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Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Republican state senator in Arizona said during a committee hearing that the state should pass a law requiring everyone to attend church Sen. Sylvia Allen of Snowflake said, "Probably we should be debating a bill requiring every American to attend a church of their choice on Sunday to see if we can get back to having a moral rebirth." She added, "that would never be allowed." Allen later called it a "flippant comment" but complained about the changes in American society since she was a child in the 1950s. "People prayed, people went to church," she said. "I remember on Sundays the stores were closed," Allen said. "The biggest thing is religion was kicked out of our public places, out of our schools."


Thursday, March 19, 2015

I took the SAT a grand total of one time when I was in ------- prep school. This was 1993. Like any other kid, I wanted to do well on the test, primarily so that I would NEVER have to take it again, but also because kids at my school were real ----- about their SAT scores. You'd hear through the grapevine about other kids who aced the test, and all that test gossip resulted in an great deal of fear and paranoia about your own performance. It was horrible. If you can, avoid going to high school altogether. They administered the test at a nearby public high school and herded us into the classrooms. Every classroom had a test monitor, a stack of test booklets, and a large box of sharpened No. 2 pencils. My friend Darren sat in front of me. Thirty minutes into the test, he had to go pee. The monitor denied him a trip to the bathroom. Darren ended up getting a 900 out of 1600. That monitor was a ----. read more


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The newest generation of Mattel Barbie dolls can not only listening to what you have to say, but share your conversations with complete strangers. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood points out that the privacy policy for ToyTalk, who provides the voice technology for Hello Barbie states that "we may use, store, process and transcribe Recordings in order to provide and maintain the Service, to perform, test or improve speech recognition technology and artificial intelligence algorithms, or for other research and development and data analysis purposes." Hello Barbie has not yet been released and it's possible that the privacy policy could be updated before then. read more


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Any high school geometry student worth his or her protractor knows that pi is an irrational number, but if you've got to approximate the famed ratio, 3.14 will work in a pinch. That wasn't so much the case in late-19th-century Indiana, though. That's when the state's legislators tried to pass a bill that legally defined the value of pi as 3.2.

The very notion of legislatively changing a mathematical constant sounds so crazy that it just has to be an urban legend, right? Nope. As unbelievable as it sounds, a bill that would have effectively redefined pi as 3.2 came up before the Indiana legislature in 1897. read more


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

In 1972, animal behaviorist John Calhoun built a rat paradise with beautiful buildings and limitless food. He introduced eight mice to the population. Two years later, the mice had created their own apocalypse. Here's why.

Universe 25 was a giant box designed to be a rodent utopia. The trouble was, this utopia did not have a benevolent creator. John B. Calhoun had designed quite a few mouse environments before he got to the 25th one, and didn't expect to be watching a happy story. Divided into "main squares" and then subdivided into levels, with ramps going up to "apartments," the place looked great, and was always kept stocked with food, but its inhabitants were doomed from the get-go.

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Comments

m.tucson.com

Spent $150 million to build one in the desert
that hardly gets used. And it cost $2 million a month to run it.

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