Monthly Archives: September 2010

Creative uses of chalkboard paint for your home

Can be found at the Apartment Therapy New York blog. This room I love

But there are lots of great ideas for kitchens, kids rooms….brilliant.

Today is the Flintstones’ 50th anniversary!

Yabba Dabba Doo! And to mark it, Google has them on their front page! Also, The Telegraph has 15 things you don’t know about the show, including the fact the Fred and Wilma were the first couple to be shown in bed together!

Germany end World War One reparations after 92 years with final payment

This is an incredible story. I had thought that German reparations for the First World War had been shelved, but according to both the
Daily Mail Online and SPIEGEL ONLINE, they had not. There were a number of reasons why they had stopped, and why they started again, but now it is finally complete.

It is interesting to read the Daily Mail’s version of events. They make the Treaty of Versailles sound like someone everyone agreed to, when in fact it was something the Germans bitterly felt they were forced to sign. It’s also interesting to see them associate ‘quantitative easing’ with Germany’s hyperinflation. That’s ridiculous, since in it’s current use, quantitative easing is being used or considered because the central banks are up against the zero bound and inflation is too low. The central banks are considering it to deal with deflation, not hyperinflation.

(Treaty of Versailles image from Wikipedia).

Quote of the day

In science, ‘fact’ can only mean ‘confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.’ I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

– Stephen Jay Gould

What is Stuxnet?

Stuxnet appears to be a very sophisticated piece of software that attacks industrial control systems, like those found in nuclear facilities. In particular, Iran’s nuclear facilities.

It’s always difficult to get to the root – pun intended – of these stories. However, this article, Who’s Behind Stuxnet? The Americans? The Israelis? – Security Watch, and this oneIranian nuclear facilities under “massive attack” by Stuxnet worm – Boing Boing both provide more detail than you might find in places like the or Huffington Post. (Make sure you read the comments: there’s alot of useful information there.)

I am always suspicious of IT security stories. There is alot of secrecy and hype associated with them, and then journalists wade in and only acerbate that. It’s entirely possible it was written by some very smart engineer somewhere: indeed, I am more likely to go with that rather than believe it is “cyberwar”.  Let’s see how this progresses.

Don’t Give Up

The superb blog, Letters of Note, has the story on this letter. I think it reads well without context, but I think you should visit the blog (now and often) to get it. It’s from an animator at Pixar to a young boy who wants to become an animator. But really, with some minor changes, it could be to anyone.

On the importance of artists to produce many types of work, great and small

Can be found here