Stuff White People Like

Stuff White People Like, more like Stuff White American People Like is terrifically funny if you have any understanding about American culture (which most people do through television or cinema).

It is a known fact that white people believe that they can bring spring early by wearing a pair of shorts on any day that is above seasonal temperatures. This myth runs so deep that they will often wear shorts the following day when temperatures drop, at which point they will refuse to recognize that it is cold.

When you encounter a cold white person in shorts it’s best to say “I can’t wait until it’s warm enough to go windsurfing.” They will likely give you a high five.

Police in Bavaria Stop Car with 14 People Inside

From Spiegel

How many people can you squeeze into a British phone box? This question has obsessed some people for decades. Now a similar conundrum appears to have been solved by a family stopped by German police: How many people fit into a five-seater car? The answer, it appears, is 14.

German police stopped an Opel Vectra Wednesday on an autobahn in the southern state of Bavaria and discovered four adults and 10 children huddled inside, according to police spokesman Peter Grimm. The car came to the officers’ attention because it was driving at a snail’s pace of 40 kmh (25 mph) on a busy highway frequented by heavy vehicles.

Apple on the march

Now this is interesting. In the announcement of the new SDK, Apple also announced business class capabilities in the next release of the iPhone software. The FT reports that Blackberry owner RIM shares have dropped 3% on the news. I have a friend who has an iPod touch and a Blackberry, I’m going to ask him if he is going to switch when this capability becomes available.

The iPhone’s new business capabilities will allow business users to receive emails, contacts, and calendar information from Microsoft Exchange, one of the world’s most popular business communications software suites.

Combined, the announcements represent a raising of the stakes in the mobile handset market by Apple, which has set a goal of selling 10m iPhone handsets by the end of the year.

Suicide is lucrative

This article in Slate really shook me up and destroyed some superficial assumptions that I made regarding suicide. What what really interesting is that people who survive a serious suicide attempt increase their earnings by around 36%.

Why should suicide be an economic boon? Once you attempt suicide you suddenly have access to lots of resources—medical care, psychiatric attention, familial love and concern—that were previously expensive or unavailable. Doubters may ask why the depressed don’t seek out resources earlier. But studies have demonstrated that psychological and familial resources become “cheaper” after a suicide attempt: It is difficult to find free medical care when you are sad, but once you try to kill yourself, it’s forced on you.

Terrible

Maverick James Lovelock believes catastrophe is inevitable.

Humanity is in a period exactly like 1938-9, he explains, when “we all knew something terrible was going to happen, but didn’t know what to do about it”. But once the second world war was under way, “everyone got excited, they loved the things they could do, it was one long holiday … so when I think of the impending crisis now, I think in those terms. A sense of purpose – that’s what people want.”

The money quote?

What would Lovelock do now, I ask, if he were me? He smiles and says: “Enjoy life while you can. Because if you’re lucky it’s going to be 20 years before it hits the fan.”