Sunday, November 10, 2013

Things I learned lately 10 November

  • The music video for "Thriller" cost $500,000 to make. At the time, it was the most expensive music video ever made. CBS Records wouldn't pay for a 3rd video from the Thriller album and MTV never pays for videos. So the video was funded by getting MTV and Showtime to pay $250,000 each for the rights to show the 45 minute The Making of "Thriller", nicknamed The Making of Filler.
  • I was just recently informed that in my little high school on the outskirts of Montreal, we used to have a teacher by the name of Rooshikumar Panya. He taught at LTMHS in the late 1960s. He was a great sitar player and a friend of Ravi Shankar, and in fact was married for the last 30 years to Annapurna Devi, Shankar's first wife, a great sitar player in her own right.
  • Texas judge Elizabeth E. Coker resigned just before an investigation for misconduct; she texted instructions to prosecutors to help them convict defendants. She is accused of influencing jurors to convict defendants. She apparently will face no criminal or civil sanctions for her crimes; nor will the victims whose trials she perverted be freed.
  • In Canada, we refer to the Humidex to describe the humidity's effect on the temperature. In the US, they talk about the real temperature and the 'feels like' temperature.
  • The highest paid public state employees in 42 states is a sports coach. In the other 10 states, it's a medical school dean or something like that. Priorities...
  • $30 in raw popcorn can turn into $3000 in sales at a movie theatre.
  • If you are issued a paper boarding pass with 'SSSS' on it, it means you're selected for secondary screening. If when you get to security you tell them you have an electronic boarding pass (which is on your phone in the bin passing through the scanner), they won't think you've been selected for secondary screening.
  • The "Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property" proposes that Congress legalize the use of malware in order to punish people believed to be copying illegally. Software would be loaded on computers that would somehow figure out if you were a pirate, and if you were, it would lock your computer up and take all your files hostage until you call the police and confess your crime. This is the exact mechanism that crooks use when they deploy ransomware. More evidence that copyright enforcers' network strategies are indistinguishable from those used by dictators and criminals. But they want more. They want "a more permissive environment for active network defence that allows companies not only to stabilize a situation but to take further steps, including actively retrieving stolen information, altering it within the intruder’s networks, or even destroying the information within an unauthorized network. Additional measures go further, including photographing the hacker using his own system’s camera, implanting malware in the hacker’s network, or even physically disabling or destroying the hacker’s own computer or network."
  • Fox News personalities actually told the grads of the year NOT to follow their dreams and that there's nothing wrong with the economy.
  • Canadians may be the only country that calls electricity 'hydro'. We also refer to it as the 'hydro bill'.
  • Elon Musk went to Queen's University in Kingston, 1990-1992.
  • Burger King (US only) now makes a challenger to the McRib. Just in case you care.

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