Author Archive | Marcie Gainer

Millenials Are Putting 401(k)s To Use

For once, a positive article written about the Millenial generation. If the crash of 2008 taught them anything, it’s that financial security is a myth. Setting aside any criticisms of 401(k) plans, I would say this is a sign that the Millenial generation is much more forward thinking and not as aloof as typically described.

via Time:

Young adults are outpacing Baby Boomers and Gen X when it comes to getting a head start on their 401(k)s.

You may have heard that Millennials are taking saving more seriously than Gen X-ers and Baby Boomers did at their age. But their financial prospects look much worse, given student loan debts, high unemployment, and shaky entitlement programs.

Those are the findings of a just-released study by Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, which surveyed more than 1,000 Millennials in the work force. “Millennials have seen what happened to their parents, many of whom lost their jobs and savings in the financial crisis—and they are taking steps to avoid a similar outcome,” says Catherine Collinson, president of the Transamerica center.

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The Myth of the Perpetual Motion Machine

A diagram showing Redheffer's machine.

A diagram showing Redheffer’s machine.

History is rife with intriguing stories of conmen and their ploys. The pathetic, but interesting, story of Charles Redheffer is a testament to the fact that smart men will always expose the dumb man (especially when they are as arrogant as Charles Redheffer).

In 1812, Mr. Redheffer arrived in Philadelphia claiming that he had invented a “perpetual motion machine.” He claimed that it required nothing to run. Quickly Redheffer became something of a celebrity in Philadelphia, where he charged the locals to witness his fantastical machine at work.

Redheffer’s downfall in Philadelphia began after he brazenly asked the city to help fund a larger version of the machine. City officials arrived to inspect the machine, but were only allowed to view “through a barred window, as Redheffer was concerned anyone going near the machine might damage it” or, you know, they might discover his fraudulent claims. One of the inspectors’ sons was skeptical of Redheffer’s machine and “noticed that the gears of the perpetual motion machine were worn in the wrong direction if it was really powering the other device.… Read the rest

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Panopticlick: How Unique – And Trackable – Is Your Browser?

Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 10.17.23 PM

So, I came across this site run by the EFF that tells you how unique your browser configuration is, which in turn tells you how much information is shared with the sites you visit. Apparently mine is “unique.”

Is your browser configuration rare or unique? If so, web sites may be able to track you, even if you limit or disable cookies.

Panopticlick tests your browser to see how unique it is based on the information it will share with sites it visits. Click below and you will be given a uniqueness score, letting you see how easily identifiable you might be as you surf the web.”

VISIT PANOPTICLICK.

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Men Mistake Corpse for Mannequin, Take It to Dump

From Flickr.

From Flickr.

This week in weird news: two workers cleaning out a man’s house mistake his corpse for a mannequin and take it to a dump with other garbage.

via metro.co.uk:

Workers Israel Lopez, 50, and Adam Hines, 30, told authorities they were tidying the house in Spring Hill at the request of the landlord when they came upon the corpse in the garage.

The pair cut it down, believing it to be a mannequin, before hauling it to the local rubbish tip where a landfill worker realised it was a body and called the police.

‘Both individuals as well as the property owners believed the lifelike mannequin was a distasteful Halloween-like hoax left by the former renters,’ Hernando County Sheriff’s office said in a statement.

‘They cut the mannequin down, placed it on top of a pile of garbage in the back of the pick-up truck and proceeded to the landfill.’

Hernando County Sheriff’s officials said on Thursday that 33-year-old former tenant Jeremy Witsoth apparently committed suicide several weeks ago in the property, and that the body was ‘in a state of decomposition similar to mummification’.

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Russians Have Mastered the Art of Embalming the Dead

V. I. Lenin, 1920 {{PD-US}}

V. I. Lenin, 1920 {{PD-US}}

An article from BBC a few years ago outlines the art of the long-term embalming of the dead. The Russians have mastered this in an effort to keep Lenin’s body pristinely preserved. Once a day they must soak Lenin’s hands and face in a special solution and wash his entire body in the solution once a week. Am I the only one who thinks this is just a tad creepy?

via BBC:

Ilya Zbarsky, who was a member of Lenin’s embalming maintenance team at the Research Institute for Biological Structures in Moscow, told the BBC in an interview in 1999: “Twice a week, we would soak the face and the hands with a special solution. We could also improve some minor defects. Once a year the mausoleum was closed and the body was immersed in a bath with this solution.”

Such was the reputation of the Russians in the field of body preservation that Vietnam’s former leader Ho’s body was said to have been flown to experts in Moscow every year for a refresh.

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Criterion Collection Announces October Titles

Criterion Collection cover of La Dolce Vita

Criterion Collection cover of La Dolce Vita

The Criterion Collection has announced their October 2014 titles.

via Criterion.com

My Darling Clementine

John Ford takes on the legend of the O.K. Corral shoot-out in this multilayered, exceptionally well-constructed western, one of the director’s very best films.

La Dolce Vita

The biggest hit from the most popular Italian filmmaker of all time, La dolce vita rocketed Federico Fellini to international mainstream success—ironically, by offering a damning critique of the culture of stardom.

F for Fake

Trickery. Deceit. Magic. In F for Fake, a free-form documentary by Orson Welles, the legendary filmmaker (and self-described charlatan) gleefully reengages with the central preoccupation of his career: the tenuous line between illusion and truth, art and lies.

The Complete Jacques Tati

Though he made only a handful of films, director, writer, and actor Jacques Tati ranks among the most beloved of all cinematic geniuses.

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260 Foot Crater Has Mysteriously Formed In Siberia

An unexplained hole has formed on Siberia’s Yamal Peninsula. The crater has formed in a specifically gas-rich area, the name of which actually translates to the “end of the world.”

via i09:

An expedition to the crater has been organised by the Yamal authorities. The team includes two experts from the Centre for the Study of the Arctic and one from Cryosphere Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

….

According to the Siberian Times, initial reports and images were suspected to be fakes, but the new images taken by Russian engineer Konstantin Nikolaev suggests it’s very much real. The feature is thought to have formed about two years ago.

Scientist have posited a number of theories to explain the crater, though it’s not likely to have been caused by a meteorite impact, nor does it exhibit the features of a sinkhole. One website claims that it’s evidence “of the arrival of a UFO craft” to Earth.

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“The Thing” – Storyboard to Film Comparison

If you haven’t figured it out through previous posts of mine, I’m fascinated by the ingenuity and brilliance of film directors and the people they work with. I’m biased, but I do think that film is by far the most challenging and rewarding of the arts. It’s one of the only art forms that can easily transcend societal barriers. The only other art I’d consider to have such an effect is music, but what’s unique about cinema is that it’s inclusive of all art forms. You will find that the fine arts, music, photography, and writing all play an integral role in the creation of a quality film.

thething1982-1

Still from the The Thing (1982)

Take for example, The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982). Artist Michael Ploog crafted two of the most visually stunning scenes via beautifully drawn storyboards. In the video below (thanks to Vashi Visuals), you can see the comparison between Ploog’s highly impressive drawings and the brilliant special effects and cinematography of the actual film.… Read the rest

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NASA Will Find Extraterrestrial Life Within the Next 20 Years

On Monday, a panel of NASA scientists gathered to talk about their search for extraterrestrial life. They claim that they will find evidence within the next 20 years–and that’s a conservative estimate.

via The Week:

NASA outlined its plan to search for alien life and said it would launch the Transiting Exoplanet Surveying Satellite in 2017. The agency predicts that as many as 100 million worlds in the Milky Way galaxy may be home to alien life.

“Just imagine the moment when we find potential signatures of life,” Matt Mountain, director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, said at the announcement. “Imagine the moment when the world wakes up and the human race realizes that its long loneliness in time and space may be over — the possibility we’re no longer alone in the universe.”

NASA astronomer Kevin Hand seconded Mountain’s opinion, saying that within the next 20 years, “we will find out we are not alone in the universe,” suggesting that extraterrestrial life may exist on Jupiter’s moon Europa.

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