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Submission + - Check if you're alive with a text message

andrewm_za writes: South Africa's Department of Home Affairs now encourages citizens to check whether they're deceased, online or by SMS, "to ensure that they have not been fraudulently declared dead on the population register. In an event that a person is registered as Deceased when still alive, they must report with an affidavit from a police station confirming that they are alive." This lack of confidence in their database comes a few years after the online marital status checker which came about after too many people were married to the wrong spouse. Both online checks sorely lack a Turing test.

Submission + - Pirates and Ninjas: Emacs or Vi? (philosecurity.org) 1

Sherri Davidoff writes: "In the great debates of Pirates vs. Ninjas and Emacs vs. Vi, there is one overarching question: Do Pirates and Ninjas use Emacs or Vi? Philosecurity has conducted countless hours of research, interviewed real ninjas and pirates in their natural environs, and launched intensive laboratory studies involving monkeys in order to bring you, our readers, the scientifically proven answers you demand. After thousands of hours and monkey brains, our scientists have reached the following conclusions:
  • Pirates use Emacs
  • Ninjas Use Vi

Laboratory results showed that 92% of ninjas preferred vi, while fully 96% of pirates used emacs. In the wild, these numbers were even higher (94% and 97.5%, respectively)."


Can Scientists Dance? 1

cHALiTO writes "John Bohannon has a nice article in science magazine asking a simple question: can scientists dance? "The rules were simple: Using no words or images, interpret your Ph.D. thesis in dance form."" The answer to the question is, that some of the brightest minds, have no shame and some of the most challenged feet.

Submission + - Mass of the Milky Way: has 42 in it (news.com.au) 1

An anonymous reader writes: It seems Douglas Adams knew a thing or two. Scientists calculated the mass of the Milky Way. As any galactical hitchiker would predict, there is 42 in it: 3*10^42 kg. Why am I not suprised?

My mother is a fish. - William Faulkner