“…there are no short cuts in comedy. Only hard work can make a performance look so effortless.”-John Kearns in an interview with Ben Williams, “‘I crack up every time’: comedians’ all-time favourite standup routines.” The Guardian. April 6, 2020.
“CryptoHack is a fun platform for learning cryptography. The emphasis is on breaking bad implementations of “modern” crypto, such as AES, RSA, and Elliptic-curve. The format is a series of puzzles that teach small lessons and motivate further research.”–cryptohack.org
Not hard enough? Try CryptoPals.com.
“A guiding operational principle in my life was activated: If frustrated in one’s endeavor by a stone wall or any kind of blockage, one must find a way around — another route towards one’s goal. This is advice I have given to many women facing similar situations. I tell them: Try it, it works.”-E. Margaret Burbidge quoted in Margalit Fox, “E. Margaret Burbidge, Astronomer Who Blazed Trails on Earth, Dies at 100.” The New York Times. April 6, 2020.
An old Soviet joke:
“An optimist learns English. A pessimist learns Chinese. A realist learns how to clean an AK-47.”
R.I.P. Bill Withers. There’s worse ways to spend an hour than listening to Menagerie. If you prefer to read, try Rolling Stone‘s profile: Bill Withers: The Soul Man Who Walked Away. Questlove says in it, “Questlove. “Jordan’s vertical jump has to be higher than everyone. Michael Jackson has to defy gravity. On the other side of the coin, we’Bill Withers is the closest thing black people have to a Bruce Springsteen.”
“Just how does a video recorder work? And how about fax machines, cars, washing machines, electric light, telephones, vacuum cleaners, and refrigerators? You’ll find the answers here. We proudly present streaming versions of the TV series ‘The Secret Life Of Machines’ written by Tim Hunkin, and presented by Tim Hunkin and Rex Garrod.”–The Secret Life of Machines
Open Question: When does capitalism become price gouging?
Strikes me that price gouging is during acute events where people with means cannot buy what they want, i.e., the price mechanism breaks badly enough that it impacts society-at-large rather than a minority. But, so long as it’s impacts a minority or is an plausibly deniable externality, it’s merely capitalism as designed.
“In conventional business attire, trusty Mohawk at their side, the two would waylay pedestrians and proprietors. Clandestinely recording each conversation, they would retreat to the curb to rewind: The Mohawk used quarter-inch metal cassettes and rewinding the tapes required the operator to manually turn a handle like a fishing reel. Then they’d hook up the earpiece and listen to their latest. If they only collected usable material every two or three days, they were happy.
The best of these hidden-mike recordings is a long encounter with a druggist, from whom Coyle solicits advice about performing home surgery on Sharpe, who is complaining of chest pains. The druggist is aghast at Coyle’s medical “experience” — third-year high school, plus a few days of home study. They offer to do the surgery in a station wagon outside. The druggist begs them not to, saying they’re running huge risks for no reason. Coyle replies, “He’s willing to take the chance, and it would be very interesting for me.”-Staff, “Mal on the Street.” SF Weekly. May 25, 1995