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Virus Information W32/Mytob-BA

penguinThis would be funny, but you should remember that penguins are the dumb blondes of the animal kingdom: cute but gullible (see big pic here). I can only imagine what's going through their little penguin brains upon seeing a super sized penguin (it's the Tokyo Zoo director)

Legend has that bored Royal Air Force pilots stationed on the Falkland Islands noted that the local penguins were fascinated by airplanes. The pilots would search out a beach where the birds are gathered and fly slowly along it at the water's edge. Perhaps ten thousand penguins would turn their heads in unison watching the planes go by, and when the pilots turned around to fly back, the birds turned their heads in the opposite direction, like spectators at a slow-motion tennis match. Then, the pilots would fly out to sea and then directly over the penguin colony. Heads go up, up, up, and ten thousand penguins fall over gently onto their backs.

Could be a myth, but see here for some corroboration.

New Scientist: Lawyers, judges and jurors could soon explore crime scenes in three dimensions in the courtroom, in the same way that video gamers explore virtual worlds. Software called instant Scene Modeler (iSM) re-creates an interactive 3D model from a few hundred frames of a scene captured by a special video camera. Users can zoom in on any object in the 3D model, measure distances between objects and look at scenes from different angles. Full Story

You can view an animation of a scene being filmed here and the subsequent 3D recreation here.

It is well known that people don't always 'speak their minds', and it is suspected that people don't always 'know their minds'. Understanding such divergences is important to scientific psychology. This web site presents a method that demonstrates the conscious-unconscious divergences much more convincingly than has been possible with previous methods. This new method is called the Implicit Association Test, or IAT for short.

Here are my results for the first three tests:
  • Age IAT: Your data suggests little or no automatic preference for young relative to old.
  • Gender-Science IAT: Your data suggest a moderate association between science and male relative to female.
  • Race IAT: Your data suggests a strong automatic preference for White American relative to African American.
I really feel bad about the last result. But there is a simple answer to it: In Vienna you don't see any blacks in everyday life (currently, many blacks work as runners/drug dealers in certain areas of Vienna. But this is really a quite recent phenomenon). They only way you can get in touch with blacks is by listening (involuntarily) to hip-hop. And which words come to your mind when thinking of gangster rappers? 'Bad' and 'evil', right? I hope this isn't a lame excuse... (I caught the influenza only recently, so maybe I just couldn't concentrate any longer...)

via zeitgenossen


Letters to The Economist, Re: Booze Control
SIR – Students need to drink. If anyone can successfully make it to their mid-20s without the soothing charm of alcohol there is, quite frankly, something wrong with them. University is a notoriously stressful place. This is especially true in America, where, I hear, they actually make you do some work.

Paul Davies
Winchester, Hampshire
Cheers! [picture was taken at my favourite bar]

Quote of the day:
The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.
Humphrey Bogart

'The Baby Name Wizard's NameVoyager is an interactive portrait of America's name choices. Start with a "sea" of nearly 5000 names. In certain cases you can see the stamp of a single individual -- type in Shirley to see the huge impact of Shirley Temple in the '30s. At the opposite extreme, you expect fo find names sunk by a negative personal association. So one of the most examined names in the Voyager is Adolph.'

via memepool

related items:
Beliebteste Babynamen in Österreich (2003), Statistik Austria

binarythinkingThe Daily Californian: A culture of assent and unquestioned acquiescence pervades college campuses around the country. We can read all the books in the world by conservative thinkers, LaRouchian economists, and socialist demagogues, but unless we’re actually interested in talking about it, none of it matters. Sections will still be boring, ideas festering without being kindled.

For every article by Paul Krugman, let’s throw in a book by Milton Friedman.

inburgeringsexExpatica: Does a car have two or four wheels? Is it OK to sunbathe topless on the North Sea beaches along the Dutch coast?

These are just two of the questions would-be immigrants may be asked as part of the new inburgeringsexamen, or integration exam, included in draft legislation that was unveiled by Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk on Thursday.

The exam is intended for immigrants, who will have to take it in their home country prior to coming to the Netherlands, to test their ability to speak Dutch and to gauge their understanding of Dutch culture. Click here to read the whole story.

prfunReuters: Deprived of their flat-screen TVs, mobile phones, pizza deliveries and long visits from lovers, inmates at Mexico's top security prison complained on Monday they are being treated "like dogs."

A government crackdown in prisons, aimed especially at drug lords and other violent criminals, has the prisoners of La Palma jail close to Mexico City up in arms at the "subhuman" conditions they face.

On Monday, they paid for a full-page advertisement in Mexico's top daily Reforma and called on President Vicente Fox to respect their human rights. They also want the right to buy the soft drinks of their choice from the jail's small store. Click here to continue reading.