Thursday, April 26, 2012

But How Do I Back It Up?

The Explainer piece today tells us that the human brain can store a lot of video, audio, and documents.
Most computational neuroscientists tend to estimate human storage capacity somewhere between 10 terabytes and 100 terabytes, though the full spectrum of guesses ranges from 1 terabyte to 2.5 petabytes. (One terabyte is equal to about 1,000 gigabytes or about 1 million megabytes; a petabyte is about 1,000 terabytes.)
So while our retrieval system can leave a little to be desired, our storage capacity still bests most of the hardware you can buy today. It won't be long before that isn't the case no doubt, but before you worry too much about the rise of our computer overlords, remember that the juice just isn't there to run a human brain outside of a human.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Song Day

I believe 2012 is shaping up to be the year I appreciate female singers like never before. One I really appreciate is Erika Wennerstrom of the Heartless Bastards. "Parted Ways" ways is form their new album Arrow.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Analogies

The whole Secret Service sex scandal is slightly amusing. Yesterday, the NY Times talked with the Columbian escort involved. Apparently, the Secret Service agent was purchasing 10Cane when he thought it was an Admiral Nelson kind of deal.
She was dismayed, she said, that the news reports have described her as a prostitute as though she walked the streets picking up just anyone. 
“It’s the same but it’s different,” she said, indicating that she is much more selective about her clients and charges much more than a streetwalker. “It’s like when you buy a fine rum or a BlackBerry or an iPhone. They have a different price.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Losing Even When You Win

Lebron James has been taking quite a bit of antipathy from the public and media ever since he left Cleveland for  South Beach. I don't know the guy, so I'm not sure what kind of person he is. But I do know that repairing your image requires precisely half of the following tale:
 LeBron James gave the Heat a performance to remember. And then paused to give a 7-year-old boy a gift he won’t soon forget. James walked off the court Monday night at the Prudential Center shoeless moments after scoring the Heat’s final 17 points in a 101-98 comeback win against the host Nets. He then took off his shoes, autographed them and handed them Daniel Julez Smith, the nephew of singer BeyoncĂ© Knowles, who sat courtside with husband/rapper/Nets minority owner Jay-Z at the game. “Am I going to miss those shoes?” James said. “No, I got another pair. We came too far to take the foot off the gas. I looked at the scoreboard and didn’t know what I was doing individually. I knew I was making some plays though. I didn’t know I scored 17 straight.” The celebrity duo witnessed James’ fourth-quarter effort that salvaged an otherwise sloppy effort by the Heat, which won the second of back-to-back games. The victory in the Heat’s final game in New Jersey against the Nets, who will move to Brooklyn next season, was Miami’s third in a row.
Directly between the word "Smith" and the word "the" this story goes from feel-good to groan inducing. If only the comma was a period we would be left thinking about how Lebron played a magical game, didn't choke, and made some kid's day. But it is a comma, and the second half let's us know that it wasn't just some lucky kid. It was a kid who already had an extraordinary amount of luck by being Beyonce's nephew. It morphs from some sort of real life Mean Joe Green moment to a type of weird offering to the rich and famous. Maybe Derrick Rose needs to talk to him about the folly of placing too much importance on rappers.

There's Famous... and There's Famous

Via True Hoop, Derrick Rose comments on President Obama in a GQ article:
"I remember when he wasn’t our president, when I was a kid, when he’d just be walking down the street, a state senator. He was just always there. I didn’t appreciate it then. I was in high school and just wanted to see rappers."
I was trying to think who I wanted to meet when I was in high school. I'm not sure it was anyone famous. I think it was just girls.

Amazing Stats in Baseball (and Longevity)

My Twitter feed has been filled recently with weird stats about 49 year-old pitcher Jaime Moyer. Moyer last night became the oldest pitcher to win a game in Major League history. The Twitter pieces have ranged from the age disparity between him and the opposing pitcher, to the disparity between the speed of his fastball and that of the average pitcher. Anyway, most of the stats have been interesting, but this one from Buster Olney kind of blew my mind...

Elias: Jamie Moyer has pitched to eight percent of all hitters in major league history. - @Buster_ESPN

Just a reminder: major league baseball is over 100 years old. Crazy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chart of the Day

Primarily useful as a guide for who is going to hell of course...



From ESL, via the Canadian National Post.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Walkability

In an interesting series on the current state of walking, Tom Vanderbilt references WalkScore, a website that tells you just how walkable your neighborhood is. I was dismayed to see quantified what I already knew to be true. My eastern Waldo neighborhood isn't particularly walkable. In fact, despite the fact that I live squarely within the more urban part of the city (as compared to the sprawled out edges of KC), my neighborhood scores a 51.

This is doubly depressing since I really like walking, and my old address in Midtown scored a much better 81. I talk with Ancillary Wife regularly about the walking being what I miss most about my old locale. But WalkScore actually provided a silver lining. It shows how close establishments of various types are by walking distance. Here are a few:


Restaurants - 0.33mi - Governor Stumpy's
Coffee - 0.79mi - The Classic Cookie
Groceries - 0.88mi - Aldi
Shopping - 0.27mi - J R Mini Mart
Entertainment - 1.53mi - John Wornall House
Banking - 0.68mi - U.S. Bank

Aside from the fact that the JR Mini-Mart isn't much of a shopping destination unless you need cigarettes or any drink that comes in a bag, this seems encouraging. I can stroll out on a Sunday morning and be at a coffee joint in about 15 minutes. On a day when I had some time to kill, I could make the full round trip to the grocery store in about an hour, and if I was insistent on doing some drinking and wanted to walk home I could make it less than 10 (as long as I wanted to stop before Stumpy's closes at 10).

And, I also have the benefit of having three places that house some of my favorite people all very short walks from home. So, the neighborhood isn't as walkable as I would like, but I am going to try and focus on the bright side. Besides I looked up the family farm where I grew up, WalkScore 0. They obviously forgot to factor in Grandma's house.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Collecting Posts

So I have had some trouble getting time to get stuff up on the blog recently... To keep the 8 of you from going without, here are some highly recommended reads.

From Friends:

Templeton Rye Whiskey & an Epic Road Trip by Dan @ Gone Mild

One in Which I Get My Craft On – Bottle Cap Window Dressing by Deliberate Obfuscation

The United States of Waving by Jackknife Rodriguez

From Others:


Fast Booze: A guide to getting drunk in fast-food restaurants. @ Slate

Place-dependent output @ The Economist

A universe without purpose @ LA Times
 

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