Home » Archives for wwickey

Author: wwickey

Wet Newspaper: Kiphus



The Dunning-Kruger Effect has been popularly generalized to state that ‘the average person thinks they are better at task X than they really are.’ A lesser reported but also important conclusion of the study is that high achievers at task X consistently rate themselves lower than they actually are.

The “out of Africa”, single population, theory of early human evolution has largely fallen out of favor in light of genetic evidence suggesting commingling of species and subspecies of a variety of different early human populations in many different areas, at different periods.

Researchers recently discovered a rare microbe called a hemimastigote that is neither animal, plant, fungus nor any recognized type of protozoan — falling far outside any of the known large categories for classifying complex forms of life, within its own kingdom.

“Grant abstracts that are longer than the average abstract, contain fewer common words, and are written with more verbal certainty receive more money from the NSF (approximately $372 per one-word increase).


A study of Canadian vs. US tweets. The study concludes the national stereotypes are evident in the data. The researchers posit that national stereotypes are grounded in the linguistic behavior of nations.

Unicode has 137,439 entries. It includes a group of ‘ghost characters’ (妛挧暃椦槞蟐袮閠駲墸壥彁) which have no known meaning. It is believed that in 1978 a series of mistaken paper creases resulted in the creation of these characters and the errors went undiscovered just long enough to be set in stone.

A 69 year old Dutch man says he identifies as a 49-year-old, asks court to change his legal age.


Euthanasia has been legal in the Netherlands since 2002. In 2017, one-quarter of all deaths were “induced”: 6,600 cases of euthanasia and 1,900 suicides.

It’s not just humans getting fatter. Animals are getting fatter too. And really, nobody is sure why.

Expensive placebos work better.

Dollar stores are now feeding more Americans than Whole Foods.

“More than 7 million commuters a day use Mumbai’s suburban railway network…Close to 8 people die a day on the network, according to rail officials.”

The CDC estimates that 79 million American adults—40 percent of women, and 35 percent of men—qualify as obese. “According to government estimates, Americans pay $147 billion a year in medical costs related to obesity. That’s roughly equal to the entire budget for the U.S. Army.”

Are Mormons happy or unhappy? On the one hand, Mormons have the lowest divorce rate, the highest job satisfaction, lowest median work hours, highest rate of volunteerism, etc. On the other, Utah has, the highest rates of mental illness, #1 in bankruptcy filings, #1 in child sexual abuse, top 5 alcohol and opioid abuse rates, top 5 suicide rate, etc?

Psychopaths are attracted to other psychopaths.


“Any creative illustration “fixed in a tangible medium” is eligible for copyright, and, according to the United States Copyright Office, that includes the ink displayed on someone’s skin. What many people don’t realize, legal experts said, is that the copyright is inherently owned by the tattoo artist, not the person with the tattoos.” Accordingly, some tattoo artists have sold their rights to firms which are now suing video game producers who depict the tattoos on the players likenesses.

Everything you need to know to be a successful camgirl.

The average age of Viceland TV viewers is 42.

There is approximately one business establishment for every 22 people in a city, regardless of the size of the city, each with an average of eight employees. These numbers hold constant regardless of how big or small the city is.

IBM patents more than all of Germany.”

Despite its linguistic and religious diversity, Switzerland is country of peace, stability, and prosperity. One analysis concludes that peace depends on “well defined topographical and political boundaries separating groups”, rather than integrated coexistance.


There are over 10 million first generation immigrants in California–more than the population of 41 individuals states.

Witches now outnumber Presbyterians in the US. “There are at least 1.5 million witches in the United States. That would put them 100,000 over the 1.4 million mainline Presbyterians in the country.”

In New York City, there are around 1,000 crosswalk buttons. In 2018, only 100 are functional (the rest are placebos) down from 750 functional buttons in 2004.

ICE set up a fake university as a sting operation aimed at individuals overstaying student visas. Students would allegedly pay tuition without taking classes in order to get the necessarily university enrollment credentials to extend their visas.


The Inca used knotted cords called kiphus to record numbers such a census data. Kiphu knots were also used to record additional information such as the status of debts, clan, and — now it is thought — language.

Professor of American studies at Yale, Joanne Freeman, explores the history of violence on the floor of the US Congress. “Not a session passed without punches being exchanged between congressmen, and knives and pistols being drawn. The pervasiveness of violence among lawmakers will surprise even specialists in 19th-century American history. From the mid-1830s to the outbreak of war in 1861, Freeman counts more than seventy violent incidents – duels, fistfights, stabbings – in the halls of Congress and the surrounding streets. Anticipating violence, she writes, congressmen regularly ‘strapped on knives and guns’ before heading to work.”

Former elite cyclist robs 26 banks in 4 years; escapes on bike.

17 different types of bragging.

The cube rule” is model for determining what is and what is not a sandwich, as well as toast, sushi, taco, and salad.

On average, a piece of gossip gets passed on to 2.3 people—often people who are higher status than you. In this way, gossip functions as a check on the amount of power the people with the highest social status have in a group.

People return to a maximum of 25 places during any given time period in their life.”

You can say “ding dong” but not “dong ding,” “zig zag” but not “zag zig,” and “flip flop” but not “flop flip.” The same strict word order applies to tick tock, riff raff, ping pong, King Kong, wishy washy, etc. This is the rule of ablaut reduplication: if there are two words, the first is i and the second is either a or o. If there are three words, then the order is i, a, o.

Poisson clumping is the phenomenon where random events may appear to have a tendency to occur in clusters.

“Now being shipped to military bases around the world, the newest of 24 current M.R.E. options is a humble three-by-five-inch Sicilian-style slice, scattered with melt-proof shreds of mozzarella and pebbles of mild pepperoni, sealed in a dun-colored laminate pouch.”

The post Wet Newspaper: Kiphus first appeared on williamwickey.com.

Quotes from One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich

Quotes from One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Let your work warm you up, that was your only salvation.

…all were chilled to the bone, not so much from the actual cold as from the prospect of having to spend the whole day in it.

Work was like a stick. It had two ends. When you worked for the knowing you gave them quality; when you worked for the fool you simply gave him eyewash. Otherwise, everybody would have croaked long ago. They all knew that.

From the outside, everyone in the squad looked the same–their numbered black coats were identical–but within the squad there were great distinctions. Everyone had his grade.

…you should never be conspicuous. The main thing was never to be seen by a campguard on your own, only in a group.

He sat in that uncomfortable way, involuntarily emphasizing that he was unfamiliar with the place and that he’d come there on some minor matter.

How can you expect a man who’s warm to understand a man who’s cold?

…food gulped down is no food at all; it’s wasted; it gives you no feeling of fullness.

There is nothing as bitter as this moment when you go out to the morning roll call–in the dark, in the cold, with a hungry belly, to face a whole day of work. You lose your tongue. You lose all desire to speak to anyone.

…all his longing was concentrated in that cigarette butt–which meant more to him now, it seemed, than freedom itself–but he would never lower himself like that Fetikov, he would never look at a man’s mouth.

When the weather was cold the guards were fairly lenient in the morning, though not in the evening.

No [guard] dared make a mistake. If you signed for one head too many, you filled the gap with your own.

“You always get the sharpest frost at sunrise,” said Buinovksky. “You see, it’s the coldest point of the night.”

The thoughts of a prisoner–they’re not free either. They keep returning to the same things. A single idea keeps stirring.

During his years of prisons and camps he’d lost the habit of planning for the next day, for a year ahead, for supporting his family. The authorities did his thinking for him about everything–it was somehow easier that way.

Easy money weighs light in the hand and doesn’t give you the feeling you’ve earned it. There was truth in the old saying: pay short money and get short value.

In camp the squad leader is everything: a good one will give you a second life; a bad one will put you in your coffin.

They tormented the life out of you with their vigilance.

You had to eat with all your mind on the food–like now, nibbling the bread bit by bit, working the crumbs up into a pace with your tongue and sucking it into your cheeks. And how good it tasted–that soggy black bread! What had he eaten for eight, no, more than eight years? Next to nothing. But how much work had he done? Ah!

Well it’s said that nationality doesn’t mean anything and that every nation has it’s bad eggs. But among all  the Estonians Shukov had known he’d never met a bad one.

If you show your pride too much, he said, you’re lost. There was truth in that. Better to growl and submit. If you were stubborn they broke you.

…no spoon is as good for scraping a bowl of cereal as a bread crust.

Difficult as it was to start working in such cold, the important things was to get going.

He’d been in the camp only two years but already he understood everything: if you don’t use your teeth you get nothing.

He never spoke without making a joke, that Kilas, and was popular with the whole squad for it.

Why, you might wonder, should prisoners wear themselves out, working hard, ten years on end, in the camps? You might think they’d say: No thank you, and that’s all. We’ll drag ourselves through the day till evening, and then the night is ours.

But that didn’t work. To outsmart you they thought up work squads—but not squads like the ones outside the camps, where every man is paid his separate wage. Everything was arranged in the camp that the prisoners egged one another on. It was like this: either you all got a bit extra or you all croaked.

Regardless, you put your back into the work. For unless you could managed to provide yourself with the means of warming up, you and everyone else would give out on the spot.

You don’t have to be very bright to carry a handbarrow. So the squad leader gave such work to people who’d been in positions of authority.

You’ve only to show up to whip a beaten dog.

More depends on the work report than the work itself. A clever squad leader was one who concentrated on the work report. That was what kept the men fed.

Though there was little wind that day, there might be plenty tomorrow, and this bend would prevent the pipe from smoking. They mustn’t’ forget that it was from themselves they they were fixing the stove.

Wonder of wonders! How time flew when you were working! That was something he’d often noticed.The days rolled by in the camp–the were over before you could say “knife”. But the years, they never rolled by: they never moved by a second.

Waste not, want not.

…five days’ work for for four days’ food.

Tiurin never wasted his words, and if he permitted himself to talk, then he was in good humor.

Thank God for the man who does his job and keeps his mouth shut.

A man should build a house with his own hand before he cars before he calls himself and engineer.  

A man with two trades can easily learn another ten.

If a man asks for help why not help him? Those Baptists had something there.

It’s no joke to rob five hundred men of over half an hour.

A man who’s in a hurry won’t live to see the end of his stretch–he’ll tire and soon be done for.

Who’s the zek’s main enemy? Another zek. If only they weren’t at odds with one another–ah, what a difference that’d make.

That bowl of soup–it was dearer than freedom, dearer than life itself, past, present, and future.

Most writing in camp was done on plywood, not on paper. It was surer, somehow, more reliable. The guards and turnkeys used wood, too, for keeping tally of the zeks. You can scrape it clean for the next day, and use it again. Economical.

Life in camp wore him out from reveille to bedtime, with not a second for idle reflections.

Generally, the evening stew was much thinner than at breakfast: if they’re to work, prisoners must be fed in the morning; in the evening they’ll go to sleep anyway.  

The belly is a demon. It doesn’t remember how well you treated it yesterday; it’ll cry out for more tomorrow.

…the quickest louse is always the first to be caught in the comb.

For all that he may be unable to read or write, a herdsman knows if there’s a calf missing when he’s driving the herd.

Now he didn’t know either whether he wanted freedom or not.

The post Quotes from One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich first appeared on williamwickey.com.

An Album A Day (Year 2)

Last March, I began listening to a different album every day. Here are a few thoughts on the exercise and along with my favorite albums from year two.


When I discussed with people that I was listening to a new album a day, the most common question was, not ‘why’ but rather ‘how do you pick them?’ Most everyone seemed to readily see value in the exercise, though I don't know if everyone would agree on what actually makes something like this worthwhile.

Here's how I chose albums to listen to.

Read more