Tuesday, January 18, 2011

1984 Revisited

From: xcurmudgeon.blogspot.com

This article from Wired Magazine turns the conventional wisdom of the internet advancing freedom on its head. I do not know who is ahead in spying on their people but it seems all governments read our social inputs and listen to our phone conversations. If you read my blog you are already in trouble.

Why the Internet Is a Great Tool for Totalitarians

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Murphy's Law

Amazing what little tidbits of trivia you find when reading about brewing beer. This piece is included in John Palmer's book, How to Brew. I never knew where Murphy's Law came from so I thought this was interesting. I hope you do as well.

Did you ever wonder where Murphy's Law came from? Well back at work there was a photocopy of a short article from one of the aerospace trade journals on the wall of my friend's cubicle. It went something like this:

Captain Murphy was part of an engineering team out at Edward's Air Force Base in California. Their team was investigating the effects of high gravity de-accelerations on jet pilots back in the 1950's. One of their tests involved strapping a test pilot into a rocket chair equipped with strain gages and other sensors to help them quantify the effects of high G stopping. The responsibility for the placement of the various sensors was Capt. Murphy's. Well, the test was run (subjecting the pilot to something like 100 G's of deceleration) and he got pretty banged up.

Only after it was over did the team realize that of all the possible combinations of placing those sensors, Murphy had done it in the one configuration that resulted in useless data. They would have to run the test again. Upon realizing this, Murphy stated, "If there are two or more ways of doing something, and one of them can result in catastrophe, someone will do it that way." Upon hearing this the team leader said, "That's Murphy's Law." The next day at the test de-briefing the team leader shortened it to the now famous, "If anything can go wrong, it will." Murphy still likes his version better.