Media


This timelapse compilation is incredible.  Be sure and watch it at full screen.

Landscapes: Volume Two from Dustin Farrell on Vimeo.

Now I am homesick.

(HT Gizmodo)

The NYTimes has discovered a new constitutional principle: “selective incorpodumbassicity.” This means that the stupidity of some voters is incorporated, using a fabricated interpretation of the 14th Amendment, to rewrite the 2nd Amendment so that legitimate gun ownership, by responsible law-abiding citizens, is treated exactly the same way as if you robbed a bank.

In Dr. Munger’s response to this NY Times editorial.

I found this idea fascinating. 

I was thinking recently, one day we might run out of new images. Let’s take the current standard for high quality images, 1080p hi def video. It’s surprising to realize that that frame contains a finite number of possible images. I thought it would be interesting to figure out just how many, so I wrote a little Python expression to do the math. The total number of pixels is 1920 horizontally x 1080 vertically = 2,073,600 pixels. There are 256 possible intensities of red, green and blue for each pixel, so that’s 2563 = 16,777,216 possible colors. To figure out how many possible images there are, we need to raise the second number to the power of the first, so 16,777,2162,073,600 = 1.5 * 1014,981,180 possible images. That’s a pretty big number – it’s almost fifteen million digits long. Printing it in 10 point Monaco would take over 2,700 pages of paper. Scientists estimate that there are 1080 atoms in the observable universe – a tiny number in comparison.

However big it may be, the fact that the number is finite is a surprising thing to realize. It means that every possible image has a unique ID number.

Given enough time this machine will display every possible picture within this array of 64 x 64 black & white pixels.

What makes this interesting is that among those pictures will be those of all your ancestors and descendents, the first words of every book that will ever be written. The true digital face of God.

It brought to mind Arthur C. Clarke’s brilliant short story The Nine Billion Names of God.

“This is a project on which we have been working for the last three centuries — since the lamasery was founded, in fact. It is somewhat alien to your way of thought, so I hope you will listen with an open mind while I explain it.”

“Naturally.”

“It is really quite simple. We have been compiling a list which shall contain all the possible names of God.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“We have reason to believe,” continued the lama imperturbably, “that all such names can be written with not more than nine letters in an alphabet we have devised.”

“And you have been doing this for three centuries?”

“Yes. We expected it would take us about fifteen thousand years to complete the task.”

It’s all in there, every possible image.  There’s an image of me sitting in front of my computer just as I am right now.  And there’s an image of my Great, Great, . . ., Great Grandfather hefting up the megaliths at Stone Henge.  And there’s an image of my Great, Great, . . ., Great Grandson basking on the beach under the alien sun of Fhloston Paradise.  Even if it didn’t, or doesn’t, happen.

Don’t worry too much though.  At a TV frame rate of 30 images per second, even the super low resolution 64 x 64 black and white version would take 359,676,102,360,200,472,965,684,305,166 years to watch from beginning to end.

Brilliant econ-geekiness.

Brought to you by John Papola and George Mason’s Russ Roberts.  If you don’t listen to Roberts’ podcast or read his blog, you should start.

If you’re a sports merchandise vendor and you’re sidling up to that line where you might be using a celebrity’s likeness without his permission, DO NOT send him a letter claiming that he is creating  “likelihood of confusion” with your products.

After O’Neal was traded to the Phoenix Suns in February 2008, he was dubbed by fans as “The Big Shaqtus.”

Soon thereafter, Mine O’Mine says defendant Michael Calmese with True Fan Logo Inc. registered shaqtus.com and began operating an online store selling items featuring “an animated character in the form of a cactus with the facial features of O’Neal wearing an orange basketball jersey bearing the name Phoenix Shaqtus and the number 32.”

In 2008 and 2009, ESPN ran a commercial that featured O’Neal running into a cactus “bearing O’Neal’s face in the Arizona desert.”

Calmese sent a letter to ESPN, claiming that the ads created a “likelihood of confusion” with his products, and offered to jointly develop an animated “Shaqtusclaus” clip for Christmas.

. . .

In December 2009, Mine O’Mine sent a letter to Calmese demanding that he stop using the Shaqtus mark to sell merchandise on his Web site, and to transfer the shaqtus.net and shaqtus.com domain names over to it.


Offering to team up for a Christmas special won’t help.

But, my favorite part is . . .

Calmese responded Jan. 4, 2010, claiming that O’Neal consented to his use of the Shaqtus mark when O’Neal agreed to take a picture with Calmese and autograph a T-shirt.

I am reminded of Monty Python’s brilliant How Not To Be Seen.

The Kingdom of Mercia has suffered an outbreak of swine flu. 67% of the population were infected, though, thankfully, all have made a speedy recovery and no fatalities are expected.

Queen Cynethryth, President and Chief Scientist of the Mercian Center for Disease Control, acted quickly to dispense Motrin and contain any biological agents by placing a “barf bucket” beside the bed of each infected patient.

Offa Rex, speaking to the Kingdom after making a full recovery, stated, “If you ask me, this swine flu thing is a media created hysteria.  The media wants so badly to have a great catastrophe story, but this really isn’t it.  Yes, it is miserable having swine flu, but it doesn’t seem worse than the many other strains that have passed through our kingdom in the last few years. If anything, the duration seems shorter.”  Offa went on to say that due to its mild and unassuming nature, swine flu will be henceforth known as Piglet Flu.