Kevin Phelan: 5 Popular Safety Measures That Can Kill You Horribly (Cracked)
#5. Some Surgical Equipment Can Catch on Fire (If the Patient Farts on It)
Matthew Kohlmorgen, JM McNab: 6 Insane Meltdowns by Actors on Set of Their Greatest Movies (Cracked)
The reason all of us are at least a little obsessed with celebrity culture is that so many performers seem to be freaking insane. Maybe it's a natural side effect of the fame and money, or maybe you just need to be a little crazy to be willing to spend months in New Zealand pretending to be an elf or whatever. Whatever it is, we're not sure if life on a film set would be hilarious or a freaking nightmare.
Mark Morford: The disgrace of Bill Cosby, and what you can do about it (SF Gate)
Bill Cosby is, allegedly, a serial rapist. A sexual predator. Long known and carefully buried, but now, finally, come back to harsh and devastating light.
Mark Morford: "Kill it, skin it, eat it: What every American school-kid should see" (SF Gate)
"Fluffy bunny dies at hands of callous educationalist in ruthless bloodletting," might have been slightly better, but that's just nitpicking. But then, closer inspection: The teacher in question was actually a farmer, one who raises rabbits and other livestock for food, and he was invited to the 10th-grade class to discuss animal slaughter and processing, a sort of "where it comes from" demonstration in front of a bunch of rural Idaho kids who aren't, it must be noted, exactly unused to this sort of thing.
Jonathan Rosenbaum: "F for Fake: Orson Welles's Purloined Letter" (Criterion)
For all his regrets, this self-referentiality is one of the many elements that make F for Fake the most celebratory of Welles's films. As he puts it while distant views of Chartres nearly replicate our first views of Kane's Xanadu: "Our songs will all be silenced-but what of it? Go on singing."
YOU WILL NEVER GUESS WHAT THIS COMMERCIAL IS ABOUT (Facebook)
"You're not human if you watch and don't laugh out loud at the end." - Andrew Tobias
Noam Chomsky: What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream (Z Magazine, October, 1997)
Part of the reason why I write about the media is because I am interested in the whole intellectual culture, and the part of it that is easiest to study is the media. It comes out every day. You can do a systematic investigation. You can compare yesterday's version to today's version. There is a lot of evidence about what's played up and what isn't and the way things are structured.
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Michelle in AZ
From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'
Re: Eigenvalues eigenvectors
As Feynman once said: 'you can't say you really understand something until you can
explain it to your grandmother'. So here goes (not that you are my grandmother, or
anybody else's): An eigenvalue (or as W.R. Hamilton FIRST called it "characteristic
value" translated later into German as "Eigenwert"), is as the name implies, a value
that a function characteristically takes. Since the form is usual to a matrix, we
usually start with the idea of a system of linear equations: these are a set of
equations like Li (x,y,z,...) = Ai. (ax + by +cz ...= A1; dx + gy+hz = A2, etc.). The
set of equations can be written as an array of rows and columns, a matrixlike [L] =
[a ¬ b ¬ c] which multiplies the 'column vector' of the coordinates or [X] = ¬ [x]¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ [d ¬ g ¬ h] ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ [y] ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ [. ¬ . ¬ . ¬ ] ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ [z] ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ and equals the column: [A1]¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ [A2]¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ [A3] ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬
Or more compactly: L[X] = [A]The
'linear' part means that if you multiply any of the 'vectors' (such as (a,b,c...))
with a number say 'N', then the result is just N times the original matrix. And
also: if you add two sets of vectors (i.e matrices) to make a third set of vectors
(matrix), the result is just the sum of the two matrices. So an eigenvalue is a
number, say H, such that [L][X] = H[X] . The left hand side is the matrix L
multiplying (acting as a function) on the vector [X], the right hand side is just a
number times the vector [X]. If all the equations in the matrix are independent
(that is, one of them is not simply a multiple of another one), we have a square
matrix n x n and the dimension of the matrix is called 'n'. Guess what? then there
are exactly 'n' eigenvalues! These eigenvalues can be made to correspond with
eigenvectors of the matrix, i.e. so that you can forget the entire matrix and just
look at a particular vector, say [Y], so that H[Y] = [L][Y]. In an important sense,
the vectors [Y] are a kind of natural coordinate system for the original matrix [L]
since they are all independent (like coordinate axes) and they basically
characterize all the data in [L], in the sense that there are certain kinds of
matrix functions (like coordinate rotations for example) that can convert [L] into
diagonal form -- where only entries appear on the diagonal and the rest of them are
zero -- these entries are exactly the eigenvalues, and the eigenvectors are
orthogonal to all the other eigenvectors of the system, that is, the dot product of
(Yi).(Yn) = 0 for all 'i' and all n not equal to 'i'. You have now, by implication,
'rotated' the coordinate system [X] to a form displaying a different [Y] for each
eigenvalue H. The largest eigenvalues contribute the 'largest' amount to the data,
which is why finding the corresponding eigenvectors (or eigenfunctions when written
out) is important.
Thanks for clearing that up, 2nu!
from Marc Perkel
Hello Bartcop fans,
As you all know the untimely passing of Terry was unexpected, even by him. We all knew he had cancer but we all thought he had some years left. So some of us who have worked closely with him over the years are scrambling around trying to figure out what to do. My job, among other things, is to establish communications with the Bartcop community and provide email lists and groups for those who might put something together. Those who want to play an active roll in something coming from this, or if you are one of Bart's pillars, should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bart's final wish was to pay off the house mortgage for Mrs. Bart who is overwhelmed and so very grateful for the support she has received. Anyone wanting to make a donation can click on this the yellow donate button on bartcop.com
But - I need you all to help keep this going. This note isn't going to directly reach all of Bart's fans. So if you can repost it on blogs and discussion boards so people can sign up then when we figure out what's next we can let more people know. This list is just over 600 but like to get it up to at least 10,000 pretty quick. So here's the signup link for this email list.
( mailman.bartcop.com/listinfo/bartnews )
from that Mad Cat, JD
In The Chaos Household
Still sunny and dry.
Discovered In French Town
The accidental discovery in a small library in northern France of an original first folio of Shakespeare's plays has sent a jolt of excitement around the world of Shakespeare scholars.
The find brings the total of known folios in the world to 233, and is significant as each first folio can contain variations that shed light on the bard's intentions. Among the 900 pages of the most recent discovery are rare annotations that suggest it was used for performance.
Scholars have not yet had a chance to carry out the painstaking comparisons with the texts of other folios to determine what variations the latest discovery may contain.
Remy Cordonnier, the director of the Saint-Omer library's medieval and early modern collection, happened upon the folio among the belongings of a Jesuit evangelist that were bequeathed from a now-defunct Jesuit college in the town.
Missing were 12 title pages, which record the printing date and location. So Cordonnier sought the help of Eric Rasmussen, a Nevada-based specialist in Shakespeare first folios, who traveled to the small town near Calais to examine it. Rasmussen concluded that it was among about 750 Shakespeare first folios printed in 1623, seven years after the playwright died.
10 Male Guest Hosts
Late Late Show
James Corden is getting quite the opening act - 15 of 'em, to be exact - before he takes over as host of The Late Late Show
CBS on Wednesday announced a roster of guest hosts that will fill the gap between Craig Ferguson's exit - slated for Dec. 19 - and Corden's debut.
The Price Is Right emcee Drew Carey will bookend the substitute roster by hosting Jan. 5-9 and March 2-6 (12:37-1:37 AM, ET/PT).
And while the network isn't planning any solo female guest-hosts to bridge the Ferguson-Cordon gap, it will air a special late-night edition of The Talk - broadcast from its daytime set, with the five-member panel of Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Aisha Tyler and Sheryl Underwood - for the week of Jan. 12-16.
The remainder of the Late Late Show guest-host lineup will include director Judd Apatow, singer John Mayer, and comic actors including Will Arnett, Wayne Brady, Jim Gaffigan, Billy Gardell, Sean Hayes, Thomas Lennon and Kunal Nayyar. CBS will announce the exact dates for those guest hosts in the near future.
Late Late Show
Chris Thile To Guest Host
Host Garrison Keillor plans to stay home and listen to "A Prairie Home Companion" on the radio for a couple of shows this winter.
Mandolinist Chris Thile of the band Nickel Creek will be the guest host for shows Feb. 7 and 14 from the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul.
It's only the second time in the show's 40-year history that it's had a guest host. Singer and fiddler Sara Watkins, Thile's bandmate in Nickel Creek, hosted in 2011.
Keillor says "Prairie Home" has been "a pretty dependable show, and now and then it likes to do something entirely different."
Vanishes From Social Media
Prince, whose distaste for the music industry's conventions is well known, has abruptly disappeared from social media after tentative efforts to promote his two new albums.
As of late Tuesday, the megastar's Twitter and Facebook accounts had both disappeared and almost all videos from his official account had been taken off YouTube.
Prince offered no immediate commentary -- on social media or elsewhere -- on the reasons for the action.
But Prince's two latest albums, which he released simultaneously in September, remained on the streaming service Spotify.
Interview Speaks Volumes
George Stephanopoulos' interview with Darren Wilson - the police officer who killed African-American teenager Michael Brown - tells us a lot more about ABC News
Wilson's account of events was hardly unexpected. He sounded like someone who had been well coached by attorneys, both in regard to potential criminal charges and a possible wrongful-death civil lawsuit. Stephanopoulos mischaracterized his demeanor as "very clinical," when the better description would be "very lawyered up," which is strictly an observation, not a criticism.
ABC, by contrast, approached its coup of landing the first sit-down chat with Wilson in an unorthodox way, or at least one that says a great deal about the network's priorities, which have been crystal clear since Stephanopoulos - as host of "Good Morning America
Simply put, there was a time not long ago when this sort of "big get" interview would have commanded an hour in primetime, or at the very least a lead segment on "20/20." Instead, ABC diced it into what amounted to bite-sized bits - airing sections on "World News," "Nightline" and finally "GMA," before throwing the whole thing on its website.
Europeans Debate Common Stand
Frustrated by deadlock in the Middle East peace process, a growing number of European leaders and lawmakers are calling for unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.
That movement took a step forward Wednesday as members of the European Parliament began debating whether they can agree on a common approach for the European Union's 28 member states.
Recognition of a country is a decision for national governments. But EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told lawmakers meeting in Strasbourg, France that the bloc needs to forge "a united and strong message" to influence events.
The ultimate goal, Mogherini said, is creation of an independent Palestinian state and securing Israel's right to live in "security, safety and peace." She said one cannot happen without the other.
On Oct. 30, Sweden's government became the first Western European nation in the EU to recognize Palestinian statehood. Since then, lawmakers in Britain, Spain and Ireland have approved non-binding motions urging recognition. French legislators are scheduled to debate a similar measure on Friday.
Students In Secret Trial
Seven students of a prominent scholar from China's Uighur minority have been tried in secret for separatism, a lawyer said Wednesday, after their professor lost an appeal against a life sentence for the same offence.
Ilham Tohti's ex-students face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty, in a move seen as part of an effort to silence criticism of government policies in the far-western Xinjiang region, home to the mostly-Muslim Uighur group.
China blames attacks and clashes in Xinjiang, which have claimed several hundred lives in the past year, on terrorists seeking independence for the region, while rights groups say official repression of Uighur religion and culture has stoked violence.
Six of the students are Uighurs while one is a member of China's Yi minority, the state-run Global Times newspaper reported.
Hacker Snitch Stole Money
An Icelandic computer hacker and former associate of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange unexpectedly pleaded guilty on Wednesday to embezzling 30 million Icelandic crowns ($240,000) from the organization.
Sigurdur Thordar≠s≠son's courtroom plea is the latest twist in the saga of Wikileaks, which released thousands of secret U.S. embassy cables in 2010 and 2011, deeply embarrassing Washington.
Known as 'Siggi the Hacker', Thordar≠s≠son has previously said that he turned an informant for the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2011, a year before Assange fled to the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault accusations that he has denied.
In the run up to his Iceland trial, Thordar≠s≠son rejected charges that he stole the proceeds of the sales of Wikileaks-branded items, and his U-turn on Wednesday was a surprise.
Israeli police are watching from above in their attempts to keep control in Jerusalem in the face of the city's worst wave of violence in nearly a decade.
Police have been flying surveillance balloons over the city's eastern sector and Old City - the location of its most sensitive holy sites - to monitor protests and move in on them quickly. They say the puffy white balloons, which carry a rotating spherical camera pod, have greatly helped quell the unrest. But the eyes in the sky are unnerving Palestinians.
Rami Shmueli, the CEO of RT LTA Systems Ltd, said his company gives police a "third dimension" in their quest to quell tensions in east Jerusalem, where they have been clashing regularly with masked youths hurling rocks and firebombs.
"We give them an aerial view of the streets and those people who are throwing stones, we can detect them even if they hide behind buildings or in gardens," said Shmueli. "When we see them and when we see their activity, we can direct the police forces to their location. And even if they escape we can follow them and make sure that police catch them."
Cigarette smoking has hit the lowest point ever among American adults, a new report finds.
The percentage of U.S. adults who smoke cigarettes was 17.8 percent in 2013, a drop from 20.9 percent in 2005, and the lowest rate of smoking since researchers began tracking this figure in 1965, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The report also found the number of cigarette smokers was 42.1 million in 2013, a drop from 45.1 million in 2005, even though the U.S. population is increasing.
The decline in smoking rates varied among different populations and regions. Smoking remains particularly high among people who live below the poverty level, those who have less education, and those who have a disability or a limitation, the report found.
For the first time, the researchers had data to break out the smoking rate of people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual. The smoking rate in this group was 26.6 percent, higher than the smoking rate among straight people, which was 17.6 percent.
The Top 20 Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows in North America. The previous week's ranking is in parentheses. The list is based on data provided to the trade publication Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers.
1. (1) One Direction; $5,264,672; $84.08.
2. (2) Paul McCartney; $2,882,026; $139.02.
3. (3) Katy Perry; $1,644,185; $100.75.
4. (5) Britney Spears; $1,423,694; $148.82.
5. (4) Luke Bryan; $1,337,836; $49.62.
6. (7) Marc Anthony; $1,170,987; $104.43.
7. (New) Enrique Iglesias/Pitbull; $1,157,089; $83.60.
8. (8) Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers; $992,317; $91.17.
9. (9) Zac Brown Band; $936,847; $52.38.
10. (10) Motley Crue; $831,424; $62.05.
11. (11) Linkin Park/Thirty Seconds To Mars; $765,875; $53.97.
12. (12) Jason Aldean; $752,222; $41.59.
13. (13) Blake Shelton; $742,548; $44.96.
14. (14) Alejandro Fernandez; $664,984; $78.17.
15. (15) Eric Church; $643,138; $50.17.
16. (16) The Black Keys; $599,091; $61.29.
17. (20) James Taylor; $527,555; $78.62.
18. (18) Miranda Lambert; $521,536; $34.20.
19. (19) Brad Paisley; $505,352; $35.40.
20. (21) Rascal Flatts; $487,423; $32.95.
Beloved for her powerful voice and brazen in the conservative Arab world for her multiple marriages, Lebanese singer, actress and entertainer Sabah never seemed far from the limelight during her six-decade career.
And even while playfully mocked in her later years for clinging to youth through plastic surgeries, flings with far-younger men and garish outfits, Sabah remained cherished for her love of life and positive outlook even into old age.
Sabah, whose real name was Jeanette Feghali, died Wednesday morning at age 87, the Lebanese National News Agency reported, without offering a cause of death. Her health had been declining in recent years.
A peroxide-blond with a throaty laugh and playful smile, she took the stage name Sabah, Arabic for morning. Her many other nicknames included shahroura, Arabic for singing bird, and the Sabbouha, a play on Sabah that millions of fan used for her across the Middle East. Others simply called her al-Ustura, or the Legend.
Born to a Christian family in the village of Bdedoun near Beirut in 1927, Sabah came to prominence in the 1940s as a singer and actress in the Egyptian movies that dominated the Arab world at the time. She ultimately participated in at least 25 plays, four radio musicals, 85 films and sang 3,000 songs, according to Charbel Alasmar, a Lebanese-Canadian composer who goes by Charbel Moreno and has documented Sabah's career.
She worked with a string of legendary Egyptian composers, including the late Mohammed Abdul-Wahhab, acquiring the grace and breadth demanded to master classical Arabic music. She was a queen of the Lebanese folkloric form, called the mawal, nostalgic of a time before Lebanon's decimating 15-year civil war that ended in 1990.
Some of her most famous songs include "Zay el-Assal," or "Your Love is Like Honey on my Heart," and Akhadou el-Reeh, "They Took the Wind.' Her last well-regarded song, a duet released in 2006, showed she could out-sing her younger contemporaries.
Amid her professional success, Sabah often set tongues wagging with her flamboyant life and her gregarious confessions to entertainment reporters. She frequently married and divorced - at least nine times, the National News Agency reported. Her relationships ran from a month and to 17 years, that marriage to a dancer known as Fadi Lebanon. He was an indeterminate number of years younger than her.
One of her husbands, parliamentarian Joe Hamoud, divorced her in the 1970s after she scandalized Beirut society by appearing in tiny shorts for a theatre role, Maalouf said. In her 70s, she dated a 25-year-old Mr. Lebanon, Omar Mehyo.
Well into her 80s, she appeared with thick, tumbling blonde locks, sparkly dresses, red lipstick and heavy black eyeliner. She broke a Lebanese taboo on plastic surgery - now almost a national pastime - constantly updating her features with facelifts.
Sabah is survived by a son, Sabah and a daughter, Huwaida. A funeral will be held on Sunday in downtown Beirut.
'Mad' Frankie Fraser
"Mad" Frankie Fraser, an old-school London criminal who spent more than 40 years in prison and became an underworld celebrity, has died. He was 90.
Fraser was among the last survivors of a generation of sharp-suited Cockney gangsters that included the Kray twins, Reggie and Ronnie, who moved between London's East End dives and the society pages in the 1960s.
Fraser worked as a gangland enforcer for the South London-based Richardsons, and earned a fearsome reputation for violence. He was known as "The Dentist," for allegedly pulling out his victims' teeth with pliers.
He served a total of 42 years in prison for a variety of crimes - though never murder - and was sent to psychiatric facilities several times after being declared insane.
After his final release in 1989, he capitalized on nostalgia for the 1960s - even for its shady side - by publishing an autobiography, becoming a television personality, starring in a one-man stage show and leading underworld tours of London.
The world of Fraser and the Krays was mythologized in films such as Guy Ritchie's "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels." The gangsters became a symbol of a possibly mythical time when criminals only targeted one another, helped the poor and were kind to their sweet old mums.
'Mad' Frankie Fraser