URLs du Jour


No election cheerleading or predictions here. You're welcome.

  • I understand Glenn Reynolds is a real up-and-comer in the blogosphere. He has a good essay about vote fraud at TCS Daily that should make sense to all sides. Key quote:

    An election system that is less than transparent is one that's open to conspiracy theories and fear of fraud, whether or not fraud is actually present.

    Excellent point. There's no excuse, six years after Florida 2000, for voting to actually be less transparent now.

  • For more on that, see "Does technology help or hinder election integrity?" in ACMQueue, where Peter G. Neumann interviews Douglas Jones; Peter has been a long time examiner of technology risks. Jones says:

    … the system must convince the losers that they lost. Those who lost an election and their partisans typically have no required technical qualifications, so the entire system must be sufficiently open and comprehensible that nontechnical observers can believe the results. Furthermore, the losers in an election have no reason to believe any assertions made by a government that is run by the winners.

  • Speaking of losers, it turns out that Mussolini did not actually make the trains run on time! As near as I can recollect, my mother did not claim otherwise, but this is one of the myths debunked at Lies Your Mother Told You. If you've kind of always suspected that mom was not on the up-and-up, you might want to check it out. (Although they don't mention "Your face will freeze like that." Maybe that one's true.) (Via Saint BBSpot.)

  • For that matter: duct tape is apparently not particularly good at wart removal. (Posted as a public service for the thirteen people who didn't notice this at Dave's blog.)

  • Things I didn't know about Olivia Newton-John:

    She is the granddaughter of Max Born, a German Nobel prize-winning physicist who fled from Germany with his wife in the 1930s in order to avoid persecution due to Born's Jewish heritage and his wife's part Jewish descent (although Olivia herself is a Christian). Olivia's father, Brin Newton-John, originally from Wales, was an MI5 officer attached to the Enigma machine project at Bletchley Park, and the officer who took Rudolf Hess into custody when he parachuted into Scotland in May 1941.

    As an ex-physics geek, I'm sayin': wow, Max Born? Wikipedia link via Andrew "Still Good For Something" Sullivan. It is Wikipedia, so there's a chance it could just be made up crap, but personally I don't want to know.

Last Modified 2012-10-21 12:49 PM EDT