How Animals Eat Their Food

Utterly silly, totally inaccurate, but downright hilarious. Do stay until the last animal!

Moooo! Onwards!

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Grammar’s Great Divide: The Oxford Comma – TED-Ed

If you read “Bob, a DJ and a clown” on a guest list, are three people coming to the party, or only one? That depends on whether you’re for or against the Oxford comma — perhaps the most hotly contested punctuation mark of all time. When do we use one? Can it really be optional, or is there a universal rule? TED-Ed explores both sides of this comma conundrum.” (YouTube)

I’m a big fan of grammar and wordplay, and so this video really appeals to me. It’s all about the Oxford comma, that most tricky of punctuations. I say tricky… It’s actually rather simple. I use the Oxford comma, and I prefer it above not using it. I write as if I have to read the sentence out loud, and I find that when I am listing things, I take a breath between each word in the list, which is symbolised by the comma when writing it. For instance, I feel that “Going to buy some bread, milk, and cheese” reads and looks a lot better than “Going to buy some bread, milk and cheese”. Of course, other items are available to purchase as well.

Which do writing style do you prefer? With the Oxford comma, or without? Onwards!

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Hundred Reasons – Falter

Hundred ReasonsFalter.

Beautiful song by Hundred Reasons, and one of the lighter songs on their first album Ideas Above Our Station. I love the way the song builds up and up, which also makes it amazing to listen to and dance and sing along to live.

I’ll never falter. Onwards!

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Survival vs Mortality Rates

Almost every time someone wants to proclaim the US to be the “best in the world” in health care, they point to survival rates. Those refer to the percent of people who live a certain amount of time after they’ve been diagnosed with a disease. But there are real problems in using survival rates to compare the quality of care across systems. The metric people should be using is mortality rates. And when we compare mortality rates, we don’t look nearly as good. Why is this important? Glad you asked. We answer in this week’s episode.” (YouTube)

An really informative video by Healthcare Triage describing the difference between survival rates and mortality rates. It’s vital to understand what each of these terms mean, and why looking at the mortality rate of people suffering from a particular disease is far more useful and important than looking at the survival rate over, say, a five year period.

If I had to be treated for a disease, I’d rather see the mortality rates than the survival rates. Onwards!

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Zombies Vs. Wildlife

Zombie vs BirdsI’m in the process of (finally) watching Season 4 of The Walking Dead, and pretty much all I think about when I watch it is how inaccurate it is.

Obviously, there are zombies, but that’s not what bothers me. It’s not even the dodgy decisions the characters make. Those I can both understand. No, what really bothers me is the wildlife. It is there. You can hear it and see it in every episode.

And yet it does nothing. If there was a zombie outbreak, and humans were as inept as they are in The Walking Dead, then surely the wildlife would take care of the zombie problem for them. Nature would deal with a zombie outbreak in a brutal and rapid manner, leaving the humans time to have a cup of tea and go to sleep safely.

Boingboing have an excellent article up about just such a thing, detailing the various North American animals that would decimate zombies without a second thought. These range from birds (vultures, crows, ravens, and eagles), to mammals (bears, wolves, mountain lions, jaguars, even moose, bison, elk, and mountain goats), to reptiles (crocodiles, alligators, turtles). Even if birds, mammals, and reptiles failed, then insects (decomposers) and microorganisms would utterly destroy zombies.

That is why The Walking Dead is inaccurate. The wildlife would kill all the zombies before they ever got near to humans. Unfortunately, humans are killing wildlife at an alarming rate, thereby reducing our natural defences against a zombie apocalypse before it’s even started. Ho hum.

Onwards!

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Humans Need Not Apply

A fascinating video about automation and robotics and how it is taking over our lives, to the extent that, in the future, many jobs will stipulate that humans need not apply. From physical labour to automobiles to replacing professions to creative labour, robots can do it all, and they can do it now. They may not be perfect, but like is said in the video, they just have to be better than humans.

Which in general, robots are. Are you worried? Onwards!

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Little V – Guild Wars 2 – Fear Not This Night “Epic Rock” Cover

Little V – Guild Wars 2Fear Not This Night “Epic Rock” Cover.

A fantastic “Epic Rock” cover of the Guild Wars 2 theme “Fear Not This Night”. The guy playing it, Little V, won that guitar in a contest set up by ArenaNet / Guild Wars 2, and it’s rather cool! Onwards!

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