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Finding The Best Place To Park

I’m not sure that the authors of these strategies about finding the best place to park your car at the shopping centre ever experienced anything like the carparks at our local Coles and Woolworths Supermarkets.
This video is another attempt to demonstrate that maths has uses in everyday life.

Read more at Mental Floss.

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Life Beyond The Meme For Hide The Pain Harold (via The Guardian Online)

One of the faces that launched thousands of internet memes features an image sourced from stock photos of a mature aged gent with a fixed smile and eyes that seem to portray mixed emotions about the situation he’s found himself in.
He was dubbed ‘Hide the pain Harold.’
Oddly enough he features in large numbers of memes aimed at pastors.
I have no idea why.
None whatsoever.

This article from Guardian online relates how András Arató, of Budapest, came to be the subject of the photo, and how he has sought to claim the identity that had achieved online notoriety, even making something of a later-life career out of the situation.
Turns out he really is smiling on both the outside and the inside.

Well worth a read:

I’m 74 now. I spent 40 years as an engineer. I did a bit of public speaking then, at conferences and lectures, but that was very different from appearing on television talkshows and YouTube videos. As an engineer, it was really me. Now, it’s role play: I’m Hide the Pain Harold. But I’m not actually a sad guy – I think I’m rather a happy one.

Read the whole article at Guardian online.

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Come From Away And The Story Of Beverley Bass – Me And The Sky

One of the stories woven into the musical Come From Away is that of Beverley Bass, airline pilot.
We listened to the cast album on the way home from Melbourne today.
The song Me And The Sky is to my mind the most memorable standalone number in the show.
It tells a tremendous personal story, and is musically and lyrically the most distinctive solo song that makes her the probably the most developed character in the ensemble.
Here’s a lyric video.

And a bit more about her story.

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People Who Don’t Know The Answers To Obvious Questions (via Amit Katwala at Wired)

This article is part of a recurring feature at Wired where people write about their obsessions.
Amit Katwala’s obsession is with people who don’t have an answer for online surveys where the answer should be obvious.
For example, apparently, “Three per cent of Brits ‘don’t know’ whether they’ve tried surfing before” and “five per cent of Brits don’t even know if they’ve planned their own funeral.”
Perhaps it says something about demographics, comprehension, or the reality that there is a significant number of folk out there who just don’t know, don’t care, or just want to mess up survey results.

From the article.

So what’s going on here? It’s possible – and probably quite likely – that people selecting ‘don’t know’ to these questions aren’t actually unclear about whether they pay attention during airline safety demonstrations or if they’ve ever nicked anything from the self-service checkout.
Sometimes it might be because they don’t understand the question, don’t care about the question, or don’t want to to be honest about just how much time they’re spending with their finger jammed up a nostril. There are also a small number of people who simply tick ‘don’t know’ to every question, although YouGov says its panel team typically removes people that do this.
Read the whole post at Wired.

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The Faces Behind The Voices (via Great Big Story)

This video from Great Big Story compiles four segments featuring voice actors Charles Martinet, Tara Strong, Redd Pepper, and Jim Cummings. You may not know the names, but you’ll recognise the voices if you’ve played Mario, watched Raven in Teen Titans, listened to a movie trailer, or seen a screen version of Winnie the Pooh. I’ve featured the Tara Strong section of this before, but it’s all very entertaining.

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The Two Women Who Create The Names For Generic Prescription Drugs (via David Lazarus at the LA Times)

This column from the LA Times responds to a question about the way prescription drugs are named.
Not the brand names, there are marketing departments that do that, but the pseudo-chemical sounding names that are used for those drugs when referred to in non-brand contexts.
Turns out that a couple of women in an office in Chicago create them.
An interesting job.

The aim is to avoid products being given “generic names that sneakily come too close to the original manufacturer’s name or the eventual brand name, which could give the company an unfair advantage after the patent expires and generic makers try to compete.
In other words, the generic has to be sufficiently different from the original brand so no confusion is possible.”

Read the article and meet the two staff members of the United States Adopted Names program at the LA Times.

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Mathematics And Perfect Reverse Parking

It’s always a bit of a surprise when maths proves to have practical relevance in everyday life.
Here’s some links to articles on the subject.
The researchers in London who did the math.
And Men’s Health magazine translates it into prose for those of us who are non-math types.
1. Pull alongside the car ahead of the spot you want and align your rear tires with that car’s bumper.
2. Turn your wheel toward the curb as far as it will go.
3. Back up until the center of your inside rear tire aligns with the street side edge of that forward car. Straighten the wheel and keep backing up.
4. When your outside tire aligns with that same edge, turn your wheel out toward the street and keep reversing.