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"Serial Bus is a place for me to dump interesting links that I find."

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So, hope you weren't trying to win the McDonalds Monopoly prize between 1995-2000, because the money was being won by fraudsters Tuesday, September 25, 2012 | comments

I found out about this from Reddit and now I'm basically copy/pasting that whole part of the wikipedia article shamelessly

In 2000, the US promotion was halted after fraud was uncovered. A subcontracting company called Simon Marketing (a then-subsidiary of Cyrk), which had been hired by McDonald's to organize and promote the game, failed to recognize a flaw in its procedures, and the chief of security, Jerome P. Jacobson,[1] was able to remove the most expensive game pieces, which he then passed to associates who would redeem them and share the proceeds. The associates won almost all of the top prizes between 1995 and 2000, including McDonald's giveaways that did not have the Monopoly theme. The associates netted over $24 million. The scheme was uncovered when one of the participants informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Even though the fraud was perpetrated without McDonald's knowledge, the McDonald's Corporation voluntarily attempted to rectify the situation by issuing payouts to new (legitimate) winners, awarding five $1 million annuity prizes, and fifty $100,000 prizes over a five-day period.[1]

While the fraud appeared to have been perpetrated by only one key employee of the promotion company, and not by the company's management, eight people were originally arrested, leading to a total of 21 indicted individuals.[2] The relationship between McDonald's and Simon Marketing broke down in a pair of lawsuits over breach of contract, eventually settled out of court, with McDonald's' claim being thrown out and Simon receiving $16.6 million.[3] Due to a constitutional violation, four of those convicted of the fraud were later released as they were not initially charged with the offense.[4]

In 1995, St. Jude Children's Hospital in MemphisTennessee received an anonymous letter postmarked DallasTexas, containing a $1 million winning game piece. Although game rules prohibited the transfer of prizes, McDonald's waived the rule and is making the $50,000 annual payments.[5] Investigations later indicated, and Jacobson himself admitted, that he had sent the winning piece to the hospital.[6]

Done only with a palette knife - no brushes Wednesday, September 19, 2012 | comments

la la la oh let me just take this butter knife type thing

and make crazy art






Great moments in eye patch history Monday, September 17, 2012 | comments

So during the cold war, the US was like "Man, what if Russia nuked all of our command centers and no one was left to launch our nukes! A missile could be here in 15 minutes and we wouldn't be able to react!"

And the solution to this was to have a plane in the air at all times that could command all nuclear forces from the sky.  Wikipedia tells us "Looking Glass aircraft were airborne 24 hours a day for over 29 years, until July 24, 1990, when "The Glass" ceased continuous airborne alert, but remained on ground or airborne alert 24 hours a day"

Which is a long time to always keep planes up in the sky

But this is my favorite part
"The Looking Glass pilot and co-pilot were both required to wear an eye patch, retrieved from their Emergency War Order (EWO) kit. In the event of a surprise blinding flash from a nuclear detonation, the eye patch would prevent blindness in the covered eye, thus enabling them to see in at least one eye and continue flying"
[via The Dinner Party]

Apparently guilt works better than giving out free address labels? Sunday, September 9, 2012 | comments


It's an evil smart meter party! Get out your stripey hat! Saturday, September 1, 2012 | comments

People are ridiculously upset about DTE Smart Meters because they basically say that the RF waves sent out by the devices are going to cause cancer which is unfounded.  Anyhow, you can browse the people's comments submitted to the state on the case here. My favorite one is this one because she didn't change her email stationary before writing the email and now it's forever in the State of Michigan records like this.



It's also kind of ironic that people are upset because they say it violates their privacy but then they put their name, full address, and contact phone number and email on these documents.

My second favorite document is one that actually quotes an article called: "71-year-old woman says Smart Meter torched house, killed puppies." Like the smart meter is some sort of terrible robot killing machine running around killing puppies.

If you want to read more of people's ridiculous claims, Ann Arbor.com did a news story and luckily included quotes from people that know actual science facts

.