Skyscrapers that won't be built, math in design, and another interesting find that will surely get some response

So, I'll be the first to admit it: I love tall buildings. No matter how excessive or what the environmental and cultural impact, or even how hypocritical this makes me seem, I think they are absolutely fantastic creations and I just love them. So, while the world's in the middle of this financiapocalypse, it sorta (only sorta) saddens me that some are being delayed. Tyler has a sad face.
Here are the top 15 skyscrapers that will take much longer than originally anticipated to finish. I will say that I am so happy that Freedom Tower is not on this list.
Also, for any aspiring graphic/logo designers and/or Mathematica gurus, you should check out "Exploring Logo Designs with Mathematica." It's a brilliant read that combines science, programming and art. I love it.

Now for the part that I expect will trigger some interesting reactions. Harvard Business School has just released a study on online pornography consumption in the USA. While the bulk of the study showed that there isn't a HUGE gap between states and online porn orders, there were a few interesting tidbits I'd like to bring into the limelight:
Those states that do consume the most porn tend to be more conservative and religious than states with lower levels of consumption, the study finds.

There has to be a better explanation out there besides the age-old "if you're told you can't have it, you want it more" argument.

The biggest consumer, Utah, averaged 5.47 adult content subscriptions per 1000 home broadband users; Montana bought the least with 1.92 per 1000. "The differences here are not so stark," Edelman says.
Eight of the top 10 pornography consuming states gave their electoral votes to John McCain in last year's presidential election – Florida and Hawaii were the exceptions. While six out of the lowest 10 favoured Barack Obama.

Utah's been a leader in a lot of things as of late, but you'd hope this wasn't one of them. I find it INCREDIBLY interesting: 8 of the top 10 porn consuming states voted for a conservative president. I claim to be no authority on the subject, but I find it interesting that this stat correlates with the high-religious stat up above. Could it (or should it) possibly mean that religion is a procurer of porn consumption? If so, is it among active participants of that religion, or is it from those who do not participate? Are there more dramatic social/cultural tensions in these highly religious states that cause this increase in porn consumption?

Church-goers bought less online porn on Sundays – a 1% increase in a postal code's religious attendance was associated with a 0.1% drop in subscriptions that day. However, expenditures on other days of the week brought them in line with the rest of the country, Edelman finds.
States where a majority of residents agreed with the statement "I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage," bought 3.6 more subscriptions per thousand people than states where a majority disagreed. A similar difference emerged for the statement "AIDS might be God's punishment for immoral sexual behaviour."

Sad, but ironic and kinda funny.

Residents of 27 states that passed laws banning gay marriages boasted 11% more porn subscribers than states that don't explicitly restrict gay marriage.

This, to me, is perplexing. A friend of mine jested that perhaps the homosexual community relies on porn since they can't marry. Humorous, maybe, but I don't think that's the case. I almost wonder if this is a sign that those states who are more accepting to the idea of gay marriage have a higher degree of sexual maturity.

Of course, all this discussion is based on a belief that pornography detracts from the sanctity of sex and that it should be avoided in a progressive society--an idea which I am more than aware could be debated in the secular world.
Anyway, any thoughts?


Credit Crisis--Visualized!

Here's a nice little animation showing exactly why the credit crisis is a crisis. If you've wondered why mortgages really are affecting so many people, etc., this 10 minute video is a great primer, and truly informative!


How to: Have a Gunfight

So, this is a bit cynical, but I found it humorous.
Rules of a Gunfight
1. Forget about knives, bats and fists. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns. Bring four times the ammunition you think you could ever need.

10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

21. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet if necessary, because they may want to kill you.

27. Regardless of whether justified of not, you will feel sad about killing another human being. It is better to be sad than to be room temperature.
See all 28 rules here.

In other news, have I mentioned how nice it is to have a grammatically correct President? It can be argued that it's not important (which is farce), but it's comforting and nice all the same.
Also, what's this about fruits and vegetables not being as healthy as they once were? Interesting, logical, but not cool.


Animation and Ukuleles, or, The Recipe for Success!

Okay, I LOVE ukuleles. They're just plain cool, okay? And I LOVE The Beatles, right? That's why I'm linking to a new blog, "The Beatles Complete on Ukulele." You all should definitely check it out. Not only does it give info, it has awesome insight on the actual songs, including really cool musical insights. My favorite? Well, I have to say it's While My Guitar Gently Weeps (click to play), although I don't think this version has anything on this uke version.

Anyway, I saw a really great student animation today, and I thought I'd share it with you all. Not only does it look good, but it tells a fairly compelling story:


Joaquin on Letterman

Probably the funniest Letterman moment I've ever seen.

It's been removed. Here's a clip with excerpts; not as good as the whole thing, but I'll fix that:


Whoa... Moments

I've had two such moments today:
Number One: The Near Collapse of World Economy, or, How Centuries of Civilization Nearly Broke Down Within Two Hours
In the movie below, Representative Kanjorski explains how fragile our economy actually was a while back. Here's the excerpt:

At 2 minutes, 20 seconds into this C-Span video clip, Kanjorski reports on a "tremendous draw-down of money market accounts in the United States, to the tune of $550 billion dollars." According to Kanjorski, this electronic transfer occured over the period of an hour or two.
"The Treasury opened its window to help. They pumped a hundred and five billion dollars into the system and quickly realized that they could not stem the tide. We were having an electronic run on the banks. They decided to close the operation, close down the money accounts, and announce a guarantee of $250,000 per account so there wouldn't be further panic and there. And that's what actually happened. If they had not done that their estimation was that by two o'clock that afternoon, five-and-a-half trillion dollars would have been drawn out of the money market system of the United States, would have collapsed the entire economy of the United States, and within 24 hours the world economy would have collapsed."
"It would have been the end of our political system and our economic systems as we know it."

Number Two: Clocks That Know Time Better Than Time Itself
Brett linked to this New Scientist article: Super Clocks: More Accurate Than Time Itself. Awesome. Now we will know exactly, to the 1*10^-18 second, when the economy kills us all.

On another note, last week I found another article to be very interesting. A lot of detractors to human-caused changes in our environment--global warming in particular--claim that the earth is going through another warming period, similar to that which was evidenced in the middle ages. Quoting from this paper:
In summary, it appears that the late 20th and early 21st centuries are likely the warmest period the Earth has seen in at least 1200 years.

And looking at that graph...temperature's rising at an alarming rate.


'The Inheritance of War' to play in Ogden

E-mail I received from Ashley:
Dear Friends and Family,

We are very excited to announce that our documentary, The Inheritance of War will finally be making it's Ogden debut as part of the Foursite Film Festival. The film will play at Peery's Egyptian Theater, Saturday March 7 at 11:00 AM.

The film premiered at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January to a packed theater, has played in the LDS Film Festival and will now have it's first public showing in Ogden. We've had a great reaction from audiences who have seen it, and recommend telling your friends about it, especially those who enjoy WWII history or who have served in the military. The film is designed to be enlightening to people of all ages and interest levels.

Synopsis of the film:

Detailing an ongoing fight for justice, The Inheritance of War follows the little-known tale of thousands of WWII soldiers held as prisoners of war in the Philippines after the largest defeat in United States military history.

The emotional story of survival and hardship describes nearly-forgotten events like the death march across the Bataan Peninsula, the "hell ships" that carried prisoners of war to Japan, and harrowing stories of starvation, poor treatment, and harsh conditions experienced when the men were forced to work as slave laborers for Japanese corporations.
Fifty-five years later, the aging soldiers filed a class action suit, seeking justice and recognition for wrongs committed against them by the now multibillion-dollar corporations. James Parkinson, a 30-year veteran attorney from Palm Desert, Calif., worked on their case in 1999. He carries their story to high schools across America, reminding the next generation that the past writes the prologue to the future. ~ Synopsis by Jamie Belnap

The documentary is based on the book Soldier Slaves, and was filmed in the Philippine Islands, Salt Lake City, UT, Palm Desert and San Diego, California, and Washington D.C. It highlights the prisoner of war experiences of Salt Lake City native Harold Poole, along with three other veterans who give remarkable accounts of their experiences on the Bataan Death March and as slave laborers in Japan. Their story is a piece of history that should never be forgotten.

To learn more about the movie and to keep in touch with its current screenings go to www.theinerhitanceofwar.com

More information about the Foursite Film Festival can be found at:

Thank you for your support,

There Just Might Be Such a Thing as a Free Breakfast

So, at 5:30am this morning, I entered all sneaky like into Lance's bedroom and jumped on him. I had already pushed Phil into the shower--after all, we might have been late if I hadn't--we told Max we'd meet him at 6.
Finally, they were both ready, and we ran out and jumped in the car and took off to...
That's right. We decided, as poor college students, that the only thing better than not going to school last week because we were in the Emergency Room all night was to get a free meal--even if it was from Denny's. (I've never been a fan since eating Thanksgiving dinner there 11 years ago...)
We got there quite early and were third in line, so we got in quite quickly. But, as you can see...there was a long line by the end.
A brilliant campaign by Denny's, their idea to give away a free meal to ANYONE who came in looked too good to be true. It wasn't. You didn't have to do anything but show up and eat. If you couldn't stay, they were gladly handing out rain-checks. Even the Salvation Army brought a few van fulls, and despite the cold, everyone was in good cheers--even the staff. It was pretty cool to see. Anyway, it was slightly weird because they didn't even give us a receipt...we just got up and left.
Super fun, for super fun guys!


Walmart: Redux?

I hate rehashing old topics, but because of the intrigue that my last posts brought, I thought I'd adhere to my policy of balanced blogging.
Life at Wal-Mart is a post by former Wired writer Charles Platt. It is a very interesting experiment that he conducted, plus his thoughts about it.
I still do not agree with Wal-Mart's foreign policy (gross), but it's always good to hear another's point of view.