Monday, May 7, 2007

More Elephants

I mentioned in the comments section to my last post about elephants ("When I See An Elephant Walk At A Moderate Pace...." I would include here a link but you just need to scroll down about two seconds.) that one of the mini-linklets mentioned in that post deserves its own post. That post is now here. Here is the link again: here.

It is a link to a Google Answers question and answer sparring session. Some guy from India asks this question:
I live in the south Indian city of Madras (Chennai). I want to buy an
elephant. Where can I get one? How much will it cost to maintain? Can
I commute to work on it?

This is a serious question by a serious guy and he catches flack for it by Internet jokesters. The whole thing is really too good not to read. If anyone reading this doubts the greatness of the Internet, just keep this in mind: an exchange like this--bringing together serious Indian elephant-buyers and guys who sit on Google all day and make fun of serious Indian elephant-buyers--would not be possible.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A Little Re-Examination Never Hurt Anyone

As I was sitting in a boring stats class (is there any other kind?) I started examining the pile of stapled papers on my desk because this seemed to be way more interesting than whatever was going on in the front of the room. I started thinking: what is the best way to staple papers? I normally staple at a perfectly horizontal angle because this seemed to be the neatest on the page. I realized, though, that the aesthetic value of a horizontal staple might not be the most important consideration. What about, for example, ease of page-turning? Is there a better way to staple papers? I ask and the Internet answers. I found this website which asked the same exact question and actually put in the time to test the different staple angles. He (or possibly: They) conclude that a 67.5 angle is the chosen one:
A slight twist on the classic 45 degrees fixing. This has a little more flair as it starts to adhere to some of the Golden Mean rules. My personal preference and the one I think Da Vinci would have gone for (and he may have done - if only the Vatican would allow us to see the books.).
Since I'm already on the topic of rethinking things that no one ever thinks about, I'll point out this website which is put together by a guy named Ian who is the self-proclaimed world expert on shoelaces. (Esquire did a piece on him, which is how I found his website.) He invented a new way to tie shoelaces, which he calls Ian's Knot. Also, he outlines 32 ways to lace your shoes. I chose a simple yet elegant Over-Under lacing method for my new pair of shoes. I think they look quite snazzy.