A Nation in Debt (ours)

Oh just 99% of our GDP.

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Singing for Strangers [music videos]

The Knife – Pass this on:

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=11257490&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=0&show_portrait=0&color=ffffff&fullscreen=1&autoplay=0&loop=0

“Pass This On” from Andrew on Vimeo.

Foals – True Blood:

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=15948344&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=1&color=&fullscreen=1&autoplay=0&loop=0

Foals – Blue Blood from Blink on Vimeo.

Exaggerating the cyberwar threat

In a June NPR Intelligence Squared debate on the question, “Has the cyberwar threat been grossly exaggerated?” tech commenter Bruce Schneier argued there needs to be a better language to frame infosec issues:

If we frame this discussion as a war discussion, then what you do when there’s a threat of war is you call in the military and you get military solutions. You get lockdown; you get an enemy that needs to be subdued. If you think about these threats in terms of crime, you get police solutions. And as we have this debate, not just on stage, but in the country, the way we frame it, the way we talk about it; the way the headlines read, determine what sort of solutions we want, make us feel better. And so the threat of cyberwar is being grossly exaggerated and I think it’s being done for a reason. This is a power grab by government. What Mike McConnell didn’t mention is that grossly exaggerating a threat of cyberwar is incredibly profitable.

Keith Richards on Johnny Depp

It took me two years before I realised who he was. He was just one of my son Marlon’s mates, hanging around the house playing guitar. I never ask Marlon’s mates who they are because, you know, ‘I’m a dope dealer.” Then one day I was at dinner and I’m like ‘Woah, Scissorhands.’

– Keith Richards

Brain damage and the NFL: Inseparable.

footballThis is by no means a follow up or related post to my collection of NFL Music Videos. It’s but an excerpt from the recent coverage in GQ of research of brain injuries. The article is “Game Brain” and it will rattle the (American) football industry:

What the NFL couldn’t have known then, of course, is that by the time Omalu’s article was published, he had already gotten a second brain, that of former Steelers guard Terry Long, who died at 45 after drinking antifreeze. Same morgue. Same slab. Same story. Terry Long had a clinical history similar to Webster’s. Depression. Memory loss. Crazy behavior. In and out of psych wards. He was bankrupt, living destitute and alone. He tried rat poison. He tried other cocktails. Nothing worked until finally he got it right.

Omalu took Terry Long’s brain home, sliced it, sent it in for stains, ran the same tests, found the same splotches, the same tau proteins. “This stuff should not be in the brain of a 45-year-old man,” he said. “This looks more like a 90-year-old brain with advanced Alzheimer’s.”

So Omalu wrote another paper. He called it “Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in a National Football League Player: Part II” and put it in an envelope and sent it to Neurosurgery, the prestigious peer-reviewed journal that did not, in the end, accept the NFL’s request to retract the first one and went ahead and published the second.

The news of CTE, of retired athletes possibly suffering debilitating brain damage, was now hitting the mainstream press. The NFL responded with denial and attack against the young pathologist in Pittsburgh, who surely had no idea what he was talking about.

“Preposterous,” they said to reporters.

“It’s not appropriate science.”

“Purely speculative.”

….

It was enough to tempt a man to become wicked, to lead him to thoughts of lawsuits and vengeance.

But Omalu did not become wicked. He reminded himself of who he was. “I perform autopsies on dead people every day, so every day I’m reminded of my mortality. It has made me become very religious. I know I’m going to die someday, I know I’m going to be judged by God, and I have work to do while I am here on the earth.”

Continue reading….

Black Friday began as the day of bedlam in Philadelphia

“According to researchers, the name “Black Friday” dates back to Philadelphia in the mid-1960s. The Friday in question is nestled snugly between Thanksgiving and the traditional Army-Navy football game that’s played in Philadelphia on the following Saturday, so the City of Brotherly Love was always bustling with activity on that day. All of the people were great for retailers, but they were a huge pain for police officers, cab drivers, and anyone who had to negotiate the city’s streets. They started referring to the annual day of commercial bedlam as “Black Friday” to reflect how irritating it was.

Apparently storeowners didn’t love having their biggest shopping day saddled with such a negative moniker, so in the early 1980s someone began floating the accounting angle to put a more positive spin on the big day.”

via Mental Floss, “A Brief History of Black Friday