Hang in There

Job Offer in Sri Lanka
& a Profession to Kill for

It’s the economy, stupid. If we could get a call back for each time we’ve heard this blunt, over the top, and not very polite expression, well, we’d probably grasping our cellphones real tight just about now. Or checking foreign job boards, for better offers. And we mean, far away from our borders.
In Sri Lanka for example, where they’re looking for two good men. You must relocate, though, and the food may take some getting used to, but it’s a hands-on position, and demand for the required expertise is very high. Oh, by the way, the candidate must know how to hang people to death.
That’s right, the offer is for an official executioner and an assistant, who’re expected to face a backlog of over a thousand death row inmates, waiting for their sentences to be carried out. For that, you may not need to speak either the Sinhala nor the Tamil languages; hand signs would do, apparently.
You may be surprised that, at this day and age, there are still a number of government-paid jobs for professional executioners, but you shouldn’t; even in the most technologically advanced societies in the world, such as France and England, only recently the profession has been officially abolished.
In the U.S., as you probably know (and we hope, not from personal experience), prison wardens are usually assigned to the operation of Continue reading

Yeah, He Invented That

Life Should Be Longer;
Speech Should Be Shorter

If you enjoy reading obscure tech blogs or following fringe Web sites, chances are you know about Dr. NakaMats, a Japanese man who may be the world’s most prolific inventor.
Then again, the most original invention of this very popular man in his country, and virtually unknown anywhere else, may be his own public persona.
Chances are, you may have in your home one of Dr. NakaMats‘ inventions. He’s said to have had a hand on the digital technology that made possible CDs and DVDs, floppy disks, the Casio-type of watches, the taxi meter, and many others.
Not all that successful, which is not uncommon for inventions, and many have been challenged, like the karaoke machine.
Whatever credit he may have, though, what’s surprising is the Continue reading

Vice Versus

When Butterflies
Feed on Piranhas

Sports metaphors are so lame that we decided to run one to the ground. So this isn’t about great rivalries such as Muhammad Ali versus Joe Frazier, or duels, like Rafael Nadal beating Roger Federer, or whether the World Series should actually involve world teams.
Instead, we’ll take a few disputes, dislikes and grievances for a spin, that may tell us more about the human folly and the world we live in than the punches exchanged by legendary brawlers.
It may be the only approach possible if we need to accommodate side by side, petty intrigues between academic disciplines, for example, such as psychiatry and psychology (who cares?), and the disgust writer Raymond Chandler felt about director Alfred Hitchcock (who knew?).
It could be a fitting device, for instance, to wonder about the baffling 1980s dominance of the VHS tape over superior format Beta, only to both be buried by the digital technology. Or whether Macs are better than PCs because they employ child labor. But we’re not getting into neither of that.
Instead, we’ll look at how Thomas Edison himself buried his Continue reading