Browsing the archives for the Sisyphus' Slope category.

Futility in science

Sisyphus' Slope

The search for perpetual motion.  Read:  A short history of the search for perpetual motion, by Donald E. Simanek

Baskara

Baskara

Tacolla's Wheel

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Futility Music

Sisyphus' Slope

Music to be tortured by

See Torture By Music at MusicRadar.com to learn what is…

known in the torture trade as futility music — chosen to “convince the prisoner of the futility of maintaining his position”.

and

US military have been using music as a form of torture in Iraq. Psychological operations (or psyops) play Metallica’s Enter Sandman or Eminem’s White America at excruciating volumes as a way of ‘breaking’ Iraqi prisoners of war.

Mother Jones magazine publishes the Torture Playlist so you can keep up to date with all the latest is torture tunes.

Who will be the next Top Tuneful Torturer?

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Hillary for President of Futility

Sisyphus' Slope

Hillary Clinton’s attempt to catch up to Barack Obama by participating in primaries and caucuses. If you aren’t familiar with Slate.com’s Delegate Calculator, you will see that the more Clinton competes, the further behind she gets. Move the red slider at the top of the page until the box at the bottom says, “Clinton is ahead…”:

  • 3/03/08: Clinton needed to win 60% of the remaining vote to pull ahead of Obama in the delegate count.
  • 3/06/08: Clinton needed 62% of the remaining vote.
  • UPDATE 3/12/08: Clinton needed 63% — Recall that Clinton hasn’t won ANY state by more the 60% so far.
  • UPDATE 3/17/08: Clinton needed 63% WITHOUT Michigan & Florida / 60% WITH Michigan & Florida
  • UPDATE 3/20/08: Clinton needed 64% WITHOUT Michigan & Florida / 60% WITH Michigan & Florida — now more unlikely than before
  • UPDATE 4/09/08: Clinton needed 65% WITHOUT Michigan & Florida / 60% WITH Michigan & Florida
  • UPDATE 4/23/08: Clinton needed 68% WITHOUT Michigan & Florida / 61% WITH Michigan & Florida
  • UPDATE 4/28/08: Clinton needed 70% WITHOUT Michigan & Florida / 61% WITH Michigan & Florida
  • UPDATE 5/07/08: Clinton needed 86% WITHOUT Michigan & Florida / 67% WITH Michigan & Florida
  • UPDATE 5/14/08: Clinton needed 86% WITHOUT Michigan & Florida / 66% WITH Michigan & Florida
  • UPDATE 5/22/08: Clinton needed more than 100% WITHOUT Michigan & Florida / 70% WITH Michigan & Florida
  • UPDATE 6/02/08: Clinton cannot win, but still soldiers on.

I’m reminded of an (American) football game where the team that’s behind needs a 7-point touchdown to win, but only gets a 3-point field goal. They may be happy to have gained any points at all, but they’re still going to lose.

Recently, somebody compared this race to the best-of-7 Stanley Cup playoffs: After Obama has won the first 4 games, Clinton insists they play the remaining 3 games because she might score more total goals or maybe the officials will award her the Cup anyway.

So now we watch while Clinton’s old-style bare-knuckle politics tries to find ways to change the rules of the game.

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Futility, a novel that eerily predicted the sinking of the Titanic

Sisyphus' Slope

From the oracle Wikipedia comes Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan:

Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan was an 1898 novella written by Morgan Robertson. The story features the ocean liner Titan which sinks in the North Atlantic after striking an iceberg. The Titan and its sinking have been noted to be very similar to the RMS Titanic which sank fourteen years later.

If only the captain of the Titanic had read this book! The loss of life was… what would be a good word… ah! FUTILE!. But I don’t suppose the ship’s librarian would have stocked it…

Now something to brighten our day. Yes, it’s the Titanic Adventure Slide!. Think of the fun you can have reliving that tragedy! Perfect for Bon Voyage parties:


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Futility in Parliament (UK)

Sisyphus' Slope

Simon Carr: Things can get quite exciting in Parliament, but you wouldn’t know it most of the time

the one fatal symptom is the sense of futility that hangs around so many occasions in the Commons. And what is futility in politics? It is powerlessness. The sense that words will not work. That however strong the argument, the whip will not change. That nothing in the room will … happen.


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