☐ Are Al-Qaeda Hypocrites or Just Stupid

If Al-Qaeda performs it’s terrorist actions to protest capitalism and combat the rich, then why do they do things like bombing buses? Don’t they realize that buses are used primarily by the poor and working/middle-class? Most rich people use cars, even in congested cities like New York. People like those that Al-Qaeda purports to be against aren’t being targeted, the people that they claim to be good are the victims. What gives, surely there are more apt targets?

☐ Why Wait to Degauss Again?

Why does pretty much every document that mentions the deguass function of monitors tell you to wait about 15 minutes before degaussing again? Does this mean that you must also wait around 15 minutes before turning off/on a monitor that automatically degausses when turned on.

Speaking of degaussing, what happens if a monitor is exposed to a magnetic field that is stronger than that created by the degaussing mechanism? Do you need to use a more powerful, external degausser, or will it be fixed over time because the degausser reduces the deviation by a bit each time it runs, until the deviation is within the degausser’s normal fixable range?

☐ Solar Cell Superman

If Superman is solar-powered (he draws his super powers from the yellow sun of the Earth), then how does he retain his powers at night?

Is he like a battery, where he stores excess during the day and runs on that at night? If so, then what happens if he does too much at night? Will he burn out and become like the rest of us until the sun comes up again? What happens if he goes on vacation and just lies around in the sun all day? Does he build up so much power that he explodes?

☐ Too Tough For SNL Hosts

Could somebody please explain to me why almost every Saturday Night Live host is always looking off set when they perform in a sketch? It’s horribly obvious they are looking at the cue cards, and sometimes, they don’t look anywhere BUT the cue cards.

They are supposed to be professional actors who have to memorise lines, rehearse, and so on just the same as the SNL cast do. Why then do they all constantly and continuously read the cue cards? Do they not remember ANY of their lines? Is it that they are unable to learn them in only a week? Did they not go to rehearsals?

I don’t understand why they are so dependant on the cue cards when they are doing exactly what they are trained for: acting. Perhaps the rigors of a weekly sketch comedy show are tougher than those of a long movie production. If this is the case, then going in the other direction (sketch comedy to movies) should be a piece of cake.

☑ Reading Error Term

I remember a fascinating (and fun) section in one of my Psychology courses in University. It was about language, specifically reading (that’s why I’m certain it was in my Psychology of Language course) where we learned about errors in word recognition. Some of the errors we learned included the alteration of the first letter of a word. For example reading Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos as Tales of the Mthulhu Cythos. I remember there being about four different ways that such a thing can occur, including moving a letter forward to another word, moving a letter backward, and switching a word. I strongly remember one of these using the term perseveration although the term perseveration clearly is incorrect since it means something completely different. I am fairly certain that it started with a “P” and had something like “serv” in it.

Does anyone know what I am thinking of?

☐ Hard Drives Are the Bottleneck?

Can someone please explain something to me? When did optical drives become faster than hard drives? When you burn a CD or a DVD, the hard drive is apparently the bottleneck. That is, success depends on whether or not the data can be pulled off of the hard drive fast enough. Of course these days, they have underrun prevention technologies to avoid a failed burn if the hard drive cannot spit out the data in time, but those are not the magic bullet cure that they would appear at first glance.

My point is that hard drives are clearly faster than optical drives and any test will show that. You can do performance tests and they all show that hard disk drives have lower latency, lower seek times, higher data rates, and faster throughput than optical drives.

Yet, when you watch a disc being burned, the hard drive light is pretty much solid on, while the optical drive light blinks slowly.

These points are contradictory. Hard drives are faster than optical drives in both reading and writing and yet optical drives can seem to burn faster than hard drives can seek.

What’s going on? Can somebody explain this paradox to me?

☐ Canister of Plague

There is another movie I remember watching a long time ago that my mother also remembers. Unfortunately neither of us remember enough to identify it. It takes place in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic, Mad-Max type time and place. The main setting is mostly desert with some run down shacks and stuff. The main character was a guy who we could swear was either James Woods or Roy Scheider. He is some kind of scientist or something but a cool one who wears a black leather jacket like a rebel. He has a silver canister like a thermal flask. If I remember correctly, he was not supposed to have it, like he stole it from his lab or something. Apparently it contains some kind of virus or parasite that is extremely dangerous. He runs into a group of punk thugs who mug him and they take and break the canister and release the gas/virus.

That’s pretty much all I remember although I have accidentally incorporated parts of From Beyond into my memory of this movie. Fortunately, I have recently seen From Beyond so I have been able to extract those parts and leave the rest.

Does anyone have any idea what movie this was? The closest I could find is Parasite with Demi Moore, but I’m fairly sure that’s not it.

☐ Killer Clown and Ghost Truck

There is a movie I remember watching a long time ago (about 20 years), but am unable to figure out what it is. I was very young at the time, maybe 7 or 8, but I remember quite a bit from that day, everything but the title of the movie. I remember that my step dad was home with us, that he, my sister and I were sitting on the couch watching the movie while my mother spent most of the time in the kitchen making one of her great soups in the large yellow pot that is right now in the kitchen cupboard. More importantly I remember a lot of details about the movie.

I understand that a lot of the details seem to coincide with other movies and I accept that there may be some memory overlap but I am fairly certain that most if not all of these events did in fact occur in this one movie. Here is what I remember of it.

There was a group of three or four friends who for some reason, had to go back to the home-town of one of them. They were driving down a road in an RV at night. As they were driving, they saw a whole bunch of dead animals laying on the side of the road; mostly sheep. This part happened at night so it is not Close Encounters of the Third Kind. On the way, they kept getting hassled by a large, black 18-wheeler tractor trailer (I don’t recall if it was just the truck or if the cab was present as well) that kept appearing out of nowhere and chasing them to run them down. It came several times. (It’s not Maximum Overdrive or Duel.) They eventually got to the little town in the middle of nowhere but it seemed to be deserted; there was not a soul in the streets. There was a, barely five feet tall, sinister looking clown that kept appearing out of nowhere to menace them several times. They found a diner and went in. There were people in there but they acted strange and treated them very oddly—like outsiders—as though the townspeople had a secret. Elsewhere in the town, there was some kind of mystery going on where a detective entered the home of a woman to question her. The room was dark in the middle of the day because the shades were drawn. The woman was lying in her bed and did not get up while she talked with the detective. That scene ended with the detective moving closer and seeing that the woman had a massive lump the size of a soccer ball in the side of her neck (ostensibly a goiter, but perhaps something more other-worldly for all I remember). The only other thing I can remember clearly is that near the end, the protagonists managed to trick the truck and the clown and free themselves of both by getting the truck to smash into the clown, crushing him against a wall, while also smashing the truck.

I know that most of the details are accurate because my sister (who would have been 3 or 4 at the time) has separately corroborated them (yes it was a blind study).

The most important aspect is the part where they tricked the two antagonists into destroying each other, which I am certain was accurate because I distinctly recall thinking how it was so clever.

Does anyone have any idea what movie this was?

☐ Blood Transfusion to Cure Vamparism

My family (well at least my mother) and I remember seeing a movie many years ago that we swear was called Lost Boys. It was a vampire movie but not the one with Keifer Sutherland, another vampire movie called Lost Boys—what are the odds of that. Anyway, what we remember is that in this movie, there was a young guy who somehow became a vampire and caught up with a group of trouble making vampire punks. We remember that at the end of the movie, his father and him were holed up in a barn while the other vampires were outside banging on the door to get at them (I suppose to kill them or something). His father gave him a blood transfusion with his own blood to cure his son.

Does anyone know what movie I am thinking of. I have a strong suspicion that it is in fact Near Dark.

Unknown coin

Whenever my grandmother visits, she gives me whatever interesting coins she’s acquired on her travels around the world. Most of them are regular circulation coins, but there’s one that I can’t identify. I can’t tell if it’s extremely worn down or if it’s so old that it predates minting. That one side seems to be struck off-center seems to indicate that it is indeed hand-struck. The obverse seems to have some sort of writing that may be Middle-Easter (it doesn’t look particularly Indic). The reverse shows two figures in hats (to my mind, I see a couple of sherpas confronted by a snake—although their hats strike me more as Peruvian). Does anybody know anything about this coin?

Strange coin