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May 1, 2019

How the USPS sorts mail

"More than 700 million pieces of mail are sorted and delivered in the U.S. every day but Sunday."

May 1, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Normalization of Deviance — Diane Vaughan

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From Fast Jet Performance: "This term was first used by sociologist Diane Vaughan in her book on the Challenger Shuttle disaster, 'The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA.'"

Social normalization of deviance means that people within the organization become so much accustomed to a deviant behaviour that they don't consider it as deviant, despite the fact that they far exceed their own rules for the elementary safety.

"The longer it goes on within an organisation, the more people become accustomed to it. People on the outside see it as abnormal but within the organization it becomes accepted as everyday practice."

"Due to the large size of some organizations it can be insidious and can also end up becoming more entrenched."

May 1, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Spectacular 4,000-year-old Egyptian tomb discovered

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I almost passed out from delight when I saw how bright the colors are.

From My Modern Met:

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In Egypt, the archeological discoveries never end.

This was made all the more clear by the recent discovery of a colorful tomb in Saqqara, home to some of Egypt's earliest pyramids.

The incredibly well-preserved tomb contains vibrant wall paintings that look like they were painted yesterday, when in reality the tomb was created over 4,000 years ago.

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It's believed that the tomb, which is located within a large necropolis, was created during the Fifth Dynasty.

This period spanned the early 25th century BCE until the mid 24th century BCE and was known as a time when funerary prayers began to be inscribed on royal tombs.

In this particular case, the exceptional tomb was created for a dignitary named Khuwy.

Several aspects of the tomb lead researchers to believe that Khuwy was a man of great importance.

Architecturally, it has a tunneled entrance, which is a feature typically reserved for pyramids — the tombs of the pharaohs.

Artistically, the colors of the paintings are considered royal colors.

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These clues bring into question Khuwy's influence and his relationship with the Fifth Dynasty's longest-ruling pharaoh, Djedkare Isesi.

Djedkare's pyramid is located nearby in Saqqara and one theory is that Khuwy was a relative of the leader.

Others believe that the lavishness of the tomb was instead owed to the Djedkare's reforms on funerary cults.

In addition to the tomb decoration, archaeologists also found Khuwy's mummy and canopic jars — used to hold organs — scattered in several fragments.

Egyptologists hope that the newly discovered tomb will give them more insight into Djedkare's reign, as the pharaoh's own tomb was raided prior to excavation in the 1940s.

While Djedkare appeared to be held in high regard even after his death — he was the object of a cult until at least the end of the Old Kingdom — he is still a somewhat enigmatic leader.

May 1, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Apple Pencil Gen 2 doesn't survive impact from a 30-inch drop

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Earlier today I dropped my brand new Apple Pencil Gen 2 from a height of about thirty inches onto my concrete patio.

It did not end well (above).

The now-exposed metal inside the business end is not a good thing.

Long story short: immediately after the drop, I noticed the pencil wasn't working properly any more: only by orienting it with the metal down against the screen did it function.

Something tells me this will not end well if I persist. 

The replacement pencil arrive$ Friday.

Maybe Gen 3 will feature a built-in gyroscope that reorients the pencil while in free fall such that it lands on its side or base rather than the evidently fragile tip.

May 1, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Chocolate Crayons

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From the Financial Times:

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A Singapore chef's "edible art" launches in Harrods with a quirky-cool box of chocolate crayons

First among Janice Wong's creations to land in London: a box of crayons in enticing paint-splodged packaging, that are, in fact, an edible adventure in eight colors and flavors.

The yellow "crayons," for instance, are passion fruit, red is strawberry, and blue is peppermint.

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Crayon+Box+19-1

Box of 8 (top): $30.

Box of 40 (above): $77.

May 1, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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