Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Link roundup

1. First wine, now violins:

In a double-blind test by professional violinists, most couldn't determine — by sound alone — which violin was an original Stradivarius and which was a modern instrument.
2. Topless Robot on Cartoon Network:
Bandai Japan demanded that Bandai Entertainment get the original '70s Mobile Suit Gundam series on Cartoon Network, despite the fact it was 20 years old, looked 20 years old, and was waaaaaaaay too boring for young American audiences. Cartoon Network, not being insane, refused. Bandai Japan then paid CN to run the original Gundam anime, thus *%$#ing up the Toonami block for years -- because once CN got paid to run an anime, the CN executives weren't going to run any anime without getting a check for it first. If you've ever wondered why an anime that would seemingly have been perfect for Toonami never [aired], chances are it's because the licensor couldn't afford CN's asking price.
3. Tyler Cowen on a book about WWI:
My favorite section details how the British responded when it turned out they had a drastic shortage of binoculars, which at that time were very important for fighting the war. They turned to the world’s leading manufacturer of “precision optics,” namely Germany. The German War Office immediately supplied 8,000 to 10,000 binoculars to Britain, directly intended and designed for military use.
Don't worry, the British sold vital supplies to the Germans...