Daily archives: June 6, 2005


Oh no! It's my boss!

The formula for a successful sitcom has been worked out.

Their formula for a winning sitcom multiplies the recognisable qualities of the main character (r) by their delusions of grandeur (d), and adds that to the verbal wit of the script (v).

This total is then multiplied by the amount someone falls over (f), added to the difference in social status between the highest and lowest ranking characters (s), and the lot divided by the success of any scheme during the show (a).

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Fly Dixie for me

When I reviewed the Dukes of Hazzard trailer I said that it was good to see cars actually being jumped, rather than having the stunts being done as FX (XXX 2 had a truly dire example of this where an obviously cgi car bounced all over the place as it mounted some rails to chase the president’s bullet train). The New York Times explains how one of the jumps in the film was done, and how the General can fly all by itself without needing a driver.

via Jalopnik

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Nautilus

A British explorer has found a submarine in Panama that dates back to 1864. It’s shape and the use of a lock-out system for divers to enter and exit underwater suggest it inspired the design of the Nautilus in Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, published five years later.

The Explorer was abandoned after its crew died of a “fever” which might actually have been the bends. It was built out of cast iron by an inventor called Julius Kroehl for the Union forces in the US Civil War, but never used. I need to do some research and see how many other Civil War subs there were. The most famous was the Hunley, the first sub to sink a ship, but there must have been others.

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Carrying a torch

(Originally posted to the Spinneyworld blog by Damian. Re-posted here for posterity.)

As Ian has started the posts here on Spinneyworld with a local flavour, I’m going to break some of the rules he’s proposed in its formation and put a link to an international website.

aroundtherings.com has a wealth of information on the current series of Olympic bids and the politics behind them.


Brain in a box

An attempt is being made to simulate an entire human brain.

The hope is that the virtual brain will help shed light on some aspects of human cognition, such as perception, memory and perhaps even consciousness.

It will be the first time humans will be able to observe the electrical code our brains use to represent the world, and to do so in real time, say Henry Markram, director of Brain and Mind Institute at the Ecole Polytecnique F�d�rale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.

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