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Drinks on a plane

My name is Will.  This is what I clicked.

August 11 |

Of the non-news coverage of today's events, I found myself appreciating the commentary at BoingBoing.  Their liveblogging the news of the included a mention that Transformers are explicitly allowed.  That's no joke, they're .  Or is there some other definition of "toy transformer robots" that I don't know?

Also, if the liquid could be explosive, ?  Assuming they're collecting lots of terrorist toothpaste and shampoo, isn't it dangerous to collect it all in a big bag like that?  For that matter, why allow it on the plane at all?  It's not safe in the cabin but it's safe in the cargo hold?  Maybe people should be flown with no luggage or anything, maybe just a sterile body stocking, and all the belongings can be shipped separately on an unmanned drone.

And lastly, Liquids on a plane — I'd like to argue that I thought of this before I clicked the link, but I have no fake movie poster to prove it, so they win.

What was the explosive?  I'd also be interested to know what it tastes like.  Since they're asking mothers to sample baby bottles to prove their safety, can we assume that liquid explosive cannot be sipped with a straight face?

I can't figure if the people are high fiving each other or jumping out of windows.

Speaking of blowing up transportation, the winner of a contest the Woodrow Wilson Memorial bridge connecting Alexandria, VA with Prince George's County, MD.

— Not exactly a shocker. After today's news I wonder what the results would be if they took the poll again.

Speaking of people who don't like Muslims, a new vocabulary word for me is .  As best as I can tell, Debbie Schlussel coined very recently in and it refers to the large Muslim population in Dearborn, Michigan.  It's interesting how different these kinds of columns feel when they're not about a community in a distant country.

Also new to me, , which are taking kidnapped children away from the spouses who steal them.  I don't know how common this is, but I also know someone whose Saudi Arabian husband soured on her and stole the kids.

Still building vocab... — "Undistinguished identity is what they call the anonymous profile of a person based on something like their search terms.  Reputation appears to refer to a broader collection of identities.  There lots of interesting themes in this short entry and they're only going to gain in importance.

Speaking of seeing yourself in your online conduct, Hoarders vs. Deleters:

" among many young Iranian women who proudly display them in private but must keep them under wraps from authorities."

on his book deal.  (Will he be able to promote a book and continue to keep his identity secret?)

.  Not only safe for work, but you'll likely be forwarding this one around the cube farm.

— How many blogs are there and what qualifies as a blog?  If no one is posting to it, it's not a blog.  Could there be as few as a couple million actual qualifying blogs?  what does that mean about how much attention they should be given?

and other people leave comments and vote on whether you have a valid complaint.

The Stephen Colbert

  Mostly about food coloring and where it comes from, with a few items in a more traditional gross-out vein.

"In most important categories we're not even in the Top 10 anymore."  It's that the U.S. can't claim to be #1 in.  I imagine a lot of them have explanations that make them less depressing, but since I read recently that "America can do better" is likely to be a campaign platform for Democrats, we're likely to see more of these kinds of stats as the election season heats up.

What's the deal with on ?

Poorly placed comma $2.13 million.  The nut:

Page 7 of the contract states: The agreement “shall continue in force for a period of five years from the date it is made, and thereafter for successive five year terms, unless and until terminated by one year prior notice in writing by either party.”

It's the second comma that's the problem.  The "unless and until" was meant to apply to the "and thereafter" part, but the comma makes it apply to the "five years" part.

is a community for exchanging books.  Real books.  Everyone keeps a list of what they have and mails actual dead tree books to each other for free (well, the postage costs money, but the books are free).

Find that have been Digg'd.

Links to 23 bootlegs of .  (Note: the name and the content contain prominent curses.)  DOUBLE NOTE:  Reader Sam points out that some contain nudity too.  NSFW.  Thanks Sam!

— It's a tungsten needle, photographed at the atomic level.

Speaking of giving up TV, — Not as a video game, but as a special show.

August 10 |

Via internal note it is pointed out to me that friend and colleague Bob Sullivan got of the Lieberman site and it's closer to hacking than the links I pointed.

Speaking of things I got wrong...

Re:  Your item on the "Gallery of HDR photos of Cambridge University" Thanks for all the clicks!

Will replies:  Oops, goes to show what I know.  I'm sure I stepped right onto a sore spot between experienced photographers and the new wave of digital picture takers.  I assumed they guy was using a trendy new technique when in fact he was using a time tested practice of experienced photographers.  Ug.

Will,About your video of a "tornado", you asked the questions, "How big can a dust devil get?  Is this one?"    The answer is YES it is a dust devil and they definitely can get many times bigger than the one in the video.  I am a 55 year old native of Arizona and have seen these all of my life. A few years ago, west of Tucson, I watched one of the bigger ones move a compact car a couple of feet.Hello Will,I came close to just stopping it at times because it had that "Conspiracy Vibe" about it, but after seeing the snippets used by 60 Minutes and the raw footage I was fairly annoyed at how obviously staged the whole thing was.

Will replies:  Thanks Sean, that was interesting.  It reminded me of something I read once about some Arabs simply not believing the 9/11 news footage.  It's a compelling challenge:  how you do you know that the news you're getting really happened?  Of course, that answer is a lot easier now than it was when media choices were much fewer.

re:  "The Philosophy of Liberty"This piece is one of the best explications of Libertarianism I've ever seen!  It's the political philosophy I and tens of thousands live by now - and which we believe more people would adopt, if they were exposed to explanations as clear as this one.Thanks for the link!!

Will replies:  Hi David.  Is there an official Libertarian position on the war(s) or abortion?

Hello Will,.

Will replies:  Thanks Chad. I confess, I'm not a fan of toolbars.  If I could do all my surfing with keystrokes I'd get rid of all of them.  That said, if I were a toolbar person it looks like this is a good one to have.  (Although I wonder if more people are using Firefox extensions instead of toolbars lately.)

Emilie du Chatelet has always been one of my favorites.Four other tasties I remember:Also, you might look up Lou Andreas Salome, famous for being Nietizche's favorite when she was 17, and then many others including Freud, and, when she was in her forties, the 19 year old German poet Ranier Maria Rilke.  She was a deservedly famous and published philosopher in her own right.  I call her the Isidora Duncan of philosophy.  Some photographs exist; when she was young she looked like a young Catherine Deneuve.

Will replies:  Your point is well taken Dave.  The phrase "that history forgot" is probably pretty obnoxious for historians to hear.  That said, even the list you provide relies heavily on sources that describe her in the context of being a woman or her relationship with Voltaire.  I wonder if a more appropriate headline would have been "the scientist that science forgot."

Speaking of history...

I got it onto reddit yesterday...the comments were interesting. I'd love to see it hit your blog so a wider audience could have a look.

Will replies:  Thanks Jason.  This calls to mind the blog entry we saw a couple weeks ago about why bloggers avoid talking about the Mideast situation.  There is so much history and such specific facts and claims that it's hard to evaluate any position without doing a ridiculous amount of studying.  Although "don't kill me" is a pretty simple position that doesn't need much studying.  And I have a feeling some of today's terrorists aren't very well studied.  P.S. Here's .

Here's a link for you Will...President Bush is apparently a robot piloted by a tiny German man! 

Will replies:  Thanks Jeff.  I'm trying to imagine what foreign leader an American parody would target.  Surely not German, even after the "groping" thing.  Kim Jong Il and Castro are probably the only two that would work.

There was a design concept a few years ago to generate electricity from the wind of passing cars on a freeway.  The highway divider wind turbine concept seemed like a great way to recycle some wasted energy.  Thought this fit in with your theme.  However, I can surprisingly find very little info on what happened after

Will replies:  Thanks Michael, that's exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about.  Surely there's a way to harness all that wasted energy.  The other day I was thinking of something like this for subway tunnels because the trains push so much air.  Surely setting up some turbines wouldn't add too much extra resistance to the train.

Re: Verbal pauses when giving speeches.Will,Will-

Will replies:  Scott, I totally agree with you about the guitar tablature.  We saw something similar with sheet music not long ago.  I understand that the people who write music need some way of comodifying their product so they can be paid for it, but it seems odd that other than actually playing the song, there is no free legal way to tell someone about a song you heard.


Will replies:  Thanks Holley, that's as good a definition as I've read anywhere else.  I'm still not sure what that means for the Jewish Center shooter.  I guess we'd have to ask him if he thought his actions would have a political impact?  I think we might end up back at the "deranged" diagnosis.


Will replies:  Out of curiosity I checked to see what the charges were on the most recent bribery case I could think of.  Sure enough, Congressman Cunningham pled guilty to "."  I wonder if the tax evasion was for not paying taxes on his bribe money.

Dear Will,I have included some more information below for you to review.  Please let me know if you’re interested in a “Travel 2.0” story.Thanks!

Will expands:  Jamie is a PR guy, so I cut his note short, but still, the idea of "Travel 2.0" and using the Web to make travel a more social experience is a cool idea.  I know people who've met up with online friends while traveling, but I'm not familiar with any sites designed for that explicit purpose.  (Of course, now that I've said that I'll probably get a bunch mailed to me.)

Hey Will,Looks like some bloggers want to get to the truth in New Orleans.See the original post This is an interesting idea I thought.

Will replies:  Thanks Andy.  For those who like to know what they're clicking before they click, this blogger is offering a thousand bucks for someone to go down to New Orleans to get the "real story."  This is what Jay Rosen's New Assignment project is meant to do.  I have mixed feelings about this particular case because I know there are a lot of media down there still and more to come as the anniversary approaches, but at the same time, I don't know that I've seen a report on trailer communities in N.O., so I would be interested to hear more about that, whatever the source.

Regarding your mention of the Tesla Roadster.The way to test a pineapple is to pull a leaf from the top.  If the leaf comes out easily, it's ripe.  (And I've never even been to Hawaii!!)

Will replies:  This not only explains how to tell if a pineapple is ripe, but also why the pineapples as the supermarket are missing leaves.

Will,I was only 8 years old in 1971 but I sure do remember the horror of that era.  This site details .  Hope to see it included in a future Clicked!—Kenny

Will explains:  Kenny's being funny.  It's the 1971 Sears catalog.

— you switch at least one of your lights to a CFB (Compact Fluorescent Bulb), and she will draw you a bird.  It's simple to do, for a good cause, and absolutely adorable. re:  NPR story and the photographIn today's posting of Clicked, you cited the NPR Story about the photographer Kevin Carter. You might be interested to know that the photo he won the Pulitzer for, and his subsequent suicide played a central role in the 2000 novel "House of Leaves" by Mark Danielawski.  This book is one of the most disturbing and innovative books that I have read in years. Here is the wikipedia articles on House of Leaves, and Ergodic Literature, which this book falls under.Thanks,Hi, Will.  Love the blog, I try to catch it every day, provided work allows.I recently wrote a blog post of my own on the headaches and hassles involved in lightning photography; check it out at Would love to hear what you think...

Will replies:  Nicely done!  I'm glad to read your description of what a pain it is to get those shots.  When you just look at the final product it looks so easy.  P.S. Folks who couldn't get my earlier links to load can find my meager attempts at lightning photos and the stitched photos using Autostitch .


August 8 |

— Lists more sample search terms by specific users.  These are really very fascinating.  It's a shame there's no way to share them just for the sake of imagining the stories.  I can see why someone at AOL would want to share them.  The insights are really compelling.

If search records suggest that a person is planning a crime, say, , should authorities do anything about it?  Isn't that essentially what the government wants to do with plotting terrorists?

The Times actually using their search info.

In spite of the scandal, you can still a little.

Meanwhile, there are so many of these bogus or misleading photos I can barely keep up.  Here's one from a in which the guy who looks mortally wounded in one shot is seen clambering around the rubble in other shots.

And , ug.  All of this makes me wonder about the future success of citizen journalism.  Are news organizations going to be less trusting of sources outside their immediate employ?  It's ironic a lot of the bloggers who don't trust the mainstream media are the same ones exposing the freelancers who (one would think) would be outside the mainstream system.

Speaking of terrorism and manipulation, — "[T]he case against being afraid of terrorism is laid out in irrefutable logic, backed with credible, documented statistics about terrorism's risks."  Links to a 5 page pdf.  A good commuter click.

George Galloway may have made a laughing stock of himself on that reality show, but I've never seen him speaking when he wasn't .  I saw this clip at a number of different links last night.

Speaking of clips that are all over the place, I'm also seeing a lot of .  Some people are calling it a tornado, but I don't think there'd be anyone hanging around next to it like that.  How big can a dust devil get?  Is this one?

A weekend L.A. Times profile of the guy behind the Girls Gone Wild series portrays him as a real pig (surprise).  A lot of bloggers took the bait and for the man.

  This really is a pretty good trick.  I hope this thing doesn't go too viral or it'll be worthless.

Duran Duran is , along with avatars, etc.  How long before companies want to be represented in online games the way they want regular Web sites or MySpace pages?

— It's not just advertisers that are trying to figure out how to evaluate downloadable content.

— You can see out of it but not into it.  Apparently freaky nonetheless to see people in public while you're doing your business.  Though probably pretty appealing to perverts, I think on the whole it would inhibit anti-social behavior in public toilets.

so your house can smell like an ice cream shop.  For an extra 5 bucks they'll come to your house and rub ice cream on all your horizontal surfaces so they're nice and sticky, then they'll put a puddle of chocolate ice cream on your seat for you to sit in when you're not looking.

— I was all set to disagree with this, but really he's not talking about simply computers in the living room, he's talking about some of the media center ideas that were the subject of a lot of hype but never really became anything.  Using a computer that uses some of the characteristics of television (sitting back on the couch with a remote) hasn't quite caught on.

As for computers in the living room, I think progress has been amazing.  Wifi and a laptop was the biggest step for me, but folks are doing online gaming and more with their Xboxes and even DVRs (Tivo) count as computers I'd say.  I don't think it can still be argued that the computer is necessarily the thing in the corner of the home office/playroom with all the wires and boot discs scattered everywhere that no one ever plays with because they're all in the living room watching TV.

— It says to use iMovie, but at the very bottom there are alternative programs you can try.  I haven't made one myself, but I think I'll play with it this weekend.

— Don't skip the comments.

Speaking of lists, — Not terribly convincing, but still interesting perspective on what that occupation is like.

— Related to about loneliness in Americans.

  (The site in general has a lot of cool stuff, but I found it a little awkward to navigate.  It seems mostly set up for people who know what they're looking for.)

Speaking of turbulence, (and idiots)

— Just the head, no body.  I'm thinking that if you're going to do this, you should probably also lose weight or choose a period in life when something significant happens that changes the way you look (ever see before/after presidential photo comparisons?).  It looks like this woman lost a bit of weight, but otherwise the most interesting part to me was watching the winter season come and go in her turtlenecks.

— He made a little strobe kit that flashes at or close to the rate of dripping water such that it looks like the drops are hanging in the air.  It's the same principle that makes car wheels look like they're spinning backward on TV or under fluorescent lights.

There will be voting all week on the of the decade.  (Flash is 10 years old.)

— It's not a new version of "the boot" it's the story of how robot garage operators were fired and they took their software with them so now the cars are stuck.  No word on Sarah Connor.


"The person who mailed anthrax spores in 2001 ."

Dave Sifry is back again reporting on .  Still growing like crazy.  I like the "daily posting volume" charts the best in these reports.

Gallery of of Cambridge University.  Comes with quite a list of tutorials.

The weird thing about the crashing of Joe Lieberman's site yesterday was that everyone was talking about "the bloggers" like it's some kind of mystery force that makes sites crash.  It looks like the real explanation has more to do with anticipated .  UPDATE:  Bob says afterall.

August 7 |

This may be mainstream news by morning, or else it'll be old news, having happened over the weekend, in which case, it's good that it happened in the blogosphere where the historical record is better preserved:

Fresh in the Clicked mailbag: 

Wait, another?  Yeah, there was .

Warblogging A listers figured out that Lebanese freelance photographer for Reuters, Adnan Hajj, has been fudging the photos.  Unlike previous blog accusations which were taken seriously enough to deny but not seriously enough to act upon, this time it is real enough for .  (UPDATE:  I originally had "fired" instead of "suspended," but of course, a freelancer can't be fired because he's not actually a Reuters employee.  Instead they "terminated their relationship" with him.  A reader who pointed this out (thanks Jay) also included to the Reuters announcement which explains that they've also removed all of this photographer's pictures from their database.)

Related: A history of

The absurdity of it all yields for .  We can probably expect the question of war propaganda and media integrity to move past blogs to mainstream discourse this week (provided there are no celebrity drunk driving arrests).

Speaking of playing with photos, may do in automatic post production when anti-shake features do in some higher-end cameras.  The technology is based on something called a "blur kernel."

Speaking of mastering the blur, — The expressions on two faces change depending on how far away you are when you view them.  Also works to just squint at them.

Does the mean the end of locks as we know them?  And for all the time that locks have been in use, how did it take so long to figure out this idea?  3:45 has the explanation.  Interesting to note that like the car stealing trick we read about earlier, insurance companies won't pay out because there's no damage and the lock is supposed to be thief proof.  And by the way, was logged into Delicious in February of 2005.  Has the industry corrected the problem since then?

"Travis Pastrana is the First Person to ever in X Games competition...."  And he does it so cleanly you almost wonder what the big deal is.

"In early 2005, a few people fed up with the way the Internet was heading, began in earnest to create a large wide area network that was secure and lived ."  As you know, this is what a "dark net" is, and it's an example of the concern some people have that a failure of net neutrality will result in a fragmenting of the Internet.


— A round-up of media statistics showing traditional media losing ground to the Internet.

Speaking of the Long Tail blog, this weekend I caught up on the of the Long Tail theory (summarized ), as well as the and the .

And speaking of catching up this weekend, Robert Young's to come up with ideas to get people to see a movie without spending a lot on advertising was worth keeping around until I had time to read it.  It's a novel mix of coupons and word of mouth marketing.

Speaking of new ways to promote movies, how about ?

of 15 years since the Web went world wide.

Wow, Siskel and Ebert .

— Flash movie of moderate length.  Because I thought this was an anti-war video at first, I tried to think of pro-war arguments to disagree with the statements made.  Then I got the idea that it was an anti-government video and tried to think of pro-government arguments.  Then I thought it might be advocating a pro-choice position...  Anyway, it's a good exercise in thinking about the definition of liberty and what that means in terms of governance.

Speaking of intellectual exercises, Juan Cole lays out at length a theory growing in popularity that the situation in Lebanon is .  Of course, we've seen "war for oil" arguments before, and Cole presents this one only as a "thought experiment," but for the sake of keeping up with ideas on the fringe, it's at least interesting to note the theme of controlling the oil in the ground, not the oil market.

Speaking of Juan Cole, I've finally read through a satisfying amount of of whether his blog played a role in his being denied a tenured position by Yale, and, for that matter, whether it should have.

"A study of 61 male university students found were attracted to heavier women than those who were satiated."  I don't think that's what is meant by "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach."

Not really related but in a similar category: .

Though it doesn't work in all cases, transforms the Web page you're reading into something that looks work related.

— Yeah, it's a .

Though I can't really fault the kids who thought up the idea of (what the heck do we call that in America?  A merry-go-round, right?), they probably .

The best explanation I've read for .  And why AOL's voluntary release of a huge number of them has caused some to call for a .  (Why anyone () would still be a customer of this company is beyond me.)

This looks like that comes from a TV commercial.  Could it really have happened that a tire fell off a vehicle and struck a person with such precision and was caught on security tape and published to the Internet?  When I was a kid, I had a basketball hoop on a pole planted in cement on the edge of the yard facing the street.  One day a pick-up drove by with a hitch trailer.  The trailer came loose and skidded across the street, sheering the basketball hoop off at the ground.  You know a trailer hitch is only a few inches across, and the post was maybe 6 inches or so in diameter, and yet they found each other by fluke (and the guy was apologetic and replaced the hoop).  Anyway, that's the main reason why part of me believes the video.  Meanwhile, the on this video has lots of other similar cases, plus .

Unsuspecting man gets into a cab with an insane driver who is actually a stunt person employed by a hidden camera show.  The audience laughs riotously.  The man...?  (.)

It's Darth Vader's own fault that so  many people .  (That and the fact that parodies are not discouraged by

Speaking of all of today's YouTube videos, in case you were curious how YouTube decides what image to use in the video tease, it's .