Saturday… um… Sunday News Stew: TSA, Music, Piss, Names, and Las Vegas

Observation StewYesterday was a busy busy day; so much so that the news chum stew I had planned to serve yesterday has continued to simmer on the stove. So here is your Saturday stew… on Sunday….

  • Stupid People Tricks. There are many who denegrate the TSA as “security theatre”. There are others who will argue that whatever they do is a deterrent; there is no way to prove that someone didn’t think about starting an attack, but was turned away from that course because of TSA’s present. That’s the nature of the beast. So what can you prove? You can show the stupid things that people tried to bring through, but were caught by the TSA. Admittedly, some are quite likely innocuous, but others (like the knife in a cellphone) make you wonder “what were they thinking?”. PS: If you would like to learn the history of airport security, I can recommend this recent 99% Invisible on skyjacking.
  • It’s all the Same to Me. Even wonder why all the songs on the radio are about the same length. How can it be due to the grooves on a record when we now play CDs or digital files with no grooves? Someone attempted to find out the answer. The conclusion is that songs get longer, even without new technology. Since 1990, it seems that the average song length has sort of stabilized around 250 seconds (over 4 minutes).
  • Piss on you. We’ve all seen it: the decal of Calvin pissing on something. But Watterson has never licensed the character. So where did the decal come from. Here’s the explanation. Now if someone can just explain the stick figure family.
  • What’s In A Name? Every wonder why Amazon is Amazon, or eBay is eBay? Turns out, there is a reason. Here’s the story behind 39 famous companies and how they got their names.
  • Beyond the Moulin Rouge. During the 1950s, Las Vegas was a very segregated town. You probably heard of the Moulin Rouge — the black casino in West Vegas where there were no segregation barriers, and how it only lasted 7 months. You might have heard how Sammy Davis and other entertainers forced the casinos to change their ways. You probably haven’t heard of Harrison House.