Monday, October 31, 2011

Go Home, You Hypocrites!

What could I add to this?

Cepheus Flare...

Awesome.  Click to enlarge.  From APOD, of course.

Time-Lapse Flower Photography...

Via my mom:

Sign Outside a Business in Florida...

Your first reaction to this will likely be similar to mine.


Your reaction might be much different when you realize that the business in question was a funeral home.

Via reader Jim M...

Are You a Democrat, a Republican, or a Southerner?

By this test, I'm somewhere between a Republican and a Southerner.  By most other tests, I'm a long way from either :-).  Via reader Jim M.:
You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children.  Suddenly, a Terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, raises the knife, and charges straight at you...

You are carrying a Kimber 1911 cal. 45 ACP with a 7 bullet magazine, and you are an expert shot.  You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family.  What do you do?

Democrat's Answer:
  • Well, that's not enough information to answer the question!
  • What is a Kimber 1911 cal. 45 ACP?
  • Does the man look poor or oppressed?
  • Is he really a terrorist? Am I guilty of profiling?
  • Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?
  • Could we run away?
  • What does my wife think?
  • What about the kids?
  • Were the bullets made by unionized labor being paid a living wage?
  • Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?
  • What does the law say about this situation?
  • Does the pistol have appropriate safety built into it?
  • Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?
  • Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me?
  • Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?
  • If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?
  • Should I call 9-1-1?
  • Why is this street so deserted?
  • We need to raise taxes, have paint & weed day.
  • Can we make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.
  • I need to debate this with some friends for a few days and try to come to a consensus.
  • This is all so confusing!

Republican's Answer:
  • BANG!

Southerner's Answer:
  • Click..... (Sounds of reloading)
  • Click
  • Daughter: 'Nice grouping, Daddy!  Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or Hollow Points?!
  • Son: 'Can I shoot the next one?!'
  • Wife: 'You ain't taking that to the Taxidermist!


Via my colleague Aleck L.:

The video is new to me, though the studies it's reporting on are not.  One of the big mysteries of managing engineers (or other knowledge workers, I'm sure) is how to motivate them to do what you want them to do. 

Much of what this video articulates matches my own experiences – but there are motivations controllable by managements (some of them involving money) that my experience tells me actually do work.  All of these involve two elements not explored by these studies: recognition (that is, letting peers – inside or outside the company – know what good thing you've accomplished) and spot cash (that is, cash bonuses awarded not according to some rules or formulae, but rather at the moment some good behavior needs to be rewarded).  I've also seen the power of negative motivation.  I once used a stuffed monkey with a dunce's cap as a motivational tool.  Whenver someone did something dumb, they got the monkey – and it sat on their desk until the next person did something dumb.  That damned monkey was one of the best tools I ever found for getting engineers to behave the way I wanted them to, and it was negative reinforcement.  I'm pretty sure it only worked because the culture we had at that job was right for it, though...

CRAP = Usability...

Where CRAP = Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity...

Sweet 'n Salty Capacitors!

By Emily Daniels.  Awesome!