Science Addiction

A dormant blog by Devanshu Mehta

Month: February, 2008

Slate’s Delegate Calculator

This is very addictive: Slate’s Delegate Calculator. I could hypothesize for hours…

A Motto for the United States

Three weeks ago, the Freakonomics blog called for a “6 word motto for the U.S.” There were many suggestions, ranging from the mocking the right (“Hubris: it’s not just for Greeks!” and “USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!”) to mocking the left (“What would liberals hate without it?”), but finally blogger/writer Stephen Dubner narrowed them down to these five, which the readers were asked to vote on:

1. The Most Gentle Empire So Far
2. You Should See the Other Guy
3. Caution! Experiment in Progress Since 1776
4. Just Like Canada, With Better Bacon
5. Our Worst Critics Prefer to Stay

And now, I’m happy to report, the winner is: “Our Worst Critics Prefer to Stay”.

Airport Security Checkpoint: For Kids!

Is your child growing up with false hope? Never fear, Playmobil has just the toy for you:

From the Manufacturer: The traveler hands her spare change and watch to the security guard and proceeds through the metal detector. With no time to spare, she picks up her luggage and hurries to board her flight!

Presenting, the Playmobil Security Check Point- so your child can fantasize about a police-state before living in one. If your lucky, maybe she can run it! Of course, the best part are the reviews:

I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item, because the functionality is limited. My 5 year old son pointed out that the passenger’s shoes cannot be removed. Then, we placed a deadly fingernail file underneath the passenger’s scarf, and neither the detector doorway nor the security wand picked it up. My son said “that’s the worst security ever!”. But it turned out to be okay, because when the passenger got on the Playmobil B757 and tried to hijack it, she was mobbed by a couple of other heroic passengers, who only sustained minor injuries in the scuffle, which were treated at the Playmobil Hospital.

The best thing about this product is that it teaches kids about the realities of living in a high-surveillence society. My son said he wants the Playmobil Neighborhood Surveillence System set for Christmas. I’ve heard that the CC TV cameras on that thing are pretty worthless in terms of quality and motion detection, so I think I’ll get him the Playmobil Abu-Gharib Interogation Set instead (it comes with a cute little memo from George Bush).

Of course, remind your kid to leave the set at home the next time you travel. Never know what will happen if the authorities find a detailed model of their awesome security system in your luggage.

(via Schneier and Threat Level)