5 quick things

For years I have used the famous McDonalds coffee story as an example of the litigious nature of American society, always assuming that the person at fault was the lady who was burned. Turns out that she was very seriously hurt indeed, suffering 3rd degree burns and was hospitalised for 8 days. Whereas I am still pretty much of the opinion that spilling hot coffee on yourself is almost always going to be your own fault it is still interesting to see how this story and its associated mythology contains so many bits of information that simply aren’t true. The lady involved, was not driving, initially only sued for medical costs and loss of earnings (McDonalds refused) which was about $20,000 and that the final court settlement was not the jury award of $2.86m but $640,000 which was reduced still further in an out of court settlement on appeal. Finally, and I have deliberately not linked to them, if you still think any kind of settlement was outrageous I suggest you do a little Google research and look for pictures of the injuries themselves, they’re out there and they’re pretty grim.


I love this idea, and I don’t care if it never happens. Just the fact that it’s being sincerely considered for deployment makes me smile. Darpa’s Upward Falling Payload scheme sounds like fiction but is being looked at very seriously indeed. It’s a series of ‘robots’ placed in the deep ocean holding mission critical payloads that can be released by remote communications and collected by ships on the ocean surface, hence upward falling. I only have one question. What sort of mission critical payload needs to be stored and released in this way?


Here is another piece of scary spy kit. This is a system that can see you waving your arms from 15,000 feet in the sky, and track all the moving objects, and covers 25 square miles at a time, and stores it all for all time. Well worth watching the video.


OK, this is a short but wonderful little piece. We all end up writing biographies these days, sometimes for social networks, sometimes for work. These points all make sense, straightforward sense, but that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable to see them all in one place.


Is this a game, or a puzzle? I can’t make even the faintest impression on it. QWOP.


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