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By herbert (Sat Sep 27, 2008 at 10:15:57 AM EST) oh my, god wot, the fuckbarbecue (all tags)
  • world improving ideas in the fields of pasta and politics
  • observations in the fields of computers and punctuation

World improving idea #1 - pasta bank

I always have nearly-empty packets of about three different kinds of pasta.  I don't have enough to make a meal from but I have enough that it seems wasteful to throw away.  Now, mixing pastas in the same dish would clearly be wrong (not to mention the complexity that would be introduced by different cooking times).  So what's needed is some kind of central pasta bank where you could deposit small amounts of pasta and build up credit towards a new packet.  The only technology required is an automated pasta sorter, similar to a coin sorter, which could make up full packets out of the ends of packets.  I hereby place this valuable idea into the public domain.

World improving idea #2 - random election scheduling

It's clearly unfair that the UK government gets to decide when the general election is going to be.  However, having fixed terms isn't that great either because everyone knows when the election is going to be and starts campaigning years before.  So what we should have is random scheduling.  Once a month you would randomly decide, possible using the national lottery machine, whether there would be an election the next month.  The probability would be gradually increased each month, so that you got a distribution where terms of less than two years were very unlikely or impossible, with four or five years being a likely length, but three or seven not uncommon, and perhaps going up to a small probability of a term lasting ten years.  The exact numbers aren't critical but that's the general idea.

So not even the government themselves know when they will be held to account.  Just now governments tend to have pre-election giveaway budgets.  If under my system they try a giveaway budget, the election might not happen for another couple of years, by which time they might be having to raise taxes to pay for the earlier spending.

(Once the election is announced Parliament is dissolved fairly quickly - the government might be allowed to tidy up work in progress but they aren't allowed to start anything new.)

Similarly they wouldn't be able to do unpopular things at the start of a term and rely on having four years for people to forget about them.  Possibly the plan falls down here - it may be a good thing that governments have a chance to do necessary but unpopular things occasionally.  Optimistically, it might mean there would be more effort put into explaining the policies and convincing people of the need for them.  Pessimistically, it might mean that tricky stuff just got dodged or delayed forever.


I keep getting updates for Windows Defender, even though I never play it.  I have looked under Games in the start menu but it isn't there.

The punctuation on my mobile phone is ordered like this:  .?!,@'-_:;()&"~ (there is more but I can't be bothered to list it).  I bring this up in order to make public my view that putting exclamation marks ahead of apostrophes is a shocking decision on the part of Motorola.  Also, I resolve to write a text message with a semicolon in it before I die.  I mean not in a smiley.

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Diary | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden)
I have the same issue with my Motorola. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #1 Sat Sep 27, 2008 at 12:48:57 PM EST
Comma, "at", and ampersand need to directly follow the question mark. You need a fecking microscope to read them.

Who designed that shite?

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

(Comment Deleted) by yicky yacky (4.00 / 2) #2 Sat Sep 27, 2008 at 01:52:02 PM EST

This comment has been deleted by yicky yacky

[ Parent ]
Well, an answer was certainly unexpected here. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 2) #3 Sat Sep 27, 2008 at 02:13:00 PM EST
Looks like, once again, I'm being punished for being different.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Then there is a solution'''''''''''''''''''''''''' by herbert (4.00 / 2) #4 Sun Sep 28, 2008 at 02:19:13 AM EST
If enough of us pad our texts with apostrophes they will get a higher priority in the next generation of phones.''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

[ Parent ]
ah by Merekat (4.00 / 2) #5 Sun Sep 28, 2008 at 02:22:11 AM EST
Basing on what people actually write, rather than what they should:)

[ Parent ]
Diary | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden)