Thursday, March 31, 2011

Here We Go Again

This is Canada's fourth federal election during the past 7 years. The cost to Canadian taxpayers is really adding up, at the tune of $300 million a pop:

$300 million * 4 / 7 years = $171 million/year.

That's right. Over the past seven years, Canadian taxpayers have paid an average of 171 million dollars per year just to determine who should be in charge.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nazi Police Force Destroy Basketball Hoops in Delaware, USA

Apparently, the Delaware State Police have nothing better to do than spend thousands of taxpayers' dollars playing Nazi party-pooper to neighborhood basketball enthusiasts. Here's the shameful video:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Earth Hour 2011: Saturday March 26, 8:30-9:30pm

This year's Earth Hour "lights out event" happens on Saturday night, March 26, 2011.

While there might be some truth to the bellyaching and criticism about the practical value of Earth Hour 2011, it will no doubt provide another opportunity for city photographers and video buffs to capture unique and interesting images that are possible only once a year. Here's my video from Earth Hour 2009 in Vancouver (I recently moved to Kirchberg, Luxembourg to teach cryptography at the University of Luxembourg. Everyone here thinks "Earth Hour" is quite humorous):

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Interview Gone Wrong is Rightly Funny, I Guarantee

I'll send you ten internet dollars if you aren't laughing by the end of this one minute video:

Interview Gone Wrong

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to Disappear and Start a New Life in a New Country with a New Name

DISCLAIMER: The following dramatization is for entertainment purposes only. While it's fun to imagine changing identities and starting a new life in another country, the practicalities of pulling off a truly successful disappearing act are fraught with illegalities.

So you want to disappear and start a new life in another country with a new name and bona-fide authentic new documents, picture ID and passport?

I'm going to tell you how it could be done.

It takes awhile - the explanation and the execution - but in a nutshell, it's a lot of work and is fairly expensive, not to mention illegal. I'd expect no less than four months of constant daily effort with a budget of at least $5000.

You'll also need to be intelligent and quick-witted to succeed in keeping track of all the different details and lies you'll be telling as you disappear from one country and appear in another with a fresh new identity.

First you create an alias that provides a service to people in your age demographic. Create an imaginary new business or borrow the credibility of one that already exists and pretend the business is hiring. You're going to "represent" that business under the guise of a recruiter or company executive etc (or whatever works best in your particular situation).

You'll be using a fake name. Get a new cell phone number prepaid - 90% of sales kiosks don't ask for ID - just scribble in fake info and get that number going. Choose a cheap phone because you're going to send it swimming when you're done with it. And I suggest a calling plan that provides free incoming calls, because that's mostly how you'll be using it. Cheap cheap.

I'd suggest using the credibility of a business overseas rather than someone locally, for a number of reasons. Businesses overseas are understood to be exotic and can be talked up and made to be more attractive to prospective candidates. You can say the salary will be $X and absurd figures are more believable because "oh that's just how much people get paid there". Also, people applying for jobs overseas are going to have a passport - that's necessary for your plan. And that necessity makes it more understandable when you say you'll need a photocopy of their passport and driver's license (to apply for the work visa etc. so they'll be able to work legally in this country and run all the paperwork associated with that etc.)

Create business cards, adverts, flyers, put job ads in newspapers for the "career opportunities" being offered by "your company". Find people who want the job and interview them. Group interviews are more efficient; I suggest renting a conference room at a hotel and doing a slideshow presentation of some kind. Flashy and corporate enough to convince people that you're legit. Hand out your cards. Explain the preconstructed "hiring process" to your eager applicants.

The only qualifier you're actually looking for is candidates that match your own physical specifications. People that look like you. Everyone who attends the group interview is going to get an application (make them yourself or download and photoshop the real application form used by the business who's front you are borrowing) and everyone who attends will fill it out but only those who look like yourself, at least on paper (same hair color, eye color, build etc.) will get a callback for a one on one interview.

During each interview you'll small-talk the candidates about where they're from, how they got to where they are now, details about their family and whatever. Somewhere in there, say that you recognized their name and are they perhaps related to (insert false name here) and with enough chatter they'll tell you their birth city and parents' names (mother's maiden name is a must!)

Following that you'll proceed with "interview" number 2. You'll be impressed with their resume and their qualifications and their grades in college and other flattering things. Staging a second interview might seem superfluous, but it's really needed to cement applicants' investment and belief in the possible job, which is required for the next step.

You'll leave it at that and let the ideal applicants hang for another day or two. Then you call them back, say that you're interested in hiring them, but you need to do a background check first.

Create a legit-looking form or borrow one which requests their compliance to a background check and has them sign and scribble down their social security number (make them date it, it's the best kind of subversion for some reason, people will write down every personal piece of info they have so long as you make a bigger fuss about having the date at the bottom for some reason).

You take that information and let them know you'll get back to them within a week. And you do, but you tell them the company has changed direction and cancelled the project you were championing - damn them! - but you'll keep their resume on file and recommend them after all this corporate shenanignas gets reshuffled.

By now you'll have almost every basic form of identification they use for any practical purposes. Now you order a copy of their birth certificate. You do this in person or online. You'll want to specify an AUTHORIZED STAMPED AND SEALED birth certificate with applicant's information on it. This is why you gathered all his personal identity information.

Now you call the police from a parking lot to report your wallet was stolen out of your vehicle while you were out buying groceries and you want to file a police report. You had your driver's license, a hundred dollars, your social security card etc… Basically you're generating a "stolen wallet" police report based on the applicant's information - name, address, driver's license, social security card - but you give the police YOUR prepaid phone number. In case they follow up, you want them calling you. But of course they won't find any wallet anywhere and no one will turn anything in because there is not actually lost a wallet.

Calling the police might seem counter-intuitive, but it's important to make sure that specific police report exists, for reasons that will soon become clear...

Part 2 coming soon, stay tuned!

Monday, March 14, 2011

School Bullying Victim Fights Back Against Attacker, Gets Suspended from Dunheved Campus

When Casey Heynes was assaulted by Ritchard Gale the school bully at Dunheved Campus grade 7-10 school in New South Wales Australia, he defended himself from further harm while another bully stood by filming the attack:

Ritchard the little bully was suspended from Dunheved, but so was Casey - for fighting back against Ritchard's unprovoked, in-progress physical assault.

Dunheved Campus administrators should be doubly ashamed of themselves. Not only does the video show how they failed to provide Casey with the safe learning environment they promise every student, but now they're faulting Casey - the victim here - for defending himself from an unprovoked brutal physical assault.

Dunheved student Casey Heynes deserves much better than being thrown under the bus by school administration under the lie "all students caught fighting on school grounds will be suspended..." That's pure BS and everyone knows it, the video shows it; Casey was forced to defend himself against a bully the only way he knew how. If the school had any understanding of bullying whatsoever, they would understand what happened here. But they don't.

Feel free to send a message of support for Casey Heynes to Dunheved school administrators at the e-mail address below:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ontario High School Under Fire for Ejecting Students Based on Abortion Opinion

Publicly Funded St. Patrick High School Suspends Students For Expressing Opinion About Abortion

St. Thomas High School in Thunder Bay, Ontario: STUDENTS MUST NOT SPEAK THEIR MINDS!
A Catholic High School in Ontario Canada has come under fire for sending students home after they expressed dissenting opinions during a school-sponsored abortion protest:
"The Grade 10 student wore the green tape in response to a pro-life event at the school, where some students wore a red piece of tape with “life” written on it and didn’t talk for the day to display their belief in the injustice of abortion."
While St. Thomas High School is definitely in the wrong, does this come as much of a surprise to students and parents? I mean really, what else would you expect from a so-called "teaching" institution that specializes in illogical back-flips in order to maintain a harmful 2000-year-old system of superstition and misogyny?

To the parents of St. Thomas High School students: Your children deserve better. Take your kids out of that evil school and send them to a proper one.

UPDATE Alexandria Szeglet's Aunt Kerri comments about the situation:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Usefulness of the WolframAlpha Computational Knowledge Engine

Tonight I watched a TV show in which a character warned others about a possible explosion that will "destroy everything within a one-hundred-square kilometer area."

Silly V scriptwriters, bomb damage is round, not square! (But in all fairness, saying "area of 100 square kilometers" is much more dramatic than using the phrase "blast radius of almost six kilometers" in a TV sci-fi script.)

It's actually a radius of 5.642km, as calculated by feeding the WolframAlpha Computational Knowledge Engine the query "calculate circle radius area 100km^2". No need for pencil/paper/calculator or remembering formulas, it took only 10 seconds on the internet:

Very useful, WolframAlpha is! The back of my envelopes remain mostly blank these days.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Get Off the Table

Did you know the Internet was invented so we could laugh at cat pictures?