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Oddities

Trudi just alerted me – this “Choose Your Own Adventure” type interactive story that we created way, way back in 1998 is still online:

The Trans-Morbid Adventure

I never thought that anyone found it, but amazingly someone liked it enough to make YouTube videos of them playing it!

Here’s an example death scene – from memory death scenes took up half the adventure ;)


As you enter the Tabac, you trip on a cat and break the monsieur’s chocolate biscuit glass display. He is not happy with you and drags you out the back, ties you down and sticks all the glass fragments from the cabinet into your chest while humming. He then puts a large tray on the glass with a large dish of cat food in the middle. One by one neighbourhood cats jump on the tray and each time they do the glass fragments drive further towards your vital organs. .

You can guess the rest.

Bad Luck. Try Again.

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That night, however, he realized that the voice was right: The tic-tac-toe lottery was seriously flawed. It took a few hours of studying his tickets and some statistical sleuthing, but he discovered a defect in the game: The visible numbers turned out to reveal essential information about the digits hidden under the latex coating. Nothing needed to be scratched off—the ticket could be cracked if you knew the secret code.

Consequently a Canadian statistician informed the lottery companies, but they ignored him, even though he proved to them their games were seriously flawed. Read more at Wired.

Meanwhile a woman with a PhD in statistics seems to have been taking advantage of similar flaws in the USA (and good on her!):

First, she won $5.4 million, then a decade later, she won $2million, then two years later $3million and in the summer of 2010, she hit a $10million jackpot.

The odds of this has been calculated at one in eighteen septillion and luck like this could only come once every quadrillion years.

Harper’s reporter Nathanial Rich recently wrote an article about Ms Ginther, which calls the the validity of her ‘luck’ into question.

First, he points out, Ms Ginther is a former math professor with a PhD from Stanford University specialising in statistics.

More at the Daily Mail

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A sheikh has carved his name into the landscape, and it is a kilometre high!

Story.

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I saw a photo essay about this bold young climber in National Geographic. He climbs extremely difficult slopes without ropes:

Over the last three years, Honnold has proven to be one of the boldest rock climbers that has ever ascended stone. Like an invisible ninja Honnold burst on to the free-solo scene (climbing without ropes) with no prior notoriety and has systematically peeled back the eyelids of the climbing community.

I’m sure many in the climbing community are thinking the same as myself – it will surely end in tragedy. Either he will quit while he is ahead, or he’ll have an off-day or circumstances will conspire against him. Hopefully he retires ASAP.

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Yep, in between the two tents is a tent, which from a distance looks like a camper van. Firebox in the UK are selling the tents for £299.99 (approx $US500). What a great way to meet random strangers at camping grounds!

Officially licensed by Volkswagon the VW Camper Tent is a full size replica of the 1965 Camper Van. Available in yellow, red or blue, it is certain to stand out from all other tents. Like the VW camper van the VW tent is large enough to stand up in (5 feet and 11 inches), and internally is divided into two rooms, sleeping 2 people in each one.

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Doubt the missus would approve – in fact I can’t imagine many gardens where it would be OK, but how amazing is this garden ornament? Perhaps it could sit atop my grave one day? Via GeekAlerts.

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Everyone has heard of Downs Syndrome, and we can recognize anyone with it. There is another syndrome with a similar cause that is less common, and less widely known – I’ve only just heard about it myself:  Williams Syndrome.

It is also known as elfin syndrome, because those with it look like elves, supposedly. From looking in Google Image Search, I think a more modern definition would be to relate them to The Joker from Batman:

What really fascinates me about these people is, according to a scientific article I recently read, on top of having traits like highly verbal and overly sociable, having what has been described as a “cocktail party” type personality and hyperfocus on the eyes of others in social engagements, they tend to trust everyone they meet.

With estimates of 1 in 7,500 to 1 in 20,000 births, there is quite likely a Williams Syndrome person in your town or suburb. You may have even interacted with them, without realising that they have a genetic disorder that explains their different behaviour.

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Shocking in that I had no idea they could do this on YouTube, technically speaking. Only works at YouTube, so follow the link:

You need to interact to get the most out of it

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But I’d buy this!

Found here

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I love this optical illusion. Squares A and B are actually the same color! Read more, and see many just as good here.

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