Latest Harry Potter Book Hits BitTorrent

For those of you haven’t heard yet, the latest Harry Potter book can be found on BitTorrent. Sure, the quality may be crappy, (looks like someone has industrial carpet from the 80’s) but you can be the first to know how it all ends (unless you want to check out the predictive markets, which believe that the two characters to kick the bucket are Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort). Thanks to TechCrunch for thinking outside the book.

A good use of News resources

Just read this on Paris Hilton’s sentencing-then-house-arrest-then-court-appearance, and it made me laugh out loud.

In the hours after Hilton’s release, it was a madcap scene outside her house in the hills above the Sunset Strip. As word spread that the 26-year-old poster child for bad celebrity behavior was back home, radio helicopter pilots who normally report on traffic conditions were dispatched to hover over her house and describe it to morning commuters. Paparazzi photographers on the ground quickly assembled outside its gates.

The Sandman

An interesting perspective on Spiderman 3’s Sandman:

Considering his strength and versatility, I bet any construction firm would have hired him in a flash. Since his primary motivator was health care for his daughter, maybe a Public Works department would have been a better fit, what with the better benefits and all.

Why did Sandman finally talk to Spiderman at the end of the movie? Why didn’t he do this earlier? Why did it have to happen only after a lot of destruction happened? Despite having seen the movie a few weeks ago, the plot holes of the movie still bother me.

10 items or less Cheaters

I read an article about a study of cheaters in the “10 items or less” lane in supermarkets. The study was done by John Trinkaus at the Zicklin School of Business in CUNY, who covertly monitored these lanes over a span of nine years. Emphasis is my own.

As many of us may have seen for ourselves, Trinkaus found that some shoppers using this lane had more than 10 items. Some cunningly placed their items in groups of 10 and paid for each group separately. Trinkaus found that about 80 per cent of all the supermarket lane cheats were female van drivers.

More details about these female van drivers:

Trinkaus has also shown that 96 per cent of women van drivers break the speed limit, compared with 86 per cent of male ones, and in one study, a staggering 99 per cent of female van drivers failed to come to a complete stop at a T-junction with a stop sign, compared with 94 per cent of the total.


Incorrect use of English

I saw this site on incorrect word use and common English errors a long time ago, and recently rediscovered it. It has a list of 1202 incorrectly used English words. Fascinating to at least scroll through.

Those who know me know that my favorite is irregardless. I love the site’s smarmy response:

Regardless of what you have heard, “irregardless” is a redundancy. The suffix “-less” on the end of the word already makes the word negative. It doesn’t need the negative prefix “ir-” added to make it even more negative.

A concert violinist.. for only $32/hour..

From the Washington Post. Joshua Bell, the world-famous concert violinist and former child prodigy, donned jeans, a t-shirt, and a baseball cap, and played in a Washington DC Metro station for almost an hour. Total take? $32.

In the three-quarters of an hour that Joshua Bell played, seven people stopped what they were doing to hang around and take in the performance, at least for a minute. Twenty-seven gave money, most of them on the run — for a total of $32 and change. That leaves the 1,070 people who hurried by, oblivious, many only three feet away, few even turning to look.

Another interesting tidbit from the article, about Bell’s violin.

Bell bought it a few years ago. He had to sell his own Strad and borrow much of the rest. The price tag was reported to be about $3.5 million.

I bought Joshua Bell’s Gershwin Fantasy many years ago, and am a fan.