Harry Potter and the Actionable Serial Number
I can kind of understand why people read the Harry Potter books, but the idea that people over the age of 12 get so excited they start wearing pointy hats and straddling brooms is kind of beyond me. I’m not here to pontificate on why the books are so successful (but if were to, I’d say it gives 35-year-olds an excuse to wear inappropriate hats), but on why people are so deathly afraid of spoilers.
They’re annoying, I’ll grant you that, but the investigation that’s been launched into the leaker who posted the book on BitTorrent is a bit like swatting a fly with a Sherman tank. The latest piece of evidence that could help track down the mystery fink is the serial number that’s traceable from the pictures. If that number can be linked back to the actual camera, and therefore the camera’s owner, you can bet book publishers everywhere will be lining up to sue this muggle. (For those not in the know, that’s a dirty word in Potter speak.)
Beer for your palette
You know what beer looks like, you know what it tastes like, but what colour is it? Yellow, you’ll say. Or brown. Or a nice warm amber with hints honey. Or a rich, deep black suitable for absorbing the memory that the Visa bill came in about $800 more than you were expecting. I could go on, but this site has distilled (pardon the pun) well-known beers down to their essential colour pallets. Guinness, not surprisingly, is a mix of black, dark beige and several grades in between. Stella Artois covers a range from white to vivid yellow. I’m not sure what these beer swatches are in aid of, but its fun to flip through the various ales, stouts and lagers. What I really don’t get though, is who drinks something called Goose Island Oatmeal? Sounds like a euphemism for bird doody.
Dinosaur eschewed seafood buffet
The latest entry in our ongoing series “Get to know your dinosaur” concerns prehistoric reptiles of the flying persuasion. It was believed that pterosaurs would feed by “skimming” the water with their gigantic open mouths, scooping up fish much like the seafaring avian species of today. Nope. Turns out that theory is bogus. Their beaks are the wrong shape. To put this in some perspective, it’s like saying that people who shop at Wal-Mart don’t buy Linux laptops because, well, the market for consumer-based open source just doesn’t hold water and the vendors behind it are completely toothless. (Editor’s Note: There’s a clever analogy in there somewhere, but I’ll gladly accept suggestions as what that might be, seeing as Insider is clearly off his rocker this week.)