Moving over to my other deskbox, the process of tab closing may continue. And in extension of the previous blot on obesity and maths, I come to some work done at Purdue [Link] that indicates that eating a salad with fat-free dressing compromises the nutritional value of the salad.
Despite the common Amerikan bog delusion that humans are carnivore biased omnivores, eating gathered rather than hunted foodstuffs is the more predominate source of nutrients going back to the days when we got down out of the trees and began to eat meat regularly. And yes, meat eating, or at least protein eating, is necessary to keep the big brain stoked even though there seems to be a negative correlation between meat predilection and brain usage.
Of course it is impossible to avoid the fat-free thing in an Amerika that seems to think diet is a transitory, punitive thing instead of a regime indistinguishable from life. Still having raised a daughter and being married it is inescapable that fat-free and salad would be collided at some time in Castellum SCP. I personally have never subscribed to this theory. Even before the tender ministration of cardiologist I was rather careful to balance fat intake and set aside adequate ration share to assure that my salad dressing didn’t taste like repasturized motor oil.
Next, courtesy of the Register, is a rather intriguingly titled article [Link] “Microsoft’s Surface proves software is dead” written by our esteemed colleague Matt Asay. Sadly this is a case of titling as maskarovka. The thesis is anything but. What the argument is, is that revenue from software is deceased, decomposing, evaporating. But software is, if anything, more important than ever. And the model is Mozilla. It’s not the software written by MegaHard that is important (we’ve all known this since Linux came along, haven’t we?) it’s the software written by Joe User and marketed by MegaHard this is important. Or at least that’s the Mozilla add-in model successfully plagiarized by Apple and Android and almost everyone but MegaHard in the form of the ‘app store’.
But the introduction of the Surface raises the question of whether MegaHard is not just a cash cow rapidly decaying with Bovine Encephalitis? Do we care that MegaHard has defecated a slab? At least anyone but the corporate mugwumps who direct what their members can use and think BYOD is some sort of dirty, atheistic, Commie plot. Yes, the thought process that led to a tablet from laptop rather than a tablet from cellular phone is intriguing. But hardly original. All that is apparent that Surface brings to the marketplace is a belated MegaHard presence. If this device going to make a difference in a world dominated by the Apple Evil Empire and the fascism of Android? Isn’t this just an invasion from Mars that will soon succumb to microbial infestation? The World Wonders.
As for me, I have an Android tablet and it is adequate but left in its sleeve most of the time, not worth the burden of even its small carry cost. I have put my name in the pot to purchase a Linux tablet (as distinct from Android) so that I have the potential of using a slab as something other than an ear friend (go look on Wikipedia if you don’t know that one.) The tablet is an over-sized hand axe and we should use it for something other than smashing our own foreheads.
While we’re bashing journalistic practice, one of my colleagues, Total Angular Momentum Magnetic Inductance, sent me a link to an article entitled “Watch the everyday Slinky ‘defy’ the laws of physics and gravity (but try not to go loopy)”. The article is about dropping a slinky and a video of its trajectory. It’s a neat video guaranteed to give bogs a headache. Sadly, the journalist who titled this evidently never finished first semester freshman physics. So the title is utter stercus.
To wax physics and physicist for a moment, what the luvvies at the Mail don’t seem to realize is that there are two pieces of motion to the falling slinky. First of all we have to recall that a slinky is nothing more than a relatively weak spring. So we have to go back to the seventeenth century to understand this, back when Newton and Young were around. The two pieces of motion are the motion of the center of mass – the center of the spring in terms of mass or weight, and the motion about the center of mass. If you watch the video with this in mind the whole defy-the-laws-of-physics thing evaporates like dew in the desert. And if we recall that the part of the slinky above the center of mass gets pulled down, by virtue of being a spring, while the part below the center of mass gets pulled up, then the entirety of the motion is evident and obvious.
Why can’t all journalists be as good as Matt?
Next, and a bit of a new azimuth, I got pointed to an article [Link] in Armed Forces Journal by an academic on how the folks who work for the military services, military, civilian, and contractor, are doing powerpoint briefings wrong. It’s a great article. It explains, based on human psychology how briefing information can be transferred and how not. It’s a three point recipe for better briefings.
And it’s largely irrelevant.
What the author misses is that he being an academic he is a member of a permissive organization. That means he can structure and give briefings as he wants subject only to effectiveness. The military services are directive organizations, and they have both formal and informal standards of how briefings are given. And these standards almost completely overwhelm any individual initiative.
The author seems to be laboring under the illusion that the way military service folks structure and give briefings is a matter of society. It isn’t, except in small part. It’s almost entirely legal (as in rules) and cultural (survival). Every organization I dealt with when I worked for the Yankee army had strict rules on how briefings were structured and how slides looked. I recall one general officer I had to brief who insisted that baseball metaphors were to be used exclusively. If you got to slide three without baseball clip art or some similar similie, then that was the end of your briefing. Simply put, if you don’t follow the formal and informal standards of structure and composition, you are not just ineffective, you are negated.
Nice try. Good advice. Sound information. Totally irrelevant.
Now, lastly, we have this cartoon [Link]
that strikes me as being the beginning of a wonderful opportunity. I suspect that the number of times “I’m not telling you again” is said before punishment is applied is a pseudo-random variable. It’s pseudo-random, as opposed to random, because there are factors that can’t be measured. And because the little girl is slender, she’ll probably find this out and learn from it.