Portmanteau

Duck Tales for the NES felt like one of those games that my family owned and loved, but wasn’t overwhelmingly popular. I guess I was wrong. The fact they are re-releasing a game that only holds nostalgic appeal  is awesome (at least, I don’t remember hearing about some new Duck Tales movie coming out). Hopefully they maintain the difficulty.

George

I know that George is no longer a popular baby name. It has fallen out of favor. But as of today, I officially became Scandinavian.

April 1

image

While a treasure map skin on Google Maps is not exactly a prank, it is at least a novelty I can enjoy. April Fools day on the internet has largely become a day of promoting and encouraging everyone to employ a healthy dose of skepticism. Personally, after being burned by Games Magazine in 1997 (oh how I wanted an Orion’s Crystal), I’ve been wary of news and announcements in the late March/early April timeframe. I would bet many other people also anticipate and expect the pranks. One could argue the treasure map is an example of how far this shift has come. This does not seek to fool anyone. It is simply a clever and interesting toy to play with today, like most Google theme logos, or like YouTube’s ASCII skin from April Fool’s 2010. In most respect’s, I like this change. I can browse the internet a little bit more assuredly. On the other hand, April Fool’s day is really about pranks, even when we don’t like them played on us.

Simple

"Simplicity is not about making something without ornament, but rather about making something very complex, then slicing elements away, until you reveal the very essence."

Christoph Niemann (via kottke.org)

Lenses and Legos

As a newer user of a DSLR camera, this mini-tweak to the camera is a welcome idea. I haven’t lost the lens cap yet, but I do always just toss it in a pocket or bag when not in use.

Perhaps it is time to replace velcro with Lego permanently across our lives.

(via lifehacker)

Organizational Efficiency: best achieved through random promotion

The Peter Principle is the belief that in an organization where promotions occur based on merit “Every new member in a hierarchical organization climbs the hierarchy until he/she reaches his/her level of maximum incompetence.” This may seem counter-intuitive, but if someone is doing their job well, they will be promoted. If someone is not doing their job well, they will not.

A 2009 study from the University of Catania conducted further research on this principle and found that the best way to improve the efficiency of an organization is to promote randomly. No commentary needed.

The Peter Principle Revisited: A Computational Study (PDF)

History Repeats

I learned today that the arms race between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. was manufactured by the U.S. Department of Defense. “it is believed that the gap was known to be illusionary from the start, and was being used solely as a political tool”

At least we have learned from our mistakes. It’s not like we went to war because the idea of weapons of mass destruction was politically advantageous.

Wikipedia