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Showing posts from April, 2017

Oregon State Board Fines Engineer for Using Math, Engineering

Mats Järlström is an engineer. He has a degree in electrical engineering from a Swedish university, and was an airplane camera mechanic in the Swedish Air Force, before holding several other technical, engineering-y jobs, until he emigrated to the U.S. in 1992.

But the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying (OSBEELS) has fined him $500 for "practicing engineering without a license," because he does not have an official Oregon engineering license. So he's suing them for violating his First Amendment rights.

The flap started when Järlström's wife was ticketed by a red light camera in Beaverton in 2013, and Järlström decided to take action.

Using highly technical and complex procedures typically only learned in top-notch engineering schools — like numbers and time and stopwatches and stuff — Järlström measured the length of yellow lights, and found that the time was too short.

Basically, the state was ripping people off by making the yellow l…

Inside a United Airlines Customer Service Meeting

Helen McCarthy: I'd like to start by welcoming our CEO, Mr. Oscar Munoz, to our weekly customer service response meeting. Mr. Munoz, it's truly an honor to have you here.

Oscar Munoz: Thank you, Helen. Peter Drucker, the famous management consultant, was a big proponent of Management By Wandering Around. And with all the bad press I — I mean, the airline — has been getting, I wanted to get a better sense of some of the problems we've been facing. So I thought I would wander down here, among the average people, and see how you deal with complaints. I can't imagine we have very many, so this won't take long, will it?

Helen: Actually, sir, we spend every Thursday dealing with hundreds of complaints. Lately, we've also been taking half of every Monday to manage weekend complaints. We discuss each one and then figure out a response for the little bastar— I mean, the customers.

Munoz: Heh, nice catch. Well, let's see if I can help you speed things along. Who's f…

You're Knot Tying Your Shoes Right

I learned to tie my shoes when I was five, the same way everyone else learns it. I was shown how to tie the first knot — over, under, pull it tight — and then to bring it home with the two bunny ears to make it secure — Make a bow, pull it through to do it right.

Except generations upon generations of Americans have been fed bad information. Our parents lied to us, and we have lied to our kids.

And we would have gone on lying, each parent unwittingly passing on the oral lessons of over, under, pull it tight if science hadn't "well, actually-ed" our shoe tying traditions.

Leave it to science to ruin everything for us. Science is that nerdy kid at prom explaining to everyone that kissing is the number one way for germs to spread, which is why he and his good friend, Dungeons & Dragons, are going stag that night.

Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley recently determined that the traditional shoelace knot is ineffective and does not stay tied for very …

Kendall Jenner and Pepsi: Live, For Now

Pepsi just gave us the Best Reason Ever to drink Coca-Cola. They recently launched a short film that managed to unite the entire Internet into a single "NO!" If you haven't seen it, you owe it to yourself to bear witness to history's worst commercial.

It's the one where someone said "Hey, I've got a great idea" and then tried to co-opt protests from the last few years, including Black Lives Matter and the Women's March on Washington.

A bunch of other people all said, "That is a great idea!" Then even more people who get paid lots of money to make smart decisions said, "Let 'er rip!"

Here's how the story goes.



Various artists — an Asian cellist, a female Muslim photographer, African-American dancers — are practicing their art because #ArtIsResistance, while Skip Marley's song, "Lions," plays.

Cut to scenes of a large, diverse crowd of protestors carrying signs and raising their fists in the air. They'…