is possible to determine the height of a building with a barometer.”

The student replied: “I carry the barometer to the top of building, I attach a rope to it, I lower it to the ground, then I haul it back up and then I measure the length of the rope, which gives me the height of the building. “

The student was right, he had truly answered the question and accurately. On the other hand, I could not give him the exam: in this case, he’d receive his degree in physics without having shown me any knowledge in physics.

I offered to give another chance to the student giving him six minutes to answer the question with the caveat that for the answer he had to use his knowledge of physics. After five minutes, he had not yet written anything. I asked him if he wanted to give up but he said he had many answers to this problem and he wanted to choose the best one.

I excused myself for interrupting him and I asked him to continue.
In the next minute, he hastened to explain: “The barometer is placed at the height of the roof and is dropped: in calculating the fall time with a stopwatch, then using the formula: x=gt2/2, I find the height of the building. ”

At this point, I asked my colleague if he would give up. He replied in the affirmative and gave the student nearly 20/20

Leaving his office, I recalled the student because he said he had several solutions to this problem. “Well, he said, there are several ways to calculate the height of a skyscraper with a barometer. For example, you place it outside when the sun is shining. Height of the barometer is measured, then the length of its shadow and the length of the shadow of the building, then with a simple calculation of proportion, it’ll give you the height of the building. ”

“Good, I replied, what else?”

“There is a pretty basic method that you will enjoy. You climb the stairs with a barometer and you mark the length of the barometer on the wall. Counting the number of lines gives the height of the building in barometer length. This is a very direct method.
Of course, if you want a more sophisticated method, you can tie the barometer to a string, swing it as a pendulum, and determine the value of g at the street level and at roof level. From the difference of g, the height of building can be calculated.
Similarly, you attach it to a long rope and on the roof, allow it to get down about the street level. You swing it like a pendulum and the height of the building is calculated from the period of precession. ”

Finally, he concludes: “There are other ways to solve this problem. Probably the best is to go to the basement, knock at the concierge’s door and say.” I have a nice barometer for you if you tell me the height of the building. ”

I then asked the student if he knew the answer I expected. He admitted that yes, but he was tired of school and teachers who tried to direct his way of thinking. ”

The student was supposed to be Niels Bohr and Rutherford the referee.
[Rutherford – Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1910]
[Bohr – Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922]
The links in the comments lead to question the authenticity of the anecdote.

The myth of Niels Bohr and the barometer question
Barometer question

RECALL NOTICE:

The Creator and Maker of all human beings and the entire universe (ALLAH) is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart.

This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been identified as “Subsequential Internal Non-morality,” more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed.
Some of the symptoms include:
1. Loss of direction
2. Foul vocal emissions
3. Amnesia of origin
4. Lack of peace and joy
5. Selfish or violent behavior
6. Depression or confusion
7. Fearfulness
8. Idolatry
9. Rebellion Continue reading “RECALL NOTICE:”

How to quit your job

How to Quit Your Job Like Sherwood Anderson: The Best Resignation Letter Ever Written

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?He is a nice fellow. We will let him down easy but let?s can him.?
Like a number of celebrated creators ? including?Dr. Seuss,?F. Scott Fitzgerald, and?Wendy MacNaughton???Sherwood Andersonstarted out in advertising to make ends meet, first as an advertising solicitor, then as an ad salesman and copywriter for farming equipment, and eventually as a copywriter in Chicago-based advertising agency Taylor Critchfield Co. until he became a successful novelist at the age of 41. Though he was man of?timeless, profound insight on the creative life?and the originator of some of?history?s finest fatherly advice, he was also a man of masterful humor and remarkable wit. In 1918, when the time came to free himself from the shackles of the corporate world and plunge wholeheartedly into his craft, Anderson wrote what?s possibly the best letter of resignation ever penned, found in the altogether delightful?Funny Letters from Famous People?(public library): Continue reading “How to quit your job”

The Great Imitator

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A fllm by?Atul Loke,?the talented photojournalist from India.


By the mid 1960s, Charlie Chaplin – the man George Bernard Shaw called ‘the only genius to come out of the movie industry’ – was well into the twilight of his 75 year career. Having directed, produced, acted, edited and written sound scores for hundreds of films going back to 1914, Charlie Chaplin was a world-wide superstar. But it wasn’t until 1966 that a young Ashok S. Aswani, now an Ayurvedic practitioner form the town of Adipur in Gujarat, first laid eyes on the man that was to become his hero.
Ashok was cycling to his job as a typist when he saw a poster for the film The Gold Rush – the film that Chaplin himself said he would most like to be remembered for. ‘I was wonderstruck. I found his dress and look fascinating. How does the man bend his legs like that?’. Ashok got off his bike and gaped at the poster for 10 minutes.He forgot about his job, bought a ticket and went in. ‘A whole new world of cinema opened up for me. The music, the technique, the photography was all so different! And I thought, is Chaplin an actor or a magician? I fell off my seat laughing in the darkness.’ That day, Mr Aswani watched all four showings of The Gold Rush. He was fired later that day. ‘I lost my job, but I gained Chaplin.’Returning to Adipur in 1973, Dr. Aswani formed the Charlie Circle, a society dedicated to the appreciation of Charlie Chaplin. He became an Ayurvedic practitioner, handing out free Chaplin DVDs to patients as part of his holistic remedies.
Over time the Charlie circle has grown. More than 100 people gathered in 2010 for the most recent celebration of Charlie Chaplin’s birthday, even though temperatures in Gujarat rose to over 46 degrees.
There were girls and boys, men and women, all parading through the streets of Adipur dressed up like Chaplin’s legendary tramp character – toothbrush moustache, bowler hat, scruffy black suit, cane and that familiar gait, so lovingly taught to members of the Circle by Dr. Aswani.
Every day members of the Charlie Circle meet at a photo shop to discuss Chaplin and watch his movies. Dr. Aswani also teaches members how to act and walk like Charlie, all under the watchful gaze of a life-size Charlie Chaplin cutout. ‘When Chaplin died in 1977, I was devastated. I wept like a kid. I feel he should still be alive. He was the greatest man on the Earth. He was a good musician, good director, good editor, good actor, good writer, good mime artist,” Dr. Aswani says.
Mrs. Aswani says how people refer to her husband simply as ‘The Charlie doctor’. ‘He loves Charlie, he gets up and it’s all Charlie. He never tries to be Charlie. It’s just in him.’

Flying Decadence

If ever I’d wanted to savour the decadence of flying in a private jet, this was it. The F28 seats 78, less one for the flight engineer. I had the choice seat, 1F, right hand window seat, perfect for viewing the Everest. As it turned out, it didn’t matter too much. There were only four other passengers, and we could have taken any seat we chose, left, right, window, and aisle. Had it been a long flight, I would have sprawled across three seats and snored away.Service was excellent. Captain Enam was a photographer and we had fun talking pictures. Never before have I known each passenger in my flight. No queues on arrival, baggage on the belt, even before we’d arrived. Wonderful. Except of course for Biman or the environment. A conservative estimate of a flight to Kathmandu costs Taka 2 lakh. That’s Taka 40,000 per passenger on flight 703. The enormous environmental damage for ferrying five people to a neighbouring country was staggering.
Biman interior
The F28 we were flying was old, water dripped onto the seats, the shuddering panels had withstood daily wear and tear for some 35 years. Still, Bangladesh had paid some nine crore (ninety million) taka for this craft.
I could hear the mumbling in the ground. Cautious comments about how top management never consulted the rest of the staff, how decisions were made on political rather than technical or economic grounds. Rama, a Nepali passenger whose father worked in Cosmic Air commented on how they had expected the flight to be packed because the afternoon flight of Cosmic Air had been cancelled. She was surprised that despite such numbers there were two flights to Kathmandu on the day.
The comments then veered to Biman as a whole. “Amra Borishale batash ani nei” (We only transport air to Barisal and back, there are no passengers), said a Biman official. “Chowdhury shahab er bari Borishale, oi flight ki ar thaman jaibo (Mr Chowdhury the minister- is from Barisal, fat chance you have of stopping those flights).
I enjoyed my flight. I bet the two cockroaches who kept me company did too.

Rusted and broken hinge of landing gear of Biman aircraft. This aircraft had taken off from Kathmandu airport, but soon returned to land because of 'technical problems' which were never revealed to the passengers. May 21 2009. Kathmandu Nepal ? Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World