Thursday, July 3, 2008

stray bullets

Half of US Gun Deaths are Suicides The Supreme Court's landmark ruling on gun ownership last week focused on citizens' ability to defend themselves from intruders in their homes. But research shows that surprisingly often, gun owners use the weapons on themselves.

Don't shoot yourself. It's a nasty business. I knew a guy who shot himself in the head and soon realized that it wasn't going to do the job, so he had to do it again. You might seriously regret your decision at a similar moment. You never know what good fortune tomorrow might bring. Life is precious and you are unique. (via)

Thieves Stealing Manhole Covers Cities and counties are battling manhole-cover thefts, a crime spree that police tie to the weak economy. Hundreds of 200-pound covers have disappeared in three months in California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Georgia as scrap metal prices pop up. "It's a sign of the times," says Sgt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office in Georgia, where 28 manhole covers disappeared in April and May. "When the economy gets bad, people start stealing iron." (....) (via)

Diary of a deliberately spammed housewife For Tracy Mooney, a married mother of three in Naperville, Ill., the decision to abandon cybersense and invite e-mail spam into her life for a month by participating in a McAfee Inc. experiment was a bit of a lark. The idea of McAfee's Global SPAM (for Spammed Persistently All Month) Experiment — which fittingly started on April Fool's Day — was to have 50 volunteers from 10 different countries answer every spam message and click on every pop-up ad on their PCs.

John Mullan on the use of explanation as a device in Iain Banks's The Wasp Factory (via)

Wood density explains sound quality of great master violins The advantage of using medical equipment to study classical musical instruments has been proven by a Dutch researcher from the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). In collaboration with a renowned luthier, Dr. Berend Stoel put classical violins, including several made by Stradivarius, in a CT scanner. The results are published in the July 2 issue of the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE. The homogeneity in the densities of the wood from which the classical violins are made, in marked contrast to the modern violins studied, may very well explain their superior sound production.

Random live webcams from the Net (via)

Word Spy: Asian paradox n. The lower than average rate of cardiovascular disease and cancer among Asian people despite a higher than average rate of cigarette smoking.


Alan Evil said...

The webcam link is awesome.

John M. said...

Yeah, I liked that, too. I wish I could embed them.