The Food Television Chefs Make Is Actually Kind Of Disgusting

January 8, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Ryan F. Mandelbaum reported on a study of television chef food safety practices:

  • A survey of 24 television chefs found that the majority do not demonstrate good food safety techniques.
  • Errors include failing to wash hands before handling raw meat, and sampling food served to others with bare hands.
  • They also neglected to discuss the correct temperature of meat – something novice cooks might fail to understand, putting them at risk of disease.
  • Television food preparation techniques make for good entertainment, but aren’t necessarily the best way to actually make food.

Read more on Gizmodo.

Countries Are Appointing People To Monitor Trump’s Twitter Feed

January 6, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Julian Ryall wrote about foreign policy in the age of President Trump:

  • South Korea is appointing a military officer whose responsible for reading Trump’s twitter feed.
  • The officer will look for hints about the American President’s policy on issues relevant to South Korea.
  • While Trump has never explicitly made his policy on North Korea clear, his tweets indicate that he doesn’t intend to allow North Korea to build a bomb capable of targeting the US, and that he will use China to pressure the hermit kingdom into concessions.

Read more about what foreign leaders might be able to glean from Trump’s twitter account on The Telegraph.


January 4, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Molly Hennessy-Fiske wrote about the battle for Mosul in the age of social media:

  • Soldiers battling to take control of Mosul, in Iraq, from ISIS, have been documenting their victories with selfies showing military hardware or trampled ISIS flags in the background.
  • The soldiers point out that it’s an easy way to reassure family back home.
  • But it’s not just family watching. Humans Right Watch has combed through the photos and found evidence of extrajudicial killings among other abuses.
  • And ISIS may analyze the photos to glean any military intelligence.
  • ISIS could also end up using it for anti-government propaganda.

Read the full article on the Los Angeles Times.

Extreme Contingencies That People Have Planned For

January 3, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Cracked looked at some little-known contingency plans:

  • America’s annual state of the union includes every top government official from the President down. But what happens if a bomb were to go off? Each year a single politician is taken to a secure location. They are to assume the Presidency in case everybody else dies at the event.
  • If more than 5 players in an NBA team die then an emergency draft is held. Unaffected teams can select five players they don’t want to lose. Everyone else is fair game.
  • The US military has secret supply ships across the world which can rapidly deploy to support a major military operation involving tens of thousands of troops for 30 days.

Read about other contingency plans on Cracked.

Actors Are The First To Achieve Immortality. This Has Economic Implications

January 2, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Paul Walker didn’t let his own death prevent him from filming scenes for “Furious 7”. In “Rogue One” Peter Cushing decided to reprise the role of Grand Moff Tarkin despite having retired to the grave two decades ago. Through the use of technology it’s possible to bring dead actors back to life. Lisa Richwine and Jill Serjeant looked at how the industry is responding:

  • Actors are beginning to write clauses in their contracts stipulating how their likeness can be used after their deaths.
  • Some actors ask that if they’re brought back from the grave, they not be depicted doing drugs or having sex.
  • Others ban all depictions period. Robin Williams embargoed any use of his image for commercial purposes until 2039.
  • The technology is still new, and is expensive enough that it might cost more to digitally re-create a character than to hire a brand-new Hollywood A-Lister.
  • Filmmakers may also hesitate because audiences might focus on how realistic the digital character looks, rather than on the wider story, themes, or characters.

Read more on MSN.

A Salt Flavoured Fork

December 30, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Andrew Liszewski looked at how technology could be used to improve nutrition without compromising taste:

  • Researchers in Japan have built a fork that delivers electric shocks that are interpreted as different flavours by the tongue.
  • Currently the fork is able to transmit a sensation of saltiness and sourness.
  • The salt sensation is particularly intriguing since restaurants who supply the fork could cut down on the amount of salt in food, without affecting taste, improving blood pressure.
  • Researchers managed to build the fork with just $18 worth of electronics.
  • Each tongue is different and the fork can be calibrated to an individual’s taste buds.


Read more about the fork on Gizmodo.

There Are Grand Theft Auto Nature Documentaries

December 29, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

In a wider article about the weird evolution of video games, Cracked had an entry on Grand Theft Auto V:

  • “Onto The Land” is a documentary filmed entirely in the world of Grand Theft Auto. It focuses on the in-game world’s wildlife.
  • The documentary is only 15 minutes long but took half a year to make – including time for research on the behaviour of in-game animals.
  • Another documentary looks at marine life under the oceans of GTA – something that was likely coded as an after-thought by the game’s creators, since most of the action takes place on the land.
  • Other documentarians look at the social structures within the game. There’s one particularly close-knit bike gang that players have set up (complete with a real-life, full-time PR rep), and one team created a documentary on the inner workings of the gang.

Read more and find links to the documentaries at the Cracked article.

Cuba Is Trying To Use Rum To Pay Off Debts

December 28, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Venezuela isn’t the only country struggling to pay off debts. Cubans are getting creative too according to the BBC:

  • Cuba and The Czech Republic used to be Communist chums during the Cold War. Back then Cuba took out some loans from the Czechs.
  • Almost $300 million is now due, and rather than expend precious cash, Cuba offered to pay it back in rum and pharmaceutical drugs.
  • The Czech Republic is now a member of the European Union, and Cuba’s medicines aren’t certified in the EU, making them effectively worthless.
  • But the rum may cause Czech negotiators to pause for thought. If the entire debt were paid off this way, it’d be enough to supply the country for more than a century.

Read more at the BBC.

A Statistical Analysis Of Prisoner Tattoos

December 27, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

In one of its Christmas Specials, The Economist looked at prisoner tattoo correlations:

  • Three quarters of prisoners in the data set The Economist used have at least one tattoo.
  • White prisoners are more likely to have tattoos related to racial supremacy, such as those of Nazi swastikas.
  • Hispanics, who are often Catholic, are more likely to have tattoos of Christian imagery such as crosses or the Virgin Mary.
  • Women frequently have tattoos of butterflies, hearts, and motivational quotes (“this too shall pass”).
  • Men like tattoos related to incarceration – bars, handcuffs, and the like.
  • Sex offenders – especially pedophiles – are least likely to have tattoos.
  • And those who reject tattoos are more likely to be murderers than those who have them.
  • But upon being freed, those who sport ink are likely to return to prison after just 2.4 years. Those without tattoos will last 5.4 years before being sentenced back to prison.
  • Inmates who opt for Christian tattoos are less likely to be in prison due to murder.
  • But the reverse isn’t true: satanic tattoos are not a predictor of homicide.

Read more of the fascinating analysis at The Economist.

You Should Find Out What Kind Of Car Your Financial Advisor Drives

December 26, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Stephen Brown, Yan Lu, Sugata Ray, and Melvyn Teo published a paper on what you can learn from the kind of car a financial advisor drives:

  • Those who drive sports cars are more likely to take risks with investments.
  • However, this risk doesn’t result in higher returns.
  • Those who like to go fast and furious are also more likely to engage in fraudulent behaviour, and to terminate their investment funds.
  • The results indicate that those who like to drive sports cars are thrill-seekers, and this personality trait extends into their professional lives.

Read the entire study here.

Source: SSRN