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July 2010

July 31, 2010

Two funny ones about the people who use iPhones

XKCD's "iPhone or Droid".

"iPhone4 vs HTC Evo" (YouTube). (Link courtesy of John H.)

"10 Most Badass Warriors in History"

Brief discussions of Attila, Genghis, Patton, and seven more.

July 30, 2010

"Hurricanes By the Numbers"

Hurricane season is once again--sigh--coming.

This could explain a lot

"One in five Californians say they need mental health care".

"Funny Demotivational Posters. Part 4"

A lot of bad language, crudity, and non-political-correctness.

But I think most of them are quite funny.

July 29, 2010

City government of the month: Brockton, MA

I feel kinda bad not giving it to Ann Arbor (see yesterday's post) and while Detroit is a perennial contender--one wag wrote recently, "Detroit's city council puts the dis in dysfunctional"--but, sorry, worthy contenders, Brockton's performance is simply too outstanding to ignore.

The Brockton Water Department has been inaccurately billing thousands of residents for more than a decade because of widespread failure in the city’s water meters, city officials said yesterday.

The city is seeking to reclaim millions in lost revenue that it says resulted from chronic undercharging for water usage, sending retroactive bills to customers, some for thousands of dollars. One woman said she received a bill for $100,000, which water officials said was probably a mistake. The Department of Public Works commissioner, Michael Thoreson, said the department also has mistakenly overcharged some residents. . . .

Thoreson said the problem stemmed from faulty water meters: Roughly 9,000 of the city’s 25,000 meters are not accurately reporting usage, he said.

Patrick Quinn, a member of the city Water Commission, which governs water rates, said most of those meters have probably been malfunctioning for at least five years and some for more than a decade, suggesting deep management problems in the department.

Yet another way grocery retailers demonstrate their competitiveness

They're starting to move in on restaurants.

The grocer-as-quick-serve-restaurant model has done well in the recession, in part because the convenience is good and cost is low.

But even as the economy upticks slightly, ready-to-eat food continues to drive more traffic to grocery stores, increasingly blurring the traditional boundaries between supermarkets and restaurants.

"Calling the Baby Whisperers"

Somehow, Americans forgot how to get babies to go to sleep.

"You Only Think Your Commute Sucks"

According to IBM Research the commutes in New York City and L.A. are much better than in Beijing, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, London, and Paris.

No word on Houston or Washington, D.C., though.

July 28, 2010

There are miracles in this life, part 2

A toddler falls off a porch and a metal hook embeds two inches into his head. His aunt and uncle, a handy-with-tools neighbor, and a UNC surgeon save him. The X-ray, alone, is astonishing.

And he seems to be fine now.

(Part 1 of "miracles in this life" was here.)

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