Links for 2010-11-18

  • "Fans of cheesy-bad movies will remember Mini-me as Dr. Evil's sidekick/mascot in the Austin Powers movies. Dr. Evil had his share of great lines ("the Diet Coke of evil"), but his true awfulness shone forth in his creation of Mini-Me. Mini-me was exactly how he sounds -- a smaller, but recognizable, version of Dr. Evil himself.

    I've seen managers hire Mini-me's to help them, and I really have to wonder what they're thinking. It's much smarter to hire your opposites.

    We all have strengths and weaknesses. Mini-me's have the same strengths and weaknesses you have. That means that certain tasks will either get ignored or will get done badly, since they fall under everybody's weaknesses. Hiring people with similar priorities to yours, but different strengths, makes delegation easier and far more effective. If I can play to my strengths and my staffers can play to theirs, and among us we get most things done, then everybody wins."

  • "This illustrates Nicolae Carpathia's main flaw thus far in the Antichrist business: staffing.

    The man is trying to run a global evil empire with a four-person crew consisting of himself, Hattie, Chaim and Steve. That's just not going to work. He needs minions. To go global, he'll need millions of them. If you trying to become the evil totalitarian ruler of the entire planet, you're going to need minions and lackeys and secret police in every corner of every village of the globe. Mind mojo notwithstanding, you just can't expect to pull this off with only a press secretary, a botanist and your girlfriend working for you."

  • "Blade Runner
    Poor product design leads to trouble for a manufacturer and one exasperated policeman. (Note: this is also the description for I, Robot.)"
  • "It all started innocently enough.  We were having a call with the publicist to discuss a few ideas, and I made an innocuous comment about the first hundred copies sold being the easiest, due to the friends/family effect.  That's when she said to me, "I don't tell my friends and family about my books any more. It hurts too much when they don't congratulate me, don't buy them, and don't read them."

    You know, this is not the first time I have heard this. So, I must therefore ask anyone who has had a friend or relative who has a book published, and who has not bought a copy of that person's book:  WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?"

  • Sitting and being fussed over by technicians in a clean room at the Kennedy Space Center in preparation for a February launching -- and looking for all the world like a giant corrugated rain barrel -- is an eight-ton assemblage of magnets, wires, iron, aluminum, silicon and electronics that is one of the most ambitious and complicated experiments ever to set out for space.

    The experiment, if it succeeds, could help NASA take a giant step toward answering the question of what the universe is made of. It could also confer scientific glory on both the International Space Station and a celebrated physicist reaching one last time, literally, for the stars. If it fails, it will validate critics who think it a scandal the experiment was ever approved.


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Thanks for posting the link to the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer article. One little aside in the article caught my attention:

"...over the last few decades astronomers have concluded â not happily â that [ordinary matter] is just a scrim overlying a much vaster shadowy realm of invisible âdark matterâ...

Not happily??? Doesn't just about _everybody_ think this is a truly fascinating discovery, not an irritating discovery?

This sort of journalist-invented false drama in science reporting usually makes you explode, so of course I'm here happily lighting your fuse...

By Emory Kimbrough (not verified) on 18 Nov 2010 #permalink