27 July 2008

Parakeet video

Would you like to see some video of Chester enjoying his disco ball?

25 July 2008

Aww, puh-leeeeeeeeeze?

The following information is taken from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser, from a chapter which talks about the marketing of fast food to children. James U. McNeal, a professor of marketing at Texas A&M University, is considered America’s leading authority on marketing to children. In his book Kids as Customers (1992), McNeal provides marketers with a thorough analysis of “children’s requesting styles and appeals. ... Read more

22 July 2008

How Mae and Mac jacked up the US debt by 50% overnight [updated]

Once upon a time, the US government set up three agencies to provide home loans to people. The Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) was founded by FDR to improve the liquidity of the mortgage market. It sits in between the mortgage borrower and the lender. Its job is to assume the risk of mortgage default, in return for a fee. In the 1960s, part of it was removed from the federal balance sheet by spinning it off into a private corporation. ... Read more

21 July 2008

Delia Derbyshire: 30 years ahead of her time

For anyone who doesn’t know, Delia Derbyshire is the woman who created the original Dr Who theme. Last week, the BBC revealed that she had kept an archive of 267 tapes in her attic; archivists are now analyzing them. Amongst the recordings is a piece from the late 60s, which sounds exactly like it was taken from a recent Aphex Twin album–preceded by the comment “Ah, forget about this, it’s for interest only. ... Read more

20 July 2008

These things occur to me

What do you put mothballs in, if you don’t plan on using them for quite a while?

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