Great moments in history: Helen Keller’s death

Helen Keller was pretty famous for being blind and deaf. However, I talked to this one historian who doubts this and presented some compelling evidence.

Go Google some images of Helen Keller. Please note she clearly had TWO eyes and TWO ears. And we’re expected to believe that ALL FOUR were not working at the same time??? Yeah, right!

It’s pretty clear she was just faking it for some attention.

(Interesting Fact: Stevie Wonder thought this was a great idea, and uses a similar scheme, except without the deaf part.)

Helen Keller's Death

Now Keller wasn’t stupid. She realized she might slip up some day and people would catch on to her tricks. So she and her handlers devised the perfect plan…

What if she “accidentally” stabbed herself in the stomach with a knife from the kitchen that was just lying on the counter? Since she was “blind”, it makes sense that she might not be able to see it. Then people would be sad and no one could question her “blindness” and “deafness”. (You can see me re-enacting the death in the picture.)

Fortunately for Helen, almost everyone bought her act about being blind and deaf anyway.
Unfortunately for Helen, it meant that her cover story was useless, and she died in vain. Although she would be dead by now anyway. Probably.

I’m back

Hey look, I’m back! LEP is going to rise from the ashes! We’re going to have posts, the best posts.

great again

I’m a little jet lagged, so I’m gonna rest up first. Then the world will see TRUE greatness once again!

(Oh yeah, I got this great deal on some hats. Pretty neat, huh? But I found out some other guy has the same kind of hats. That bastard must have stolen my idea.)

*Footnote: I DO NOT SMELL

Fast food restaurant fails to clean bathroom for at least 3 days

In Australia, there’s a fast food joint called “Hungry Jack’s”. Sure, it looks like their logo is merely ripping off Burger King’s, but they are actually Burger King in Australia. Sort of. At least they started that way; go read some Wikipedia if you care about that stuff.

I desperately want burgers and fries now.
I desperately want burgers and fries now.

Anyway, a fairly unusual event occurred in a Perth Hungry Jack’s. I.e., there was a dead body in one of the stalls. Which was there for 3 days.

Curious minds will start to wonder: “Seeing as this was Australia, was the death caused by a crocodile, kangaroo, or rabid wombat?” The actual cause of death was your standard drug overdose, demonstrating that there are other ways to die in Australia besides dangerous animals and ridiculously hot summers.

These same curious minds will likely be drawn to the fact that the corpse was hanging around for 3 days. It’s expected that public bathrooms have more aggressive cleaning schedules.

I will also note that it’s improbable the cleaners overlooked the corpse during the course of normal maintenance. “Sorry, boss, I must have missed a spot” doesn’t fully explain the facts of the case.

The actual scene was slightly less sanitary than this.
The actual scene was slightly less sanitary than this.

But maybe the restaurant isn’t completely to blame here. “Check for corpses in all stalls” is rarely part of a restroom cleaning checklist. And fast food workers are not necessarily hired based on their penchant for initiative.

Source: Body lay in Perth Hungry Jack’s toilet for three days

Monday Fighter!

Dear World, you can thank Annie for suggesting that this should be a Monday Fighter!

One Easy Piece

The 70’s got some things right. Whether this is one of the items is up to your better judgement.

You’ll notice we now have a new header and the theme is slowly being customized (still with errors in single post). The Mascot is back among us, and we got some splainin to do.

Neutrality

Yesterday, the UK voted on whether to leave the EU. Most of my reading came from the BBC on this, where the sides were dubbed recently as “Leave” or “Remain”.

I try to be wary of bias from media, even from sources that I like. I’d wager that more BBC writers voted Remain, and maybe this was inadvertently reflected in the coverage.

Interesting quote from Brexit: David Cameron to quit after UK votes to leave EU:

Yesterday seemed to offer a fork in the road: one path (Remain) promised it would lead to a modern world of opportunity based on interdependence; the other (Leave) was advertised as a route to an independent land that would respect tradition and heritage.

Immediately, I was struck by how this sentence seemed to cast the Leave path as backwards-looking and regressive. But I value modernity (progress) more than independence, and have little use for tradition. Could it be that I was reading too much into it?

Well, the very next sentence:

Which path people took depended on the prism through which they saw the world.

Ha! Maybe my prism also distorted how the statement read. Would your average Leaver or Remainer feel the same way I did?

What if they had switched the order, with the Leave clause first? Would it read the same way?

Yesterday seemed to offer a fork in the road: one path (Leave) was advertised as a route to an independent land that would respect tradition and heritage; the other (Remain) promised it would lead to a modern world of opportunity based on interdependence.

Even the imbalanced phrasing could be scrutinized, one side described as an “advertisement” and the other as a “promise”. The words are similar enough, but not exactly right if the clauses were to be truly parallel. I’d expect advertisement to be evaluated as more negative of a word than promise.

Or maybe the average Brit evaluates the words differently than me, an American.

It’s understandable that the writer wouldn’t want to duplicate the word, but there were probably better choices.

Editors can’t have an easy job. If they want to be good editors, that is.

Chess as a bellweather

It’s been 5 years since my last rated game. I only play lightning or blitz occasionally on chess.com and lichess.org nowadays.

(And I STILL cannot consistently spell “occasionally” correctly the first time).

On days that I feel particularly sharp or dull, my chess performance seems to reflect it. So on days when I’m just not sure about how well the brain will function that day, I play a few games to figure it out.

Of course, this method does have some problems:

1. Do I selectively remember those days which support this hypothesis?
2. Did I control for the strength of my opponents?
3. Is my sample size even big enough?
4. [Other stuff I’m not thinking of]

Naturally, the answers for 1-3 are probably “yes”, “no” and “no”, but the hypothesis sounds good enough to me.

The third stage

So for my job, there are three mental stages I go through when new software needs to be demoed:

1. Despair: Impending sense of doom. There is no way we’ll be ready for production. The scope’s too big, we barely have the resources for an alpha build, never mind sufficient time for testing.

2. Resignation: Realization that whatever happens, happens. No one has killed me yet.

3. Unfounded optimism: Some of the most critical tasks/bugs get resolved just before software has to be demoed. It’s an incredible feeling of relief that temporarily overshadows the knowledge that there’s still way too many features with scant review and testing. And that there are some lingering requirements unfulfilled.

4. Tragedy: Product promptly fails in presentation to client.

Rinse and repeat.

Right now, two hours before the meeting, I’m at stage 3.

The desperation is real

So I’m in Miami on business. I get this ad:

A vote for Kasich or Cruz = A vote for Trump (Rubio's in there somewhere, right?)

You get a quick glance at it as you’re browsing the internet. Who does it want you to vote for?

1. Trump is smiling, in full color. His picture gets the most retail space. The others are in grey-scale. Smells like a Trump ad!

2. “Kasich” and “Cruz” are the first names you see. But Trump’s name is the biggest. Surely, it’s a Trump ad.

3. In fact, “A VOTE FOR TRUMP” is the most prominent text. Must be a Trump ad!

4. Your eye is drawn to Trump’s color photo with the bright red “SEE WHY” just below him. They want you to “see why” you should vote for Trump!

This feels like a Trump ad that didn’t even deign to mention the increasingly irrelevant Rubio.

Of course, if you bother to read it, you might figure out it IS a friggin’ Marco Rubio ad. Naturally, Rubio’s face is nowhere to be seen, even though his relative attractiveness would be an advantage. And his name is in a smaller, harder-to-read font. Even the little lens flare interrupts the flow of “Marco Rubio for president”.

I’d bet $20 this ad was the brain-child of a couple middle-aged men, one of whom happened to have a teenage son who can dabble with Photoshop a bit.

Coming soon: an Election 2016 roundtable with the Eggs!

Prismata

Even though I haven’t played in months (and wasn’t very good), going to give a shout out to Prismata.

It takes the form of a card game, but it’s really a turn-based strategy game. As the quote on the website says, it’s sort of a mix of Starcraft and Hearthstone? But that doesn’t quite do it justice…it stands excellently on its own without such a comparison.

Here's me breaching a low-level AI. (I'd be getting curbstomped by a human.)
Here’s me breaching a low-level AI. (I’d be getting curb-stomped by a human.)

Think I have one code to get into the alpha lying around, so if you want to check it out, let me know! First come, first serve!