‘Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions’ is a 2008 book by behavioral economist Dan Ariely, in which he challenges readers’ assumptions about making decisions based on rational thought. Ariely explains, ‘My goal, by the end of this book, is to help you fundamentally rethink what makes you and the people around you tick. I hope to lead you there by presenting a wide range of scientific experiments, findings, and anecdotes that are in many cases quite amusing. Once you see how systematic certain mistakes are–how we repeat them again and again–I think you will begin to learn how to avoid some of them.’
‘Conductive ink‘ is an ink that conducts electricity. These materials may be classed as fired high solids systems or PTF (polymer thick film) systems that allow circuits to be drawn or printed on a variety of substrate materials such as polyester or paper. These types of materials usually contain conductive materials such as powdered or flaked silver and carbon like materials. Conductive inks can be a more economical way to lay down a modern conductive traces when compared to traditional industrial standards such as etching copper from copper plated substrates to form the same conductive traces on relevant substrates, as printing is a purely additive process producing little to no waste streams which then have to be recovered or treated.
Silver inks have multiple uses today including printing RFID tags as used in modern transit tickets, they can be used to improvise or repair circuits on printed circuit boards. Computer keyboards contain membranes with printed circuits that sense when a key is pressed. Windshield defrosters consisting of resistive traces applied to the glass are also printed. Many newer cars have conductive traces printed on a rear window, serving as the radio antenna. Printed paper and plastic sheets have problematic characteristics, primarily high resistance and lack of rigidity. The resistances are too high for the majority of circuit board work, and the non-rigid nature of the materials permits undesirable forces to be exerted on component connections, causing reliability problems. Consequently such materials are only used in a restricted range of applications, usually where the flexibility is important and no parts are mounted on the sheet.
The Found Footage Festival is a live comedy event and screening featuring unusual and humorous clips from VHS videotapes gathered from thrift stores, garage sales, warehouses, estate sales, and dumpsters throughout the United States. Founded in 2004, the Festival originated in Wisconsin and Minnesota by Joe Pickett, Nick Prueher and Geoff Haas, childhood friends from Wisconsin. While still in high school, Pickett and Prueher began collecting videos from garage sales, training videos from odd jobs, and copies of tapes from a video production house. The friends would then play selections from this collection for entertainment at parties. In 2004, Pickett and Prueher quit their day jobs to focus on production of their first feature documentary, ‘Dirty Country.’ They started the touring ‘Found Footage Festival’ show to fund the production of the documentary. In addition to its regular touring schedule, the Festival has appeared at the HBO ‘US Comedy Arts Festival,’ ‘Just For Laughs’ (the Montreal comedy festival), the ‘New York Comedy Festival,’ the Impakt Festival in the Netherlands, and the ‘Central Standard Film Festival’ in Minneapolis. The Festival is currently based out of New York City.
The found clips are projected onto a theater screen, with the ‘curators’ hosting the event from a staging area in the front. The clips are presented in succession from a master DVD, with the hosts controlling the timing and order by remote control. In addition to introducing their found footage and presenting a brief history of how it was come across, the hosts offer running jokes and commentary during the clips, like a live version of ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000,’ and implement live comedic sketches and pre-recorded bits between some of the selections. Although the show evolves with new material for each tour, its midwestern influence is still prominent in its source material, and many of the clips come from this region of the country. In addition, the show continues to feature staple clips that have become fan favorites, including ‘It Only Takes a Second,’ a safety video from Federated Mutual Insurance; and outtakes from Winnebago promotional videos featuring a foul-mouthed rep named Jack Rebney, now retired and suffering from blindness. The phenomenon surrounding the clips became the subject of a 2010 documentary called ‘Winnebago Man.’
The Basement Tapes is a 1975 studio album by Bob Dylan and The Band. The songs featuring Dylan’s vocals were recorded in 1967, eight years before the album’s release, at houses in and around Woodstock, NY, where Dylan and the Band lived. Although most of the Dylan songs had appeared on bootleg records, ‘The Basement Tapes’ marked their first official release. When Columbia Records prepared the album, eight songs recorded solely by the Band were added to sixteen songs taped by Dylan and the Band. Subsequently, the format of the 1975 album has led critics to question the omission of some of Dylan’s best-known 1967 compositions and the inclusion of material by the Band that was not recorded in Woodstock.
During his world tour of 1965–66, Dylan was backed by a five-member rock group, the Hawks, who would later become famous as the Band. After Dylan was injured in a motorcycle accident in 1966, the Hawks’ members gravitated to the vicinity of Dylan’s home in the Woodstock area to collaborate with him on music and film projects. While Dylan was concealed from the public’s gaze during an extended period of convalescence in 1967, they recorded more than 100 tracks together, comprising original compositions, contemporary covers, and traditional material. Dylan’s new style of writing moved away from the urban sensibility and extended narratives that had characterized his most recent albums, ‘Highway 61 Revisited’ and ‘Blonde On Blonde,’ toward songs that were more intimate and which drew on many styles of traditional American music. While some of the basement songs are humorous, others dwell on nothingness, betrayal, and a quest for salvation. In general, they possess a rootsy quality anticipating the Americana genre. For some critics, the songs, which circulated widely in unofficial form, mounted a major stylistic challenge to rock music in the late sixties.
Kim Dotcom, real name Kim Schmitz (b. 1974) is a German-Finnish businessman who rose to prominence during the dot-com bubble and was convicted of insider trading and embezzlement in its aftermath. He is the founder of Megaupload and its associated websites. He legally changed his surname to Dotcom in 2005. in 2012, the New Zealand Police placed him in custody in response to US charges of criminal copyright infringement in relation to his Megaupload Web site. Dotcom has spoken out against his negative portrayal in the media, claiming to be a reformed character and a legitimate businessman who has been unfairly demonized by United States authorities and industry trade groups such as the RIAA and MPAA. He contends that the services offered by his Megaupload site were not significantly different from those of comparable services such as Rapidshare or YouTube, and he has just been used as a scapegoat because of his hacker past.
OSx86 is a collaborative hacking project to run the Mac OS X computer operating system on non-Apple personal computers with x86 architecture and x86-64 compatible processors. The effort started soon after the 2005 Worldwide Developers Conference announcement that Apple would be transitioning its personal computers from PowerPC to Intel microprocessors. Apple uses a Trusted Platform Module, or TPM, to tie Mac OS to the systems it distributed to developers after announcing its switch to Intel’s chips. A computer built to run this type of Mac OS X is also known as a Hackintosh. Hackintoshed notebook computers are also referred to as ‘Hackbooks.’ The Apple software license does not allow Mac OS X to be used on a computer that is not ‘Apple-branded.’ The legality of this form of tying is disputed. While the methods Apple uses to prevent Mac OS X from being installed on non-Apple hardware are protected from commercial circumvention in the United States by the DMCA, specific changes to the law regarding the concept of jailbreaking has thrown such and similar circumvention methods when carried out by end-users for personal use into a legal grey area.
The M1911 is a .45 caliber pistol originally made by Colt, and is now the most copied pistol design in the world. It was made in the early 1900s and was used in World War I, World War II, The Korean War, and in the Vietnam War. It is semi-automatic and can fire a bullet each time the trigger is pulled. It can hold seven rounds inside its magazine and one more in the chamber. It was standard-issue side arm for the United States armed forces from 1911 to 1985 when it was replaced by the 9mm Beretta M9 (though the M1911 is still carried by some U.S. forces). The M1911 is a common pistol design for police special teams because it is reliable in function, easy to modify by a gunsmith, and effective. The ’1911′ in the name is because the pistol was adopted by the United States Army in the year 1911. M1911A1 pistols have an ‘A1′ added because they were changed from the original design in the 1920s in military service.
Designed by American firearms designer John Browning, the M1911 is the best-known of his designs to use the short recoil principle in its basic design. The pistol was widely copied, and this operating system rose to become the preeminent type of the 20th century and of nearly all modern pistols. Compact variants are popular civilian concealed carry weapons, because of the design’s inherent slim width and the power of the .45 cartridge.
Boombox is a colloquial expression for a portable music player with two or more loudspeakers. It is a device capable of receiving radio stations and playing recorded music (usually cassettes or CDs), usually at relatively high volume. Many models are also capable of recording (onto cassette) from radio and (sometimes) other sources. Designed for portability, most boomboxes can be powered by batteries, as well as by line current. The first Boombox was developed by the inventor of the C-Cassette, Philips of the Netherlands. Their first ‘Radiorecorder’ was released in 1969. The Philips innovation was the first time that radio broadcasts could be recorded onto C-Cassette tapes without cables or microphones. Early sound quality of tape recordings was poor but as the C-Cassette technology evolved, with stereo recording, Chromium tapes and noise reduction, soon HiFi quality devices become possible. Several European electronics brands such as Grundig also introduced similar devices.
Boomboxes were soon also developed in Japan in the early 1970s and became popular there due to their relatively compact size matched with impressive sound quality. The Japanese brands soon took over major parts of the European Boombox market and were often the first Japanese consumer electronics brand that a European household might purchase. The Japanese innovated with sizes, form factors and technlogy, introducing such advances as stereo boomboxes, removable speakers, in-built TV receivers, and later inbuilt CD players.
The mudflap girl is an iconic silhouette of a woman with an hourglass body shape, sitting, leaning back on her hands, with her hair being blown in the wind. The icon is typically found on mudflaps, clothing, and other items associated with trucking in the United States. The image is sometimes also known as trucker girl, trucker lady or seated lady. This famous design was created in the 1970s by Bill Zinda of Wiz Enterprises in Long Beach, California, to promote his line of truck and auto accessories. It is variously claimed to be modeled on Leta Laroe, a famous exotic dancer at the time, or on Rachel Ann Allen, a friend’s wife, and mother of Ed Allen, the trademark’s owner.
As a parody, Wyoming Libraries use a mudflap girl holding a book, in an effort to attract readers. In another parody the feminist blog Feministing uses a version depicting the mudflap girl holding up her middle finger as an ironic logo. Optimus Prime has been portrayed as having a mudflap with the silhouette of Elita One (leader of the female autobots). At McMurdo Station, Antarctica, the mudflap girl is depicted on a utility vehicle, but wearing more appropriate attire for Antarctic environment.
Kappa is an Italian manufacturer of sports clothes and accessories, that started as a sock and underwear manufacturer in 1916 in Turin. Its logo, known as ‘Omini,’ is a silhouette of a man (left) and woman (right) sitting back to back in the nude. It was created in 1969 by mere accident. After a photo shoot for a bathing suit advertisement, a man and a woman were sitting back-to-back, naked, with the outlines of their bodies traced by the back lighting. The photographers knew they had something, and the idea grew into what is now the logo, which symbolizes the mutual support between man and woman, and their completion.
Umbro is an English sportswear and football equipment supplier, and a subsidiary of Nike since 2008. Umbro designs, sources, and markets sport-related apparel, footwear, and equipment. Its products are sold in over 90 countries. The company was founded in 1924 by Harold Humphreys, along with his brother Wallace in a small workshop, inspired by the growing interest in football witnessed nationwide. The word ‘Umbro’ is an acronym derived from Humphreys Brothers Clothing. Umbro’s major debut was in the 1934 FA Cup final, when both teams Manchester City and Portsmouth wore uniforms designed and manufactured by the company. Other teams supplied by Umbro during the 1930s and 1940s were Sheffield United and Preston North End, Manchester United, and Blackpool. In 1952, the British team at the Summer Olympics wore Umbro, tailored for the needs of their individual sports. Umbro would be a major supplier to the British Olympics team for the next 20 years.
Brine, Corp. is a US sporting goods manufacturer (lacrosse, soccer, volleyball, and field hockey equipment). It markets its products under its own brand as well as In The Crease for goals and goal accessories. The company was founded by W.H. Brine in 1922 as the W.H. Brine Company. It was privately owned by the Brine family and named Brine, Inc. before it was acquired by New Balance in 2006. It started as a small sports equipment and uniform company. They sold to private schools and regional camps, quickly growing to a major manufacturer of lacrosse and soccer equipment. During the 1950s Brine focused on lacrosse. Lacrosse sticks were all wooden at the time and the only company producing them was Chisholm Lacrosse which was located on the St. Regis Reservation, Cornwall Island, Canada. With the encouragement and assistance from A. MacDonald Murphy of Governor Dummer Academy, Ferris Thomsen, coach of Penn and Princeton and Mort LaPointe of Bowdoin College, the Brine family began to explore the possibilities of manufacturing lacrosse sticks.
Brine started to manufacture soccer balls and equipment in the 1960s. It was the first company to cover the ball with synthetic leather to make it more durable. It was also the first to make a perfectly round bladder and the first to unconditionally guarantee a ball. In the 1970s, Brine worked on a more durable lacrosse stick that was easier to make. The family experimented with laminated wood, plastic, fiberglass, and aluminum but could not find a material that met their needs. Eventually they found Surlyn, a DuPont plastic, could survive the intensity of lacrosse. Brine then developed a molding technique that was the basic draft shape of the standard in modern sticks. In 1986 Bill Brine, left the family’s company and founded Cascade, now the largest lacrosse helmet and eyewear company in the world. Brine started an apparel line and a line of volleyball equipment in the 1990s. In 2000, it released a full line of field hockey equipment. Brine began to make lacrosse helmets and eyemasks in 2003. Also in 2003, Brine acquired In The Crease, a lacrosse goal and accessories company based in Penn Yan, New York and in 2004 it began making athletic footwear.
Equality of outcome is a controversial political concept which describes a state in which people have approximately the same material wealth or, more generally, in which the general conditions of their lives are similar. Achieving this requires reducing or eliminating material inequalities between individuals or households in a society. This could involve a transfer of income and/or wealth from wealthier to poorer individuals, or adopting other institutions designed to promote equality of condition from the start. The concept is central to some political ideologies and is used regularly in political discourse, often in contrast to the term equality of opportunity. A related way of defining equality of outcome is to think of it as ‘equality in the central and valuable things in life.’ After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the political structure of the Soviet Union tried to emphasize equality of outcome as a primary goal.
An opposing view is that equality of outcomes is not beneficial overall for society since it dampens motivation necessary for humans to achieve great things, such as new inventions, intellectual discoveries, and artistic breakthroughs. According to this view, wealth and income is a reward needed to spur such activity, and with this reward removed, then achievements which would benefit everybody may not happen.
Hyperreality, according to French sociologist Jean Baudrillard is, ’A real without origin or reality.’ Italian philosopher called it, ‘The authentic fake.’ More recently, Hungarian filmmaker Pater Sparrow forwarded the term ‘virtual irreality.’ Hyperreality is used in semiotics (the study of symbols) and postmodern philosophy to describe an inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from a simulation of reality, especially in technologically advanced post-modern societies. Hyperreality is a way of characterizing what our consciousness defines as ‘real’ in a world where a multitude of media can radically shape and filter an original event or experience. Most aspects of hyperreality can be thought of as ‘reality by proxy.’ Some examples are simpler: the McDonald’s ‘M’ arches allegedly make the material promise of endless amounts of identical food from the store, when in ‘reality’ the ‘M’ represents nothing, and the food produced is neither identical nor infinite, as a person would expect from a fast food restaurant. Baudrillard in particular suggests that the world we live in has been replaced by a copy world, where we seek simulated stimuli and nothing more. Baudrillard borrows, from Jorge Luis Borges’ ‘On Exactitude in Science’ (which borrowed from Lewis Carroll), the example of a society whose cartographers create a map so detailed that it covers the very things it was designed to represent. When the empire declines, the map fades into the landscape and there is neither the representation nor the real remaining – just the hyperreal. Baudrillard’s idea of hyperreality was heavily influenced by phenomenology, semiotics, and Marshall McLuhan.
Hyperreality is significant as a paradigm to explain current cultural conditions. Consumerism, because of its reliance on sign exchange value (e.g. brand X shows that one is fashionable, car Y indicates one’s wealth), could be seen as a contributing factor in the creation of hyperreality or the hyperreal condition. Hyperreality tricks consciousness into detaching from any real emotional engagement, instead opting for artificial simulation, and endless reproductions of fundamentally empty appearance. Essentially, (although Baudrillard himself may balk at the use of this word) fulfillment or happiness is found through simulation and imitation of a transient simulacrum of reality, rather than any interaction with any ‘real’ reality. Interacting in a hyperreal place like a casino gives the subject the impression that one is walking through a fantasy world where everyone is playing along. The decor isn’t authentic, everything is a copy, and the whole thing feels like a dream.
Information pollution is the contamination of information supply with irrelevant, redundant, unsolicited and low-value information. The spread of useless and undesirable information can have a detrimental effect on human activities. It is considered one of the adverse effects of the information revolution. Pollution is a large problem and is growing rapidly in e-mail, instant messaging (IM), and RSS feeds. The term acquired particular relevance in 2003 when Jakob Nielsen, a leading web usability expert, published a number of articles discussing the topic. However, as early as 1971 researchers were expressing doubts about the negative effects of having to recover ‘valuable nodules from a slurry of garbage in which it is a randomly dispersed minor component.’
People use information in order to make decisions and adapt to circumstances. Yet, cognitive studies have demonstrated that there is only so much information human beings can process before the quality of their decisions begins to deteriorate. The excess of information is commonly known as information overload and it can lead to decision paralysis, where the person is unable to make a judgment as they cannot see what is relevant anymore. Although technology has clearly exacerbated the problem, it is not the only cause of information pollution. Anything that distracts our attention from the essential facts that we need to perform a task or make a decision could be considered an information pollutant.