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July 15, 2012

Overnight Open Thread (7-15-2012)

 Happy Cost of Government Day

hayward-cost-of-government-day-july-15-2012-620x415

Congratulations - you've been working exclusively for the government all year until today. And now you get to keep what you earn.*

Come sundown on Sunday, you all are free of your 2012 obligations to the government. Which now takes 197 days out of your year. My advice: you begin telling every "progressive" and Democrat you know who tries to engage you or approach you or talk to you or ask something of you, that you're now closed for business, and would they kindly piss off.

And believe it or not we're actually worse than the UK which left annual tax-serfdom back in June:

Tax Freedom Day only measures the money actually raised by the government in taxes, not the full amount it spends. The government borrows one pound for every four it raises in taxes, so if the full cost of government is considered the Cost of Government Day, this would fall on 23rd June.

* Unless you live in CT, NY, or NJ in which case you've got a few more weeks to go.

State-Breakdown


Remembering Telstar

Just over 50 years ago the world got smaller with the launch of the first commercial communications satellite:

The launch of the original Telstar satellite on 10 July 1962 was a true communications breakthrough, allowing for television, phone, and even fax transmissions to be beamed around the world via space rather than through transcontinental cables. It also allowed for even more precise time synchronization between North American and Europe.

Telstar was a truly international project, combining the efforts of American, British and French agencies. They created a satellite that is a mere 34.5 inches in diameter and weighs just 77 pounds.

It runs on just 14 watts of power, provided by a series of solar panels placed around the spherical surface.

Sadly it failed within a year most likely due to radiation left over from the space nuclear test, Starfish Prime. But it revolutionized communications and had an immense effect on pop culture influencing everything from robots to soccer balls. And it's still up there orbiting even today.

telstardesign

Universities Going Full-Tilt Left

Academia is strongly tilted to the left today but there are conservative faculty members. But based on these statistics universities will be conservative-free in 25 years or so.

The slant is even now rapidly increasing. At Berkeley the 2004-5 imbalance in political affiliation for the most senior faculty (full professors) was 8.3-1, but for the next rank (associate professors) it was an overwhelming 30-1. And for the most junior level (assistant professors) the figure was almost exclusionary at 64-1. Assistant professors are the most recent hires, and associate professors the ones immediately preceding. These strongly suggest that the university of tomorrow will virtually exclude political or social perspectives that are not left of centre. Attempts to stop this trend, or even to draw attention to it, are dismissed as partisan. Campus liberals are too comfortable with the status quo to worry about a problem that seems to trouble only people unlike themselves. What will happen when the world of academia has finally taken an ideological shape completely unlike that of the world beyond the campus gates?

Over-priced and ideologically out of step with the rest of the country is not a sustainable business model.

commence-500x371

Investors: America is Where to Send Your Money

Despite all of our issues to investors we're still the best bet:

The U.S.-the world's most popular destination for capital-is becoming more appealing relative to other economies. Foreign investment into China-the second-most-popular destination-grew around 8% in 2011 from the previous year, to $124 billion, compared with the U.S.'s 15% gain.

Dating Advice for Engineers

"The first rule of dating is to be yourself -- That's not going to work for you."

Why the Official Pictures of US Olympic Athletes Sucked So Much

I saw some of these on a news site and I thought they looked like crap but assumed that since they were the official ones, maybe it was some kind of new ironic instagram-like aesthetic of bad photography.

But no - it turns out that the photographer was just unprepared:

"I was under the impression that I was going to be photographing athletes on a stage or during press conference where I would take their headshots for our archives," he explained. "I really had no idea that there would be a possibility for setting up a studio." It was the first time AFP had been invited to participate in the U.S. Olympic Committee's Media Summit, which was held this year, in May, at a Hilton Hotel in Dallas.

Joe had come armed with two cameras and three lenses (17-35, 70-200 and 300), plus one flash and a 12-inch laptop. To his horror, he saw upon arriving that his colleagues from other news agencies and media organizations had set up studio booths with professional lights, backdrops and prop assistants.

badolympicsmedium

How To Shave Really Old School

As in cave man-style. Mike Cook is no slave to the razor-blade industrial complex - he just knaps off a piece of obsidian and starts shaving.

Some of you sissies are still shaving with sharpened shovels. But Mike Cook does it old school-as in using Stone Age technology. Watch him knap a slice of obsidian off a block and then shave his face with it.

Cook refers to obsidian as "the sharpest substance known to science." I don't know if that's true, but at the link, you can see electron micrographs of a surgical scalpel and an obsidian blade. The obsidian appears to have a sharper edge.

Weekly AoSHQ Commenter Standings

Top 10 commenters:
1 [477 comments] 'toby928?' [66.95 posts/day]
2 [285 comments] 'Jane D'oh'
3 [283 comments] 'Niedermeyer's Dead Horse'
4 [258 comments] 'garrett'
5 [250 comments] 'Vic'
6 [248 comments] 'Robert'
7 [231 comments] 'just me'
8 [231 comments] 'kbdabear'
9 [229 comments] 'Cicero'
10 [220 comments] 'MWR, Proud Tea(rrorist) Party Hobbit and ABO Supporter'

Top 10 sockpuppeteers:
1 [76 names] 'kbdabear' [10.67 unique names/day]
2 [73 names] 'Cicero'
3 [71 names] 'Ed Anger'
4 [54 names] 'toby928?'
5 [53 names] 'Joe Biden'
6 [49 names] 'Doctor Fish'
7 [42 names] 't-bird'
8 [41 names] 'Billy Bob, pseudo-intellectual'
9 [37 names] 'Romeo13'
10 [37 names] 'The Huggable Robot Devil'

The group. Yeah.

Where it's at - the Twitter

Tonight's post brought to you by 1937:

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Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maetenloch at gmail. Otherwise send tips to Ace.

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