Things That Make You Go... WTF?

EnolaGaia

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That's an impressive little video. I've witnessed lightning striking trees and utility poles, but I don't think I've ever seen such a "clean take-down" of a tree from a single strike.
 

maximus otter

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That's an impressive little video. I've witnessed lightning striking trees and utility poles, but I don't think I've ever seen such a "clean take-down" of a tree from a single strike.
l’ve never - blessedly - been close enough to witness a one-strike tree destruction, but l gave an account here of the aftermath of one, and a souvenir thereof which l still possess.

The event must have been similar to that depicted in the video above, especially the violent dispersion of sizeable fragments at high velocity.

maximus otter
 

Bad Bungle

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There were three gas holders (gasometers) behind King's Cross Station near the wetland where a former London mayor played with newts. Remember when the tanks in these holders used to rise or fall depending on how much gas they contained, the weight of the cap providing the pressure ? By the time I saw them about 10 years ago, the tanks were gone but the (listed) holders remained. No-one really knew what to do with the brownfield site but there was fanciful talk of maybe building circular apartments within the frames - oh and some affordable housing of course. Penthouse homes in the Gasholders in King's Cross are now on the market for £7.5 million (rent on a one bedroom flat is £820 a week).

Gasholder1.jpg gasholders.jpg
 

Trevp666

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Since when has £820 per week been 'affordable'? Probably they mean 'affordable for someone on £200k per year'.
 

EnolaGaia

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titch

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Returning home on the bus from an afternoon of book shopping when I overheard a conversation between two passengers -
Male - Do I know you?
Female - I don't know you, so no.
Male - Would you like to? Unless you have a boyfriend?
Female - No, I am not interested.
Male - Okay then...

I didn't think people tried to chat up people on public transport....
i was chatted up on a bus once, when i was young and had hair and a waistline, by an attractive women, she was chatting, smiling away, rubbing my knee with her hand, in the end she was so taken aback by my indifference she asked if i was gay. No, but i want romance, lingering looks, deep sighs of longing, the 149 bus doesn't cut it for me sadly.
 

Ladyloafer

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Since when has £820 per week been 'affordable'? Probably they mean 'affordable for someone on £200k per year'.
They'll be one or two flats for local housing authority but the residents will have to use the side door and won't be allowed to use the pool or garden.:mad:
 

Lord Lucan

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'Severe' is a bit of an understatement. The people standing in the doorway next to the overflowing torrent seem to be taking things fairly casually.
 

EnolaGaia

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Owing to the pandemic many American children are starting their new school year via remote learning.

It turns out shootings interrupting school proceedings can occur in the remote learning realm, too.
Zoom class interrupted when student's mother fatally shot

A remote-learning class in Florida was interrupted Tuesday when the mother of an elementary student was shot and killed during an online Zoom session, police said.

The shooting occurred in Indiantown, Fla., during a morning class session for Warfield Elementary and the instructor heard her 10-year-old student reacting to what seemed like a violent commotion behind her ...

Five other children were reportedly in the home while the shooting took place. None of the children were injured. ...

Their mother, Maribel Rosado-Morales, 32, was shot multiple times and died at the hospital.

Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said the suspect, Donald J. Williams, was taken into custody that day and is facing first-degree murder charges and other felony offenses.

"... The teacher said she heard a commotion, heard profanity," Snyder said.

He added that the teacher "realized there was some type of domestic altercation" and muted the 10-year-old's audio feed to protect other children from hearing the incident, adding that the affected child put her hands to her ears.

"Almost immediately after the child put her hands up to her ears, the computer screen went blank. We know the computer was hit with a projectile," Snyder said.

Snyder also said it is likely most of the children in the class witnessed the shooting. ...
SOURCE: https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/511674-zoom-class-interrupted-when-students-mother-shot
 

Comfortably Numb

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SCIENTISTS FURIOUS THAT SCIENTISTS KEEP USING INDECIPHERABLE ACRONYMS

AUGUST 14TH 20
DAN ROBITZSKI
futurism.com

Scientists have an awful tendency to overuse complex, confusing, or otherwise indecipherable acronyms in their work.

Thankfully, a plucky group of, uh, scientists, is here to try and keep them in line. It’s something of an inside joke among scientists to come up with fun acronyms like MAYONNAISE (a morphological components analysis pipeline for circumstellar disks and exoplanets imaging in the near infrared). Those aren’t the real issue, though: In research published in the journal eLife, Australian scientists found that scientists overuse simpler, smaller acronyms that have multiple different meanings, making scientific papers unreadable.

ESPRESSO
That means the bafflingly-complex acronyms like ESPRESSO (Echelle Spectrograph for Rocky Exoplanet- and Stable Spectroscopic Observations) aren’t really the problem. By the way, here’s a list of more, like BIGASS. Rather, the research shows that many of the most frequent scientific acronyms have multiple meanings.

“When I look at the top 20 scientific acronyms of all time, it shocks me that I recognize only about half,” University of South Australia scientist Zoe Doubleday said in a press release. “We have a real problem here.”

BIGASS (That’s Real)
Of course, some science acronyms are lifesavers. It would be insufferable to write deoxyribonucleic acid every time we talked about DNA, and memorizing the cringeworthy “Completely Automated Programmable Turing-test to tell Computers and Humans Apart” would shut down CAPTCHA tests overnight.

But those are useful tools to streamline communication, not make communication impossible. Unfortunately, despite calls from within and outside scientific circles, the new study shows scientists show no sign of stopping their incessant, inscrutable acronymization.

READ MORE: WTF, when will scientists learn to use fewer acronyms? [University of South Australia]

[...]

https://futurism.com/the-byte/scientists-furious-indecipherable-acronyms
 

EnolaGaia

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SCIENTISTS FURIOUS THAT SCIENTISTS KEEP USING INDECIPHERABLE ACRONYMS
That article is more than a little naive and misguided to the extent it's bitching about acronyms confusing non-specialists / laymen.

It is derived from a university article bemoaning the proliferation of acronyms throughout "science", such that specialists in one field misunderstand appearances of acronyms originating within other fields. This article in turn derives from the following published paper:

Meta-Research: The growth of acronyms in the scientific literature
Adrian Barnett, Zoe Doubleday
eLife
https://elifesciences.org/articles/60080

... which clearly frames the acronym problem with respect to inter-field confusions among specialists.

That's a problem I know very well as an interdisciplinary scholar and researcher.

To a certain extent, the basis for this problem is understandable and arguably unavoidable. There are only a finite number of combinations for (e.g.) English letters, and hence a finite number of acronyms of a given length or length range that can be devised.

This set of possibilities is further limited by the admittedly unnecessary penchant for making acronyms pronounceable as discrete names. This is particularly true in the context of the next point ...

The majority of acronyms non-specialists encounter aren't "scientific" lingo at all. They're names given projects / programs or particular artifacts / products. They're stick-on labels useful to people who are promoting a project or advertising their particular product. The "scientists" in the back room doing the real work couldn't care less about these peripheral labels or the acronymwits who consider them important forms of "branding."

Here's an example ... In 2007 I was a principal on a new multi-year project. The supervisory clients were a pair of young "dudes" undertaking their first project management roles. Both had just seen the film 300, both were caught up in a fan boy frenzy, and both insisted the project and prospective product (a decision support system) be dubbed "SPARTA." Fortunately, it didn't take more than a day or two of brainstorming and debate to force-fit a reasonable title into that specific 6-letter form. Unfortunately, the label became increasingly odd and drew incredulous inquiries over the next decade as the 300-related memories, puns and gags went stale. The young dudes who mandated it were gone after the first year, and the rest of us were stuck with it for years thereafter.

It's interesting that none of these authors promote the most obvious remedies for the problem: disambiguating reference to a common "dictionary" resource, inclusion of glossaries, or editorial requirements for acronym elucidation upon first appearance.
 

Tempest63

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Is anybody else shocked that school exam results have been the lead news story on every UK channel, taking up the majority of each bulletin?
Thank Christ for foreign news channels that cover real news.
 

Yithian

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I was looking for a particular episode of, 'The Twilight Zone', when I came across the following.

Although it isn't what I was searching for, might it possibly still qualify, as such...

Try the unedited version with everybody speaking.

Those cuts were driving me mad. And James Dickey has a great voice.

 

Ogdred Weary

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Is anybody else shocked that school exam results have been the lead news story on every UK channel, taking up the majority of each bulletin?
Thank Christ for foreign news channels that cover real news.
I am curious as to your definition of "real news."
 

Ogdred Weary

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Ger

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Hi, not sure about W.T.F. ?! but my sister recently told me of something that happened in the past few weeks. My niece, N was collecting one of her sons . Straightforward journey, nothing strange. When she arrived back at the pub (which her husband is landlord of) a regular customer was chatting to her. He explained his wife and himself had seen her (Obviously on the outward journey), correct time etc. He wanted to know who the elderly lady with white hair was and if her nan was staying with her and if she would be visiting the pub while she was there ? N explained she had been alone in the car. He was adamant that they had both waved and thought she had not seen them. Of course it may be mistaken identity, however he knows my niece well, was not far from her. they live in a fairly small village ...he even said it must have been her she had the same clothes on ! Identical car, ( only old VW. beetle around that locale) I know... it is probably a set of coincidences... but rather like the idea that my mum travels around with N...or any of us when we are on our daily travels. N has changed her car a week or so ...I hope my mum is happy with the newer one .:)
 
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