Why We Must Check Our Sources: A Cautionary Tale

Ever since the fourth season of the television show Sherlock concluded, with no cliffhanger traditional of the program, but instead a far more chilling one: a heartwarming closing sequence which engendered the prospect of no further seasons — this author has waited for the announcement of a fifth season. When a trailer finally arrived, she watched it with great excitement.

She noticed, as you may have if you watched it, that the trailer contained scenes she had seen before. She did not realize, however, what this meant until later.

Later, she sought out the wonderful video again, with the intent of watching it for clues about the fifth season, and of racking her brains to find her mental file on Sebastian Moran, for the name sounded definitely familiar.

However, this time she realized that the video had been posted by a “Beautifullytragic6” — not the YouTube account of Sherlock itself or one of the BBC.

She looked further, into the description, and found the fatal word:


This is why we must check our sources.

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Can you miniaturize a constant?

In an episode of Doctor Who (“Let’s Kill Hitler”), there was this robo-person run by tiny people inside it. Two of the main characters were miniaturized and put inside. This led to an interesting discussion, which I approximately reproduce below.

Ravi mama: If there are that many people imprisoned, doesn’t that make the giant robot really massive?  I mean, I don’t think they have fewer atoms, right?  How could you do it with fewer atoms?
Me: The atoms are miniaturized.
R: Well, wouldn’t you run into Planck’s constant?
Me: Planck’s constant gets miniaturized.
R: Well, that’s not what “constant” means.

Me: But in the reference frame of the robot-person, Planck’s constant is the same as it is in the outside reference frame. So it’s constant.

If you think of any more arguments, I suggest you utilize the below “Leave a Reply” function.

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Squeeze an Orange or Squeeze the Earth? – Association for India’s Development

Put down your cup of store-bought “100% fresh” labeled orange juice and pay undivided attention! Do you know where your juice came from?

Gee, I dunno, you might say, didn’t some cheerful advertising person cut a home-grown orange in half and squeeze it lovingly into a glass jar?

Um, no. Sreshta Appalabattula has the real story. Over to you, Sreshta.

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Sherlock 007 Clue

Lots of reviews are comparing the latest episode of Sherlock (The Six Thatchers) to James Bond films. Was this premeditated? There is a clue in the episode that suggests so. No one else seems to have found it yet. Here it is.




Right before the swimming pool fight scene, when Sherlock appears behind the glass door, four numbers (and a colon) appear on screen.

19:00. This is a time — 7 PM.

Now, the digits appeared on the screen from right to left. What is 7:00 from right to left?

Or look at it another way. The digits appeared in the order “00”  and the time came next: 7 P.M.

Either way: 007!

James Bond!

Now there are two possibilities here. Either a) the makers of Sherlock slipped this in as a reference to the James Bond-iness of The Six Thatchers, or b) this is a coincidence.

But, according to Sherlock Holmes, there is no such thing as coincidence.

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Haiku on the President-elect

Never even dogcatcher

President-elect! ‘Twill be

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Double ballots at Homestead-Wakefield! No!


Author with pantsuit.

Today on the corner outside the polling place we held a rally for Hillary Clinton.  Sera Matteo-Boring came to the rally and told us the following:

She’d gone to cast her vote around 7:20 AM at Homestead-Wakefield Elementary School.  She filled out the front side of her ballot and flipped it over.

The back side was already filled.

She went to ask for a new ballot.  While she was getting her new ballot, she heard someone else saying that they had been given two ballots, and that they were being honest and giving back the second one.

That’s two voting irregularities at one polling place, in just the small amount of time during which one voter was there.

Election officials — please make sure to give the voters ONE BALLOT ONLY!  And let them fill it out THEMSELVES!  What is the point of tampering with the ballots?

Voters — Make sure you fill out your ballot, not someone else!  And if the election officials give you more than one ballot, loudly give it back like the person in Homestead-Wakefield did, and report the problem.  The Maryland Democratic Party has a Voter Empowerment Hotline for reporting voting issues at 1-888-678-VOTE (8683).

Disability Rights Maryland has its own hotlines for disability-related voting issues at:
800-233-7201 ext: 2492
TTY: 410-235-5387
Email: voting@disabilityrightsmd.org

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland also has a voting issues hotline at 410-889-8555.

Remember, if you are a Maryland voter, you have the right:

  • to vote by provisional ballot if for any reason you are not able to vote on the regular voting machines.
  • to vote without showing identification unless you are a first-time voter who did not show ID when you registered.
  • to assistance at the polls if you have a physical disability or an inability to read the English language.
  • to Vote-By-Mail for any reason.
  • to take time off from work to vote.
  • to vote on the regular voting machines if you are in line at your polling place by 8:00 p.m.
  • to have your polling place open promptly at 7:00 a.m.
  • to vote without being approached or solicited within 100 feet of your polling place.

(Source for voters’ Bill of Rights: http://www.washingtoncountymddems.org/bill_of_rights.php)

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