2017 mid-year link clearance


  • The U.S. Department of Defense Office of General Counsel publishes and revises a quite readable training document titled "Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure". here's the September 2016 edition. In it, you learn things such as General Discovers that Military Aides Are Not Supposed to Feed Cats.
  • John Bois has a short sports-themed video documentary series called Pretty Good. Every episode is worth watching, but today I draw your attention to 222-0, the story behind the most lopsided American football game in history. Really, it's pretty good.
  • The LA Galaxy Ridiculous Soccer Challenge pits two professional soccer players against a team of 25 10-year-olds, or two professional soccer players against a team of 30 8-year-olds. I think this is the soccer version of "100 duck-sized horses."
  • In the Wikipedia page for the song Shake It Off lies the sentence "The song's arrangement features a saxophone." Big Saxophone has its hands in everything.
  • Appraising the Brady Bunch's Art Collection: "What follows is an examination of that which is meant to be ignored. … My work is sure to be a treat for anyone who loves art, or The Brady Bunch, or tedious overanalysis." I think our house growing up had a starburst clock.
  • Frias för trafikbrott på grund av fobi för fönsterkuvert: The successful defense was "I didn't know that my drivers license was expired because I have a crippling phobia of government letters. I therefore never opened the letters informing me that my license had expired." (The Swedish word fönsterkuvert literally means "window envelope", but it has come to mean "letters from the government" because those notices come in window envelopes.) The charges of aggravated DUI and driving an unregistered vehicle, however, were not dismissed.
  • "Any lower and it's just throwing pieces." For people who think speed chess is too slow: Introducing Ultrabullet chess. Fifteen seconds per player. No time increment. Go. Link also leads to a video of International Master Andrew Tang playing an Ultrabullet tournament. I tried watching it but everything was so fast I had no way of understanding what it was I was seeing.
  • The Otamatone is one of the more annoying musical instruments. That doesn't mean it still cannot produce moments of beauty. Like, say, The Star Wars theme, one of the many Otamatone performances by Singaporean artist Nelson Tan Yan Cong.

And the customary plug for my series of short videos on One Dev Minute:

Comments (21)
  1. Michael Kohne says:

    Wayback link for "Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure": https://web.archive.org/web/20170128062925/http://www.dod.mil/dodgc/defense_ethics/dod_oge/eef_complete.pdf
    That link is the document as of January.

  2. nathan_works says:

    I wish the PDF said more about the people caught up in it (eg the underlings feeding the cat, say). The typical response is they get fired, any security clearance they have is revoked, they are branded whistleblowers and pretty much become un-employable in their area.

    1. alegr1 says:

      whistleblowers - I don't think it means what you think it means.

  3. Joshua says:

    Ugh; the actual video for ultrabullet chess doesn't exist.

    1. Philipp says:

      Here is the ultrabullet chess video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/G2AMN9tHSB0?t=4m33s . As one commenter remarks, it's probably harder to play than to follow.

  4. pc says:

    I first heard of the Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure on a Freakonomics podcast, if you want to learn the highlights (of a now-prior version, I suppose) via another channel: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/government-employees-gone-wild-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/

  5. laonianren says:

    I played the Otamatone Star Wars video and the neighbour's dog went absolutely nuts. I'm not sure if it is love or hate.

    1. Benjamin says:

      My dog did not respond at all. Clearly, more data is needed.

  6. George says:

    A man I know slightly once wrote of his younger days, when he believed in setting aside letters until he had time to give them the careful reading they deserved. One of those letters bore Greetings from the president of the United States, though. Eventually, MPs showed up on his mother's stoop to explain that her son would be arrested if he didn't show up for induction. Given that the mother was deaf--the MPs had to write the message out for her--I'm not sure how she conveyed the information to him in a timely manner, unless they were under the same roof. Perhaps letters from Mom jumped the queue.

  7. skSdnW says:

    What is the blue WinXP thing next to you in the One Dev Minute videos?

  8. — "In it, you learn things such as General Discovers that Military Aides Are Not Supposed to Feed Cats."

    Sure. As a matter of fact, the Introduction section says:

    — "Some cases are humorous, some sad, and all are real. Some will anger you as a Federal employee and some will anger you as an American taxpayer."

  9. pc says:

    The attempted corrected link to the download of the "Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure" has an href with a quote at the end but not the beginning. This seems to make browsers think that the end-quote is part of the URL in the browsers I've tried.

  10. Brian_EE says:

    Technically, Monday July 3rd is "Marking the halfway point" (at 183 days of 365).

  11. John C says:

    I attempted to post a comment pointing people to the Internet Archive copy of the document, but my comment was (summarily :-) rejected. While trying to figure out why I realised that the entire site (http://ogc.osd.mil) is actually unavailable ... at least from here in Portugal (and I suspect many/most other non-US sites).

    So, if anyone else receives a "The requested URL was rejected. Please consult with your administrator. Your support ID is: 14512646870623539273" message, there are several options:

    1. Feed the above URL into Google Translate;
    2. Use a proxy (for example Opera's builtin proxy) to make it appear that the browser is in the US;
    3. Feed the above URL into the Internet Archive to download their most recent copy (from 1 July).

  12. cheong00 says:

    [Fifteen seconds per player. No time increment. Go.]

    I think the standard "quick game" in Chinese chess is limited to 5 seconds per move. If any player cannot decide the next move within 5 seconds in his/her turn, the player lose.

    And then there is an even chaotic version of the game. Each term has 5 players. The players taken turn to make their move. When you're not active player, you're not allowed to look at the game board. So at most you have 10 seconds (the 5 seconds of your opponent team + 5 seconds of your own) to get the idea of what's happening on the board and decide your move. Sometimes deadly obvious "checkmate and take your car" goes unnoticed and the opponent team get a close escape.

    1. Joshua says:

      Congratulations, you are the only hit for your phrase for kind of situation involving checkmate.

  13. Andrew Timson says:

    Huh. Had I just listened to that rendition of Star Wars music, I would totally have said it was some of the early-1990s LucasArts games. Sounds very similar to the SoundBlaster days of yore...

  14. Entegy says:

    I didn't know about One Dev Minute. Thanks for linking!

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