The last time I had an actual meal on an airplane, it was almost certainly a frozen Banquet turkey and dressing dinner in a different package. That doesn't mean the novelty of eating inside an airplane has worn off, though. I'm currently planning a trip to Zurich just to eat an "in-flight" meal at Runway 34, a restaurant inside an a 1950s-era Soviet Ilyushin IL-14 airliner! See more pictures at Dvice.
You probably don't know who Paul Cole and Antoinette Sithole (or George Harris, above) are by name, but you've definitely seen their pictures. Over on listverse, Paul Holtum looks a little more closely at the people in iconic images, from The Little Rock Nine to the Abbey Road cover to the famous "Migrant Mother."
I thought it would be interesting, and hopefully entertaining, to do a more personalized look at the subjects in some of these well know photographs. The unfamiliar names below will have one thing in common: because of a split second in time with a camera pointing towards, them they will always be remembered as “the person in that photograph.”
Is there such a thing as "too smart" or perhaps too smart for your own good? Bruce G. Charlton states a common observation that "high IQ types are lacking in ‘common sense’ – and especially when it comes to dealing with other human beings."
This is a statement that could easily be exemplified by Rick Rosner. Despite a high IQ and a firm grasp on a litany of subjects, including writing, Rick's life has had some strange twists and turns that are the combined result of his skewed sensibilities, and his desire to be famous.
Rick's exploits, and the fact that he got a 44/48 on the Hoeflin Test are legendary. He's also been said to have an IQ that rises each time he takes the test. Here's his story.
Genius Prefers High School Rosner liked high school a lot. After graduating with a (then) IQ score of 170 in 1978, he later successfully fooled school officials by repeating the twelfth grade four times. From 1979 to 1987, he returned as a valid senior four times using false IDs, prosthetics and makeup. On why he did this, he says:
High school's attractive to me, not necessarily because you have a good time, but because it's clear why you are miserable. As opposed to real life - post-high-school life- you can be miserable and not have a clear idea what makes you miserable. Dissatisfactions are more vague, more amorphous. (High school's) an abridged version of real life, and its abridgment adds clarity, and that clarity is comforting.
It's also interesting to note that he got away with one of his fake IDs using the alias Gilligan Rich Rosner. Gilligan.
Who Wants To Be A Genius?
The event that catapulted Rick's life into the spotlight happened on a show that was simultaneously spotlight and knowledge heavy. This show asked viewers if anyone in the crowd would perchance want to have a lot of money.
After numerous tries to get on the show, Rick was finally in the hot seat. He was sailing along on the questions and felt really good until a relatively easy-level question messed him up. He guessed according to his logic, and lost. He then sued the producers after sending three detailed letters to them explaining his case.
The question was: "What capital city is located at the highest altitude above sea level?" and the choices were:
A. Mexico City B. Quito C. Bogotá D. Kathmandu
The reasons Rosner lays out in those letters are spot-on critiques of the semantics of the question and its relative difficulty compared to all other questions asked at that level, but he never got anywhere with his suit. A sample of his correspondence: "I’m sorry to keep sending you letters. I’m not a grievance-oriented person, but a little research led me to a surprising amount of information indicating that it is an unacceptably-flawed question."
15 Minutes Late?
I do think Mr. Rosner has a strong love affair going with the celebrity dance. Aside from his appearances (often in the nude) on cable TV shows like The Man Show, Jimmy Kimmel and Crank Yankers, he's also appeared on a show called Obsessed, and took jobs guaranteed to draw attention to himself. Clearly this is someone eager for the 15 minutes of fame he thinks he deserves, but I also see a real human being, one who is acting naturally to the stimuli. He also got steamed at Domino's when they featured him in this commercial, somehow managing to spell his last name wrong in the graphics (Rossner).
Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line, The Fog of War) created a show where he interviewed subjects through an "interrotron", a "self-designed camera that allows the interview subject to see" Morris' face transposed into the cameraface focused on them. First Person is one of the best interview shows I've ever seen, as it tends to elicit more truth than can be seen in other shows. Errol Morris on Rick Rosner:
I imagine he is a pretty complicated character who doesn't understand himself that well. He's in the grip of all this stuff that he cannot control.
The journey he has taken, along with all the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and other stories of Mr. Rosner can be seen in six parts on You Tube, starting here. Notice how Morris strings the facts into a collection, much like a weaver manipulates the strings.
Celebrity baby-naming can seem like a race to the most bizarre (looking at you, Penn Jillette), but a new trend that's picking up is something of a relief: finding names in literature. Harper is making a big comeback thanks to Neil Patrick Harris and Victoria Beckham, who were inspired by the author of To Kill a Mockingbird. If finding a name for your baby from the classics sounds like a good idea, Flavorwire has a great dictionary going. Here are the As:
Virtuous, but very jealous. Has difficulty changing her career
Literary sources: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Anna Christie by Eugene O’Neill
Studious, ambitious, and dedicated. Kind of creepy
Literary sources: Anton Chekhov, Anton LaVey, No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
A folk hero, willing to stand up for someone else
Literary sources: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Keeper by Greg Rucka
Intelligent, detached, a world traveler
Literary source: W.H. Auden
Get more bookish inspiration for your baby-naming adventures on Flavorwire. Link
Every kiddo is a scientist, according to a recent study. As it turns out, a young brain has the inherent ability to test surroundings for accurate information--preschool-aged children perform steps from the scientific method to understand how the world works, without being prompted to take the steps. It's just how kids think.
Preschool children spontaneously invent experiments in their play, according to research published this month in Cognition. The findings suggest that basic scientific principles help very young brains to learn about the world.
In the latest study, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge and Stanford University in California presented four- to five-year-old children with a specially designed toy that lit up and played music when the child placed certain beads on it.
In cases in which the children didn't know which beads made the toy play, the researchers found that the kids tested each possibility in turn in order to find out -- much like the way in which scientists devise their experiments to test individual variables separately. Laura Schulz, one of the researchers from MIT, explains that it's the same idea that you use when trying to find out which of your keys opens a door: "You might change the position of the key, you might change the key, but you're not going to change both at once," she says.
The result marks a key step in the evolving field of cognitive development. Schulz feels that science is no longer simply an analogy for childhood development, but that this type of play is "a fundamental precursor" to science that is seen surprisingly early on. "In a sense, everyone is capable of inquiry and discovery in these ways," Schulz explains. "What scientists do is apply it to cognitive demands that are at the very edge of human knowledge."
Read the rest of the report on Scientific American. Link
Looks like certain celebrity families will have to avoid New Zealand the next time they're expecting another Seven Sirius or Moxie CrimeFighter. The NZ Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages has taken a heavy-handed approach to baby-naming, banning 89 names specifically and refusing to allow any names with non-hyphen punctuation.
The list of weird names for kids that are banned by New Zealand’s names registrar has grown to include Lucifer, Duke, Messiah and 89.
Also not approved: Bishop, Baron, General, Judge, King, Knight and Mr., names that were all said to be too similar to titles.
The letters, C, D, I and T were also rejected as first names, the Herald Sun says.
And three different sets of Kiwi parents wanted to name their children Lucifer, only to have the name choice nixed.
In 2008, New Zealand’s names registrar drew international attention when it approved such non-traditional names as Benson and Hedges for a set of twins, as well as the boys names of Violence and Number 16 Bus Shelter.
But New Zealand isn’t the only country to ban wacky names for kids, the Toronto Globe and Mail reports.
In Sweden, name choices are subject to a naming law. While Lego and Google have been approved as names for children, Superman, Metallica and Elvis, and the name Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116, pronounced Albin, were not approved.
In 2007, a judge in the Dominican Republic submitted a proposal to ban names that are either confusing or gave no indication of gender, such as the names Qeurida Pina (Dear Pineapple) and Tonton Ruiz (Dummy Ruiz), according to the Globe and Mail.
Any mom will tell you that pregnancy and motherhood have changed the way they think and feel about just about everything. (They'll probably also tell you tired they are, because we're all very, very tired.) Scientific American's video exclusive will fill you in on why you can't stop sniffing your baby, how you're able to juggle competing tasks, and what exactly is happening in your brain while you're taking care of the kiddos. Link