spudtater: (Default)
( Jun. 7th, 2010 01:09 pm)

A little piece of cigarette history I've only just discovered:

By the early 1950s, the link between smoking and lung cancer–long discussed in medical journals–was getting increased attention in the popular press. As they do to this day, the tobacco companies denied smoking was dangerous, but behaved as if they knew better. Threatened with the loss of jittery customers, they launched new filter brands to convince smokers their habit could be safe. [...] Once an oddity, the filter tip soon dominated cigarette sales, as millions who might have quit were able to rationalize their habit, thanks to these "safer" smokes. Smokers bought L&M filters, said to be "just what the doctor ordered!" They bought Parliaments, which provided "maximum health protection." And they bought Kent, whose "Micronite" filter made the biggest splash of all.

Kent was launched in 1952 by P. Lorillard Co. and named for its president, Herbert A. Kent. Something of a maverick among the cigarette makers, Lorillard came closest to admitting that cigarettes were harmful. It promoted Kent as the brand for "the 1 out of every 3 smokers who is unusually sensitive to tobacco tars and nicotine." It said Kent offered them "the greatest health protection in cigarette history."

In double page magazine ads that played on the public’s gee-whiz faith in science and technology, Lorillard said its quest for the new filter "ended in an atomic energy plant, where the makers of KENT found a material being used to filter air of microscopic impurities."

"What is ‘Micronite’?" another ad asked. "It’s a pure, dust-free, completely harmless material that is so safe, so effective, it actually is used to help filter the air in hospital operating rooms."

In reality, the Micronite filter–whose actual composition the ads never revealed–contained a particularly dangerous form of asbestos. [...] There was asbestos in the filter from 1952 at least until 1957. During this time, according to sales figures, Americans puffed their way through over 13 billion Kents. It is unknown if Kent smokers inhaled asbestos from the filter, or if they have experienced a higher rate of cancer than smokers of other brands.

Lorillard would not respond to written questions on this subject, nor to separate requests to three vice presidents to tell the company’s side. The company offered a single piece of information: "We do not have asbestos in our products, nor have we had for many years," said Sara Ridgway, Lorillard vice president for public relations. "That is all I’m going to say."

— "The Greatest Health Protection In Cigarette History!", Myron Levin, 1987

spudtater: (Default)
( Mar. 30th, 2010 12:36 pm)
"Since I've got a dentist's appointment on the morning of the 30th", I thought to myself a couple of weeks back, "I might as well take a half-day off. I can wander around Leith; it'll be a nice relaxing morning."

Thank you, weather.
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( Feb. 26th, 2010 09:23 am)
I believe it was [livejournal.com profile] scattergather who recently showed me the YouTube video CSI Miami - Endless Caruso One Liners, which just turns your brains to goo if you watch it for too long.

I then saw this entry on failblog, which made me sporfle.

On a related note, I spotted a fail of my very own the other day. Not sure it's quite failblog levels of fail, but it amused me.

(Yes, I was in TK Maxx. Do not mock; I picked up a tin of proper greek olives, and a carbon steel wok. The weird stuff they have in that shop...)

Edit: Day off today! What should I do? (Apart from seasoning a wok, and playing Go on the computer?)
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( Aug. 31st, 2009 09:01 pm)
My computer appears to be majorly b0rk. Like, missing-partition-table-on-primary-drive b0rk. Do not want. Do not know what to do to recover all my data.

8^(
A particularly painful over-extended metaphor used by a political analyst on a BBC breakfast show (on the subject of MP expenses):
Presenter: But this is all a bit "after the horse has bolted", isn't it?
Analyst: Yes, the horses have bolted, but some of them are going to come back, and then we're going to have to shoot them.
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...is the reason that I am now at home sulking instead of in Switzerland. Waited for six hours before being told that the flight was "indefinitely delayed" because the plane was grounded in the East Midlands. You'd have thought they could have mentioned that before, rather than just incrementally adjusting the departure time a half-hour at a time.

8^(

What are my chances of getting a refund from Sleazyjet? Or even being able to talk to a human? ("Welcome to the Easyjet Customer Experience! This line is charged at 10p per minute." "Oh for fuck's sake!" "Sorry, I didn't hear that. Please repeat your query.")

Edit: Refunded! ...thanks to the Super Secret™ number that [livejournal.com profile] luckylove pointed out below; 01582 700036.
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spudtater: (Default)
( Jan. 31st, 2009 02:52 pm)
Google.co.uk seems to be b0rken... it's displaying every result with the message "this site may harm your computer".

Edit: Google may harm your computer
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( Nov. 18th, 2008 09:07 pm)

Recording a narrative verdict, Portsmouth and south-east Hampshire coroner David Horsley said: 'At no stage following the injury to his foot did Russell Jenkins or anyone else on his behalf seek or obtain conventional medical advice or treatment for his condition. In consequence, Russell Jenkins's condition was inappropriately and ineffectively treated by himself and by others and led to his death.'

Healer dies after failing to treat a foot wound, The News, Portsmouth, 17 Nov 2008

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( Oct. 13th, 2008 06:47 pm)
You know that packaging with the string threaded in a complicated way through the top of a cardboard sack? Why is it that sometimes you can tug on one end and the whole thing comes undone easily, and then other times you have to cut through pretty much every stitch?

Is there some sort of trick I'm missing?
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( Sep. 25th, 2008 09:02 am)
There's a junction that I have to cross every day to get to work, which is already dangerous for the following reasons:

1. It's a T-junction with priority on the turn, rather than the straight, which always confuses people.
2. It's right off a busy cycleway, and hence gets a lot of bike traffic.
3. There are heavy stone bridges over not one but both main arms of the junction, leading to severely restricted visibility.
4. Since one of the roads lacks a pavement on one side, pedestrians from that direction (such as myself) are forced to cross at that junction.

Now there's almost always windscreen glass lying somewhere around that junction, so I imagine that it must be well-known as an accident hotspot. Nonetheless, to the above four factors, somebody in their wisdom has chosen to add a fifth:

5. An enormous advert for lingerie placed right on the corner.

Gah!
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( Oct. 14th, 2007 08:55 pm)
This is starting to really annoy me. My laptop wireless refuses to properly talk to the wireless router. But where the problem is completely beats me. Certain web sites, such as google, work no problem. Other web sites, notably LJ, work for a bit and then resolutely refuse to work for ages, even though the rest of the web is working just fine.

This has me perplexed. Anybody have any pointers as to how to find out what's going wrong?

Edit: will try advice given here

Excerpt from the assignment given as part of the "server-side programming" module:

If the username and password are not correct, open a window, displaying “The login failed!”. Also display whether username or password is incorrect.

To all non-programmers on my friends list: can you figure out why this would be a bad and wrong thing to do?   8^]

"In a glimpse into what the future might hold for Asian or Arab-looking air travellers in Europe in the wake of new security fears, two men variously described as of ``Asian'' or ``Middle Eastern'' appearance were forced off a United Kingdom-bound flight from Spain after fellow passengers refused to fly alleging that the two may be terrorists."

The Hindu, Two forced out of flight from Spain to U.K.

"Passengers on a Manchester-bound flight have described how two men were removed from the plane because other travellers thought they were speaking Arabic.

[...]

"All the passengers were then taken off and the plane and all the luggage was swept for explosives. Three hours later the passengers boarded again and the plane took off without the pair."

BBC News, Passengers explain pair's removal

spudtater: (Default)
( May. 16th, 2006 01:09 am)
Random stuff I found digging around on the internet. Not at all up-to-date or newsworthy, but I thought I'd share a couple of gems.

Election machines, anti-Bush videos, press freedoms )
At my work, I am currently working on the company website. The current website (http://www.scmonline.net) is getting very out-of-date, and besides, it looks cheesy and doesn't work in Mozilla. (Or, presumably, anything other than IE).

Before I started working for the company, they had an on-and-off-again volunteer working on building a new website. Fair enough, the content has been updated, and the new design looks more contemporary and works under other browsers. But in useability terms, it has to be the worst thing I've ever seen.

Bad website! No cookie! )
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